Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
200.00 ft (60.96 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Historic mine. Wildflowers. Scenic.

Cons

Mine is hard to see due to the fence.

Trailhead Elevation

4,625.00 ft (1,409.70 m)

Highest point

4,775.00 ft (1,455.42 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Historically significant
Family friendly
Horseback riding
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Mine

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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