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Palomar Mountain State Park

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: State Park Road, Escondido, CA
Phone Number: 760-742-3462
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5:00 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
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Sun 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mon - Fri 5:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat 6:00 am - 10:00 pm

This park's Sierra-Nevada like atmosphere is unique in Southern California.

This park's Sierra-Nevada like atmosphere is unique in Southern California.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 61 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 32
  • 19
    Very good
  • 6
  • 4
  • 0
You can see Mexico on a clear day

It was about 55 miles from Welks Resort where we stayed in Escondido. Crawling up the mountain was pretty curvy but a beautiful ride. We did encounter snow when we got up there in... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 4 weeks ago
Sue H
Chandler, Arizona
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61 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

It was about 55 miles from Welks Resort where we stayed in Escondido. Crawling up the mountain was pretty curvy but a beautiful ride. We did encounter snow when we got up there in January. There were people on the trails even in the snow. It was worth the ride!

Thank Sue H
Lakeside, California
Level Contributor
95 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2015

We decided to visit the park to see the last remaining "real forest" in San Diego. The Cedar fire some years ago destroyed the forest in Cuyamaca Rancho, and Palomar is about all that's left. It was a great day for hiking in the park with few people there. As a matter of fact there were probably more deer in... More 

2 Thank ccrowe3
Baldwinsville, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2015

Having come form ny what a different exerience. Drove to top on the most curvy rd I've ever been on. Was 104 degrees in valley and 34 up top. Cool....could see the remnants of forest fires past. I'm loving California and can't wait to plan a longer trip next year. The views are great with little pull offs on the... More 

1 Thank H3178ENbrianl
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
377 reviews
286 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 228 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2015

Palomar is just an hour or so's drive from San Diego, and yet one feels that one has truly gotten away from the concrete! If you do go to Mount Palomar, by all means stop in and check out their telescope as just a few decades ago, it held the title of being the world's largest working telescope! Their tour... More 

1 Thank traveltoforeignlands
Escondido CA
Level Contributor
108 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2015

This is a mountain top State Park in North San Diego County.Doane Valley campground was originally constructed by the WPA in the 1930's and it retains much of the charm of that work. There are only 31 campsites, but many are offset from the roads and most provide fair privacy. The mixture of evergreen and oak provides a lot of... More 

Thank SparkydogEscondidoCA
Vista, California
Level Contributor
78 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2015

My wife and I went here back in Feb just to see what we could see. To our surprise we saw a lot. The view from the Ranger Station Fire Lookout is fantastic. However it was a little hazzy. The Ranger told us to come back in the fall when the haze is gone. We are planning on going there... More 

Thank Phil_and_Sandy_2008
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
106 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2015

We visited back to back weeks to Palomar State Park and then the observatory. It was a wonderful drive up and we even hit fog or clouds on our last visit and it was in the 40's in early May...the air was clean and the people were sparse...perfect getaway from the San Diego rat race. We went with friends and... More 

2 Thank Kevin B
Escondido, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

This area is an oasis in the middle of the rat race of Southern California.Please be advised that is very cool at the summit and sometimes there will be snow,in winter.The state park has magnificent old trees.There is still some evidence of a forest fire years ago,but a lot of undergrowth is new.The views are spectacular and birders will not... More 

4 Thank puffery
Level Contributor
112 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2015

Get out of the city and over the hills! 6000 feet in elevation gain from the valley below. Great views. Nice and cool at the top. Steep 7+% grade so if you are riding, start training.

2 Thank Arlog60
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2015

Local but feels like a getaway. Lot's of traffic due to the snow From there we went onto Lake Henshaw specifically to go the Hideout Saloon but unfortunately it was closed. Oh well, next time. Luckily I was headed back to Rincon when everyone else was headed toward the snow...don't see that too much in San Diego!!!

Thank Miniboatfan

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The Villages, Florida, United States
over a year ago

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