****NOTICE: Due to the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain fires affecting southern Utah Valley, some of the following areas may be temporarily closed. Go here for more information.****
In just a few weeks, Fall colors will be in full blast in Utah Valley, and the mountains will become covered with orange and yellow patches. A great way to enjoy the upcoming Fall foliage is to take a drive through the mountains and canyons of Utah Valley. The peak season for Fall colors runs from late September until around the end of October, with the best colors expected in early October. Here are six scenic drives that will knock your socks off with all the autumn beauty!
Photo Credit: @dhcrowder
Take Highway 92 on a 20 mile drive through winding canyons and mountains. The Fall colors are absolutely breathtaking. On the way, stop by Cascade Springs or take a stroll around Robert Redford's Sundance Mountain Resort. You can also extend your sight-seeing by hiking along the loop! We recommend any of the trails starting at Summit Trailhead or hiking Mt. Timpanogos (just look out for snow!). The Alpine Loop generally closes mid-October so be sure to get there before then, during peak color time.
The lesser known--but equally beautiful--Nebo Loop is designated a "National Scenic Byway" by the Federal Highway Administration, recognizing it as one of the premiere driving roads in America. The Byway has many photo opportunities with beautiful mountain vegetation and wildlife. Along the way, stop at Payson Lakes and be awed by the Fall colors being reflected in the lakes. The Nebo Loop generally closes in mid-October.
Hobble Creek Canyon
Hobble Creek Canyon, near Springville, is a great way to see the colorful Wasatch Mountains. The road runs through the west fork of Hobble Creek Canyon, goes past Strawberry Reservoir, and connects back with Highway 89. Along the way, find places for camping and picnicking, such as Jolley's Ranch. This is also a less crowded canyon, which makes it a peaceful place to see the Fall colors in full force!
Look in awe at the tall mountains flanking both sides of your drive down Provo Canyon. Take a stop at Bridal Veil Falls and enjoy the waterfall surrounded by yellow and orange trees. If you drive all the way to Heber, you can hop on the Heber Creeper and take a ride on their Pumpkin Train to see even more beauty along the canyon. For more scenery, turn right at Vivian Park and drive down the canyon tucked away behind the Y Mountain.
Spanish Fork Canyon
Photo Credit: @mountmakinley_
Access Spanish Fork Canyon by going southeast on Highway 89, on the way to Price. There are many stops to take along the way including Fifth Water Hot Springs. To get there, turn left onto Diamond Fork Road and follow that to the hike where the natural hot spring is. Also in the canyon is the ghost town, Thistle, which would make for spooky fun to explore when the days get shorter and darker and there is a nice orange background of leaves.
Highway 68, West of Utah Lake
Photo Credit: @ksphotos50
This drive does not not have what everyone thinks about in a Fall scenic drive. There aren't many trees along the way with leaves changing colors, but it is worth mentioning because of the views. From this side of Utah Lake, you can drive along for miles right by the shoreline and admire the views of the lake with the enormous Wasatch Mountains in the background. In the Fall, the mountains become snow-capped, making them even more striking from a distance. For an extra special view, go in the early morning to watch the sunrise!
Post your Fall nature pics on Instagram using the hashtag #ExploreUtahValley to get featured on our Instagram account! We would love to see how you enjoy the outdoors this season!