Pets allowed
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Palomar Mountain State Park boasts 1,862 acres of peaceful meadows and lush oak and conifer forests. The area has a Mediterranean climate, meaning summer temperatures average around 80 degrees while winter temperatures can drop below 30 degrees. Spring and autumn tend to be more moderate. Wildflowers such as western dogwoods, azaleas, lilies, and lupine, dot the mountain with color each spring. Palomar Mountain has many bird species as well, such as bluebirds, woodpeckers, and hawks. Land animals include coyotes, bobcats, and southern mule deer.

The park is home to one of the highest peaks in San Diego County, at 6,140 feet. Because of the high elevation, lightening strikes are a very real danger, and they often cause wildfires in the area. The Boucher Hill Fire Lookout Tower was built in 1935 and has since been restored. It is open to park visitors when volunteers are available. There is also a nearby patio overlooking the Pauma Valley.

With plenty of trails such as the Silvercrest Trail, Palomar Mountain is a great spot for day hikes with rewarding views. The park is an excellent camping spot as well. The Doane Valley Campground is accessible and has 31 family sites, each sporting a table, fire ring, barbecue pit, and food locker. Restrooms and drinking water are available here. The Cedar Grove Campground is suitable for larger groups and those who have trailers or camper vans.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

State Park Fee


Breathtaking views. Hiking trails.


Dogs not permitted on the trails.


ADA accessible
Campgrounds + Campsites
Historically significant
Flushing toilets
Potable water
Picnic tables
Bird watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


Took a buncha newbies - -dudes in their late-twenties who have never been camping before, & I was the alleged scoutmaster. Been here many times prior also. Very cool and has a real old-timey feel with the observatory, inside and out. BTW this was prior to big fire.
Easy hikes, clean campgrounds, smells good. If the campground set-ups are the same, then there are plenty of very good spots. Excellent family camping spot, but with littler kids best to include the observatory.
Nice, easy hike with beautiful views! Lots of new growth and burned areas when we went.
Palomar Mountain great place for camping, hiking, fishing Doane Pond.
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