Southern Utah resorts are a popular summer destination. But while Utah is often considered to be a desert state, the region is known for its stunning displays of fall colors. Starting sometime in late September and lasting into early October, the leaves begin to change. Set against the red rock cliffs, the landscape comes alive with a bright display of red, orange, and yellow leaves.

There are plenty of places to experience this incredible display throughout Southern Utah. However, one of the best places is Zion National Park. Water Canyon Resort is located less than an hour from the park. This makes it a great base camp for a fall visit to the region. It combines the benefits of resorts near Zion, like easy access to the park to start your day with an early hike, with the tranquility of quiet Hildale, Utah.

Riverside Walk

Looking for a relaxing fall walk that your entire family can enjoy together? Head to Riverside Walk! While the Zion Canyon Shuttle System is in operation, you can access the Riverside Walk on the last stop.

Riverside Walk is a 2.2-mile roundtrip hike that takes you into the narrowest part of Zion Canyon. The trail is paved for the entire length, and is relatively flat. This makes it a great choice for younger hikers or those with mobility issues. While the trail is flat and paved, it can be bumpy and uneven at times, which can be a challenge for wheelchairs.

This trail follows the Virgin River and is lined with trees that turn beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow this time of year. This shady trail is a great choice for hot days, though it can get crowded on busy days in Zion. At the end of the trail, before you turn around to head back to the trailhead, you can even take a few steps down the bank to dip your toes in the Virgin River. Here, you’ll also find the beginning of the Narrows, a long and challenging hike up Zion Canyon that requires hikers to wade through the river.

Angels Landing

Zion National Park’s most famous trail — or perhaps its most infamous — is Angels Landing. Often called one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the United States, Angels Landing is a lengthy, strenuous trail that’s not for the inexperienced hiker. It’s 5.4-miles roundtrip, with more than 1,500 feet in elevation change. 

However, it isn’t the length or even the steep climb that makes this trail so dangerous. Instead, it’s the narrow ridgeline located near the end of the trail. Hikers hold onto thin metal chain handrails as they traverse this narrow ridge, facing off 1,000-foot drops on both sides.

But if you’re prepared to tackle this challenging hike, you’ll enjoy some stunning views of Zion’s Lower Canyon, especially during the fall season. The peak of the trail offers panoramic views of the park below, showcasing the season’s vibrant colors during the fall.

If you’re hoping to hike Angels Landing this fall, keep in mind that you will need to obtain a permit in order to do so. Permits are available in two lotteries. One is open seasonally, and awards permits for the following season. The other opens daily, and awards available permits for the following day.

Canyon Overlook Trail

If you don’t get a permit for Angels Landing or are looking for a shorter, less challenging trail, Canyon Overlook Trail is a great alternative. This 1-mile trail is generally rated as a moderate trail. But because it is located in Zion’s Upper Canyon, you won’t have to worry about any steep hikes in order to enjoy some great views!

You’ll find the trailhead for this hike just past the Upper Canyon exit from the Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel. Along the way, you can even spot a slot canyon, called Pine Creek slot canyon, far below you on the trail.

While this trail is short and pretty easy, it does feature some exposed drop-offs. These could be dangerous for young hikers or those who struggle to keep their balance.

Visiting Southern Utah Resorts This Fall

Whether you’re hoping to experience the stunning fall colors yourself or are simply looking to plan a relaxing getaway this season, Water Canyon is one of the best Southern Utah resorts for your next vacation.

Located in quiet, beautiful Hildale, Water Canyon Resort offers the convenience of resorts near Zion, but without the crowds and traffic. You’ll be just an hour’s drive from Zion. This makes it easy to visit the park multiple days during your trip for hiking and sightseeing. But don’t forget to set aside a day to relax at the resort. And perhaps visit our brand new Water Canyon Winery!
Ready to plan your fall visit? Right now, when you book a two-night stay at Water Canyon Resort, you’ll receive a complimentary wine tasting experience at Water Canyon Winery. Book today to take advantage of this limited-time deal!