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Your guide to Julian
All About Julian
Located in the Cuyamaca Mountains northeast of San Diego, the small town of Julian was established during the Gold Rush by two Civil War veterans hoping to strike it rich in this lush valley. Before long the gold dried up and they were left with fertile soil, perfect for farming. Today, Julian is well-known for its delicious apples and mouth-watering apple pie, and the area is a popular day-trip destination for San Diegans, who come to visit the apple orchards.
Julian is home to just over 1,500 people, and features a main street lined with locally-owned businesses and art galleries in low-slung buildings from the late 1800s. The town is also located just off of the famous Pacific Crest Trail and is a gateway for the stunning Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Nearby areas provide ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Julian?
With mild weather year-round, there is no bad time to book a vacation home or cabin in Julian. Summers are the hottest time of the year, but the days are long, giving you plenty of time for outdoor activities like hiking and horseback riding. One of the highlights in summer is Julian’s Fourth of July Parade, which involves a flyover of military training planes, live performances from various marching bands, and a selection of vendors for shopping and eating. During the spring and fall, the temperatures drop a bit and the town comes alive with special events including Gold Rush Days in April, the Julian Grape Stomping Festa in September, and many fall harvest celebrations. While the winters can get a bit chilly, this is the quietest time of the year, when it can feel like you have the hiking trails all to yourself.
What are the top things to do in Julian?
The Pacific Crest Trail
Julian is located just off of the famed Pacific Crest Trail. This 2,650-mile trek runs from Canada to Mexico, passing through an incredible array of ecosystems along the way. Near Julian, the trail crosses through Lake Morena County Park, heading towards the rim of the rugged Laguna Mountains before it reaches the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, home to dramatic badlands, cacti-covered landscapes, and slot canyons.
Eagle and High Peak Mine
As one of the most prosperous mines in Californian history, the Eagle and High Peak Mine helped put Julian on the map. As you wander through the restored Old Hardrock Tunnels, you can find old mining equipment and learn about the mine’s history, how it operated, and what impact it had on Julian.
Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve
WiIth close to 3,000 acres of mixed conifer forest, this beautiful preserve is a great spot for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The five-mile Volcan Trail leads you to the summit, where you can admire the sweeping views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Anza-Borrego Desert far below.