Capitol Reef Orchards in Fruita

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Spring sunrise in Fruita.

Spring sunrise in Fruita. 

It's such a surprise to turn the corner from desert rock formations and see a lush shady valley full of fruit trees.

The tiny community of Fruita in the north central part of Capitol Reef National Park was settled by pioneers. The 10 families that lived there planted orchards of cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut trees. Today the 200 acre Fruita Rural Historical District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Location map of Fruita inside Capitol Reef National Park

The Gifford Farm

Twilla Gifford with her lamb outside of the Gifford Homestead. Photo courtesy of NPS

Twilla Gifford with her lamb outside of the Gifford Homestead. 

In 1969, Fruita was sold to the National Park Service. The Capitol Reef Natural History Association, in cooperation with the National Park Service, has renovated and refurnished the Gifford farmhouse as a cultural demonstration site to interpret the early Mormon settlement of the Fruita valley. The house depicts the typical spartan nature of rural Utah farm homes of the early 1900s. In addition to the farmhouse, the Gifford homestead includes a barn, smokehouse, garden, pasture, and rock walls. The kitchen is a retail store selling many items including locally fresh-baked pies, jams, and ice cream.

The Gifford Homestead is located 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the visitor center on the Scenic Drive and is open 8-5 daily (possible extended hours in the summer) from March 14 (Pi Day) to October 31 (closing dates may vary).

The Gifford Farm in Fruita, Capitol Reef National Park

The Gifford Farm

The Fruita Orchards

You are welcome to stroll in any unlocked orchard and consume ripe fruit 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. Fruit taken from the orchards must be paid for. A self-pay station with scales, plastic bags, and signs listing fruit prices is located near the entrance of orchards open for fruit harvest. Please select only ripe fruit and leave the rest to ripen for other visitors.

Stroll Among the Blossoms in Spring

Cherries, First half of April
Apricots, March thu mid-April
Peaches, late-March thru late-April
Pears, April
Apples, mid-April thru early-May

Harvest the Fruit from Summer through Autumn

"U Pick Fruit" in Fruita.

"U Pick Fruit" in Fruita. 

Cherries, mid-June thru early July
Apricots, July
Peaches, August
Pears, August
Apples, September thru mid-October

Nearby Attractions

After you have your fill of fruit, pie, and ice cream, head down the road to see the Hickman Bridge and Petroglyphs.


The white domes of the Navajo formation are stop #10 on the Capitol Reef scenic drive.

Perfect Day in Capitol Reef National Park

Known for its incredible red-rock formations and its fruit orchard, Capitol Reef National Park is a fantastic place to spend a day or more exploring.

Cassidy Arch in Capitol Reef National Park

5 Things to See at Capitol Reef National Park

The best viewpoints, trails, and attractions in this under-the-radar park.

The Hickman Natural Bridge in Capitol Reef National Park

Natural Rock Arches in Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park has over 20 natural arches including the most famous one, Hickman Natural Bridge.


Official Capitol Reef National Park Map PDF

A very specific and useful map of Capitol Reef National Park showing roads, features, and entrances.

Heading west on Highway 24 to Capitol Reef National Park

Hanksville, Utah to Capitol Reef National Park Scenic Drive

From Hanksville, a mining and ranching town, through the ghost town of Caineville, and on to Capitol Reef National Park, Hwy 24 will not disappoint.

Utah Highway 12 through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Scenic Utah Byway 12 from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef

Car and Driver rated it among ten most scenic highways, Forbes as one of America's best snowy drives, and Backpacker magazine as a favorite Wild Road.

Hiker at Sunset Point looking to Castle Rock in Capitol Reef National Park

Remote Beauty in Capitol Reef Country

Take in Utah’s stunning color palette in and around Capitol Reef National Park.

Glass-ceiling pool house with hot tub at Broken Spur Inn in Torrey, Utah

Broken Spur Inn & Steakhouse near Capitol Reef National Park

For Capitol Reef lodging, stay at one of the closest properties to that famous scenic drive that leads through the park.

The supermoon rises above Turret Arch in Arches National Park

Visit Utah Parks Virtually

You don’t have to visit Utah’s five national parks in person to experience their gorgeous red-rock canyons, spires and ancient ruins.