Gorgeous Road Trips For Fall
|Thistles along the road between Pinto and Newcastle.|
CNN.com has an interesting article describing “5 gorgeous road trips for fall.” Utah's Hwy 12, our All American Road, is on the list. Here's their recommendations:
- Pacific Coast Highway
- Utah's red-rock country
- Maine's craggy coast
- Texas Hill Country
- Lake Superior Loop
Yahoo.com also has an interesting post: “Most Mind-Blowing Fall Foliage Train Tours. Utah's Heber Valley Railroad makes that list. The article notes that fall colors will now fade fast in northern Utah. If you want to see these colors, do it now.
Fall Backcountry Drives
Caught up in the spirit, here's my list of the best Utah fall backcountry drives. (Backcountry means away form civilization; beyond the normal routes most tourists take.)
Sal Mountain Loop Road, out from Moab
- When we talk Moab, we mostly focus on red rock, But in you may
notice the towering La Sal Mountain dominate the horizon to the east.
The loop road cuts across the mountains at about mid-elevation, in
the forest, where you will find trees and small lakes and
non-desert-like scenery. It's an amazing drive, very scenic.
The Las Sal loop road is paved. All the others listed here are dirt/gravel suitable for high clearance vehicles.
- Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway – This beauty runs from Hwy 9 near the Zion Park South Entrance to Hwy 59 near Hildale, south of Hurricane. It provides gorgeous overviews of the Zion area. Rough dirt suitable for high clearance vehicles.
- Hells Backbone, on the south slope of Boulder Mountain, in the Grand Staircase area. This cuts through heavy timber and provides amazing views in Death Hollow and The Box.
- Kolob Terrace Road, from Virgin near the south entrance of Zion Park, through the Kolob Terrace section of the park, past Kolob Reservoir and then over Kolob Mountain to Hwy 14 on Cedar Mountain. That's one of my personal favorites.
- My honorable mention award goes to the route from Pine Valley to Pinto and then Newcastle, north of St. George. I did that drive yesterday and really enjoyed it. Colors are coming on strong in southern Utah.