Fall foliage begins to creep into Utah's landscape 01

Watching the foliage change colors is one of the great things to look forward to in the fall. Here, the back side of Mount Timpanogos is pictured in September of 2016 on the Alpine Scenic Byway in Sundance.

One of the most popular annual fall traditions is taking in the changing colors with a scenic canyon drive.


Alpine Loop

Easily considered one of the best drives in the county in the fall, the Alpine Loop takes you through 20 miles of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Along the way you will pass Tibble Fork Reservoir and Cascade Springs -- great spots to pull off the road for picnics and photographs.

Getting there: Take Interstate 15 to the Highland/Alpine exit and travel east where you will hook into the American Fork Canyon/Alpine Loop. The drive will then take you down through Provo Canyon, or you can head toward Deer Creek Reservoir for even more miles of color on your way through Heber and into Park City.


Mt. Nebo Loop

One of the most popular drives in Utah Valley is the Mt. Nebo Loop. This 32-mile winding road begins at the base of Payson Canyon and takes travelers through the scenic byway over the mountain to Nephi.

Getting there: From I-15 take the first Payson exit. Turn left onto Main Street. Turn left onto 100 North traveling east until you reach 600 East where you will take a right. Continue heading south until you reach the entrance of Payson Canyon.


Provo Canyon

The popular drive along the Provo Canyon Scenic Byway might be well-known for connecting outdoor adventurers to the hikes at Bridal Veil Falls, float trips down the Provo River, mountain biking at Sundance Resort or even boating adventures on Deer Creek Reservoir, but Provo Canyon is also a beautiful scenic drive during this time of year.

Getting there: From I-15 take the 800 North Orem exit and head east toward Provo Canyon. From downtown Provo, take University Avenue north to the canyon.


Skyline Drive Scenic Backway

The Skyline Drive Scenic Backway is a mountain road that follows the spine of the Wasatch Plateau for some 87 miles from Spanish Fork, near the Tucker Rest Stop, to I-70 in Salina. While the mostly dirt road can be a bit rough and is recommended for 4-wheel-drive vehicles, the scenic payoff is worth it.

Getting there: Take the Spanish Fork exit and head toward Price on Hwy 6. You can access Skyline Drive at the Tucker exit. Because this is a rough mountain road, be sure and check conditions before beginning the trek by calling the Sanpete Ranger District at (435) 283-4151.


Hobble Creek Canyon

Hobble Creek Canyon can be a great drive for fall, and you can also head up to Jolley's Ranch. Though Jolley's Ranch is typically known for its winter activities, it offers great fall views as well. The road travels through the canyon following Hobble Creek's west fork and passes Strawberry Reservoir before looping back to U.S. Highway 89.

Getting there: Drive up Canyon Drive in Springville and the road will take you up the canyon past Hobble Creek Golf course and Jolley's Ranch Campground. The road will loop around to connect with U.S. Highway 89.

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