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Located about 30 miles from the Pacific Coast, between Los Angeles and San Diego, CA, is Palomar Mountain State Park. This state park is convenient to visit when you book an RV in San Diego County, as the park offers a wonderful retreat from city life. As the name suggests, Palomar Mountain State Park is located around Palomar Mountain, which is covered in dense trees and offers spectacular views of the night sky when the weather is clear.
Palomar Mountain State Park has a rich history, so be sure to spend time motorhome camping here, so you have plenty of time to explore. Palomar Mountain can be traced back over many millennia, with various local native groups living on and near the mountain over time. In 1798 the Spanish colonists established Mission San Luis Rey and named the mountain. Over time the mountain and lands surrounding it passed through many owners, eventually becoming the park we know today after the Civilian Conservation Corps helped create it in 1933.
RV camping at Palomar Mountain State Park will reward you with plenty of outdoor activity possibilities, including hiking, biking, star gazing, wildlife watching, and more. Hiking is one of the more popular activities at the park, and guests who like to really stretch their legs can enjoy many miles of hikes through diverse terrain. There are many hikes for different skill levels, so be sure to consult the trail map ahead of time to pick those that are appropriate for you.
Biking is also allowed on some of the hiking trails, just make sure you obey posted signs when necessary. Whether you are out biking or hiking, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife throughout the park. Many unique and interesting wildlife species call this park home, and the quieter you are while exploring the forests of the park, the higher your chances of spotting wildlife are.
One of the main attractions for campers who rent a camper near Palomar Mountain State Park is the nighttime stargazing and outstanding views from the many vistas. There is an observatory on the mountain that is one of the best in the greater area, and campers are encouraged to bring their own binoculars and telescopes while visiting the park. Guided tours are sometimes provided to the Boucher Hill Fire Lookout Tower, so when the chance arises, this tower is a must-see for any fans of panoramic views.
There are a few different campground choices when renting an RV to see Palomar Mountain State Park. After arriving at the park with your motorhome head to the Observatory Campground on the southeastern side of the park. This campground doesn't have a large number of campsites but allows reservations to be placed on sites within a camping season. The maximum RV length allowed is 32 feet, and each campsite has its own fire ring, grill, and picnic table. Additionally, each campsite has a small level concrete pad to place a telescope on.
Other campsites to stay at while staying at Palomar Mountain State Park in a rental RV include the Oak Knoll Campground and the Doane Valley Campground. Neither of these campgrounds offers electric or water hookups for RVs, but centrally located water pumps and dump stations can be accessed by all campers. Depending on the type of camping situation you are seeking, based on privacy level and access to nearby features like hiking trails, you’ll want to call ahead and get recommendations from park rangers on where to consider camping with an RV.
One of the closest decent-sized towns near Palomar Mountain State Park is Temecula, which is a great place to get gas, groceries, and explore some local attractions. This town is home to many diverse restaurants, with an emphasis on Mexican and Southern California styles. Also in Temecula is the Temecula Valley Museum, which focused on regional history in regard to both natural and human events. Near this museum is the Indian Regional Center and Pennypickle’s Workshop, both interesting places to see while in town.
Heading south along the coast will bring you to San Diego, a must-see for exciting museums, restaurants, and gorgeous beaches. San Diego is home to many zoo-type attractions, including the Living Coast Discovery Center, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, and many shoreline exhibits with wild animals. Spending time along Mission Bay Park will typically reward you with glimpses of seals, while the Cabrillo National Monument is a great way to see the city skyline over the water.
For even more modern attractions, head north along the coast to Los Angeles. Here you’ll find hundreds of restaurants in nearly any style and type of food you could desire. Los Angeles is also home to a few famous museums, including the Long Beach Museum of Art, the California Science Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Japanese American National Museum, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, and many more. Between Los Angeles and San Diego, you’ll be able to find nearly any modern attraction, which makes it so convenient when you are RV camping at Palomar Mountain State Park.