History Early settlers planted the orchards as a cash crop and for subsistence. No more than ten families lived in Fruita at any one time, and the last residents moved away in 1969. Today, the orchards are preserved and protected as part of the Fruita Rural Historic Landscape listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The orchards contain approximately 3,100 trees including cherry, apricot, peach, pear, apple, plum, mulberry, almond, and walnut. The National Park Service now maintains the orchards year round with historic cultural irrigation practices, pruning, mowing, pest management, planting, mapping, and grafting.
Harvest You are welcome to stroll in any unlocked orchard but fruit may not be picked until the orchard is posted as open for picking. When permitted, you may sample ripe fruit in any unlocked orchard. 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. Ladders and hand-held fruit pickers are provided to help you reach the fruit. Climbing the fruit trees is strictly prohibited. Please select only ripe fruit and leave the rest to ripen for other visitors.