7 Best Outdoor Fall Activities in Utah

This list will give you some great ideas for outdoor Fall activities in Utah from hikes, to scenic drives, to the best places to pick out a pumpkin. What is Fall without pumpkins, right?

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The best outdoor fall activities in Utah

Fall is the perfect time to be in Utah.

The temperatures are beginning to cool off, but the days are still bright and sunny, making it a great time to enjoy the outdoors and see the changing leaves!

Let’s dive into the list of Fall activities in Utah!

On a scenic drive in Utah

Fall Activities in Utah

1. Take a Scenic Drive

There are a ton of scenic drives in Utah. For this list, I choose the drives where I think you get the best views of the changing leaves in the Fall months. Be prepared to stop and take lots of photos.

  • Mirror Lake Highway – Kamas, Utah to Mirror Lake
  • Highway 12 – Bryce Canyon National Park to Capitol Reef National Park (this is one of my favorite drives in the entire state)
  • Mount Nebo Scenic Byway – Payson to Nehi (can be done in either direction)
  • Alpine Loop – American Fork to Provo Canyon
Hiking in the Fall in Southern Utah

2. Take a Fall Hike

There are a lot of spectacular hikes in Utah, but below are some of my favorites around the state for the Fall months.

Lake Blanche:

  • Location: Big Cottonwood Canyon
  • Mileage: 7 miles round-trip
  • About: Lake Blanche is one of the classics near Salt Lake City, and it’s a great hike just about year-round. In the Fall, you’ll get to see the beautiful aspens changing color in the canyon. No dogs or swimming allowed.

Bells Canyon to Lower Falls:

  • Location: Base of Little Cottonwood Canyon
  • Mileage: 4.6 miles round-trip
  • About: Water levels are low in the Fall, but the Fall colors are popping! This is a beautiful hike past a reservoir and up to a huge waterfall. No dogs or swimming allowed.

>> Other related blog posts to read: 5 Awesome Alpine Lake Hikes Near Salt Lake City

Lower Calf Creek Falls:

  • Location: Calf Creek Campground on Highway 12 (Southern Utah)
  • Mileage: 5.8 miles round-trip
  • About: This is definitely one of my favorite hikes down in Southern Utah. It’s a popular easy-to-moderate hike that’s beautiful at every point along the way. You’ll see huge red rock walls, pre-historic rock art, and a 130-foot waterfall. It’s awesome!
  • Lower Calf Creek Falls trail guide

Angel Landing Hike:

  • Location: Zion National Park
  • Mileage: 5.4 miles round-trip
  • About: An iconic Utah hike that’s strenuous with steep drop-offs and narrow sections. You’ll be rewarded with incredible views of Zion Canyon. This is a very popular hike.

Scout Cave Trail:

  • Location: St. George
  • Mileage: 3.6 miles round-trip
  • About: This is one of my favorite hikes in St. George. On this hike, you’ll traverse across lava flow fields, stream beds, and Navajo Sandstone rocks until you reach Scout Cave!

Some of my Favorite Hiking Gear:

Picking out the perfect pumpkin at a pumpkin patch in Utah
Pumpkins at the pumpkin patch

3. Visit a Pumpkin Patch or Fall Festival

There are a ton of pumpkin patches and fall festivals throughout the state, so if these are not near you, do a quick search of pumpkin patches in your area to find even more great options!

Cross E Ranch Fall Festival:

  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Dates and Tickets: more info
  • About: There’s a lot to do at the Cross E Ranch including a corn maze, pumpkin patch, delicious food, and more! Apple cider donuts anyone?

Petersen Family Farm Pumpkin Patch:

  • Location: Riverton, Utah
  • Dates and Tickets: more info
  • About: There are not as many activities at this farm as some of the others on this list, but if you just want to walk around the pumpkin patch and pick the perfect one, this is the place. There is no admission fee for the pumpkin patch. Other activities on the farm include a wagon farm tour, apple slingshot, and an old-fashioned popcorn crank which require tickets.

Kuwahara’s Thriller Park and Pumpkin Patch:

  • Location: Draper, Utah
  • Dates and Tickets: more info
  • About: A pumpkin patch, a “thriller park” with events and performances, food, and tons of great photo opportunities.

Pumpkin Nights SLC:

  • Location: Salt Lake City
  • Dates and Tickets: more info
  • About: At Pumpkin Nights, you’ll venture along a half-mile walking path through the Forbidden Pumpkin City, a pirate’s cove, and more fantastical lands built using over 3,000 hand-carved real and artificial pumpkins!
Car camping in the Fall months in Utah

4. Go Car Camping

Fall is a great time to hit the road and do some car camping. Pack some extra blankets for the colder nights, and enjoy the fresh crisp air! Below are some of my favorite places to camp in the Fall:

  • Fish Lake near the Pando Aspen Forest
  • Red Cliffs National Recreation Area near St. George, Utah
  • Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument near Escalante, Utah
  • Wasatch National Forest along the Mt. Nebo Scenic Byway

Car Camping Gear Suggestions:

Backpacking in Southern Utah

5. Go Backpacking

Fall is my favorite time to go backpacking in Southern Utah. The weather is absolutely perfect. While the mountains are starting to get colder, the desert is still holding on to the warmer temps. These are some great Fall backpacking trip ideas in the desert:

Aspen leaves changing color in the Fall in Utah

6. Take a National Parks Road Trip

The Fall is the perfect time of year to go on a Utah national parks road trip.

In the fall, you’ll find fewer crowds, cooler temperatures, and plenty of seriously epic national park views.

Utah has 5 national parks: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. They’re all different from one another, and unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else.

Utah is truly a unique place.

Dive Deeper >> I have a detailed Utah road trip guide full of local tips and a possible itinerary here: Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary (from a local)

Some Road Trip Essentials:

Swimming in a natural hot spring in Utah

7. Soak in a Natural Hot Spring

There are some fantastic natural hot springs in Utah. On a cooler Fall day, take a soak in the hot water. Natural hot springs are the perfect way to relax outdoors!

Hot spring options in Utah:

Hot Spring Essentials

All sorts of pumpkins can be found at this Utah pumpkin patch

As you can see, there are a lot of outdoor activities to do in Utah during the Fall months!

I hope you enjoy the beautiful Fall colors through the mountains, the fresh cool air, finding the perfect pumpkin, and some relaxing time in nature.

If you have any questions as you’re planning your Utah adventures, chat with me in the comments below.

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