Highpoint Access Drive

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required:
Less than two hours
Mostly Drive Up

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Highpoint Access Drive
Created On: Mar 20, 2008
Last Edited On: Mar 20, 2008

Getting There

Palomar Mtn
This is a different route than the one on the main page. This access is from the north from Hwy 79. I will start the directions from I-15 in Temecula. Get off the freeway and head east on Hwy 79 from Temecula. Go about 19 miles to the little town of Aquanga. Continue through the town to the intersection of Hwy 371. Stay on Hwy 79 about .3 mile to a paved road on your right that has a big new sign for Rancho California RV Resort. Set your Trip Odometer here and turn right towards the RV Resort. Enjoy the pavement for another .4 mile where there is a dirt road on your left.

This is a popular OHV area and there may be quads, 4WD’s, or dirt bikes in the area. Follow the main track of this dirt road. This is the High Point Truck Trail on the topo’s but it is marked as 9S09 on the road. This road becomes narrower as it climbs the mountain. At 3.0 miles you will pass a gate that may be closed at times by the BLM because of fires or snow. There are lots of forks off the main road, but stay on the main road. At 9.2 miles go right (left has another gate). If you are attentive you will be able to see the fire lookout tower on the summit after you come around the end of a ridge at elevation 5,100 ft.
Palomar Mtn

At about 11.3 miles you come to a fork in the road. Go right and then at 11.8 miles go sharply left. Continue up to the crest of the road at 12.3 miles where there is a white gate on your left. Park along the road in this spot, don’t head down to the observatory area.
Palomar Mtn

This road can probably be navigated by High Clearance 2WD if there is no snow and it hasn’t rained recently. It is narrow and passing another vehicle will be problematic. This is a long drive and takes about 45 minutes driving each way if there are no obstacles.
Palomar Mtn

Route Description

Once you have parked at the gate follow the dirt access road .35 mile to the summit. You will gain about 200 ft in elevation on the road and it will only be a about a 10 minute hike to the summit. If you want to visit the observatory, you will have to drive all the way back down and around to the other side of the mountain. At this time there is no public access from the observatory to the highpoint tower.

Essential Gear

Camera, lunch, and maybe a windbreaker in the winter.


Highpoint Access Drive

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