Observatory Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Trail Views



5.2 miles of local trails


Campfires are not allowed when elevated fire restrictions are in effect. Please see our current fire restrictions page for more details.


Adventure Pass Required for day use only, not required for camping


Coin operated hot showers, flush toilet, vaulted toilet, picnic tables, water


To book one of the 42 sites, please visit Recreation.gov

Best Seasons

Open year round


Palomar Mountain, CA 92060

Ranger District

Palomar Ranger District - (760) 788-0250



With a nearby world-class observatory, lots of amenities, and access to the scenic Observatory Trail, its no wonder the Observatory area comes to life during the summer. Listen to the sounds of wildlife while roasting smores, or partake in fun activities like Star Parties where use of the renowned Hale Telescope allow visitors to explore the night sky. Get outdoors and explore all the area has to offer. Good for weekends and holidays, but reservations do fill up fast.

There are a total of 42 sites, 36 single sites and six doubles.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: This site can be reserved by calling toll free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777) or on-line at http://www.recreation.gov
Reservations: The 32 campsites are available by reservation on http://www.recreation.gov/  Reservations must be made 8 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance.
Area Amenities: Accessible,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets
Fees Fees: $15/night for single unit, $30/night for double unit, $5/night for extra vehicle. A Forest Adventure Pass is required for day use, but is not required for camping.  No Walk Up Campsites are available from 7/15/2020 to 12/31/2020. No exceptions.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Vehicles 32 ft. max.
Closest Towns: Santa Ysabel, CA
Water: Water
Restroom: Coin operated hot showers, Flush Toilet (1), Vault Toilet (2)
Operated By: Forest Service

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Day Hiking

Outdoor Learning

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Picnic tables
Fee charged for some activities coin operated hot showers
Accessible six (6) sites are accessible
Areas & Activities


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