I love seasons and my favorite is fall. When I lived in Montana and the summer began to wind down, I remember loving to head to the hills and mountains and enjoy the fall colors. This is my first fall in Eastern Utah and for the past three weekends I have spent endless hours driving, hiking and backpacking through the mountains and canyon lands. The fall colors are incredible and each valley and each canyon is more spectacular than the next one.
Three weeks ago I back packed and camped north of Heber City and while driving home I chose the Indian Canyon Route over Scenic Byway SR 191. Then two weeks ago I captured a friend and we took the drive from Scofield down through Huntington Canyon and was amazed at beauty along the byway. Last weekend my son was visiting from Montana and we spent a day driving through Emery County and enjoying the solitude, serenity and beauty of the San Rafael Swell. The canyonlands and valleys that surround the wedge are beautiful anytime of the year, but last weekend the contrast of the yellows and reds, greens and shades of brown where the most vibrant I have ever witnessed.
And best of all the entire trips were totally unspoiled by the lack of crowds. We passed two cars in the entire Swell area and only met up with a half dozen vehicles over the mountain above Huntington.
It's not just the beautiful scenery that makes it worth the drive, but it's the chance of seeing an elk or deer, the singing packs of coyotes at sunset, finding lion tracks around a far off mountain lake all add to the mystique of the wild country in the fall.
Nature, in the fall, is the most spectacular and there are so many opportunities to enjoy in Carbon and Emery counties.
The pictures on this page were provided to the Castle Country Tourism Bureau by local photographer Max Finley and provided for this feature through the courtesy of Kathy Hanna Smith.