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For years, I have been hiking and surveying the trails and fire roads of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, with an eye to preparing a more detailed trail map than the one now available. The Cedar Fire of 2003 interrupted this work. A possible park closure in 2009 may interrupt it again!
The Cold Spring/Soapstone Grade Loop is one of my favorite hikes from Afoot & Afield in San Diego County, by Jerry Schad. There have been no significant changes since the current edition was published in 2007. However, the Cedar Fire of 2003 did make some changes, and I hadn't hiked the loop in its entirety since before that fire.
I led an Outdoors Club hike here on June 25, 2009. A few pictures have been posted there. I was the only Outdoors Club hiker, but I did see a few other hikers on the trails.
My survey of Cold Spring Trail (and a previous survey that I made before the Cedar Fire) showed that it is no longer precisely where the USGS topographic map shows it. Presumably, the trail was re-routed many years ago.
The Cold Stream Trail also appears to have been re-routed since the topo was compiled.
Cold Stream Trail is being re-routed just south of the junction with Cold Spring Trail, but only slightly. The new alignment is under construction and was still closed on June 25, 2009.
I saw and photographed a deer on Upper Green Valley Fire Road. See the Outdoors Club for a picture.
Transcript of survey.
Data plotted on topo.
Philip J. Erdelsky