Hike and Brew Julian
- November 7, 2020
- Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve
Next time you are craving some fresh air avoid the heavy crowds at Three Sisters and Cedar Falls and check out the lesser known Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve (500 Farmer Road, Julian, CA, 92036). This 3,800-acre preserve is one of the county’s best kept secrets and the trail begins a couple miles outside downtown Julian. With oak woodlands, grasslands, riparian, and chaparral habitats, there is so much to see. Need a cool shot for your Insta? Keep an eye out for the tree trunk throne on your way to the Coast to Crest Trail. The best time to see wildflowers is March through June after the winter rainfalls, but fall brings out a beautiful change of colors, and winter may leave a dusting of snow. Seasonal rainfalls feed the Santa Ysabel Creek that flows through the Kanaka Loop Trail. There are also several springs and cattle ponds along the hike. The inclines can be steep and challenging, but once you reach the top of a hill, the view is spectacular.
After your hike you will definitely deserve a cold beer. Again, you can steer clear of the crowds on Main St. at Julian Beer Company and check out Nickel Beer Company ( 1485 Hollow Glen Road, Julian). This off-the-beaten-path brewery boasts friendly service, delicious craft beer, and popular food trucks. Be sure to stop and grab a pie to take home at Mom’s Pie Shop (4510 Highway 78, Julian) before you reluctantly head back to civilization.