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This National Recreation Trail offers an easy woodland hike to Palomar Observatory.

The Observatory National Recreational Trail offers a pleasant 2.2-mile hike to the Palomar Observatory site. It meanders through pine and oak woodlands and offers some great views of the Mendenhall and French Valleys. Best time of the year to hike this trail is spring and summer.

Forest maps available at Palomar Ranger District Office located on Black Canyon Road in Ramona.

Directions: From San Diego, CA, Drive north on Interstate 15 to Highway 76. Head east on Hwy 76 to S6 and drive north toward Palomar Mountain. Follow S6 to Observatory Campground. Trailhead parking is near the amphitheater inside the campground (follow the signs). Vehicles must display a Forest Adventure Pass. The trailhead is adjacent to the amphitheater.

Elevation: 4,800 feet

Elevation Gain: 700 feet

Distance: 2.2 miles

Difficulty: Easy

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Cleveland National Forest, California

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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