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Apple U-Pick Orchards in San Diego and Imperial Counties in California in 2022, by county

Below are the U-Pick orchards and farms for apples that we know of in this area. Not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have apples orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!

San Diego County

  • Apple Starr Orchards - CERTIFIED ORGANIC, apples
    1287 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: (760) 305-2169. Email: [email protected]. Open: U-Pick starts in late August; 11 am to 4 pm weekends and by appointment on weekdays. Directions: We are in Julian located at the very end of Julian Orchards Drive (see map). We are approximately 1 hour from San Diego and 2 hours from Orange County. From the center of town in Julian, travel 3 miles East on Main Street (which turns into Farmer Rd.) At the stop sign, continue straight onto Julian Orchards Dr. GO TO THE END OF THE ROAD, past the wineries. We are Certified Organic Orchard (CCOF) since 2000 growing Apples ( Jonagold, Granny, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious) and Pears (bartlett, bosc, anjou). We are . Click here for a map and directions. . . open for u-pick on weekends through October. Groups should email to schedule appointments. Our fruit ripens on the trees and is available for picking in beginning at the end of August and lasts though early October. Picking poles are available to reach high branches. Several red wagons are available for small children; families may enjoy bringing strollers and wagons Space available for picnicking; DO bring chairs and blankets, just in case. NO RESERVATIONS NEEDED (UPDATED: April 14, 2018, JBS)
  • Apples and Art Orchards - apples
    1052 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: (760) 310-6368. Email: [email protected]. Open: Daily by appointment only, for groups only, 10 bag minimum purchase; September 1 to October 15, or whenever the apples run out. Directions: DO NOT USE GPS (it is usually wrong) Take highway 8 past Alpine to the highway 79, Julian, Descanso turnoff, turn left, north. Go about 2 or 3 miles and go left at the sign for highway 79 and Cuyamaca. Follow signs through Cuyamaca to Julian and turn left into town. Go north (straight) out of Julian on Farmer Road (Main Street) for just over 2 miles, across Wynola Road (straight at stop sign) to Julian Orchards Drive. Go past Volcan View Orchards, past Menghini Winery to the second to last building on the left - green and white. or Take highway 67 or 78 east to Julian, turn left, north. Go north out of Julian on Farmer Road (Main Street) for just over 2 miles, across Wynola Road to Julian Orchards Drive. Go past Volcan View Orchards, past Menghini Winery to the second to last building on the left - green and white. We have Red & Golden Delicious, Gala, McIntosh, Fuji, Granny Smith, Lady Apples and Heirloom apples. Free apple cider making with tour. Also called Gastil Mountain Farms. IMPORTANT NOTES: Apples and Art Orchards- for groups only is a U-Pick apple orchard where for only $10 you can pick a "half peck of apples" which is about 5 pounds and spend a fabulous afternoon in our beautiful mountain orchard and charming gold-rush era town. Our apples are pesticide free and all natural - they have never been sprayed. Our soil has not been contaminated with pesticides or weed killers either. In addition to taking home your apples, you get apple facts, a tour of the orchard, and your own free apple cider making and tasting experience. A deposit of $50 is required up fron. Click here for a map and directions.
    Apples and Art Orchards Facebook page. . . Gastil Orchards is typically open to the public for U Pick for individuals on one Saturday in September h ONLY from 10:30 until the are gone. t to hold the group reservation two weeks before the date. (UPDATED: April 14, 2018, JBS)
  • Calico Ranch - Fruit stand and U-pick apples and pears
    4200 Highway 78, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 760-765-3620. Email: [email protected]. Open: Saturdays and Sundays during the season from 10am to 4pm, September to October. Directions: Located on Hwy 78 at Calico Ranch Road between San Ysabel and Julian. Click here for a map and directions. . Alternate phone: 858-586-0392. . More than 100 types of apples and pears on 30 acres. . Located in Spencer Valley, 3 miles from Julian. (UPDATED: May 28, 2018, JBS)
  • Crosscut Farm and Orchard - apples
    1209 Farmer Road, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 605-430-9791. Open: Typically just a week in mid-September, Reservations are required, call Sue for a reservation, there is a 10 person group minimum and a 50 person group maximum. Click here for a map and directions. . Nestled in the beautiful mountain town of Julian, California. 2022 is their 4th season. Reservations are required for U pick and the cider making demonstration. The following is from 2021 and may have changed since: ​Group u-pick details:$5 per person entrance fee $2 per person entry fee for kids age 3-12)no entrance fee for kids under 3 years oldFee includes an apple cider pressing demonstration, a short introduction to Apple Farming, parking, and picnic site!​$15 Per 1/2 peck bag (approximately 7-8 lbs)They have Golden Delicious, Jonathon and Liberty apple varieties. Please note that there are two Farmer Roads, You want to take the easternmost Farmer Road that leads to the Volcan Mountain Trailhead, NOT the Farmer Road that leads to Volcan Mountain Winery and Menghini Winery. Parking is on site. Travel down the lane that is designated as a trail for Volcan Mountain. Come through the metal gate near the farmhouse on the right, and follow signs to the parking area. (ADDED: June 29, 2022, JBS)
  • Julian Farm and Orchard - Uses natural growing practices, apples, blackberries, pumpkins, raspberries (red), raspberries (Spring, red), raspberries (Autumn, red), strawberries, other vegetables, gift shop, porta-potties, picnic area you may bring your own food, petting zoo, farm animals, school tours, group reservations, events at your location (call for info)
    4381 Highway 78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070. Phone: (760) 765-5494. Email: [email protected]. Open: Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm through May 1st. Directions: 4381 Highway 78 Santa Ysabel, ca 92070. . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, Debit cards, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AmEx, ApplePay, AndroidPay.
    Julian Farm and Orchard Facebook page. . . . Strawberries are June bearing and so we begin opening weekends in June, then raspberries and blackberries begin by July, pumpkin patch opens late September. We use natural practices, but are not seeking organic certification. Apple Season varies each year, based on the weather. Generally it can run anywhere from Aug/Sept. all the way through October. It is best to check back during this exciting time of year in Julian. Julian Farm and Orchard is a 25 acre sustainable U-Pick Farm. Flowers, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Petting Zoo, Axe Throwing and more. Available for private groups. (UPDATED: March 29, 2022)
  • Peacefield Orchard - apples UPDATE for 2019: They are permanently closed
    3803 Wynola Road, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: . Open: permanently closed. Click here for a map and directions.
  • Sentenac Ranch - Uses natural growing practices, apples, restrooms, picnic area, picnic area you may bring your own food
    3515 Highway 78, Julian, CA . Phone: (858) 342-1667. Email: [email protected]. Open: Saturday and Sunday , September 14, 2019 and September 15, 2019, from 10 am to 5 pm. Directions: We are between Wynola and Julian. From San Diego : take the 8 East to 67 North whcich becomes the 78. From Escondido:Head East on 78 . Make left when you enter Ramonaonto main street which becomes the 78. Turn right into the driveway at 3515 Highway 78. we have a big sign that says " Sentenac Ranch" . Follow driveway all the way , about 1.2 miles in. We use natural practices, but are not yet certified Organic. Payment: Cash, only. We do not use pesticides on the . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only. . crops. We only use nothing but water. We have 100 heirloom Apple Trees with different varieties. we pride ourselves on providing you with an experience you will not soon forget. (UPDATED: August 16, 2019)
  • Shadow Creek Ranch - Uses natural growing practices, apples, apricots, cherries, figs, lemons, nectarines, oranges, other citrus, pears, peaches, plums, Other fruit or veg,
    14781 Mussey Grade, Ramona, CA 92065. Phone: (858) 922-2950. Email: [email protected]. Open: UPDATE for 2021, Yelp says "Due to covid, we will be closed until further notice" In normal years, you call an for appointment. Directions: . Click here for a map and directions. Payment: Cash, only. . We use natural practices, but are not seeking organic certification. Pluot, tangelo, lemon/lime hybrid. . Oranges and lemons are typically available January through April. (UPDATED: February 11, 2020) (ADDED: July 27, 2015)
  • Volcan Valley Apple Farm - apples
    1284 Julian Orchards Dr, Julian, CA 92036. Phone: 760-807-1816. Email: [email protected]. Open: from Late August, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; Appointment only on Monday through Friday. Click here for a map and directions. . Open call or email. Family Fun 7000 trellis grown apple trees, 7 varieties easy hand picking by all ages. Contact for "Group" and "Special" needs' arrangements. (UPDATED: May 28, 2018, JBS)

Apple picking tips:

Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples out the outside of the tree will ripen first.  Once they are picked, they stop ripening. Picking apples directly from a tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don't pull straight away from the tree. If two apples are joined together at the top, both will come away at the same time. Don't shake the trees or branches.  If the apple you are trying to pick drops, (or others on the tree) go ahead and pick it up. They're perfectly fine! But do wash them before you eat them! More info: How to tell when apples are ripe

  • Once picked, don't throw the apples into the baskets, place them in gently, or they will bruise and go bad more quickly.
  • Don't wash apples until just before using to prevent spoilage.
  • For an explanation of why apple slices turn brown and how to stop it, see this page!
  • Keep apples cool after picking to increase shelf life.  A cool basement is ideal, but the fruit/vegetable drawer of a refrigerator will work, too.  A refrigerator is fine for small quantities of apples. Boxed apples need to be kept in a cool, dark spot where they won't freeze. Freezing ruptures all of an apple's cells, turning it into one large bruise overnight. The usual solution is to store apples in a root cellar. But root cellars often have potatoes in them: apples and potatoes should never be stored in the same room because, as they age, potatoes release an otherwise ethylene gas, which makes apples spoil faster. If you can keep the gas away from your apples, they will keep just fine. Just don't store them right next to potatoes.
    Prevent contact between apples stored for the winter by wrapping them individually in sheets of newspaper. The easiest way to do this is to unfold a section of newspaper all the way and tear it into quarters. Then stack the wrapped apples . See more here: How to store apples at home
  • Apples don't improve or "ripen" after being picked - this is an urban myth - see this page for the truth - with references!

Which apple variety is best?

There are tens of thousands of varieties of apples, developed over centuries. They vary in sugar, acoidity, flavors, storing, crispness and many other attributes. See our guides to apple varieties:

Canning apples - fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions

Recipes, illustrated with step by step instructions

Using fresh apples and miscellaneous

 

Other Local Farm Products (Honey, Horses, Milk, Meat, Eggs, Etc.)
(NOT pick-your-own, unless they are also listed above)


Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book