Visitors of Capitol Reef are often curious about the orchards that lie within a mile or two of the Visitor Center. These trees are the most obvious remnant of the pioneer community of Fruita , which was settled in 1880. Usually no more than 10 families lived in Fruita at any one time, and the last resident moved away in 1969. Early settlers planted the orchards to insure subsistence. Today, the orchards are preserved and protected as a Rural Historic Landscape. The orchards hold approximately 2,700 trees and are composed of cherry, apricot, peach, pear, and apple, as well as, a few plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut trees. The National Park Service now owns and maintains the orchards with a 2-person orchard crew that is kept busy year round with pruning, irrigation, and orchard management.
You are welcome to stroll in any unlocked orchard and you may consume as much ripe fruit as you want while in the orchards. Fruit may not be picked in quantity until the designated harvest begins. Orchards that are open for picking are signed as such. A fee is charged for all fruit picked and removed from the orchards. Signs listing fruit prices, scales, plastic bags, and a self-pay station are located near the entrance of open orchards. Please select only ripe fruit and leave the rest to ripen for other visitors. ORCHARD SAFETY! Hand-held fruit pickers and ladders are provided to aid in picking. Never climb the trees to pick fruit! Please read the safety signs located near the orchard entrance before using orchard ladders. Be sure the ladder is on firm, level ground with the third leg fully extended and the chains pulled tight. Do not stand on the top 3 rungs, and avoid leaning to either side when picking. Children should not use ladders unsupervised. Please do not climb trees. The orchards can add much to your Capitol Reef visit... PLEASE THINK SAFETY...AND ENJOY THEM !
APPROXIMATE FLOWERING AND HARVESTING TIMES FLOWERING HARVEST Cherries 3/31 - 4/19 6/11 - 7/7 Apricots (early) 2/27 - 3/20 6/27 - 7/22 Apricots (regular) 3/7 - 4/13 6/28 - 7/18 Peaches 3/26 - 4/23 8/4 - 9/6 Pears 3/31 - 5/3 8/7 - 9/8 Apples 4/10 - 5/6 9/4 - 10/17.