The Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain, is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch Hale Telescope, the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch telescope.
Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions. Conceived of almost a hundred years ago, Palomar Observatory has been at the forefront of astronomical research since mid-century.
Today, the Observatory operates every clear night and is an iconic facility for scientific advancement, instrument development, and student training. The different sections of this website touch on the various aspects of the Observatory—the place, the science, the tradition, and the people who have made it special—as well as provide information on visiting logistics and how to get involved in its continuing mission.
There is a nice trail that you can take to or from here called the Observatory Trail. It has some great lookout points along the way! Also consider taking the alternative route up to Palomar via the historic Nate Harrison Grade! It’s a dirt road so make sure to check the weather conditions beforehand!
The telescope is immense but unfortunately very difficult to photograph!