Cuyapipe Peak

Today’s adventure was to an obscure peak, Cuyapipe, deep in the Laguna Mountains. Finding places to safely and comfortably hike to is tough. We are definitely seeing more people out exploring some of the backcountry of San Diego. Since most of my remaining peaks for the San Diego Sierra Club list aren’t doable at the present time, I have been looking at other lists that are cataloged on Peakbagger. One of these is the San Diego Peak Club list. This list is actually the foundation for the Sierra Club list. There are some peaks listed here that definitely fit the obscure and rarely visited. 

So, I headed up to the Lagunas to summit this one. I drove down Thing Valley Rd. to a nice turnout. I was shocked to see three different camps set up along the way. I am fairly certain dispersed camping is not allowed.

I grabbed my gear and set off down the road. Being under the trees and having cool air was certainly welcomed for my mental health. After a short bit, I reached the turn-off. From here, the old road became faint as it crossed the meadow. I knew to expect this from the few trip reports on this peak.

Soon, the old road revealed itself again, as it made a horseshoe toward the peak. Various wildflowers still dotted the landscape. The route began its climb toward the summit. The road was in poor shape, and given the steepness, I would need to take care coming back down.

The summit is split into two parts. On the northern point is a communications tower, some solar panels, and a shed. I scrambled to the top of the rock and surveyed the incredible view. 

I knew the Benchmark and the register marks were located on the southern peak, so I followed the trail over to it. Once atop its rocky summit, I found the main Benchmark and the two reference marks. A register was also located. It was not in the best shape. I might just return to fix that problem.

From this summit, I was rewarded with some fabulous views. After snapping some photos, I headed back down. Sure enough, I almost did slip on that one steep section but managed not to land on my rear.

Soon, I was back at the car having completed  3.5 miles in 2:06. For a change, I did not turn my tracking off, so that time includes all the exploration on the summits, so the moving time is probably about 15 minutes less. The biggest surprise was all the traffic I encountered driving back out. A total of four cars passed us driving down the road. Thankfully, I can a spot to pull over each time. 

I am an avid peak bagger, sometimes backpacker, and former sea kayaker living in San Diego. In 2019, I became the third person to complete the San Diego 100 Peak Challenge. Not stopping with that accomplishment, I set my sights on the harder San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list, which I completed in 2021. In addition, I have conquered several Six-Pack of Peaks challenges (SoCal, San Diego, Central Coast, and Arizona-Winter). Beyond attempting the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak list a second time, I am looking forward to exploring new summits and new adventures across the southwest. 

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