Best time to travel to Arizona

Arizona Fall Colors

Beautiful foliage complements rocky landscapes of Arizona

Arizona Fall Colors
Arizona Fall Colors
The Inner Basin Trail ascends from Lockett Meadow into the caldera of the San Francisco Peaks, an extinct volcano and home of the tallest peaks in Arizona

Yes, Arizona is a hotspot for viewing fall colors. You might have an image of Arizona as a desert area, but the Copper State boasts some truly picture-perfect autumnal landscapes. Northern Arizona's mountains are dotted with yellow aspens in fall. Lower elevations are home to a variety of trees: maples and oaks that turn red, bronze, and orange.

Best time to see Arizona fall colors

Arizona has a very long and spectacular fall foliage season which starts in late September up in the mountains and lasts through the end of November in desert areas. Sometimes trees keep their colors well into December, weather permitting.

Best places to see fall colors in Arizona

The Flagstaff area is perhaps the most popular leaf-peeping destination in Arizona. Coconino National Forest is especially scenic in the fall due to lush aspen groves. Take the scenic Aspen Nature Loop near the base of Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, an easy 1.8 mi (2.8 km) hike. Enjoy the stunning views of the San Francisco Peaks covered by aspens. Inner Basin Trail is one of the most popular hikes near Flagstaff. Yellow aspens are very showy with evergreens on the background along this 3.4 mi (5.4 km) route. If you decide to visit the Grand Canyon, fall is an excellent time! The North Rim features lots of aspen groves, especially in the Kaibab National Forest. The scenery composed of red rocks and colorful trees is simply breathtaking. Another fall foliage spot is the White Mountains, located in the Pinetop-Lakeside area, in eastern Arizona. Several lakes reflect the foliage beautifully, which makes them a great spot for fall-time photography or picnics.

Arizona fall colors map

In the section below, you can find a map with top places to see fall foliage in Arizona and accommodations nearby. Book your stay in advance to enjoy the fall colors season in peace.

Practical info

When is Arizona's autumn season best for viewing colors?

Fall in Arizona between late September and late November offers the best opportunity to view the jaw-dropping autumn colors. In the northern part of the state, the aspen leaves are golden and create a beautiful contrast with the pines' green. You can enjoy the most vivid leaf colors in the first few weeks of October. Show more

What are some of the popular places to see fall colors in Arizona?

If you're looking for the best places to explore autumn colors in Arizona, explore Flagstaff, Coconino National Forest, Grand Canyon North Rim, and the White Mountains. Flagstaff is the most popular spot featuring a lot of aspen groves that lend it its scenic beauty in the fall. The Kaibab National Forest's aspen groves at the Grand Canyon North Rim also provide for magnificent sights worth experiencing. Show more

What trees are commonly found in Arizona during autumn?

Arizona's autumn season usually finds its aspen trees in northern Arizona adorned with yellow leaves, whereas red and orange maples and oaks can be found in areas of lower elevations. Cottonwoods, willows, and different flowering shrubs also add to the scenery. Aspen groves are present in the White Mountains, offering a breathtaking view when combining the groves' colors with those of spruces, evergreens, and firs. Show more

How long does Arizona's fall foliage season typically last?

Arizona's fall foliage season is relatively longer than in other States. The season starts in the mountains at the end of September and extends through early December in desert regions. However, the duration of the season is subject to weather conditions, including winds and early snowfalls which cause the leaves to drop before the season's end. Show more

Is there a map available to help plan a trip to view fall foliage in Arizona?

Yes, a map that outlines the top places to view fall foliage in Arizona while showing their proximity to lodging options is available. Popular spots featured on the map include locations such as the Flagstaff and Coconino National Forest, the White Mountains, and the Grand Canyon North Rim. Additionally, the map offers insights into areas of scenic beauty, making it an ample position to map out the ideal fall foliage trip in Arizona. Show more

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen