About Palomar


Operational Telescopes

From top to bottom, the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope. (Palomar/Caltech)

More on the Palomar telescopes, in particular the Hale Telescope, on our full website.

Hale Telescope

Decommissioned Telescopes

Visiting Palomar


Public Areas

Map of the Observatory showing the location of areas accessible to visitors. (Palomar/Caltech)

A virtual tour of the public areas is available on our full website.

Virtual tour

Before You Drive

On the Observatory Grounds

For Mobility-Impaired Visitors

Paved path that leads from the parking lot to the Hale Telescope dome. To the right, the Visitor Center's access ramp. (Palomar/Caltech)

Steps to the Visitors Gallery inside the Hale Telescope dome. (Palomar/Caltech)

Driving Directions

Find in Google Maps

Please be aware that some on-line and GPS programs can give incorrect directions to Palomar Observatory. We recommend consulting the Google Maps link given above.

Road Maps

Map of Southern California and Palomar Observatory. (Palomar/Caltech)

From Los Angeles or San Diego

From Palm Springs

On Arrival

Important Notes

From the Los Angeles area3 hours
From downtown San Diego 2 hours
From Escondido1 hour
From Temecula1 hour

Current Road Conditions


 The following options are available to Palomar Observatory visitors:

Self-Guided Tours

Most Palomar visitors will tour the accessible areas (see Visiting Palomar) on their own. To facilitate self-guided tours please listen to the mp3 tour podcast.

Tour podcast (9.2 Mb)

Public Guided Tours (Apr – Oct)

Educational Tours (Year-Round)

Presentations (Year-Round)

Important Notes

More on our full site