Scheduled Hikes for 2010

 Love Valley and Mt. Palomar Observatory Trail Hikes

Date:  March 21st, Spring Equinox, 2010  09:00 AM -  05:00 PM
Hike Group:  San Diego Trail Tramps
Info. URLs:  Maps and directions for Love Valley hike
Location: Northern San Diego County, Love Valley, located southwest of Mt. Palomar, and the Palomar Observatory, both located in the Cleveland National Forest, about 70 miles N/NE of San Diego.
 Description:  Love Valley Meadow and Mt. Palomar Observatory Trail Hikes

Today we'll do two hikes: the 1st hike will be to Love Valley Meadow (Schad's book: Area M-2, Trip 9), the 2nd hike will be to the Mt. Palomar Observatory and Trail (Area M-2, Trip 5).

1. Love Valley is a 2 mile roundtrip hike on a rambling country road, with a 300' elevation loss/gain at the 3600' level. Roundtrip hike time is about 1.5 hrs. The starting point is easy to find, at mile 3.3 on the East Grade Road of Palomar Mountain (3.3 miles north of Highway 76). There are two seasonal, ephemeral ponds in the valley, with a weathered old barn across the meadow and a great view of Lake Henshaw to the south.

NOTE: The parking area off the East Grade Road is in the Cleveland National Forest. To park on National Forest land, you need to place an Adventure Pass (Google it for details.) on your dashboard. You can purchase day-use ($5) or annual passes ($30) ($35 for two passes, for a "second vehicle") at any Cleveland National Forest office or at most outdoor and sports equipment outlets, including any REI or Adventure 16 store.

2. Before our 2nd hike, we'll pay a visit to the Palomar Observatory, home to the famous 200" Hale Telescope, on 6140' Mt. Palomar. We'll be hiking at about the 5400' level, so be sure to bring sunscreen. After a brief tour of the observatory, we'll then hike down the 2.2 mile trail to the Observatory Campground, where we'll stage 1-2 vehicles to shuttle us back up the 2 mile road to our parked cars, completing the day's outing in the mountains.

We'll meet at 8:45 am in Hillcrest at the usual location for last minute info, directions and carpooling, then depart at 9:00 am. Refer to maps posted on our website Maps page for details on how to get to the area. (Click on link at top of this page.) For those driving in from other areas, we'll rendezvous at mile 3.3 on the East Grade Road, at the parking area on the south side of the road to begin our hike to Love Valley. For alternate driving directions, going from San Diego up thru Escondido is an option. Simply mapquest it. Again, don't forget your USFS Adventure Pass.