Palomar Mountain State Park: Doane Valley Campground Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"Palomar means “place of the pigeons,” and Palomar Mountain State Park feels so Mediterranean, you’ll think you’re in Italy. There’s a sense of tradition and civilization on the mountain. Maybe that feeling comes from the fact that American Indians gathered acorns here long ago, or drifts down from the incredible handcrafted observatory on the summit. Or maybe it stems from the sense of awe that observatory visitors get when they realize we live in but a tiny part of the universe. Anyway, Doane Valley Campground at Palomar Mountain State Park oﬀers good tent camping and great family camping. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s (when folks camped in tents and cars were tiny Fords), the campsites are styled in stone and set under huge trees.
The toilets are clean, and the hot showers cost a few quarters. The park headquarters is back up the road on the way in, and when I was there it was staﬀed by a helpful ranger who looked like a young Elke Sommer. Included in the park area is the Palomar Christian Conference Center and youth camps, all infested with boisterous junior high schoolers. If you tire of camp grub, at the intersection of County Road S6 and S7, you’ll ﬁnd Mother’s Kitchen Restaurant, which serves good food."