Apple Hill Time


A few of us made a trip up the hill this past weekend. Up to Apple Hill, that is. For those unacquainted, “apple hill” is the term most people use to describe the areas of Camino, Placerville and Pollock Pines that are home to some 50 ranches offering everything from Christmas trees to wine. Every fall (well, technically “late summer” through fall), the area becomes a hotbed of activity as people’s minds turn from barbecues and swimming pools to pumpkins, Thanksgiving pie and—down the road—Christmas trees.
The roads and ranches can get pretty packed pre-Halloween, but Sunday’s visit, though busy, was pleasant. Sure, the weather was cool, and it even rained a little bit, but for me that’s far more pleasant than visiting when the temperature is flirting with 85 degrees. Who wants to think about Halloween pumpkins and Thanksgiving in such weather? (Apparently a lot of people do, just not me.)
Not sure where to start? Check out the list here. Though I admit, with only one afternoon devoted to the Apple Hill cause, we go tried-and-true: High Hill Ranch. There, we shop for apples (and various incarnations of all things apple), peruse the crafts, stop in the fudge shop and have a sweet treat (though sometimes deciding what that is going to be could take a day in itself).
For the most part, “apple hill” is open from Labor Day weekend through Christmas Eve, but take a close look at the website because although fall is the area’s “prime time,” there is something going on in the area throughout the year. For example, Patrick’s Mountain Grown Berry Farm is a great place to pick berries off the vine in the summer, and a trip to the wineries is an all-season activity.
About 45 minutes away from Sacramento, Apple Hill is a fun, quick day trip. Even if apples aren’t your thing, the scenery is gorgeous and a visit there can’t help but get you at least thinking about the holidays.