Where To Go Apple Picking Around L.A. This Fall
There's a tiny, near-undetectable nip in the air this week, which means the fall season has officially dawned on Los Angeles. Sure, Southern California isn't exactly known for its crisp autumn weather, but we can enjoy fall activities just as well our East Coast friends enjoy; to that end, we've rounded up the best apple-picking spots for your heavily Instagrammed "spontaneous" marriage proposal. (Judging by my Facebook feed, that's what most of you seem to be using apple orchards for).
Most of these spots are in the Oak Glen/Yucaipa area, at least an hour's drive out of the city, but hey, the road trip will end with you crunching into a fresh, hand-picked apple. We've listed phone numbers for the farms below, as it might be wise to call ahead and confirm that day's availability before making the trek.
Air show at Brian Ranch Airport. (Photo courtesy of Brian Ranch via Facebook)
Brian Ranch Airport U-Pick Orchard. Brian Ranch is, as its name implies, a private airport that offers a U-Pick orchard on its grounds in addition to pilot instruction and the "World's Smallest" Air Show. Located about forty miles north of L.A. in Llano, Brian Ranch's apple-picking season begins in summer and stretches through late October. During picking season, they're open Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment; the $1.50-per-pound apple varieties include Braeburn, Golden Supreme, Red Fuji, & Royal Gala, and the website advises calling ahead to find out what's ripe. Bonus: you can also get homemade apple butter at Brian Ranch, which rules. Slather that good-good on an English muffin and voila, you're Mr. Autumn Man.
Brian Ranch Airport U-Pick Orchard is located at 34810 Largo Vista Rd. in Llano, CA. (661) 261-3216
Riley's Apple Farm in Oak Glen, CA. (Photo courtesy of Riley's)
Riley's Apple Farm. This three-acre farm is located in Oak Glen, the "Apple Country" of California (at least, according to the Riley's Farm website). U-Pick apple season is expected to run through October, and picking hours are Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To complement the apple-picking, Riley's Apple Farm also offers activities like "archery, tomahawk and knife throw." (Please run with knives responsibly.) You can also press cider for $20 a gallon, until 3 p.m. Note that Riley's Apple Farm is different from nearby Riley's Farm, a completely separate business that, according to its website, has already sold out of several apple varieties this fall.
Riley's Apple Farm is located at 12201 S Oak Glen Road in Oak Glen, CA. 909-797-4061
Willowbrook's 100-year-old orchard. (Photo courtesy of Willowbrook Apple Farm)
Willowbrook Apple Farm. Apple season begins this Saturday, October 7 at Willowbrook Apple Farm in Yucaipa, which houses a 100-year-old apple orchard that's ripe for the picking. The farm's apple-picking hours are Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the apples themselves are of the Stayman Winesap variety (which doesn't mean a ton to me, but might mean something to apple aficionados.) Willowbrook's website also invites visitors to "take a picture on our vintage tractors," an photo op that has likely launched a thousand Tinder profile-picture updates.
Willowbrook Apple Farm is located at 12099 S. Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa, CA. (909)-797-9484.
U-Pick apples at Los Rios Rancho. (Photo courtesy of Los Rios Rancho)
Los Rios Rancho. While many Oak Glen U-Pick apple orchards operate only on weekends, Los Rios Rancho is open on Thursday and Friday in addition to Saturday and Sunday, form 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. That's a whole lot of apple-picking time. Open since 1906, Los Rios claims the title of Southern California's largest apple farm. The farm's 23 apple varieties include Granny Smith and Red Rome, and when you've had your fill of picking, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the property.
Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 S. Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa, CA. (909) 797-1005