7800 N Tenaya Way, Las Vegas, NV, United States
NileGuide Expert tip:
The Gilcrease Orchard is what remains of the former Gilcrease Ranch, a farm founded in 1920 by the Gilcrease Family. Today, homes surround the orchard and vegetable patch, but it remains open three days a week for visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables.
For $3.00, you can drive your car into the orchard on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. If those hours seems short, remember that in Las Vegas no one wants to be outdoors without shade after noon in summer. Gilcrease Orchard is planted with about 6,000 apple, pear, and peach trees. It's spread over about 50 acres, which is why there's a dirt road that encircles the inner perimeter of the property. You can also park and walk into the orchard for no charge (other than the cost of your pickings).
Since Las Vegas is in a desert, farms like this are rare. The water for the site originally came from artesian wells, which were all over the Las Vegas valley until population growth exhausted them. Later, family members saved a portion of the land from development in the 1990s, and today the orchard is a non-profit entity. If you are a locavore, this is one of the few places within Las Vegas to find locally grown fruits and vegetables. Their apple cider is well-known for its taste and freshness.
It's a good idea to check Gilcrease's website for information about what's in season before making a visit. In the veggie patches, the sun can be very intense, so come prepared—the earlier your visit, the better--but the fresh produce is worth it.