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California State Parks

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USA Parks
Southern California Region
Palomar Mountain State Park
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Palomar Mountain State Park © Yolanda Alejandre
Palomar Mountain State Park © Yolanda Alejandre
Palomar Mountain State Park © Yolanda Alejandre
Palomar Mountain State Park © Yolanda Alejandre
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19952 State Park Drive
Palomar Mountain, California   92060

Phone: 760-742-3462
Reservations: 760-742-3462
Landscape view of the mountain from the air over Palomar Mountain State Park "Palomar Mountain State Park features spectacular views of the Pacific, 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. This is one of the few Southern California areas with a Sierra Nevada-like atmosphere.

Cedar Grove Group Campground will be on reservations starting April 1 through the end of November and Doane Valley Campground will be on reservations starting April 1 through the end of October.
History of the Area
Located in San Diego County, California, the park was established in 1932. It spans over an area of 1,862 acres. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed it during the Great Depression era.

The land features dense forests and meadows at high elevations offering panoramic views of Pacific Ocean on clear days. Its natural beauty attracted Native Americans centuries ago who left behind artifacts found by archaeologists today.

In later years, European settlers used this mountain for logging and cattle grazing until its preservation as a state park.

It houses Palomar Observatory which is home to Hale Telescope - one of world's largest telescopes when completed in 1948.

Today it offers recreational activities like camping,hiking,fishing,picnicking while preserving diverse flora & fauna including several endangered species making it popular among nature enthusiasts.

 Hiking Trailyes
BoatingLaunch Rampsyes
- Doane Valley Campground: Offers 31 campsites for tents, trailers and RVs with picnic tables and fire rings.

- Cedar Grove Group Campsite: Suitable for larger groups up to 30 people; offers a campfire circle.

- Observatory Trailhead Camping Area: Ideal spot for stargazing enthusiasts; no water or restrooms available.

- Primitive Backcountry Sites: For backpackers seeking solitude in nature's lap; requires hiking several miles from the nearest road.

Note that all camping options require reservations which can be made online through ReserveCalifornia website.
Visitors can enjoy freshwater fishing in the park's tranquil Doane Pond. Anglers typically catch rainbow trout and bluegill.

Palomar Mountain State Park is located near Escondido, Murrieta and San Marcos

Palomar Mountain State Park offers scenic picnic areas with tables and BBQ grills amidst oak forests and mountain meadows.
Scott?s Cabin Trail

From Silver Crest Picnic Area to Scott?s Cabin; Cedar Grove Campgroundand Boucher Lookout is a 3.5 mile loop with 800-foot elevation gainPalomar Mountain is a state park for all seasons. Fall offers dramatic color changes, and blustery winter winds ensure far-reaching views from the peaks. In spring, the dogwood blooms, and during summer, when temperatures soar, the park offers a cool, green retreat.

A mixed forest of cedar, silver fir, spruce and black oak invites a leisurely exploration. Tall trees and mountain meadows make the park especially attractive to the Southern California day hiker in search of a Sierra Nevada-like atmosphere.

The discovery of bedrock mortars and artifacts in Doane Valley indicate that native peoples lived in this area of the Palomars for many hundreds of years. The mountains? pine and fir trees were cut for the construction of Mission San Luis Rey. Remote Palomar Mountain meadows were a favorite hiding place for cattle and horse thieves, who pastured their stolen animals in the high country until it was safe to sneak them across the border.

This day hike is a grande randonnee of the park, a four-trail sampler that leads to a lookout atop 5,438-foot Boucher Hill.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
May 27 Park is Closed by Jerry
park review stars; one to five The state of California has closed this Palomar State Park to try to balance the budget.
November 8 My favorite State Park by Lilith Dark
park review stars; one to five Always beautiful! Always see wildlife. A+
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Area Campgrounds
Lilac Oaks Campground
30821 Lilac Road
Valley Center, CA
Woods Valley Kampground
15236 Woods Valley Road
Valley Center, CA
Pechanga RV Resort
45000 Pala Road
Temecula, CA
Champagne Lakes RV Resort
8310 Nelson Way
Escondido, CA
Nearby Hotels

The park is off Highway 76, up Highway S6, then left on Highway S7 at the junction near the mountaintop.

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California State Parks