Off the Beaten Path Adventures: Palomar Mountain

Are you looking to step away from the beach scene and explore more of San Diego like a local? Palomar Mountain State Park is one of our favorite day trips near San Diego.

Palomar Mountain

Hiking Trails

We hope you packed your hiking shoes because Palomar Mountain State Park has over 25 miles of trails lined with beautiful wildflowers and lush oak forests. These trails range from short leisure walks to vigorous, half-day hikes.

Palomar’s most popular hiking trails include:

  • Boucher Trail and Palomar Mountain Loop – 8.7 miles
  • Thunder Spring Trail – 3.6 miles
  • Silvercrest Trail – 5.7 miles
  • Scott’s Cabin Loop – 2.9 miles
  • Oak Grove Trail to High Point – 13 miles
  • Palomar Divide Road – 25.1 miles
  • Nate Harrison Grade OHV Route – 17 miles
  • Love Valley Trail – 7.2 miles

What Else Is There To Do?

Looking to bypass the trails? Palomar State Park has an abundance of activities you and the family can enjoy. Some of the State Park’s best features include:

  • The Environmental Learning and Visitor’s Center
  • Fishing
  • Historical and Culture Sites
  • Nearby Interpretive Exhibits
  • Vista Point
  • Geocaching
  • Camping

How Do You Get To Palomar State Park?

The State Park is 56.7 miles from San Diego and is roughly an hour and a half trip. From Villa L’Auberge, merge onto I-5 S. for 3.1 miles and take exit 33 for Carmel Valley Rd. toward State Route 56 E. Continue on 56 E for 15.1 miles and merge onto I-15 N. Take exit 27 for Via Rancho Pkwy and continue to CA-76 E. Stay on Road S6 all the way to the top to reach the Observatory Parking Lot. The parking area for the trailhead and the amphitheater is located toward the back of the campground “loop” and is signed.


What to Bring?

Please always check the weather before embarking on your adventure. Between the months of April and September, expect the weather conditions to be dry and  extremely warm. During the winter months, you may run across some snow on the ground. We recommend you pack the following items:

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Coat during the winter months
  • Lunch or snacks
  • Appropriate shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Bug spray
  • Cash

Please visit California Department of Parks and Recreation to prepare for your day trip to Palomar Mountain State Park while staying at Villa L’Auberge.

Get your San Diego adventure started! Book your next stay at Villa L’Auberge.