Fall is just around the corner and you know what that means: apple harvest season. Whether you prefer baking them or slicing them, Washington’s U-pick orchards are beginning to open. To help you make the picking process easy, we’ve rounded up 10 orchards near (and not-so-near) Seattle that offer pick-your-own apples and a handful more that host tours and festivals to celebrate the harvest. So gather up your little pickers, grab your bushel bags and scroll down for our top picks.
photo: Kristina Moy
Apple Creek Orchard
Starting in October, Apple Creek Orchard will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except on Wednesdays) for pick-your-own Jonagold apples for $15 per 5 gallon bucket. The farm provides buckets and carts, but remember to bring boxes to transport the fruit of your labors home. Also, you can eat as many apples as you want while you are picking and any that your children can get in their pockets are free. For real! Note: these apples are for pies, applesauce, apple chips and eating, not for storage.
Good to know: Keep an eye on their Facebook page for opening day updates. And remember, the farm has chickens, geese, ducks and guinea hens walking around, so dogs are not allowed in the orchard or in the parking lot.
Jones Creek Farms
Jones Creek Farms offers more than 50 varieties of u-pick apples from August to October. The 2018 apple picking season is scheduled to kickoff Aug. 17-19 and is likely to go through the end of October, but we suggest viewing their harvest calendar online before you go. U-pick apples are $1.50/pound or $1.25/pound when you purchase 20 or more pounds. Purchase over a 100 pounds and pay just $1 per pound. Got questions about picking or the apple varieties? Shoot Les an email at email@example.com and he will be happy to answer all your questions.
Psst! Check their info page for daily updates on their harvest schedule. The farm is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. And even though apples are their specialty, you can also pick pears, Asian pears, plums and pumpkins.
32260 Burrese Rd.
Sedro Woolley, WA 98284
photo: Kristina Moy
The Farm at Swan’s Trail
The Farm at Swan’s Trail in Snohomish includes a full acre of Jonagold and Honeycrisp apple trees. You can take the kids on a wagon ride out to the U-pick orchard or park right next to the orchard on the weekends before the harvest festival season begins. Just remember…the season only lasts for a few weeks, so be sure to call before you go. The orchard’s Honeycrisp apples usually begin to ripen in early to mid-September; Jonagolds ripen slightly later in the month and are a great apple for both fresh eating and home-baked treats such as apple pies and apple dumplings. U-pick prices are based on quantity. (2017 prices were $2/pound for Jonagolds; $2.50/pound for Honeycrisps. 2018 prices TBD.) Check for U-pick updates and picking times on their website or Facebook page. As of this writing, the farm is planning to be open mid-September.
Good to know: During the month of October, The Farm at Swan’s Trail is a popular destination for fall activities including wagon rides, live duck races, a corn box, hay jump and corn maze, plus a 45-acre pumpkin patch. Their Fall Festival will open Sep. 29 and run through Oct.31 on weekdays from noon-6 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Weekday field trips are available by appointment.
photo: Kristina Moy
BelleWood Acres is a working farm that offers pick-your-own apples in one of the largest apple orchards in western Washington (it’s a whopping 25,000 tree orchard!). They also offer tours for families aboard the Apple Bin Express (which stops at trees that are ready for picking) and lessons for kids on best practices for picking. Watch the packing line, visit the cider press and pop into the Country Cafe for breakfast or lunch, then stop into their expanded on-site store and bring some apple goodies home with you. Choose from 20 delicious apple varieties including Jonagold, Sansa, Honeycrisp and Golden Supreme.
Good to know: Harvest season begins in late Aug. and runs through the end of October, however check their ripening calendar for more details and their Facebook page for current U-pick apple availability. As of this writing, U-pick begins Sep. 1 with the farm’s Tsugaru apples. You can also call 360-318-7720 to confirm what varieties are ready for picking or purchase before you go.
photo: Allison Sutcliffe
Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm
If the kiddos are craving fresh cider, look no further than Lattin’s Country Mill. Lattin’s is open year-round and holds an Apple Festival the last weekend of September and every weekend in October with games, tractor-drawn wagon rides, face painting, pony rides and demonstrations for the whole fam. While they don’t offer U-pick, you can sample the farm’s award-winning cider, visit with animals, enjoy Bluegrass tunes and bring home a pie or their famous apple fritters. Psst! New crop apples (think: Galas, Supreme Golds, Honeycrisps) are $1.29/pound or purchase 20 pounds or more for just $0.99 per pound.
Good to know: There is no charge to visit the farm, but parking is $5 per vehicle. Call the store (360-491-7328) before you go to find out which apples are in stock or to place your product order. Check their Facebook page for daily updates on their summer produce.
photo: Kristina Moy
Wilson Banner Ranch
Wilson Banner Ranch uses natural growing practices and has apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, cucumbers, flowers, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, pumpkins, tomatoes, honey from hives on the farm and a cider mill! Are you excited yet? They also have a petting zoo. This farm is well worth the drive and is open Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. during Sep. and weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Oct. Psst…don’t forget your boxes for hauling home your goodies!
Good to know: Their annual Harvest Fair will take place Oct. 13-14 & 20-21. Keep and eye on their Facebook page for more details. Come for the apples and stay for the live music, hay jump, maze, wagon rides and more.
photo: Kristina Moy
Open daily through the end of September, Stutzman Ranch is a fourth generation orchard and farm stand in Wenatchee. Galas are ready to pick now, with Fuji and Golden Delicious following on September 10, 2018. Remember that Stutzman Ranch suggests that pickers wear closed-toe shoes, leave pets at home and BYOB…bring your own boxes.
Good to know: The orchard is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (including Labor Day). The last U-pickers are allowed into orchard at 5:30 p.m. The fruit stand will close for the season at the end of September. For questions on U-pick availability, call 509-669-3276.
2226 Easy St.
Wenatchee, WA 98801
This family owned and operated orchard has been in business since 1904, offering several varieties of cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, pears, plums and apples. U-pick apples (including Gala) are available starting in Aug., but call ahead to check which varieties are available before you make the trip. Fruit is sold by the pound, box or bin; gift boxes are also available in season.
Good to know: U-pick is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday. Honeycrisp apples should be ready for picking in Sep. Call before you go.
4906 Summitview Ave.
Yakima, WA 98908
photo: Kalyn Gustafson
High Country Orchard
Green Bluff High Country Orchard is stocked with pre-picked cherries, peaches, raspberries, apricots, pears and apples (including Honeycrisp). You’ll also find a country store with gifts and antiques. Save room for something sweet, the orchard serves fresh-baked pies, pastries and ice cream. Psst! Stay tuned for more info on the orchard’s annual Apple Festival offering a large variety of cooking apples, fresh pressed cider and other produce as well as live music, craft booths, corn and straw mazes, pony rides and more. Apple Festival usually runs on weekends Sep. through Oct. Honeycrisp apples we$18 for 10 lbs in 2017; prices for 2018 TBD.
Good to know: The orchard is open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. During festivals, the farm offers a kiddie Farm Train Express and Barnyard, 9-hole mini golf, croquet, horseshoes, giant Jenga, farm bowling and farm animals, plus a ninja challenge course and three-hole frisbee golf.
photo: Jennifer Young
West Valley U-Pick
West Valley offers a wide selection of naturally grown berries and tree fruit available for U-pick as well as pre-picked. Open June through November, you’ll find raspberries, blueberries and grapes as well as different varieties of apples, pears, plumcots and pluots. There are also many vegetables in the garden: peppers, basil, yellow squash, zucchini, melons, cucumbers and pumpkins. Psst…West Valley supplies the buckets and wagons for U-pick; you provide boxes or bags for transport home.
Good to know: West Valley is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Follow their Facebook page for updates on U-pick apples. And be sure to bring containers for their popular juice pressed right on site!
photo: Paradise Orchard
If you aren’t up for the long drive or have limited apple picking opportunities, another way to celebrate the harvest is to find someone in your neighborhood with an unpicked tree and offer to do the picking. Local neighborhood Facebook groups, Craigslist and Freecycle are great places to look for offers of fruit or to post your request. But please make sure you know what you are doing before climbing any ladders!
And if you want to make a weekend of it, Wenatchee – the “Apple Capital of the World” – is a mere three-hour drive from Seattle. Check the Pick-Your-Own website for places to go, and always call ahead to make sure your visit coincides with pickin’ time.
—Kristina Moy & Sara Billups