An Unusual Park Perk
If you’ve ever been to Capitol Reef National Park, then you’ve undoubtedly seen the fruit orchards. (The actually are what give the old town it’s name: Fruita). The orchards are managed and maintained by the National Park Service, and when the fruit is ripe, they open the orchards to the park visitors. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area, then you’ll get the chance to pick, and eat, and take home, some of the best fruit you’ll ever have. Here’s all the info so that way you can get the good stuff –
Ok, let’s actually back up a little. If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it to Capitol Reef in the summer and autumn months, you can still enjoy the orchards in another way – by seeing them in blossom. Here’s the schedule for when you can expect the best flowers:
- Cherries – late March to mid-April
- Apricots – early March to mid-April
- Peaches – late March to late April
- Pears – late March to early May
- Apples – early April to early May
You’ve seen the blossoms, early summer is over, and now that it’s July, you’re ready to start chomping. Obviously, the dates vary ever year, but this is the usual schedule:
- Cherries – mid-June to early July
- Apricots – ate June to mid-July
- Peaches – late July to early September
- Pears – early August to early September
- Apples – mid-August to mid-October
Everything that you pick and eat in the orchard is completely free – which is perfect if you just want a healthy snack. And if you want to take some of fruit home with you, it only costs only a dollar a pound. Which is basically a steal. Weigh and pay for your fruit at the self-serve scales near the entrance of each orchard.
As we mentioned, nobody knows the exact dates that the fruit will be ripe. They change every year. So while it’s super helpful to know the approximate ripeness schedule, it’s also important to have the latest orchard data. Luckily, Capitol Reef has you covered. The rangers post regular updates to their Facebook page, and the Visitor Center has a dedicated fruit hotline that can be reached at (435) 425–3791.