Nope, that’s not a typo. There’s a district within Capitol Reef national park named after the plentiful fruit orchards planted by Mormons in the late 1800’s. It’s a spectacular place, full of lush greenery due to the confluence (that’s a fancy word for junction) of a creek and river. The surrounding desert region protects this little pocket of productivity making it a cozy little haven amid the sandstone cliffs.

And let’s talk about these cliffs for a moment, shall we? Before arriving to the park, I found its name, Capitol Reef, somewhat odd. Apparently the term reef denotes a barrier, since early explorers felt that this geological fold of rock was impassable. Capitol refers to the white dome-like structures of Navajo sandstone. Personally, I think they look more like scoops of vanilla ice cream.

The Fruita district wedged between the mountains. Note the white “capitol” rock in the background.

But back to Fruita.

Visitors are allowed to pick their own fruit and eat whatever they like while within the park boundary. This means that each day I visited, I would snag a juicy apple for a pre-hike snack. The mule deer hang around, yearning for me to throw them a morsel. For those wishing to take apples out of the park, there’s a self-pay station based on the honor system. The best part? It’s only a dollar a pound! That’s cheaper (and fresher) than the grocery store varieties.

The mule deer keeping an eye out for stray apples

I think all national parks should have some sort of edible goodness available. Just sayin’.


2 thoughts on “Fruita!

  1. As we are in our Apple season in Essex County, I agree whole heartedly with you STEPHANIE about all National and in our case Provincial parks as well should have fruit trees growing to have fruit readily available for the animals and humans visiting. Love reading your adventure posts. It make me want to get out and explore our own parks. Next year marks Canada’s 150th birthday so admission to all national parks will be free. Good incentive to visit some near and far.


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