Southern Utah's Fall Foliage
Autumn in Southern Utah
Unable to go East in the Fall, if You live in the West stay Home and Visit Locally
One of the best kept secret places for seeing fall foliage is in Southern Utah on the scenic highway 143 going to Brian's Head ski resort. The spectacular, vibrant colors of the aspens, maple and oak trees are exploding in brilliant reds, oranges and yellows surely to rival any of those in Vermont or other eastern towns.
We learned of this secret a few years back after buying a vacation home outside of Zion National Park before then we only traveled to Southern Utah in the summer, what a bounty to learn the area is even more beautiful in the fall. Leaves and foliage of all kinds, turn to a rich autumn color that we did not anticipate.
Along Highway 143
Highway 143 has its own website http://www.hwy143.com/ which gives updates on what to see and when the leaves are at their peak. Another good informational site is http://www.scenicsouthernutah.com/fallcolor_report.shtml which provides "color reports". The peak time is between late September and mid-October. Seeing fall leaves change color should be on everyone's bucket list of things to do before you die. The deep red, yellow and gold colors are so brilliant they look fake. It reminds us of taking a ride at Disneyland where painted scenes are too perfect to be real, but this Utah trip is real and the leaves are real made by nature not man.
Byway 143 offers a bounty of trees with changing colors but fall is not only the best time for this scenic route, early spring brings a burst of wild flowers and young deer grazing in the meadows. In winter the road can close but if you get there in late September or early October you will not only see the changing of the leaves but maybe an early dusting of snow on Cedar Breaks, the mini-Grand Canyon. The snow highlights the ancient formations and brings a Holiday spirit to the place. This area of Utah can be chilly even in the long hot days of summer. Beware and bring a light sweater or jacket.
We wind our way down highway 143 and with every turn in the road a new display of colors and new hope for the upcoming year.