Julian: Best Place to Hike, Worst Place to Apple Pick

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“It doesn’t snow in San Diego.”

False.  Although it snows about every 50 years in the city of San Diego, it snows almost every year in Julian.

Julian, California

Julian is one of those strange places that doesn’t feel like San Diego.  It is located North East of the city separating coast from dessert.  Southern Californians refer to it as the mountains, because it rests at 4,200 ft above sea level.

A jumping photo was necessary
A jumping photo was necessary

Hiking in Julian

Sick of the trails Torrey Pines State Park has to offer, My friend and I decided to move our Sunday hike to Julian.  Boy was the Julian scene different!  Where as any hike in San Diego, whether it be Mt. Woodsen, Iron Mountain, or Torrey Pines, is packed on the weekend; we saw only three other people in the two and a half hours we were out.

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I wouldn’t call the hiking we did in Julian especially challenging.  We did the west vista loop in Santa Ysabel. Parts of the hike we did felt a little steep, but the hiking was less climbing mountains and more going up and down rolling hills.  The total distance is 4.5 miles if you complete the loop.  Cows are given free reign, so if you are afraid of cows, I would suggest a different trail.

Demonstrating proper sun protection
Demonstrating proper sun protection

The thing about Julian is that it can get extremely hot in the summer.  The air and terrain is extremely dry.

If your packing a lunch, there are three picnic tables to stop and break at.

I would bring lots of water and sunscreen.  I had my camelback and was extremely happy with that.

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Apple Picking in Julian

IMG_3821Remember how I said there was no one on the trails?  Well, that’s because they were all apple picking.  I have only been apple picking once in my life, and that was in Massachusetts, but lets just say it was a very different experience.

I’m not going to say that all the farms in Julian are like this, but the one we IMG_3832visited was expensive and crowded.  We payed $10 a bag, and there were almost no apples.  We struggled to fill our bags.  There were also a ton of other people fighting over half a row of apple trees.

Although I love the idea of supporting our local farms, and picking our own apples, I would suggest sticking with the hiking on weekends.

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