Updated for 2022
Have you ever taken your family to pick cherries? Cherry-picking is one way to have a great family adventure, and also end up with delicious treats to eat afterward. Scroll down to find recipes that use those cherries!
There are several cherry farms in Leona Valley that allow you to pick your own fruit. Leona Valley is within LA County, close to Santa Clarita and Palmdale, and an easy drive from Los Angeles.
When is Cherry Season?
Cherry season in California happens every spring, usually at the end of April or the beginning of May, and each year it’s a bit different, so double-check with each farm before you go. Because the season is short, once you find out it’s time for cherry-picking you’ll need to get to the farm soon.
Each farm or cherry orchard listed will have contact info for you to call or email, or you can follow them on their social media channels to check when they’re going to be open.
MAP — Cherry Picking Near Me
Know Before You Go
Cherry season is very short. Therefore, it’s a really smart idea to sign up for a farm’s email list, or follow them on social media, to find out when to visit for your U-Pick cherry adventure!
Each Farm should also be able to tell you when they are picked out or sold out.
Each farm has its own rules about how you are allowed to pick cherries, whether you can bring a picnic, and if they accept cash or credit cards.
Each cherry orchard can also tell you whether they charge for parking or if it’s free and if you should bring your own bucket or if they’ll provide one for you. In short, do your research before you make the drive so you won’t be surprised when you arrive.
Related: Strawberry Picking Near Los Angeles
Types of Cherries Grown in Southern California
Farmers in the Leona Valley have been growing cherries for 50 years, and the region is known for several varieties of cherries:
- Bing Cherries — the most prevalent kind in California, sweet
- Brooks Cherries — a sweet variety
- Burlat Cherries — an early sweet variety
- Lapin Cherries
- Montmorency Cherries — a variety of sour cherry
- Rainer Cherries — a yellow niche variety with a red blush
- Skeena Cherries — considered a late-season cherry
- Stella Cherries — a bright red variety
- Tartarian Cherries — a sweet dark variety
- Tulare Cherries — a large, dark red variety, not quite as firm as Bing, a bit tart, but still sweet
- Van Cherries — a dark, sweet, mid-season variety
Related: Apple Picking Near Los Angeles
Cherry Parade and Festival
Each year on the first Saturday in June, the Leona Valley Improvement Association, an all-volunteer non-profit organization, hosts its annual Cherry Parade and Festival. It sounds like something you do not want to miss!
Besides the parade, there’s a craft market, food vendors, live music, cherry queens, a car show, a cherry pie eating contest (because, of course, there is!), and something we’re dying to try: a deep-fried cherry burrito!
Farms for Cherry Picking in SoCal — LA County
Cherry Hill Farm
39300 Bouquet Canyon Road, Leona Valley, CA 93551
Fruits they grow: Burlat cherries and Brooks Cherries, and they also sell honey and handmade soap. They accept cash only, and they recommend bringing along a cooler to store the cherries you pick if your drive back home is a long one – it’s best to keep them cool. They also ask that you don’t bring your dog.
Full Moon Cherries
39734 87th St. W., Leona Valley, CA 93551
Fruits they grow: Pearl cherries and they sell local honey. They accept cash only and ask that you not bring dogs to the orchard. They do allow wedding pictures to be taken on the farm.
7651 East Avenue U, Littlerock, CA 93543
Fruits they grow: Rainier cherries, Bing cherries, Lapin cherries, and Brooks cherries. They ask that you do not bring dogs to the orchard.
Mustang Ranch Cherry Orchard
40206 Mustang Road, Leona Valley, CA 93551
Fruits they grow: Bing cherries, Brooks cherries and Lapin cherries. They have a picnic area and are open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Rolling Thunder Ranch
10254 Leona Ave., Leona Valley, CA 93551
Fruits they grow: Rainier cherries, Bing cherries, and Skeena cherries. They also sell honey and their famous Cherry Lavender Sweet Tea. Their farm has animals you and your kids may enjoy seeing and taking pictures with, too. Note that they accept CASH only, and ask that you don’t bring your pets.
Villa del Sol Sweet Cherry Farms
6989 Elizabeth Lake Road, Leona Valley, CA 93551
Fruits they grow: Bing cherries, Brooks cherries, Rainer cherries, and Tulare cherries, and they also sell honey. Note — they ask you not to bring dogs to the orchard. They accept cash and credit cards.
Windy Ridge Ranch
9811 Leona Avenue, Leona Valley, CA 93551
Fruits they grow: Bing cherries, Rainier cherries, Asian pears, Gala apples, and plums. They have a picnic area and a tram ride to the orchard. Check with them for all the different growing and picking seasons.
Related: Spring Wildflowers in SoCal
Cherry Orchards in Riverside County
Guldseth Cherry Orchard
9150 Whispering Pines Road, Cherry Valley, CA 92223
Fruits they grow: Bing cherries, Lambert cherries, Royal Ann cherries, Hardy Giant cherries, Rainier cherries, Van cherries, Tartarian cherries, as well as stone fruit, vegetables, and walnuts. They accept cash and credit cards.
B&R Cherry Orchard
1106 East 11th Street, Beaumont, CA 92223
Fruit they grow: Rainier cherries.
Related: Pick Blueberries in SoCal
If you can keep yourself from eating the delicious cherries you’ve picked right out of the bucket on the way home, you can try one of these amazing recipes we found. Whether you want to make something sweet or savory, there are plenty of recipes to try:
- Try Cherry Bomb Chicken from Sugar Dish Me — Wow! This looks like a terrific way to use cherries in the main course of your summer entertaining plans.
- How about a Cherry Smoothie from Dinner at the Zoo? — This looks like a dessert and a healthy snack at the same time!
- Make this Fresh Cherry Cobbler from AllRecipes — This recipe calls for fresh cherries, which is what you’ll have after visiting these farms. All it takes is time to pit them!
- How about this Over-The-Top Cherry Jam from Taste of Home — Play your cards right and you’ll be able to enjoy your summer’s cherry harvest for months to come!
- Try this Cherry Cheesecake from the Kitchn — The photos make this look like perfection, and we’re sure that no matter what yours looks like, it’ll be delish!
- What about these Cherry Pie Crumb Bars from Crunchy Creamy Sweet — They look almost too beautiful to eat — almost!
- And a classic Juicy Cherry Pie from Taste of Home — Wow! There’s a reason the classics became the classics. This pie looks like the perfect dessert for your summer BBQ!
Whatever you make with your fresh cherries, we hope you enjoy!