Check out these nine u-pick farms for the sweetest, juiciest fruit in the West.
Looking for a u-pick farm? Try one of these destinations across the West, or visit pickyourown.org for more options. Remember to pack sunscreen, a hat, and your own containers. Wear sturdy shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty or stained. Check seasonal hours and availability too.
Fifty-five miles east of San Francisco, a multitude of farms in Brentwood grows everything including berries, stone fruits, tomatoes, and corn. Visit Smith Family Farm for velvety peaches, tangy plums, and hybrid apriums. After collecting fruit in the orchard, visitors can check out planting demonstrations, hayrides, a musical barn show, and beehives.
El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills may be famous for autumn apples, but it's early summer cherries that shine at the American River Cherry Company. The company once shipped firm, flavorful Utah Giants to U.S. presidents and the emperor of Japan; today you're more likely to encounter Bings. Pick a basketful, then have a picnic and gaze at the resident koi.
On the Santa Cruz coast, Swanton Berry Farm near Davenport makes a great stop for organic u-pick strawberries, olallieberries, blackberries, and tayberries (a loganberry-raspberry hybrid). Its farm stand sells baked goods and small-batch preserves.
Some 60 miles east of Reno, the Lahontan Valley desert area is known for growing ultrasweet Hearts of Gold cantaloupes. Buy them straight from the source at Lattin Farms, which also offers u-pick raspberries. Younger visitors can enjoy a kiddie train and play boxes filled with dried corn kernels instead of sand.
Carefully maintained fruit and nut orchards—living relics from the Fruita pioneer community—still yield their historic harvest at Capitol Reef National Park in south central Utah. As of mid-June, u-pickers can fuel up on heirloom cherries and apricots, then explore the park's red rock landscape.
Blueberries abound in the valleys outside of Eugene. Organic Redneck lets visitors pick strawberries and six varieties of blueberries, including sweet Jerseys and aromatic Bluerays. Summer brings wood-fired pizza and local craft beers on tap.
U-pick farms dot Sauvie Island, a rural paradise on the Columbia River just 15 minutes north of Portland. Try Bella Organic or Kruger's Farm for fields of summer berries. The latter offers and an oak-shaded picnic area and seasonal concerts.
Fruit growers in the bucolic communities of Buhl and Filer have farmed the Snake River Canyon west of Twin Falls for more than a century. Visit Kelley's Canyon Orchard, which got its start in 1908, for u-pick cherries, apricots, peaches, pears and more.
Cherries and other stone fruit thrive alongside grapes in the volcanic soil of the Yakima Valley, which is also known for its wine. Visit Johnson Orchards for u-pick cherries and home-baked pies, sold from an atmospheric 1916 fruit-packing warehouse. Or celebrate Cherry and Berry Days (Saturdays from June 16-July 7, plus July 4) at Bill's Berry Farm with hayrides, pony rides, hot cherry doughnuts, and cherries ripe for the picking.
For u-pick places in Oregon's Hood River Valley Fruit Loop and Idaho's Gem County, click here.
This article was first published in May 2015 and was updated June 2018. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.