Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA RV Rentals and Motorhome Rentals

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Discover Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA

Just 40 miles east of San Diego there’s a 25,000-acre oasis made up of rolling hills, meadows, mixed conifer and deciduous trees, large streams, and waterfalls. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is one of the highest areas in San Diego County, with Cuyamaca Peak topping out just past 6,500 feet. This scenic park is a result of a rancher’s 1933 land sale to the California State Parks system. The acquisition provided work for the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, whose work still remains today despite the destructive 2003 Cedar Fire that burned much of the park.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has a rich history all the way through the present day. Geologic history hints that these mountains were once similar to the Andes and has recent volcanic activity. The Kumeyaay people lived in numerous villages throughout the park for centuries, resisting assimilation by Spanish missionaries. The land was eventually purchased from the Kumeyaay as ranchland in the mid-19th century, right before gold was discovered in the Cuyamaca Mountains. The short-lived gold rush did produce a lot of ore, most of which was extracted from the park’s preserved Stonewall Mine at Cuyamaca Lake. Visitors enjoy exploring all of this history, along with its beautiful hiking, vistas, and wildlife. You can see it all for yourself by booking an RV in San Diego County.

Getting Outdoors

The restored lands at Cuyamaca Rancho provide over 100 miles of trails for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. One of the shortest, easiest hikes is the self-guided Paso Picacho Nature Trail in the Paso Picacho Campground. Other popular hiking trails include the 3.5-mile hike to the fire lookout with spectacular views of the desert and ocean, and the 2-mile Stonewall Peak Trail that offers views of Cuyamaca Lake and the old Stonewall Mine. Some of the trails will take you to small waterfalls and swimming holes. Stop by the visitor’s center for maps explaining all of the different hiking, biking, and horse trails.

Wildlife enthusiasts have plenty to look for at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Sightings include gray fox, tree frogs, bobcats, badgers, and mountain lions. The recent restoration of trees throughout the park has also brought back numerous bird species like hawks, sparrows, owls, and woodpeckers. Springtime brings colorful displays of wildflowers, and there are a great variety of places to see Indian paintbrush, lupine, monkeyflower, and nightshade, to name a few. This is a wonderful season to go RV camping in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park's rangers host some excellent interpretive programs. Throughout the summer they'll lead you on walks of all different flavors, explaining the history, wildlife, and geology of the area. You can explore the Stonewall Mine exhibit on your own and imagine what mining here was like 150 years ago. The visitor center also houses numerous displays explaining native plants, wildlife, and how the Kumeyaay natives lived before Europeans arrived.

Camping at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park has two RV campgrounds that are open year-round. Due to the park’s older design, the maximum recommended RV length is 30 feet, which you should keep in mind when renting an RV. All of the sites have fire rings and picnic tables, and each campground has a dump station, coin-operated showers, and flushing toilets. Hookups are not provided. You’re welcome to bring your pet camping at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, but they must be on a leash and are not allowed on trails.

The Green Valley Campground has 81 sites next to the Sweetwater River, six miles south of Cuyamaca Lake. Most sites have small trees that provide shade and privacy. You’ll find access to nearby hiking trails directly from the campground. The other RV campground is only one mile south of Cuyamaca Lake. Paso Picacho Campground has 85 sites, five of which are handicap accessible. This campground is situated in a wooded area providing shade and privacy, a contrast from the surrounding area. This campground also has nearby access to numerous hiking and nature trails.

Exploring the Area

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park borders Cuyamaca Rancho and can extend your hiking and horseback opportunities even further. It too has RV camping opportunities. Nearby businesses will let you hire a horse and a guide for a day and take you riding through this high desert landscape. The remote, high location is also favored by a couple of animal centers. A few miles north of the park there’s a wolf center, and a few miles south of the park there’s a small zoo that will get you up close and personal to lions, tigers, and bears.

Interstate 8 isn't too far from the park's south entrance and is your best bet for fuel and supplies. If you’re heading west, you’ll arrive in El Cajon first, where you can fuel up your motorhome and shop for supplies and groceries at the big box stores. Not much further west are the beaches of San Diego, and other activities like the renowned San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the naval museum. The confluence of cultures in San Diego has created quite the culinary scene, mostly starring seafood and Mexican food. If you’ve already done San Diego and would like to head east, Gila Bend and the Arizona Sonoran Desert are just 250 miles away.

RV Rentals in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.

There are many popular rentals in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Outdoorsy's Cuyamaca Rancho State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.

RV and Motorhome Rentals Nearby

Nearby to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park are a number of National, State and Local parks. Travelers can easily rent RVs and motorhomes near Lake Poway Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Limestone Canyon Regional Park, Eaton Canyon Park, and Angeles National Forest.

What's around Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA

Check out local hikes, campgrounds, parks and more!

Local Hiking Trails

Hiking Trail City State
Cedar Creek Falls Trail Ramona California
Three Sisters Waterfalls Trail Descanso California
Etiwanda Falls Trail Rancho Cucamonga California
Mount Rubidoux Trail Riverside California
Iron Mountain Trail Poway California
Santa Margarita River Trail Fallbrook California
Potato Chip Rock via Mt. Woodson Trail Poway California
Cowles Mountain Trail San Diego California
Torrey Pines State Reserve Trail La Jolla California
Black Star Canyon Trail Silverado California

Nearby Parks

Recommendations for Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, CA from Outdoorsy Owners

Sit on the beautiful patio and enjoy the views! This winery was voted 2nd best in the US by a Travel+Leasure Magazine. We love the relaxed vibe at Vineyard Grant James.

May 13, 2019

Beautiful place for hiking, biking, camping, fishing and so much more.

Mar 5, 2018

Great campground with beautiful oak trees that cover most of the park. Hiking, biking, campfires... get away from it all here. Quaint historic Julian is just a 10 minute drive.

Mar 5, 2018

We love Oakzanita Springs! Tons of sites of all shapes and sizes, amenities like pickle ball, basket ball, mini-golf and more. Plus hiking, biking and walking.

Boondocking Dog-friendly Game Room Snack Bar Glamping Elbow Room Quiet Swimming Pool Wi-Fi Hookups Family Friendly Most Beautiful Scenic
Jun 12, 2017

Lake Jennings is an awesome campground with spacious sites, full hookups, fire pits, and of course, scenic hikes and trails next to gorgeous Lake Jennings

Boondocking Dog-friendly Glamping Quiet Hookups Sleep Under The Stars Family Friendly Most Beautiful Scenic
Jun 12, 2017

This is one of the best parks to stay in the moutains surrounding San Diego. It is very close to the historic town of Julian and offers great hiking and biking.

Hiking Kid-friendly Sightseeing Good weather Overnight Day trip
Apr 2, 2017