Yes, You Can Enjoy Fall Foliage in Southern California!

One of the best things about North County San Diego is our incredible year-round weather. It can definitely make it feel like you’re on vacation every day! But we understand that once October rolls around, you may be jonesing for a little bit of the fall color that we all love. Is there anything better than sipping on a hot apple cider while enjoying autumn’s brilliant display? We don’t think there is, so we’ve compiled a list of great places nearby where you can get your fill of fall foliage. What’s even better is that these places can easily be enjoyed while safely practicing social distancing. So hop in the car and take a drive!

Hot Springs Mountain

Head to the highest point in San Diego County for sweeping views and excellent fall color! Located about two hours east of North County in an isolated corner of Los Coyotes Reservation, Hot Springs Mountain stands at 6,533 feet above sea level affording spectacular views of the surrounding terrain. Because of its elevation, you’ll find an abundance of conifers and black oak trees, which turn a brilliant gold color in late October and in early November.

Mount Laguna

Mount Laguna in the Cleveland National Forest is another great destination that’s easy to reach by car. Located about 90 minutes southeast of North County, Mount Laguna is another place to enjoy spectacular views as it has an elevation of 6,271 feet and dense forests. You’ll also find a wonderful fall display of black oaks here that you can enjoy by car. Or get out and enjoy a hike and some fresh air on either the half-mile Kwaaymii Trail or the 3.25-mile Sunset Trail.


If you’d like a huge dose of small-town charm while you’re enjoying the fall foliage, then make plans to visit the town of Julian. Located about 80 minutes directly east of North County, Julian is a historic gold-mining town that is also famous for its apple orchards. Try your hand at apple picking at one of the U-pick farms in town while enjoying the fall colors that surround you. This is a place where you’ll definitely feel like you’ve stepped back in time!

Palomar Mountain State Park

Another wonderful mountain destination for fall color is Palomar Mountain State Park. Located about 80 minutes northeast of North County, here you’ll find 11 miles of hiking trails and dense woodlands full of autumn’s majesty. You can hike through oak forests, fir and cedar woodlands, and gorgeous meadows all in one afternoon. You won’t run into many people on the trails, making it a great escape from the city.

Idyllwild-Pine Cove

Finally, if you really want some time off the beaten path, then head northeast to Idyllwild-Pine Cove. Located about two hours from North County in the San Jacinto Mountains near Palm Springs, this destination offers crisp, fresh air and the stunning display of bright yellow cottonwoods. Head north out of town on Highway 243 for about one mile to hike on the popular Deer Springs Trail.

Contact the Clark & Gilman Team

Is 2020 your year to buy or sell a North County San Diego home? Then contact the experts at the Cristine Clark & Jamie Gilman Team at 760-758-1211 or [email protected]. We’d love to chat with you about all your real estate needs!

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