The Details

2024 Store Hours

June 1-Oct 27: Wednesday-Sunday
All season: 10 am to 5 pm


1025 Orchard Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
mile 328.3 Blue Ridge Parkway


Inquiries: 828-765-9531
Store: 828-467-4282


General Inquiries:


All “hey”rides are dependent on space availability, weather, and road conditions.

Every Saturday & Sunday at 2:30 PM (weather dependent)
~ $10 per person, cash only please

Purchase tickets for that day’s ride beginning
at 10 AM at the General Store.
Availability is limited and spots can fill quickly – we encourage you to secure your spot early!

Group rides are available Wednesday-Friday.
Reservations are required in advance ~ $150 flat fee.

School Groups

We welcome school groups—all ages and interests (Thursdays and Fridays)—to the Orchard for a hands-on experience tailored to each group. Package includes Orchard activity sheets, staff-led discussions on the model train layout, Monarch habitat, and bee exhibit. Participants will also get to pick an apple (in season). Includes a choice of “hey”ride or hands-on apple peeling (additional $2 to include both experiences)
$12 per student


Welcome to the Orchard at Altapass. All exhibits in our Education Center, Pollinator/Butterfly Garden, and live heritage to contemporary music (Saturday/Sundays, including dancing, of course) are free.
Free parking. There is additional parking just past the red barn next to the office.


Our General Store and restrooms, access to the back deck, Pavilion, and Apple Core Grill are all wheelchair accessible. The Apple Shed is located behind the red barn (ground level) and a short walk around the building.
U-Picking is a walking experience through the Orchard trails. Although maintained, the trails are not wheelchair accessible. All apples are available for purchase at the Apple Shed.
Given the changing conditions of the trails, strollers are not encouraged for U-Pick experiences but decisions are up to the individual visitors. (The State road flanking the Orchard offers views of the fields and a smooth graveled walk for strollers.)

If special arrangements are needed, i.e. assistance getting up to the Pollinator Garden, please call 828-765-9531 a few days in advance so that we can accommodate your needs.


We are a pet-friendly orchard. Good-natured dogs (and cats) are always welcome. Currently, there are no restrictions as to where they are allowed. All pets must be leashed and well-behaved. Water is always available in front of the red barn. Owners are expected to provide disposal bags and clean up after their pets.


The Orchard at Altapass is private property, but we appreciate the photographers’ desires to capture the beauty of the fields. With registered permission, the property may be photographed between 7 and 10 am and from 5 to 7:30 pm only—unless alternate arrangements are made. Please contact the Orchard to schedule a date and time.

Food for Thought

You won’t go hungry at the Orchard.
The Apple Core Grill is open from June through October offering a delicious menu. Try a Jumbo BBQ Sandwich with our famous home made sauce and then make your way to the General Store for dessert. People come from miles around for a slice of our hot apple pie with a scoop of icy cold Hershey’s ice cream. Or grab a slice of our homemade fudge, available in a dozen flavors.

Although drinking alcoholic beverages on-premises is prohibited, we are thrilled to offer Molley Chomper’s hard cider, including a special blend made from our Orchard apples.

Visitors are always welcome to bring a blanket or use one of our many picnic tables to enjoy a picnic lunch brought from home.
*Tables at the Apple Core Grill are reserved for purchased meals.

Plan Your Visit

Welcome to the Orchard at Altapass and the majesty of Blue Ridge Mountains. There is so much to do and see in this vast region of winding roads, crackling rivers, and pristine vistas in a backdrop of verdant peaks and lush valleys. The Orchard straddles Mitchell and McDowell counties and is only 30 minutes from Yancey County. Come for the apples, stay for the music and a bite. Experience a weekend of fun in the region. Something for everyone. Check out the county chambers then plan your visit.
We invite you to discover Western North Carolina.


From Spruce Pine or Marion, NC, follow NC Rte 226 to the Blue Ridge Parkway (across from the NC Museum of Minerals) Turn north (left) onto the Parkway; go 3 miles to Orchard Rd.
Turn right (A VERY TIGHT TURN), then right again at the intersection, follow large green arrow into Orchard.
If you are driving an oversized vehicle (motor home or attached trailer), PLEASE continue past Orchard Rd. to the next overlook (1/2 +/- mile–North Cove Valley Overlook), turn around; make a left onto Orchard Rd.
If coming from the North, turn left off Parkway onto Orchard Rd. (see above).

Final Note

The Orchard at Altapass is private property, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. During your visit, please respect the Orchard—its apples, trees, plants, facilities, games, trails, and staff. We have only a few rules but expect all visitors to be courteous. Please don’t pick the apples or other Orchard fruits when they aren’t ripe, or if you haven’t paid for them if they are ripe. Please remember that just because an apple is red or yellow, doesn’t mean it is ready to eat. Our field crew lets us know when, what, and where the ripe apples are. Don’t climb the trees, throw apples., or mishandle the picking poles. Responsible adults, please ensure the children under your supervision are mindful of the land’s fragility and the staff’s hard work to make all Orchard experiences rewarding and memorable for years to come.