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4 top spots to see fall leaves changing

Utah can be rich with the vivid colors of fall, especially along the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway, shown here, and the Ogden River Scenic Byway.
Utah can be rich with the vivid colors of fall, especially along the Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway, shown here, and the Ogden River Scenic Byway.
(Steve Greenwood / Utah Office of Tourism)

It’s almost time for pumpkin spice lattes and an autumn adventure to see the leaves transition — a trip also called “leaf-peeping.”

Napa Valley

The colorful bursts of fall aren’t limited to parks and backyard trees. Vineyards burst with leaves in gold, red and copper, often beginning during the second half of October. Lucky for you, you can stroll the Redwood Trail at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, where maple leaves can be found in lively shades of yellow. Or you can have Bohemian Highway Travel Co. tailor an adventure, including winery visits for a picnic lunch and tastings with colorful views if you choose, in one of its classic Land Rover Defenders.

Info: visitnapavalley.com; bohohwy.com. Excursions from $175 per person.

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Ogden, Utah

You can see colorful foliage along the Ogden River Scenic Byway in fall. Travel 44 miles to the eastern boundary of Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest at the Monte Cristo Campground.Or consider a scenic drive along U.S. 89 north. Along the way, Mother Nature’s medley of colors will be on full display.

Info: visitutah.com

Vail, Colo.

1A look at the autumn views of the Rocky Mountains.
A look at the autumn views of the Rocky Mountains.
(Jack Affleck / Vail Resorts)

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In autumn, Vail can delight visitors with views of the Rocky Mountains. Majestic aspen trees take on shades of gold, burnt orange and red before the start of the ski season. Guests at the Arrabelle, a hotel at the base of Vail Mountain, who want to make the most of the leaf-viewing adventure are treated to “Take a Hike” backpacks filled with snack bars, trail map, sunscreen and hike suggestions (Berry Picker Trail is a favorite) for a seamless foray into the wonders of fall.

Info: arrabelle.rockresorts.com. Rooms from $279 a night.

Stillwater, Minn.

Venture into the Midwest and you’ll discover an under-the-radar display of the season. Said to be one of the “Best American towns for fall colors” by Travel + Leisure magazine, Stillwater, about a 3 ½-hour flight from Los Angeles and 30 minutes outside the Twin Cities, is a spectacle. The small town brims with romance and offers a charming take on a Venetian-style gondola with a ride on the St. Croix River for an immersive view of show-stopping foliage.

Info: disoverstillwater.com; gondolaromantica.com. From $99.95 for two, plus tax.


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