Julian, California

Historic Gold Mining Town and Apple Festival

Julian CA

Julian is a small mountain community in Southern California located at the intersection of California highways 78 and 79, about 50 miles northeast of San Diego. This historic gold-mining town is nestled among oak and pine forests between the north end of the Cuyamaca Range and the south slope of Volcan Mountain.

The entire township of Julian is a Designated Historical District. Its image as an early California frontier town with pioneer store fronts, historic sites and guided tours of Eagle and High Peak Mines accounts for much of its modern appeal. Tourism is Julian's largest industry, followed by cattle raising.


Julian is also unique among Southern California communities for its cold-winter climate, ideal for growing apples. All Julian apples are sold locally as apple pies, apple cider or whole fruit. In October, 10,000 apple pies a week are baked in Julian, when Southern California tourists flock here for the fall colors, cool breezes, frontier atmosphere and its famous Apple Festival.

Julian CA

Julian began as a California mining camp when A.E. (Fred) Coleman discovered placer gold at Coleman Creek in 1869. Drue Bailey founded Julian City in 1870, naming it after his cousin Mike Julian. Bailey and Julian were cousins and ex-confederate soldiers who had left Georgia after the Civil War for the California gold fields.

By the summer of 1872, there were 50 houses, 3 hotels, 4 stores, 2 restaurants, 1 schoolhouse and the "usual number of saloons" to service an an estimated 300 miners working in the area. Numerous hard rock mines were established in 1879 in the Julian and Banner area yielded an estimated $4 to $5 million dollars in gold ore.

Unlike other such camps, Julian survived after the mines played out because of its climate, rich soil and proximity to San Diego. Julian's first newspaper, The Julian Sentinel, began publishing in 1887. Since James Madison first brought the first apple trees to Julian in the early 1870s, Julian apples have won many blue ribbons at places like the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, the St. Louis Fair and the San Francisco World's Fair of 1915. The first Julian apple celebration was held in 1909 , but wasn't followed by another until 1949.

Population / Elevation
  • 500 municipal / 4,000 area
  • 4, 235 feet above sea level

A great view of the desert from the mountains.

Weather / Climate

Julian has four moderate but distinct seasons with average annual precipitation of 30 inches. Cool springs and falls contrast with hot days and cool nights during summer and occasional winter snowfall from December to March. Various climates, from desert to high mountains, exist within 25 miles of Julian.


Julian, California - Monthly Climate Normals
   Year  Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec
 High °F
55.6 58.2 59.3
71.3 81.4 90.1 89.6 84.6 74.2 63.4 57.4
 Low °F
34.5 34.7 34.8 37.0 40.6 45.8 53.0 53.7 49.3 49.3 38.1 35.6
Average °F 56.3 45.1 46.5 47.1 50.1 56.0 63.6 71.9 71.7 66.7 61.8 50.8 46.5
4.68 4.09 4.51 2.41 0.97 0.14 0.39 0.74 0.83 0.98 2.86 3.27

San Diego Backcountry Recreation Map


There are Bed And Breakfast and Inns in Julian, with something for every taste and price range.

Camping / RV Parks

There are 9 campgrounds /RV parks in and around Julian . For a complete list contact: 

  • Julian Chamber of Commerce
    P.O. Box 1866 ~ Julian, CA 92036
    Tel: 760-765-1857 ~ Fax: 760-765-2544
Things To Do

Events CalendarJulian, California is a historic landmark.

January: Dawn Kirk Crafters Arts & Crafts Show 
February: Vintage Cook Book Fair and B&B Guild Taste of Julian 
March: Volcan Mountain Preserve Hike 
April: B&B Guild Birdwatcher Lecture and Bird Tour 
May: Annual Fat Tire Bike Festival
June: B&B Guild Summer Nights Kick-Off 
July: Julian Community Fourth of July Parade
August: The Dawn Kirk Crafters Weed & Craft Show 
September: Julian celebrates the end of summer with music
October: Apple Days in Julian
November: Every Sunday : 'Music at the Marketplace
December: Town Hall Market & Arts

Resources & Nearby Attractions


Cities & Towns

Parks & Monuments

Wilderness & Recreation Areas

Historic & Points of Interest

  • Julian Pioneer Museum: 760 765-0227
  • Eagle and High Peak Mine: 760 765-0036
  • Apple Lane Orchard:760 765-2645
  • Volcan Mountain Nature Preserve:
  • California Wolf Center 619 234 9653


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