Palomar Mountain State Park: Deluge Edition

The recent storms that rolled through left a tremendous amount of precipitation across all of non-desert Southern California. Palomar Mountain, with its advantageous geographic position, received between 6-9″ of precipitation, depending on location, which represents between 1/5 and 1/3 of its annual average precipitation. In other words, it poured.

Distance: 4.5
Elevation Gained: 350′
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 2:45
Critters: Somewhere between 25-35 deer, bandtail pigeons, hawks, squirrels, a flock of wild turkeys

Get there like this.

Note: There is an $8 day use fee.



Since I’ve written about Palomar so many times, I’ll provide a brief synopsis of the hike. I started out at Doane Pond, where I completed a loop around Lower Doane Valley, including French Valley, the Weir Trail, and the Doane Valley Nature Trail. This represents the best part of Palomar State Park. Doane Creek, which had been slowed to a trickle, was now gushing, although not as a torrent. It looked healthy and full thanks to the nearly 8″ of rain feeding it. I’ve never seen so many deer in one time and one place in all of my life. They lounged in the meadow feasting off of new growth. My intention was to hike the full loop, but after this jaunt, I was satisfied. The rest is in the pictures.

Doane Pond, full to the brim,


Looking out over Lower Doane Valley


Ponderosa Pine needles


Doane Valley Nature Trail




Fog settling in on Thunder Ridge


French Creek


French Valley




Ponderosa Pines


In silhouette



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