Fall Color Report

Report For October 28th – 31st

Scenic Southern Utah and Cedar City One of the “Eight Great and Unusual Fall Foliage Destinations” -NBC Today Show.
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Dry Lakes / High Mountain by Mike SaemischHigh Elevation – Alpine

Brian Head, Cedar Breaks and Panguitch Lake

Percent of Change:


Color Report:

The leaves in the high elevation are gone. Please be sure to comeback next year on September 1st for another spectacular fall in beautiful southern Utah.

However, we would love to see all your amazing fall color shots from this year so tag them #VisitCedarCity and #fallcolorreport.

*Caution* Please be mindful of livestock that may be on the roadway, they are currently migrating to winter grazing areas.

Mid Elevation - Woods RanchMid Elevation – Sub-Alpine

Parowan Canyon and Cedar Canyon Area

Percent of Change:


Color Report:

After high winds the leaves in the mid elevation are gone. Be sure to come back September 1, 2017 to check out the Fall Color status. Have a wonderful and safe winter!

We would love to see all your amazing fall color shots from this year so tag them #VisitCedarCity and #fallcolorreport.

*Caution* Please be mindful of livestock that may be on the roadway, they are currently migrating to winter grazing areas.

Cedar City Visitor CenterLow Elevation – High Valley

Cedar City and Kolob Canyons Area

Percent of Change:


Color Report:

The Rangers in Kolob Canyons have reported that the colors in the main canyon are beautiful right now but in areas like Kolob Canyons and Cedar City are already past peak. Thank you for coming and enjoying our beautiful fall and we look forward to seeing you next year; September 1st!

We would love to see all your amazing fall color shots from this year so tag them #VisitCedarCity and #fallcolorreport.

Foliage Color Key

0 – 25% Color Change
26-50% Color Change
75-99% Color Change
Past Peak
100% Color Change

Past - Past - Peak

Suggested Drives

Kolob Finger Scenic Byway / North Zion National Park

About 18 miles south of Cedar City, just off 1-15 at Exit #40, is the well-traveled Kolob Fingers Scenic Byway. This paved highway climbs through several switchbacks to unfold the spectacular Kolob “finger canyons”. These rugged and steep rock formations are colored in vibrant shades of red. The road features many pull-out areas with magnificent overlooks and geologic information. The road ends five miles in at the Timbercreek Overlook where there is a nice picnic area and short walking trail. Once you have soaked in the scenery, simply return to I-15 the way you came. At this time of year, the orange shades of the valley’s scrub oak and golden hues of the rabbit brush make an interesting contrast to the broad scenery. A great hiking trail to see the beautiful fall colors is Taylor Creek. This five mile hike follows the middle fork of Taylor Creek past two homestead cabins to the beautiful Double Arch Alcove. Since Kolob is a part of Zion National Park there is a $25 entrance fee payable at the Visitor Center at the Canyon entrance and is good for 7 days including Zion National Park Main Canyon.

Where in Southern Utah should I go to see the fall colors if I arrive in…?

Early September

This is the very early stage of the fall foliage season. You may be able to see some color near Brian Head and Cedar Breaks.

Mid September

Southern Utah’s high elevation areas are traditionally experiencing 30% to 50% color change at this time. We suggest you visit the Cedar Breaks area.

Late September through early October:

This is typically the best time to see the leaves in Southern Utah. The leaves around Brian Head and Cedar Breaks should be at peak and the Duck Creek, Navajo Lake and Panguitch Lake should also be near peak. A great fall color trip is what’s known as the “Fall Color Loop”. The Fall Color Loop begins in Parowan, where you start up Hwy 143 though Parowan Canyon go past Brian Head and turn east towards Panguitch Lake, then head south on Mammoth Creek Rd. to Hwy 14, turn west on Hwy 14 go past Duck Creek Village, Navajo Lake, Zion Overlook, then down Cedar Canyon into Cedar City.

Mid October

The colors in the high elevation generally are past peak at this time, however, there should be some great colors along Hwy 14 from Cedar City to the Zion Overlook. Parowan Canyon, along Hwy 143 should still have some great fall colors. Take the gravel road that leads to Vermillion Castle and Yankee Meadow as a nice side trip.

Late October through Mid November

Zion National Park offers the best fall color viewing at this time.

*Please note that this information does not imply any guarantee in respect to the current conditions of the fall foliage. This information is based upon average conditions over the last ten years.

Why Do The Colors Change?

Springtime and Plenty of Chlorophyll

Each spring, budding leaves contain green, red, orange and yellow pigments. Throughout the summer, the green is dominant due to chlorophyll production.

Day Length, Rainfall and Sugar

Many factors influence autumn coloration and the most important being day Length, followed by rainfall, sugar accumulation in the leaves, wind, and prolonged periods of cool, bright, sunny autumn weather without a killing frost. The brighter the light is during this period, the greater the production of these pigments in the leaves.

Cool Autumn Days

When the days of autumn are sunny and cool, and the nights are chilly but not freezing, the brightest colorations usually develop. This is when the production of chlorophyll, which is created by sunlight during photosynthesis, slows down. As sunlight hours decrease, the green starts to disappear and the other pigments; red, orange, yellow, scarlet and purple come alive.

Getting Ready for Winter

Meanwhile the tree produces a waxy substance to protect itself from the elements once a leaf separates from the branch. That’s why leaves can withstand strong wind and rain during the summer, but come down so easily during a fall rainstorm. The key is to get a picture of your favorite tree when you see it-don’t wait!

Easy tips for taking great fall color photos

Use a tripod

Put the camera on a tripod and if you don’t have a remote shutter release use the timer on your camera so that you are not touching the camera and possibly causing camera movement when the shutter snaps.

Choose the time of day

Early and late in the day are the best times to photograph outside. At these times of day, the light is diffused and gives a rich golden colorcast to the scene. If it is an overcast day, anytime is good for taking colorful fall photos because the clouds diffuse or soften the light which enhances the colors of the trees.

Include foreground objects

Objects in the foreground of a landscape give the image more depth. Include a tree branch, tree, person or large rock in the foreground to give the image a feeling of actually “being there.”

Shoot at different angles

Study the light and decide at what direction you want to photograph the scene. The image can have different effects depending on the angle of the light. Try avoiding direct frontal lighting.

Shoot from different positions

Get on the ground and shoot the subject from a low position. Try lying on your back and shooting up through the trees with the blue sky as the background.

Shoot at different zoom levels

Shoot the same subject at wide angle, medium telephoto and extreme telephoto if possible. Don’t forget about trying some close-ups as well. If you are using a digital point and shoot, put it in macro mode and get close for some dramatic, eye-popping effects.

Look for reflections in water

Reflections of colorful fall trees in the water can have a very dramatic effect. In the early morning or early evening there is usually less chance of wind. The still water from the lack of wind causes sharper, more colorful reflections.

Enjoy the time

Getting out in the country on a beautiful morning or evening is a great feeling. Enjoy the time, have fun and take a lot of photos.

How Do I Preserve Leaves?

There are different ways to preserve leaves. Our suggestion is to make a solution of one-third glycerin and two parts boiling water. Place the stems in the solution while it’s still hot. Keep the leaves in the solution over night. Remove and dry the next day.

To press leaves, place them between sheets of newspaper and then under something heavy like a stack of books. You can also press leaves with a warm iron, but first place the leaves between tissue or wax paper. The color will last longer if you keep leaves our of direct sunlight and away from the air.

Fall Color Photos

There are a bunch of beautiful spots in Scenic Southern Utah to see and capture! Share your best photo of the Scenic Southern Utah area on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram and tag it #FallforScenicSoUtah. If your picture is our favorite for the week we will feature it as our cover photo on both Facebook and Twitter as well as feature the photo in a post with a link back you! Get discovered and show us what you got