San Diego California Visitor Information

Palomar Observatory

The Palomar Observatory is located in north San Diego County, California. It is a world-class center of astronomical research that is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology.

The observatory is home to five telescopes that are nightly used for a wide variety of astronomical research programs. The research is conducted by Caltech’s faculty, post-doctoral fellows and students, and by researchers at Caltech’s collaborating institutions.

The Palomar Observatory is open to the public daily (except December 24 and 25) for daytime visits. The observatory will be closed if travel conditions are hazardous. Whenever possible our Public Information Recording phone number- (760) 742-2119-will be updated to reflect any closures.

The observatory is open daily except December 24 and 25. Visiting hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. while Daylight Savings Time is observed and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. while on Standard Time.

During open hours visitors may take self-guided visits to the 200-inch Telescope. The gallery in the 200-inch dome affords visitors a view of the Hale Telescope.

The Observatory is located within the Cleveland National Forest on Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County at an elevation of 5,500 feet above sea level.

Palomar Observatory
35899 Canfield Road
Palomar Mountain
CA 92060-0200

Please note that most on-line & GPS programs give incorrect directions for reaching the observatory. Please us the directions below:
To reach Palomar from the LA or San Diego areas, exit Interstate 15 at state highway 76 eastbound. Follow the signs to Palomar Mountain. Twenty five miles from the interchange, County Road S-6 (also known as South Grade Road) exits (5 miles past Valley Center Road) in a “Y” to the left and climbs to the Palomar summit. S-6 ends at the Observatory gates.

To reach the observatory from the Palm Springs Area take Route 74 west to 371 south, then Route 79 east & south (toward Indio), then Route 76 west to S7 up to Palomar Mountain and after 11 miles on S7 bear right onto S6 another 4.5 miles to the Observatory parking lot.

For more information visit Palomar Observatory

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