Thursday, March 20, 2014

Of Golds and Gemstones, Julian, CA


Where was California's most productive gold mine? It was in Julian, California at Stonewall Mine. In 1893, $2,000,000 of gold was mined in this site only with a 30 ft shaft - and that $2M was 117 years ago. Could you imagine how much the worth of that would be now?

Lake Cuyamaca @ Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, San Diego County

Julian, California was actually San Diego County's biggest city before, not San Diego. However, after the gold mining era, people slowly moved closer to the coast, making San Diego now the 8th largest city in US.

San Diego

Julian however became San Diego's quiet mountain escape and winter wonderland. 

 Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Julian, San Diego County

The biggest attractions in Julian for San Diegans are: 

1. A Quiet Mountain Escape Less Than an Hour Away from the City.

2. Julian's Apple Pies. Hmmm, I forgot to take a picture of those famous apple pies, but here are some apples from the trail instead. :)

Fallen Apples in the Trail 
( this was not in a farm, but in one of the hiking trails, I wondered if these apples were wild )

3. Hiking Wonderland. 

Stonewall Peak, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Julian, CA

4. Fishing

5. And perhaps, the biggest drawer of them all, gold panning and gemstone hunting.

If visitors are not into gold panning and gemstone hunting, they could still take a glimpse of what the gold and gemstone mining from more than 100 years ago is like.  Visitors could either take a tour at Eagle And High Peak Mine, one of Julian's original gold mines. Guides lead visitors through the intricate path of tunnels in the hard rock mine and share tales of the life of early residents of Julian.

Visitors could also enjoy a 1-mile train ride, exploring the Authentic Smith Ranch 1870 "gold rush" mine and they could pan for gold!

I may not be lucky enough to strike a gold and precious gemstone in Julian, but I consider these my "gold" find. :)
Golden Leaves Instead, haha!
My Gem Finds :) haha, Herons @ Lake Cuyamaca

If in case you visit Julian to try experiencing gold panning and gemstone hunting and end up with none, don't worry, I am sure you can always find precious gemstones in jewelry stores such as finding gemstone jewelry at

Visiting San Diego? There's more to San Diego than just the city and miles of blue coastline.
There's Julian,
Julian, San Diego County, CA

 where you may be able to strike your gold.

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  1. You discover a fortune with every step of yours, Betchai. This is wonderful. I am kind of envious looking at all your treasures. ;)

  2. Your gold nga. Yomon! Your photos are just awesome.

  3. wow, something i have learned about what San Diego was like before and those gold costs probably billion nowadays..i wonder where did all went? hmmm..and the only thing that i spotted instead of gold are those apples on the ground.

  4. Julian, CA had me at the serene mountain view. I can't resist a place with a relaxing view.

  5. Sis, your city looks beautiful and full of interesting places to explore. I love all your pictures. As usual they are all beautiful. I love the apple shots but I do not like that heron :-( He eats the fish in our pond :-(

  6. Love all the pics! My favorite is the heron shot.

  7. There's so much to explore in San Diego and your photos say it all! I wonder how one would feel to be able to find gold while panning? Will you be able to keep the gold?

    Nice photos sis. I wish our relatives took us there. We concentrated in Balboa and Cabrillo areas and if I had known then, I would have asked them to take us there!

    It would be nice to see all of those you have posted, including the apple trees!

  8. i wish someday the snow and me will met. hehehe..

  9. The place look so quiet and serene. Just looking at your photos makes me want to visit that place too. San Diego really have some cool and exciting places to see. I've been there once and I hope to go back there again someday.

  10. That blue mountains photo inspires me so much! Hmmm those golden leaves too!: )

  11. Thanks for sharing. I definitely want to try gem hunting and gold panning - all for the love of both. I want this activity in my bucket list.