5 Top Destinations for Apple Picking
For decades, apples have been synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. And apple picking has offered a joyful experience for families, students on field trips and visitors who seek a taste of this local fruit. It’s no wonder, then, that farms throughout the Pacific Northwest offer U-pick opportunities, along with other attractions, fairs and festivals for the whole family. As the seasonal harvest approaches in late September and October, here’s where to pick apples and celebrate one of the region’s biggest, most well-known exports.
Wenatchee has historically been known as the Apple Capital of the World, and it’s easy to see why. Every spring, this city of nearly 34,000 hosts the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, the second-oldest festival in Washington state. In addition, Wenatchee is home to the Apple Capital Loop Trail, an 11-mile paved hiking and cycling path along the Columbia River. Even the local summertime baseball team is named the AppleSox.
Stutzman Ranch — going strong for more than a century — is among the region’s most popular U-pick farms, allowing visitors to pick bushels of Gala, Fuji and Golden Delicious apples in late summer and early fall. Note that the farm closes at the end of September. Visitors also can pick peaches, cherries, nectarines, pears and pluots.
Headed to Wenatchee? Check out our Wenatchee guide before you go.
Hood River Valley, OR
Visitors could spend weeks picking, sipping and tasting their way through the Hood River County Fruit Loop, a collection of roughly 30 farm stands, orchards, cideries, wineries and lavender fields in the heart of the Hood River Valley — and at the base of Mount Hood, the tallest peak in Oregon.
With so many choices, it can be tough to know where to start, so here are a handful of the area’s most popular farms.
The family-owned Kiyokawa Family Orchards offers more than 120 distinct varieties of apples, pears and Asian pears — and lays claim to the valley’s largest U-pick orchard. Visitors can purchase honey, jams and fresh cider at the orchard’s farm stand, as well.
Hood River U-Pick Organic offers U-pick Gala and Honeycrisp apples every September and October — along with impressive views of nearby Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
Draper Girls Country Farm & U-Pick Orchards offers a U-pick orchard with dwarf trees for easy access, and an on-site fruit stand sells cider, jams, jellies and more. Draper Girls also boasts the only non-pasteurized licensed apple cider mill in the Hood River Valley.
Headed to Hood River? Check out our Hood River guide before you go.
Valleys surrounding the Cascade Range get much of the farming love, but numerous U-pick apple orchards dot the Idaho landscape, with several within a couple hours of Boise. Here’s where to pick apples in Idaho this fall.
Anderson Apple Ranch, just 30 miles from Boise, opens in late September, remains open through October, and invites visitors to pick Red Delicious and Golden Delicious apples.
Tyler’s Rocky Point Orchard is a family-operated orchard 45 minutes from Boise; the orchard remains open through October and offers pre-picked and U-pick fruit, including apples, cherries, apricots and pluots
Kelley’s Canyon Orchard was established in 1908 and, more than a century later, sells a variety of fruit grown in Idaho’s Snake River Canyon, including cherries, peaches, plums and 10 varieties of apple.
Headed to Boise? Check out our Boise guide before you go.
Skagit Valley, WA
Washington’s Skagit Valley may be best known for its colorful tulip farms, but farmers grow more than 90 crops throughout the verdant valley, including apples.
Hoehn Bend Farm invites visitors to experience life on a working farm. Attractions include a U-pick apple orchard, the chance to feed farm animals, egg collecting, an on-site farm stay and more.
Jones Creek Farms specializes in U-pick apples, peaches and pears through October. The bucolic farm offers more than 50 varieties of apple, including Cortland, Jonagold and Sunrise.
Apple Creek Orchards offers U-pick Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Gala and other varieties of apple every October near the community of Ferndale. The no-frills farm doesn’t offer a bakery, gift shop or other attractions, priding itself on an old-fashioned, authentic farm experience.
Willamette Valley, OR
Grapes get all the love in the Willamette Valley — it is a world-renowned wine region, after all — but plenty of U-pick apple orchards abound.
Beilke Family Farm offers 15 varieties of apple on a walkable, 10-acre orchard in the heart of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Short dwarf trees offer safe, easy picking for all ages and abilities, and signage points out the ripest apples.
Queener Farm grows more than 100 varieties of apple, with varieties for baking, saucing and eating, and many varieties available nowhere else.
Headed to the Willamette Valley? Check out our Willmette Valley guide before you go.
–Written by Matt Wastradowski, last updated in October 2022.
–Top photo is of Steens Mountain. Photo by Dennis Frates/Alamy
Photo credits (from top): iStock.com/SDI Productions, Stemilt Growers, iStock.com/ClarkandCompany, Washington Apple Commission