Summer in Colorado is prime for backyard barbecues, hiking 14ers, 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.
High Altitude Rhubarb
The best way to ring in summer? Picking fresh bundles of rhubarb. High Altitude Rhubarb, an organic farm just north of Colorado Springs, throws an annual pick-your-own harvest where you can stock up on over 20 varieties of this sour veggie for $4 per pound. The public harvest draws in hundreds of rhubarb lovers and is only over one weekend (June 10–11), so make sure your calendar is clear. Bring your biggest tote bag, too, because these stalks can grow to be 30 inches long.
June 10–11, 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; 7275 Wheat Ridge Road, Black Forest
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 strawberries, raspberries, basil, flowers, pie cherries, and pickling cucumbers. The available produce varies depending on when it’s in season, but you can make a reservation for picking anytime mid-June through October.
June–October; 13785 Potomac St., Brighton
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 from both its farm and others around the state, including cherries, peaches, and apple cider.
Mid to late summer; 42135 Weld County Road 43, Ault
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 get a bag on-site for $12 each.
July–October; 6914 Ute Highway, Longmont
Nelms Farms has offered pick-your-own, pesticide-free produce since its founding in 2012. Located just 30 minutes from Denver, reservations open mid-summer for picking apples, peaches, potatoes, and other all-natural fruits and veggies. Only three groups are allowed to pick at once, so get your name in early.
Late summer; 5305 Orchard St., Golden
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. Today, the farm opens to the public each summer for pick-your-own chiles and tomatoes, and it has a U-pick pumpkin patch every October, too.
Mid-July–October; 25388 County Road 24.5, La Junta
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 all 3,000 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.
July 1–November 1; 65295 US Highway 50, Fowler