Best Places to See Fall Colors in Arizona

Now that summer has yielded to fall, the Grand Canyon State begins a months long period of perfect weather.  Cooler temperatures and shorter daylight hours send a signal to the trees, and they respond with an explosion of autumn colors.  If you enjoy nature, hiking, and leaf peeping, then October will reward you with a spectacular display of nature’s grandeur.  So grab a light jacket, hiking shoes, a camera, and embark on a trip to experience the changing colors of the leaves. Read below for some of the best places to see Fall colors in Arizona.

Best Places to See Fall Colors in Arizona

Kicking off our list of the best places to see Fall colors in Arizona is the spectacular North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  The journey crosses the Colorado River and traverses the red rocks of Marble Canyon and the Vermilion Cliffs.  As you climb the Kaibab Plateau, stunning Aspen groves reward your trek.

Best Places to See Fall Colors in Arizona

Best Places to See Fall Colors in Arizona – Flagstaff

The Kachina Trail, located in the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff, meanders across the middle of the mountains while passing through Conifer groves and Aspens. Old growth forests at higher elevations contain Limber pines and Douglas firs.  Lower elevations greet you with rising Ponderosa pines.

Every autumn, Oak Creek Canyon, north of Sedona, puts on a vibrant red display of Oaks and Maples.  You can drive the scenic length of Route 89A, or walk along the West Fork of Oak Creek.  Incredible red rock scenery, towering cliffs, and the babbling creek add to nature’s painting of deep red and scarlet leaves. Oak Creek Canyon is by far, one of the best places to see Fall colors in Arizona.

Rising to an elevation of about 8,400 feet, the Hualapai Mountains are topped with Ponderosa pines and aspens.  To navigate this forest labyrinth, hike the Potato Patch Loop as it weaves and circles Aspen Peak.  In addition to a wonder color palette, the trail provides a nice adventure complete with twists, turns, and giant boulders.

Of course, Arizona has an incredible collection of state parks that explode in color throughout the year.  From the stunning vistas of the Basin and Range province of Southern to Central Arizona, to the rugged beauty of the Transition Zone of Central to Northern Arizona, and to the Mogollon Rim cliffs and forests of the Colorado Plateau in Northern Arizona, the Arizona State Parks system provides a kaleidoscope of fall colors. As October progresses, be sure to visit Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park to witness first hand the grove of burgundy Chinese pistachios, Sycamores and Varnish trees.

Welcome to autumn in Arizona.  May your visit be full of vibrant colors, stunning scenery, and life long memories.