Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pallomar Observatory

Thursday, February 11, 2016
It is going to be another hot day, so instead of staying in the desert, we decided to drive to the mountains.
After breakfast, we drove into town and gassed up at Gringo’s gas station and then straight west out of town,
Heading west out of Borrego Springs
making a left and up into the mountains on S22 (Montezuma Valley Road). 
This road zig-zags all the way over the Vallecito Mountains west of Borrego Springs.  You could see all of the valley below from the road.
Borrego Springs Valley
While driving through the small village of Ranchita we saw Big Foot.
Big Foot
Once over the mountains, we entered the Cleveland National Forest.  Drove past Lake Henshaw
Lake Henshaw
and on to the top of Palomar Mountain where the Palomar Observatory is located.  On the drive up the mountain, we could see the mountains and hills below all the way to the ocean.  Be the closest we get to the ocean on this trip.
The yellow at the top is the sun bouncing off the Pacific OceanPacific Ocean from afar
The observatory closes at 3 P.M. and we got there a little after 2, so we had to hurry before the gates closed for the evening.
Pallomar Observatory
Dolly coming out of Pallomar Observatory
You could see snow on the tops of the San Bernadino Mountains to the north.   We are at 5600 and those mountains are around 11,500 feet.
San Bernadion Mountains
Here is Dolly and Fergie standing under this very large pine tree at the observatory.
Dolly and Fergie under large pine tree
On the way back home, we drove hwy 78 through the quaint town of Julian, located at the top of the Vallecito Mountains.  Turned on to S3 (Yaqui Pass Road) and followed it back to Borrego Springs.  This is the pass that Dolly and I saw Big Horn sheep crossing the road at dusk.
Made it home by 5 P.M. and called it a night.
See you later.


  1. You know, I've lived in Southern California for nearly 64 years and I have yet to visit the Palomar Observatory! And, now it is in our backyard! Got to get there this summer, after I retire!
    Cheryl Ann

  2. The drive is beautiful. The roads are very winding all through those mountains. By the time I drove there and back for a total of about 150 miles, I was tired of zigging and zagging. Be sure to go on to Julian if you have the time. Quaint tourist village.

    I didn't go in, but Dolly did. I watched the dogs. They allow dogs up to the building on leash, but not inside. It is a one time adventure.