Nate Harrison Grade

Total Miles
8.2

Elevation

1,582.78 ft

Duration

--

Technical Rating

2

Easy

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Nate Harrison Grade is a dirt backroad into Palomar Mountain State Park. This trail leads from the scenery of typical Southern California scrubland up to lush forests and mountain views. Throughout the route, you'll encounter loose rocky areas and several deep ruts. The trail is mostly non-technical, with several minor challenges caused by seasonal erosion. Snow and rain can cause noticeable differences in the trail between visits. This route can be taken up or down the mountain; be aware there are many narrow stretches of the trail as well as tight switchbacks that can make passing difficult. Full-sized turnouts are infrequent. High clearance will provide an advantage but is not necessary.

Photos of Nate Harrison Grade

Nate Harrison Grade
Nate Harrison Grade
Nate Harrison Grade

Difficulty

While there are some asphalt/gravel sections of the trail, much of the route is unmaintained and can change drastically between wet seasons. Always come prepared. Most challenging sections can be easily maneuvered around if the right line is taken.

History

s named after Nathaniel Harrison, a freed slave who, according to local legend, was the first African-American to live in San Diego County. He built a cabin along the original dirt road and would offer food, spring water, and a place to rest to travelers headed up the mountain.

Technical Rating

2

Status Reports

Human Family
Apr 20, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Jeff Steffens
Apr 03, 2024
4x4
Open
Normal
Saw 1 car going up. A few others on the way down that were paragliding halfway up the trail.
J D
Mar 31, 2024
2022 Toyota Tacoma
Open
Muddy/Wet
Very muddy in 4-5 spots. Photo is typical of mud obstacles encountered. This is in addition to 2-3 slushy spots at the top of the mountain. Typically an easy 2WD trail but AWD/ 4WD highly recommended this day.
Brandon Campbell
Mar 29, 2024
4x4
Open
Muddy/Wet
Washboard
Rough/Deteriorated

Access Description

Turn on to Nate Harrison Grade Road from Highway 76. You'll drive on paved road through an orange grove for several miles before encountering the start of the dirt trail. Avoid taking any turns you are unsure of as they will likely lead to private property.

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