Fry Creek Campground

Palomar Mountain
Cleveland National Forest


Palomar Observatory


Cleveland National Forest
Attractions and Activities

Visitors to the Cleveland National Forest have many wonderful places to explore. Those camping at Fry Creek Campground are close to Palomar Observatory.

  • Hike 6.6 miles (round trip) to Cedar Creek Falls. the hike is of moderate difficulty. A $6 fee for each 5 people is required.
  • Try your luck fishing at Loveland Reservoir.
  • Join Star Parties at Laguna Mountain and Palomar Mountain.
  • Hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to Kitchen Creek Falls.
  • Enjoy the informative Kwaaymii Cultural Interpretive Trail.
  • Hike the 4.4-mile (round trip) Observatory Trail on Mount Palomar.
  • Ride your horse along the Barker Spur Trail from Palomar Divide Rd. to West Fork San Luis Rey River.
  • Enjoy the view from Henshaw Scenic Vista Observation Site on Highway S7.
  • relax with a picnic at San Luis Rey Picnic Site.
  • Visit San Diego County's Wilderness Gardens Preserve for scenic hiking and bird watching.

Key Fry Creek Campground Regulations

  1. Fires are only permitted in provided fire rings.
  2. Water: is in short supply so please conserve it.
  3. Dogs must be on leash and attended at all times.

Fry Creek Campground

Fry Creek Campground is near Palomar Observatory and Observatory Campground. Campers at Fry Creek can easily walk to Observatory Campground to take part in one of the popular star gazing events called Star Parties. The area around Fry Creek Campground rises above the Pauma Valley and is dense with evergreen and oak. Fry Creek is popular for birding and for hiking.

Most of the sites at Fry Creek Campground are standard campsites, while 6 are double sites. About two-thirds of the standard sites and all of the double sites are available for reservations. The remaining 10 sites are first come, first served.

Fry Creek Campground Basics
Fry Creek Campground Location: Off S6, Palomar Mountain east of Escondido
Elevation: 4,900 feet
Mileage/Driving Time: 84 miles NE of San Diego - 1:55
67 miles east of Escondido - 1:40
Number of Campsites: 20
Open - Closed: April through November
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 1, extra vehicle fee $8
Pets: On leash, always attended
Campground Information: (760) 788-0250

Reservations for Fry Creek Campground
Reservations available: whenever campground is open
Booking Window: from 8 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival
Maximum RV length - no trailers: 15 feet
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: None designated
Campground Map: Fry Creek Campground Map
Reservations: Fry Creek Campground Reservations
Fees: $15
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, Noon

Fry Creek Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring, no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, tap water
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Attractions near Fry Creek Campground: Participate in a Star Party at nearby Observatory Campground. Visit Palomar Observatory (open daily, drive or hike 2.5 miles). Enjoy local hiking trails. including the Fry Creek Trail loop. Find nearby bicycling routes.

General Camping Information

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.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate.

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