My favorite thing about hiking Volcan Mountain on the Five Oaks Trail was eating the amazing homemade, famous Julian apple pie afterward.
From San Diego it takes about an hour and a half to arrive at the trail head. When we got there around 9am (the trail opens at 8) there was plenty of free street parking on the road. The second half of the drive is all windy mountain (anxiety inducing) roads. I don’t like driving on windy narrow roads, but we made it there and the hike was wonderful!
I recommend the Five Oaks Trail because it has pretty scenery and is dog friendly, but listen close. Start at the trailhead and walk for about ¼ of a mile. The small wooden “Five Oaks Trail” sign and a small set of stairs will be on the right side of the trail. If you blink you will miss it. Take this trail to veer onto the scenic route up through the forested trail. If you don’t veer off then you will continue walking up the steep fire road. Watch for poison oak along the trail!
At about 2 miles in you will reach a nice lookout summit with a bench to sit and enjoy the views. Keep walking the trail and it will soon connect you back to the fire road. Continue up the fire road to another summit. Once you reach the top trace your steps back down to the car. It’s a moderate difficulty trail that only takes about an hour and a half.
When you’re done take the 10 minute detour to Julian’s main street.
The Julian Apple Pie Company has the best freshly made apple pies you could ever dream of. The apple and mountain berry is delicious. The Dutch caramel apple is to die for. Request your pie warm alamode and savor every bite on the outdoor deck. (Also dog friendly!) The neighborly service and nice weather makes it a mandatory pit stop when visiting this area for hikes. Cuyamaca Peak is next on my list and it’s just so happens to be conveniently located in this same area!