We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Palomar Observatory

Certificate of Excellence
Improve this listing
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: 35899 Canfield Road, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060-0200
Phone Number: 760-742-2119
Website
Today
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Description: The observatory's telescope is capable of viewing up to 10 billion...
The observatory's telescope is capable of viewing up to 10 billion light-years away.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 54 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 26
    Excellent
  • 20
    Very good
  • 5
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Back to primary school

Many of our younger fiends do not know mount Palomar nor its observatory. When we were in primary school, we learned that the Palomar telescope was the largest in the world. It... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed March 8, 2015
Gonzalo_de_Berceo
,
Ghent, Belgium
Add Photo Write a Review

54 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Carriere, Mississippi
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
45 attraction reviews
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

The Observatory is atop Palomar Mountain a winding drive . I believe a guided tour might be in order as it might be alittle hard to comprehend the work and scope of what is being studied here without a docent, The visitors center and gift shop are open year round the location and grounds were attractive but far from most... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Ghent, Belgium
Top Contributor
454 reviews 454 reviews
51 attraction reviews
318 helpful votes 318 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

Many of our younger fiends do not know mount Palomar nor its observatory. When we were in primary school, we learned that the Palomar telescope was the largest in the world. It still is impressive. Beautiful location.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
14 attraction reviews
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

One of the best approach drives to an attraction on planet earth! Wonderful switch-back roads - amazing vistas along the way; particularly if you're on a motorbike. The observatory, itself, is interesting and spectacular to walk around. The gift shop is a little on the "light" side - with very few items for sale.* If you're trying to escape the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

Not a lot to see here. The visitor's centre has some interesting displays, and a nice gift shop. The telescope dome itself doesn't offer a whole lot to see, but the tour guide was very knowledgable. However, I'm really glad we went if only for the drive. A winding road that ascends quite quickly, with amazing views on the way... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
110 reviews 110 reviews
57 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2014

I have visited this point many times over the years. Public access to the actual observatory is somewhat limited but worth the effort. The drive from either San Diego or Losangeles metros can be a bit exciting for flatlanders. Be aware that visitor facilities on the mountain are limited. Also, because of the relatively high elevation and steep escarpment, winds... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
27 attraction reviews
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014

My husband and I are geek/nerds and love all things scientific. Visitors need to remember that this is a living and breathing research facility and was not and is not designed to be a modern museum or place for visitors. They have graciously allowed visitors to see them at work and get up close and personal with an incredible display... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Rochester, Minnesota
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
54 attraction reviews
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2014 via mobile

The drive is beautiful, don't be in a hurry. Let others pass. Stop often and take in the scenery. Don't bother with pictures the vastness can't be captured. The observatory is beautiful. Yes I'm into telescopes but my wife is not. She really enjoyed the time we spent there. We are off season so didn't get a tour. Self guided... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Papillion, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

A beautiful, scenic trip up the mountain to well-kept grounds and picnic area at the observatory. A tiny museum and gift shop sets the stage, then up to the observatory for a look around. We were disappointed to learn there're only two tours daily, having arrived about 20 minutes late for the last one. We still found plenty of information... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
213 reviews 213 reviews
143 attraction reviews
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

The trip to the top of Palomar mountain will take you at least an hour from the base, but along the way you'll have several scenic look out opportunities that are breath-taking. Once as the top there is a very large parking lot to accommodate the folks going up there. Start at the "museum" and gift shop, which gives you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Anchorage, AK
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

Home to the Hale 200 inch telescope, this observatory is still a highly productive scientific tool 65 years after is opened. It is also a classic art deco building in a beautiful natural setting. The dive up is a sports car enthusiast's dream. My only slight complaint is that the museum is somewhat small and the tour length, at 90... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3

Travelers who viewed Palomar Observatory also viewed

 

Been to Palomar Observatory? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Palomar Observatory staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?