Fry Creek Campground

Palomar Mountain
Cleveland National Forest

Palomar Observatory

Cleveland National Forest
Attractions and Activities

Visitors to the Cleveland National Forest enjoy a wide range of scenic places to visit.

  • Hike to Cedar Creek Falls - difficult, fee permit required
  • Fishing at Loveland Reservoir
  • Star Parties at Laguna Mountain and Palomar Mountain
  • Hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to Kitchen Creek Falls.
  • Kwaaymii Cultural Interpretive Trail
  • Hike the 4.4-mile (round trip) Observatory Trail on Mount Palomoar.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy a picnic at San Luis Rey Picnic Site
  • Visit San Diego County's Wilderness Gardens Preserve for scenic hiking and bird watching.

Key Cleveland National Forest Camping Regulations

  1. Fires in fire rings only.
  2. Water: Conserve water.
  3. Dogs must be on leash.

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 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.

Campground Basics
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 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
Reservations: Fry Creek Campground
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
Nearby attractions: Participate in a Star Party at nearby Observatory Campground, visit Palomar Observatory (open daily, drive or hike 2.5 miles), hiking trail, bicycling routes, Fry Creek Trail

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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