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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall Colors Are Peaking in Northern Utah

If you can, get out and drive into Utah's mountains. Colors are peaking right now in northern Utah areas.

On Saturday I drove Hwy 31 between the towns of Fairview and Huntington, through the mountains in central Utah, and was totally awed by the beauty. I stopped at many of the numerous pullouts to take photos. Aspen trees are aglow, radiating hues of gold and amber, flanked by scarlet oaks and yellow river birch.

Hwy 31 is paved and well maintained, and is suitable for family automobiles. It is steep and windy in spots as it climbs to a peak elevation of about 9,800 feet. It is part of Utah's Energy Loop scenic byway, which goes through Huntington and Eccles Canyons. It is a great drive in any season, and is particularly beautiful right now.

Hwy 31 provides access to the Skyline Drive, a series of rugged dirt roads that follow along the crest of the Wasatch Plateau, from Hwy 6 on the north to I-70 on the south. The Skyline is ablaze with color right now - it is one of the most impressive drives you can ever make.

When conditions are dry you can drive the Skyline in a high clearance vehicle. But take care because when it is wet you'll have trouble getting through even in a powerful four-wheel-drive.

Several other routes also provide great views of the fall colors. In northern Utah I recommend these:
Alpine Loop
Flaming Gorge - Uintas
Mirror Lake
Nebo Loop
Logan Canyon

The color spectacular is moving south and colors will soon peak in southern Utah mountain areas. Down south I recommend these drives:
Brian Head-Panguitch Lake
Highway 12 All American Road
Kanab to Mt Carmel and Long

- Dave Webb


  • At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Ogden River Scenic Byway is spectacular now! rated the Upper Ogden Valley one of the 10 Most Scenic Areas for Fall Colors, a very worthy accolade. The Ogden Valley includes the mountain hamlets of Eden, Huntsville and Liberty that collectively sit at an elevation equal to Denver. The centerpiece of the valley is Pineview Reservoir with mountain peaks rising over 9,700 feet encircling the pastoral setting.

    The Ogden River Scenic Byway, this route meanders through 44 miles of rolling mountains, passing Pineview Reservoir and numerous charming rural communities. Most leaf peepers will simply grab their binoculars and hop in the car for a relaxing drive, but there are multitudes of ways to take in Mother Nature’s most spectacular display of the year.

    Begin the journey at the mouth of Ogden Canyon on 12th St. in Ogden at The Greenery Restaurant for a world famous Mormon Muffin, then tour the Olympic Pin and Memorabilia Museum in the adjoining Planet Rainbow. Drive up Ogden Canyon (12th St.), where a dramatic 200 foot waterfall cascades into the Ogden River on the left side of the road. This scenic eight mile canyon is narrow and windy on pavement, but the steep canyon walls widen to high mountain bowls with evergreens, oaks and maples contrasting against the gray granite and red rock walls. The Canyon opens up by the spillway of Pineview Reservoir to a broad panorama of the Upper Ogden Valley.

    Take your choice of traveling over Monte Cristo to Bear Lake and connecting to the Logan Scenic Byway. The short route would be to take the road past Snowbasin and down to Weber Canyon back to the metro area.


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