Historic Fruita Utah, Capitol Reef National Park

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Historic Fruita

Originally known as "Junction" Historic Fruita was established in 1880; this lush valley has 2700 fruit trees, a 1 room school house, and is listed on the National Historic Registry. 

  • Historic Fruita is 1 mile from the Visitor's Center.
  • Harvest fruit and nuts at the Fruita Orchards.
  • Visit the Children's Nature Exhibit and learn about Fremont Indians.
  • Enjoy homemade pies and ice cream at the Gifford Homestead.
  • Historic Fruita was originally named "Junction."

What is Historic Fruita?

Nestled amidst the red cliffs on the banks of the Fremont River and Sulphur Creek, Fruita is considered to be the heart of Capitol Reef National Park.  Less than 200 acres comprise this historic district, known as "Redrock Eden" or the "Eden of Wayne County," and if you visit during flowering months between the first of April and the end of May, you will surely understand why. 

What can I see and do at Historic Fruita?

The Fruita Schoolhouse
Established in 1896, this one room school house sits on the banks of Sulphur Creek.  Before class, the children's chores included gathering wood to heat the building and hauling buckets of water from the river.

  • Located .8 miles East of Visitor's Center on State Highway 24
  • Open for viewing from Memorial Day to Labor Day 10am-11:30am
  • No Fee

The Fruita Orchards
2.700 fruit and nut trees remain in the Fruita Valley, blooming between April 1 and the end of May.  They can be harvested during varying times in the fall.  The National Park Service provides fruit pickers and tripod ladders to assist visitors in the harvest.  Call 435-425-3791 for more information or visit the Historic Fruita Information Web Site at http://www.nps.gov/care/planyourvisit/historicfruitatour.htm

  • Located 1 mile East and 1 Mile South of Visitor's Center-18 pocket orchards sprinkled throughout the Historic District
  • Open all year round-visit any open or unfenced orchard
  • Nominal fee for harvesting fruit-eat all you want, but the harvesting charge applies when carrying out bags and baskets

The Gifford Homestead
The Gifford Homestead was built in 1908 and is comprised of the original barn, pastures, and farmhouse.  A newer addition is run by the Capitol Reef Natural History Association and is famous for its soda fountain, homemade ice cream, fruit pies, and baked goods. 

  • Located 1 mile South of the Visitor's Center on the Scenic Drive
  • Open seasonally from Easter until the end of October 8am-4:30pm
  • No fee

Children's Nature Center
Families will love this opportunity to learn about the settlers and the Fremont Indians.  The Nature Center is operated by the Capitol Reef Natural History Assocation and has an array of fossils and artifacts.  Kids can dress up like pioneers, learn to milk a cow, or grind corn on prehistoric grinding stones in the way of the Fremont Indians.

  • Located 1 mile South of the Visitor's Center
  • Open seasonally and with varying hours-call 435-425-3791 for more details
  • No Fee

Note: The trees are old and visitors are asked not to climb on the trunks or branches, both for the care of the tree and the visitor.  

Fun Facts

Butch Cassidy had a hideout just outside of Fruita.  The Fremont Indians inhabited the river valley from 600-1300 A.D.