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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.

Although the Arabians are gone, the intent of El Rancho Escondido remains: to share Catalina's interior with visitors. The Ranch is now home to Rusack Vineyards, which produces chardonnay, pinot noir and zinfandel grapes. The owners hope the vineyard can be an example of an organically correct, sustainable agricultural operation.

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