View Attractions Related to: Palomar / Northern Mountains


Astronomy in San Diego County

The San Diego Mountains and Desert provide one of the best places in the world to get a clear view of the night sky. Good weather patterns help to limit atmospheric distortion while the remote location and support of nearby communities to keep lights dim provides the darkness needed to create a stargazer’s paradise.


Dig for California Tourmaline at the Himalaya Mine

Location: Santa Ysabel (75 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Hours: 10AM – 3PM Thursdays through Mondays

Cost: $75 ($37.50 for kids ages 12-15; Free for Kids under 12); $50 for 1PM-3PM only

Features: Mine for Tourmaline from one of the most famous Tourmaline Mines of the 20th century.


Fly Sailplanes Above the Mountains and Desert

Location: Warner Springs (75 Miles / 1.5 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 9AM – 5PM (Weekday reservations strongly recommended)

Cost: Rides start at $125 for 20 Minutes. ($160 for 2 people)

Features: Glide over the Mountains and Desert on a Sail Plane


Palomar Observatory

Location: Palomar Mountain (78 Miles / 1 Hour and 45 Minutes Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Generally open 9AM – 4PM (Closed on December 24th and 25th)

Cost: None

Features: Home to One of the World’s Most Powerful Telescopes; Took Clearest Pictures Ever of Outer Space in 2007; Images Used in Google Sky; One of America’s Finest Scientific Achievements.


Palomar Mountain State Park

Location: Palomar Moutain (77 Miles / 1 Hour and 45 Minutes Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Dawn till Dusk

Cost: $6 per Vehicle; $15+ for Camp Sites

Features: Pine Tree Forest with Hiking Trails, Trout Fishing, and Camping.


Cleveland National Forest

Location: Cleveland National Forest (1 Hour Drive from the Coastal Areas of San Diego)


Cost: Most Visitors Will Need An Adventure Pass – $5 per Day or $30 per Year.

Features: Mountains, Meadows, Views of Ocean and Desert; Scenic Drives; Eagles; Falcons; Trails for Hiking, Biking, and Horseback Riding; Campground & RV Sites