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October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

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Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 9
reviews: 5
October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Can anyone tell me if this road/pass should be open in mid-October? Will Salt Lake City be past it's prime with fall foliage. We're making a last minute trip to get away and hike and enjoy the outdoors and wondering if this week "should be" too late in the season.

USA
posts: 632
reviews: 6
1. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Yes, mid to late Oct is typically past peak for fall color. Having said that, fall color seems to be a bit later this year than last year. Last year, the bottom of Millcreek Canyon was at its peak Oct 14, while the top was past peak. Maples peak before the aspens. Guardsman Pass is beautiful. I love it. However, if it's fall color you want, there are places with a lot more color than Guardsman like the Alpine Loop past Sundance and Mt. Timp, Millcreek Canyon, and Wolf Creek into Hanna, which peaked the 3rd week in Sept last year. However, as mentioned, things seem to be later this year. Enjoy!

Edited: 12:21 pm, September 20, 2013
Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
posts: 11,924
reviews: 238
2. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Good advice so far. Being a photographer I spend literally every single day in the mountains that time of year. As noted, color is way, way late so far this year. We developed a range of muted brown very early on then nothing at all - absolutely nothing. It's pretty typical to be at peak around the first week in October timeframe, then starts to fade. But you would usually be in decent shape for still reasonable color during your timeframe. Here's an image from Oct. 9 a few years ago.

www.flickr.com/photos/tkellyphoto/5065548122/

Guardsman Pass is going to close when snow forces it to but it would highly unusual to have closing snow by that time. So you should be OK there.

Have fun.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 9
reviews: 5
3. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Thanks to you both! Awesome advice and much appreciated. I wish our schedule would allow us to come earlier in the month but hoping that it will be "better late than never!" I'm very much into photography as well, so the picture, Tumbleweed, really inspired me. Beautiful!

Etravel... thanks for the suggestions! I will check those other places out. We've never been to Utah and this is a last minute choice... so I am glad to hear your ideas.

Park City, Utah
posts: 90
reviews: 1
4. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

It's open right now (Oct. 2)

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 9
reviews: 5
5. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Thanks so much! I hope it will remain open a couple of more weeks. I appreciate the update.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,828
reviews: 18
6. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

I went up there last night and the leaves still aren't peaking, even at the highest elevations. It has snowed already though. It will be interesting to see how the next 10 days plays out. I've been wondering if the hottest summer on record and a weak snowpack would combine for bad fall colors this year. Now I wonder if the fall can beat the sure to come snow storms in October.

Ogden, Utah
posts: 8
7. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Did anyone get up to Guardsman Pass today? I was wondering how the leaves are now? We accidentally got off on Snake Creek Canyon yesterday, I think, heading west from Huber Grove up the mountain. We thought it was Guardsman Pass, but we ended up at Cascade Springs. It was a very rocky road-- am I right that that is Snake Canyon Creek we were in? We went past a Deer Valley Campground. The aspens were very pretty along the road. Today we took the Alpine Loop and it was gorgeous. I'd still like to try Guardsman Pass if the leaves are pretty. Thanks in advance for all replies.

Ogden, Utah
posts: 8
8. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Could it have been 'Cummings Parkway' we took yesterday, heading west from Huber Grove at Wasatch Mountain State Park? When we got near the top an arrow pointed to American Fork and said 'Hazardous for cars.' We were in a car, so we took the other road to Cascade Springs. When we got down the mountain, there was a sign from the other direction, leading up, that said 'Not Recommended for Cars,' describing the road we had already taken by car. There hadn't been a sign like that warning us from the other side...I'd just like to know exactly what road we were on. It was pristine and frequented by ATVs and motorcycles. Lots of jagged rocks sticking out of the roads, aspens blown down, deep ruts in the washboard road. I now know we should have taken Pine to Guardsman Pass but a woman had told us wrong. Still, it was beautiful, and I don't think we ruined our car. :>)

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,828
reviews: 18
9. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

I'm not sure where you were, but i did go up to Guardsman on Tuesday and Sunday. Huge difference.

Tuesday it looked like colors wouldn't arrive in full force for a few more days. Sunday, there was a foot of snow on the ground and up top several people were snowboarding. Many of the leaves had turned from green to black because they froze. On the backside, towards Heber all of the reds had already lost their color as well. Not the best year. I might head up again soon, because from the city, I'm noticing huge fields of aspens changing up high. Good luck.

Ogden, Utah
posts: 8
10. Re: October 12-18 visit - Guardsman Pass

Thanks so much for the update, Shake. When you say you went up there on Tuesday, did you mean Tuesday, October 8-- Yesterday? And Sunday, October 6? Or Tuesday, October 1?