ACTIVITIESHike. Fish. Bike. Star Gaze. Or Kick Back and Do Nothing at all.
Bailey’s & Mount Palomar
For generations, Palomar Mountain has greeted visitors with breathtaking mountain scenery, meadows sprinkled with wildflowers, an amazing array of wildlife – and dark starry skies overhead!
Bailey’s spreads out over a very special piece of Palomar mountain. At 5500 feet above sea level, its 160 acres are wound through with beautiful and historic trails cut over the last 100 years or so by residents and visitors. A great place for hikes of all levels – from short easy walking trails to more strenuous hikes up to the ridge and beyond. Hiking Bailey’s is a beautiful way to get some fresh air and enjoy nature. Unique tree forms carved and shaped by Palomar’s intense weather and the many deer sightings on the mountaintop make for great photo ops as well.
The Old State Park Trail leads from Bailey’s proper to the 100 acre Historic Sunday School Flat. The Flat borders what is now Palomar Mountain State Park. A hike around these 100 acres takes you past the old barn and across acres of natural Fiddle Head Fern. For more adventure explore the boundary into The State Park itself. Up the switchback asphalted road and just a short hike across the field, you’ll find the boundary marked by a yellow State Park sign. About a quarter-mile across the divide lies the southeast end of the Chimney Flat Trail.
There is a road from the Mack place down through the edge of Chimney Flat to Sunday School Flat. Midway there is a level place on top of the ridge. At one time there was a schoolhouse here, but when I first passed that way the building was gone, but some benches, etc., were still left. If I remember rightly, one of the school benches still remaining had been made from cedar nicely smoothed and hand-carved.
Bailey Meadow in the snow
View from Sunday School Flat towards State Park boundary.
The Bailey’s 3 Catch and Release Ponds are stocked with Blue Gill, Catfish, and Largemouth Bass. Bring your gear or rent from us. No license required.
Dogwood in Bloom
Flora & Fauna
Lucky visitors may spot deer, fox, coyote, wild turkeys, hundred of species of birds including owls, hawks and eagles. Palomar Mountain boasts one of the most unique and bio-diverse regions in Southern California.
The local wildlife include squirrel, bobcat, fox, raccoon, coyote, deer, and the always elusive mountain lion. The bird life is rich and varied (we currently have a “herd” of 30 wild turkeys running amok in our valley) – a rewarding experience for “birders.” Try this site for more on Palomar’s Birds.
Palomar Mountain has a wonderfully diverse and rich forest environment. Topping out at 6100 feet above sea level, Palomar is part of California’s Coastal Mountain Range and is home to a rich mixture of oak, fir, pine and chaparral. Clear artesian springs and lush meadows spread across the valleys. We typically get snow as early as Thanksgiving and as late as May Day.
View from Sunday School Flat
“The Big Eye” – Palomar Observatory
Just 15 minutes from Bailey’s, Palomar Observatory is open to the public free of charge from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM everyday. Owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology it is home to the 200″ Hale Telescope. Designed and built in the 1930’s it is still a premier scientific instrument in use every night (weather permitting). You can view the telescope during the day, from a glass enclosed visitor’s gallery inside the 200″ dome building.
For more info visit CalTech’s Palomar site.
Dining & Shopping
Mother’s Kitchen & The Store is our local vegetarian eatery with excellent food and friendly service. Next door is The Store – a small selection of convenience store food and wonderfully eclectic curios. Mother’s kitchen Restaurant and The Store is located at the summit of the mountain, about 5 minutes from Baileys. They’ve been serving delicious, wholesome vegetarian food since 1977. After a hike at the state park, a drive or bicycle ride to the summit, a stop at Mother’s is a must!
For menus and more info visit motherskitchenpalomar.com
Enjoy Mount Palomar
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