Friday, February 4, 2011

Ortega Candy Store Closing?

We recently received a comment, from one of our readers, pertaining to the closing of the Ortega Oaks Candy Store along Ortega Highway, stating that the last day the store will be open is February 28, 2011. I called the Ortega Oaks Campground to inquire about further details of the closing, however, no one picked up so all I could do was leave a message. Ashley and I are going to be up that way tomorrow anyway, as chance would have it, and were planning on stopping at the Candy Store. We plan on asking about the details of the closure tomorrow. The closure of the Ortega Oaks Candy Store would be a major loss for hikers and people who stop there regularly. I know that Ashley and I always stop there when we are hiking in the area and we normally bought our yearly Adventure Pass from that location. 

For more than 40 years, commuters along the Ortega Highway and hikers with a taste for everything from homemade licorice to homemade peanut butter cookies have paid homage to the Ortega Country Cottage Candy Store. It is a landmark along the 29 mile stretch of the Ortega Highway that links Orange County and the Inland Empire area. Many business along the road came on hard times with Cal Trans Construction on the Orange County side of the road that occurred a while ago. The construction started in 2007 and was finished in 2010. The financial hardship even caused the owners of Hells Kitchen to sue Cal Trans for lost revenue as they claimed their business dropped 65% due to the construction. Needless to say, times have obviously been tough. Hopefully when we visit tomorrow, we will be able to get more details on the closing. Either way, if you get the chance to head up that way and provide them some business I am sure they would appreciate it. I would like to thank Darby for taking the time to write the comment and inform us of the situation with the Candy Store.

UPDATE ON CANDY STORE: The store has reopened under new management as of April 2011.


  1. I'm happy to report that the Historical Candy Store of the Ortega Canyon is open and growing as we speak:) A nice young woman that is a resident of the Hwy and an active hiker has 'saved' the Candy Store and will be keeping the tradition alive. I just wanted to share the good news. Happy Trails


Ashley and I encourage and welcome our readers to submit comments about their experiences on the trails we have posted on our blog or about their own hiking experiences in general.