I’m sharing all of my fall favorites in hopes that you can take advantage of the beauty in Utah in September and October!
My friend Marisa and I did the Clayton Peak/Blood Lake loop in the middle of September. It was a steep, but beautiful hike as all of the Aspen trees are starting to change colors! I’m used to the leaves changing colors in October back home, so it was a sweet surprise to see it in September in Utah! This hike is at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon about 45 min from Salt Lake, and it was a beautiful drive up the Canyon road with leaves changing all different colors. This hike is about 3 miles round trip and 1500 ft of elevation; it’s steep both up and down, so wear good hiking shoes! Unlike the rest of Big Cottonwood, dogs are also allowed on this trail too! The views at the top show Park City Canyon on one side and Solitude and Brighton Ski Resorts on the other. I would recommend this hike for anyone trying to see the changing colors!
WHITE PINE LAKE
Matt and I hiked to White Pine Lake in mid-September. The fall colors are beautiful all of the way up and I would definitely recommend this for a fall hike. Although, the lake is partly drained this time of year, so the spring and fall would be beautiful as well. Alltrails.com lists this hike at 9.5 miles, however it is closer to 12 miles round trip when you factor in the first part of the trail before it splits to Red Pine Lake. The elevation is 2700 ft, so it’s a gradual incline for most of the way up and steeper towards the end. This hike took us about 3.5 hours on the way up with plenty of breaks, we took an hour rest at the top for lunch, and it was about 2.5 hours of hiking on the way down. I would recommend starting earlier so that you can have shade most of the way up; we started around 8am and got home around 3pm. It’s definitely a full day hike, but worth it for the amazing views!
This trail is 2.2 miles and 700 ft of elevation, located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. We did this hike the last weekend in September, and the Aspens and fall colors were beautiful! There were two moose at the top near the reservoir, so we hung out for a while to watch them and take pictures. Once they got a little too close for comfort, we decided to head down and came across the most beautiful sunset! I’ve done this hike 2 times before, but this time was definitely my favorite!
DOG LAKE VIA MILL D NORTH TRAILHEAD
This hike is 4.7 miles and 1500 ft of elevation, located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. We also did this hike the last weekend of Sept. and I fell in love with the fall colors! I have hiked this trail once before back in 2017 with my college besties, and it was so much fun to do it again! The colors were beautiful from the beginning, and there was always something to look at the whole way up!
RATTLESNAKE GULCH TO PIPELINE TRAIL
I’ve done this hike a few times in the Summer, but it was so beautiful in the fall! We did this hike the first weekend in October, and the leaves are changing every single color! It’s towards the end of the fall season in Mill Creek, but we still saw so many beautiful trees and the leaves on the ground were pretty as well. This hike is in Mill Creek Canyon, its 3.3 miles and 815 ft of elevation. The steepest part is at the beginning, but once you reach the pipeline trail, its flat to the lookout. We did the hike around sunset and it was gorgeous!