Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Palomar Mountain State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We loved this hike. Somehow we turned it in to about 6 miles and the fit bit says about 112 stairs climbed. Lots or great up and down trails. Some downed trees across the trail here and there. Hope they don’t remove them. Easy to get a little of everything on these trails. E will be back soon.

hiking
22 days ago

Stumbled on this trail, it’s moderate but beautiful and the two mile loop completed was great!

Long hike uphill, followed by moderately difficulty descent. Pretty spectacular views from the top, would highly recommend. As with other commenters, first two miles is a rough climb (but manageable) and will drain you if you aren’t prepared.

1 month ago

Very very beautiful hiking. And hard.

There is a $10 entrance fee to the park. CASH ONLY so come prepared. The general store will do cash back if you forget but they are limited by what’s in the till. The trail to the lookout was short and moderately steep. The views would be spectacular on a clear day, but it was hazy when we went. From the lookout, the trail heads downhill and there are numerous downed trees across the trail that were fun for our toddler and made the day interesting. Overall, trail would be considered an easy outing if it wasn’t for the downed trees you have to traverse along the way.

Awesome incline! First couple of miles the most challenging. Great views at the lookout tower. Took us around 7 hours round trip with a lunch break and coffee at the top!

Amazing views as always and the in the freezing temperatures much of the trees and foliage around covered in stunning icicles!

hiking
1 month ago

Trail needs some attention. Starting from Doane Pond and heading up there is a large tree across the trail, which appears to have been there a while. Hiking with the kids this was a challenge. This is the section with most of the elevation gain, and drop on the way out (if you choose to return this way). Some of the erosion controls built into the trail are loose or are partially washed out, giving the impression that this trail has not seen maintenance in some time. The upper portion of the trail is quite overgrown and rutted. Once you arrive at the Scotts Cabin Site, you will be greeted by a random pile of old logs, so set your expectations accordingly.

great loop hike, spectacular views to the west at the top of the hike

Me, my husband, and our 2-year-old did this loop trail today (2/4/18) and it was amazing. Beautiful views, plenty of shade, quite a few easier sections where our son was able to get out of our hiking backpack carrier and walk himself, and we only saw 3 other groups the entire 3-and-a-half miles (that may be due to it being Super Bowl Sunday though). The weather couldn't have been more perfect, it was between 66 and 70 degrees throughout our hike (we started at 10 and got done at 12:15). We will be back frequently.

off road driving
2 months ago

This trail is easy to moderate. I saw several no trespassing signs but I spent a few hours here, spoke to several people, and no one stopped me. Plenty of amazing scenery. Only downside and why I rated this trail four stars is the litter including large amounts of glass and shell casings. Be wary in areas where you see any debris.

Great hike. A little confusing as the trail is not well marked and forks a few times. VERY windy and cool/cold (in January). Bring your ear warmer and gloves for the last 2-3 miles to the lookout tower.

Great hike, not easy but, beautiful.

on Palomar Divide Road

off road driving
3 months ago

Got about 2 Miles in and hit a locked gate.. there were no trespassing signs everywhere

This was an enjoyable hike that will challenge you in the first two miles, get you away from the crowds at other suburban / urban hiking spots in SD and give you peace and quite the whole way through.

Ask a guy from the fire department where to park and was directed to park off the South side of the station (the building closed to Rt. 79). Started at 9:00 AM and walked about 1/2 mile following the signs for the trail. The trail begins off the NW corner of the fire station. Walk around a bit, you'll find it. First 1/2 mile is flat and then it climbs for the next 1.5 miles at an average rate of about 900 feet per mile. The grade was deceiving at first, but I quickly got tired half way up. The sun was strong, footing was loose rock and sands and the path was narrow. 80% of the way up to the eventual dirt road is sun exposed. Take it slow. Another reason to take it slow...trail is very narrow and I saw two snakes, one of which was either a rattler or a gopher snake. I nearly stepped on another. Lots of good snake hiding spots on this trail so walk slow and look at your surroundings.

After the path, you're up at 4,200' and on a wide dirt road. It levels out considerably from there and the remained of the hike isn't excessively strenuous, average grade is about 500 feet per mile. Just follow the dirt road to the top. There are forks in the dirt road at times. Always take the fork that goes up in elevation. And, you the AllTrails app to be sure you going the right direction.

Got to the top in 3 hours 10 minutes, and took a 30 minute break. Windy and cool up there. The ranger in the fire look-out tower called down and said the bottled water on the picnic table was free! Appreciated the offer, but I still had plenty of my own water. Headed back down in 2 hours 20 minutes.

The only person I saw was a guy with a bow and arrow set, just after the fire station. Didn't see another hiker the whole way up. Saw three cars going to the top, but nothing else. It's a good exercise hike and nice that there's not may people and no music playing. I drank just over three liters of water. Wear sunscreen and bring 4 - 5 liters and a hat. Another must-have, have a bug net for your head. Although 80 - 90% of the trail is gnat-free, there's a couple of places where they are thick and you'll want your bug net.

Camped at Oak Grove Campground across from the Fire Station to get an early start. Only $15. Got up early. and parked at the Fire Station and hiked up. Oak Grove trail is the hardest, steepest part of the trail. After that you're on a dirt road the rest of the way up. It was a nice long hike. Bring plenty of water.

Hard hike. Relentless ascend and descend. Bring plenty of water and food. Beautiful scenery.

Beautiful trail. don't forget to bring your insect repellent.

off road driving
8 months ago

My first time hitting a trail in a truck and I had an awesome experience. A little bumpy at first, a handful of tight turns but nothing too technical overall. 4x4 is not needed. Strongly recommend to those looking to explore and learn the off road scene.

Cool trail with ridgeline views of Harrah's casino below. Some parts of trail could use some TLC. Had to bend and climb through some brush.

off road driving
9 months ago

Was able to hit the fire roads today all the way to the top. Nice little drive up the mountain. 4x4 not needed.

hiking
9 months ago

Been going here for years and recently visited in May 2017. Pauma Creek is a hidden gem in the North County, San Diego area and one of the most pristine and undisturbed mountain streams in Southern California.

Don't be fooled by how short this trail is. It is ridiculously steep, exposed to the sun most of the way, covered in poison oak, has loose footing from a 2008 forest fire, and if that isn't enough then there are the ticks, biting flies, and occasional rattlesnake that will gladly attack you along the way.

For those willing to brave the very unforgiving trail, there is a paradise waiting for you at the bottom. Pauma Creek flows year-round and plunges over 4,000ft down the canyon through a series of pools and waterfalls.

10 months ago

Much of the trail was overgrown near the upper elevations.

We just did this loop June 4th, 2017. Boucher Lookout has spectacular views, and normally the ridge line views along the Adams trail are quite beautiful. I've done this exact loop before and my last trip in February I gave it four stars. However, the Adams trail needs some serious TLC. As of June, 2017 it is severely overgrown, almost impassable in numerous places. At several times we had to crawl on our hands and knees, even stomachs, and climb over/under (mostly through) bushes and dead trees. I'm not a novice hiker by any means. I truly love hiking. But, until this trail gets cleared up, I'd recommend spending your time doing a better trail elsewhere. Ideally Palomar State Park officials should close the Adams trail until it is cleared up, so other souls don't have to suffer through the misery we endured today.

However, if you like hiking off trail, bushwhacking, groveling in dirt and sticky bramble bushes, tripping over root stumps, crawling over and under burned out trees, and loads upon loads of bugs, then this is a terrific trail for you. It would also make a great date hike if you have a girl/ guy you really want to break up with. This trail would do the trick for sure. In that case, I would give this trail five stars.

Buen Camino,

KV Adventures

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful scenic hike but the hilly section just before/just after Scott's Cabin is completely overgrown with wild lilac and impassable. there are also several downed trees along that route and the Cedar trail headed back towards the pond.

Great trail. Lots of fallen trees to negotiate, woodpeckers to listen out for & outstanding views as your prize. Hiking boots needed really & plenty of water. Make sure to check out 'Mother's Kitchen' for breakfast or lunch before heading into the park!

Relaxing/easy hike to do! There was a lot of trees knocked down on this trail, but it was fun to climb over them while hiking

Monday, March 27, 2017

First two miles is steep, fire road after long and climbing, awesome hike!

off road driving
Monday, March 20, 2017

Don't bother attempting this one, my girlfriend and I tried yesterday and a few miles or so past the start point is a heavy duty gate that you cannot pass.

off road driving
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Very disappointed! Drove the trail for about 3 miles and it was closed. The scenery was very beautiful. I would like to complete this trail however it would be nice if a sign was posted sooner stating it's closed.

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