Best Things to do in the Fall in Arizona
Not all places in Arizona get to experience four seasons, but the fall time is typically when the heat at least gets turned down a little. It is also a great time of the year to get out and explore all the fun things Arizona has to offer. Here are the best things to do in the fall in Arizona.
***Disclaimer, some of these activities might be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 or they may have additional restrictions. Plan accordingly prior to your visit.
Head to Jerome to Hunt For Ghosts
There isn’t a better town in all of Arizona to get spooked in than Jerome, AZ. What makes Jerome such a scary place? There’s been reports of ghostly figures, unexplained orbs of light and many events of paranormal activity. Jerome has a rich history of folklore. After its founding in 1876, people flocked there to cash in on mines full of copper, silver and gold. Between 1897 and 1899 Jerome burned to the ground three times. Jerome was sprinkled with churches, fraternal organizations and downtown buildings. However, the most thriving businesses were those that dealt in alcohol, gambling and prostitution. It ended up receiving the name “the wickedest town in the west.”
To scope out some paranormal activity, be sure to make a stop at the Jerome Grand Hotel, among other places. It was originally the town’s fourth hospital, and as you can imagine, it is home to some haunting stories. Don’t miss out on the Phelps Dodge mine, Liberty Theatre, or a good old fashioned walking tour of the city.
The only pumpkin patch train ride in the whole world, you can hop aboard the Grand Canyon Railway to indulge in this treat. The train departs from Williams Station and cruises along the countryside. You can enjoy the fall colors and relaxation of the autumn season. The train eventually stops at a hidden pumpkin patch where the children are invited to pick a pumpkin of their very own to take home. Don’t pass up the extra goodies in the station like caramel apples, pie and chocolate.
Hit Up Mount Lemmon For Fall Foliage
For the most beautiful display of dazzling fall colors, head to Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Located near Tucson, Mount Lemmon is the perfect place to do a little leaf peeping and enjoy cooler weather. As you drive in, you will be immersed in fields of Saguaro cacti that quickly change into pines, aspens and deciduous trees. Nearby is the small tourist town of Summerhaven. Stop in for a bite to eat, grab some fudge and check out the country store.
You can visit the oldest commercial vineyard and winery in all of Arizona by taking a trip to Sonoita, AZ. Here you can explore 30 acres of vines. You can enjoy award-winning wine, peer through the gift shop, and see the barrel room. Sign up for the wine tasting and learn about the taste and smell of the wine you are sipping on.
Elevate your next beer experience by jumping on the Ales on Rails tasting tour. You will need to head to the Verde Canyon Railroad and be ready for a unique experience. You will sip on Arizona’s best craft beers while enjoying the autumn scenery on this 3.5 mile hour excursion in a vintage railway car. The journey is 20 miles and you will endure 110 years of amazing history.
Additionally, the train depot has more to do and see. You can check out the museum, gift shop, cafe, and storyboards that line the track. There is plenty of history to soak up.
Visit a Castle
Montezuma Castle in Camp Verde has nothing to do with Montezuma, nor is it technically a castle. However, it is still a fun experience to check out this fall. This castle is actually a very well preserved cliff dwelling spanning over 800 years. It is a 20 room high-rise apartment nestled into a towering cliff of limestone. The structure receives its name from early settlers that assumed it was built by the Aztec ruler, Montezuma, so the name stuck.
Hike the Coast
Believe it or not, you can hike along Arizona’s West Coast and visit 4 state parks that are perched here. They span between Parker and Lake Havasu City overlooking the Colorado River. The fall time is perfect hiking weather to enjoy the scenery and peaceful environment.
You can check out Buckskin Mountain State Park for three trails that take you into the desert, passing the remains of old mines from years past. River Island State Park is another great place to catch a short hike up Wedge Hill to capture the stunning beauty of the water below.
Next, Cattail Cove State Park has the most options for hiking with a chance to skirt around the shoreline of Lake Havasu. Lastly, Lake Havasu State Park edges next to the famous London Bridge of Lake Havasu City.