Observatory Campground

Cleveland National Forest

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South Grade Road
Palomar Mountain, CA 92060
Official Website

GPS: 33.3428, -116.8764

Last Price Paid: $15
Number of Sites: 42
Pad Type: asphalt
Reservations: Yes
Open Seasonally: Yes
Max Length: 32 ft

1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Site Quality
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Deke and Tiffani
Culver City, CA 17' VW Eurovan 2010 Airstream (Previous) CCD International
85 reviews
Camper icon Supporter
Nightly rate: $15
Days stayed: 2
Site Number: 29

Deke and Tiffani would stay here again

“Beautiful location high in the mountains, but I'd only stay again if I was in a trailer... the bathrooms are really bad. ”

Reviewed Nov 19, 2016

Overall Rating

Note: We stayed here in a tent. We wanted to check out the Palomar Observatory and were planning on staying at the Palomar Mt State Park, but saw that the Observatory had their own Campground in the Cleveland National Forest, so we decided to stay here (it's called the Observatory Campground because it has a direct 2 mile trail that leads to the actual Observatory). The park is beautiful, however the Camp Host (in 3 days we never saw them and there were maybe 3 people in the whole park) or whomever runs the show is not doing their job. The garbage cans are all full and the bathrooms are seriously the worst Ive ever seen. Which is too bad because the spots are beautiful, full of trees and privacy. I'd stay here again, but only if I had my own bathroom. The road up to the State Park, The Observatory Campground and the Observatory is incredibly steep and nothing but hairpin turns... so they dont suggest taking big rigs up there. Therefore, the sites are small (we saw one B Class and the rest were tents).

There's one store a few miles away to get the basics and a few miles from that is a natural artesian water spring. Then there's the Observatory. Its fantastic! It has a picnic area, a visitor's center and you can walk through the building with the 200" telescope and its got a glass wall so you can watch everyone do their thing inside -- its really pretty neat. Also, the staff is really friendly.

Site Quality

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  • dry camping
  • recreation trail
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • restrooms: onsite
  • showers
  • trash
  • water available
  • pets


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