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Wolf down that pie in Julian

A trip to the California Wolf Center.

If you think the only way to see a wolf is to watch Dances with Wolves, think again. Two top-tier North American predators, the Alaskan and Mexican wolves, have dens at the California Wolf Center.

Nestled in the mountains four miles south of Julian, 32 gray wolves are staging a comeback. A few feet from the enclosure, our guide described the wolves’ personalities and distinctive habits.

Saturday was our lucky day: it was in the 40’s, foggy and drizzly, and it was feeding day. With bouncy gaits, the curious wolves cruised over to the edge of the enclosure for numerous looks. They seemed to flow over the terrain more than walk. They came in pairs, cruised around, occasionally “marked” their territory and tossed inquisitive glances at our guide, Ashely Ward. (Where’s my food?)

Prior to the wolf encounter, we were treated to an informative lecture about the 30-year history of CWC. They’ve enjoyed success in breeding and releasing both Alaskan and Mexican gray wolf packs back into their natural habitat. Although they work closely with US Forest Service and other government agencies, the Center is completely funded through private donations.

After walking with wolves, an afternoon visit to Julian was in order. Lunch was necessary only to get to the apple pie. We ate at a local favorite, Julian Grill (760-765-0173), a house-turned-restaurant near the center of town. The salads and Reuben sandwich were great.

The Julian Pie Company and Julian Café and Bakery (760-765-2712), both on Main Street, are highly recommended as both places use fresh apples and make their crusts from scratch. What the heck, top the heated apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can walk off the calories touring nooks and crannies of the village.

Reservations are required to visit the CWC. Be prompt, as the caravans leave from the entrance to the center on schedule. Regular price is $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Leave extra time for the drive up the two-lane mountain road – slow traffic can add stress to a nice day.

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If you think the only way to see a wolf is to watch Dances with Wolves, think again. Two top-tier North American predators, the Alaskan and Mexican wolves, have dens at the California Wolf Center.

Nestled in the mountains four miles south of Julian, 32 gray wolves are staging a comeback. A few feet from the enclosure, our guide described the wolves’ personalities and distinctive habits.

Saturday was our lucky day: it was in the 40’s, foggy and drizzly, and it was feeding day. With bouncy gaits, the curious wolves cruised over to the edge of the enclosure for numerous looks. They seemed to flow over the terrain more than walk. They came in pairs, cruised around, occasionally “marked” their territory and tossed inquisitive glances at our guide, Ashely Ward. (Where’s my food?)

Prior to the wolf encounter, we were treated to an informative lecture about the 30-year history of CWC. They’ve enjoyed success in breeding and releasing both Alaskan and Mexican gray wolf packs back into their natural habitat. Although they work closely with US Forest Service and other government agencies, the Center is completely funded through private donations.

After walking with wolves, an afternoon visit to Julian was in order. Lunch was necessary only to get to the apple pie. We ate at a local favorite, Julian Grill (760-765-0173), a house-turned-restaurant near the center of town. The salads and Reuben sandwich were great.

The Julian Pie Company and Julian Café and Bakery (760-765-2712), both on Main Street, are highly recommended as both places use fresh apples and make their crusts from scratch. What the heck, top the heated apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can walk off the calories touring nooks and crannies of the village.

Reservations are required to visit the CWC. Be prompt, as the caravans leave from the entrance to the center on schedule. Regular price is $20 for adults and $10 for kids. Leave extra time for the drive up the two-lane mountain road – slow traffic can add stress to a nice day.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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