Doane Valley Campground is in Palomar Mountain State Park on the west side of Palomar Mountain, not far from the observatory.
The park is known for its large pine, cedar and fir trees, reminding visitors of the Sierra Nevada. From Highway 76 take either County Road S6 for a steep and scenic approach, or S7 from Lake Henshaw (17 miles) for a gentler grade. Campers enjoy walked to Doane Pond to fish and hiking to the summit of Boucher Hill where they gain wonderful vistas of the desert to the southeast and the ocean to the west.
With an average elevation of 5,000 feet, the park is cool in the evenings.
Some sites at Doane Valley Campground are tent-only. Doane Valley Campground also has a Hike and Bike site. Nearby is a Cedar Grove Group Campground.
Reservations become available 7 months in advance. Campsites are released in blocks of one month at a time on the first of each month, usually at 8 AM Pacific Time.
Flush and vault toilets, tap water, campfire circle
Yes, coin or token operated
Attractions near Doane Valley Campground:
Hike to nearby Doane Pond. Head up to the summit of Boucher Hill. Follow the Doane Valley Nature Trail. Visit Palomar Observatory.
ReserveCalifornia Reservations Tips
California State Parks' new reservation system - ReserveCalifornia - now allows campers "to make reservations 6 months to the day in advance of their arrival date." For example, on January 1 reservations can be made for stays beginning on July 1. In the past, reservations were released in one-month blocks. Now it is day by day. For months with fewer days than the month 6 months away, reservations for the remaining days will be released in a small cluster on the first of the next month. For example, on March 1 (because February is a short month) you can make reservations for stays beginning August 29-31. Read details at ReserveCalifornia.
General Camping Information for California State Parks
Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the reservation site when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.
Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.
Cedar Grove Group Campground
Cedar Grove Group Campground is located west of the Doane Valley Campground.
The campground has one large group site for between 9 and 25 people, along with 10 vehicles. It also has two smaller tent-only sites for groups between 9 and 15 people. These sites each have room for 5 vehicles.
The campground has restrooms with flush toilets, showers, tap water, picnic tables, and fire rings.
Reservations: Cedar Grove Group Campground Fees: large site $145, smaller sites $90
Hike & Bike Campsite
A Hike & Bike campsite is for one-night, transient use by hikers and cyclists as they pass through the park. Anyone planning on using these primitive sites should call ahead to be sure of their availability. Fees are $5 a person.