Located within earshot of the famous Palomar Observatory, this well-named campground offers visitors numerous camping outlets such as RV parking stations, well-defined tenting areas―and electric outlets themselves. And be sure to take the scenic two-plus mile hike to the California Institute of Technology's main attraction which the campground itself is named after. However, be sure to book your next visit online at least eight-days in advance; you’ll be counting your lucky stars that you did.
Campsite area
Tent or motorhome pitches
28 sites
Up to 8 guests per site
Up to 6 vehicles
No wheelchair access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Showers available
No picnic table


Offered near the campground.


When’s the last time you tried your hand at some good ol fashioned trout fishing? If it was a while ago or even yesterday, the ...Read more


Let’s get down to the real business of Palomar Mountain SP, and that’s the gorgeous multitude of hiking trails available for ev...Read more


If you have the guts to venture out into the remote Barker Valley in the corner of Palomar Mountain, you’ll be rewarded with hi...Read more

Wildlife watching

OK, what’s a dense forest without some great wildlife accompaniment? It’s like a musical without music. Thankfully the musical ...Read more


Natural features you'll find at Observatory Campground.

River, stream, or...
Swimming hole
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33 Reviews

No one? Bueller? Sharing is caring, y'all.
Drop some Observatory Campground knowledge on us.
Hipcamper Maria
Maria H.
didn't provide a recommendation.
July 31st, 2020

Too many bugs!! I would say invest in a mosquito canopy. That's what I'll do next time. At some point we had to eat in the car because the bugs kept following us.

Hipcamper Joey
Joey M.
didn't provide a recommendation.
June 26th, 2018

There is no service here at the campsite. The Observatory Trail is a great hike, but check Observatory hours if you are looking for a tour. They are limited.

Hipcamper Aimee
Aimee H.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
July 6th, 2017

This place is beautiful and has water, showers, and bathrooms. Some of the spots are away from the parking lot and a little feel more private. My biggest complaint here is the bugs! I understand that bugs come with camping but this is out of control. Our camping neighbors were surprised by them as well. I was coverd in mosquito and flea bites after one night and I used bug spray with deet. There were also a very persistent swarm of flies that would not go away until after the sun was down and would be right back in the morning. At least they didn't bite.
If there was some type of bug control this campground would be an A+

Hipcamper Adam
Adam K.
recommends this listing.
April 29th, 2017

They don't (as of 4/28/17) sell firewood at the campground. Bring your own

Hipcamper Natalia
Natalia R.
recommends this listing.
March 26th, 2017

Great mountain getaway! The observatory is nearby for a daytime visit. Lots of shade, so prepare for cooler temps even in summer time. Beautiful skies in the mountain, but you need to hike a little to see it because of the trees.

Hipcamper Kevin
Kevin P.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
February 7th, 2017

Bring bee and fly traps when we were there they were out of control!?

Hipcamper Jesse
Jesse S.
didn't provide a recommendation.
July 14th, 2016

Fun place to camp up in the mountains, especially if you like astronomy. There are concrete pads at some of the sites for you to set up your telescope! Nice hike from the campsite up to the observatory. And be sure to look for the giant pinecones!

Hipcamper Dandrew A.
recommends this listing.
September 6th, 2018
Hipcamper Brittany A.
doesn't recommend this listing.
September 16th, 2018
Hipcamper Marcel F.
recommends this listing.
October 23rd, 2018
Hipcamper Luke H.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
October 28th, 2018
Hipcamper Emily L.
recommends this listing.
November 7th, 2018
Hipcamper Thaddeus K.
recommends this listing.
February 14th, 2019
Hipcamper Crystal P.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
June 5th, 2019
Hipcamper Sue G.
recommends this listing.
July 13th, 2018
Hipcamper Joey M.
recommends this listing.
June 23rd, 2018
Hipcamper Anthony C.
recommends this listing.
June 22nd, 2018
Hipcamper Jessica O.
recommends this listing.
June 14th, 2018
Hipcamper Ian M.
recommends this listing.
May 20th, 2018
Hipcamper Justine Y.
recommends this listing.
April 10th, 2018
Hipcamper Shalimar C.
recommends this listing.
January 1st, 2018
Hipcamper Cristina R.
recommends this listing.
November 22nd, 2017
Hipcamper Jason R.
recommends this listing.
November 7th, 2017
Hipcamper Kara K.
recommends this listing.
September 20th, 2017
Hipcamper Joshua H.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
September 13th, 2017
Hipcamper Jenna P.
recommends this listing.
June 3rd, 2017
Hipcamper Matt B.
recommends this listing.
May 6th, 2017
Hipcamper Jordan B.
recommends this listing.
May 1st, 2017
Hipcamper Erika A.
recommends this listing.
April 21st, 2017
Hipcamper Andrea P.
recommends this listing.
April 21st, 2017
Hipcamper Angelo S.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
March 25th, 2017
Hipcamper Christine S.
recommends this listing.
February 24th, 2017
Hipcamper Kevin N.
recommends this listing.
February 6th, 2017
Palomar Mountain State Park
United States
Phone Number
(760) 742-3462
View on Google Maps
Official Website
View Website
33.343° N, 116.877° W
Unknown price
Tent / RV / Trailer: 28 Sites
(Up to 8 people per site)