Paso Picacho Campground

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park


Anza-Borrego Desert State Park



Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
Attractions and Activities

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park spreads over 24,700 acres of forest, meadows and streams. Campers at Green Valley Campground can explore all the popular features of the park.

  • Lake Cuyamaca is operated by the Helix Water District. The lake is 2 miles north of Paso Picacho and offers boating and fishing.
  • Wander along the creek that runs through Green Valley Campground.
  • Participate in the Junior Rangers Program at Picacho Day Use Area.
  • Watch for wildlife such as badgers, foxes, bobcats, and maybe even a mountain lion.
  • Birders enjoy seeking out the more than 100 birds in the park, including retailed hawks, sage sparrows, and woodpeckers.
  • Hike the 2-mile trail to the summit of Stonewall Peak.
  • Visit the Stonewall Mine site exhibits which provide a pictorial history of the mine.

Paso Picacho Campground Regulations

  1. Dogs must be on leash and attended at all times. Dogs are not allowed on trails, meadows, or at the falls.
  2. Generators may only be operated from 10 AM to 8 PM.
  3. Fires must be in fire rings and are only permitted between 7 AM to 11 PM.
  4. Wooden pallets may not be burned in campfires.

Paso Picacho Campground

Paso Picacho Campground is located in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County, near Julian. With construction completed, Paso Picacho Campground is back to the reservation system. Firewood and ice may be purchased at the campground. Interpretive programs are offered during the summer.

The park is characterized by oak woodlands, meadows, and creeks. A number of campsites are tent-only. Two Group Camps are located at the north end of the campground. Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp is located nearby. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is only a short drive away.

Changes in California State Parks Reservation System

California State Parks is switching to a new reservation system beginning August 1, 2017. ReserveCalifornia will replace the previous ReserveAmerica. "Beginning on midnight July 26, 2017, the website and telephone reservations for California's state parks will be temporarily offline to prepare for the exciting launch of the new system on August 1. During this time, all existing reservations will be honored. An electronic or hard copy from ReserveAmerica will need to be presented to State Parks staff when checking in for reservation made prior to July 26, 2017."

Paso Picacho Campground Basics
Paso Picacho Campground Location: 13652 Highway 79, 5 miles north of I-8, 15 miles south of Julian
Elevation: 5,000 feet
Mileage/Driving Time: 50 miles east of San Diego - 1 hour
Number of Campsites: 85
Open - Closed: spring through fall
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 1 motorized vehicle, extra vehicle $10
Pets: On leash, always attended
Park Information: (760)765-0755

Reservations for Paso Picacho Campground
Reservations required: weekends April through October
Booking Window: from 2 days up to 7 months in advance of arrival
New reservation dates are released in 1-month blocks on the first of the month.
Maximum RV/Trailer Length: 20-30 feet
Accessible Sites: #15, 36, 60, 66
Online Reservations at ReserveCalifornia: Paso Picacho Campground Reservations
or call (800) 444-PARK (7275) between 8 AM and 6 PM
Fees: $30
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, Noon

Paso Picacho Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring, no hook-ups
Campground: restrooms with flush toilets, tap water, campfire circle
Showers: Yes, fee
Dump station: yes
Campground map: Paso Picacho Campground Map (PDF download)
Attractions near Paso Picacho Campground: Explore hiking trails to nearby peaks such as the Stonewall Peak Trail and others. Enjoy interpretive programs in the summer. Head to Lake Cuyamaca with boating and fishing.

ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips

California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.

General Camping Information for
Anza-Borrego State Park and
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

Temperatures can reach 80-100 degrees in the spring. Visitors are advised to carry water and wear sun protective hats. Be aware of possible flash floods during storms. Check with the park for road conditions. Always notify someone of your plans, including when you plan to return.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

Paso Picacho Group Campsites

Each of the two tent-only group campsites at Paso Picacho can accommodate between 9 and 60 people. Up to 20 vehicles may park at each site. Reservations are available May through October.
Paso Picacho Group Campsite Reservations
Fee: $335

Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp

Los Vaqueros Group Horse Camp is located near Cuyamaca Lake. The single site is designated for between 9 and 80 people. A maximum of 50 vehicles may be parked at the site; maximum length of vehicles, 30 feet.
Los Vaqueros Horse Camp Reservations
Fee: $550

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