Arizona has a very long and spectacular fall foliage season which starts in late September and lasts through the end of November. Sometimes trees keep their colors well into December, weather permitting. Arizona's mountains are mostly dotted with yellow aspens. Meanwhile, lower elevations have a variety of trees: many maples and oaks that turn red, bronze, and orange.
Best places to see fall foliage
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 are reflecting the foliage beautifully, which makes them a great spot for fall-time photography or picnics.