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 fruit (whether it comes 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.
Where to Go Apple Picking Close to Seattle
Swans Trail Farms
Swans Trail Farms includes five acres of apple trees in picturesque Snohomish. Expect the orchard's delicious apple crop in late September, including everyone's favorite Honeycrisps followed by Jonagolds later in the season (they’re great for home-baked treats, like apple pies and apple dumplings). The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the apple season, and they will provide bags for families to use while picking. We love the ease of this sweet orchard where trees are kept small so everyone in the family can grab fruit straight from the tree.
Even though it's a bit late, the timing of this year's apples works out well because Swans Trail Farm's popular Fall Festival opens September 24 and runs through Halloween. Wander through their Washington state-shaped corn maze, mine for gems ($10/bag), get apple cider donuts and watch apples, squeezed through their pre-WWII cider mill, turn into fresh cider. Plus, they'll have all their farmyard favorites included with admission. That's right, kids can once again ride the cow train, play in the corn box, jump on the giant pillow, watch the animal races, and so much more. It's a definite day trip destination. Tickets are $15-$24 per person.
7301 Rivershore Rd.
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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.
U-pick apple season starts Saturday, September 3 and runs until they're picked out sometime in October. U-pick is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, and their Facebook page is where you'll find undated information about the harvest. Apples are $15 for a 5-pound basket and $65 for a 25-pound bag.
Insider Tip: There are still a few farm concerts left in the summer season, and pumpkins will be out for sale starting October 1.
6140 Guide Meridian Dr.
You'll find more than apples to pick at this Snohomish farm that offers something for everyone. Produce picking is underway here, but expect the apple picking season, led by ripe and ready Honecrisp apples, to start around mid-September. Bring your own bags and a sturdy wagon or stroller, and then let the kids find tons of farm-fresh veggies alongside apples they can pluck straight from the tree, ground, or bush. The farm is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (although hours are reduced in October), and there's no cost to enter. Just come ready to bring home a bounty; prices are per pound and vary depending on produce.
12691 Springhetti Rd.
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Jones Creek Farm
Jones Creek Farms offers more than 50 varieties of u-pick apples from August to October. The 2022 apple picking season kicked off the weekend of Aug. 26 and is likely to go through the end of October. U-pick apples are $1.50 per pound or $1.25 per pound when you purchase 20 or more pounds. Purchase over a 100 pounds and pay just $1 per pound. Shoot Les an email at email@example.com and he will be happy to answer all your questions. The farm is open Fridays through Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and even though apples are their specialty, you can also pick pears, peaches, plums, and pumpkins.
32260 Burrese Rd.
Sedro Woolley, WA
Curan Apple Orchard
One of Tacoma’s best kept secrets is the Curran Apple Orchard in University Place. This 7-acre community garden offers free apple picking for all but hasn't announced its start dates yet, so check the website. 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
Raising Cain Ranch
You'll need a reservation to pick at this picturesque orchard in Snohomish. But when you do, you'll have access to pick the farm's organically grown apples and pears. Expect around 20 different varieties (some heirloom) when you head out into the fields. Feel free to bring your own buckets, or use what they provide, and then fill 'em up. Prices are based on weight. The best place to get the low down on when the apples will be ready? Find them on social media. Be prepared to bring home some nuts too, as the hazelnuts and chestnuts are usually ready in September too.
5719 Riverview Rd.
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Where to Find the Best Apple Orchards in Washington
West Valley U-Pick
West Valley offers naturally grown berries and tree fruit, available for U-pick as well as pre-picked, but their selection is limited in 2022 because of a late frost freezing fruit on the trees and mice destroying plant starts in the greenhouse. The farm is open weekends only on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to their delish apples—they’ve got Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp and Blondee—families can pick pears and blueberries. Prices for U-pick apples aren't available yet, so check the website or Facebook. 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!
11901 Zier Rd.
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Stutzman Ranch is a fourth generation orchard and farm stand in Wenatchee, open daily, from 9 a.m. to 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. Families are now encouraged to bring their own picking buckets (but the ranch will give you a cardboard box, if you need one) we well as small wagons or carts to help carry out your harvest (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 8 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.
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!