Plan Your Visit

Credit: Molly McKinney of WISTV in Columbia, SC as part of Palmetto Weekend.

If you've never visited, we hope you'll read everything on this page to plan your visit but if you just need the highlights, click on the bulleted items below to jump down the page. Click the back button to come back to the top of the page.

What You'll Find at Sky Top

Never been to Sky Top before? You are in for a treat! Our orchard sits atop beautiful Mt. McAlpine affording a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. If the view were all we offered we'd still be worth the drive but you'll discover our views and fruits and vegetables are just part of the magic of our 100 acres. We provide the backdrop where memorable experiences blossom! Download a map to see all that we have to offer. Also read rules for visiting the orchard. To make the most of your visit to Sky Top Orchard, use the adjacent packing list as a guide.

  • Tractor-pulled hay rides (there is no actual hay in order to accommodate those with allergies)
  • A bee train - bee themed barrels pulled behind a tractor
  • A small pond where you can feed ducks (bring change for feeders)
  • An animal area where you can visit farm animals and friends
  • A large playground area for the kids
  • A bamboo forest to explore
  • Wooden cut-outs for picture taking and memory making
  • Fresh apples, cider and produce at our fruit stand market
  • Fresh-made apple cider doughnuts
  • An assortment of goodies for gift baskets and take home treats
  • Acres of mountain top paradise where you can roam searching for the perfect tasty treat
  • Plenty of places where you can commune with nature and each other

Insider tip: Mondays (except holidays and days when local schools are out) are great days to visit as we generally don't allow school groups those days and guest visitation is lower. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are second behind Mondays as far as slower days to visit. Arriving when we first open or after 3pm is the best way to avoid crowds though keep in mind this is just a guide.

Sky Top in the News

Read the latest news on Sky Top Orchard here.


Once we open for the season, we are open 7 days a week except for Thanksgiving Day and will remain open until late November/early December.

Our hours are 9am - 6pm until Daylight Savings Time ends. After DST ends, we're open daily from 9am - 5pm. Weather often affects our closing date so check our picking schedule page or Facebook for details.

U-Pick typically runs from opening day until the end of October but can go longer depending on weather and supply/demand. You can U-Pick from the time we open until 30 minutes before our closing time. Be sure to check our picking schedule page to make sure we are still offering U-Pick when you plan your visit if it is late in the season.

Getting Here

The approach road to our orchard begins at the intersection of Greenville Highway and Pinnacle Mountain Road and, though only a mile, there's a significant change in altitude on your way up. The views will be breath-taking off to your left (see above) so be mindful of other folks taking in the scenery on their way up and down the mountain. There are no places to pull off so just take it slow and take mental snapshots. If you are lucky and it has recently rained, you'll get the thrill of seeing clouds hanging in the valleys between the ridges. It's spectacular and one of the many reasons to love autumn in the mountains. Driving Directions to Sky Top


We invite you to create family memories at the orchard and charge no admission fee to visit the playground, animal farm, bamboo forest, picnic area, restrooms or farm stand area where you can find fall favorites like fresh cider, jams, jellies, carmel apples and our famous doughnuts.

If you plan to pick apples yourself and visit our U-Pick orchard area, please see an attendant to pre-pay for apples and pick up a basket for picking. Each small basket holds roughly a peck when properly filled level. This is approximately 10 lbs of apples. You can purchase as many pecks as you'd like but a minimum of one peck basket per 6 people is required to enter U-Pick.

Groups should make reservations as mentioned below.


Parking is free at Sky Top. On busy days, you'll be directed where to park so watch for attendants upon your arrival.

As you can imagine, weekends are our busiest time with most arrivals happening from 10am - noon making 10am-3pm the busy time. We have added additional parking areas located across the street from the entrance of the orchard. If this area is open for parking, you will be directed there when necessary.

In years past when we've reached capacity, some guests chose to park on the side of the road outside the orchard entrance. This is not something we require or advise and if you choose to park on the roadside, it is at your discretion and risk. If you are uncomfortable with parking across the street or on the roadside, we advise you to visit on a weekday or to arrive when our gates open at 9am on weekends. If you visit on an off-peak day, you are generally able to just park where you find a spot inside the gates.

Restroom Facilities

Restrooms are located near the Picnic and Playground area. Please be conscientious of other guests and help us keep these areas clean. Please let us know at the front desk if you have concerns and we will address them the best we can.

Dog Policy

Please no dogs in the fruit stand. Follow signs to bypass stand

We know dogs are members of the family and we welcome them at Sky Top but not in the Fruit Stand. We ask that you please obey the posted signs and that other members of your party purchase apples and get baskets as you wait outside the Fruit Stand for them. You'll see signs near the main parking area when you arrive. If you are here on a slow day and park in front of the fruit stand, look for Paw Path signage to direct you to either the Picnic and Playground Area or to the rear of the Fruit Stand. Please see the map for details.

If you want to access the picnic/playground area or restrooms and are in the Orchard, please walk around the front of the building to access those areas.

Dogs should remain on leash at all times and we ask that you please pick up after them.

We are not a public park so dog walkers and packs of dogs are not allowed in the orchard.

We take dogs left in cars very seriously. Because we do not have shaded areas where you can leave your dog safely, we ask that you please leave your pooch at home unless someone remains in your air-conditioned car with your dog during your visit."Dogs can have a stroke or a seizure...even 5 minutes can kill", says the Henderson County Sheriff's Office Animal Enforcement Division.  On days when the temperature is 75 degrees, temps in the car can reach 118 degrees-even when the car is parked in the shade with the windows cracked. 

Friendly Reminders

Sky Top is a working orchard so expect to see tractors and employees out and about on the farm. For your family's safety, we ask that you keep children with you at all times and do not allow them to free roam the orchard and that you adhere to the Rules of Sky Top. There are designated, fenced-in play areas where you can loosen the reigns a bit and just relax and enjoy the scenery. We ask that you picnic only at the pavilions and parking lot tables and not in the orchard.

Sky Top is a business and apples are our main source of revenue. We depend on the sales of those apples to keep the orchard running, to buy supplies and do renovations to meet demand for the next season. When apples are used as balls or toys, when they're picked to be used as a prop or plucked as a sample and then discarded, they aren't able to be sold. Discarding one apple may seem small but as busy as we are in full season, it doesn't take long for this kind of activity to add up to a large volume of unsellable apples. Discarded apples create their own issue because they attract yellow jackets to the very place people are trying to pick. It's for these reasons we have had to become more proactive in enforcing a policy that has always been in place - Pick only what you need and keep what you pick. If you prefer, you can skip u-pick and make your selections at the Mix-N-Match tables featuring pre-picked apples in the bins near the kettle corn sold by the pound or you can buy prebagged apples and Asian Pears in 1/2 peck, peck and bushel sizes off the tables close to U-Pick but we know how fun U-pick is so please enjoy and just follow the guidelines we've established.

The orchard is supposed to be a fun place. That's why you are visiting. That's the experience we want you and all our guests to have. There is no rush here. Take your time when picking. Gently inspect each apple before plucking and once you pick, put it in your basket and bring it into the stand to bag. Children should be supervised when they are picking as well. It's that simple and everyone wins when the orchard is treated with care and respect. We thank you for understanding.

Food Options

Top DogsYou can bring your own food and enjoy a picnic at a table near the Playground or you can forego lunch here and visit our friends down in the Village of Flat Rock.

Beginning Labor Day weekend, "Top Dogs" is open every weekend (Friday - Sunday) from 11am to 2:30pm and they accept cash or check.They have 100% all beef hot dogs, nachos and pizza for sale in the building between the Doughnut Building and the Playground.

We also have apple cider doughnuts available for purchase as well as apple cider slushies, water, soft drinks and Sky Top's Best Hard Cider.

Please note that our Doughnut Building closes 30 minutes prior to the close of the orchard so please plan accordingly.

Group Visits

Sky Top is a great place to bring a group and we can accommodate up to 300 guests for a tour with advance notice. Please download the appropriate informational packet below. Our reservation forms are Google Drive documents. Some businesses block access to Google Drive so you may need to view from home or on your smart phone or tablet. Should you have difficulty accessing, please email us.

  • All youth oriented groups (schools, homeschools, youth groups, church groups, scout troops) must register using the Field Trip Reservation Form. School groups should download and read our Field Trip packet prior to registering. Groups should read and share the Rules of Sky Top prior to visiting. Note: Field Trip groups on weekends do not receive the educational lesson but should still register with us.

  • Groups without children (Tourism Bus Groups, Senior Centers, College Groups, etc...) are asked to use the Group Reservation Form. Groups with children should not use this form. Groups should read and share the Rules of Sky Top with guests prior to visiting.

Should you need to make changes after registering, please email us.

Birthday parties are not a Sky Top offering. You are welcome to celebrate birthdays with us but we will not coordinate or reserve areas for you. On a first-come, first-serve basis, you may gather at an available picnic table for 1 & 1/2 hours and must purchase items (hay rides, apples, etc...) from the orchard as part of your visit. You may not use the orchard solely as a backdrop for your gathering. Please keep decorations to a minimum and clean up after your event including removing balloons and decorations. The building adjacent to the small pavilion is a private residence and not available for use or entrance.

Area Info

Explore all that our area has to offer by visiting nearby Flat Rock, NC. You'll find shopping and restaurants and an assortment of accommodations. The Village of Flat Rock and the shops of Little Rainbow Row are approximately 3 miles away if you turn left onto Hwy 225/Greenville Hwy at the stop sign where Pinnacle Mountain Road and Hwy 225 intersect.

The town of Saluda is a great place to visit in the evening as restaurants on Little Rainbow Row close at 7.

Plan a Visit Soon and Often!

By entering Sky Top Orchard, visitor assumes all risk and agrees that Sky Top Orchard shall not be held responsible for any accident or injury occurring on the premises. You further agree by visiting, to allow your image to appear in photographs or video used for advertising or commercial purposes without compensation or attribution. Bees are a natural & necessary part of an orchard. Please be kind to bees you encounter & be aware in their presence.