Fall in Arizona

Who doesn’t love fall? For many people in Arizona, it doesn’t seem to mean much as the temps barely drop and there isn’t a huge change of season visually. However, there is plenty of fall to see in Arizona if you open your eyes and take a little drive. Beyond the Phoenix Valley the leaves do change color and fall is happening. Here are some places to see leaves change color and enjoy Fall in Arizona. 

Superior, AZ.

Heading out of town going east on HWY 60, Superior is home to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. This is your chance to capture the beauty of the fall season with the most amazing fall foliage. The leaves tend to peak in mid to late November, but you can catch some cool colors nearly any time of the year. 

What makes a trip to this arboretum unique is that you can get access to lush desert vegetation and varied species and varieties that are unspoiled. The Sonoran Desert is a wonderful place to visit for fall in Arizona. 

Flagstaff, AZ. 

For probably the number one location to experience fall and leaves changing color, you will need to head north to Flagstaff. For the best experience, leaves are changing from late September to November. Additionally, there are tons of things to do and see in Flagstaff, so it makes the trip completely worth it. 

For the best views of leaves you will want to check out Hart Prairie Road and the Aspen Nature Loop. Hart Prairie Road runs along Forest Service Road 151. All you do is take U.S. 180 10 miles north and you will find a nice loop that takes you around the most glorious fall leaves the area has to offer. Next, the Aspen Nature Loop is an easy 1.8 mile hike that offers views of the San Francisco Peaks and Kendrick Mountains. Imagine aspens as far as the eye can see decked out in striking autumn colors.

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona

Located between Flagstaff and Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon is a favorite spot for leaf peepers. The beautiful maple and oak trees give off all the feelings of autumn. The temperatures are bound to be cooler as well. 

A popular location to scope out is West Fork Trail. It is located in the Coconino National Forest and the trail is a whopping 14 miles. The trail is maintained for the first three miles and drops off from there. 

If hiking is not your jam, you can just take a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon. Just travel 14 miles along Route 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff. A great place to stop and get a glimpse of what is ahead is at Oak Creek Canyon Vista. 

North Rim – Grand Canyon

What is fall time in Arizona if you do not stop at one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon and the North Rim is a perfect spot to see those leaves changing color from September to mid October.

White Mountains

A recreation wonderland, the area that encompasses the White Mountains is perfect for adventure and enjoyment of the fall season. Nearby towns include Show Low, Pinetop, Overgaard and Springerville. The views are best enjoyed in October and you will get a load of pine and fir trees intertwined with Gambel oaks. These trees turn a vibrant yellow-orange coupled with aspens giving off bright green and yellow vibes. 

Tucson, AZ.

Believe it or not, you can head south to catch some fall love. The season might be a little softer with a little less dazzle, but leaves are changing nonetheless.

Some great places to check out include the Catalina Mountains that are located just north of Tucson along the Tanque Verde Road to Catalina Highway. Next is Bear Wallow. You can catch some maples in rust and red tones. Additionally, Turkey Run Road as you enter Summerhaven has an unpaved road that leads to beautiful maple and walnut trees. Lastly, Marshall Gulch Trail also has views of maples with very deep red leaves. 

Also in Tucson you can head to Mount Lemmon. Atop of the 9,000 foot Mountain is a parking area that allows for stunning views of aspens rich in gold hues. 

Final Thoughts

To see the leaves change color in Arizona typically requires a drive to a location where the trees are plentiful in color changing abilities. The best part is that the temperatures are usually cooler as you explore these areas in the fall season. There’s so much to love about fall in Arizona.