There is nothing quite as tasty as eating a juicy peach just picked off the tree. And on August 21, you'll be able to do just that if you show up at Capitol Reef National Park for the opening of the peach harvest in the Krueger Orchard.
Park arborists say Hale and Elberta peaches will be available for harvest at the Krueger Orchard, which can be found about 1.5 miles east of the visitor center on Highway 24. The gates to the orchard will open at 9 a.m. next Tuesday. There is no charge for fruit consumed in the orchards; however, the charge for fruit taken from the orchard is $1 a pound.
Fenced orchards are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Unfenced orchards remain open during daylight hours. Scales for weighing fruit and pay stations are provided in open orchards. Both Elberta and Hale peaches are freestone.
Additional fruit harvest information is recorded on the Capitol Reef Fruit Hotline as fruit ripens and specific harvest 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 voice prompt for the orchard hotline, press five.
Climbing fruit trees is not permitted in the park. The National Park Service provides special fruit picking ladders. Use care when picking fruit and carefully read and follow the posted instructions on fruit picking and ladder use.
Receipts from the fruit sales help defray the costs of maintaining the orchards. The historic Fruita orchards are the largest in the National Park System and were established in the 1880s by pioneer residents of Fruita.