Explore Mt. Palomar trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Mt. Palomar trails Map
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Closed at 4pm daily.
Will try another day

on Stonewall Peak Trail

hiking
8 days ago

9/13/2018: Short, sweet...perfect. We planned to come here for a sunset hike, but we misjudged midweek traffic and an unusually busy workday for me, so it ended up being a sunset/night hike. We arrived at 6:15 PM on a Thursday afternoon (an hour later than planned). Paid $10 and parked at the Paso Picacho Campground lot (if you’re arriving later in the day like we did, be sure to bring exact $$$, since there isn’t an attendant later in the day to provide change. One could argue that you don’t NEED to pay the honor system pay envelope “after hours,” but who wants to chance it? Not me; I have no idea where Park Rangers check the lots later in the day. And who wants to be that person anyway?) Walked across the 79 to the trailhead and embarked on the ascent. The “hardest” part of this easy hike is in the very beginning. Once you’re past that initial hump, the rest of the hike will be easy switchbacks, with a fun section at the very end “scrambling” up the rock faces (there are railings the entire way at the top, so fear not. It’s easy).

Made it to the peak in about 45 min, exactly at 7:00 PM to catch the sunset (with a couple short breaks along the way for photo ops). We made it back to the car by 7:30-45. It was full dark by the time we made it back down to the parking lot, so we took it slow coming down (good thing we had headlamps to help us along the way). The headlamps attracted a bunch of flying insects, so be sure to bring bug spray if you’re doing a night hike. It won’t stop them from flying towards the light, but it will keep them from landing/crawling on you.

We came across just two other hikers and a bunny on the way up, but otherwise, it was quiet and peaceful (save for a rattle from the brush we heard earlier in the hike, but didn’t see the critter itself). Overall, would highly recommend as a midweek sunset/night hike. The stars were drop dead gorgeous on the way down. It was absolutely worth the drive.

I love this hike!

Great beginner trail for mountain bikers. Beautiful scenery.

hiking
14 days ago

A great hike for the early morning. The views are spectacular. You'll meet only a few people along the trail. I went on Labor day and only saw about 6 people. I started the hike at 7am and had the summit all to myself for a good 45 minutes. There is loose rock along the trail so good hiking shoes are a must. There is no parking pass needed, just park right in front of the trail head on the side of the road which has a metal bar across it. Dogs are allowed so pack up your pup and have an adventure. The morning sunrise makes it so that you're in the shade on the way up, but definitely take a hat and plenty of water in warm months because there is NO shade whatsoever when the sun's out.

One of my favorite hikes.
Gorgeous views, not strenuous but you feel like you went on a hike when you're done.
Completed without complaint by kids 5-12.
Pros - Nice workout, beautiful views, pretty campground at the beginning.
Cons - I didn't feel comfortable taking the 5 year old and 7 year old up the rocks to the peak (I've been called paranoid), although I didn't see any, there was a lot of chatter about rattlesnakes by other hikers.

hiking
18 days ago

Excellent hike. Not to hard and view at the top is great. Short hike but great gain at the end, as far as the final visual reward. I have done it 3 times now and will do it again.

Very easy family friendly. Huge frogs/toads in the pond! My boys loved to see them jumping into the water.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike. Relatively speaking, there is more shade here than in most trails in this area. Gentle grade most of the way up; the handrails at the top are very helpful. In contrast to posts a few weeks ago, we didn’t see any termites at the top - just great views in every direction. Would recommend this hike.

It was a very nice, relatively quick hike, and the views at the top were very impressive. I would point out that the trail has potentially-ankle-twisting loose rocks in the final half-mile towards the top. Given that, my family rates the first half easy and the second half moderate. Great time nonetheless.

The area where you can hike through the flowers was closed :(

A very nice trail for a warmer day, as most of the trail is in the shade and much of it is parallel to a stream.

hiking
1 month ago

nice easy hike. At the end of the hike there's huge rocks and boulders you can navigate through to take in the beautiful views that stonewall peak has to offer.

Very enjoyable hike. Wildflowers, butterflies, interesting bugs. Absolutely no one else on the trail on a weekday afternoon, so nice and isolated feeling. I wanted to stay and enjoy the incredible 360° view from the very top, but it was so incredibly windy, I thought I would be blown off the side of the mountain. Gorgeous.

hiking
1 month ago

This is by far probably one of my favorite hikes! The view from the peak is just spectacular! We hiked it later in the day in the heat so we had the trail and peak to ourselves. There is little to no shade on this trail so if you plan on hiking during the warmer months be sure to bring lots of water, sunscreen, a hat, and clothing to help shield you from the sun. It is a fairly short trail and the elevation gain is minimal making this an easy trail. The trail intersects with the PCT about 0.6 miles in so you can add more mileage to your hike if you choose. There are no bathrooms near the trailhead, but the visitor center isn't too far down the road. Saw lots of lizards, butterflies, dragonflies, and birds - did not see any snakes but I'm sure there were some around given the terrain.

hiking
1 month ago

Very easy trial. Small incline at the beginning-maybe a tenth of a mile and that’s about it. Lots of switchbacks and the views all the way to the top were amazing. Loved the stairs leading to the summit. However huge infestation of termites at the summit. So definitely didn’t hang out at the summit for too long. They flew and landed all over my friend. The views at the summit are definitely worth it. It was beautiful. We went early enough we didn’t see any snakes at all but we were definitely definitely wary and watching out for them. Definitely do this hike. You won’t be disappointed.

came to hike I usually go to Simpson Park but wanted to try a new Trail however all trails are closed at Diamond Valley Lake until further notice I was extremely disappointed

hiking
2 months ago

i love the laguna area. especially this pct stretch up there. no where else in the county you can get the full appreciation of forested green mountain tops, with sweeping panoramic views tailing into the desert. go during a high pressure system because you can see clear across the salton sea to the chocolate mountains east of he city of pope. bring water and food, shelter too because you may not want to come down from there.

Great little hike. Plenty of shade in the am hours. At the peak monument there is a huge infestation of termites, pretty gross!

Good hike with nice views. Plenty of shade throughout the trail to help with the hot days...

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike. Took my kite with me to fly at the peak. Beautiful location. No shade so hat is recommended.

Beautiful views!

hiking
3 months ago

We took about an hour hiking up and what a view!! Well worth the walk. It was a bit rocky once the grade began, but nothing onerous. Take plenty of water!

Gorgeous trail and gorgeous day! Did the entire loop and pond. So many wildflowers and birds. Hardly anyone else around. Loved every minute!

hiking
3 months ago

Pretty cool and easy hike if you want to take your kiddos. The down side about this hike is that you can’t take your dog. Also, watch your step because I came across with two rattle snakes on my way up.

great for kids. each small trail makes it easy to set goals for the kiddos.

great hike, even with my 4 and 6yo. switchbacks make the ascent easy and the views are spectacular. watch out for rattlers!

This is not the hike that is described here. the trails here are very limited. You can hike Wes about 1 mile in and the trails disappear. They are not maintained in the water level is very very low. I went bushwhacking for a while and turn around. I then drove over the dam on Oakvale Road to check out the Egret Trail on the south side of the lake. it is basically a service road. About a mile long and then it just ends. so I turned around and went back to the car. there are some nice rocks to climb on on the lake is very pretty. Some people were catching a few fish.

5/29/18 - Came across a small (one-foot or so) rattlesnake laying in the middle of the trail five minutes in. Later in the day was followed by a coyote. No clue how long he was back there. We were two people with two large dogs, but it was still unnerving.

It’s soooooooo beautiful. You get a peace of mind and feel so relaxed once you leave. Go around January and you might catch yourself being surrounded by all the lady bugs !!!!!!! You’ll catch a lot of blue jays too depends if you go around morning, early afternoon. Maybe even deer around sunset time. But it’s wonderful highly recommend it !!! You’ll really enjoy it !

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