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 higher elevation mountain range of the Peninsular Ranges System, located in northern San Diego County, 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).
  • Palomar Mountain

Natural history[edit]

The upper elevations of the Palomar Mountain Range have notably different habitats than its lower elevation foothills. The lower regions are in the California montane chaparral and woodlands sub-ecoregion, adapted to the xeric/dry Mediterranean climate with chaparral and woodlands flora. The higher regions are in the California mixed evergreen forest sub-ecoregion, with California black oaks, closed-cone pines, firs, and other California oaks and conifers.[3] Higher elevations receive considerably more moisture than the coastal and inland valley lower slopes, with 30–60 in (76–152 cm) of precipitation.[4] They can also receive snow from winter storms.[3]


Palomar Observatory

The Palomar Observatory was completed on the summit of Palomar Mountain in 1936. The peak's high elevation, and remoteness from light pollution then, allowed for excellent astronomy and star viewing.

Palomar Mountain State Park

The Palomar Mountain State Park protects much of the range's native plant and animal habitat that is located 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" (PDF). 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]