Travel Guide For Visiting Utah in October

We’ve put together a guide for visiting Utah in October that includes weather, vacation spots, things to do, what to pack, and where to stay.

When looking for places to visit in Utah, consider traveling in the month of October when the weather is just about perfect to enjoy outdoor activities all over the state!

visiting Utah in October - scenic drives, hiking, activities, photography

There are amazing places to to go in Utah in the fall like exploring the National and State Parks. And fun fall activities to do like picking apples or riding the pumpkin train!

We have lived in Utah for over 20 years and October is one of our favorite times to travel! Check out our tips based on our experiences traveling all around the state this time of year

Use our Utah Packing Lists to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in October! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Utah packing lists for spring summer fall and winter
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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!

Northern and Southern Utah in October

The state of Utah is usually divided into two regions: northern and southern.

Northern Utah:

Utah’s biggest cities (like Salt Lake City and Park City) are in Northern Utah. These cities provide vibrant main streets and downtown centers with night life, festivals, historic buildings and performing arts. 

You’ll also find mountains, forests, lakes and reservoirs where you can hike, boat, stargaze or camp in the North. October is a wonderful time to enjoy the Northern Utah mountains with the cool, fresh air before the snow starts to fall!

Southern Utah:

As you head toward Southern Utah, keep in mind this area is made up of small towns with limited services.

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 all 5 Utah National Parks in Southern Utah. These parks feature red rocks, arches, hoodoos, river-carved canyons, and more! Because the weather is moderate in October, it’s a busy time of year at the National Parks!

There’s an equally stunning list of Utah State Parks and National Monuments around the state where you can enjoy hiking, biking, off-roading, canyoneering, river rafting, and more!

Utah Weather in October

In October be sure to check the weather and temperatures for the time you want to plan your vacation to Utah. 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!

The Utah weather in October isn’t too hot or too cold. In the north, the average temperatures are: highs 66 / lows 47 degrees F.

Temperatures are still nice and warm in southern Utah. The average temperatures in October: highs 79 / lows 53 degrees F.

You’ll find the higher elevations in the north and south to be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the temperatures listed above.

It’s important to know the expected weather and temperatures for the parks you’ll visit in October so we’ve written detailed guides for each National Park in Utah:

Remember to stay hydrated and use sun protection in October. If you’ll be doing any outdoor activities, we recommend the following:

WATER: drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you – hydration packs or carry refillable bottles in your backpack.

FOOD: Pack and eat salty snacks

SUN PROTECTION: Wear a sunhat and use sunscreen . If you’re not used to dry heat, you’ll want to use lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion!

Is October a Good Time to Visit Utah?

For us, October is one of the best times to visit Utah because the weather is amazing all over the state! You can enjoy all the outdoor summer time activities without the heat you find in July and August, or the cold and snow in the winter months!

You might even still see fall foliage in some parts of Utah in October!

fall foliage in Utah
Fall foliage in Utah

Fall Foliage in Utah in October

The fall foliage in Utah usually happens the last two weeks of September in Northern Utah’s canyons and hiking trails.

In Southern Utah, early October is a good time to see fall colors at:

Zion National Park in October

Fun Things to Do in Utah in October

If you’re planning a trip in October, here’s a fun list of things to do and places to go in Utah in fall.

Plus you’ll enjoy a variety of Utah fall activities to explore this unique state when the temperatures are just right!

Utah National Parks in October

All of the Utah National Parks are open every single day in October.

Some of the National Parks in Utah now have permits to enter or do certain activities, so be sure to check about reservations required in October when determining the best time to visit Utah National Parks.

We’ve written specific guides about visiting Utah National Parks in October:

Sunset at Dead Horse Point

Utah State Parks in October

We’ve put together a list of Utah State Parks where you can enjoy hiking, biking, climbing, photography, and stargazing in October. Here are a few of our favorite State Parks in Utah to visit this time of year:

Forrest Gump Road near Monument Valley

Utah National Monuments in October

There are stunning Utah National Monuments locations that would be perfect for visiting in October:

Hiking at Arches National Park

Hiking in Utah in October

Hiking in Utah is a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery. In October you’ll enjoy cooler temperatures and maybe view colorful autumn leaves depending on where you hike.

There are plenty of trails that offer a variety of different terrains all around the state at National parks, State parks, National forests, and Wilderness areas.

yellow aspen on Boulder Mountain
Yellow aspen on Boulder Mountain Highway 12

Utah Scenic Drives in October

Utah has more than 400,000 miles of scenic drives to explore. In October you can still enjoy colorful fall foliage along many of these scenic roads!

Silver Lake Utah in the fall
Silver Lake Utah

Utah Photography in October

October is one of the best times of year to photograph the Utah landscape. You’ll find deserts with sandstone cliffs, forested mountains, deep canyons, and red rock monoliths. It’s truly a photographer’s dream!

Sunrise and sunset are always the best times to capture images:

Here’s a list of our favorite year-round photography spots in Utah:

Milky Way over fins at Arches National Park

Utah Stargazing in October

You won’t find a better location than Utah for stargazing! Did you know that Utah has 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. And better yet, photograph the milky way at these Utah locations!

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
Pumpkin Days
Pumpkin Days

Wheeler Farm Pumpkin Days

Celebrate pumpkins and fall leaves at Wheeler Farm in late September and October. The Wheeler Farm Pumpkin Days admission ticket includes a maze and corn pit and one ride. Pumpkins also available. Wheeler Farm is located in Murray, Utah.

Gardner Village WitchFest

From mid-September through Halloween, historic Gardner Village 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. Gardner Village is located in West Jordan, Utah.

Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point

Cornbelly’s is the quintessential fall activities festival. They offer everything from a corn maze, apple blasters, and cow train, to tons of fall food options. Thanksgiving Point is located in Lehi, Utah.

October Activities to Do in Utah

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Places to Stay in Utah

Utah Bucket List

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!

utah bucket list - grab the free packet

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