The first day my parents were visiting we had a solid plan: take Burr Trail all the way to Burr Trail Grill in Boulder then go to Capitol Reef to see the Pioneer Register again (they hadn’t seen it yet) and pick apples in the orchard at Capitol Reef, finally! I wanted to pick fruit last year, but we didn’t know how it worked, couldn’t figure it out, and didn’t have any money so we didn’t do it, but now I knew and I was EXCITED!
So off we went and made a zillion stops along Burr since my parents hadn’t seen the whole thing yet. And if you haven’t driven Burr Trail and plan on being in Southern Utah like, ever, you should definitely think about doing it. Then you can visit Lake Powell, too since it will spit you out right by Bullfrog!
There are lots of hiking and camping opportunities on the trail as well and if you’re really feeling adventurous and have a high clearance vehicle you can drive the Wolverine Loop, too. I wouldn’t if it is rainy or recently has been, though as the road can get a little washed up. AND I would highly recommend the Burr Trail Grill if you’re in the area. The risotto cakes and fried green tomatoes are sooooo good! I mean, it all is, but those are my favorites.
Next up was Capitol Reef. My parents hadn’t gotten to go all the way into Capitol Gorge last year since the road was closed, so this year we took them in to see the Pioneer Register. We decided to skip the tanks since we already saw them and they weren’t that exciting.
So, to the register we went with a stop at the petroglyphs as well. I feel like I noticed more of them this time. I only remember the guy with antlers from above last time, but there were actually quite a few. We didn’t spend a ton of time here since the orchard was the main goal of the trip.
I wasn’t really sure how to figure out which orchards were open and it was too late to ask at the visitors center, but we passed one right after the campground that was open and I was ready. I had my apple picking shoes on and was ready to eat as many as I could in there.
The orchard we were in had apples and pears, but the pear season ended a couple weeks before we were there. But, there were plenty of apples to go around and it was so fun! I got to use one of those small basket things with a handle to get the high ones down. I talked to like, three random people in there and picked a few apples for some lady. I ended up eating five in the orchard and took at least five with me.
This was such a fun experience and next year I plan on going back all summer for the different fruit seasons. I would highly recommend making a stop in an orchard if you’ll be spending any time in Capitol Reef. You can find out when to pick what on the park service website for the park.
Tips for fruit picking in Capitol Reef:
- You can eat as much as you want while you’re in the orchard and everything you take with you is $2 per pound. If this is different it will say in the orchard somewhere.
- It’s probably best to go early in the specific picking season you want for more fruit available. The later in the season, the less there is.
- To find out more about harvest times, call the park information line and hit 1 for visitor information then 5 for the fruit hotline. Yes, a fruit hotline.
- These are the harvest seasons:
- Cherries: June 11 – July 7
- Apricots: June 27 – July 22 (early)
- June 28 – July 18 (regular)
- Peaches: August 4 – September 6
- Pears: August 7 – September 8
- Apples: September 4 – October 17
- Bring something to carry the fruit you plan to take with you in. Pockets can only go so far.
Have you picked fruit in Capitol Reef? What is your favorite fall activity?