If you’re looking for fun activities to do this fall, here’s a list of things to do in Utah in October. This time of year is perfect to visit Utah’s stunning landscapes and enjoy outdoor activities.
You’ll find fun places to visit in Utah and activities to do in October like hiking, scenic drives, and attending fall or Halloween-themed events!
A trip to Utah in October means pleasant temperatures, seeing fall colors, and a variety of activities to appeal to everyone!
We have lived in Utah for over 20 years and get to explore the state often. October is probably our favorite month to travel around Utah due to the moderate weather! We’re excited to share our list of things to do this time of year based on our travels!
Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for your fall vacation! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
A Photo Tour of Utah National Parks
Take a visual tour through all five Utah National Parks to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!
What to Expect in Utah in October
One thing many people don’t know is the state of Utah is usually divided into two regions: northern and southern. It’s important to note where the various Utah vacation spots are located around the state. A drive from Salt Lake City in the north to any of the National Parks in the south can take 4 to 5 hours.
You’ll find most of Utah’s biggest cities (like Salt Lake City and Park City) in the North. As you leave the north and head toward the south, you pass by small towns with limited services. You’ll find all 5 Utah National Parks in Southern Utah.
Utah October Weather
Utah weather in October will vary between Northern and Southern Utah. The temperatures in the higher elevations will be cooler than the lower elevations by 10 to 20 degrees.
In October, Northern Utah temperatures are highs 66 / lows 47 degrees F. In Southern Utah temperatures are highs 79 / lows 53 degrees F.
In October the days are generally sunny, although there can be rain showers any time. The higher elevation areas could even experience snow storms!
What To Wear In Utah In October
During this time of year, you’ll want layers. We recommend being prepared for really cold temperatures as well, especially if you’ll be visiting locations in high elevations, just in case:
If you’re planning an outdoor activity during your visit to Utah in October, make sure you check the forecast ahead of time as conditions can change quickly.
Is October a Good Time to Visit Utah?
We think October is one of the best times to visit Utah because the weather is amazing all over the state! You can enjoy outdoor activities all day long without the heat you find in July and August!
Plus, there are so many fall and Halloween-themed events going on around the state for all ages to enjoy!
Utah NP Mighty 5 AUDIO TOUR
“It’s just like having a tour guide along for the ride. You’ll hear stories, local tips & navigation play automatically, all based on your location. Best of all it doesn’t need cell signal, the tour works offline with GPS.”
Things To Do Utah in October
Check out this list of amazing things to do when visiting Utah in October like exploring the National and State Parks, scenic drives, or Halloween-themed events!
October Hiking in Utah
In October you’ll enjoy cooler temperatures and see colorful autumn leaves depending on the location of the hike or activity.
There are plenty of Utah fall hikes that offer a variety of different terrains all around the state.
If you want to do any fall hiking in Utah National Parks, we recommend you hit the trails early or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds!
- Arches National Park Fall Hikes
- Bryce Canyon National Park Fall Hikes
- Canyonlands National Park Fall Hikes
- Capitol Reef National Park Fall Hikes
- Zion National Park Fall Hikes
October Activities and Tours in Utah
Enjoy the beautiful views and outdoor Utah fall activities at the National Parks like biking, off-roading, canyoneering, stargazing, and photography!
- Arches National Park Fall Activities
- Bryce Canyon National Park Fall Activities
- Canyonlands National Park Fall Activities
- Capitol Reef National Park Fall Activities
- Zion National Park Fall Activities
You’ll find Utah National Parks tours that provide a fun and unique way to explore the park and surrounding area:
- Guided hike tours
- Horseback riding tours
- ATV and Jeep tours
- Photography tours
- Stargazing tours
October Scenic Drives in Utah
Utah has more than 400,000 miles of roads to explore. In October you can enjoy viewing fall foliage along many of these Utah Scenic Drives!
Alpine Loop Scenic Drive – The drive is 20 miles along Highway 92 from the mouth of American Fork Canyon to the connection with Highway 189 in Provo Canyon. In the fall, Alpine Loop Scenic Drive is a terrific place to see fall foliage, but the road will get crowded. We recommend early morning to avoid the crowds!
Mirror Lake Scenic Byway – The drive is 56 miles from Kamas to the Wyoming state line. For a day trip, we recommend you drive as far as Mirror Lake then return back to Kamas. Mirror Lake scenic drive is a terrific place to see fall foliage! Be sure to stop at Provo River Falls and Mirror Lake to take photos.
Scenic Byway 12 – The drive is along a winding, country road 124 miles long from Bryce Canyon to Capitol Reef. Plan an average speed of 40 miles per hour as you estimate your drive time. The Boulder Mountain section of the drive sits above 9,000 feet. The yellow aspen in the fall are so pretty along this route!
We really enjoy the Utah National Parks GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the-scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location as you drive through each park!
October Photography in Utah
Utah is a photographer’s dream with landscapes that include deserts with sandstone cliffs, deep canyons, and red rock monoliths.
In October the mornings and evenings at sunrise and sunset will be cool to cold. Be sure to have your fleece jacket with you, and you may even need a winter hat or winter photographer gloves depending on the weather.
Here’s a list of our favorite photography spots for sunrise and sunset in Utah:
- Sunrise Photo Spots at Utah National Parks
- Sunset Photo Spots in Utah National Parks
- Sunrise Photo Spots in Moab
- Sunset Photo Spots in Moab
October Stargazing in Utah
Did you know that Utah as the highest concentration of certified International Dark Sky Parks in the world!? We definitely recommend you take time to view the night skies during your vacation.
If you want to see or photograph the milky way, it’s visible from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm in September during the new moon phase.
Northern Utah Stargazing Locations:
- Antelope Island State Park
- Dinosaur National Monument
- East Canyon State Park
- Jordanelle State Park
- North Fork Park
Southern Utah Stargazing Locations:
- Arches National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Goblin Valley State Park
- Goosenecks State Park
- Hovenweep National Monument
- Natural Bridges National Monument
October Wheeler Farm Pumpkin Days
There are pumpkin patches all across Utah! If you’re in the Salt Lake City area, celebrate pumpkins and fall leaves at Wheeler Farm in late September and October.
Located in Murray, Utah the Wheeler Farm Pumpkin Days admission ticket includes the maze, corn pit, duck races, pedal tractor, and either the wagon or cow train ride!
You can also buy pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, and fun Halloween items at the Country Store!
October Gardner Village WitchFest
From mid-September through Halloween, historic Gardner Village in West Jordan, Utah, is decked out in witch-y celebration.
The Gardner Village WitchFest includes everything from races (5K, 10K and half marathon), an escape room and scavenger hunts, to the decades-long tradition of Witches Night Out.
There is no admission fee to visit WitchFest or Gardner Village. On Fridays and Saturdays, there is a per car parking fee due to the higher influx of people on the weekend.
October Frightmares at Lagoon
In October, Lagoon becomes a haunted theme park. Located in Farmington, Utah just north of Salt Lake, you’ll find attractions ranging from non-scary to very scary!
The Frightmares event at Lagoon is kid-friendly with “no scare zones” and three non-scary attractions. Plus kids can enjoy a trick or treating trail along Treat Street.
For teens and adults, there are quite a few very scary attractions like Seance, a multi-sensory live performance that not for the faint of heart! Frightmares is known for the haunted house experiences that range from “parental guidance suggested” to “too scary for most kids”!
October Boolights! at Hogle Zoo
Hogle Zoo is transformed with Halloween lights and decorations and themed attractions. Boolights at Hogle Zoo is a non-scary event that’s perfect for families with small children.
It’s a fun event for them to wear their costumes as they walk through the zoo at night with Halloween lights! Kids can also enjoy playing at the bat cave, pirates’ lair, graveyard, land of spiders, and a wizard world maze.
October Haunted Houses
Fear Factory – Salt Lake City boasts #3 on the Top 20 Scariest Haunted Houses in the World ranked by Buzzfeed. This haunted house and is made up of 6 buildings up to 6 stories high, with 2 underground passages. Experiences include the Grimm Ghost Tours and Zombie Bus!
Nightmare on 13th – Each year the experiences are different at this haunted house in Salt Lake City. The Haunted House offers a variety of themed nightmares each year. Previous years there have been themed escape rooms, interactive haunted experiences, and more!
Castle of Chaos – Located 10 minutes south of Salt Lake City in Midvale is Utah’s only underground Haunted House! It’s been featured on HauntWorld, Travel Channel, and USA Today. This attraction offers four different levels of fear, and the option to completely exclude your group from the rest of the guests!
Places to Stay in Utah
- Coolest Hotels in Utah
- Where to Stay in Utah National Parks
- Hotels in Utah
- VRBO Vacation Rentals in Utah
Utah Bucket List
Check out even more fun Utah Bucket List ideas for your summer vacation. Be sure to download the free printable that includes ideas for things to see, do and taste all around the state! Click the image below!