The Perfect Day For An Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop
We were in Utah and Arizona for the fall. On our visit to Utah, we planned to tour the big 5 National Parks. But before we got there, we had some wonderful surprises at other state parks in Utah. On a perfect fall day, we did the most delightful drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop.
It was still a bit early in the season. But we were happy to find bright fall colours as the trees started to change colour. The rock faces were varied and interesting. And we got our first view of hoodoo rock structures at the Devil’s Kitchen viewpoint.
Heading To The Mt Nebo Scenic Loop
The Mt Nebo Scenic Loop traveled alongside Mt Nebo for a 32 mile path. The speed limit was 30mph. Although there were enough hairpin turns and animals on the road that it was often not possible to travel this speed. And we travelled much slower as we gawked out the window and shot photos. It took us about 3.5 hours to travel one way on the loop.
We started at the southern end. We originally planned to visit closer to sunset. But decided to go when the sun was high at noon. Heading northbound provided us with the best lighting for an autumn drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop.
To get to the loop we exited Hwy 15 at Nephi and went east on Hwy 132. The entrance to the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop was easy to find. The road was paved and we found lots of pullover spots for photo stops. And a large number of viewpoints with parking. But we saw the signs about bears. So we were always on the lookout when we stopped.
The north point of the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop exited by Payson, Utah. It was a short drive back to Hwy 15. When we looked back, we did not see a sign for the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop at this end. And we were surprised that there was no sign on Hwy 15 pointing to the scenic drive. So make sure you mark the entrances before you head to Hwy 15.
Fascinating Rock Structures Were Everywhere
The road was a twisty path beside the mountain. We loved to drive mountain roads like this. And would do it over and over again on our fall trip to Utah and Arizona.
Rocks towered all around us. We pulled over regularly to look at the interesting rock structures that we found. The rocks at the lower altitudes seemed more rounded by age. As we drove higher the edges became sharper.
We loved the view of rocks on our fall drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop.
Fall Colours Painted The Hills
It was only late September when we visited Utah. But we were delighted to find that the fall colours had started to change at the higher altitudes. On the drive up, we saw hillsides dotted with fall colours.
When we arrived high over the valleys, we saw a stunning tapestry of fall colours laid out in front of us.
An autumn drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop provided us with a great fall colour show.
Panoramic Views From The Heights
At our first stop, we got the first view out over the colourful valley. The road took us higher and higher. Every viewpoint offered yet more outstanding panoramic views of mountains, valleys and forests.
When we crossed 9,000 ft elevation (2,743 m) we stopped to catch the views out over Mt Nebo. And caught our breaths! Far in the distance we even caught sight of Utah Lake.
As we started back down the mountain road, we got a panoramic view over a colourful set of hills. At one point we saw a depression that looked almost like a volcanic caldera. And when we got close to the end, we saw yet another mountain in the distance.
We had a bright sunny day with blue skies. It was the perfect time to drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop for the awesome vista views.
First View Of Hoodoos at Devil’s Kitchen
When we first started to plan our trip to drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop, we were entranced by images of the rocks at Devil’s Kitchen. Later in our Utah visit, we planned to visit Bryce’s Canyon for the stunning hoodoo vistas. This first stop at Devil’s Kitchen was a great first tease.
We stopped at the parking lot labelled for Devil’s Kitchen. But when we looked around, we were not sure we were at the right place. We followed the walkway, not really sure what we would find. But when we reached the lookout platform, the stunning view of Devil’s Kitchen was laid out before us.
This was our first view of the bright red rocks we found everywhere on our fall visit to Utah and Arizona. And the rock formations showed that characteristic hoodoo shape. Weathered pillars stood up from the rocks. When we looked close, we could see an interesting mix of stones and what almost looked like red mortar.
Our stop to see Devil’s Kitchen was exciting. And one of the great reasons to drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop.
Plan To Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop In The Autumn
We planned our visit to Utah to enjoy the big five National Parks. But our drive around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop showed us that we needed to make time to visit the state parks and forests as well.
The 32 mile loop offered great rock structures and stunning vista views. The hoodoo rock structures at Devil’s Kitchen delighted us. The rocks and mountains we saw gave us a brief glimpse of what was next as we toured the Utah National Parks.
And a drive in the autumn provided us with our first view of colourful fall colours. We chased more fall colours when we travelled the mountain roads to Park City.
Have you done an autumn drive around Mt Nebo scenic loop in Utah? Were there other state parks in Utah we should visit on a return trip?
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