Thanks to Mike Johnson for his photo from Valley Center looking out to Nate Harrison Grade & Palomar Mountain, December 2007

Palomar Mountain Snow Tips and Pix
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NOAA Weather Forecast

Is it snowing?
It might be! Take a look:

South/West Crestline Webcam

State Park Road Webcam

Weather Station
State Park Road 5500 ft

Weather Station
Mendenhall Valley 4600 ft

FOR TOURISTS WANTING TO VISIT THE SNOW:

1. FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES with good tires and chains are recommended. Chains are sometimes REQUIRED. We often have lots of black ice and we have had many cars stranded, damaged, and towed.  This can be a very expensive trip to the snow$!$  This video was not taken on Palomar but it does give you a reality check of what can happen with black ice.

2. We have VERY LIMITED PARKING.   Park ONLY off the road in DESIGNATED PARKING AREAS, on the outside of the white lines.  The snow plow needs to get by.

3. GAS UP before you come up as we do not have a gas station.

4. We only have one restaurant and store.  Call for current hours and you can also see snow updates at their Palomar Mountain Snow Play on Facebook.

5. Please BRING YOUR OWN TRASH BAGS.  We do not have public trash cans.       Taking your trash back with you is much appreciated by all.

6. PLEASE RESPECT PRIVATE PROPERTY--Unlike Laguna and Julian where public forest land is near most roads, most property on Palomar is privately owned.
Please do not block any driveways, and please respect private property and 'No
Trespassing' signs.   Fences are there for a reason.  Crestline Road, Birch Hill, and
Bailey Road are private and "Residents Only".
 
7. Where to play?  In addition to Mother's Kitchen and the Store, at the top of the mountain, there is a day use park.  You can also go the State Park or the Observatory.

Thank you for observing The Golden Rule to make it a fun snow day for all.


FOR RESIDENTS AND WEEKENDERS:

The Southern California snow that we are treated to here on the Mountain can vary quite a bit from year to year as you can see from the Snow links above. 

Occasionally we have a lot of drama.  March of 2006 brought the biggest storm of the decade. High winds resulted in a lot of tree damage. Several of those broken branches took out power lines one evening, then the next morning or phone lines went dead. One of the cell towers was apparently out also. 

For some, it was a few days of adventure, but for those who relied on electricity, were low on propane, ran out of firewood, got their vehicles very snowed in, found themselves melting snow for water, or had their pipes freeze and break, it was a little taxing. Here are a few suggestions to make it a lot more fun during snow and power outages:

WINTERIZE It is very important to have your cabin or home ready for winter to avoid freezing pipes.  I'm glad to give ideas or see the Yellow Pages for our local guys who can do this for you, the Water Companies are of course a good resource.

THUNDERSTORMS IN THE FORECAST?  Best to unplug all appliances including computers, TV's, refrigerators (12 hours on, 12 hours off) and anything else at risk of frying in a thunderstorm.  Neighbors have lost all of the above leaving them plugged in.  Not fun.

FIREWOOD
  You might consider having a firewood supply of dry wood ready by Labor Day. Several people on the mountain sell and deliver firewood. See the Mountain Yellow Pages and click on Firewood. Like to cut your own wood? We usually have options for you for free firewood for the cutting to season for the coming years. Some is dry but most is green so what you would cut now won't be ready to burn for at least a year or two. Just let me know that you are interested in free oak to cut and I'll head you in the right direction.

PROPANE  It is a good idea to make sure your propane tank is full. Several weeks after the March storm, propane companies still could not get in to fill up the tanks. Some people have upgraded to larger tanks. Some people who didn't have propane for heat or cooking are making a change adding one of those efficient propane stoves that look like a wood burner and work even if the power goes out with no lugging firewood. You're invited to stop by and see ours - wonderful heat.  We got ours through the Pott Belly Shoppe in Ramona.

PARKING 
When we may have the slightest chance of a snow, some people have found it wise to back in their vehicle, facing on a public road that is plowed. They keep a shovel in the trunk so if the plow goes by and leaves a berm, they can dig out and take off.

WATCH WHERE YOU PARK In addition to parking out on a public road, it is wise to NOT park under oak trees especially.  Heavy, wet snow or ice storms bring down branches and trees that have been known to turn favorite vehicles into pancakes in less than a minute.   

SNOW PLOW BLADES  Several different companies sell snowplow blades that attach to 4 wheel drive vehicles. These could be a great investment for many people during these times when we do get more than the average snow. See  the Yellow Pages and click on Snow Plow Blades.

GENERATORS   When the power goes out, it sure is nice to be able to have a generator to turn on. There are Mountain guys on the Yellow Pages that can help you - check with Electricians, Contractors, or the Handymen.

LINES DOWN? Branches across trees? If you know of any other areas where lines or poles aren't looking like they should, be sure to call or report them - best not to assume that just because some emergency crews were working there clearing branches or trees, the utility companies were contacted. Easy to do on line or call: AT&T or dial 611 SDG&E 1-800-611-SDGE (7343)

PHONE SERVICE OUTAGE  Don't want to miss calls when phone services goes out occasionally? Add two services with AT&T:  With the "The Message Center" your calls are stored on AT&T's system, you aren't dependent on power to operate an answering machine, and you can check messages from any phone. I also have "Call Forwarding" to send my calls to my cell or office (wish my cell worked here! :)  Just a couple dollars a month.

ROAD CLOSURES 
If the Road is closed to residents only, you must have proper ID. In addition to your Palomar address on a driver's license, weekenders and property owners can  show a copy of a tax bill. You might just keep a copy in the glove compartment of your vehicles. Also, sometimes there is a 'Chain Check'. Sometimes residents in a 4 wheel drive are able to pass without putting chains on but you need to show that you have them.  See  the Yellow Pages for a great source for used ones.

NEED YOUR DRIVEWAY PLOWED?  There are a couple local guys available to plow.  See the Yellow Pages and go to Snow Removal.

In Gordon Stewart's Book, 'San Diego Back Country 1901', he writes;   
"Today we would not choose to live as we did; without plumbing and electricity; but a spell without them is worth much. It makes us appreciate what we have". 
He has a delightful few pages about life on Palomar a hundred plus years ago.  It might be a nice, relaxing option in front of your fireplace during the next snow.

Enjoy every minute!  Questions?  Let's connect!   Bonnie Phelps 


ROAD CONDITIONS

Sometimes our roads are closed because of potential mud slides, weather conditions or traffic accidents.  Here are some options for updates:

1. Call CHP and talk to    Dispatch 858 637-3800

2. www.caltrans.ca.gov 

3. http://cad.chp.ca.gov

4. Call the info line
    800 427-7623

5. Subscribe to the
Palomar Mountain e-News

Do you have helpful info to add?  Please send it my way or give me a call 760 742-1742. 
Suggestions and corrections are always welcomed.


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