8 Best Apple Picking Farms And Orchards In Washington State (2023)
Producing close to 200 million Bushels every year, Washington is the largest apple-growing state in the U.S. The lush apple orchards and juiciest apples here are favored by nutrient-rich soil, arid climate, plentiful water, and advanced growing practices. Over the years, Washingtonians and their multiple generations have been following traditional and modern farming techniques that result in bringing the juiciest apples to every U.S. resident’s plate. Besides apples, Washington is also the largest producer of pears and red raspberries than any other U.S. State. Even the premium Rainier cherries were first originated in Washington and are now popular across the world.
The Apple picking season in Washington starts from September and goes all through October end or even the first week of November. Since the peak apple picking time may vary, it also begins from as early as August in some Washington regions. Visiting Washington during the fall season is a must-to-do activity for anyone who has ever been a fan of eating apples. It is when you will find farms and orchards full of juicy, crispy, and sweet apples. There are owners who allow visitors to pick their own apples and take them back home. Interesting right? So why wait? Here are the most popular places to pick apples in Washington.
8 Best Apple Picking Farms and Orchards in Washington State
Have a look:
1. Apple Creek Orchard, Ferndale
Apple Creek is a friendly little Orchard in Ferndale, a small Washington city. The Orchard is popular for its Jonagold, Melrose, Mutsu, Gala, and Snow Sweet apples. Fruits here mostly are huge, juicy, and quite tasty. The picking season at Apple Creek Orchard arrives from the first week of October and remains for a few weeks only. And during the season, the Orchard opens daily from 10 am to 5 pm, offering Apple picking admission to all. The farm provides buckets for apple picking, but participants have to bring their own basket for transporting the fruits back. The charges for the same are $0.75/pound of apples or $15 per 5-gallon bucket.
NOTE: Since the farm has local animals, refrain from bringing your pets here. Also, the apple-picking season here barely stretches more than 3 weeks; thus, consider coming as early as possible.
2. The Farm at Swan’s Trail, Snohomish
The Farm at Swan’s Trail is one of the best Apple picking farms and orchards in Washington State. It is just a 40-minute drive away from Seattle, set along the Snohomish River, southeast of Everett. It is a century-old apple farm known for its Jonagold, Honeycrisp, and Gala apple trees. Participants visiting here can hop on for a wagon ride and land right on the land of juicy, crispy, and honey-like tasting apples. The apple picking season here starts at the beginning of September and lasts up to a few weeks.
Timings for the day start at 9 am and until 2 pm for $2.50/pound.
TIP: Besides picking an apple, consider exploring a Washington State-shaped corn maze, visit the small petting zoo, ride the mini train, and have ultimate fun around.
3. Bellewood Farms, Lynden
Bellewood Farms is one of the largest apple orchards in western Washington. It is just outside Bellingham and is popular amongst kids and adults alike. They grow nearly 20 apple varietals, of which some include Sansa, Jonagold, Mountain Rose, Gravenstein, and a newer cross between Akane and Gala. Participants visiting here can hop on the Apple Bin Express, which will ride straight towards the apple picking zone. The apple picking season here begins in September and goes all the way to the end of October. Early September here means fresh Tsugaru variety followed by many more. The timing goes from 10 am to 5 pm from Wednesday through Sunday. Besides apples, participants can also pick their own pumpkins and take them back home.
Though, what makes Bellewood Farms famous isn’t just the variety of apples produced here. The farm is also home to an award-winning distillery, a bakery, and a market on-site. Besides that, the views of beautiful Mount Baker in the background too make people visit here and stay longer.
TIP: Do bring your camera along since photographing opportunities are endless here.
4. Jones Creek Farms, Sedro Woolley
Jones Creek Farms is located in Sedro Woolley, a city in Skagit County, Washington. It is popular for its Apples and Asian pears. The farm produces nearly 80 apple varietals, including Fuji, Idared, Sonata, Orin, School House Red, Jonamac, Gala, Jonagold, and Belle de Boskoop. Bellewood Prince, Evercrisp, Mountain Rose apples, and more. Besides their huge variety of apples, the picking season too here is huge and last long from August through November. For visitors who don’t want to pick their own fruit, the farm offers pre-picked assortments ready to buy. For individuals who buy over 20 lbs or over 100 lbs of apples, the farm owners provide a good discount. Though their regular prices are $1 – $1.50 per lb and the farm operates only on Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Skipley Farm, Snohomish
Skipley is a working farm, about half an hour drive away from Snohomish. It produces a fairly wide range of fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, cherries, pears, plums, kiwi, jostaberries, grapes, and of course apples. For apples alone, it grows hundreds of varieties, including well-known as well as unique ones. The apple picking season here begins in September and goes all the way through November. The farm operates Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 6 pm. Visitors can go for farm tours, or the ones interested in picking apples can proceed with $4 per lb.
TIP: Besides apple picking, the Skipley Farm is also popular for the farm learning experience. Since it is a working farm, one can learn about grafting trees, edible landscaping, beekeeping, food preservation, and more.
6. Ray French Orchard, Richland
Ray French is another u-pick orchard and by far one of the best apple orchards in Washington State. This 160 acres farm is popular for its cherries, peaches, and apples produce. Depending upon the ripping season, one can come here and pick different types of fruits throughout the year. Apple picking season here arrives in the month of October though it lasts for barely a few weeks. The Orchard every Sunday through timings for the day fluctuate every week. For being precise, one can check their Facebook page for all the latest updates. Since the apple trees here are quite low, participants don’t need a ladder to reach them.
7. Stutzman Ranch Orchard, Wenatchee
Stutzman Ranch Orchard is a fourth-generation apple farm in Wenatchee. The current owners, Floyd, and Betsy Stutzman have been operating it followed by their ancestors, who established and took care of it since 1907. Along with apples, it is known for its peaches, pumpkins, pears, and nectarine produce. Some of the popular apple varietals here include Gala, Fuji, and Golden Delicious apples. The apple picking season here lasts for the entire month of September throughout the week from 9 am to 6 pm. Or during the rest of the year, come and pick other fruits depending upon their riping season. Visitors who come here early morning also get the chance to pick farm-fresh eggs. During the fall months, the sight of surplus pumpkins getting hurled through the air from a real pumpkin canyon is a delight to watch.
NOTE: The Stutzman Ranch Orchard doesn’t allow pets on the farm.
8. Curran Apple Orchard, University Place
Curran Apple Orchard is a 7.33-acre apple orchard known for its 15 varieties of apples and nearly 200 trees. It is a public orchard in the city of University Place and offers apple picking for free. Yes, it’s FREE; you read that right. All the participants have to do is, walk across the Orchard, spot trees that DOESN’T have a “reserved for the adopter” sign, and when they find them, pick themselves the fruits. Though, as a courtesy of respect, do not pick fruits from the adopted trees. Also, do not pick windfalls since they might be contaminated and not suitable for human consumption. Instead, a gleaning group will come and collect them for animal farms. Curran Apple Orchard also hosts the Cider Squeeze event every year.
Tips for Apple Picking in Washington State
- Consider reaching early (for the picking season and day both) to avoid the crowd and for getting your hand on the best fruits.
- Wear closed-toe and comfortable shoes since it will require a lot of walking on the farm. Wearing full clothes is advised as well.
- Several apple orchards don’t offer carry-on boxes/ transporting boxes; thus, consider bringing your own.
- Several apple orchards don’t allow pets, thus leaving yours at home.
- Always call before you visit to ensure if the farm is operating and have enough fruits to pick.
- Plan beforehand on how many apples you need, and don’t go over-picking.
- Approach low-rise trees or consider bringing a small ladder along.
- Choose the apple, hold it, roll lightly, and the fruit will come out. Avoid shaking or bashing the tree.
- Since it is a farm, they might have food and thus avoid bringing your own. Though confirm in advance.