Top Seven Best Places for Flagstaff Fall Foliage

Visit Flagstaff this autumn to experience alluring golden, bronze, crimson, amber and auburn hues of the season. Flagstaff’s dramatic explosion of color is a leaf peeper’s paradise often hailed as Arizona’s capital of autumn and as the fall months begin to emerge, the warming autumn colors will descend from the San Francisco Peaks to the streets of Flagstaff. Discover the captivating colors in northern Arizona and fall into Flagstaff with these seven best places to visit and our top tip before you go.  

1. Arizona Snowbowl is well known as a skiing and snowboarding winter wonderland. However, every summer and autumn, nature lovers can take to the skies on the Scenic Chairlift. Soar over the mountains, enjoy the glories of autumn’s crisp ambers, with a spectacular view of the mixed fir and aspen tree canopy below including a view of the Grand Canyon. www.snowbowl.ski

Arboretum Fall leaves

2.The Arboretum at Flagstaff is an oasis of high altitude native plants and as autumn draws near, the trees transform into golden pieces of art. The Arboretum is the perfect place for a picnic and family get away. www.thearb.org

3.Capture the colors and discover nature with an experience at Arizona Nordic Village. Explore picturesque areas with hikes down meandering trails and paths, and enjoy pine scented fresh mountain air while connecting with the outdoors. The area offers camping yurts and cabins with fun seasonal activities and events from bike races to science fairs. www.arizonanordicvillage.com

4. Historic Downtown Flagstaff offers dining, events, shopping, and nightlife just off historic Route 66. The downtown area is the perfect stop on anyone’s autumn road trip.  The vibrant fall colours of green, red and yellow leaves sprinkle the tree lined streets of downtown transforming it into the autumn season. downtownflagstaff.org

NAU Cline Library

5. Enjoy a stroll through magnificent fall foliage on the campus of Northern Arizona University and sample a piece of New England flare. Catch a college ball game, university activity or the annual Homecoming parade on Saturday, October 26. nau.edu/homecoming  

fall peaks aspens

6. Flagstaff is home to the largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest in the world making it perfect for hiking and exploring the outdoors. The Arizona Trail on the majestic San Francisco Peaks, is a crisp cool adventure. The Arizona Trail is a non-motorized path, stretching 800 miles across Arizona from Mexico to Utah linking a variety of beautiful landscapes and terrains. The northern portion features the colors of the season with fall foliage offering golden hues in a forest setting. aztrail.org/explore/passages/passage-34-san-francisco-peaks/

7. Walnut Canyon National Monument is an elevating leaf-viewing trip from the cool temperatures on the rim trail to the lower and warmer areas of the Island trail. The amazing scenery draws your gaze across curved canyon walls and outdoor adventure with a walk through time amongst remarkable geological formations and ancient cliff dwellings. The fall foliage differs throughout the journey as the landscape changes from alpine tundra of pinyons and pines to other vegetation types such as aspens, Arizona walnut and cottonwoods. www.nps.gov/waca/index.htm

Top Tip: What color are the fall leaves? Experience the season at its most exhilarating, with the Flagstaff LEAF-ometer and catch the changing foliage on the trails and around town. The Flagstaff LEAF-ometer is a great resource for those hoping to observe the transitioning colors. This online resource is available at www.flagstaffarizona.org/plan-your-trip/leafometer/and provides an idea in real-time of what stage of color alteration to expect leaves in when traveling in different areas of the city.  

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