As my senior year is just starting up, I have a bit more time to explore new locations within San Diego. I have seen many pictures of Stonewall Peak and always wanted to go. But usually, the hour-long drive from UCSD is too time consuming for me to actually commit. But I took advantage of my current low levels of work and finally went!


My friend CJ came from Fullerton to join me on this adventure. We drove an hour from UCSD area to the Paso Picacho campground to park, where they have an 8$ all day parking pass.


It was noticeably cooler and the air seemed fresher in this eastern area of San Diego. Since UCSD is so close to the ocean, the weather is usually humid and warm. But here, in the more inland part of San Diego (near Julian), the weather actually reminded me that it’s Fall. The air was crisp and fresh.


This trail is beautiful. Well maintained, more popular than I expected but not crowded, and packed with unique trees and boulders. The rocks had CJ and I quoting Donkey from Shrek by declaring, “Now, that’s a nice boulder!”


The hike is 3.8 miles round trip and took us about 2 hours to complete. There are many switchbacks, which make the 900-foot elevation gain a moderate hike. The views from the top of the peak are amazing, you can see two bodies of water, the Palomar Observatory, and endless mountain ranges.img_5997img_5877

There’s a great spot at the top for a picnic. CJ and I sat eating snacks and blasting “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons. Then as we made our way down, CJ was talking about us being oldies since we’re in our senior year of college, when we ran into a senior couple who greeted us happily by calling us “young folk”. Point made. I hope to be like them when I’m older.

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Check out other San Diego must-visit spots here. 

Such as the popular: Potato Chip Rock 

or the more elusive: Jamul Kiln