Minshall Trail to Stonewall Mine Loop is a scenic hike located within Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The route follows the southern edge of Lake Cuyamaca toward an abandoned mine on a nearby hill. It is estimated that $2 million in gold was mined here from 1886 to 1892, making it one of Southern California’s most productive gold mines. To accommodate the gold-rush, Cuyamaca City was built nearby. At its peak the town featured a post office, schoolhouse, store, cottages, and bunkhouses. It was abandoned shortly after Stonewall Mine was shut down, and only a few traces of it exist today.
The trail begins at the Trout Pond Staging Area on the shoulder of Highway 79. It leads through a grassy meadow where colorful displays of wildflowers attract butterflies during the summer. As the trail approaches Lake Cuyamaca it enters a forested area with lush oak and pine trees and climbs a gentle slope. At the top, a half-mile loop trail allows hikers to explore the remnants of the past. There are signs that explain the history of the area, though the mine and surrounding equipment are fenced-in. This loop also provides excellent views of the surrounding mountains, including Middle Peak, Stonewall Peak, and Cuyamaca Peak. Just past the Stonewall Mine Trailhead are restrooms and a shaded picnic area.