Palomar Mountain State Park

Update: (April 15, 2021) With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

What is open now?
  • Doane Valley Campground (pending weather conditions).
  • Silvercrest, Doane Pond, and Boucher Hill day-use areas (pending weather conditions).
  • Hiking trails throughout.
  • Cedar Grove Group Camp
  • Group picnic areas.
  • Special events under 50 people.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Closed at this park:
  • Special events over 50 people and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines? 
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors: 

  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.  
  • Plan Ahead:
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.  
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.  
  • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.  
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators. 
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading. 
  • Keep Clean: Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities. 
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times. 

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.  

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(760) 742-3462

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: Up to 24 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: Up to 27 Feet

Park Hours

dawn ‘til dusk

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed in the campgrounds, on designated paved park roads, and on the trail around Doane Pond and Myers Fire Road.

Driving Directions to Palomar Mountain SP

Palomar Mountain State Park features spectacular views of the Pacific, camping, picnicking, hiking, and fishing (trout) in Doane Pond. Coniferous forests cover much of the 1,897, in contrast to the dry lowlands surrounding the mountain. This is one of the few Southern California areas with a Sierra Nevada-like atmosphere.

Location-Directions
The park is off Highway 76, up Highway S6, then left on Highway S7 at the junction near the mountaintop.


Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Fishing
Interpretive Exhibits
Vista Point
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

Fire Restrictions-Palomar Mountain State Park
For current fire restrictions, please call (760) 767-4037

To keep your visit to Palomar Mountain State Park an enjoyable experience, please do not feed the wildlife and keep your campsite and picnic areas clean of trash and food.  This will help protect you from diseases that can be transferred from wildlife to humans and will help make your outdoor experience a fun and safe time.  For more information about the importance of keeping the wildlife's diet natural, click on the following link "Please Don't Feed Park Wildlife".

Due to the threat of the Goldspotted Oak Borer spreading throughout San Diego County, no oak firewood will be allowed into Palomar Mountain State Park.   Wood can be purchased at the park or you can bring other species of firewood, such as pine or eucalyptus.

To find out more about this pest, please go to http://ucanr.edu/sites/gsobinfo/

Palomar Mountain ImageThe beautiful forest and mountain meadows of Palomar Mountain State Park are in northern San Diego County, high atop the west side of Palomar Mountain. Large pine, fir and cedar trees make the park one of the few areas in southern California with a Sierra Nevada-like atmosphere. The park features camping, picnicking, hiking, and fishing (trout) in Doane Pond. Coniferous forests cover much of the 1,862 acres, in contrast to the dry lowlands surrounding the mountain.

Elevation within the park averages 5,000 feet above sea level, making evenings cool even during the summer. A number of vista points offer spectacular panoramic views both westerly toward the ocean and inland toward the desert, particularly from Boucher Hill Summit, which has been listed in the Sierra Club's "Hundred Peaks Section" since first published in 1946. There, you'll also find the historic Boucher Hill Fire Lookout.

Palomar Mountain Image

The park is open from dawn 'til dusk daily. Reservations are highly recommended for camping during peak season. Day use fees are $10.00 per vehicle, cash or check only. Trails are open to foot traffic only, and dogs and mountain bikes are not allowed on trails. Please note that there are no gas stations on Palomar Mountain.  For more information, visit http://www.palomarsp.org/

 

Palomar Mountain imageFrom Highway 76, either of two roads can be used to reach the park. The one from Rincon Springs (County Road S6) is scenic but rather steep and winding. County Road S7 from Lake Henshaw is longer, but its gentle grade makes it more suitable for heavily loaded vehicles and those pulling trailers. Please note that there are no gas stations on Palomar Mountain. If you're using GoogleMaps or MapQuest, the park's physical address is: 19952 State Park Rd. Palomar CA 92060.

The online video journal of the Colorado Desert District covering Anza-Borrego Desert State Park®, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Palomar Mountain State Park.

       

California State Parks Kid's Safari goes to Palomar Mountain State Park and explores around Doane Pond.

Additional Visitor Services
  • County of San Diego (Environmental youth education camp)

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