New Year's Day in Julian
Happy 2018! Mr. San Diego and I rang in the New Year by heading out to Julian for a hike and some pie.
We had, um, a few complications.
Hike: Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve
Address: 1209 Farmer Rd, Julian, CA 92036
Trail 1: Volcan Mountain Trail - 5 Miles, Out & Back, 1151 ft. Gain
Trail 2: Five Oaks Trail - 3.2 Miles, Out & Back, 859 ft. Gain
Level: Both are listed as Moderate
Mr. San Diego and I have never hiked in Julian before, and for some crazy reason I thought it would be a great idea to start the year on an unknown trail. I did a little research beforehand and it seemed reasonable enough. Moderate trail? Ha! No problem. Thousand foot elevation gain? Ha! Child's play.
Turns out, these trails ARE NOT EVEN REMOTELY EASY for the sick and out of shape. I have been sick for two weeks and like an idiot, I forgot my inhaler and common sense. Don't forget your inhalers, kids - it's not a smart idea. We didn't even come close to finishing either of these trails. FAIL!!!
NOTE: If you plan on doing this hike and have never been before, use the restrooms BEFORE you head out. There are no facilities here.
Although we (I) really struggled on this trail, the parts that we did manage to conquer were really beautiful! When we arrived to the location, we almost missed the trailhead. It starts on a gravel path and only has one small sign indicating where the path leads. You park along the side of the road and walk up the gravel path. The incline starts immediately and really, it doesn't stop.
About half a mile up the trail, there is a sign indicating the turn-off point to take the Five Oaks Trail which is shorter than the Volcan Trail. Since I was already struggling with that first half mile, we decided to take the shorter route instead. I'm glad we did! The sign at the start of the trail states that it's a "hiker's trail" and was built to "provide you with a more intimate hike experience", explaining that the trail "will take you under oak canopies".
You'll need shoes with a little more traction than regular trainers, as some parts of the trail have loose dirt and are a little steep. However, there is a lot of tree coverage, so you're in the shade quite often which is a welcome relief from the sun. There were hardly any other hikers there in the morning and we were able to easily maneuver through the narrow paths. We want to go back again soon, but the next time I'll make sure neither of us are sick, that I bring my inhaler, and that we wear better shoes.
PIES: Julian Pie Co.
Guess what wasn't open on New Year's Day?! Julian Pie Co! There are other pie spots in Julian but we decided just to grab lunch instead since the only other pie shop in town had a huge line! Mr. San Diego is still bitter that he didn't get the pie he deserved after that hike.
Lunch: Julian Cafe & Bakery
Location: 2112 Main St, Julian, CA 92036
This place is small, adorable, and has REALLY big portions. I ordered a side of homefries and got a BOWL of them! It was a cute place to stop and grab something to eat and it wasn't too expensive.
Last Stop: Julian Hard Cider Co.
Mr. San Diego saw that Julian Hard Cider's tasting room was having a New Year's Day sale, so of course, we went in! I'm not the biggest drinker, so we split a flight between the two of us and Mr. San Diego drank about 90%. Ha! Don't worry - I drove.
And so, we went home...
Aside from my lungs almost exploding and never getting our Julian Pie Co pie slices, we had a really good morning and afternoon in Julian! We walked around to the shops and just enjoyed the beautiful day.