Middle Peak

Middle Peak hike

The hike up Middle Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is like walking through a history lesson of San Diego County’s wildfires. In 2003, the Cedar Fire decimated the park’s population of centuries old sugar pine trees. The effects of the destruction are still clearly visible along every step of the trails surrounding Middle Peak.

Today, the habitat is recovering. Young oak trees and pine saplings are beginning to take hold, as are the manzanita trees that are so prevalent in Southern California. Wildlife is beginning to return to the area as well. Deer and large birds of prey are a common sight on the trails leading up Middle Peak. From what I hear, even the occassional bald eagle makes a stop in Cuyamaca.

Despite the destruction, the views from Middle Peak are still the primary attraction of this hike. The main trails, Milk Ranch Road and Middle Peak Fire Road, are frequently used by both hikers and mountain bikers. The smaller adjoining trails, Sugar Pine Trail and Black Oak Trail, are accessible only on foot and offer a more secluded feel.

Camping near Middle Peak is available at Paso Picacho and Green Valley campgrounds.

Middle Peak trail info.

  • Distance: 6 miles
  • Hiking time: 3 hours
  • Type: Loop
  • Elevation gain: 1100’
  • Difficulty: 6/10 (distance, elevation gain)
  • Elevation: 5883’
  • Rank on 100 peaks list: 8/100
  • Usage: Hiking, Mountain biking, Camping
  • When to go: Spring, Fall, Winter
  • Agency: Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Map & directions for Middle Peak

More trails near Middle Peak

Related posts

Additional links & resources

Photos of Middle Peak

Robb Keele

Robb Keele

Robb is a native San Diegan and avid hiker, backpacker, picture taker and 52 Hike Challenger. He created Getgo Outdoors with the goal of giving back to the outdoor community and inspiring others to get outdoors.
Robb Keele

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