Top Best Places In Southern Utah To See Fall Colors

Autumn is approaching fast! That means scenic drives are about to get that much more beautiful with the fall leaves change in color. So where should you go in Southern Utah to capture the best fall foliage? Though most of Southern Utah is a Desert, there are many parts of it that offer up a spectacular Autumn show!

Southern Utah is much more desert than the rest of the state, and that means the Autumn is very subtle and mild here, with few places to see the beauty of natures more colorful seasons. No worries though! There are still places to go to see the colors, you may just need to take a quick little road trip out of the city.

If you’re sticking to the southern areas of Utah, check out Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks, Pine Valley, and Brian Head for the best fall results. Cedar Breaks is absolutely stunning with its red rock formations, meadows, and forests all contrasting against the stunning reds, yellows and oranges of the autumn leaves.

Zion National Park is like the perfect image of fall that you’d see hanging in an art gallery, with the Virgin river capturing fallen leaves of all shades, Pine Valley and Brian head offer the mountain feel of autumn that most search for, with forests and rivers and streams, they are really some of the best places to go especially if you are interested in camping out.

Autumn Woods
Photo Credit: Runemaker on flickr

So although Southern Utah is a desert landscape and you might think all we have are palm trees, cacti and dirt, you are mistaken. It just takes a short little drive (which makes the experience that much more fun) to get the full effects of Autumn. So load your loved ones up in the RV and take a road trip to camp in some of Southern Utah’s best fall foliage.

Anasazi Petroglyphs – St. George

Looking for a short and interesting hike here in sunny St. George? Check out the Anasazi Petroglyphs. There are plenty of hikes in St. George and surrounding areas that are way cool, but how many have petroglyphs, glimpses into the past natives that used to rule these lands? Not many. The Anasazi Petroglyphs are some of the most popular and best preserved here in St. George.

anasazi ridge petroglyphs
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Weller on flickr

The hike is considered moderate due to some climbing and some rough patches on the trail, but it is easy enough to take the little ones with you. It is a 3.5 mile hike all the way in, but the petroglyphs become visible about 1.2 miles in. Make sure to bring water as it is a little bit of a trudge and St. George is very hot.

To access the trailhead you will drive west on Santa Clara Drive until you see the Junction sign and River Reserve sign, there you will turn in and follow the gravel road until you see the Anasazi Ride Trailhead sign, from there you can park and start hiking on the east side of the parking lot marked as Tempi’Po’Op or ‘Rock Writing’. The trail will travel up the slope of ‘Land Hill’, a geographic rock formation where the ancestral Puebloans and Souther Paiute used heavily.

As you continue the hike you will be able to capture panoramic views of the red rock surroundings, Snow Canyon State Park and Santa Clara. This really is a beautiful and interesting hike for the family to enjoy. Once to the petroglyphs, you will be able to see almost perfectly preserved rock writings that have been there for thousands of years, scientists are still trying to determine just how old some of these petroglyphs really are!

Make sure that you do not climb on the rocks with petroglyphs on them, deface any of the petroglyphs, or touch them. As said before, these are very old ancient writings that have been well preserved, and should remain that way.

Enjoy your hike, and take in the history of this beautiful land!