Cuyamaca Peak (via Conejos Trail)

With the desert too warm to continue working on the San Diego Sierra Club 100 Peak List, I decided to start working on the San Diego Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge. Opted to climb Cuyamaca Peak with a friend. The Los Vaqueros Trailhead was almost packed, as there was a training run for the SD100 Trail Race. We made our way along the Milk Ranch Road, along the way we spotted a herd of deer wandering by. Once at the turn, we began looking for the mountain lion prints that the training director had told us about. Sure enough, we could see a nice collection of the lion’s travels.

We linked up with the Conejos Trail and began working our way up. The trail becomes a bit rocky so we needed to be mindful of our steps. Partway up we heard the sounds of running water, the Conejos Spring was flowing, and in fact, some of the trail itself had running water on it.

As we neared the paved fire road, we noted quite a few trees had been snapped due to the high winds a few weeks back.

Once at the summit, more evidence of this as a mast on some equipment had been taken down and smashed its solar panels. We soaked in the views and enjoyed a well-earned snack before heading down.

Instead of taking the Conejos Trail again, we continued to the Azalea Springs Fire Road. That way we could skip the rocky section. Once back on the Milk Ranch Road, we spotted some wild turkeys. The entire hike took us 4:03 (including the break at the summit) and covered 8.7 miles.


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, 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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