SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – After a hot and mostly dry summer across Utah, fall months are finally upon us. This can only mean one thing – the leaves are changing colors.

The months of September and October are often synonymous with seeing the leaves on our trees change from green to yellows, oranges, and even reds. This year, because of the dry conditions, those colors may not be as vibrant

As the days starting getting shorter, trees like the aspens of the Manti-La Sal National Forest receive a signal to stop producing the chlorophyll, which makes the leaves green. This occurs in spite of the dry conditions, Andrew Orlemann with the U.S. Forest Service explains. 

UTAH FALL COLORS: Will the drought impact this year’s colors?

Dr. Kuhns, a Utah State University Extension Forester and professor tells drier weather can, in fact, impact the colors we see. He explains the leaves will start to turn brown and die earlier than they would if we had seen cooler and wetter weather. The decrease in water use by the trees can lead to more muted colors in the leaves.

While the colors may be a bit duller than years past, we can still expect to see our trees to turn a new leaf. ABC4 Meteorologist Cesar Cornejo shares this graphic of when trees across the Beehive State could hit their peak colors:

Based on these predictions, here is when and where you could see the trees reach peak color:

  • Sep. 20-27
    • Steinaker State Park, Vernal
    • Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery, Vernal
    • Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, Randlett
  • Sep. 27-Oct. 4
    • Price Canyon
    • Manti-La Salt National Forest
    • Wasatch, Rich, and Summit counties
    • Eastern portion of Utah County
    • Alpine Loop
  • Oct. 4-11
    • Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons
    • Salt Lake City
    • All other Utah counties

Before you head out, be sure to check out Utah’s Most Accurate Forecast on-air and online.