Do you love fall leaves? Me too. One of the best parts of fall is taking a day or a weekend to find the best fall leaves in Utah.
Utah is better known for the Greatest Snow on Earth and the Mighty 5 national parks than for its fall color. However, if you – like most of us in Utah – can see the mountains from your house, you know that Utah is beautiful in the fall too.
Here are my top tips on when and where to see fall leaves in Utah.
When Does Fall Start in Utah?
The last two weeks of September is usually the best time to find the best fall leaves in Utah's mountains. Leaves may be mostly green in the valleys, but fall colors typically peak around the third week of September in scenic canyons and on hiking trails.
Fall color in Utah coincides nicely with the official start of fall on September 22. It may peak earlier in high elevations or in a colder year. It may peak later at lower elevations and when the weather has been warm throughout September.
In 2020, we've enjoyed gorgeous fall color from late September through the first weeks of October.
Where to Go
Here are four fun places to enjoy fall leaves in Utah in September.
We once spent a fall weekend at the luxurious Montage Deer Valley. We got off-season rates, but we had gorgeous views of the fall color from our room. There were so many fun family activities and restaurants at Montage, that we never left the resort once during our two-night stay.
On another Labor Day trip, we were wowed by an early pop of fall leaves above Utah Olympic Park. Enjoying a day full of thrilling activities here was the perfect way to transition from summer to fall.
Snowbird Resort near Salt Lake City hosts Oktoberfest every fall. This family-friendly event is held every weekend from mid-August through mid-October. Sadly, it was canceled for 2020.
We have also enjoyed fall leaves at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (on the way to Snowbird) on the easy Temple Quarry Trail. The creek is dry in the fall, and this is a great place to hop around on granite boulders and take gorgeous photos.
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park has the best fall color of all Utah's national parks. It's a fantastic Fall Break destination.
Capitol Reef is a diverse park with lots of natural beauty and historical sites. You can even pick apples and other fruit from the park's historic orchards in season.
- 5 Fun Things to Do at Capitol Reef National Park
- Best Hikes for Families in Capitol Reef National Park
We took a September camping trip with friends near Eden, Utah a few years ago. The fall leaves were breathtaking. We even saw a moose on a short morning hike!
The fall color is hard to beat in Ogden Canyon. We love visiting the Ogden area, whether up the canyon near the ski resorts and Pineview Reservoir or downtown with its unique restaurants and family activities.
It's a pity that the colorful fall leaves last such a short time because there are so many places to go and so little time! I hope that our experience gives you a few ideas for making the most of these gorgeous fall days.
If you'd like more suggestions for finding a colorful fall drive, Utah.com has a list of 30 scenic drives throughout the state where you can find the best fall leaves. These colors won't last long, so get out and enjoy the season!
If you have a favorite place to see fall leaves in Utah, please share it in the comments. I want to go see it!