Nature September 17, 2018
Stroll Through The Apple Orchards At This Majestic National Park In Utah
It’s apple-picking season, and if you want to pick your own there’s a truly special place to visit in Southern Utah. Check out the apple orchards at Capitol Reef National Park:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
The little town of Fruita was settled by Mormons in 1880, and the Gifford Homestead still stands today as part of Capitol Reef National Park.
Fruita was a small community, and no more than 10 families ever lived here at once. The Gifford Homestead was built in 1908 by Calvin Pendleton, who built the the small, original house, barn, and smokehouse. The third family to occupy the home was the Gifford family, who moved in in 1928 and lived there for 48 years.
The homestead includes 200 acres of orchards with more than 3,100 trees, which are maintained by the National Park Service.
The orchards served as both a cash crop for the community, and as a source for delicious, fresh fruit for the residents. You'll find cherries, apples, pears, peaches and apricots, and a variety of nut trees here.
Visitors can stroll through the orchards any time.
As long as the orchard gates are unlocked, feel free to stroll through the orchards and enjoy this shady oasis. The park asks that you don't pick fruit until it's in season, however.
Once fruit is ready to be harvested, visitors can join in the fun.
Ladders and hand-held pickers are available for guests to use during harvest season. Currently, apples are ripe for the picking, and pears and chestnuts may still be available as well. Call the Capitol Reef National Park Information Line to verify the availability of fruit: (435) 425-3791.
Fruit that is consumed in the orchard is free!
Feel free to sample an apple while you're enjoying the orchard. If you'd like to take some apples home, you'll pay just $1 per pound.
To enjoy the harvest's bounty without the work, stop by the Gifford Homestead Kitchen.
The building that once housed the homestead's kitchen serves as a little store that offers handmade items, gifts, and tasty treats. The store is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., until October 31st.
One of the most popular items for sale here? The fresh pies!
After you explore the homestead, you'll want to stop by for a fresh pie or cinnamon roll.
You can enjoy your pies at a picnic table under the shady trees, along with an old-fashioned soda.
Don't miss the annual Harvest Homecoming at Gifford Homestead.
The annual event includes live music, craft demonstrations, history presentations, and plenty of tasty food. It's held on September 29th, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. You'll find the Gifford Homestead just one mile south of the Capitol Reef National Park Visitor Center on Scenic Drive.
Learn more about the Gifford Homestead’s orchards on the
Capitol Reef National Park website, and follow the park on Facebook for the latest updates about the fruit harvests.
Have you ever harvested fruit from Capitol Reef’s orchards? We’d love to see your photos! If you love the great outdoors and enjoy photography, you might want to join our
Utah Nature Lovers Group on Facebook. You’ll see lots of beautiful photos taken by fellow Utahns, and can even submit some of your own.