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5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah

09.12.18

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5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah

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  • Mountain biking the Wasatch Crest Trail in autumn.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • The WCT has some great fall color.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Riding the Lost Prospector Trail in Park City.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Park City from the Lost Prospector Trail.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • The RTS Loop just as the aspen begin to change.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Heading up to Willow Heights.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • A male moose at Willow Lake.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Bells Canyon.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Bells Canyon is a crowd favorite just on the edge of Salt Lake City.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • The Lake Mary, Martha and Catherine Lakes Trail.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • The fall is a great time to enjoy Cardiff Fork.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Aspen glow in the autumn along the Cardiff Fork Trail.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Rattlesnake Gulch.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Everyone loves Millcreek Canyon in the fall.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • We couldn't believe all the great colors that fell onto the South Fork Trail.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Big Cottonwood Canyon Road from above. Circle All Peak.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Big Cottonwood Canyon Road near Guardsman's Pass.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Guardsman's Pass sunrise.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Mount Timpanogos near the town of Sundance along the Alpine Loop.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • The Alpine Loop near Mount Timpanogos.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Fishing the Middle Provo.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Provo Canyon.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Heading to a fishing hole in Provo Canyon.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Provo Canyon.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Mount Olympus.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Heading into the Mount Olympus Wilderness to do some backpacking.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Doing an overnighter above the Mill A Basin.- 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
  • Catching sunrise from Circle All Peak. - 5 Ways to Experience Autumn in Utah
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Pro Contributor

Load up the mountain bikes and head to Park City

The charming town of Park City has some of the best mountain biking trails in the West, and as the temperatures drop, the colors come out in full force. There is something special about flying through a tunnel of orange, red, and yellow trees on clean singletrack with the crisp air in your face. There are incredible colors along most of the Wasatch Crest and Mid-Mountain Trail, but both require a higher level of ability. For the casual riders, check out Lost Prospector, RTS Loop, or the paved/dirt hybrid trail through McLoed Creek.

Hike the Wasatch during the rut

When it comes to fall in the Wasatch, no single hike represents the season better than Willow Heights. Its plentiful moose population becomes extra active (and aggressive, so be warned) during the rutting season, and their racks have had plenty of time to mature by this time of year. In the same canyon you can find the stunning Cardiff Fork or the multi-lake trail of Mary Martha and Catherine, which always seems to burst into color in the fall. Bells Canyon is a gorgeous place for an easy hike in after work that is very close to town. Rattlesnake Gulch and South Fork near Neff's Canyon are beautiful and colorful hikes for those living near the university, Sugarhouse, or downtown.

Drive the "Grand Autumn Loop"

If you want an epic afternoon road trip through about 100 miles of the best autumn terrain in Utah, consider doing the following route. Starting out at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, take Highway 190 up and over Guardsman's Pass and down into the town of Midway. From there, head south on SR-113 and then west into the jagged and tight Provo Canyon, also known as Highway 189. Turn right onto Highway 92 to get to the town of Sundance and stay on the road until it becomes the Alpine Loop through American Fork Canyon. You can't find a more tightly packed route that will take you to the most colorful spots in the state in one easy loop.

Grab your fishing rod and get on the Provo River

Enjoy some beautiful autumn sightseeing while working on your angling skills along the many fishing holes of the Provo River. Fly fishing for trout in this area has the added bonus of great fall foliage in September and October to set the backdrop for your catch-and-release. The Middle Provo is the easiest part of the long river to access, and it is close to Heber, Midway, and Park City. You won't be breaking any size records on the Provo, but you'll will find it is a great way to spend some time outdoors with your friends and family.

Backpack one of the many wilderness areas near Salt Lake

In our opinion, there is no better way to greet the fall colors than by crawling out of your tent on a cold morning and watching the colors of the sunrise match the foliage covering the mountains. It is truly a blessing to have so many designated wilderness area so close to a major city, and each one of them goes crazy in autumn. The Twin Peaks, Lone Peak, Mount Olympus and Mount Timpanogos wilderness areas are just minutes from Salt Lake City, while the Deseret Peak, High Uintas, Mount Naomi, Wellsville and Mount Nebo wilderness areas are all just a two hour drive or less. These protected areas give you the best sense of solitude while backpacking thanks to rules prohibiting bikes, roads, and developed campgrounds, and they make a great place to enjoy the autumn in a serene environment.

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