Fall Drives in Utah

We love Fall in Utah, so we are always on the lookout for the best places to see the changing Fall leaves. Our family loves finding amazing spots to enjoy the crisp autumn air and take great photos. Here are our favorite Fall Drives in Utah.

Logan Canyon

We love the yellows in Logan Canyon.

Logan Canyon is great for a Fall Drive because it is so long. You begin by enjoying the red and orange maples, and even a few purples, but the further you go you start finding yellow aspens. We were amazed at the yellows here. They range from pale yellow to golden orange. We found plenty of pullouts along the way to take great pictures. We also like both Tony Grove and Wind Cave for family-friendly hikes, and great fall trails. Logan Canyon is located in Logan, and you can enter the canyon near Utah Sate University.

The mountainsides in Logan Canyon were full of color!
We love when you can see so many colors all in one place. Logan Canyon is full of spots like this.

Big Mountain Pass

The views from Big Mountain Pass are lovely.

We love to hike along the Mormon Pioneer Trail, and this takes us along scenic highway 65 that leads up to Big Mountain Pass. You will find this road off of the 1-80 (exit 134). Head toward East Canyon and Little Dell Recreation Area. This drive is about 9 miles and it has some beautiful leaves along the way. Some turkeys even crosse the road in front of us. We turned around once we got to the top at Big Mountain Pass. There is a large parking lot with great views. You can hike along the Mormon Pioneer Trail here, or you can hike closer to Little Dell (which is where we hiked). The road does continue over to East Canyon State Park. Or you can head back along the 1-80 to Park City, which is beautiful in fall, too!

The road was lined with lots of pretty colors.

Big Cottonwood Canyon

We love the big towering walls in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Big Cottonwood Canyon is filled with lots of fun hikes and adventures. We spend a lot of time hiking this canyon in the summer, but we found that the leaves here are beautiful in the Fall, too. We hiked Stairs Gulch in the fall and it was gorgeous. You can find Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake County. The canyon begins at the crossroads of Wasatch Blvd and Fort Union Blvd. You can follow the canyon all the way to Brighton at the very top.

A lot of the great colors can be seen on the trails in Big Cottonwood.
The trails are the best spot to see colors in Big Cottonwood, but there are plenty along the road, too.

Little Cottonwood Canyon

The colors were beautiful in Little Cottonwood.

Little Cottonwood has one of our favorite Fall hikes: the Observation Point Trail at Snowbird. It is a beautiful trail in the fall with lots of golden yellows. But make sure to drive to the top of the canyon to find all the colors. We loved the bright oranges next to the gray mountains. This is a beautiful drive near Salt Lake City.

These oranges were stunning.
The entire canyon was beautiful.

Guardsman Pass

Guardsman Pass to Midway has beautiful fall colors.

If you drive through Big Cottonwood, make sure to continue onto Guardsman Pass. This is the stretch of road from the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon over toward Park City and Midway. The colors are beautiful here. Once you get over the top and start to head down, there is a junction. One way takes you in to Park City and is very windy, and the other side heads toward Midway and Wasatch Mountain State Park. We love to head toward Midway. We found beautiful fall foliage along this road.

The road ends up by Wasatch Mountain State Park, which is gorgeous in the Fall.

Alpine Loop

This photo is from one of the picnic areas along the Alpine Loop.

The Alpine Loop connects American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon. We discovered that if you just drive the loop, there is no fee required. We always pay the $6 fee so that we can stop and have a picnic along the way, but we were excited to know that it isn’t required unless you are using their facilities. If you drive the loop, make sure to drive the road out to Tibble Fork Reservoir. We often find the most beautiful leaves here. This is probably the most popular Fall Drive in Utah, so be patient, especially if you visit on a weekend.

We drove through on a wet, rainy day, but the colors were still bright and beautiful.
When you get up higher on the Alpine Loop, you will come to the yellow aspens.

Provo Canyon

You can see how the whole canyon is full of color.

Provo Canyon has some great spots to enjoy the Fall colors. The entire canyon is full of beautiful fall foliage, and there are lots of side roads to explore. We are going to mention our three favorite spots to enjoy Fall in this canyon:

This is along the road in Provo Canyon after the tunnel.


The Sundance area is beautiful during the Fall and it is before the fee area for the Alpine Loop, so you can explore around this area for free. After going through the tunnel as you drive from Provo to Heber, take a left toward Sundance (there is a sign).

The mountains were filled with lots of color near Sundance.

Kyvh Peak Road

Kyvh Peak road is a great drive anytime, but especially in the Fall. You can enjoy the leaves and end up at a great overview of the valley. Shortly after entering Provo Canyon, watch for a small sign for the Squaw Peak Road on the right side.

This road is one of our favorite spots for colors!

South Fork Road

This is our favorite place to see bright colors in the Fall in Provo Canyon. South Fork Road is the road that begins at Vivian Park. Follow the road past South Fork Park and all the way to Big Springs. We love walking around Big Spring Park because the Fall colors are especially gorgeous there. This is a Fall Drive in Utah we do every year.

Big Springs Parks is truly beautiful in the Fall.

Nebo Loop

There is no better place to see fall foliage than the Nebo Loop.

The one spot that we visit every year without fail is the Nebo Loop. This drive never fails to amaze us. We also love a few places to get out and stretch our feet on the Nebo Loop, especially Grotto Falls which is such a fun family hike. The Nebo Loop begins in Payson, and ends in Salt Creek Canyon. We usually drive from Payson up to the Payson Lakes area, and then flip around because the drive is such a long one. To find the Nebo Loop, take exit 250 from the 1-15, and head east on 3200 W/Main Street. Turn left onto 100 N, and then take a right onto 600 E. This will take you right into the canyon.

The Grotto Falls Trail is a fun, easy, family-friendly trail to walk in the fall.
We always take lots of pictures along the Nebo Loop.

Scenic Highway 14 & Brian Head

The road was lined with yellow aspens.

This drive was amazing! We couldn’t believe how bright and golden yellow all of the trees were when we visited the first weekend of October. We drove along Highway 14 from the US-89 with a quick stop at Navajo Lake for lunch. Then we headed west on Highway 14 and turned on Highway 148 toward Cedar Breaks and Brian Head. We drove the dirt road to the top of Brian Head peak and that is where you can see these amazing views. Then we kept following Highway 148 down to Parowan. It was absolutely beautiful. We pulled over many times along the side of the road to take photos because the fall foliage was so gorgeous. This needs to be on your bucket list, and is great for southern Utah friends and visitors.

Driving out to Navajo Lake is a great side trip. You can walk along the lake and there is even a trail around the lake.
The view from Brian Head Peak was amazing with all of the yellow!

Other Ideas for Fall Drives in Utah

We haven’t visited these canyons in the Fall, but they have been recommended to us. We hope to visit soon, but until then, here are some other great Fall drives in Utah.

  • Ogden Canyon Scenic Byway
  • Millcreek Canyon (SLC)
  • East Canyon
  • Spanish Fork Canyon
  • Fish Lake
  • Mirror Lake Highway by Kamas
  • Butterfield Canyon (near Herriman)
  • Hobblecreek Canyon (Springville)

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. lois

    We are planning this drive. I know nobody knows, but since it sounds like you do this every year, if you were flying in just hit peak color, when would you arrive?

    1. Natalie Ockey

      The first week of October is the best time for fall leaves in Utah. Of course it varies from year to year, but I think from the last week of September to the second week in October are great times to catch them.