Phone: (760) 742-3317
Gift Store and Museum Hours:
W & F 9AM - 4PM // Th 12PM - 4PM
Sat/Su 9AM - 5PM // Closed M & Tu
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
The Mission San Antonio de Pala was founded on June 13, 1816 as an asistencia ("sub-mission") to Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. It is the only historic mission facility still serving a Mission Indian tribe.
The mission was built by forced labor of the Pala band which is a mix of Luiseño and Cupeño people. The two bands were expelled from their ancestral homes in the early 20th century.
Before 1810, the Natives lived their lives with very little contact from any outsiders. They had occupied this land for thousands of years.
As the colonizing began with the Spanish, Mexicans and later Americans, bad blood was quickly fueled. American officials in San Diego later decided to tax the Cupans $600 which was brought with great resentment.
In 1816, Fr. Antonio Peyri ordered a chapel to be built on the land in order to serve their religion to the indigenous folks who lived there.
Father Peyri would visit Pala once a week to offer the Mass and other sacraments for the Christian Natives who lived there.
There are some beautiful, scenic views just east of the cemetery which will take you up to Palomar Mountain!