As temperatures slowly drop and we all notice a sudden crisp in the air, many may think East Coast or Midwest (Blue Ridge Mountains, anyone?!) when it comes to the beautiful colors that my favorite season brings. Here in the Southwest our Fall season lasts four weeks if we’re lucky, but man are those some beautiful weeks! New to Cedar City, UT as of December 2013, I was blown away by what I experienced when the latter half of the following year rolled around. From bright green to yellow, onto oranges and reds, I felt transported to some magical fall wonderland. Coming from the San Bernardino Mountains in California, I was use to getting seasons yes, but never like this.
My first experience simply consisted of driving up Highway 14, straight out of Cedar City and up through the Dixie National Forest. My stops and dirt-road-turn offs have included Kolob Reservoir Rd. (which connects down to Zion National Park after several miles on a dirt/gravel road, well worth it!), Crystal Springs, Webster Flat, and eventually up to the city of Brian Head, where I took the turn onto Dry Lakes Rd. During this time time of the year, I don’t think there is a bad turn off in this area! One note of caution: some of the land in these areas do fall onto private property so be aware and be respectful!
A little camping, some driving, and most noticeably some unforgettable scenes, living in Cedar City, UT for the last three years has been a real treat. I go to these areas (and experience new ones) each year, where I bask in this short-lived season by hammock, tent, car, or foot. The times may vary, but from my experience thus far it seems the colors hit late September to early October at the higher elevations (9,000 -11,000 ft, i.e. the city of Brian Head) and then make their way down to the 5,000 – 8,000 foot level throughout the month of October and into November. The colors finish out their stint at lower elevations in places like Zion NP possibly into late November.My advice: even if it’s just a weekend, give yourself that time to escape and see this beautiful land first hand, you will not forget it!
A Southern California native and Southern Utah transplant, April’s day job consists of teaching and sharing her passion for photography at her local university. Otherwise you can find her adventuring, playing music, and enjoying life!
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