|| Today, we'll cover a wide variety of terrain, including thick forests of pine, oak, fir & cedar, as well as mountain meadows filled with bracken fern and wildflowers. On a clear day, you can see the Pacific Ocean and San Diego from the top of Mt. Palomar! We'll be hiking at about the 4650'-5170' level, so be sure to bring sunscreen. We have two events scheduled for today: The Thunder Spring/Chimney Flats Loop hike and a visit to the Palomar Observatory, home to the famous 200" Hale Telescope.
This loop hike has a little of everything in it: a walk along a stream-edged meadow; a passage/steep climb through a canopy of western azaleas; a stroll throught a century-old apple orchard; a visit to an old grave of an early settler, killed by a falling tree; the best views in the entire park, including spectacular winter-time views of the San Luis Rey River valley and the distant Pacific Ocean; lunch beneath a gigantic spreading oak at the Silver Crest Picnic Area, and a visit to the old ruins of Scott's Cabin along a steep descent trail, through the thick white fir and cedar forest, leading back down to trout-filled Doane Pond.
Car pools will depart San Diego by 9:15 am. Target time to meet at the Doane Pond parking lot in Palomar Mt. State Park is 11:00 am. Hiking distance will be about 4 miles on the loop trail and elevation gain/loss is about 900'/900'. Total hike time is about 2 hours, plus breaktimes. After the hike, we'll carpool 8.5 miles over to the Palomar Observatory & Visitor's Center for a visit to see the fascinating Hale Telescope. This is one of our most popular hike trips of the year, so come join the fun!!
For more detailed info. on the area, refer to "Afoot and Afield in San Diego County" by J.Schad, 1998 Edition, Area M-2: Palomar Mountain, Trip 2: Thunder Spring/ Chimney Flats Loop, pp.134-135. Also, check out our Maps of the area for more details.
For pictures of our hike there on July 25, 2000, click here.