The weather is getting cooler and the forecast numbers are getting smaller. Okay, 89 is still a relatively large number, but the temperature difference between 89 degrees and 110 degrees is huge.
The first day of fall is Sept. 22, but here in the Valley, we don’t often see the bright gold, orange or red hues on leaves until later in the year, if at all. That’s not to say our great state is not home to a variety of foliage that changes color in the fall. You just have to know where to find it.
Sycamore trees at the Rim
Arizona sycamore trees can be found in the transition zone in the Mogollon Rim, between the Valley and the Colorado Plateau. During the fall, the large, almost star-shaped leaves drop and cover the ground. You can take a brisk fall hike and hear leaves crunching with each step.
Aspen and maple trees in the Pinal Mountains
Just southeast of Globe, you can find both aspen and maple trees in the Pinal Mountains. Gold aspen and maple trees line the trails of the Ice House Canyon. The best part? It’s less than a three-hour dive from Phoenix.
Golden maples, cottonwoods and willows in Oak Creek
The leaves from the boxelder, ash-leaved maple trees that stand in Oak Creek Canyon, turn from green to yellow in the fall season. Other moisture-loving trees in Oak Creek Canyon include cottonwoods and willows which also change to golden hues with splashes of orange and red in the fall. Travel up north just a few more miles to the red rocks of Sedona for a breathtaking autumn sight.
Aspen trees in Flagstaff
Near the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, you can find a canopy of golden aspens in the fall at the Aspen Nature Loop. There is an easy hike that offers views of San Francisco Peak where you can see more beautiful yellow aspen trees. Take a ride on Snowbowl’s chairlift to see the fall scene from above. The lift stays open through mid-October. Either way you see it, the Aspen Nature Loop provides a perfect backdrop for an autumn photo shoot.
To see the current leaf color, you can always check the LEAF-OMETER before your trip to make sure you get the perfect view of the fall foliage.
PHOTOS: Fall colors in Arizona