$15 / night

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Activities

Established Camping

Fry Creek Campground

9 Reviews

About

National Forest

Cleveland National Forest

Overview

Fry Creek Campground is situated in the heart of Cleveland National Forest, uniquely located down the road from the world-famous Palomar Observatory. The fresh, clean air of the campground provides a refreshing getaway for visitors from San Diego and Los Angeles. The observatory, atop Palomar Mountain, boasts five high-tech telescopes, among them, the massive 200-inch Hale Telescope, was the world's largest effective telescope for about 45 years. The observatory is owned by the California Institute of Technology and astronomical research includes near-Earth asteroids and the study of distant galaxies.

Recreation

At Observatory Campground, the site across from Fry Creek, there's a popular astronomy event called Explore the Stars. Amateur astronomers gather here with their telescopes and share views of planets and constellations with visitors. The event takes place one weekend each month, April through October.

Facilities

A loop hike, great for exploring local flora and fauna, surrounds Fry Creek. The campground sits beneath a dense pine canopy, which is not ideal for stargazing, but Observatory Campground across the road has level cement platforms for telescopes and an amphitheater that's open to campers.

Natural Features

Fry Creek is at a 4,900 ft. elevation on Palomar Mountain. The area is dense with evergreen and oak, and is usually cooler than the surrounding area.

Nearby Attractions

The visitor center at Palomar Observatory is 2.2 miles away and can be accessed by road or by hiking trail. A restaurant and gift shop are onsite.

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Unknown
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Unknown

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Group
  • Tent Cabin

Features

For Campers

  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Phone Service
  • Drinking Water
  • Toilets
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

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Reviews

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5.0

out of 5

9 Reviews

K
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2021

Great spot!

Site 1. Slight uphill climb from the car. Nice overlooking spot. Lots of trees, bit of bugs. Weather was perfect. Spacious.

Site1
Month of VisitSeptember
m
Reviewed Jul. 15, 2021

Nice quiet campground

By quiet I mean not a lot of human noise, but the birds! So many talkative and beautiful birds to enjoy. We stayed here during the second weekend of July and while it was pretty hot, it was only about 1/3 of the way full and still very quiet. The only issue we had was the BUGS. Definitely prepare for mosquitos and other bloodsuckers while you are here. The creek was completely dry but plenty of bugs abound. Other than that, it was a beautiful place for a weekend stay. The observatory is about 2 miles away but it was closed, so we just explored around the campsite. One evening we took about a 15 minute walk to Observatory Campground down the road to enjoy the stars more since there is more of an open area there to do so. All in all, can’t wait to go back!

About 2/3 of the campsites are reservable online, with the remaining sites available as first come first served. It appears the FCFS sites are the less ideal, less shady, or harder to access sites(couple hundred feet or so from the designated parking spot), but still relatively nice.

SiteSite 5
Month of VisitAugust

Location

Fry Creek Campground is located in California

Detail location of campground

Directions

From Los Angeles, CA: head south on I-15 Fwy, go east on Hwy 76 for approximatley 20 miles, turn left onto South Grade Rd. (S6), follow South Grade up to the top of Palomar Mountain. Once at the top, turn left to continue on South Grade Rd/ Canfield Rd. Continue for approximately 2.5 miles and turn left into Fry Creek Campground, approximatley 0.25 miles past Observatory Campground. From San Diego, CA: Head north on I-15 Fwy, go east on Hwy 76 for approximatley 20 miles, turn left onto South Grade Rd. (S6), follow South Grade up to the top of Palomar Mountain. Once at the top, turn left to continue on South Grade Rd/ Canfield Rd. Continue for approximately 2.5 miles and turn left into Fry Creek Campground, approximatley 0.25 miles past Observatory Campground.

Address

S6
Palomar mountain, CA

Coordinates

33.345 N
116.88 W

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