8 places to see Utah’s colorful foliage this fall, as recommended by KSL.com readers

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Fall foliage at Bridal Veil Falls on October 5, 2020. Utah’s fall colors are beginning to transform across the state. (Carter Williams, KSL.com)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Earth returned to the equinox Thursday evening in Utah, ushering in the start of the colorful fall season.

The mountains and valleys of the state are already beginning to transform into shades of yellow, orange and red, and more trees and plants will transform in the coming weeks. It’s the perfect time to venture into Utah’s wilderness because of all the wonderful gems there, from Tony Grove to Big Cottonwood Canyon, Fishlake National Forest, Brian Head and beyond.

If you’re new to the state or just looking for a new place to see the colors this season, we reached out to you, our readers, and asked for your favorite fall foliage spots that you would recommend. Here are eight places to check out this fall, suggested by KSL.com readers (in alphabetical order):

Alpine Panoramic Loop

Location: American Fork Canyon (Utah County)

What do you like about this place? “(The) views. (It’s) easy to get to (and) just spectacular,” says Jill J., of Pleasant Grove.

To note: The US Forest Service requires a pass at the mouth of the canyon, which cost ranging from $6 for a three-day pass to $45 for an annual pass for anyone who chooses to park for hiking or other recreation in the area.

Fairview Canyon

Location: Fairview Canyon Road (northeast of Fairview in Sanpete County)

What do you like about this place? “There aren’t too many people,” explains Justine H., of Murray.

Guard Pass

An undated photo of aspens near Guardsman Pass, located between Salt Lake and Summit counties.
An undated photo of aspens near Guardsman Pass, located between Salt Lake and Summit counties. (Photo: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock)

Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon/Midway and Park City (Salt Lake and Summit counties)

What do you like about this place? “(It has) ease of access before (the Utah Department of Transportation) closes the road for the winter,” says Eric C., of Provo.

“You can hike hard or easy and the aspens are just amazing,” adds Lauren P., of Salt Lake City.

To note: This route is seasonal and closes after the first major snowfall in the mountains.

Logan’s Canyon

Location: US 89 east of Logan (Cache County)

What do you like about this place? “The colors – the contrast of trees and rock,” says Melanie F., of Honeyville.

Millcreek Canyon

A pair of cyclists descend Millcreek Canyon on October 2, 2021.
Two cyclists cycle through Millcreek Canyon on October 2, 2021. (Photo: Carter Williams, KSL.com)

Location: Millcreek Canyon Road (Salt Lake County)

What do you like about this place? “Smells, (it’s) dog friendly (and there are) happy people,” the Salt Lake City congressman says.

To note: There is a daily $5 entry fee for vehicles, which is paid when you exit the canyon, according to the US Forest Service.

Ogden Canyon / Trappers Loop

Pitches): State Route 39 and Trappers Loop Road near Huntsville in Weber County or Mountain Green in Morgan County.

What do you like about this place? “(It’s) easy and close and convenient but also beautiful,” says Riverdale’s Travis A..

Sardine Canyon

Location: US 89 between Brigham City and Logan (Box Elder and Cache counties)

What do you like about this place? “You only have to drive through the canyon to enjoy its beauty,” says Marie M., of Grantsville.

Utah in general

It may seem like a loophole to close this list; However, Susan Y. of Blanding says there are plenty of options to explore in Utah.

His recommendations? The Spanish Fork and American Fork Canyons in Utah County, but also Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon and South Willow Canyon in Tooele County – or even just the Abajo or La Sal Mountains in southeastern Utah .

She points out that there are also many ways to enjoy these treasures.

“You can drive or walk. You can also travel or hike at any level of difficulty,” she says. “You can do whatever you want in the amount of time you have. You can choose to have fun in Utah!”

Of course, wherever you decide to visit this fall, be sure to respect the land and follow Principles of Leave No Trace.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning journalist who covers general news, the outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a transplant from Utah via Rochester, New York.

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