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Visiting Lake Cuyamaca Snow in San Diego County, California.

Updated on August 8, 2012
Cuyamaca State Park, Winter
Cuyamaca State Park, Winter
City of Cuyamaca
City of Cuyamaca
Lake Cuyamaca
Lake Cuyamaca
Hike or Sled
Hike or Sled
Feed the Geese
Feed the Geese

The History of Cuyamaca State Park.

Native Americans first populated what is now known as Cuyamaca State Park. The native Kumeyaay Indians first named the area Ah-Ha kwe-Ah Mac or "the place where it rains". Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers changed the Kumeyaay way of life forever.

The Kumeyaay were expelled from the land in 1875. Today there are about 20,000 Kumeyaay descendants. Some still live on reservations in San Diego County.

From 1769 - 1821 Spain ruled California. Settlement of tracts of land or “Ranchos” began. Spain granted grazing and settlement rights to individuals and formed boundaries. However, the Spanish crown kept title to the land. The Spanish version of the Kumeyaay name was Cuyamaca. The state park is known by that name today.

From 1821 - 1846 Mexico ruled California after gaining independence from Spain in 1821. Unlike Spain, Mexico gave land grants to individuals who petitioned the Mexican Governors. Regulation of the rules made grants easier to get encouraging new settlers to California.

By the end of the 1840’s Mexico had lost control of California to the United States. Gold was discovered in Northern California and the gold rush was on! Thousands of miners swarmed California looking for gold. Julian and Cuyamaca City became boom towns when the Stonewall Mine opened in 1870. By 1892 the mine had lost money and was permanently sealed.

Ralph Dyar bought Cuyamaca Rancho in 1923 and built a home. In 1933 Dyar sold his ownership of the property to the State of California. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park was created. The park is currently about 26,000 acres.

So bring along you picnic and enjoy the beauty.


In the winter bring your snow dish or sled. There are many great places along the side of the road to pull off and sled, have a snowball fight, or built a snow man.

In summer you can fish and feed the geese but be prepared. The geese will chase and peck at you. They are not shy!

Take a hike. There are plenty of great hiking trails in Cuyamaca State Park and the surrounding area.

Are we there yet? What to take on a road trip:

An ice chest with food, snacks and drinks for everyone. Forget sharing.

Don't forget your chargers, headphones, earplugs, meds, and a bag for garbage

Take along your Kindle and cell phone to keep yourself and the kids occupied on long road trips. Down load any e-books and apps that will help you.

Remember to take along a great camera. We found the Sony Nex-5 to be light weight and user friendly.

Streets, freeways, and traffic jams are frustrating. Take along a good GPS system and visit off season.

Lake Cuyamaca Snow

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