The time is now to enjoy autumn colors in Utah’s mountainsOct 04, 2021 12:09PM ● By Karmel Harper
By Karmel Harper | [email protected]
Albert Camus said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” As we transition into the cooler temperatures of October, we welcome sweaters, pumpkin spice, and the explosion of color in our Beehive state. Although the autumn season is short, it can be spectacular for Utahns who wish to experience the changing leaves and bask in the beauty of oranges, yellows, reds, and even pinks and purples of our natural landscape. If you’re outdoorsy, hiking in Utah’s various mountain ranges is the best way to immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of color with fewer people around. But even enjoying a leisurely drive through our canyons in early October will reward you richly with breathtaking hues and plenty of opportunities for stunning photographs.
Hiking the local trails will envelop you in the various colors of the season and the hues will vary depending on the trails you explore. The tall aspens of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons surround you with bright gold while the oak, maple, and other foliage leaves of the mountains in Davis County, Ogden Canyon, and ranges in Utah County reward you with various colors of reds, orange, pinks, and purples. Herriman’s own Yellow Fork Canyon provides a beautiful array of fall colors worthy of that perfect social media photo.
If hiking is not an option for you, visiting one of our many ski resorts and riding a lift to the top of the mountain is also a great way to experience Utah’s autumn colors. A drive on US-189 in Provo Canyon provides you with access to Bridal Veil Falls, the Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, the Provo River, and Sundance Mountain Resort where you can enjoy a ski lift ride up the mountain and experience the striking red, orange, and golden colors of the trees at eye-level. In Salt Lake County, Snowbird’s Oktoberfest not only offers you views of the changing colors of the mountain, but also a family friendly event that offers music, activities, and brews. Oktoberfest runs every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 17. Further north, driving to Snowbasin Resort is also a visual feast as you make your way through Weber Canyon and S.R. 167 (Trappers Loop). Just prior to arriving at the resort, you can stop at East Fork Overlook on Snowbasin Road to enjoy a colorful view of the mountain with brilliant autumn colors in the foreground. Also on Snowbasin Road is Green Pond Loop trail which offers a leisurely walk through a colorful forest which is a favorite among photographers - both professional and amateur. Continue on into Snowbasin Resort and take the gondola to the top to enjoy an autumn adorned vista that features views of Pineview Reservoir.
When is the best time for fall foliage peeping? Right now. The website www.SmokyMountains.com provides a Fall Foliage Prediction map for the entire country and predicts by the first week of October, eastern Utah is already past peak while northern Utah and the Wasatch Front are predicted to be near peak. So don that favorite autumn outfit, grab your camera and loved ones and head to the hills to bask in and capture the natural but fleeting colors of this beautiful Utah season.