Friday, June 6, 2014

Boucher Hill and Palomar Observatory

Hiked: 6/6/2014
Distance: Drive up
Summit Elevation: 5438' (Boucher), 5571' (Observatory)
Prominence: 278' (Boucher) Elevation Gain: 0'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.00
Round trip time: 0 minutes
Recommended water: 0 oz.
Parking/Fees: $8 State Parks (Boucher), Free at Observatory
Difficulty: Easy

A lookout point east of Palomar Mountain with a prominence of only 278', Boucher Hill is a drive up. You can make a hike out of it by doing a loop along some of the trails. The volunteers manning the fire watchtower invited me up to take a look and we talked about the history of the tower. It has been there since the 1920s and was recently rebuilt for the third time. The views were OK. I didn't stay long and proceeded on S7 to the Observatory. The Palomar Observatory has a huge 200 inch telescope owned and run by Caltech. It is open most days for visitors. I tried to get a good picture of the inside controls, but the dim light foiled my attempts. There was a smaller dome a short distance from the big one.

Fire watchtower on Boucher Hill

View from the tower

Meadow in Palomar State Park

Palomar Observatory dome with the Hale telescope

Entering the dome

Control room in the observatory

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