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Plan To Visit Capitol Reef National Park During Harvesttime!

Fruita, Capitol Reef National Park, copyright Patrick Cone.

Red rock and red apples both can be found at Capitol Reef National Park. Patrick Cone photo, used with permission.

Cherries bursting with flavor, juicy peaches and apples, pears and apricots. Those are some of the tasty treasures that await you at Capitol Reef National Park, and they're yours for the pickin'.

There also are some almond and walnut trees in historic Fruita, a settlement dating to 1880 when Mormon missionaries came to the area. But far and away the focus of visitors is cast on the fruit trees that offer harvests throughout the summer and into the fall.

There are nearly 3,000 trees in the park's orchards, and visitors are free to pick ripe fruit during their stay for free. If you want to take some of the fruit home, the park charges a nominal fee that is posted on signs in the orchards. You'll also find hand-held fruit pickers and ladders to help reach the treetops, but be careful, as it wouldn't take much to fall out of the trees.

The park also provides plastic bags and scales, and payments are on the honor system, so don't get greedy.

Here's the rough schedule for fruit tree harvesting dates:

Harvest Dates

Cherries................June 11-July 7

Apricots (early)........June 27-July 22

Apricots (ergular)......June 28-July 18

Peaches.................August 4--September 6

Pears...................August 7-September 8

Apples..................September 4-October 17

As far as collecting nuts, you can pick what you find on the ground.


Nice tidbit of information...makes one consider when to go to optimize the experience

The apricots are blooming right now and they're beautiful! Things are running a little behind schedule due to the bad winter, but it does look like we'll have a good fruit year. As the time approches, you can call the park and go through the automated system to reach the fruit updates. We update them daily so you can plan when to come picking!

And thank you Kurt for mentioning the fee for taking the fruit. It's cheaper than any grocery store and the fruit is so much better! But you don't have to pay for what you eat right there in the orchard, only what you take.

I'll be in the orchards this summer so hopefully I'll see some of you out there!

We visited Capital Reef in the summer of 2008 and loved it! We had hoped to pick peaches but by noon they were already gone (get there early!!). We were able to pick apples, though, and had so much fun. Fresh fruit always tastes so much better. Don't forget to stop by the Historic Gifford Farmhouse as they make fresh fruit pies and they are delicious! Pictures will be on flickr soon!

Latest fruit update!

Although the apricot blossoms appeared to have dodged the frost, the succession of cold nights has prevented the fruit from setting and we anticipate an 80% loss of the apricot crop.

So very sad

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