Four Points Bulletin

Travels north, east, south, and west of our Oceanside home base.

Palomar Observatory is an astronomical research facility in the Palomar Mountain Range (located at 6,142′ elevation). Inside the observatory is a 200″ Palomar telescope, the world’s largest telescope from 1949-1975. Unfortunately, due to the snow and the proclivity for San Diegans to go absolutely crazy over snow in our local mountains, the observatory remained closed today. A visit to the observatory was secondary to our mission to join in on San Diego snow fun, and go snow crazy with our San Diegan neighbors. It couldn’t be more ideal to drive from the beach to the snow and back again in one morning. Palomar Mountain is just an hour away from Oceanside. We left early, hoping to easily find parking, and we did, at the closed gate to Palomar Observatory, which is also the trailhead for Observatory Trail. Observatory Trail cuts through a portion of the Cleveland National Forest, ending at Observatory Campground. We only hiked a portion of the trail, mainly using it to navigate our way to an area that we had to ourselves for sledding, snowman making, exploring, and snowball fights. Our only regret about today was not bringing snowshoes. I honestly was not expecting the snow depth to be so deep. There were times we would sink two feet through the snow surface, making a hike a little more work than it needed to be. We will be even more prepared next time.

5 thoughts on “Observatory Trail, Palomar Mountain

  1. Denise says:

    What an idyllic place in which you live! To go from the beach to the snow in an hour, WHOA! What a blast that day was for you three. Fabulous photos, as usual. As for the Observatory, I believe it has remained closed since COVID (regardless of the snow). Is this not true? Exceptional post my friend.

    1. It reopened this year! February 2023. But we haven’t been since then.

  2. temeculan says:

    In some ways, your sojourn to Palomar reminds me of a trip Eric and I had when he was just a little older than A1. He and I had gone up to Angeles Crest YMCA camp for Indian Guides Winter Camp. It snowed and we had a great time playing in the snow. When we arrived back home on Sunday we found that my wife had gone to Seal Beach for the weekend with Eric’s little brother Alan. So we changed from winter clothes to beach clothes and joined them at the beach.

    1. Ha! That is such a fun story!

  3. temeculan says:

    Wonderful post and great photos.

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