Off the Beaten Path Adventures: Palomar Mountain

Are you looking to step away from the beach scene and explore more of San Diego like a local? Palomar Mountain State Park is one of our favorite day trips near San Diego.

Palomar Mountain

Hiking Trails

We hope you packed your hiking shoes because Palomar Mountain State Park has over 25 miles of trails lined with beautiful wildflowers and lush oak forests. These trails range from short leisure walks to vigorous, half-day hikes.

Palomar’s most popular hiking trails include:

  • Boucher Trail and Palomar Mountain Loop – 8.7 miles
  • Thunder Spring Trail – 3.6 miles
  • Silvercrest Trail – 5.7 miles
  • Scott’s Cabin Loop – 2.9 miles
  • Oak Grove Trail to High Point – 13 miles
  • Palomar Divide Road – 25.1 miles
  • Nate Harrison Grade OHV Route – 17 miles
  • Love Valley Trail – 7.2 miles

What Else Is There To Do?

Looking to bypass the trails? Palomar State Park has an abundance of activities you and the family can enjoy. Some of the State Park’s best features include:

  • The Environmental Learning and Visitor’s Center
  • Fishing
  • Historical and Culture Sites
  • Nearby Interpretive Exhibits
  • Vista Point
  • Geocaching
  • Camping

How Do You Get To Palomar State Park?

The State Park is 44.5 miles from San Diego and is roughly an hour and a half trip. From San Diego Country Estates, take Vista Ramona Rd. and E. Old Julian Rd. to CA-78 E for 11.2 miles. Then continue three miles north along Road S6 to the Observatory Campground (located across from the Forest Service Sign on the right side of the road). The parking area for the trailhead and the amphitheater is located toward the back of the campground “loop” and is signed.

Stay on Road S6 all the way to the top to reach the Observatory Parking Lot.


What to Bring?

Please always check the weather before embarking on your adventure. Between the months of April and September, expect the weather conditions to be dry and  extremely warm. During the winter months, you may run across some snow on the ground. We recommend you pack the following items:

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Coat during the winter months
  • Lunch or snacks
  • Appropriate shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Bug spray
  • Cash

Please visit California Department of Parks and Recreation to prepare for your day trip to Palomar Mountain State Park while staying at San Diego Country Estates.

Get your San Diego adventure started! Book your next stay at San Diego Country Estates.


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