We just returned home to Wisconsin after a weeklong camping trip in California. Palomar Mountiain provided us with wonderful memories and was a highlight of our vacation! Camping in the Sierra Nevada is one of my favorite areas...who knew you could get "Sierra style" in Southern California??
The wooded, cedar-studded Doane Valley campground is at roughly 6,000' above sea level and is really, really nice. I thought all of the campsites looked interesting, with steps and stairs to get to many of them as the terrain is varied on the mountainside. Each site had level ground for trailers and tents, so don't worry about the undulating landscape.
Flushing toilets and a clean showerhouse are provided!
Be sure to check out the Boucher (pronounced "BOO-ker) Hill lookout tower area for a spectacular sunset over southern California. After dark, we could see the city lights of the southern Los Angeles suburbs all the way down to San Diego and Tijuana. Absolutely spectacular!
One note about getting to the park...unless you're a thrill-seeker (like us (: ) be sure to take the "South Grade" road up to Palomar Mountain, and not the unpaved "Nate Harrison Grade"! We, being naive GPS-following people...took our GPS instructions up the Nate Harrison, and I was thankful I was in a rental SUV! You gain about 5,000' in under 10 miles of steep, breakneck, hairpin switchback-laced ROUGH and RUTTED road. I should've known when a sign at the bottom said "vehicles with trailers not recommended." It made for a helluva story and a laugh afterwards...but my girlfriend was NOT amused on the way up!! :)
BIG thanks to Ranger Dan for his hospitality! You made for a very memorable experence! We can't wait to come back!