Arizona is known for its beautiful landscape and comfortable fall and winter climate. While the seasons are not as drastic in this part of the country, there is still ample opportunity to find great hiking trails for catching the leaves changing into fall colors. If you are ready to explore Arizona this fall, these are trails you need to visit to get a taste of the change in season. Check out these 8 most beautiful trials for catching fall colors in Arizona.
A quick drive south of Phoenix to Aravaipa Canyon will land you somewhere between the valley and Tucson. This canyon has a diverse ecosystem in wilderness and landscape. It has towering cliffs and flowing water. You can explore beautiful canyons, caves, outcrops, chimneys and ‘windows.’ When the fall season hits you will experience brilliant red and golden leaves that contrast the Sonoran Desert Landscape.This area is great for a single day adventure or you can set up camp to spend the night.
If you wish to find an easy hike, head north to Flagstaff and the Coconino National Forest. The Arboretum in Flagstaff offers a great opportunity for a simple hike surrounded by fall colors. With miles of scenic pathways, nature walks, and over home to 750 species of plants, this place is picturesque. The arboretum also holds special events and classes. Check out their list of activities coming up this month.
Head far east of the valley off of Hwy 60 to experience another brilliant collection of plants, landscape and autumn color when you visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. You will be in awe and amazed at the unspoiled native Desert landscape that covers 392 acres. Enjoy over 3900 different species of plants alongside 3 miles of trails. Some of the plants here may bloom a little later in the season so there is plenty of time to catch all the fall colors.
4. Horton Creek
A hike along Horton Creek will not only bestow beautiful fall colors and pine trees, but will even take you alongside a waterfall. Horton Creek is tucked away in the Mogollon Rim, in the Tonto National Forest. It is rated as an easy to moderate trail.
5. Mount Lemmon
The Catalina Mountains are home to Mount Lemmon and another place to catch fall colors. You will be hiking beside aspens, oak trees, and maples that are turning different shades for the season. The Aspen Draw Trail will be approximately 2 miles roundtrip that the whole family can enjoy. There are 13 others trails to choose from as well that may lead to more impressive views and desert landscape photo ops.
6. Oak Creek Canyon
Nearby Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon is yet another trail to catch the leaves changing. Maple and oak trees surround you as you walk alongside vibrant colors. West Fork Trail is the perfect place to start. Located in the Coconino, this trail boasts a whopping 14 miles of fun. Pack a jacket as the weather tends to be much cooler in these areas.
Hiking or even just driving through the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff will bring the fall season alive. The peaks will be covered in a mountain of gold and offer many hiking trails. The Kachina Trail in particular brings you to the south side of the peak and wraps you around groves of color changing aspens and pine trees. Wildlife may pop up and about. This is one adventure you don’t want to miss.
Additionally, the Waterline Trail is a big hit. It sits on the east side of the peaks. Walking this trail will give you more time to get lost in the towering trees of golden leaves
Baldwin Trail in Sedona is another great way to catch the fall colors in Arizona. This hike is an easy 2.5 mile walk and provides amazing views of the fall season. Be prepared for astounding views of Cathedral Rock and passing alongside Oak Creek.
These 8 most beautiful trails for catching fall colors in Arizona are truly a treasure and priceless. There are many more hiking trails in Arizona that bring about amazing fall colors as well. Have you hiked these trails before? Which are your favorite and which trails need to be added to the list?