Denver Dan’s Apple Patch is one of a few you-pick apple farms in Apple Hill. With dozens of varieties of apples, they provide a bucket and send you out into the orchard to handpick your own apples. The apple harvest varies from year to year, so if you want the experience of walking through a gorgeous apple orchard, through trees covered in ripe apples, visit early in the season.
When we visited Denver Dan’s Apple Patch the apple harvest was over and all of the apples had been picked, so we browsed the gift shop full of crafts and the bake shop with all sorts of fresh baked goods. Natalie and Hannah were thrilled to try the apple peeler and get a whole, fresh, juicy apple stuck on their thumbs to enjoy!
Activities at Denver Dan’s Apple Patch
Whether you’re ready for a hearty lunch or a sweet dessert treat, the Denver Dan’s Bake Shop is the place to be if you’re hungry.
- For Lunch, choose from beef pasties, chicken pasties, corn dogs, and chili
- For dessert, choose from a variety of apple pies, turnovers, dumplings, crisps, cookies, muffins, strudels, and even caramel apples and sundaes
On the weekends, animals visit Denver Dan’s Apple Patch! Sara’s Animals is an interactive presentation of farm animals from around the world, including South Down and Soay sheep, Nigerian and Pygora goats, South American Alpacca, Mediterranean donkeys, and a Chinese Crested goose. For the littlest Apple Hill visitors, there are also pony rides on mini horses Buster and Annie.
During the week, through the Cookin’ Kids program, children ages five and up can learn how to make their own pies! Kids get to roll their own dough, fill it, and crimp the edges, and they get to make cookies to decorate. The pies and cookies are baked to take home and share. Classes are 2-3 hours long and are perfect for school field trips.
About Denver Dan’s Apple Patch
Dale Martin moved to El Dorado County with his family after World War II. After graduating from high school he joined the Navy, and while away, his parents purchased the property, built the house, and planted the first few acres of orchard with Red Delicious apples. Dale married Pat and as a wedding present, Dale’s parents gave them an acre of land across the pond from their house.
A year later Dale and Pat purchased the bulk of the land that makes up the current Denver Dan’s orchard. For years, while their family grew, they struggled to grow and sell apples on the side as Dale worked full time at Western Electric. Dale delivered apples to grocery stores in Stockton and Sacramento, to peddlers in fruit stands, and to fellow employees at work.
At work, Dale’s badge read Denver D. Martin (Denver is Dale’s real first name) and his coworkers began to jokingly call him Denver Dan the Apple Man. The name stuck and Denver Dan’s Apple Patch was born. In 1964, the Apple Hill Growers Association was formed, the Martin’s joined the Association as Ranch #14, and began to focus their efforts into roadside sales, advertising, and being a you-pick destination.
Know Before You Go
- Denver Dan’s You Pick Apple Patch is located at 4354 Bumble Bee Lane, Camino, California 95709 and is Apple Hill farm #14 in El Dorado County.
- Open seven days a week from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving to mid-December, open Friday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- Activities include you-pick apples, pony rides, farm animals, cooking classes for kids, apple sampling right off the peeling, jam tastings, and tours.