Apple Hill is an annual tradition for my family. Every year, we look forward to driving from orchard to orchard, through the winding country roads flanked by tall pines and green trees turning bright hues of yellow and red. And every year, High Hill Ranch is our very first stop.
High Hill Ranch
High Hill Ranch is a must-visit orchard for every Apple Hill Day Trip.
Whether you’re on the hunt for apple pie and caramel apples, craft booths with handmade items, pony rides and hay rides, face painting, a family picnic by the fishing pond, a BBQ lunch, fresh fudge at The Fudge Factory, or free wine tasting, High Hill Ranch has it all.
A family owned and operated farm since 1960, High Hill Ranch is open seven days a week until Christmas. Usually we plan our Apple Hill day trip for a weekend day, but after spending almost six hours stuck in traffic on the winding roads through Apple Hill last year, we decided to let the kids skip a day of school to go on a Monday.
I LOVED being able to roam the orchards without the crowds, without the lines, and without the noise. At most orchards though, almost everything was closed and all of the craft booths were shuttered — but not at High Hill Ranch. While some things were closed (like the BBQ), the craft booths, the pie house, the apple barn, and the wine tasting were all open. And, even though their website says they only run Friday-Sunday, the pony rides, hay rides, and fishing pond were also open and running.
The Apple Barn
In The Apple Barn, located right across from the fishing pond, you’ll find a wide variety of fresh-picked apples, peaches, and Asian pears, as well as all sorts of jams, jellies, apple butter, apple cider, caramels, caramel apples, caramels sauces, and more.
If you’re smelling the fresh baked apple donuts, this is the place to be! The Apple Donut Window is in the back of the Apple Barn, and while the line gets long, it’s worth the wait. You can choose from glazed, cinnamon and sugar, crumb, sprinkle, chocolate, maple, and apple fritters.
The Pie House
At The Pie House, you’ll find all sorts of different pies, including caramel apple crunch, dutch apple crunch, sour cream apple, blackberry, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, peach pie, cheesecake, apple, cake, and more. Get a hot slice plain or a-la-mode, or buy a whole pie to share with your family or take home.
If you’re hungry for something other than pie, you can also order meals like burgers and fries, tri-tip sandwiches, hot dogs and polish dogs, chili, chili cheese fries, and spicy black bean burger.
The Wine Shack
The Wine Shack, located between the Country Store and the Pumpkin Patch, cheeses, jams, and dressings. Stop in for their free wine tasting, purchase apple wine by the glass, or buy a bottle. This is also where you can find their famous Caramel Apple Cider Shake.
The Fudge Factory
The Fudge Factory is a separate Apple Hill Stop, but practically on the same property as High Hill Ranch and right next to each other, so you can park once and visit both.
At The Fudge Factory, there are sweet treats for everyone in your family:
- Freshly made caramel apples and 20 types of candy coated apples
- 40 different flavors of homemade fudge
- A full ice cream counter, serving ice cream cones and sundaes
- Fresh-baked pies
- A candy counter with handmade chocolates, English toffee, truffles, and sweets
- Caramel corn
Trust me when I say that no one will leave The Fudge Factory hungry!
Now don’t be fooled — The Fudge Factory is more than a candy store, they are also a sustainable, organic family farm that grows apples, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. They use their own organic fruit in all of their baked goods, candies, jams, and jellies.
Know Before You Go
- High Hill Ranch is located at 2901 High Hill Road, Placerville, CA 95667 — and is Apple Hill farm #1 in El Dorado County.
- The Fudge Factory Farm is located at 2860 High Hill Road, Placerville, CA 95667 and is Apple Hill stop #40 in El Dorado County.
- High Hill Ranch is a dog friendly ranch, as long as you keep your dog on a leash.
- If you’re not a big fan of Port-A-Potties, you’re in luck! While they’re not always very clean, High Hill does have regular bathrooms.
- Parking fills up very fast, especially on weekends in the fall, visit early in the day to get a spot without a long wait.
- Be sure you try their delicious Apple Cider Shake, and grab a fresh slice of pie in the famous High Hill pie house.
- Bring cash, lots of cash! Face painting runs $5-$10/person, fishing is $9/person, pony rides are $7/person, and tractor hayrides are $5/person.
- Other awesome family-friendly Apple Hill stops we love include: Apple Ridge Farms, Rainbow Orchards, Boa Vista Orchards, Abel’s Apple Acres, Mill View Ranch, and El Dorado Orchards.