Utah is a paradise for hikers, offering an incredible variety of trails that will take you to some of the most stunning and unique landscapes in the world. Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or something more challenging, there are a variety of Utah Fall Hikes to explore!
With so many options available it can be hard to know where to start – but don’t worry! Here’s a list of places to visit in Utah that have amazing fall hiking trails!
In Northern Utah, hikers can explore the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains. In Southern Utah there are a variety of trails at all five Utah National Parks.
Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for hiking in the fall (wicking clothing, layers, sunscreen, lotion)! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!
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Utah Fall Weather for Hiking
The Utah weather in the fall will vary between Northern and Southern Utah. The higher elevation temperatures will be cooler than the lower elevations by 10 to 20 degrees.
We’ve written detailed guides for the weather and temperatures you can expect each month during the fall in Utah:
Utah in September – The temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy all of the outdoor activities without being too hot.
- Average temperature in Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 79 / lows 58 degrees F.
- Average temperature in Southern Utah (St. George): highs 98 / lows 63 degrees F.
Utah in October – You never know when an unexpected storm will roll through and bring rain and cold air. It usually doesn’t snow in October, but it’s always a possibility. If it does, it’s usually a light dusting high on the mountain tops!
- Average temperature in Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 66 / lows 47 degrees F.
- Average temperature in Southern Utah (St. George): highs 79 / lows 53 degrees F.
Utah in November – Temperatures are much cooler, and the average precipitation is 1.5 inches of rain/snow, with snow likely at locations in the high elevations of Utah. You have a better chance to avoid snow by visiting the first half of November compared to later in the month.
- Average temperature in Northern Utah (Salt Lake City): highs 51 / lows 36 degrees F.
- Average temperature in Southern Utah (St. George): highs 63 / lows 40 degrees F.
List of the Best Utah National Park Fall Hikes
As you’re looking at fall vacation ideas, don’t forget that hiking is one of the best ways to experience the destinations you visit.
We definitely always recommend you add a hike or two when visiting the Utah National Parks. Here’s a list of fall hiking trails at all five parks:
- 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
Map of Utah Fall Hiking Trails
Experience the breathtaking views of Utah’s fall hiking trails with this interactive Google map! Simply click the graphic below to see the location of all the hikes mentioned below!
List of the Best Utah Fall Hikes
We’ve asked our hiking friends to share their favorite Utah fall hiking trails and tips! So grab your gear and get ready for some amazing views – here are ten must-see fall hiking spots in Utah!
Cassidy Arch, Capitol Reef
Cassidy Arch is one of the best hikes in Capitol Reef National Park any time of year. Capitol Reef is often an overlooked destination but still one of the best National Parks in Utah.
The trail is a 3.1-mile moderate hike, beginning at over 5000 feet of elevation. The trail starts steep, and levels out slightly towards the end. The last half a mile to the arch is harder to find, marked by cairns. At the end sit and admire Cassidy Arch, but be careful as there are many steep drop-offs!
In the Fall, you will likely avoid the intense heat that hits the park in the summer, but be prepared for a bit of wind at the top of the trail. (Recommended by Val, Voyages With Val)
Canyon Overlook Fall Hike at Zion
Zion Canyon Overlook Trail is one of the best trails to hike in the fall in Utah. The trail is a fairly easy hike as it’s only 1 mile with 187 feet of elevation gain. There are some rocks and obstacles along the trail, so it’s important to wear adequate hiking shoes.
This is one of the best trails to see sunrise at Zion National Park because the views out over the Zion Canyon are simply incredible.
During the fall, the Zion Canyon lights up in hues of yellow and orange, making the canyon even prettier than it normally is.
The only issue with hiking this trail is that parking can be a bit difficult. The fall is generally a good time to visit Zion, as there are fewer people visiting than in the summer months.
If you can’t get parking at the trailhead, there are a ton of other awesome things to do near Zion that are just as great but have way fewer crowds. (Recommended by Jessica, Unearth the Voyage)
Chimney Rock Fall Hike at Capitol Reef
Easily one of the best hikes in Utah in the fall, Chimney Rock Loop is a stunning trek in Capitol Reef National Park that can be done in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
It is a moderately challenging, 3.3 mile trail with 783 feet of elevation gain that will take just under two hours to complete.
You’ll start by taking a series of switchbacks to the top of the mesa, The trail then flattens out as you continue the hike atop the mesa, enjoying lovely views of the Chimney Rock spire and Mummy Cliffs.
A series of dry stream beds must then be crossed near the end of the trail. So, take note of the weather since a freak storm can fill these streams quickly.
This is especially important when visiting Capitol Reef National Park in September when monsoon season brings frequent thunderstorms to the park.
However, fall is still the perfect time to for this hike since crowds are minimal and the intense summer heat is gone. Expect daily highs between 65 F and 78 F while daily lows will go down to between 51 F and 41 F. (Recommended by Meg, Fox in the Forest)
Delicate Arch Fall Hike at Arches
Delicate Arch is inarguably one of the best hikes in Arches National Park, winding up a slickrock incline to the base of the most famous natural arch in Utah—so famous, in fact, it’s on the state’s license plate!
Along the 3.2 mile trail, you’ll gain 629 feet of elevation as you climb up a sandstone incline, with steep drop-offs along the way. Your hard work will definitely be worth it once you’re standing at the foot of the 46-foot structure. Plan for the hike to take between one and a half to two hours.
Delicate Arch is one of the best Arches National Park photo spots especially at sunset or sunrise.
Arches is one of the most popular national parks in Utah, but blessedly sees a reprieve from some of the crowds in the fall. You will need a timed entry ticket to enter park from 6am to 5pm.
Nevertheless, given that Delicate Arch is one of the most popular hikes in the park, if you’re looking to get the arch mostly to yourself—and beat the lingering heat, your best bet will be to hit the trail early and, if you can swing it, on a weekday. (Recommended by Jessica, Uprooted Traveler)
Emerald Pools Fall Hike at Zion
Located in Zion National Park, the Emerald Pools hike is a popular trail that takes hikers along a narrow path along the side of a towering sandstone cliff. The path, which starts out at the same trailhead as Angel’s Landing, is surrounded, at times, by lush vegetation which is popping with color during the fall season.
You will need to use the Zion National Park shuttle or ride a bike to access Zion Canyon and this hike during the fall months.
As you make your way along the 2-mile long trail, you’ll encounter a series of three tiered pools with stunning emerald-colored water, created by the flowing Virgin River. The calm water in the pools coupled with the breathtaking views of the canyon below offer a refreshing reward after your hike.
One of the easier hikes to do in Zion National Park with kids, Emerald Pools is suitable for various skill levels, with options to explore the lower, middle, and upper pools individually or hike to all of them. Although you cannot swim in the pools, people often wade through the cool water while kids will have a blast catching tadpoles in the shallow pools. (Recommended by Melissa, Parenthood and Passports)
Kanarra Falls Fall Hike
The Kanarra Falls hike is one of the best canyon adventures in the Southwest. The magical waterfalls inside a slot canyon are a superb fall destination due to the pleasant temperatures and colorful foliage in the red rock canyons.
Kanarra Falls is 3.8 miles roundtrip hike over moderate terrain. Most of the hike follows Kanarra Creek Canyon, crisscrossing over the river until you reach Kanarra Falls.
Once you reach the slot canyon, there are two cascades to climb up. The first has a ladder that leads up to the first pool. Continue up the second waterfall to enjoy a leisurely stroll up the rest of the colorful canyon.
There is permit system in place to preserve the fragile area of Kanarra Creek Canyon. Reserve online early to snag one of the 150 permits available each day. (Recommended by Karen, Outdoor Adventure Sampler)
Navajo Loop Fall Hike at Bryce Canyon
There are around 15 different day hikes/combination hikes in Bryce National Park. One of the most unique and challenging hikes in the park is the Navajo Loop trail that runs through the Walls Street section of the park.
This 1.5-mile trail carries you up and out of the canyon through a series of switchbacks and takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete.
Temperatures at Bryce Canyon in the fall are considerably cooler. Due to the challenging nature of this trail, the cooler temperatures make for a more pleasant hike.
Hikers can put their energy into trudging their way up out of the canyon, instead of trying to ward off heat exhaustion!
The trail begins and ends at Sunset point, which affords breathtaking panoramic views over the park. (Recommended by Angie, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore)
Peekaboo Loop Fall Hike at Bryce Canyon
The Peekaboo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park is easily one of the best fall hikes in Utah. This moderate 5.2-mile trail does have an elevation gain of about 1,500 feet and takes around 3 hours to complete.
However, it’s well worth it because, along the way, you’ll see the famous Bryce Canyon hoodoos, go deeper into the park than most visitors, and experience the popular Navajo Loop Trail.
It’s best hiked in fall over other seasons because this season gets fewer visitors, meaning you won’t have to start the hike as early in the morning to avoid others (unless you want to)!
Plus, in the fall the Bryce Canyon weather is a lot more tolerable and you’ll be able to witness the color change in the leaves throughout the park.
Pro tip: start on the Navajo Loop side of the trail so you’ll be on the most popular part of the hike earlier in the day. (Recommended by Krystianna, Volumes & Voyages)
Taylor Creek Fall Hike at Zion
The Taylor Creek Trail in Zion National Park is a great fall hike. This 5-mile out-and-back trail leads you to the Double Arch Alcove. You will gain about 450 ft on this moderately challenging hike. Budget at least 2.5 hours to complete the trail.
The trail is in the Kolob Canyons district of the park. It’s one of the best Zion hikes without the shuttle! It takes 5 minutes to reach the trailhead from the Visitor Center. Arrive early to get a trailhead parking spot.
The trail starts by going downhill to the creek. Layer up since it could be chilly on a fall morning. You will climb over fallen trees and cross the Middle Fork Creek a few times.
Wear comfortable shoes. Some crossings can be washed out, so be ready to find an alternative route on the spot. It will warm up by the time you start the return hike. Take sunscreen and wear a hat. (Recommended by Anastasia, Travel Realist)
Windows Hike at Arches
Arches National Park is located in Moab, Utah, and offers some of the best hiking trails in the state. One of the most popular and family-friendly routes is called The Windows.
The Windows Trail is considered an easy, one-mile route that typically takes between 40 to 50 minutes to hike. This trail is accessible year-round, so it’s an excellent option for fall hiking in Utah.
Along the trail you’ll see North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch! Keep in mind that portions of the trail can be uneven, so visitors should watch where they step.
When hiking in desert areas remember to stay hydrated and use sun protection. During the cooler fall mornings, you may need layers like a fleece jacket.
There are many excellent hotels near Arches National Park, so hikers will have a comfortable place to rest their heads after a busy day on the trails. (Recommended by Candice, GS Ginger)
Where to Stay in Utah
- Coolest Hotels in Utah
- Where to Stay in Utah National Parks
- Hotels in Utah
- VRBO Vacation Rentals in Utah
To help make your trip planning easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of must-do activities that belong on every Utah Bucket List: things to see, do and taste all around the state! Grab the free download by clicking the graphic below!