Mount Palomar Observatory - Cycling

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This big 13-mile climb up Mount Palomar to the Palomar Observatory is designed for cyclists that want a challenging workout.

Written by

Taylor Reilly


13.0 miles

26 miles out and back

Destination Distance From Downtown

88.3 miles


5 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

3 hours


All Seasons

Dog Friendly


Land Website

Mount Palomar Climb



This big 13-mile climb up Mount Palomar to the Palomar Observatory is designed for cyclists who want a really challenging, yet rewarding workout. Nothing but uphill for 13 miles and nothing but fast downhill on the way back.

What Makes It Great

Every local San Diego cyclist seeks to accomplish this 6,140 ft peak. The "Tour of California" Stage 8 section also rides up Mount Palomar to the summit. This ride is not for everyone, and it is definitely one of San Diego's most challenging and toughest rides. But as aforementioned, it's definitely worth it! If you begin with the sunrise on a pretty day, you may even find yourself climbing through layers of thick fog before finally breaking through the cloud and seeing piercing blue skies and stunning airplane-like views. 

Who is Going to Love It

It's a good, consistent climb so those who love the challenge of uphill riding -- and a speedy descent after -- will love Mount Palomar. The ride is a classic test of power and strength, with plenty of incredible views to take in along the way. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

This ride gegins at the intersection Hwy 76 and Valley Center Drive in the Pauma Valley. 110 miles from LAX and 50 miles from San Diego International Airport.

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Mount Palomar Observatory

15728 California 76
Pauma Valley, CA, 92061
33.315903, -116.990664

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