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Your Julian Winter Day Trip Getaway Guide

julian ca snow

What started as a gold rush town morphed into the charming apple pie-cute shops version today is well worth the one-hour drive. From gold and candy to apples and wine tasting, a day trip up to Julian is always fun. It’s even more exciting when the weather gets chilly and the leaves change colors. Any day now, there will be snow in them there hills! So have your snow boots and parkas ready and keep our Winter Day Trip Getaway Guide bookmarked.


Julian was originally founded following the Civil War but became famous in 1869 after the discovery of gold flecks in the creek. Miners from all around the world descended upon the quiet mountain town and while no one actually struck it rich, it gave Julian a name and place in history forever. Around the same time, pioneer James Madison arrived and decided it was a fine place with fertile soil and perfect for planting apple orchards.

Mr. Madison was so right!

Today, Julian is best known for those incredible apple orchards and the delicious apple pies, ciders and more. Although a drive up the 78 for a freshly baked pie is totally worth the trip, there are a few other things to do while you’re there.

Playing in the Snow

There are few places in San Diego county that ever see the snow. Julian is one of those rare locations. Julian gets an average of 22 inches of snowfall a year. With an elevation of 4,226 feet, it’s one of the higher points in the county. When the conditions are just right, snow will blanket the hills, parks, and trails around the town. Just be ready for the first news of snow. If you wait too long to visit, you might be caught in a traffic jam. Fill up your tank before heading up, as there are limited locations to get gas on the way back into the city.

Julian Pie Company

If there is one thing that Julian does best above all else, it’s making pies. And is there anything nicer than walking out of the cold are and into the warmth and aroma of fresh-from-the-oven pies. That’s what you’ll get at the Julian Pie Company. Pies come out of the oven all day long. They sell pies by the slice and whole. While it might be tempting to go for the traditional apple, we highly recommend the Apple Mountainberry Crumb Pie. Order a pie for home and a slice with some coffee to warm yourself from all the playing in the snow.

Julian Cider Mill

Located on Main Street, The Julian Cider Mill was founded in 1975 by Willis Harold “Turk” Slaughter and his son, Fred Slaughter. The family made local goods, like honey and dried fruits, in addition to their cider. The cozy shop offers so much to please the palate, from an endless variety of dried fruits, pickled goodies, and of course, the most delicious cider you’ll ever sip. During apple season, you can get ciders by the gallon. The rest of the year, ciders are made from local berries. If you visit during apple season (usually September through December), then you can see the actual happening. A nice hot cider is just the thing to cap off your visit to the snow in Julian this winter!

Winter Day Trip to Julian

Your Turn…

Do you drive up to Julian in the winter? Have you experienced the snow up in Julian? Tell us your story!

Photo Credit Photo Credit

Sugar Jones: Sugar Jones has been blogging about life since 2008. She has contributed to various local news stations for lifestyle segments, speaking about tech, social media, travel, food, and family.