In Park City—where the weather provides a full spectrum of seasons—enjoying the cozy but still temperate days of autumn is a true delight. Here, we highlight five places in and around Park City that capture this colorful time of year.
Mirror Lake Highway - Take a day trip out to Mirror Lake via the super scenic Mirror Lake Highway, which provides more than 40 miles of road lined with colorful aspen trees that turn brilliant red and orange in the fall. The highway meanders up through the Uinta Mountains until it reaches Mirror Lake, which offers beautiful hiking trails and places to picnic.
Guardsman Pass - Drive just six miles south of Salt Lake City to reach Guardsman Pass, which leads out to picturesque Bloods Lake. This trail is ideal for hiking and biking, but the road out closes in the winter—all the more reason to get a trip on your calendar. The trail is relatively easy, and is often frequented by families (along with their dogs). Bring along a picnic or stop by the Silver Fork Diner on your way home for a smoked trout with brie, a plate of homemade meatloaf and some sweet hot apple cider.
Bear Lake via Highway 89 - Known for its photogenic groves of aspen, poplar and maple trees, Highway 89—which can be accessed from Salt Lake City—offers more than 120 miles of colorful foliage, leading all the way to Bear Lake. Plus, because the highway and lake are in the northern part of the state, snow arrives early and often—so expect a bit of powder atop those colorful leaves.
Bryce Canyon - Bryce Canyon National Park is stunning in the fall. Situated about five hours south of Park City, its epic red rock formations and canyons never disappoint. Consider visiting when the trees are changing and trek out on a hike in the crisp fall air rather than the summer heat.
Snowbird's Oktoberfest - While scenic hikes or drives are great ways to absorb the new season, consider enjoying the crisp fall air and changing leaves at this annual Oktoberfest at the Snowbird resort, an hour’s drive outside Park City. Enjoy live music, fresh food and plenty of beer in one of the prettiest places in the state. This festival takes place every Saturday and Sunday until October 20.