Surrounded by lush forests, deep canyons, and red-rock mountains, Sedona is a perfect hiking destination, especially in the fall. When temperatures get cooler, wildlife gets more active and trees start to change their color spectacularly. Sedona becomes a fall foliage paradise with vibrant landscapes as if created with Technicolor.
When is the best time to see fall colors in Sedona
In the mountains, fall foliage appears as soon as late September. However, the peak season for leaf-peeping in Sedona usually runs from mid-October and well into November. At this time, you can see beautiful Shumard oaks, willows, bigtooth maples, cottonwoods, Arizona ashes, sumacs, crape myrtles, grapevines, Virginia creepers, and walnuts.
Best places to see fall foliage in Sedona
Regarded sacred by Indian tribes, the area around Sedona has no shortage of beautiful landscapes. Oak Creek Canyon, located 9.5 mi (15 km) north of Sedona, is one of the best leaf-peeping destinations in Arizona. You can take a stunning panorama shot at the Oak Creek Vista outlook or proceed to the spectacular West Fork Trail. The trail features a picturesque stream between the high cliffs, surrounded by vibrant foliage. The trailhead for this scenic hike is located near the Call O' The Canyon day-use area, on the west side of Highway 89A if you drive from Flagstaff.
Cathedral Rock is another of Sedona's natural landmarks that can be accessed from Oak Creek Canyon. The iconic sandstone butte looks incredible when surrounded by orange and yellow foliage. It can be reached via a picturesque 6 mi (10 km) Templeton Trail that goes along Oak Creek. The trail offers a few scenic outlooks and numerous fall foliage views by the water.
Red Rock State Park is another excellent hiking destination with comfortable trails and a few wooden bridges over Oak Creek. The park can be reached by Highway 89A and is an excellent place for a family picnic with numerous areas to choose from. The 6 mi (9.7 km) Boynton Canyon Trail is very popular with hikers in Sedona. This box canyon has been considered sacred due to impressive Indian ruins. It also features a scenic Subway Cave or the Boynton cave, which provides a panoramic outlook of the area.
Red Rock County is an amazing region to be explored by car. Take a drive on Highway 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona to take in fall foliage views and reach the most popular trails. The most beautiful section of the highway stretches for 28 mi (45 km), passing through Coconino National Forest. For more fall foliage views, you can take a small detour from Highway 89A and drive on Dry Creek Road to Boynton Canyon to further explore this unique area.
What is the best time of year to visit Sedona to see fall colors?
Peak season for leaf-peeping in Sedona is from mid-October to November. During this period, visitors can expect to see the beautiful hues of Shumard oaks, willows, bigtooth maples and more surrounded by cooler temperatures and active wildlife. It is an excellent time for hiking excursions and exploring this unique area. Show more
What are the best places to see fall foliage in Sedona?
A visit to Oak Creek Canyon, located 9.5 miles north of Sedona, is among the best leaf-peeping experiences in Sedona. The West Fork Trail through the area's high cliffs, Cathedral Rock, and Red Rock State Park, with its comfortable hiking trails and wooden bridges, are excellent destinations to appreciate the changing colors of Sedona's flora. Show more
Are there any popular scenic drives to see fall colors in Sedona?
Visitors may explore Red Rock County by car, taking the popular Highway 89A from Flagstaff to Sedona to take in the fall foliage views and reach the most popular trails. For a more scenic route, one can opt to take the small detour on Dry Creek Road to Boynton Canyon to further explore this unique area. Coconino National Forest is another location that offers beautiful fall foliage views during the drive. Show more
What are the most popular hiking trails for viewing fall foliage in Sedona?
The Boynton Canyon Trail (6 mi), West Fork Trail, and Red Rock State Park are all popular hiking trails in Sedona for viewing fall foliage. Boynton Canyon offers hikers a scenic Subway Cave or the Boynton cave that provides a panoramic outlook of the area. The West Fork Trail offers picturesque scenes of the area, and Red Rock State Park welcomes visitors with comfortable trails and bridges over Oak Creek. Show more
What are some unique facts about the fall foliage in Sedona, AZ?
Fall foliage is unique in Sedona, with colors appearing in late September's mountains and peaking from mid-October to well into November with a variety of Shumard oaks, willows, bigtooth maples, cottonwoods, and other flora. Fall also creates a more active wildlife scene. The area is sacred to Indian tribes, adding cultural importance to the scenery. Sedona invites visitors to appreciate the charming ambiance only found in breathtaking Arizona. Show more