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Contact: Visitor Center, 435-425-4111
Fruit harvest season is approaching! Cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, apples, and pears are typically available for harvest each summer at Capitol Reef National Park. Predictions for the 2019 fruit season show that the bloom may begin in early April and last for two to three weeks. Bing Cherries are expected to be available in limited quantities beginning in mid-June, and should last throughout the month. Apricots are expected to become available the last week of June. Apples and pears may begin in early August and the main peach harvest is expected to occur in late August.
“Cool temperatures and average rainfall indicate a strong fruit harvest this year, with bloom starting in early April.” says Orchard Technician Fritz Maslan. Current fruit harvest information and pricing is recorded on the Capitol Reef Fruit Hotline as fruit ripens and specific harvest start dates are determined. The fruit hotline may be reached by calling (435) 425-3791. Once the park number connects, press one for general information and, at the next prompt for the orchard hotline, press five. Fruit harvest information is also posted on the park’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Information on the Fruita orchards is available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/care under “plan your visit.”
Capitol Reef National Park uses the money collected from fruit sales to defray the cost of maintaining the orchards. The historic Fruita orchards are among the largest in the National Park System and were established in the 1880s by Mormon pioneer residents of Fruita. These orchards exhibit historic methods of fruit production that are rarely seen today, and give us insights into how challenging fruit production can be without the use of modern methods. The Fruita orchards are also home to several rare fruit varieties including the Capitol Reef Red apple.
The National Park Service provides special fruit picking ladders, and climbing fruit trees is not permitted in the park. Use care when picking fruit and carefully read and follow posted instructions on fruit picking and ladder use. Please bring your own bags for collecting fruit.
For more information about Capitol Reef National Park, visit www.nps.gov/care.