The Best Apple Hill Travel Guide for Fall 2023

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Jerardo Gomez

Looking for a unique experience in California? Apple Hill is the perfect destination that offers a variety of attractions that tourists shouldn’t miss. Apple Hill is a great day trip from San Francisco, Sacramento, Tahoe, or Reno!

My Ultimate Apple Hill Travel Guide will give you all the information needed to plan a trip here.

In this travel guide, we’ll share some tips and highlights of visiting Apple Hill to make your trip a memorable one.

What is Apple Hill?

Apple Hill consists of California’s highest concentration of apple producers. It has 55 ranches area in Northern California situated around Camino, CA.

This picturesque mountain area located in El Dorado County is famous worldwide for its apple orchards, vineyards, bakery, farmhouses, and shops selling handmade crafts, jams, pies and other local products.

Go to Apple Hill to experience U pick farms, and seasonal produce, have a nature walk, hard cider, the sierra foothills and more fun things.

Why Visit Apple Hill in the Fall

Apple Hill is one of those places that many Californians have never gone to but should! Apple Hill Season is best at the end of the year for all the fall things such as pumpkins, apple picking, berry picking, a variety of pies, and more depending on the farm. Not all farms are the same.

  • Apple Pie
  • Frozen pies to bake for the holidays
  • Cider
  • Fruits
  • Baked Goods
  • Specialty items such as jams, flour mixes and more.

Some of the places you shouldn’t miss during your visit include Boa Vista Orchards which has a bakery, cafe and store selling handmade crafts and gifts.

The High Hill Ranch has an excellent selection of apple-based treats, fishing pond and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Other must-visit places include Rainbow Orchards, Larsen Apple Barn, Delfino Farms, Jack Russell Brewery, and Madrona Vineyards.

Directions to Apple Hill

From Sacramento, California:

  • Take US-50 E
  • Follow US-50 E to Ponderosa RD in Camino, take exit 54A
  • Follow Ponderosa Rd to Carson Rd.

From San Francisco, California:

  • Get on I-80 E
  • Follow I-80 E, CA-99 N to US-50 E, then taken exit 54A from US-50
  • Follow Ponderosa Rd to Carson Rd

From Reno, Nevada:

  • Get on I-580 N
  • Follow to US-50 W in Carson City, take exit 39B from I-580 N
  • Get off on Ponderosa Rd to Carson Rd.

From Lake Tahoe, California:

  • Get on US-50 W from Lake Tahoe Blvd
  • Follow US-50 W to Ponderosa Rd exit to Carson Rd.

Best time to visit Apple Hill

Apple Hill is open year-round, but the best time to visit is from late September to mid-November when the apple season is in full swing.

During this time, you can go apple picking, enjoy the cool fall breeze, and check out the local farms, shops, and vineyards.

If you visit during Thanksgiving weekend, you can take part in the annual country Christmas celebration with lots of festive events such as craft fairs, pumpkin patches, and Christmas tree farms

Too early in September and some apples are not ripe, and its hot.

SeptemberApple Picking
Fresh baked and Frozen Pies
Wine tasting
Apple Cider sampling
OctoberPumpkin Picking
Fall Festivals – Oktoberfest
Craft Fairs
Apple Picking
NovemberSeasonal Baked Goods
Christmas Trees
Wine tours
DecemberBaked Goods
Christmas Trees
Winter Events

For year-round, Boa Vista Orchards is a large market with local produce, local products, hot foods, two bakeries, a cider bar, and vendors. It is usually packed but it is also a must when visiting Apple Hill.

Must-Visit Orchards and Farms in Apple Hill

High hill Farms: Known for their delectable apple varieties and cider tastings.

Rainbow Orchards: Home to the famous apple cider donuts and panoramic orchard views.

Boa Vista Orchards: A one-stop shop for all things apple-related, from pies to jams.

High Hill Ranch

  • Description: High Hill Ranch is one of the largest and most well-known farms in Apple Hill. It spans over 100 acres of beautiful orchards and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

  • Offerings:

    • Apple Picking: Visitors can enjoy the classic experience of picking their own apples, choosing from a variety of different types.

    • Trout Fishing: High Hill Ranch boasts a tranquil pond stocked with rainbow trout, providing an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at fishing.

    • Country Store: This store is a treasure trove of locally-made crafts, baked goods, jams, and jellies, as well as fresh produce.

    • Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery.

    • Pony Rides and Petting Zoo: Perfect for families, this farm offers pony rides and a petting zoo for children to interact with adorable farm animals.

Boa Vista Orchards

  • Description: Boa Vista Orchards is a family-owned farm known for its high-quality produce and picturesque setting. The farm features expansive apple orchards and a delightful country market.It is the biggest market in Apple Hill.
    Open Daily 7:30am – 6pm

  • Offerings:

    • Apple and Pear Picking: Visitors can pick their own apples and pears, choosing from a wide selection of varieties.

    • Bake shop and Deli: The farm’s bakery offers freshly baked pies, pastries, and other treats. The deli serves sandwiches made with farm-fresh ingredients.

    • Wine Tasting Room: Boa Vista Orchards has a wine tasting room where visitors can sample local wines.

    • Corn Maze (Seasonal): During the fall season, a corn maze provides a fun challenge for families and groups.

Rainbow Orchards

  • Description: Rainbow Orchards is a charming family farm known for its apple orchards and friendly atmosphere. It offers a relaxed, rustic setting for visitors.

  • Offerings:

    • U-Pick Apples: Visitors can pick their own apples, choosing from a variety of different types.

    • Cider Pressing Demonstrations: Rainbow Orchards is known for its fresh apple cider. Visitors can watch demonstrations of the cider pressing process.

    • Country Store: The store offers a variety of products including apple cider, jams, pies, and more.

    • Picnic Area: There is a designated picnic area where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack.

Abel’s Apple Acres

  • Description: Abel’s Apple Acres is a delightful family farm that emphasizes a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. It’s a great place for families and groups to enjoy a day out in the orchards.

  • Offerings:

    • U-Pick Apples and Pumpkins: Picking apples and pumpkins during the fall season.

    • Hay Rides (Seasonal): Abel’s offers tractor-drawn hay rides that take visitors on a scenic tour of the farm.

    • Bakery and Country Store: The bakery offers a selection of homemade pies, pastries, and sweets. The country store also features local products and crafts.

    • Picnic Area: There are picnic tables available for visitors to enjoy a meal.

Fudge Factory Farm

  • Description: Fudge Factory Farm is a unique farm known for its delectable fudge and charming setting. It offers a delightful blend of agricultural and culinary experiences.

  • Offerings:

    • Fudge and Confections: Visitors can indulge in a wide variety of fudge flavors, along with other sweet treats like caramel apples.

    • Farm Animals: The farm is home to a variety of friendly animals that visitors can interact with.

    • Gift Shop: The gift shop features an array of homemade fudge and other delightful treats.

    • Outdoor Seating: There are outdoor seating areas where visitors can enjoy their fudge and take in the scenery.

Apple Ridge Farms

Description: Apple Ridge Farms is a family-friendly destination nestled in the heart of Apple Hill. It’s known for its inviting atmosphere and a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. The farm’s scenic location and emphasis on community engagement make it a popular choice for families and groups.


U-Pick Apples: Visitors have the opportunity to pick their own apples, selecting from a diverse array of apple varieties grown on the farm

Pumpkin Patch (Seasonal): During the fall season, Apple Ridge Farms offers a vibrant pumpkin patch where visitors can choose their perfect pumpkin for carving or decorating.

Farm Store and Bakery: The farm’s store offers an assortment of fresh produce, homemade jams, artisanal crafts, and baked goods. The bakery is a highlight, featuring an array of delectable treats like pies, cookies, and apple cider donuts.

Farm Animals and Petting Zoo: Apple Ridge Farms is home to a collection of friendly farm animals, including goats, chickens, and pigs. There’s also a petting zoo area where visitors can interact with these adorable creatures.

Cider Tasting (Seasonal): For those interested in beverages, the farm occasionally offers cider tastings, allowing visitors to sample a variety of apple-based drinks.

Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic spots where visitors can enjoy a meal surrounded by the natural beauty of the farm.

Hiking Trails: Apple Ridge Farms features scenic trails that allow visitors to explore the farm’s picturesque surroundings.

Seasonal Events: The farm hosts various events throughout the year, including festivals, workshops, and holiday celebrations.

Weddings and Special Events: Apple Ridge Farms offers a charming venue for weddings and other special occasions, providing a rustic and idyllic backdrop for memorable gatherings.

Delfino Farms

  • Description: Delfino Farms is a picturesque farm known for its idyllic setting and focus on sustainable farming practices. It offers a tranquil environment for visitors to enjoy.

  • Offerings:

    • Apple and Pear Picking: Visitors can pick their own apples and pears, choosing from a variety of different types.

    • Winery and Tasting Room: Delfino Farms has a winery where visitors can sample a selection of wines made from estate-grown grapes.

    • Farm Stand: The farm stand offers a variety of fresh produce, including apples, pears, and other seasonal fruits.

    • Hiking Trails: There are scenic hiking trails that provide beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

    • Joan’s Apple Bakery: Known for its famous Walkin’ Pies. Basically a mini pie enough for two people with optional cider sauce and icecream topping. The apple inside is shredded fyi.

Activities and Attractions – Things to do in Apple Hill

  • Hiking Trails: Discover scenic trails like Hidden Falls Loop.

  • Wine Tasting: Sample exquisite wines at the local vineyards.

  • Family-Friendly Fun: Pumpkin patches, hayrides, and petting zoos.

One of the main reasons visitors come to Apple Hill is to taste the locally grown apples and put them to use in recipes. You can pick your own fresh apples straight from the orchard and enjoy some delicious apple cakes, pies, and ciders. In addition to apple picking, you can visit the local wineries and taste some fine wines, go pumpkin picking, take a hayride, visit the lavender farm, and enjoy the beautiful scenery by taking a hike, bike ride or a picnic with family and friends.

  1. Local Eateries

    • The Apple Pantry: A charming café with apple-inspired delicacies.

    • Hart2Hart Vineyards and Winery: Fine dining with a view.

    • The Grill at Gold Hill Winery: Savor delectable dishes with a side of vineyard charm.

  2. Events and Festivals

    • Apple Hill Harvest Run: Lace up for a scenic run amidst the apple orchards.

    • Apple Blossom Festival: Celebrate springtime in full bloom.

  3. Shopping and Souvenirs

    • Artisan Crafts: Unique handcrafted gifts from local artists.

    • Apple Hill Logo Merchandise: Take a piece of Apple Hill home with you.

Practical Tips – Travel Tips for Apple Hill

To make your trip to Apple Hill a memorable one, you need to come prepared. Here are some travel tips to keep in mind while traveling to and within Apple Hill:

Bring cash with you because most of the sales here are cash only.

Dress in layers as the weather can be unpredictable, so you can adjust easily.

Plan your route using the map to avoid getting lost. Consider visiting on weekdays to avoid crowds. Plan the furthest farm first if you are coming from Sacramento, so you are not going farm-to-farm on the opposite direction.

Bring a cooler with ice to keep the pies, cheeses, and other perishable products fresh.

Wear old footwear, there is a lot of dirt, sometimes mud so you don’t want to get those dirty.

Avoid long weekends such as Labor Day weekend

Notable places:

Denver Dan’s apple patch

Nature Trail: El Dorado Trail parking at Halcon Road Hike

Nature Trail: Red Shack Trailhead Hike

Additional Resources (Map) [screenshot it]


How long should I plan to spend at Apple Hill?A full day is usually sufficient to enjoy the main attractions, but you can easily extend your visit if you want to explore the area more thoroughly.

What are some must-visit spots in Apple Hill?

Notable attractions include apple orchards, wineries, pumpkin patches, bakeries, and artisanal shops. Some favorites include High Hill Ranch, Boa Vista Orchards, and Larsen Apple Barn.

Are there any admission fees?

Most of the orchards and farms do not charge an admission fee. However, some specific activities or events may have separate fees.

Can I bring my pet to Apple Hill?

It’s best to check with individual establishments, as policies regarding pets can vary. Some places may have designated pet-friendly areas.

Final Thoughts

With its idyllic orchards, mouthwatering treats, and stunning natural beauty, Apple Hill, California is a destination that captures the heart of every traveler. Use this guide to plan your journey and make the most of your visit to this captivating corner of the Golden State. Happy exploring!

Visiting Apple Hill in California is a unique experience for people of all ages. Whether you are taking a solo trip or traveling with friends or family, you can enjoy the natural beauty and share memories with loved ones. The best time to visit is from late August to mid-November during the apple season. Visit the local farms, enjoy sweet treats, taste the wine, and participate in festive events like pumpkin picking, Christmas celebrations, and lavender festivals. By following these travel tips, you can make the most out of Apple Hill experience and create unforgettable moments that will stay with you for a lifetime.

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