Have You Eaten the Homemade Pie At Capitol Reef?

We’ve spent the past two weeks in the Capitol Reef National Park area, and it’s been wonderful. I have never been to this lesser-visited National Park, and I’ve completely fallen in love. It’s majestic, beautiful, unique- and full of history!

In between these grand, majestic red canyon walls, there is a little town, Fruita. Early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) settled the area, and it’s so interesting to see this little oasis! There are several little orchards spread throughout the area, and it’s such an interesting contrast to see these green, luscious orchards against a backdrop of majestic, insanely tall red rock mountains.

If you visit Capitol Reef at the right time of year, you can actually pick fruit from the trees! You can pay by the pound, or if you just want to pick one fruit to sample, you can do so for free! There are picnic tables and little grassy areas all over the Historic Fruita District, so you can enjoy a peaceful picnic with incredible scenery.

What I didn’t know before visiting is that apparently, the Gifford House, nestled in the Fruita District, is known for their pies! You probably don’t picture going to a National Park to eat pie, but that’s exactly what you should do when visiting Capitol Reef.

The pie is so popular that most days it sells out before noon. The first time we stopped by the Gifford House (around 2 in the afternoon), their pies were completely sold out. They had just a couple cinnamon rolls, so we bought a couple of those for our kids to sample, as well as some of the locally made honey and jams.

I was able to snag some pie the next day when I swung by the Gifford House on my way to do laundry, at 9 in the morning. Even then, several pies were already gone, and many more people were on their way in when I left.

So what makes this pie so sought after? That’s exactly why I wanted to try some. And here’s my honest thoughts:

The cinnamon rolls were blah. My husband really enjoyed them, but I thought they were too dry (he described them as “cakey”), and my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls are a million times better. My kids enjoyed them, but they said my cinnamon rolls were better, so I think I’ve achieved all I need to in this life ;).

The pies- were definitely tasty. We sampled an apple pie, peach pie, and cherry pie. I’m not a huge fruit pie person, but my husband is, and we all enjoyed sampling the pies. You can see by the pictures, they are definitely homemade!

The verdict?

The pie is not the most amazing pie you’ll ever eat. My husband says he’s had better. But, it’s still really good pie! I actually really enjoyed the crust, and I’m not typically a pie crust kind of person. My kids absolutely loved it. They peach pie has a hint of nutmeg, which really makes it unique, and the apple pie has a delicious crumble on top. Those were definitely the two favorite pies of my husband and children, though I personally really liked the cherry pie.

The pies are tasty, yes, but I think what makes these so popular is the fact that they are homegrown and homemade, and there’s something super fun about buying and eating pie at the foot of the incredible mountains in Capitol Reef. We actually had our pie at the base of the Temple of the Moon, and that’s definitely an incredible view for eating pie!

I wouldn’t drive hours just to specifically buy pie at the Gifford House, but if you’re visiting Capitol Reef, I would definitely stop by and get some pie. They’re tasty, and you definitely can’t beat the scenery!

Have you had pie at Capitol Reef? I would love to hear your experience if you have!

    Camille Hoffmann
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! camille@dvo.com

  •   https://www.nps.gov/care/learn/historyculture/giffordhomestead.htm

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