Apple Hill Growers Association

*Scroll Down to access posts to different farms

*Apple Hill Growers Association Website
*Apple Hill's Complete Visitors Guide 2020 (you can find this guide on their homepage)
*Wylder (Sorensen's) Resort Website
*Apple Hill's U-Pick Guide
*Official Apple Hill Instagram- gives lots of updates and information about farms

About Apple Hill:

Apple Hill is an amazing association of over 55 ranchers, including Christmas tree growers, wineries, and a spa, located in Placerville and Camino, CA.

It all started with one man's dream of working the lands and reaping the rewards of being a lifelong farmer and ended up with a collection of ranchers passionate about preserving the history of the lands while providing families with good old-fashioned fun. (1)

Throughout the span of 50 years, the Apple Hill Growers Association has worked hard to create the perfect experiences, filled with lots of family fun.  

Experiences include, but are not limited to:
-delicious apple concoctions made from a wide variety of apples 
-pumpkin patches 
-craft vendors 
-kid's attractions: hay/train/pony rides, face paint, gemstone mining, nature trails, candle making, rolling/running around endless grassy areas, cooking classes, hay mazes
-amazing spots for picnics 
-breathtaking views
-fall foliage 
-special holiday experiences
-U-Pick: apples, berries, flowers, grapes, pumpkins, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, cherries, seasonal veggies
-beautiful Christmas trees.

My family and I have gone countless times to Apple Hill and always leave with tons of Apple Cider & baked goodies, feeling happy, full, and eager for our next visit.

From South Reno, the drive is two hrs. through beautiful South Lake Tahoe and the amazing El Dorado National Forest.  You will find yourself among lush forests, winding hills, and up high with sweeping views of nature.  During spring, pull over and catch the tranquil Bridal Veil Falls (Pollock Pines) at its peak right alongside the freeway.

The most popular time to visit Apple Hill is in October, so if you're planning a trip at this time, be prepared for long lines and traffic.  Should you choose to go during October, going on a weekday and/or right when the farms open is best to avoid big crowds.  

My family and I like to visit late September before it gets busy because we get to experience all that the hill has to offer, all without waiting.  Some also like to go early November, but by then the weather may be more chilly and certain fall activities may not be available. 

The farms open seasonally, from mid-August to December (Boa Vista is open year-round), but if you're looking to try certain fruits and veggies, first check out the harvest calendar on Apple Hill's website.  There you will also be able to find the map of all their farms, lodging information, dates for special events, information for nearby attractions, contact information, descriptions of what each farm has to offer, and the Apple Hill blog.  

Some Tips:
*High Hill Ranch (and Boa Vista Orchard next door) are some of the most visited farms on the hill.  Consider visiting other farms on the road less traveled to make the most out of your visit.  Each one is beautiful and special in its own way. 
*Check out their visitors guide to plan your visit and find which farms serve hot BBQ Lunches
*El Dorado Farm (Right next to Boa Vista Orchards) has a beautiful scenic train ride
*Keep up-to-date with Boa Vista and the other farms through their Facebook pages for updates on year-round festivals
*Visit late September and Early November to avoid traffic and long lines
*Check Accuweather for weather forecasts and air quality so you can dress and plan accordingly
*Call farms to double-check that they're open
*Bring a cooler to keep perishables fresh (can't leave home without their amazing pies and apple cider). 
*Pets are welcome, but must be kept on leash and attended to at all times
*allow enough time to visit all the farms by planning to visit at opening time or plan to stay for a couple of days to explore all of the farms
*Most farms open at 8am and close at 5pm
*Apple Hill's website/guide has a list of kid-friendly farms
*Some farms are available for special occasions such as weddings
*If you're visiting in October, your best bet to avoid the crowds is to go right at opening time on the weekend or plan to visit on a weekday
*Abel's Acres has a rad book section that has unique books about Autumn 
*Abel's Acres and Apple Ridge Farm have a great holiday decoration section that should not be missed if you're crazy about holiday decorations
*If you're an apple pie baker, look out for the Master Peeler/Corer at Denver Dan's and Bill's Apples that makes cutting apples a breeze
*call farms ahead of time to see if there's something in store foryou,u if you have allergies to nuts, etc.
*Larsen Apple Barn is one of the oldest farms that has a little history and museum for viewing
*You can buy ice for cooler at Boa Vista Orchards
*If you're being extra cautious about Covid, call ahead to check crowd levels and Covid safety measures.  In large crowds, I like to wear a mask and I always carry hand sanitizer.  Samsung Pay (app on phone, touchless pay) works at most places you can swipe or tap your card.

Must Try Apple Goods:
-Apple Cider (High Hill Ranch, Apple Ridge Farm, Delfino Farms, Rainbow Orchards, Boa Vista Ranch) 
-sparkling cider and lemon curd from BOA
-Caramel Apple Milkshake (High Hill Ranch)
-Apple Donuts and Apple fritters (High Hill, Apple Ridge, Rainbow Orchards-known for their donuts. long wait)
-Caramel Apples (Abel's Acres has the most specialty selections. Apple Pie Caramel is my all-time favorite)
-Apple Milkshakes (High Hill Ranch)
-Caramels (The ones from Apple Ridge Farm are out of this world) and Caramel Corn Nuggets (Apple Ridge Farm).  Warning, they're so addicting that you may not be able to stop yourself from eating the whole bag.
-Pie of all sorts (Bodhaine Ranch is known for their award-winning pies- blackberry apple sour cream, raspberry apple cream cheese, harvest delight (pumpkin and cream cheese)
-berry cream cheese blossom from Apple Ridge. Tastes so good, warmed up

Getting There:
*If you're looking for nice scenery on the drive to Apple Hill, take Highway 50 toward Carson City. You will pass through South Lake Tahoe and see some great views.  You can also do a pit stop and eat at Heavenly SkiResort; visitt Whole Foods or any other eatery places nearby.
*During Fall, when leaves are at their peak, I like to take Highway 88(Gardnerville) to 89 (Hope Valley) then to 50 (Apple Hill) so that I can drive through magnificent, sweeping views of changing aspen trees.  If you're looking for the most charming place to stay in Hope Valley, it's Wylder's Resort (formerly known as Sorensen's Resort).  As a note, the resort is only open to guests staying on property.  The sweeping, untouched views of Aspen trees are unbelievable.  The Hope Valley Route is about 10 miles longer but can easily be shorter or the same time as the South Lake Tahoe Route, as it is mostly highways that you will travel on as compared to traveling on streets in Lake Tahoe.

*Click on titles for link to individual Apple Hill farm entries

(Maze, Gemstone Mining, Pony Rides, Bakery, Hot Food, Bug Shelter Picnic area, holiday decorations, apple cider, caramel apples, fudge, craft fair, photo cutouts, fresh apples)

(Train Ride, Face Paint, Craft Fair, Hot Lunch, Fresh Apples, Apple Goods, Picnics, Restrooms)

(U-Pick Apples, pumpkin patch, apple milkshakes, hot bbq lunch, frozen pies, food trucks, kettle corn)

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