FEATURE — During autumn months, there is something irresistible about venturing into the mountains where foliage is bidding a colorful farewell to summer’s green.
This annual occurrence draws many of us to locations where we can view the iridescent kaleidoscope and feel the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet. Few things are more beautiful than viewing sunlit quaking aspen leaves as they shimmer in the mountain breeze.
Where and when to start
The question of where and when to view the fall foliage is one of the first things to consider, and the answer depends on the date, elevation and even the amount of water an area has received. The higher the elevation, the sooner the colors will be changing. Generally speaking, the window for optimal viewing runs from late September (higher elevations) through October (mid to lower elevations). Of course, in places as low in elevation as St. George, the colors are still changing well into November.
Cedar Mountain (The Markagunt Plateau)
This area to the east of Cedar City and Parowan rises from 6,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level and is accessible via Highway 14 and Scenic Byway 143. My favorite spot for great color is just east of the junction of Highway 148 and Scenic Byway 143 near Cedar Breaks National Monument.
East of Beaver, the Tushar Mountains rise to over 12,000 feet in elevation. Take Highway 153 to the top of the range.
Zion National Park area
Two areas in Zion that I like to visit are the Kolob Terrace (7,000 feet-plus) and the Kolob Fingers, with access from I-15. A third, much lesser known location is on the east side of Zion in a place called Brushy Cove that can only be accessed via a guided Jeep tour through a company called East Zion Adventures.
This area has a good source of water, and there’s a wide variety of deciduous trees that burst into a rainbow of colors each fall. If this interests you, give them a call, and ask when the leaves will be changing in Brushy Cove.
Written by MARK WADE. For destination ideas, visit RoadTrippinwithBobandMark.com.
This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of St. George Health and Wellness magazine.
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