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.