Palomar Mountain State Park may close after Labor Day


Palomar Mountain State Park, which contains some of the best campgrounds in San Diego County, will likely close after Labor Day, thanks to the state’s budget crisis, it was reported Sunday.

The 1,683-acre park is on a list of open spaces slated to be closed indefinitely after Labor Day, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The 31 camp sites at the Doane Valley Campground, long a favorite, were nearly full this past week. Retired park ranger Pat Valenta said that on summer weekends, he could sell the sites three times over.

The Cedar Grove Group Campground includes three separate areas. Group Camp 1 can accommodate up to 25 people and trailers and camper vans up to 21 feet. The other two camps accommodate up to 15 people each and are suitable for tent camping only, the Union-Tribune reported.

Gail Sevrens, acting supervisor of the Colorado Desert District of the state park system, which includes six parks or recreation areas in San Diego and Imperial counties, said no final decisions have been made, but some parks must close because of a 22 percent budget cut at the parks department.Decisions will be based primarily on revenue. Palomar Mountain State Park has only two small campgrounds, so it doesn’t bring in the cash like some others do. A site at Doane Valley costs $20 per night, but that rises to $30 Monday as part of a statewide increase in fees, the Union-Tribune reported.”Nothing is a done deal yet,” Sevrens said regarding park closings. “We’re still working on different scenarios and trying to meet our budget demands.”Anza-Borrego Desert State Park will probably escape the budget ax. At more than 600,000 acres, it would be impossible to keep people out. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park also is expected to stay open because of its popularity, the newspaper reported.

Sevrens said the parks department is working on a two-year plan, after which the situation would be re-evaluated.