OverviewPalomar Mountain is located in Southern California just south of Temecula. It hosts an array of telescopes near the summit.
Biking trails are also spread throughout the mountain. These range from narrow, quiet paths to wide and well-trodded roads.
Fees are charged if parking in state park or national forest. These fees are explained below.
To the south
On the southern side of the mountain is the observatory as well as the Palomar Mountain State Park. On the north is the actual peak of the mountain.
Temecula is a bustling town of 80,000 situated on the southernmost end of the Inland Valley area. The town is actually just an hour away from the remoteness of the mountain.
Starting in downtown Temecula, take I-15 south to the CA-76 exit. Turn left for Pala at the intersection. Passing through Pala, the highway begins ascending slightly into forest. Watch for a "Palomar Mountain" exit and turn off the highway.
Immediently, the road begins switchbacking up to the flat top of the mountain. The road then comes to an intersection for the state park on the left and the observatory up ahead. Decide which way your wish to go and head on in.
San Diego is California's second largest city (after Los Angeles). The city spreads around the exansive natural harbor of the San Diego Bay. The mountain is about 3 hours from downtown.
Beginning from downtown, start off north on I-15 to CA-76. Turn off the freeway and onto the eastbound side of the highway for Pala. Again, look for a sign to Palomar Mountain and turn left.
To the north
Much of the northern section of the mountain are filled with dirt roads. These may be bikable to a certain extent but always watch for vehicles. This region is operated by the national forest service.
Again, Temecula is the important town here.
Start off east on CA-79 heading for Anza. Leave the highway at Aguanda (just past the exit for Anza) on a dirt road (paved at the intersection). This road (High Point Truck Trail) begins climbing in a number of switchbacks up to near the summit.
One lone biking trail exists right on the road.
Permits, Passes, FeesA $14-19/day fee is charged at the state park. Meanwhile, $10/week is required in Cleveland National Park. These may change over time. No permits are required anywhere.
CampingThere are a few campgrounds in the area. Much of these are in the state park.
Doane Valley- This family campground is located in the state park near Doane Pond. Fees apply but may vary. Reservations are required.
Click here for more information.
External LinksHere are some sites you may want to visit first:
Palomar Mountain State Park- The CA State Park's page for the park. Included are contact info and updated closures if needed.
Palomar Observatory- Caltech's Palomar observatory site. Includes plenty of info on the telescopes (not much on biking though).
SummitPost - Palomar Mountain- SP's Palomar Mountain page by tarol.