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Stonewall_Sentinel Trails and Tales Newsletter  Director’s Weekly Digest PARKS FORWARD Tranformation Tuesday 
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The Dyar House at Cuyamaca Rancho SP. Built, Gone, but Rising Anew!

dyer house Architect Arthur E. Harvey to design the house, and had it built for $35,000. The house featured native stone from the ruins of an 1850s ranch cabin nearby, beams from the 1880sbuilt Stonewall Mine complex, and a rustic style that fit the Natural World around it. In addition to the house, the Dyar Estate included a pool, a stable, a generator house to provide power and pump water, and garage where their Cadillacs and chauffer resided. The general lifestyle at the House might be described as relaxed graciousness, where a variety of outdoor pursuits were available to do/not do, as the guests desired. Those pursuits included horse riding, fishing, swimming, and hiking. When the Dyars sold Cuyamaca Rancho to the State in 1933, they accepted a very slight sum, donating about half the value of the Rancho to the State. The house then became the headquarters of the new Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. In various combinations it served for decades as HQ, and a residence, and a museum. The garage and power plant buildings were used for storage and operations by the park’s large and active volunteer groups from 1977 on. Despite valiant efforts by CDF and other employees to save it, the whole complex burned in the Cedar Fire in 2003.
The Dyar House was built in 1923 as a vacation home by Ralph and Helen Dyar, who owned the Rancho at the time. The Dyars used Los Angeles

Cuyamaca Annual Awards Banquet

2017 volunteers of the year

On the second Saturday of November Cuyamaca had its annual awards banquet. This event is a time to catch up with friends from the various volunteer units and enjoy a lot of good food and Ranger Andrew’s slide show of the past year. This year Doreen Harlow did a presentation on the 40 years of the Mounted Assistance Unit (MAU) in the park. The MAU was the first volunteer unit created to serve the public in Cuyamaca. Old and new MAU volunteers got to meet each other and celebrate the continuation of this amazing unit. CRSPIA paid for the hall, the main course of chicken and the plaques that went to this year’s MVPs and the overall MVP of Cuyamaca’s volunteer program. The honorees this year were: Trail maintenance: Mark Campbell Interpretive Unit: Charlene Bradbury Mtn. Bike Assistance Unit: Kirk Bennett Mounted Assistance Unit: John Anderson The Volunteers of the Year were Phyllis and Greg Meckstroth. Both Phyllis and Greg are in the Interpretive Unit and work hard to bring quality interpretation to Cuyamaca. Greg is the unit coordinator for the IAU while Phyllis works as the computer whiz for the park store. They both organize and present a water bug program at Green Valley as long as there is water for the aquatic insects to be found and were instrumental in the ‘ewaa rebuild getting off the ground this year. They manned the docent station during the summer busy season and work in the museum year round. All the services they do are on top of both of them working full time and helping out with their grandchildren. By Michele Hernandez Park Interpretive Specialist

reprinted from Winter 2017 Tracks


Meet our Wonderful Interpreters funded by CRSPIA

Our newest interpreter is Carmen Aurrecochea. She is a recent graduate from SDSU in geography with an emphasis in methods of geographical analysis. She also interned at San Diego Canyonlands. Being a native San Diegan has given her the drive and desire to work in parks and to start in state parks, her vision is to utilize modern technology to reach new visitors and teach them how to interact appropriately with the environment. She is excited to be here in our park.
Michele Hernandez Our long time park volunteer and interpretation specialist, Michele Hernandez, started last year and we are so grateful to have her continue this year as well. She has been instrumental this year in adding interesting Programs in the Park, such as Raptors and Star Parties. If you haven’t seen any of the programs, you are missing out.
Michele brings an extensive knowledge of all things in our parking including but not limited to flower, butterfly and bird identification. She is also a fabulous photographer. You can check out her photos elsewhere on our website.
Photo by David Canedo The next time you are in the park; don’t forget to go to the visitor center to say hi to our two interpreters. They will answer all of your questions and recommend activities such where to hike, mountain bike or simply have a nice picnic.

For general public comment, the [501(c)3], Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association (CRSPIA) Board of Directors by unanimous vote opposes the proposed off-trail use restrictions of Title 14 under the Public Resources Code Sections 5003 and 5008 which authorizes DPR to adopt the proposed regulations, implement, interpret, and make specific PRCS 5003, 5008, 5019.50, 5019.65, 5019.71 and 5019.74.
CRSPIA recommends the following:

Interpreter Michele - PHOTOS

08/29/16 Recent Green Valley falls pictures. All of the upper falls area. The water doesn't go to the lower falls area.

Green Valley FallsGreen Valley Fallslower Green Valley Falls

07/04/16 Conejos trail

Conejos TrailConejos trailConejos trail

07/24 Stonewall Mine

07/11/16 Swallowtail on a narrow leaf milkweed and of a monarch caterpillar on an Indian milkweed. These were on Azalea Spring F/R. The Humboldt lily is from the Peak F/R.


06/19 Azalea Loop

azala loopAzalea LoopAzalea LoopAzalea Loop

06/12/16 Star parties at Cuyamaca are the bomb.

Star Party at Cuyamaca State Parkk

See more pictures by Michele Hernandez

07/24/16 Here are some photos of the new hats we have at the park store.

New adult t-shirts. Also comes in kiwi green.

cuyamaca hatcuyamaca hat

cuyamaca tee shirtCuyamaca Tee ShirtCuyamaca Tee Shirt

. More from the Visitor Center Store

cuyamaca visitor center itemcuyamaca visitor center itemcuyamaca visitor center shirtcuyamaca visitor center shirtcuyamaca visitor center item



Remember CRSPIA current members get a 20% discount and also our partners  all Park Staff get the discount also. 

C.R.S.P.I.A. at Work

CRSPIA at Work

Come check out our docent tent. Interpreter Michele, Volunteers Heather & Dave greet hikers at Green Valley Campground near the trailhead for the falls.

There are maps, trails suggestions and lots of items that kids (and adults) can touch. Skunk & bobcat skins. Bones from wild animals and replicas made to show size & Shapes of animals. Rangers and Volunteers are very knowledgeable and love to use any opportunity to share their knowledge.

During the summer, every Saturday at 9am there is a Nature Walk that starts at the picnic area at Paso Picacho. Check with the kiosk to find out about available programs. There is also a Jr Ranger program. Saturday evenings, there are educational and interactive experiences called campfire programs. These could include Reptiles & Bugs, Star Party & Birds of Prey. Times and locations will be announced on the events page.


Our Mission

  Cuyamaca Rancho State Park Interpretive Association's mission is to support Cuyamaca Rancho and Palomar Mountain State Parks. As an IRS registered 501(c)3 charitable organization, CRSPIA uses your tax deductible donations to provide these parks with interpretive and educational materials that normal funding


  Notice to hikers, campers and Horse riders, the well at Granite Springs Trail Camp has run dry.  There is no water available at this Trail Camp.  Anyone hiking to this area is advised to take enough water for your hike up and back.  There is no water for horses.


  A Note About our Website. Thank you for visiting CRSPIA.org!  It is our goal to provide you with current and relevant information about CRSPIA and the Park through our Website. 

Message from Webmaster:

Please be aware that CRSPIA has not authorized any other fundraising site or organization to collect funds.

We have discovered two sites that purport to collect money for '.org' sites in a specific community. If you search for organizations in Julian, or any other community, these sites present a button that allows an internet user to "donate" money to the selected organization. These sites then keep some portion of the donated amount and try to negotiate with the organization before they release the donated funds.

CRSPIA.org is the only site you should use to donate money from your PayPal or credit card account. If you run into one of these other fund-raising sites, please do not use it.