“A wonderful place to visit in our fast times”
The beautiful forest and mountain meadows of Palomar Mountain State Park are in northern San Diego County on the west side of Palomar Mountain. Large pine, fir and cedar trees make the park one of the few areas in southern California with a Sierra Nevada-like atmosphere. The park features camping, picnicking, hiking, and fishing (trout) in Doane Pond. Coniferous forests cover much of the 1,862 acres, in contrast to the dry lowlands surrounding the mountain. Elevation within the park averages 5,000 feet above sea level, making evenings cool even during the summer. A number of vista points offer spectacular panoramic views both westerly toward the ocean and inland toward the desert, particularly from Boucher Hill Summit. There, you'll also find the historic Boucher Hill Fire Lookout. The park is open from dawn 'til dusk daily. However, call or check the banner at the top of this page for possible changes due to budget cuts. From Highway 76, either of two roads can be used to reach the park. The one from Rincon Springs (County Road S6) is scenic but rather steep and winding. County Road S7 from Lake Henshaw is longer, but its gentle grade makes it more suitable for heavily loaded vehicles and those pulling trailers. To the east, beyond the limits of the park, is the world-famous Palomar Observatory and the highest point of the 6,100-foot mountain. Many park visitors make the eight-mile trip up the road to the Palomar Observatory, which is operated by the California Institute of Technology and open to the public.
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Palomar Mountain State Park
- Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Mon - Fri: 5:00 am - 10:00 pm
- Sun: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
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