I cannot believe my last 5 days of photography. I set out Saturday morning to head into the high Uinta mountains in eastern Utah past Kamas and past Mirror Lake. When I left my home, I was thinking that I would scout out the early and emerging fall colors and then plan a trip to hit the sweet spots on another day.

Well, the best laid plans…

Little did I know that I was hitting the sweet spot on that day. As soon as I got into Provo Canyon, I could tell there was a plenty of color. As I drove east into Heber, the color was intensifying. I was beginning to feel that I was in for a special treat.

When I arrived at the Highway 32 turn off to the east, I could see a complete range of the Wasatch mountains and the color was incredible. Once turned, the road begins to a steep climb. It was then that I noticed the moon setting to the west over the colorful mountaintop. That photo is the first one below. I have also included another version I shot a few minutes later toward the end of this section of the post.

The good news is that this shot was only the first of many wonderful images that lay in store for me.

I have organized this post day by day in chronological order. I will include comments throughout, but due to the large number of photos and videos, I am going to keep my comments brieft and let the pix speak for themselves.



Moon over mountain

The block of photos below show pic I took as driving by Deer Creek Reservoir. I saw folks ziplining and thought it was a great place to show the fun activity along with a fall backdrop.

This is the view of the Wasatch Range looking back toward Heber.
I happened upon this scene. I saw a small turnoff from the highway and decided to turn and see. I was pleased.
Shot at the same spot as above photo
I saw this scene on the way up and drove by. But it stuck in my head and on the way back down I shot it and loved it! This was shot at over 10,000 feet.
Butterfly Lake
The mountainside at Soapstone
Another from Butterfly Lake


After coming home on Saturday excited about the day’s journey, Ann, her sister Barbara and her brother David and I decided to go back out on Sunday afternoon for some more fall foto fun. This first set of images was taken at Soapstone Campground. Then the next set (with the horses) was taken at the same location I was at the day prior. Although on Sunday, the horses were there and the day before, they were not.

Barbara, Ann and David
I love this shot of Ann
Barbara and Ann taking pix of each other with the horses
Unfortunately we had to leave at some point


On Monday, I got up and decided to go up into Provo Canyon and up into the Squaw Mountain area. There is a dirt road that goes deep and south into the region, behind the very commonly visited Squaw Overlook area. I have been on the road before, but had only traveled a couple of miles in due to the rough road conditions. However, on this day, I decided to further. One word: JACKPOT!

I found color and scenes that blew my mind. The first photo below is pure magic. It has wildflowers, fall color, a meadow and Mount Timpanogos, all in one shot.

One of my all-time faves…soon to be hanging on a wall in my house
This pasture leads from the dirt road and heads up to the Buffalo Peak trail.
I love the stand of aspens in the center
Does this even need a caption? (I guess so since I just wrote one.)

SEP 28 – SOUTH FORK in the morning

On Day 3 of this multi-day escapade, I decided to back into Provo Canyon, but this time to South Fork. Each day just kept building upon the previous day. I was thinking I was going to run out of pix, but the truth was the opposite. I actually had to control myself from taking too many pix.

I love the idea of this picture. I just wish the watering lines were not in the pasture. Even so, it’s still lovely.
This shot was taken at Conrad Farms. This is a wedding destination. People have raved about this one.
My goodness, I love the color in this one.
This ranch is at the end of the road. What a wonderful scene and a terrific place for a ranch. I discovered a trailhead by this location that I hope to explore in the next couple days.

SEP 28 – timpanogos trail in the afternoon

On the afternoon of that same day as above, I decided to take a trip on to the Alpine Loop. The loop starts in Provo Canyon and heads up past Sundance up to elevation and then comes back down into American Fork Canyon. It is a beautful drive any day of the year. In the middle of Fall color, it is mesmerizing.

My plan was to drive up to Aspen Grove and hop on to the Timpanogos trail for a 2 or 3 mile quick hike. I took a few snaps on the way up to Aspen Grove. I found a small turn off that made a nice picture, but I hit the biggest payoffs on the trail.

One of my favorite shots from the trail. The colors, oh the colors!

As I was about 1/2 mile into the hike, I could hear a strange sound that sounded like a low short chainsaw. I was wondering what in the world are people cutting down out here. Then I passed a couple on their way back down and they said there was a moose up ahead.

Of course, my heart was racing. I chuckled to myself because I had told Ann that morning that I wanted to get moose pictures. I started walking ahead and could hear the noise getting louder and louder. Then off to my left, I could see some tree shaking. Then I could see a dark blob behind the trees and as I came up to the same parallel as the moose, I could see him clearly. He was a young male. I stood about 40 feet away from him. This was much farther than my first ever moose encounter I had in Alaska.

I took some pix and video of him. As I was so doing, I could hear sounds that were not coming from his direction. After watching carefully, I found 3 other moose, farther away and well absconded behind the thick brush. There were all cows.

I was pleased to still see water flowing after our dry summer. In Spring, it flows quite well.
This was the turnoff road that I found off of the Alpine Loop.

SEP 29 – Squaw Peak Road and mountain peaks galore

After 4 days in a row of amazing photo opps, I decided that on this 5th day, I was going to take it easy. My plan was to drive out to Deer Creek Reservoir and shoot the sunrise on a cloudy morning. However, when I headed out, I could tell that it was probably too overcast for a good sunrise shoot. What I did notice were the low clouds a fog hanging over Provo Canyon. So I called an audible and decided to head back up into the clouds and fog on Squaw Peak Road.

Boy oh boy, was it the right call!

I traveled to the end of the road, or at least the part of the road that is suitable for passenger cars. The colors and spectacle of Fall was nonstop. It was a full fledged assault on my eyeballs!

Shingle Mill and Freedom Peaks in a foggy, cloudy sunrise

When I arrived at the hairpin turn in the road where to one side is Rock Canyon and to the other is Shingle Mill Peak and Freedom Peak, I saw a helicopter land on one of the peaks in the distance. From my perspective, it looked as if there was no place for it to land, but it did. There is a photo of it below.

When I got as deep into the back range of the mountains, I heard the helicopter take flight again. Then within a few seconds, it was quicky buzzing around where I was at about 100 feet above tree level. It was flying low and fast. It looked like a lot of fun. My best guess is that it was a private flight for leaf peepers.

This was shot right on Squaw Peak Road.
Looking down and into Rock Canyon. Provo and Utah Lake far off in the distance.

These last 3 shots are amazing to me. Because they were shot will very little daylight, and because of the fog and very light rain, they have a very different feel. They look like paintings to me. I have already has a local artist reach out to me asking permission to use the last one in one of her projects. I can’t wait to see what she does with it.

I cannot think of a time in my life where I have has 5 productive days in a row like I just had here in Utah. I used to live in NH. The Fall scenery there and in Vermont are well known and epic. I feel like what I have experienced these 5 days stands up to my experience in New England.

Fall is not yet over, and I am certain I will take more pix, but I am so thrilled and feel blessed for the experiences I have just had. If you haven’t gotten out yet to be in the season, allow me to kindly recommend that you do so.

Allow me to remind you to please leave a comment with one, or several of your favorite pix in this post. Thank you!


  1. Enjoyed them all! Especially the mountains w/white flowers in the foreground; the road with Barbara and Ann walking; and the turn off of Alpine Road. Amazing color and beautiful scenery! Thank you for sharing!


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