Things to do in Julian

Things to do in Julian

Courtesy of

The Eagle Mining Co.

Discover an exciting learning experience at The Eagle Mining Co. in Julian, California. Our old-fashioned gold mine offers terrific and informative California tours that guide adventures through the world of a 1870s mining operation. Join us and learn as we help preserve our state’s rich history. Our tours last one hour, and are conducted by a courteous professional. They are also oriented towards good, clean, family fun.


William Heise County Park

Situated 4,200 feet above sea level in a forest of pines and oaks along the northern extremity of the Laguna Mountain Range, this 929-acre park is one of the few San Diego county parks to get snowfall each year.


Forests of oak, pine, and cedar surround peaceful mountain meadows and provide an undisturbed setting for nearly 11 miles of scenic hiking and equestrian trails. Mule deer and wild turkey are frequently seen throughout the park, and rare residents include bobcats and mountain lions.


Though its forest may seem timeless, each season brings dramatic changes: from winter snowfall to spring wildflowers, there is always something new to experience at Heise.


In addition to trails, you can take advantage of cabins, trailer sites, individual tent sites, and a group-tent camping area, along with several playgrounds, restrooms with showers and ample picnic spaces. Rangers lead activities every weekend, and the park office with a small museum is open during the day or by appointment.


Features: pages/WilliamHeise.html


Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve offers approximately 2,900 acres of mixed conifer forest. Hike to the summit for spectacular views from the desert to the coast. This roughly 5-mile round-trip hike is considered moderately-difficult, with steep inclines.


Park on Farmer Road and head to the Hubbell Gate. The main trail to the summit

is open for hikers, bikers and equestrian. The single track Five Oaks Trail is open to hikers only. Be sure to bring water, a snack, and wear good footwear, and sun protection.



Cuyamaca Mountains

Gold was discovered in the Cuyamacas in 1870 and the mountains were subject to a gold rush. Towns and encampments of Coleman City, Branson City, Eastwood, Julian, and Banner sprang up to support the miners. First a mining camp called Stonewall (1873–1876), then the company town of Stratton (1887–1888),

renamed Cuyamaca City (1888–1906),[5] had a peak population of 500 and served

the Stonewall Mine. The town was abandoned after mining operations ceased,


and few traces of it exist.[6] The site of the town now lies within Cuyamaca Rancho State Park.[7] Other gold mines were supported by the town of Julian, which celebrates its mining history with an annual festival called Gold Rush Days.[8] The Eagle-High Peak Mine, no longer productive, is now a museum and gives daily tours.[9]




A variety of recreational activities are available in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Lake Cuyamaca offers camping grounds for tents as well as areas to park motorhomes. The lake itself offers fishing and boating. There are also trails throughout the range that support hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The town of Julian is on the north end of the range, and it offers its share of events and 19th century history. Nearby Julian is California Wolf Center, which is a conservation, education, and research center dedicated to wolf recovery in the wild.


Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve

The Santa Ysabel Preserves are surrounded by oak woodlands, native grasslands and fields of wildflowers. Set in a beautiful natural landscape of gently rolling hills, hikers, cyclists, and equestrians will enjoy an outdoor adventure within this


combined 3,800-acre sanctuary. Discover 15 miles of trails through both the East and West Preserves including two loops that traverse through unique habitats – over the river and through the woods!

There are more than 11 miles of open trails on the East side and nearly 4 miles of open trails on the West side of the preserve.

For your safety, stay on trails and avoid playing in the creek. Carry plenty of water, dress in layers, and wear sunscreen and appropriate footwear.

To prevent damage to the trails, after any inclement weather (1/2 inch of rain or any snow), the preserve will be closed until the trails dry out.

Overnight camping is not allowed.



Cedar Creek Falls

The hike to Cedar Creek Falls from the San Diego River Gorge (also known as Thornbush) trailhead or Saddleback Trailhead, is a challenging six mile out-and- back trail, leading hikers through the beautiful backcountry hills of eastern San Diego with black oak, cedar and cottonwood trees providing a great habitat for bird watching. It offers much in the way of scenery and great exercise with a spectacular plunging waterfall and natural watering hole as a payoff at the end. The falls typically do not run during the summer months and the pool at the base of the falls is stagnant and filled with algae.


Despite its beauty, this trail is not recommended for beginners, and can prove extremely difficult, especially during summer months. While the hike in is all downhill, the strenuous hike back out requires more than two miles of consistent, challenging uphill hiking with an eight percent grade. Those who are new to

hiking, or are hiking the trail for the first time, should attempt to complete this in the fall, winter, or spring months when temperatures are low and the risk of suffering a heat-related illness decreases. Heat-related illness is common during the summer, particularly for those who do not bring enough water (one or two liters per person is considered not enough) and supplies. Please consider your fitness ability before starting. This hike is recommended for those who are regularly active or in good physical condition. Anyone with previous health conditions that can be aggravated by heat or intense physical activity should

consider other trails.


Best Places to Eat  (not in any special order) in my opinion! Best Pizza – Wynola Pizza 4355 CA-78, Julian, CA 92036

Best Apple Pie – Either Lake Cuyamaca Restaurant or Julian Pies


Fine Dining – Jeremy’s on the Hill 4354 Hwy 78 Santa Ysabel


Most fun and best malts – Miners Diner Downtown Julian


Best Bread – Dudleys Bakery Santa Ysabel


Vegetarian Friendly – Candied Apple Café

Julian Trails


Looking for a great trail near Julian, California? AllTrails has 59 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you’re looking for the best trails around Cuyamaca Rancho State Park or Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, we’ve got you covered. You’ll also find some great local park options, like William Heise County Park or Agua Caliente County Park. Ready for some activity? There are 31

moderate trails in Julian ranging from 0.6 to 32.8 miles and from 675 to 6,089 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you’ll be out on the trail in no time!


Bring your bike for both on road and off road exploration. Also horse trails all over the area. Pets you have to check the specific area or trail.


Julian is best seen during all seasons. Our cabins are rented year round and you will want to book far in advance if possible.


John Leslie