As you drive up to Wander Palomar Mountain, you’ll pass stunning viewpoints and breathtaking landscapes. The house is located just outside the entrance to Palomar Mountain State Park and is a short drive away from several other nature preserves.
Each hike you take in the area will surprise you with spectacular sights. Here are a few places you should visit during your stay.
Palomar Mountain State Park
Photo by Palomar Mountain State Park Facebook Page
Distance from Wander Palomar Mountain: 5 miles
Location: 19952 State Park Rd, Palomar Mountain, CA 92060
Hours: Dawn until dusk
Phone: (760) 742-3462
Palomar Mountain State Park sits at an average elevation of 5,000 feet above sea level, making evenings cool even during the summer. The park has several hiking trails, ranging from easy to difficult.
Viewpoints from the various hikes offer panoramic views of the forests, deserts, and even the ocean in the distance. Day use fees are $10.00 per vehicle, cash or check only. Hiking trails are open to foot traffic only, and dogs and mountain bikes are unfortunately not allowed on trails.
Tip: For current fire restrictions, please call (760) 767-4037 before heading out to the park.
As you hike around, you’ll probably notice a large white dome amidst the mountainous landscapes. Unfortunately, due to ongoing pandemic restrictions the Palomar Observatory, it remains closed to the public. But, you are welcome to visit the observatory grounds to get a closer look at the giant white telescope dome.
Wilderness Gardens Preserve
Photo by Judd Wagner/AllTrails
Distance from Wander Palomar Mountain: 16 miles
Location: 14209 CA-76, Pala, CA 92059
Hours: 8AM-4PM Thursday-Tuesday; Closed Wednesday
Phone: (760) 742-1631
Wilderness Gardens Preserve is a 737-acre preserve that offers more than 4 miles of easy-to-moderate hiking trails and is boasted as a ‘’bird watcher’s paradise.’’
There is a $3 parking fee (make sure you bring cash). At the entrance, you’ll find portable restrooms and some picnic areas where you can enjoy snacks before or after your hike. Make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen!
Hellhole Canyon Preserve
Photo by Friends of Hellhole Canyon
Distance from Wander Palomar Mountain: 20 miles
Location: 19324 Santee Ln, Valley Center, CA 92082
Hours: 8:30AM-5PM Friday-Monday
Phone: (760) 742-1631
Hellhole Canyon County Preserve is a nearly-2,000 acre preserve that offers 13.5 miles of moderate-to-advanced trail opportunities.
The main trail will bring you down to Hell Creek. Beyond that, the trail becomes more challenging with steep climbs up towards Rodriguez Mountain. On a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean from the top of the mountain.
There are vault restrooms, potable water ports, a look-out point, and an amphitheater on site. If you want to catch some shade or settle down for a picnic, the Sycamore and Oak trees by Hell Creek are the perfect spot to do so.
Did you stumble upon a trail near the house that you think should be on this list? We'd love to hear more about it! Shoot Wander Concierge a text.