8 of Utah’s Best Fall Activities and Destinations

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Pumpkin treats and drinks, Halloween, cooler weather, and color-changing leaves are universally beloved aspects of fall. But there are unique benefits to living in Utah once the seasons begin to change. The fall colors are already appearing at higher elevations, college football season is already underway, pumpkin patches are plentiful, ski resorts are starting to get carried away, and festivals are abounding.

If you thought summer was the best time of year, prepare to change your mind. Here are seven of Utah’s best fall destinations to amaze and entertain!

Fall Scenic Drives

Being in Utah in the fall without driving to feast on the bright yellow, orange, and red leaves should be considered a crime. Luckily, the Beehive State offers so many leaf-viewing opportunities from north to south that it’s almost impossible to miss the big show of fall.

For a short list, Logan Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon, Mirror Lake Highway, the Alpine Loop, Fishlake National Forest, and Zion National Park are great places to start.

8 of Utah's Best Fall Activities and Destinations
Photo: Brian Van Sise/Shutterstock.com

pumpkin patches

One of the best ways to get into that festive fall mood is to load up the family and head to a pumpkin patch. Black Isle Farms in Syracuse has been delighting families young and old for 17 years and deserves to be on your fall to-do list, especially if you’ve never been there before.

Not only will you be able to enjoy farm-fresh treats, a 12-acre corn maze, and a scenic ride through a pumpkin patch, but your older kids might also love Nightmare Acres. This is the haunted part of the corn maze that now includes “the zombie apocalypse laser beacon”.

There’s no shortage of options when it comes to Utah’s pumpkin patch, but Cornbelly’s in Lehi, Wheeler Historic Farm in Salt Lake, Staheli Farm in Washington, and Cross E Ranch in Salt Lake County are worth mentioning. A hot and fresh apple cider donut at the Cross E Ranch alone is worth the trip!

halloween haunts

If you want to get into the spooky spirit of the season, many places adopt the Halloween theme from September to October. The Witches Festival at the Ogden Amphitheater includes a witches tea party, zombie exploration and monster party. Tea requires tickets but other events are free!

Fall might arguably be the best time to visit Lagoon from the theme park scary mares the event mixes up all your favorite rides with fun Halloween-themed entertainment. Test your bravery in over nine haunted houses, each with varying levels of scares. For kids, there’s the not-so-scary walkthrough Spook-a-Book, complete with treats and prizes. Some dark characters roam the park at night, but don’t worry, they’re mostly friendly.

Ski stations

One of the great things about Utah Mood Swings is that you can enjoy both beautiful fall foliage and fresh powder between the months of September and November at local ski resorts. The ski and snowboard season usually starts around mid-November, assuming Mother Nature has dusted the slopes well.

If you’re hoping to be one of the first skiers or snowboarders up the mountain, be sure to keep an eye out for Brighton Resort skiing schedule. They are usually the first to open each season.

8 of Utah's Best Fall Activities and Destinations
Photo: Melinda Nagy/Shutterstock.com

college football

For many in Utah, fall is synonymous with college football. Last year the University of Utah, BYU and Utah State the teams have all had successful seasons and hopes are high that this year will be even better. With combined crowds of around 130,000 for weekend home games and with three successful FBS teams, few other states can match Utah’s fall football frenzy.

Oktoberfest at Snowbird or Snowbasin

Besides the great leaves and early access to the slopes, there’s yet another reason to add Snowbasin or Snowbird to your list of fall destinations: Oktoberfest.

At Snowbasin, pumpkin-flavored treats and drinks, Halloween, cooler weather, and color-changing leaves are universally loved aspects of fall. But there are unique benefits to living in Utah once the seasons begin to change. The fall colors are already appearing at higher elevations, the pumpkin patch is plentiful, the ski resorts are starting to get carried away, and there’s no shortage of festivals.

To Snow basinBavarian cuisine, cold drinks, live music and fun activities take place every Sunday in September from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year at Snowbird, the German-themed festival celebrates its 50th anniversary and runs from August 13 to October 16. It’s a free family event with food, activities and plenty of drinks. Come grab a bratwurst or Bavarian pretzel and enjoy live music between noon and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

bear lake

Bear Lake isn’t just a popular place to enjoy your family’s summer get-togethers. Fall is also a great time to visit! Cooler temperatures, bright fall foliage, and smaller crowds are some of the things you can expect, along with all your favorite activities. Enjoy hiking, biking, mountain biking, bird watching and more – and don’t forget to grab a raspberry shake!

National parks

Just like Bear Lake, fall is the perfect time to visit any (or all) of the five national parks for many of the same reasons. planet alone reports that the peak time to visit a national park is not high season – it’s October. You won’t have to battle hordes of tourists, scorching summer temperatures or overpriced prices. Everything is slightly quieter, slightly cooler and slightly cheaper. It’s a win-win-win.

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