Years ago, the pioneer settlement of Fruta planted hundreds of fruit trees in the sheltered canyon valley which since become Capitol Reef National Park. After the area became protected public land, the national park service decided to keep the fruit trees, allowing visitors to have access to the fruit. These “pick for yourself” orchards have become one the most distinctive features of Capitol Reef.
Every year thousands of visitors have the opportunity to pick fresh, ripe fruit right off the tree. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch encourage everybody who has the chance to visit Capitol Reef during the fruit season. It is especially fun for kids – who often don’t get the chance to harvest their own food.
Here are the approximate picking times for the various fruits that grow in Capitol Reef. Be aware that rainfall, temperature variation, and frost may hasten, delay or destroy the fruit crop. Please check with the visitor’s center to find out the exact dates.
Cherries – June 11 to July 7
Apricots – June 27 to July 22
Peaches – August 4 to September 6
Pears – August 7 to September 8
Apples – September 4 to the end of October
Although the pricing structure is subject to change, in the past the park has allowed visitors to eat all they want, while in the orchard, without charge. If you want to take some of the fruit home, they usually charge you about a dollar per pound. All the picking instruments (ladders, etc.) are provided.
We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch love the orchards of Capitol Reef. Check them out – the fruit is amazing!