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Palomar Mountain State Park

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Palomar Mountain S.P.
Palomar Mountain S.P.
Location 19952 State Park Drive, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

Palomar Mountain is a mountain ridge in the Peninsular Ranges in northern San Diego County of California. It is famous as the location of the Palomar Observatory and Hale Telescope. It is home to Palomar Mountain State Park is a California State Parks. Much of Palomar Mountain is part of Cleveland National Forest.

  • 2018 Firewood Prohibition Notice: Due to the threat of the Goldspotted Oak Borer spreading throughout San Diego County, no oak firewood will be allowed into Palomar Mountain State Park.

Park Overview

The beautiful forest and mountain meadows of Palomar Mountain State Park are in northern San Diego County, high atop 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.

Park Attractions

Addtional attractions, hiking and camping can be found nearby in the surrounding Cleveland National Forest.

Boucher Hill Fire Lookout

Boucher Hill Summitt offers spectacular panoramic views both westerly toward the ocean and easterly across the desert. It has been listed in the Sierra Club's "Hundred Peaks Section" since first published in 1946. There you will find the historic Boucher Hill Fire Lookout Station.

Hiking Trails

There are here over 11 miles of trails through oak forests, chaparral, grassy meadows and majestic fir and cedar woodlands.

  • Lower Doane Valley - popular scout hiking trail
  • French Valley Trails - popular scout hiking trail
  • Boucher Hill Loop
  • Thunder Spring Trail
  • Chimney Flat Loop Trail
  • See also : Palomar Mountain Trail Map -

Doane Pond Fishing

Trout fishing can be had at Doane Pond. If you are over 16, you must have a valid California fishing license. There is no size limit but the catch limit is 5. Fishing hours are confined to regular day use hours; fishing is not permitted at night.


Campground Reservations can made upto six months in advance at or calling 1-800-444-7275.

  • Doane Valley Campground: 31 campsites, three of which have accessible features. Each site has a table and fire ring, and most have a food locker. Piped drinking water is available. The campground also has restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers.
  • Cedar Grove Group Campground: includes three separate areas with one accessible site and restroom. Group Camp number one will accommodate up to 25 people.
  • Observatory Campground: - managed by USFS in Cleveland National Forest land just outside the park entrance on Route S6.
  • Fly Creek Campground: - managed by USFS in Cleveland National Forest land just outside the park entrance on Route S6. a few miles past the turnoff to the park.

Palomar Apple Festival

Annual Apple Festival is Held every October. Come spend the day at the Park to enjoy food, music, games, arts and crafts with an apple harvest theme.

California State Parks

California State Parks manages 280 separate park units in California on 1.4 million acres with nearly 15,000 campsites; and 3,000 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. Headquartered in Sacramento, it is the largest state park system in the United States.

See Also