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

Palomar Mountain, California Map
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Did this trail today with my husband and 2 year old (in a hiking backpack carrier). It was a great trail with plenty of shade, and we ended up seeing a deer! Parts of the trail were very overgrown with tall plants that were very large, it felt like walking through a jungle and it was hard to discern if we were still on the trail. Doane pond right by the sixth grade camp was beautiful and a nice surprise about mid-way through. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is because it was closer to 6.7/7 miles than 5.7. Not an issue in and of itself, but when you’re expecting to be done soon and it’s hot, the extra mile+ really sucks. Otherwise a great trail and we will do it again with a better expectation of how far we will be going.

hiking
Saturday, September 09, 2017

Trails well marked. Lots of wildlife. Doane Pond at halfway point. Some fallen trees on the trail and you either climb over or duck under.

Boucher trail was pretty over grown... we had a hard finding the trail. Pack your bug spray!

Thunder springs trail was incredible. Lots of tree's provide plenty of shade. Felt like we were under the canopy most of the hike. Good times. Once you get to the campground, and start crossing over to the Boucher trail, it is a bit of a mess. Very overgrown right now. Was constantly ducking and diving around overgrowth. This section needs some serious work. My kids were constantly asking me if we were still on the trail. The road up can be slow, so plan accordingly and don't forget to bring your state parking pass if you have one. Otherwise $10 to park.

There were several spots with obstacles in the form of fallen trees and bush/tree branches that extend over the trail. It was very helpful for us to carry a stick to move branches out of the way before crossing. We passed many bushes with suspicious leaves.

Overall, this hike was fairly level. It may be called intermediate because of the obstacles. Regardless, it was nice to find a cool getaway..the temp was at least 10 degrees cooler than San Diego; partially tree-shaded.

We saw much less wildlife than expected...only squirrels, lizards, and some beautiful birds. I had a flashback to watching The Hunger Games because these birds here sound just like the mockingjay call. Is that a real bird?

hiking
Saturday, January 07, 2017