Apple Pie a la Mode  LbNA # 13614

Placed DateFeb 26 2005
CountySan Diego
LocationJulian, CA
Planted ByCattail (MLK)    
Found By TheGNoble's
Last Found Jul 7 2012
Hike Distance?

Park Fee: None
Pet Friendly: No
Handicap Accessible: No
Round-trip distance: ½ mile
Difficulty: Easy

**Note - as of 11/21/09, the second box (a la mode) was reported missing. Not sure if it is actually missing, but one or both boxes may need maintenance. Thanks!**

Boxes contain: hand-carved stamps, home-made log-book, and is roomy enough for hitchhikers. Be sure to BRING YOUR OWN INK PAD / PEN!

Julian is a small mountain town that is famous for its apple pie. This letterbox is dedicated to Esmerelda of the Splendid Buccaneers, who is a BIG fan of pie (just ask any letterboxer in the Rocky Mountain Region), and who lended a helping hand in cheering me on while I was finishing my graduate work (pretty good for a pirate, huh?).

There are two boxes in this series; the first one (“Apple Pie”) was carved by Cattail of Escondido, CA, and the second one (“Apple Pie a la Mode”) was carved by Cap’n Bobby of Key Biscayne, FL. They are planted in the V0lcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, about two miles outside of Julian.

Directions to V0lcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve: From Julian’s main intersection, head north-west on Main Street (past the Julian Pie Company), which quickly turns into Farmer’s Road. In approximately two miles, the windy road will reach a T-intersection; turn right onto Wynola Road. Make the first quick left, back onto Farmer’s Road (there’s a green sign for Camp Cedar Glen). Within 100 yards, you’ll see a wooden sign for V0lcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve on the right side of the road; park on the street just beyond the sign.

Directions to the Apple Pie Letterbox: Your first task is to grab a slice of apple pie. Walk up the short access road that has apple orchards on either side, and a white fence on the left further on. Head past the chain with white tubing and another wooden sign for the Wilderness Preserve. Follow the path with stone walls on either side. Veer to the right and curve south (just past the stone wall) to a small seating area constructed of rocks. Stand in the center of the mosaic compass and turn south; you’ll find your pie squished up against the back of the large triangular rock on the south end of the second tier of the stone bench. Your treat is hidden by a couple of rocks and perhaps some foliage. There’s no log-book in this box; stamp yourself a piece of pie and move on to make it “a la mode” after you’ve rehidden the box well (please be discreet).

Directions to the Apple Pie a la Mode Letterbox: Continue on the main path, through the artistic gateway. Walk uphill from the trail information sign. From the first bend in the trail (it curves left), go approximately 25 paces (60 feet). To your left, you’ll see a cluster of 3 trees/shrubs in a small open space, approximately 14 paces (40 feet) off the trail. You’ll find a nice-sized scoop of ice cream to accompany your pie in the branches at the base of the biggest tree. Enjoy!

Box instructions: Please be discreet – this trail is heavily traveled! You may have to wait for people to leave before getting the box, or returning it to its spot! Please repack the box carefully, double-bagging the logbook. MOST IMPORTANTLY, replace the box in the lower branches, secure with the stone, and make sure that it is not visible from the trail. Please keep in mind that you are visible from the main gate (be discreet!) and that your footprints could give away the box’s location. Thanks for rehiding these boxes better than you found them. Email me and let me know how the box is doing.

Caution: rattlesnakes are present – keep an eye out. And, while very rare, mountain lions have been seen in this area. Always hike with a buddy! Visit the V0lcan Mountain website for maps and additional information: