Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Top Ten San Diego Hikes: (9)- Palomar Mountain State Park

Palomar Mountain from Boucher Hill Trail
In my previous post, I started My Top Ten San Diego Hikes with Lake Hodges, at #10. In this post, I will share the 9th in my list, which is Palomar Mountain State Park- best San Diego Mountain hike.
Chimney Flats Trail
The Trails:
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
Doane Pond
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.
Fall Curtain
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 

Next, the number 8 in My Top Ten San Diego Hikes.
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  1. "Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk."- now I would love to go for a walk at Palomar National State Park Betchai! Love the mountain scenery and those golden leaves! The photo of you and Angels Landing- is my favorite here :)

  2. Seems like a lovely place! Away from the bustle of a city and laden with nature all around. Loved the captures, I felt as if I was on a hike with you! I really love such places which offer peace and time for inner contemplation. Have a nice sunday :)

  3. You definitely have some of the most beautiful places in the country to hike where you are.

  4. You have an eye for beauty. I'm always amazed by your photos. I love the Golden Leaves of Ferns at Autumn one.

  5. What a beautiful place to be one with nature. I am sure a lot if hikers would love to try this out especially with the complete information found on this post.

    My first time to see the photo of your hubby Ate. Hehehe

  6. the silence and beauty of the nature do inhabits a creative mind in us.

  7. This hike, more than any of the others you have posted, remind me of my neck of the woods. I know it is on the west coast but it really looks like the east coast.

  8. doane pond is my most favorite among all the photos here. hiking must be really fun. i gotta try hiking myself as i never had experienced this. and i hope that's soon.

  9. A perfect place to unwind. So serene and those greens, so suiting to the eyes. Great photos, Betchai.

  10. awesome pictures as always! and to think this is your number 9, wonder what will be the top 1...must be really stunning. :) you're so lucky and blessed to see places like this, i hope our family can experience more of nature someday, somehow! :)

  11. The best exercise plus you enjoy the beauty of nature. How I wish we can go back hiking soon .I'm not good climbing the mountains and I never experience yet.

  12. Beautiful trails to explore with the family :-) I have never been to any of those beautiful trails but our family loves to go for a walk in the woods as well especially in the summer time :-) Beautiful pictures your have too :-)

  13. Wow that lake is very still, must be nice to go paddling a small boat out there.

  14. This reminds me of our Mt. APO trekking back and college and I swear it's breathtaking! I enjoyed going up but going down whip my knees I had to walk like a zombie and careful not to bend of I'd be whimping in pain:)Hiking surely makes you feel like closer to nature. I wish I can still do it and enjoy it as much as you do Ate Beth:)

  15. When I see such beauty in nature, I know there is a God. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.

  16. wow, amazing views...been awhile since the last time I went hiking.

  17. wow! nice quotes! make me think about doing your hobby myself. Those pictures are really beautiful. Thank you for sharing them. :)

  18. YAY! I only got to see your fantastic top 2, Te Betchai. This is as good as your #10 pick. I can't wait to see the remaining 8 on your list :-)

    It's a good thing that you and your hubby loves the same thing, Te Betchai. And oh! May I just mention that it's my first time to have a good glimpse of him :-)

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful world where you live. I always admire you for pursuing to do the things you passionately love best- hiking.

  19. That's a nice trail. It's a good thing that you and your dear husband share the same interest. My hubby and I both love photography. We often go out with friend for photo walk.

  20. If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.

    That's what I exactly do. :)

    Lovely views, Ate!

  21. Hi there again Betchai! back here and relishing the beauty of Doane Pond with all the blues in it....and yes all the colors of awesome Palomar! :) looking forward to top 8! :)

  22. this makes me wish we have mountains here in Sg too. i badly need a hike, i think the Sentosa Nature Discovery trails will do. :)

    soooooooo in love with the 3rd and 6th photo and of course, yours and Angels pic never fails to make me smile. :)