Palomar Observatory Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews
#17 of 84 trails in

Palomar Observatory Trail is a 4.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Aguanga, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from March until November.

4.8 miles 918 feet Out & Back

hiking

trail running

views

wildlife

Directions from LA Basin: 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Lots of poison oak. No scenery.

2 months ago

A pleasant hike with some great views. The observatory at the top was good to see too.

2 months ago

Tons of poison oak but a cool hike.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike. I've been coming to the observatory for years. Camped at the site several times. this is the first time that I hiked the trail. what a treat. I never knew there was a valley to the south. Not too challenging but well worth the effort.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike. Nice scenery especially around the middle looking south there's a valley. Easy to moderate. Took about an hour and fifteen minutes going up with stops for pics. 45 minutes coming down with no stops.

hiking
5 months ago

What a hike. My son and I dropped my wife at the airport early this morning so we had the day to ourselves so I decided to on this hike. Terrain isn't to bad trail can be confusing at times but as long you keep your eyes open for signs of a trail you will be fine. We also enjoyed the observatory at the top.

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Fun hike from campground to observatory. Rate between easy to moderate(uphill) due to elevation.

hiking
6 months ago

I would rate easy to moderate. My 8 year old son and I hiked up and back w/out any issues.

7 months ago

8 months ago

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9 months ago

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9 months ago

10 months ago

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1 year ago

1 year ago

1 year ago

Beautiful and easy hike! Snow on the ground and it was slippery on some spots.

hiking
1 year ago

Great trail. We took our 5 year old and 3 year old on this hike. Our 5 year old hiked the entire way up and need a little help riding on on our shoulders about half-way back. Our 3 year old was a champ and hiked 3/4 of the way up to the observatory and about half-way back. We carried him the rest of the way.

I would say this hike is more moderate or easy to moderate. It's definitely not the easiest hike I've done. But, it's a beautiful walk up a mountain through a shady forest. I highly recommend it.

hiking
1 year ago

Great hike. Trailhead was hard to find. Saw four cows on the trail but they ran as soon as they saw us! Would bring bug spray next time as it was pretty buggy in the beginning. Awesome views. We were the only ones on the trail all day so it was really nice.