Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah

Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop.jpg

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.

Road Sign.jpg

Map Sign.jpg

Cows on Road.jpg

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.

Bear Country Sign.jpg

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.

Twisty Mountain Road.jpg

Twisty Mountain Road.jpg

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.

Rock Views.jpg

Rock Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

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.

Fall Colours - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Fall Colours.jpg

Fall Colours - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

When we arrived high over the valleys, we saw a stunning tapestry of fall colours laid out in front of us.

Panoramic Fall Colours - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

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.

Panoramic Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Panoramic Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

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.

Panoramic Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Panoramic Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Panoramic Views - Utah Lake - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

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.

Panoramic Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Panoramic Views - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Panoramic Views.jpg

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.

Devils Kitchen - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Devils Kitchen - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

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.

Devils Kitchen - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

Devils Kitchen - Autumn Drive Around Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah.jpg

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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  1. Wow! 3.5 hours to travel 32 miles is a lot, there must’ve been a lot of stops. Those fall colors in the valley are incredible. Devils kitchen looked really interesting that would be a fun place to take photos.

    • Sherianne, Mt Nebo Scenic outlook was a great spot to move through slowly. Especially in the fall with the colours. Devil’s Kitchen was a great preview of our visit to Bryces. Definitely glad we found this spot in Utah. Linda

  2. I’ve been to Utah several times. Recently, I visited this state for over three weeks. But I haven’t been Mt Nebo Scenic Loop yet. Now I regret, and I add it to my list of must-see places, Utah. I have no idea that this loop is so long, 32-miles. It offers excellent rock structures and stunning vista views, and fall colors make it amazing.

  3. Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah seems such a scenic destination. I am falling in love with the mountains. Arizona is in our plan for next year as my sister in law is based there. Am going to make sure to include this in my plan.

    • You will find so many amazing spots in Utah and Arizona for your trip. We were glad we did this drive. It was a great introduction before we hit the National Parks. Linda

  4. Good thing you decided to visit earlier than sunset. With the twisty path, it may be a little hard to drive at night.

    These are indeed beautiful rock formations and the wonderful panoramic views definitely makes this trip worth the long drive.

    • Clarice, It was a toss up what light we wanted and thus what time of day (and direction) to drive this great route. But we were quite happy with the light and sights we saw on our drive along the Mt Nebo Scenic Byway. Linda

  5. You are definitely more of an adventurer than I am! The fact that you love windy mountain roads is so brave and bold. I can’t even look out the windows on these types of drives! Devil’s Kitchen looks amazing. I can only imagine seeing nothing – feeling panicked – and then coming upon such a site!

  6. You know I love seeing the mountains, this would be stunning. Although you’d probably find me walking across the area of Mt Nebo but I’d love to do the 32 mile loop drive too. The rock shapes and magical Autumnal colours from the viewpoints is so beautiful. The Hoodoos at Devil’s Kitchen would be cool to explore, wow!

  7. Autumn is always the best season to head to any natural site filled with greenery. Its such a pleasure to see all the yellows, oranges & browns. Good to know there’s something called the scenic loop. Indeed its scenic. I can see how gorgeous the bending roads, rock faces, rock textures. Devil’s Kitchen is intriguing. The Panoramic View with those shades of greens & oranges is totally worth the drive!

    • Bhushavali, We were so happy that we found the colours changing in Utah when we visited. It made the views so much more colourful. But this drive would be beautiful at any time of year. Linda

  8. Utah is so beautiful! I love the scenery there. We have been to Utah multiple times and I still feel like I want to go back. The nature there is amazing! I love those red rocks and hoodoos, and the beautiful mountains. I was happy to read about this since I have not been to Nebo loop and was curious to see what it looks like.

    • Paula, We were glad we read about the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop and had the time to go for a day trip. There were certainly some great views along the way. Linda

  9. If I could choose a travel method, it would be on a non-time limited road trip. We had the privilege to drive in Utah and Arizona. Absolutely gorgeous sceneries that I could fully understand why you needed 3.5 hours! The Mt. Nebo scenic route would be on my list too – we did manage to see Bryce , which took our breath away. such landscape and the open spaces makes my problem are insignificant when I am in their company. Your pictures are super beautiful and evoked memories of our road trip.

  10. Fall is my favourite season when the whole landscape is spray-painted in fall colours. Utah is already so colourful and in Autumn it becomes even more eye poppingly beautiful. I love the pictures you clicked of the hillsides dotted with fall colours. The bright red rocks of Utah look even more stunning in Autumn. Bryce’s Canyon for the stunning hoodoo vistas is simply mind bloiwng.

    • Archana, We loved all the colour we found in the hills and valleys as we drove the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop. A great fall escape. But probably equally interesting at other times of year. Linda

  11. Amazing post!! I love Autumn and it is my fav season of all. And traveling during Autumn gives you the chance to enjoy some great views. I haven’t been to Mt. Nebo yet but it looks amazing with the Autumn tint on it. I guess when I decide to visit Mt. Nebo it will during Autumn.

  12. Fall is a great season to experience nature at one of its best and filled with colours. I have not travelled to this part of the States so would want to try and visit in fall to experience the beauty of Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah. It would be a delight to drive through it and wondered how it would feel to camp around this area if it is permitted. Thanks for sharing a place less known to me – Mt Nebo Scenic Loop Utah

  13. Fall is one of my favourite seasons and nature is definitely at its best during this time. I am glad you got to drive around Mount Nebo capturing some beautiful landscapes. Never been to the USA, hopefully sometime soon need to fly down there and also visit Utah!

  14. I loved your Mt Nebo Scenic Loop road trip which is alongside Mt Nebo. It would be great to drive 32 mile path with many beautiful turns and views. It is good you have warned us that many animals can come in between the road and so the speed limit is only 30. I too love twisted mountainous roads as at every turn you see a beautiful scenic view. Those fall colored hills are very pretty and photogenic too.

  15. Wow morethan 3 hours for 32miles??? I can imagine the amount of stops you had in between and why not when the views are this beautiful. I love road trips and when I have scenic views like this on my way, I would definitely stop by to sink in the beauty.

  16. Such a great adventure you had! I love mountains so I would love to do visit Mt. Nebo as well. The mountain view looks absolutely stunning on your photos. Autumn is my favorite season to travel, so I will remember to spot these fall colors on the hills.

  17. We didn’t do much hiking when we visited Utah, since it was winter. But I could totally see us hiking around Mt Nebo. That’s the type of scenic places we like, and anything that can take us on a hiking trail is perfect. Any season bring something different, but fall colors are probably high on our list.

  18. Definitely Mt. Nebo scenic loop is a must-do in the fall! I mean, look at that panoramic views with fall colors every where you turned. So beautiful! Hoodoos at Devil’s Kitchen are amazing. I wonder how it got its name.

  19. Incredible landscape! The fantastic rock formations really make this area of the U.S. unique–and beautiful. A road trip on this national scenic byway certainly seems like the best way to appreciate the beauty to be found here.

  20. Aren’t the stone and mountain structures just incredible. I was wondering why it was called Devil’s Kitchen, but as you mentioned, they kind of look like red mortar. Maybe that’s why? Interestingly, there’s a Mt Nebo in Australia – it’s near the capital city of Brisbane.

    • Emma, Devil’s Kitchen was a great treat to find before we headed to the hoodoos in Byrce Canyon. Australia is on our travel wish list. So we will need to check out the Mt Nebo there. Linda

  21. This looks like such a gorgeous drive! I’ve been to Bryce Canyon and absolutely loved it, but it was winter – the snow on the red rocks provided such an amazing contrast, but I love the way the fall leaves compliment the red. How close is Mt. Nebo to Bryce?

  22. I absolutely love this region of the states and hope to drive the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop soon. You’re so lucky you got to see the stunning Fall colors too. It’s good to know that the roads are windy (I get motion sickness easily), but it looks like you made several stops along the way to soak in the incredible views, so it sounds like it won’t be too bad.

    • Candy, It was a lovely drive along the Mt Nebo Scenic Loop. Most of the stops were not too windy so I am sure you will be fine. Great in the fall. But I am sure it is beautiful at other times too. Linda

  23. I had never heard of the Mt. Nebo Scenic Loop before reading your post, but I have had many friends tell me that Arizona and Utah have so many beautiful spots I need to visit and this is definitely one of them. I think what’s a really pleasant surprise are all the fall colors. I just assumed that the desert would look the same throughout the year, but those reds and oranges just make it even more beautiful.

    • Kevin, I would definitely recommend visiting Utah and Arizona. There are so many treats throughout the states. Fall was a great time to visit. And the fall colours added such a great dimension when we started north in Utah. Linda

  24. The drive is so scenic indeed. Those fall colors highlight the landscape so beautifully. And you did stop as some good vantage points like Mt. Nebo overlook. Somehow, those yellows and oranges further highlighted the red rocks that you have been encountering around. Never thought a dusty landscape could look so pretty.

  25. I think my favorite spot has to be Devil’s Kitchen. I love all the rock formations too, it’s amazing to see the unique things nature has to offer! The Fall colors just added a dramatic flair to the loop, especially when viewing it from some of the overlooks!

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