New Trail Alert

New Trail at Palomar Arboretum in San Diego County

Something new to do in 2020: Check out the vastly improved trail at the Edward and Frances Hunter Arboretum on Palomar College’s San Marcos campus. Recently opened in late September, the preserve has a spanking-new irrigation system in addition to refurbished trails, which are also ADA accessible.

Though the total trail length is about 1 mile (you will actually log 1.5 or more depending on your “root” of choice), you can easily spend hours among the over 600 arboreal species that represent all major continents.

Hike Palomar College Arboretum

The specimens are labeled and color-coded (yellow for threatened, red for endangered or extinct in the wild) for an enhanced botanical interpretive hiking experience.

Park at the lot ($5 all day, or use ParkMobile to pay per hour) in front of the colorful planetarium (look for the “galaxy garden”), which hosts evening astronomy shows, and head for the path, marked by a plaque-covered rock and a map (take a photo of the many trail branches).

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Start at the arched brick sculpture covered in multicolored glass conveniently named New Beginnings (James Hubble), though it was originally constructed in the 1960s. Take the lower left path to first check out the Oak Gulch loop, of which the riparian environment may be the most familiar to Southern California visitors.

After looping back, take the upper left trail heading past another vibrant brick and tile art installation (Life Cycle) toward the Hawaiian gardens section. Here you will find lush palms, bamboo, and a few of your first critically threatened species, including the red-orange flowers of the Oahu riverhemp.

Hike Palomar Arboretum

Return to the Hubble sculpture and this time climb up the switchbacks/stairs toward the massive roots of a glorious Moreton Bay fig—grab a seat for prolonged viewing. Then, continue on through an unexpected pine forest to enjoy views over San Marcos to your right, and a meadow trail leading you to a viewpoint of the famous Palomar “P” on a hill to your left.

Head back down the switchbacks and go left to your final stop through Australian and Native gardens. There is an especially large amount of variety here from other parts of the world too—a few Weekend Sherpa favorites include the Queensland bottle tree, ginkgo biloba (maidenhair tree), hoop pine, and Tecate cypress.

To get to the Palomar Arboretum and parking lot, take the I-15 or I-5 to the CA-78. Exit Las Posas Rd. and head north. At the first major street (Mission Rd.), take a right, followed by the first left onto Comet Circle, depositing you on Palomar’s campus and leading you to the arboretum and lot.

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Truly Grand Day Hike

    One of the best spring day hikes in the Grand Canyon? See layer upon layer of the park’s grandeur—including the river—on this 3-mile (one-way) journey to Skeleton Point via the South Kaibab Trail.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Eucalyptus Loop

    Forest bathing among Australian trees and biting into tasty Australian meat pies—head to the 3.25-mile Eucalyptus Loop in Chino Hills and end with Aussie meat pies at a great local bakery.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Stairstruck in Hollywood

    Beachwood Canyon in Hollywoodland has an action-packed adventure with A-list workouts, big-budget views, and a stair-studded cast. Running time is 1.25 miles with five staircases

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Do it Yourself Walking Tour of Solvang

    Solvang has long been described as a “little slice of Denmark in Southern California." Experience the historic village on a 3-mile walk that explores the architecture, food, wine, and green space.

    View

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tam It All

    The hills have gone green just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, and this 7.5-mile lollipop loop hike passes through some of Mount Tam’s lushest spots, with bridges, creeks, a waterfall, and big views.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Headlands Over Heels

    People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Get a dramatic and novel view of the bridge without all the people on this moderate 6-mile hike in the Marin Headlands.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    Wildflower Hiking Guide

    California’s wildflowers will be lovely this spring! So how do you find the best in bloom? Check out POST’s complimentary Wildflower Guide to find the best hiking trails with wildflowers.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story

    Ohlone Time

    Keep this epic East Bay hike on your radar for wildflowers and a waterfall that only comes to life after rain. Get wayyy back in the Ohlone Wilderness among big hills and scenery, and Murietta Falls.

    View