Despite being recognizable by its dramatic desert landscape, you can still surround yourself in autumnal hues of fall colors in Arizona. The state offers a lot of picnic options, drives, and hikes in fall, and you want to make sure not to miss them if you’re interested in interesting fall foliage and wilderness. If you don’t mind getting your feet wet and putting a bit of effort, then Arizona is a great place for you!
Keep reading to learn more about fall in Arizona and what places you should visit!
Fall Colors in Arizona – Where to see them?
Where are the fall colors in Arizona?
The most interesting fall colors in Arizona are located near camp Verde, Cottonwood, and Sedona. The fall brings very rich reds and yellows in these parts, making it a very exciting time for hikers and nature photographers. The colors will move farther south by late November.
Verde Valley and Sedona
The Sedona’s red rock crossing is the classic hotspot to see fall in Arizona. Here, you will experience the red sandstone of Cathedral Rock and yellow foliage and waterfalls along Oak creek. Additionally, this is a very popular spot that inspires photographers all around the world.
There’s a very popular Parsons Trail located close to the Cottonwood town. Here, you can access a moderate hike Sycamore Creek that drops from the rim of the canyon about 180 feet. In the end, you will be greeted with a perennial, lush creek lined with trees in different stages of the fall transformation. From there, the trail will continue another 3.5 miles – to the Parsons Spring. This is a very popular turnaround point for many, but you can also continue into the Sycamore Creek Wilderness. There, many historic cabins, extreme solitude, and sandstone walls are waiting for you!
Other destinations recommended by tree services Arizona are Bell Trail and West Clear Creek Trail. They both lead to the Wet Beaver Creek that follows the brilliantly lush creeks.
Continue going southeast and you will find the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. This geological wonder is characterized by a travertine arch and it spans Pine Creek. The formation consists of fast growing trees Arizona and a beautiful waterfall that signals fall weather.
Northern Arizona and the White Mountains
The epicenter of fall’s brilliance is the Flagstaff’s Peaks, without any doubt. The golden-hued aspens that drift down mountain slopes are the number one reason why so many people visit it. Try the Around the Peaks Loop if you have a high clearance vehicle. This 44-mile scenic drive will take you through aspen groves and mountain roads where you will enjoy Flagstaff tree colors.
You will pass by the Inner Basin trail in the Lockett Meadow. This trail leads to the ancient volcano and is very close to the ski resort Arizona Snowbowl that you can also visit.
The White Mountains are located close to the Pinetop-Lakeside towns, near the State Highway 260. The roadway is surrounded by small lakes that are suitable for unplanned picnics and rest beside one of the largest pine forests in the USA.
The prime destination to viewing fall in Arizona is definitely Aravaipa Canyon. The hikers can enjoy a wet creek crossing once they jaunt down to the creek from the trailhead. Therefore, it makes no sense trying to keep your feet dry since the route is following a shallow creek the whole time. However, it is definitely worth it since the hike is full of bright yellow cottonwood groves, small rapids, large pools, and soaring canyons.
You can experience the canyon in a full-day hike. Still, many tree service Arizona companies recommend staying at least one night at some of the campsites to truly experience the beauty of it. In addition, late evening and early morning hours will allow you to see coatimundi, javelin, and deer.
Mt. Lemmon is your next stop as you head south towards Tucson. It is part of the Santa Catalina Mountains and has an elevation of more than 9,000 feet. It is a spot with plenty of campgrounds, picnic sites, forests, lakes, and trailheads. The forest is full of maples, aspen, and walnut trees. You can either experience a trailhead if you pull off to explore the changing landscape on foot, or you can simply drive through the mountain as it zigzags up the slopes.
Continue going south and you will come across the Santa Rita Mountains and the Madera canyon. In addition, the Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve is also located here, and both of these are very popular birdwatching spots. These areas’ lush greenery will turn orange and golden in the fall as their sycamore trees and creek beds display their beautiful fall colors. Guided nature walks are organized in the Ramsey Canyon multiple times a week during fall.
Tips Before you Go
Even though the mentioned hikes are rate moderate or easy, it is important to use good judgment and exercise caution. Use a GPS unit and have a map with yourself. Don’t rely solely on GPS to getting you in and out of a hike since many trails are not completely optimized. In addition, keep an eye on the weather forecast before you enter the canyon since flash floods can be very dangerous.
All of the mentioned locations have campgrounds, but none of them have established amenities. This means there are no toilets, drinking water, bathrooms, and pay stations. Consult with your local arborist about what would be the best place to see the fall colors in the state.
Local Tree Experts Overview
Surprisingly, you can actually see fall colors in Arizona, even though the state is known for its dramatic desert landscape and hot weather. Make sure to consult with a local arborist before you head on to the trail, just to make sure that it is safe enough. We are sure that you will enjoy the spots we included in this article, so good luck and happy trails!