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 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.
Big Mountain Pass
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
Squaw Peak Road
Squaw 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.
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.
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.
Scenic Highway 14 & Brian Head
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.
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
- Fish Lake