When the fall season begins not only does the weather change, but so does the natural scenery. Autumns in Utah, specifically Southern Utah, have some of the most breathtaking views. The orange and red leaves, the waterfalls, and the crisp and chilly fall air all add to the enjoyment of the season. A few of the best places to see fall foliage are Zion National Park, Kolob Canyon, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Pine Valley Mountain. As Northern Utah gets colder and windier at this time of year, Southern Utah weather stays in the mid 60 degrees, so it is the perfect time to go for a hike and see some stunning fall scenery.
Zion National Park
The famous Zion National Park is a beautiful sight all year round, but it’s especially eye-catching during the months of September through November. The mild weather is great for hiking and exploring the autumn wonderland that is Zion. The Navajo sandstone mountains, white rock hills, busy rivers, waterfalls, colored leaves, and golden sunsets and sunrises give you the opportunity to create some amazing memories. For those who love the fall season and the beauties of nature, Zion National Park is the place to spend your time.
Kolob Canyon is one of the best kept secrets of the area near Zion that most people miss. It’s about 40 miles north of Zion, and well worth the visit. The vibrant colors of the leaves look beautiful near the red sandstone mountains. It’s a view that resembles a painting. Kolob is filled with long hiking trails, so you can wander and take in the lovely views around you. If you’re lucky, you can catch a sight of some wildlife. Be on the lookout for the bighorn sheep, they are especially exciting to see.
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks National Monument sits at over 10,000 feet tower over a deep natural amphitheater. If you are familiar with Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks is a similar and smaller version. It’s nicknamed “the Circle of Painted Cliffs”. You can soak in the terrain of meadows of wildflowers, pine trees, golden leafed trees, and multicolored cliffs. In late October, snow may begin to accumulate which can give you a taste of winter beauty as well.
Pine Valley Mountain
If you are a big fan of pine trees and you love the sight of greenery, you’ll have to go see Pine Valley Mountain. Near St. George, these mountains are a beautiful spot to hike, walk, or simply sit and enjoy the view of the evergreens and the blue rivers and lakes. The grand towering trees give you a forest experience that can be rare to find in the Southern Utah desert. It’s fun to bundle up and go hammocking in between the trees as well. If you’re not too afraid of the low temperatures, you can camp as well.
As you participate in other favorite fall activities, we highly recommend adding a visit to these natural areas on your list. Take your chance to see the changing colors and feel the crisp breeze before the fall shifts into the winter. The leaves are falling and nature is calling!
Posted by David Ellis