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Palomar Mountain State Park

Explore the beautiful forest and mountain meadows of Palomar Mountain State Park

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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.4 miles
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  The beautiful forest and mountain meadows of Palomar Mountain State Park are in northern San Diego County on the west side of Palomar ... more »

Tips:  From Highway 76, either of two roads can be used to reach the park. The one from Rincon Springs (County Road S6) is scenic but rather ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead for Doane Valley Nature Trail and Weir Trail

The nature trail begins at the Doane Pond parking lot and ends in the campground. The 3/4 mile, mostly shaded trail occasionally stocks a self-guided brochure that might be picked up at the trailhead. With an elevation gain/loss of only 100 ft, the nature trail offers an opportunity for young and old to glimpse the variety of the park. Hikers... More

2. Fork for Weir Trail

Weir Trail to French Valley Trail is a three-mile trail that starts at the Doane Pond parking lot at the same trailhead as doane valley nature trail. The trail is fairly level, with only a 100 ft elevation gain/loss, and follows along doane creek underneath forest growth before it opens out into views of the lower doane meadow and continues to the... More

3. Fork for Baptist Trail (to Scotts Cabin Trail and Adams Trail)

Baptist Trail leads one farther into Palomar's network of trails.

Scotts Cabin Trail is an uphill, shaded trail. It was historically an old wagon road and passes the remains of a pioneer cabin. The area was temporarily closed at the time of the visit in December 2010.

After Adam Trail crosses Nate Harrison Grade Road, it becomes Boucher Trail

4. Weir Historic Site

The Weir, a low dam, creates a small, refreshing pool of water surrounded by very slippery rocks, beware. The small stone building was built in the 1920s to measure water flow. To continue on the loop, backtrack to the Lower Doane Trail junction and veer left to connect to French Valley Trail.

5. French Valley

After hikers cross Doane Creek, they emerge into the sunny meadow of Lower French Valley. A trail continues some distance along French Creek.

6. Oak grove

A large grove of very old, gnarled, interlocked oak trees can be found at this site. Kids and kids-at-heart can clamber among the trees and boulders. The largest of these trees, the fallen "Murrieta Tree," forms an arch over the trail; it had grown over a rock, over which it eventually slipped off. The two principal oak species in the area are... More

7. Trailhead for Thunder Spring Trail to Chimney Flats Trail to Scott's Cabin Trail

This mostly shady 4 mile loop begins on the far side of doane pond on the south side of upper doane valley. This moderate-to-difficult hike involves a 700 ft elevation gain/loss. Start by hiking along thunder spring trail, which follows alder-fringed Doane Creek. Turn right onto chimney flats trail, which follows an uphill switchback route along... More

8. Trailhead for Boucher Trail

The loop hike starts and ends near silvercrest picnic area. Boucher is a beautiful trail that gradually climbs to Boucher fire watchtower and its outstanding views to the north, west, and south. The trail is mostly shaded with an exposed summit.