U-pick and Hike

Apple Picking and Hiking in Oak Glen

Great apples don’t just grow on trees. Oh, wait—of course they do! Some of the most delicious anywhere grow on trees high up in the San Bernardino Mountains in the town of Oak Glen, where Los Rios Rancho, So Cal’s largest historic apple ranch, grows 32 varieties, all completely organic. Stroll row after row of apple trees, filling bags with apples such as jonagold, spartan, red delicious, and gala, all while admiring sweeping views of the Inland Empire over a mile below.

After picking all the apples you want, head into the Oak Glen Preserve, home of the Southern California Montane Botanic Garden, to do some hiking! More than 1,600 plant species flourish here in the most botanically diverse range of its size in the U.S.

Enter through a vibrant path lined with sunflowers, stopping by the information booth to pick up a trail map along the way. An easy 2-mile trail circles the entire preserve, but can be extended to 4.8 miles if you follow the various spurs. Seeing the colorful leaves on the trees is an added bonus in autumn. Hike through oak woodland, conifer forest, chaparral, grasslands, wetlands, and riparian habitats. Be sure to check out the Red-Wind Pond and the Conifers of California grove.

After your hike, visit the farm kitchen just across the parking lot. Grab a barbecue lunch, or bring your own picnic and loll on the large lawn while listening to live music. The Farm Store sells all sorts of homemade apple treats made, of course, from apples grown on-site (their apple pies are to die for). Be sure to try the apple cider—each gallon contains juice from at least three different varieties of apples! You can even try your hand at pressing your own cider, and there’s cider of the alcoholic variety available as well, produced right there at Los Rios Rancho. As they say, an apple a day!

BONUS PUMPKINS: U-pick pumpkins are available Thursdays through Sundays, while they last.

Los Rios Rancho at Riley's Farm in Oak Glen is located at 39611 Oak Glen Rd., off the I-10 near Yucaipa. From the I-10, take Exit 85 onto Oak Glen Rd., turn left, and continue 11 miles; the Farm Kitchen and Oak Glen Preserve are on the left, the orchards on the right. Open Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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