The autumn months are a time of traditions and family time as we ramp up for the holiday season, and there are a few favorite activities that many people love to do every year. Pumpkin carving, hay rides, corn mazes, fall festivals, and apple picking are all a few familiar and popular outings.
Apple picking has been popular for years across the United States, especially in the more northern states with favorable apple-growing climates. Arizona, a southwestern state, may be known for its bounteous citrus orchards that produce some of the best oranges, lemons, and grapefruits that can be found, but there are a few lovely apple orchards to be found here too!
This fall, take advantage of some apple picking of all the varieties, including gala, Honeycrisp, pink lady, golden delicious, and more! The types of desserts and snacks are endless with apples – my personal favorite is a warm apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream!
However, if you like to have YOUR own apples, these apple orchards in Arizona allow you to pick your bushel.
Apple-Picking in Arizona: Best Orchards
1. Apple Annie’s You-Pick Orchards
Drive down south to Wilcox, Arizona, an hour or so east of Tucson. This agricultural community is responsible for a lot of the local produce that you’ll find throughout the Phoenix Valley, including apples! As the name suggests.
Apple Annie’s has ten different apple varieties, and each variety is good for cooking, eating, or making cider. They even have a handy chart on their website to help you pick the best variety for you!
Be sure to check their calendar before you go, as some apples may not be ripe at the same time as others.
For example, Golden Delicious (one of the best all-around varieties) are ripe in late August-early September, while Fuji apples are ripe later in October.
There are no reservations required to pick your apples, just show up during business hours with your bags or you can borrow a wagon from Apple Annie’s Orchard.
In August and September, head down to the orchard for the annual Apple Harvest Celebration; homemade pancakes for breakfast, followed by picking your apples among the thousands of trees, and then a slice of apple pie or a fresh apple cider donut! It’s a great way to kick off the fall season, Arizona style.
- Address: 2081 W Hardy Rd, Wilcox, AZ 85643
- Hours: 9 am- 5 pm
- Cost: All apple varieties are $1.99 per lb
2. Fenway Park Orchards
Just outside of Wickenburg, about 60 miles northwest of Phoenix, lies the small community of Morristown, Arizona. Fenway Park Orchards is a family-owned farm run by Allen and Carol Way, and they have grown their orchard over the years to over 1,000 fruit trees that are thriving in the desert!
They have two different apple varieties- the “Annie” apple and the “Golden Dorset”, both of which are great for eating and cooking and grow especially well in the desert.
Their apple trees become ripe much sooner than usual, in June and July. Fenway Park Orchards has a picking calendar you can look at before the picking season begins, so you know exactly when the best time is to go pick your apples.
Since their picking season is in the middle of summer, be prepared for hot temperatures! Early morning is the best time to visit.
All of their apples and peaches are organic, with no pesticides used, ever.
- Address: 42610 Highway 60-89, Morristown, AZ 85342
- Hours: 8:30 am- 4 pm
3. Angle Orchard
This 100-year-old orchard has been run by the same family since day one when the Angle family leased the land surrounding a lone peach tree from the US Forest Service. Decades later, a few hundred peach trees and apple trees are protected from the cold night air by the surrounding mountains.
With 11 varieties of apples, including lesser-known kinds like Arkansas Black, these mountain-grown apples are both delicious and beautiful! There are few things better than apple trees in full bloom, except maybe apple trees full of ripe fruit.
Angle Orchard is tucked in the Pinaleno Mountains of Eastern Arizona, which has mild temperatures year round.
Regular customers of the Angle Orchard claim that these are the best apples they’ve ever tasted, and you can sometimes find them in the local grocery store in Safford, Thriftee.
If you want to pick your own, starting in August and continuing through October you can bring your own bags or boxes and pick as many apples as your heart desires!
- Directions: Angle Orchard is located in the National Forest on Mt. Graham near Safford, Arizona. Drive 7.4 miles up Swift Trail (AZ 366) past Noon Creek. On the left-hand side of the road, you will see an Angle Orchard sign. Take the dirt road down into the orchard (approx. 1 mile)
- Hours: Tuesday 3:30 pm-5:30 pm, Friday 3:30 pm-5:30 pm, Saturdays 8 am-5 pm
- Cost: $1 per lb
4. Slide Rock Apple Orchard
Slide Rock is an immensely popular state park located in Sedona, Arizona in the scenic Oak Creek Canyon.
The first apple trees were planted in 1912, well before the area became a state park in 1987. It wasn’t until 2007 that park rangers became the main caretakers of the 300 apple trees, and it has become a community effort since then.
Every fall, the Slide Rock Apple Festival celebrates the history of the apple orchard with activities including pick-your-own-apples, entertainment, vendors, display booths, and more.
The apple orchards require year-round care, and visitors get to reap the rewards every fall season.
- Address: 6871 AZ-89A, Sedona, AZ 86336
- Fees: Per Vehicle, $20 weekday, $30 weekends
5. Date Creek Ranch
Primarily a cattle ranch, Date Creek Ranch in Wickenburg also produces apples and peaches and holds pickings every year when they are ripe.
Some years the weather and conditions are more of a factor and there may not be any fruit to pick, so always check beforehand! Growing apples in the desert are difficult but possible, it just requires a lot more work!
Date Creek Ranch is a family-owned establishment and they are especially concerned with staying as carbon-neutral as possible while producing pure organic peaches and apples.
In September, the apples become ripe on the decades-old trees and you can pick your own to take home.
Call or email beforehand to set up a time to enjoy the Date Creek Ranch at its best!
- Address: 5 Date Creek Ranch Rd, Wickenburg, AZ 85358
6. Beatty’s Guest Ranch and Orchard
This is one of the only ranches in Arizona that allows visitors to book a stay overnight in one of their cabins, enjoy world-class birdwatching, and pick from the apple and peach orchards throughout the property.
Hiking trails wind through the mountains nearby right from your front door, and many different hummingbird species come to visit all day long.
Beatty’s Guest Ranch and Orchard is a little slice of heaven in the Huachuca Mountains. These mountains straddle the Arizona/Mexico border and are some of the most beautiful mountains in the area.
The apple trees thrive in this high desert and produce very sweet and delicious fruit every year.
Beatty’s Ranch is a nice little escape from the real world, with apple picking right from your front door to boot.
- Address: 2173 E Miller Road, Hereford, AZ 85615
- Fees: $120 a night for cabin rental; apple picking fee not available online
7. Oak Creek Apple Company
Apple picking may not be for everybody – physical limitations or just simply not enjoying it are reasons enough. Love apples, but don’t love apple picking? Oak Creek Apple Company has you covered.
This woman-owned business has perfected the art of creating high-end products from their organic apples that are grown in Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona.
From organic apple cider vinegar (a popular health food in recent years) to elixirs, body lotions, and much more, Oak Creek Apple Company has a whole host of products to satisfy your love of this superfood.
They even offer classes so you can learn how to make your own tinctures, oils, kinds of vinegar, lotions, and other health products.
So while this may not be your typical apple-picking locale, Oak Creek Apple Company is still worth a visit to celebrate the autumn season and work on your own health!
- Address: 2370 W State Route 89A, Suite #11-223, Sedona, AZ 86336
Growing apples in the arid environment of Arizona requires a little more work than in other states, but our long growing seasons allow these apples to be even sweeter and more delicious.
Farmers have been working hard over the decades to create thriving apple orchards for all of us to enjoy, and there are few things more enjoyable to ring in the autumn season than a day picking apples with the family!
Any of these orchards would be worth the visit, although some may require a bit of a road trip if you live near Phoenix.
Think of all the possibilities when you pick your own bushel of apples- caramel apples? Check. Apple crisp? Check. Homemade apple sauce or cider? Check and check. Fall is my favorite time of the year, and apples are a big part of that.