Palomar Mountain

  • Palomar Mountain
  • 1871 m
  • Primary factor 870 m
  • Location: North 33.36295, West 116.83639 (GPS at the summit)
  • California, USA
  • Difficulty: Class 1 (YDS)
  • Climbed September 22, 2018


How to get there:
Locate Hwy. 79 runnung south. From Temecula (near I-15), this road runs eastward, then more south passing Aguanga. Continue south on Hwy 79 until you hit location N33.33067, W116.70924, elevation about 930 meter. A forest road that runs all the way to the summit starts here. This road is dirt, but very nice for a couple of miles, it then is paved (with some potholes) for the next 4 miles or so. It then turns back to dirt again, but it is generally quite nice. A high clearance vehicle would be preferable, 4WD is likely not needed under good (dry) conditions. The road crosses several hills before Palomar finally comes into view.
Route description:
This report is a drive-up. There is a fire lookout at the summit. The highest point is located very near the base of this tower.
I had climbed Toro Peak in the morning, then drove east to Palomar. I had some initial trouble with locating the correct turnoff from Hwy. 79, wasting a bit of time. I finally started driving uphill at 1220. The drive to the summit is almost 13 miles and required slightly less than one hour.
I was greeted by a friendly man serving as a volunteer fire lookout in the tower. He came down and told me quite a bit about the fire lookouts in San Diego, there was one more. He was doing this unpaid, now retired, previously a police officer. The tower also have a big information sign. The view down to the famous Palomar telescope is good. This was a very big scientific instrument, the worlds biggest telescope from 1949 until 1975. We talked for about 40 minutes before he climbed back up and I started my drive back down.