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“Short visit but the drive there is excellent” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Palomar Observatory

Palomar Observatory
35899 Canfield Road, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060-0200
760-742-2119
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Type: Observatories/ Planetariums, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner description: The observatory's telescope is capable of viewing up to 10 billion light-years away.
England
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Short visit but the drive there is excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

The observatory itself will not take much time to look round during the day - an impressive telescope in a very cool dome with a few other bits of info. The museum is not very big, though what there is on display is interesting enough. It would all probably be much better if you could go at night and actually see the telescope in use, so plan ahead!! The road up and down the mountain is fabulous though - worth the drive even if you don't get into the observatory! We went at a weekend, so there were an awful lot of bikers around making the most of the hairpin bends - something to watch out for (though it might have been a planned gathering, as there were photographers on some of the corners)

Visited March 2013
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51 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Solihull, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Beware of observatory being closed for no reason!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

You really need to ring the telephone number and check the recorded message if they are opening! We just looked at a local webcam - beautiful clear day, checked that there were no road closures and turned up to find they were 'closed due to bad weather'. OK there had been a flurry of snow and it was only 38f, but if our little rental car could get there with no problems I fail to see why the facility was closed.
Disappointing after travelling 8000 miles for a chance to see the telescope!!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chula Vista, CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Friends of Palomar”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Visiting the telescope during daytime hours is interesting, but for the best experience, you must join the Friends of Palomar. In return for your membership donation you will be invited to tours, lectures, star parties and maybe even a peek through the 60" telescope, though it's been over a year since they offered that last one. When we visited in August there was a tour of the big telescope, a lecture, and a star party. The star party started early and we got to look at the SUN through a solar telescope.

Visited August 2012
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Banning, Ca
Top Contributor
220 reviews 220 reviews
108 attraction reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Visiting Mt Palomar Observatory”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Visited their today - great drive from Escondido. Address given left us about 4 miles from the actual site using a GPS unit. Just keep on driving. Gift shop was open and easily ADA. There is handicap parking near this area but U will need to get instructions on how to get to the Observatory handicap parking or you will have to walk. Many stairs inside to get to viewing area. Handicap entrance is available under special hours if U need to accomplish this. Check on the web site for times. http://www.astro.caltech.edu/palomar/visiting.html We thought that this was still worth the trip great views from the Pala. Have fun and drive safely. Picnic area nearby -place to eat at Junction is/was vegie

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Marcos
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Palomar Observatory”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

I love the drive up the mountain side, and a visit to the Observatory. This is one big telescope, and you get to see it. There isn't much else to do there, so pack a lunch and enjoy the picnic area next to the Observatory.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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