Palomar Mountain Stories

Palomar Mountain: Observatory Trail

A tree-shaded trail with bucolic vistas leads to a world-class observatory.

Scale Palomar Mountain the Hard Way

Most visitors motor right up to the cool forests of Palomar Mountain’s parks or observatory on the curling South Grade or East Grade roads. Exercise-minded hikers might try an alternative east-side approach that actually reaches ...

Fry Creek Trail

Fry Creek Campground, in the Cleveland National Forest on Palomar Mountain, offers the kind of forest camping experience that is becoming increasingly scarce in Southern California. A long-term drought cycle and various recent wildfires have ...

Palomar Pioneers: Of Travail and Tragedy

Rattler ManJoseph Beresford, son of a British Lord, fell in love with the ­gardener’s daughter. His father, whose lineage went back to James I, gave him an ultimatum: marry beneath your rank and lose your ...

Palomar Pioneers: The Water Bearer

In 1904, young Elise Roberts and her family summered on Palomar Mountain. They left their Long Beach home in a roofed wagon, half packed with clothes and bedding, the other half filled with hay for ...

Tour Doane and French valleys on Palomar Mountain, and enjoy some of San Diego County's finest high-elevation woodlands and meadows.

Mile-high Palomar Mountain State Park has probably the finest montane scenery in San Diego County, complete with trickling streams, mixed oak-conifer forests, and rolling meadows. So far, this magnificent spot has managed to evade the ...

Best of 2003: Best Place To Reach For The Stars

Palomar Mountain Observatory 35899 Canfield Road, Palomar 760-742-2119 Palomar, which means Pigeon Haven in La Jolla Indian dialect, is not an outing for those prone to carsickness. Once you exit I-15, curves are the norm. ...

Before or after visiting Palomar Observatory, ramble along the nearby Observatory Trail.

After a visit to Mount Palomar's famous observatory, I enjoy introducing friends to the delights of the natural landscape right below the telescope's looming dome. In a kind of reverse pilgrimage, we follow the Observatory ...

Ascend Palomar Mountain the back way via the old Nate Harrison Grade

The 21st Century journey up Palomar Mountain is perhaps too easy, notwithstanding the nauseatingly curvy South Grade Road that leads expeditiously to the top. With extra time, you can always revert to an earlier and ...

What is so special about the ferns on Palomar Mountain?

Dear Matt: After 30 years as a San Diego resident, I finally visited the telescope on Palomar Mountain (man, that thing is HUGE). Anyway, as you enter the observatory grounds, there are all these signs ...

Visit Palomar's Love Valley during the peak of its vernal splendor.

After a wet winter, the shallow ponds in Love Valley hold the shimmering, upside-down image of a classic California landscape: a weathered barn nestled at the far end of an Ireland-colored meadow, rounded foothills studded ...

Listen to the pitter-patter of falling acorns along Palomar's Fry Creek Trail.

The beautiful but sometimes hard-to-follow Fry Creek Trail circles the head of a densely wooded drainage on Palomar Mountain, reminding anyone on it (at least at this time of year) that vivid autumn colors really ...

Climb the back side of Palomar Mountain, from foot to head, by way of the Oak Grove Trail.

How's this for a challenging climb of Palomar Mountain from bottom to top? Start at Oak Grove, along the east base of the mountain, and climb steadily up 7 miles of foot trail and fire ...

Hike to Boucher Hill through the pine and oak forests of Palomar Mountain State Park.

This year, the Palomar Mountain summits have shown off their best vernal coloration rather late -- through June. It's still a fine time to visit Palomar Mountain State Park, which features some of the finest ...

Serene Barker Valley, hidden on Palomar's flank, attracts hikers and backpackers to its stream and waterfalls.

Tucked into a dry and isolated corner of the Cleveland National Forest, the oak-rimmed oasis of Barker Valley is an incredible surprise. The perennial west fork of the San Luis Rey River gurgles through the ...

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