Last week, as I left early in the morning from Parowan for Bryce Canyon along Utah’s Patchwork Parkway (National Scenic Byway – Hwy 143), I was treated to a rejuvenating experience as the morning sun crept up over Brian Head Peak and stretched out its sunlit fingers across the tops of the changing aspens and maples along the mountains. Much like King Midas, these sunlit fingers changed yellow and orange leaves into glistening gold, and I felt like I was traveling through Ali Babba and his Forty Thieves’ cave of golden treasures.
The drive back was just as rewarding as I wound through vibrant hues of colors contrasted with lava rock, red rock, towering green pines, and mountain meadows.
The upper left photo is looking out over the rim at the base of Brian Head Peak down into the north end of Cedar Breaks National Monument and beyond. In the middle right, you can see a tip of one of the many spire formations that make up Cedar Breaks National Monument.
The Patchwork of Fall colors in various vibrant hues of yellow, gold, orange and red stretch out along Utah’s Patchwork Parkway. Fall colors at the higher elevations (Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument) will soon be gone in another week. Another showing of color in the lower elevations (Panguitch and Parowan) is starting now and lasting a few of weeks.
There are numerous opportunities for some great Fall color photography, as well as a glimpse of deer, elk, and other wild life. Please be aware that between now and October 20th, livestock ranchers will be moving their cattle and sheep down from their summer mountain range to the valleys on either side of the Patchwork Parkway.
When you pull off the Patchwork Parkway to take your photos, please use the graveled areas or public side roads to park so as not to disrupt the fragile meadows of Cedar Breaks National Monument and the Dixie National Forest.