Capitol Reef National Park predicts small, late fruit harvest

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Capitol Reef National Park predicts its fruit harvest will be later than usual this summer and crops will be smaller due to colder 2012 winter temperatures and late frost.

Nonetheless, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, apples and pears will be available for harvest in the park, which allows visitors to pick fruit for a nominal fee, a news release said. Capitol Reef uses money collected through the fruit harvest to defray the cost of maintaining the orchards.

The historic Fruita orchards within the park are among the largest orchards within the National Park System and were established in the 1880s by pioneer residents of Fruita.

Up-to-date harvest and pricing information is recorded on a fruit hot line as fruit ripens and harvest dates are determined. The hotline may be reached by calling 435-425-3791. Once the park number connects, press one for general information and at the voice prompt for the orchard hit line, press five.

Fruit harvest information is also available on the park's Facebook page, and on Twitter @CapitolReefNPS.