The Top Spots to Pick Your Own Apples in Washington

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Apples abound in the Evergreen State, and September is prime picking season! Celebrate fall with a trip to a nearby apple picking orchard to get your own delicious, juicy apples (whether they come in your CSA or not) straight from the tree. Grab your boots and baskets and head to one of these local (and not-so-local) apple orchards to have your own quintessential autumn adventure!

Editor’s note: As things continue to evolve with COVID, please follow state and local health guidelines regarding masks and social distancing. Before visiting these orchards, we recommend double-checking information, because as we’ve seen, things can change from day to day.

Close to Home

Swans Trail Farms

Swans Trail Farms includes five acres of apple trees in picturesque Snohomish. Expect the orchard's Honeycrisp apples around mid-September, followed by the Jonagolds later in the month (they’re great for home-baked treats, like apple pies and apple dumplings). Apples are priced at $3/pound and the farm will have containers available for families to use while picking. As of publication, u-pick hours are still being determined, but check the website or Facebook for updates.

During the month of October, The Farm at Swan's Trail is a popular destination for families because of all their great fall activities. Wander through their Washington state shaped corn maze, get apple cider donuts and watch apples, squeezed through their pre-WWII cider mill, turn into fresh cider. Kick off the festive fall season with a trip to the Honeycrisp Apple Festival and enjoy farm activities on September 18 and 19. Tickets are $18 per person. Kids under 3 are free.

7301 Rivershore Rd.
Snohomish, WA
425-334-4124
Online: swanstrailfarms.com

Bellewood Farms

Bellewood Farms 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’re scheduled to open Labor Day weekend when Tsugaru’s are ripe for picking. They offer free rides for families aboard the Apple Bin train (which stops at trees that are ready for picking), and a chance to learn about Whatcom county’s agriculture in the corn maze. You can also enjoy cider donuts, fresh apple cider and all-American apple pies served at the café and outdoor concession stand (donuts and kettle corn are only available on weekends).

Visit the farm Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through October, and check their Facebook page for the harvest schedule. Apples are $13.97 for a five-pound basket and $67.97 for a 25-pound bag. On Wednesday-Friday, pickers 12 and under can purchase a kid-size bag for $5.

6140 Guide Meridian Dr.
Lynden, WA
360-318-7720
Online: bellewoodfarms.com

photo: iStock

NW Bloom

Head to the Sammamish Valley to pick apples at this certified-organic farm. One of six farms on a collective 47-acre property, NW Bloom has apples ripe and ready. They are open for the season and expect crispy apples through October 9. Families will need tickets to pick here on Saturdays from 10 a.m.-noon. Purchase tickets well in advance since limited spots are available. The $25 price covers two people (kids under 10 are free) and a five-gallon bucket, ready to be filled. Expect to pick Liberty, Jonagold, Spartan and Golden Russets, in addition to quince before the season is over. We recommend you bring your own picking tools from home; the orchard has a limited supply.

Families can also take advantage of windfall apples (you’ll find them on the ground) when they make an additional donation, or purchase an extra five-gallon bucket when you get there for $15 more. They take cash, Venmo and PayPal, so come prepared. They’ll also have other fresh-picked produce (and hopefully some pumpkins in October) available for purchase. 

15410 N.E. 124th St.
Redmond, WA
Online: nwbloom.com

photo: Jones Creek Farm

Jones Creek Farm

Jones Creek Farms offers more than 50 varieties of u-pick apples from August to October. The 2021 apple picking season kicked off the weekend of August 13 and is likely to go through the end of October. 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. Shoot Les an email at jonescreekfarms@yahoo.com and he will be happy to answer all your questions. The farm is open Fridays through Mondays, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and even though apples are their specialty, you can also pick pears, peaches, plums and pumpkins, too.

32260 Burrese Rd.
Sedro Woolley, WA
Online: skagitvalleyfruit.com

Curran Apple Orchard

One of Tacoma’s best kept secrets is the Curran Apple Orchard in University Place. This seven-acre community garden offers free apple picking for all starting September 7. You’ll find more than 200 trees with 15 different varieties of apples, so bring your buckets and get them while you can. Trees that aren’t taped off and labeled with a “do not pick” sign are available to the public (the ones with signs are harvested by donors).

3920 Grandview Dr. W.
University Place, WA
Online: curranappleorchard.com

Worth the Drive

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. The farm is open seven days a week, Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sundays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition to their delish apples—they’ve got Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Blondee—families can pick pluots, pears, blueberries, eggplant, tomatillos, tomatoes, zucchini and more. Apples are just $.85/pound. Fruit is first come, first served and dogs are welcome.

The farm is also a great spot to enjoy a picnic (or some of those tasty apples you just picked), so feel free to bring a blanket and provisions to enjoy your time on the farm. Remember to check out the cider press when you’re there too! And, don’t miss the no-cost petting zoo filled with kittens, bunnies, ducks, and even a turtle!

11901 Zier Rd.
Yakima, WA
509-945-5406
Online: westvalleyupick.com

photo: Photo Library

Stutzman Ranch

Stutzman Ranch is a fourth generation orchard and farm stand in Wenatchee, open daily, from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., through the end of September. It’s a spot where families can pick all kinds of apples (think: Gala, Fuji and Golden Delicious), as well as other seasonal fruits like Barlett and Asian pears, pluots and grapes. Although they haven’t been allowed in the past, families can bring small wagons or carts to help carry out the u-pick boxes being used this year (strollers are still a no-no). The folks at Stutzman Ranch also suggest that pickers wear closed-toe shoes, appropriate clothing and leave your furry friends at home.

There’s a $5 picking minimum (paid when you leave) to enter the orchard for anyone over 12 years of age. That means families will need to pick about eight pounds of apples for each person to cover the entry fee. But you can do that in no time! Get all the details and per pound fruit pricing online before you go.

2226 Easy St.
Wenatchee, WA
509-669-3276
Online: thestutzmanranch.com

Good to know: 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!

—Abbey McGee, Allison Sutcliffe, Kristina Moy & Sara Billups

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