Summer in Colorado is prime for backyard barbecues, hiking fourteeners, and feasting on fresh fruits and veggies. And while the many Denver-area farmers’ markets are a great place to stock up on locally grown goodies, nothing beats getting your produce straight from the vine (or tree, or bush). Slather on your sunscreen, wear your sturdiest shoes, and get picking at these Colorado U-pick farms.

Picking dates are estimates. Before heading to a farm, check its website or social media for its exact pick-your-own season.

Berry Patch Farms

As a 40-acre farm certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture, Berry Patch Farms has been operating since 1991. Its U-pick services began in 1994, and the farm now offers a wide array of produce to pick yourself, including black raspberries, basil, and pickling cucumbers. Berry Patch’s U-pick season usually starts in mid-June, but cultivation issues with the strawberries this year means that picking reservations (which you can book online) are just starting to open for pie cherries, with other produce available later in the season.

June–October; 13785 Potomac St., Brighton

Ya Ya Farm and Orchard

Ya Ya Farm and Orchard has been a top spot near Denver for picking apples, pears, and cherries since 2003. Though dates can vary, picking typically begins in late June or early July when the tart pie cherries ripen. Apples and pears follow, with dates stretching into October. You need to make a reservation online before picking pears and apples, but you can show up unannounced if you just want cherries or flowers. Admission is $3 per person. Leave your bags at home, too, as you must purchase a bag on-site.

July–October; 6914 Ute Highway, Longmont

Heckmann Hollow Orchards & Gardens

A newer addition to Colorado, Heckmann Hollow in Fowler (40 minutes east of Pueblo) was established in 2018. The sprawling farm has over 1,000 apple, pear, peach, and plum trees in its orchards, plus berries, herbs, and flowers. While some pollinator trees are off-limits to the public, for the most part everything—including over 4,000 square feet of gardens growing more than 50 vegetable species—is prime for picking. There’s no reservation needed, says owner Suzanne Heckmann. All you need to do is drop by when your desired goodie is ripe.

Speaking of goodies, Heckmann sells homemade pies, muffins, cookies, and cakes from her on-location bakery. Every treat is 100 percent plant-based using organic produce from the farm.

Late June–late October; 65295 US Highway 50, Fowler

Adam’s Apple Orchard & Country Store

For a fun day trip, follow I-76 up to Ault, Colorado, home of Adam’s Apple Orchard. Owners Mike Biwer and Will Perez opened the orchard in Ault (which stands for “A Unique Little Town”) to provide locals with fresh, locally grown fruits. While the apples aren’t ripe for picking until later in the summer, the country store sells goodies such as cherries, peaches, and apple cider from both its own farm and others around the state.

Mid-August–October; 42135 Weld County Road 43, Ault

Worrell Family Farms and Orchard

Tucked away in Eaton, Colorado, Worrell Family Farms is a Weld County fixture that lets you pick 24 different apple varieties off of its 1,000-plus orchard trees. The Huang family in charge of the farm uses organic-friendly pesticide practices and no herbicides, making this a good U-pick for those concerned about chemicals on their fruit. Bring your own containers to carry your bounty or borrow some from the farm.

Mid-July–Late October; 36459 County Road 43, Eaton

Hanagan Farms

For more than 100 years and over five generations, family-owned Hanagan Farms in La Junta (east of Pueblo) has grown cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini, chile peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, onion—basically anything that comes from the ground. But it all started in 1905 with hay, corn, and melons. While the farm usually opens to the public in the summer for pick-your-own chiles and tomatoes, this year’s crop has suffered hail damage, so an announcement will be made in early August about whether U-pick services will open. A U-pick pumpkin patch will still be available in October, though.

Early August–October; 25388 County Road 24.5, La Junta

Ethan Pan
Ethan Pan
Ethan Pan is 5280’s associate food editor, writing and editing for the print magazine and 5280.com. Follow his dining/cooking Instagram @ethans_pan.