Palomar Mountain Divide

Warner Springs, California 92086

Palomar Mountain Divide

Palomar Mountain Divide Professional Review and Guide

"A gorgeous drive along a high, winding ridgeline that culminates at a fire lookout with a truly breathtaking view from 6,140 feet, the summit of a mountain that stretches for 20 miles. This drive will not get you to Palomar Observatory, but you will see it."

Palomar Mountain Divide Reviews

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8/19/2018
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1/22/2011
Palomar Mountain Divide trail was great for the adventuring off-roader. We were able to navigate the trail in a stock 2010 Subaru Forester. We started off on the Palomar Divide Rd (9S07) and worked our way to the Northwest. At first when you start you have to navigate a light dirt trail after which it becomes paved. It stays paved for a while and then becomes dirt again. Midway through you will start to see a ranger tower. If you keep working to the ranger tower you are going in the right direction. After the lookout point we continued on the trail trying to get back through Old Grove Rd however they have recently put up gates on the backside of the trail and locked them. So it took us 2 hours to get to the gates and then we had to turn around for another 2 hours back. So consider this an out and back. The locked gates not allowing us to complete the whole trail is the only reason we gave it 4 instead of 5 stars.
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6/12/2010
2WD is OK for this one, but stock high ground clearance is needed (truck/SUV). There are a few side excursions for the modded 4WD crowd. I went at sunrise and the views were breathtaking. Spring/summer there is a meadow-looking area up top where 9S07 meets up with 9S09. Good place to rough-camp for the night if so desired. Recommend keep on trucking down the back side 9S09 to 8S05 (rather than doubling back) as there is much more to see on the back side. Stay on the main road here though (8S05) as all the side ones I saw were marked private. There is some fire-damage on one side of the road and not at the other. You drop out at a campground just before the 79/371 merge.
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7/30/2004
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Trail Information

Warner Springs
Nearby City
27.2
Distance
Shuttle
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Difficulty
3 hours
Duration
Year-round
Season
Cleveland National Forest, Palomar Ranger District
Local Contacts
Cleveland National Forest
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018