Palomar Mountain Range

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Palomar Mountain Range
Highest point
Elevation 6,140 ft (1,870 m)
Country United States
State California
Range coordinates 33°21′N 116°54′W / 33.35°N 116.9°W / 33.35; -116.9Coordinates: 33°21′N 116°54′W / 33.35°N 116.9°W / 33.35; -116.9

The Palomar Mountain Range is a high Peninsular mountain range in northern San Diego County of Southern California. The name, which means pigeon roost in Spanish, was given to it due to the prevalence of band-tailed pigeons.[1]

The peaks are about 3,000 to 6,000 feet (914 to 1,829 m) above sea level, and include:

  • 'High Point' being the pinnacle of the range at 6,140 feet (1,871 m).[2]
  • Birch Hill (5,710 ft or 1,740 m)
  • Boucher Hill (5,436 ft or 1,657 m).

Natural history[edit]

The upper Palomar Mountain range has a marked contrast to the surrounding xeric chaparral and woodlands in its foothills, with California black oaks, closed-cone pines, firs, and other California oaks and conifers in the higher altitudes.[3] This is due to the upper regions receiving considerably more moisture than the coastal lowlands, with 30–60 in (76–152 cm) of precipitation falling on the higher elevations.[4] The upper mountain areas can receive snowfall during winter storms.[3]


Palomar Observatory

The high elevation of the range allows for excellent astronomy and star viewing, which lead to the establishment on Palomar Mountain of the Palomar Observatory in 1936.

Palomar Mountain State Park

The Palomar Mountain State Park protects much of the native plant and animal habitat of the range on Palomar Mountain. It also provides recreation activities, such as hiking and camping. The higher areas in the park serve as a cooler natural retreat from the hot summers of Southern California.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Catherine M. Wood. "Palomar from teepee to telescope". San Diego, California: Frye & Smith, 1937. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  2. ^ "Subsection M262Bo - Palomar - Cuyamaca Peak". USDA, Forest Service. Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Bailey's Palomar Resort". Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2007-08-16. 

External links[edit]