Explore the wonders of the Earth. In this site, you will find some information about hiking trails, some of the natural wonders in the places we explored, some itineraries of our travels, some road trip information, and more of the simple joys from our natural world. Life, like hiking, has lots of ups and down, rugged and steep terrains, switchbacks, and beautiful scenic turns.- Betchai
Sunday, March 10, 2013
My Top Ten San Diego Hikes: (9)- Palomar Mountain State Park
1. Scott Cabin/Boucher Hill Loop Trail - 3 miles, 800 ft change in elevation.
2. Thunder Spring/Chimney Flats Loop Trail - 4 miles, 900 ft change in elevation
3. Doane Valley Nature Trail/Lower French Valley - 2.5 miles round trip, 300 ft change in elevation
The three trails above are interconnecting, they could easily be combined for a longer hike and more climb. Since this place is a longer drive for us ( see Con below), we usually combine several hiking trails whenever we go here.
Inside the Park - $10 State Park fee. Park at Doane Pond for Thunder Springs/Chimney flats Loop Trail or for Doane Nature Valley trail. Park at Silver Crest Picnic Area if hiking Scott Cabin/Boucher Hill Loop.
Outside the Park - free. There is a legal parking on the shoulder of the road a few yards from the entrance of Palomar Mountain State Park. The parking though is very small and the lot could fill in quick. This would be a good parking if you are combining all the 3 trails mentioned above or for Thunder Springs/Chimney Flats loop reverse hike.
Highlights: Mountain scenery covered with thick forests of pine, oak, fir and cedar. Rolling hills scenery of Palomar Mountain and San Diego County.
Pro: A true quiet escape to the mountain side. Unlike most hikes in my Top Ten which are right in the middle of civilization, Palomar Mountain State Park is really tucked in San Diego Backroads, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Con: Not too close to the city, about 45 miles North East. It is about 1.5 hour drive from downtown San Diego.
Golden Leaves of Ferns @ Autumn
Here are some more pictures from Palomar Mountain State Park.
Wooded Forest, A Sight So Different from What Is San Diego Known Best ( Beach, Beach and More Beach)
Me and Hubby @ Palomar Mountain
Why I love it here? First, hiking here feels like having a mountain vacation since the scenery is not very typical for San Diego, a beach city, which borders the ocean and has more of riparian habitat (shorter vegetation except for the taller oak trees and coast live oaks). The wooded forests here seem to transport us to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California or some other thickly forested mountains.
Why go to the mountains? Let me share these two quotes...
“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.”
-- Raymond Inmon
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." -- John Muir