Drove to the summit using the HPS Section "route 1" on the way to a work retreat, and while experimenting with driving a pickup truck as a possible solution to my dirt-road woes. The drive took nearly 2 hours from bottom to top to bottom, and I'm not exactly an overly-cautious slow driver. To be honest the scenery wasn't that spectacular either. The area around the observatory is much more scenic. So unless one wants to "bag" this peak for list or prominence purposes, I don't think it is worth it, to be honest.
This was part of a month long solo peakbagging trip in which I hiked every day and got 70 peaks in 30 days. Why is the road closed every time I'm in CA? I hiked the 13 mile route in 3.5 hours round-trip (plus another half hour of non-moving time). There was a fresh burn at the top which looked like a controlled burn.
For numerous photos and brief route descriptions see the trip report.
Heard but never saw any rattlesnakes. The observatory was very cool.
Drove up to the last gate, which was closed, and hiked from there. No one in the lookout tower. Got some great photos at sunrise.
Drove to the top. My youngest son fell on the steps of the observatory and wailed for about 30 minutes and most of the way down.
Drove to the top.
Did the hike to High Point from the Oak Grove Fire Station. Nice climb, but we encountered sleet, 40 mph winds and 23 degrees with the wind chill at the tower.
I live in VC with an incredible view of Palomar Mountain. Been to the top many times!
Knocked around a lot on Palomar, including the short hike to the high point from the Palomar Divide Rd.
A nice long hike from the Fire Station at the base. There are Giant Sequoias on top, how awesome is that?!?!
My wife and I drove to the gated service road just beneath the summit. There was one other car at this location and we hiked with them 200 vertical feet to the summit tower. The road was muddy in spots and would be problematic for a 2wd when wet as it is mostly wide enough for one car.
After climbing Eagle Crag in the morning. Long drive up and back on the dirt road.
Great hiking opportunities at the top.
Climbed from Oak Grove up the trail to Oak Grove Rd, thence to the Divide Road, then followed to High Point. A coating of snow near the top was very nice to see. Saw nobody the entire day.
Part of an SDC peak roundup day - drove up Palomar at night after hiking Combs. Loooong dirt road, 2hrs RT driving time from the 79. Insane wind at the top scared me off the tower haha.
Nice mountain, great observatory on top. Nice hikes around.
Spent a wonderful afternoon hiking. Did the Boucher hill/Scott's cabin loop. Still a good bit of fall color. Ran in to some mule deer (Not literally). I was not typically San Diego terrain (That's a Good thing). Lots of poison oak! Great hiking/great place!
A drive to the summit and a visit of the observatory makes for a wonderful winter day trip.
Drove the crappy dirt road to the summit. 16 miles of about the worst road I've ever driven.
The road from the north in Aguanga was closed as was the road from Oak Grove, so we drove up the Palomar Divide Road. It went well. Drive up took about an hour, then a hike of about 45 minutes, then a slow drive down. All in all, not too bad. But I got lucky: the next day my timing belt in my truck went out! I shudder to think the tow cost if it had blown while up on this narrow road.