Fall in Arches National Park

Fall colors in Arches National Park

Fall color is amazing and is one thing that will get photographers out of their cozy beds and into the frosty pre-dawn mornings this time of year.  When I think of Fall color I think of places like Acadia National Park or Great Smoky Mountain NP, places known for their trees.  I don’t usually consider southern Utah a Fall color destination…but I was wrong.

I just got back from a late October trip to Arches National Park and drove from Arizona through Monument Valley and southern Utah to get there.  The colors through Utah this time of year are amazing.  Every creek, stream and wash is lined with Cottonwoods turning a glowing golden yellow and the Oaks and Aspens in the mountains offer oranges and reds.  It’s a perfect time to drive through southern Utah and Arches NP sure had it’s own show.

There are trees and shrubs with showy Fall color throughout the park, but the best concentration of Fall color inside Arches National Park is at Courthouse Wash, just north of Park Avenue.  A bridge crosses over the wash, allowing you to see the turning leaves as you drive through.  If you catch it in the right light, Courthouse Wash is definitely worth a stop and there are a couple of pullouts near the bridge.

My wife and I both stopped to shoot some pictures here in late afternoon light.  I didn’t have much luck, but she managed to catch some great shots of the light on the trees with a dark stormy sky in the background.

If you find yourself near Arches NP in Fall, Courthouse Wash should be on your list.

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