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El Rancho Escondido
Ranch Life in the Island's Interior
Nestled in a small valley nearly 12 miles outside of Avalon is El Rancho Escondido, or “the hidden ranch.” Still a working ranch, it was originally started as the Wrigley family's Arabian Horse Ranch.
In the early 1930s, Philip and Helen Wrigley set out to develop a breeding program for Santa Catalina Island’s wild horses. By the 1950s, those efforts evolved into breeding champion Arabian horses that were exhibited at shows and competitions across the United States. El Rancho Escondido had become a world-class horse ranch as well as a major Catalina attraction.
Today the horses remain, as does the intent of El Rancho Escondido: to share Catalina's interior with visitors. The Ranch is also used to grow grapes for Rusack Vineyards, which produces chardonnay, pinot noir and zinfandel varieties. The owners hope the vineyard can be an example of an organically correct, sustainable agricultural operation.
Find out more about the Explore El Rancho Escondido Tour.