Brisk mornings, pumpkin spice lattes, and plaid are sure signs fall is in the air. But, for folks in Utah, fall is a little different. For starters, there’s already a whole lot of orange in the landscape. It means that when the leaves start to change, St. George becomes a collage of radiant oranges and ambers.  

It’s more than just the colors that change though. That attitude changes just a little bit, too. The cooler temps and the shorter days send everyone outside on the hunt for adventure — before winter sets in.

Fall in St. George, Utah means fishing in Pine Valley, campfires in the desert, and long hikes around Zion National Park. It means the best adventures are just around the corner.

Here are a few fall adventures you need to try this year:

Take in the autumn colors with a killer bike ride

Most of the trails surrounding Zion National Park are free game throughout the year, but there are a few that are only open from February through mid-December, which means it’s almost closing time by late fall. I’d say biking the Zion Canyon and Pa’rus Trail is one of the times when waiting until the last minute really pays off.  By early November the fall colors and the desert landscape really are something else. 

Hike with the scientists

Set for October 19th you can take a full-day hike with one of the Zion Canyon Field Institute naturalists through one of the most well-known hikes in the St. George area. They call it their “Rim to Floor or Rim and Back” hike. The plan is simple: Meet them in the morning and they’ll take you through East Mesa Trail or East Rim Trail and offer an inside look into the botany and geology of the hike along the way.

Find your climbing paradise at Pioneer Park

Slot canyons, amazing views, and plenty of rocks for climbing? Sign us up! Pioneer Park is a treasure-trove of fun for adrenaline junkies and first time climbers. For the ultimate rush, hike to the top of Sugar Loaf for views of the city, Zion National Park and even Arizona. For the kids and the kids at heart, spending a few hours in the slot canyons and Boy Scouts Cave will really seal the deal.

Gear up for the races

It’s a 25-hour bike race — and you’re invited! The Frog Hollow Mountain Bike Race is the longest one-day bike ride in the country and it’ll take you through Gooseberry Mesa and Zion National Park.  While the racers will be greeted to a few twists and turns at night (the race is usually over Halloween weekend), the race goers will have a blast cheering everyone on and joining in the festivities. The race is scheduled for November 7th and 9th

Stretch your legs chasing waterfalls

I’ve saved one of the very best adventures for last. You must try hiking through Zion Canyon and tracking down the various emerald pools and waterfalls along the Emerald Pools Trail. The lush scenery is a pleasant surprise in the middle of the desert, and it feels like you’re exploring the Garden of Eden because of it. Another plus? The trails are perfect for the kids.

Sponsored by St. George Tourism.