Palomar Mountain State Park

Offering excellent views of the Pacific Ocean, Palomar Mountain State Park is an ideal destination for camping, picnicking, and hiking. Fishing for trout is also possible at the park's Doane Pond. Most of the 1,862 acres here are forested with dogwood, black oak, cedar, pine, silver 'ür, and spruce, while dry lowlands surround the slopes below, making a great venue for day hikes.

Among the many outdoor attractions here are the Silver Crest Picnic Area and the Boucher Hill Lookout. They are connected by Scott's Cabin Trail, a 3.5-mile loop that gains 800 feet in elevation as it rises up Palomar Mountain. At 5,438 feet above sea level, Boucher Hill offers spectacular panoramas, too.

Two campgrounds are available within Palomar Mountain State Park. The Cedar Grove Group Campground accepts reservations from the beginning of April through the end of November, while sites within the Doane Valley Campground can be booked from April till late October.

Palomar Mountain State Park is located about 33 miles from downtown Escondido at 19952 State Park Drive, Palomar Mountain, California 92060. Take California Highway 76 to County Road S6 north, and then turn left onto County Road S7 at the junction on the mountaintop. A day-use fee of $8 is charged per vehicle at the parking area.

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