Golden leaves shine the spotlight on breathtaking views.


Often hailed as Arizona’s capital of autumn, Flagstaff is a leaf peeper’s paradise. To experience the season at its most exhilarating visitors flock to the trails around 8,000 feet elevation; where large stands of aspen trees steal the show with their quaking leaves glowing like liquid sunshine.

Fall in Flagstaff

As the fall months begin to emerge, the warming autumn colors will descend from the San Francisco Peaks to the streets of Flagstaff. Considering the vague perception of when the foliage will reach its peak, the Flagstaff LEAF-ometer is a great resource for those hoping to observe the transitioning colors. This online resource enables visitors to grasp an idea of what stage of color alteration to expect leaves in when traveling to varying areas of the city. Flagstaff offers many opportunities to explore and witness the alluring golden brown, red and orange autumn colors.

Marvelous Fall Hikes

Those interested in absorbing the scenery by foot might consider hiking some of Flagstaff’s prominent trails. There are many trails, ranging in difficulty, which will provide stunning views of the changing landscape. Some of these trails include Wilson Meadow, Aspen Nature Loop and Bismarck Lake.

Wilson Meadow

Located in the Heart Prairie, Wilson Meadow is brimming with meadows and aspen groves in an open landscape. The lavish amount of nature, including fields of wildflowers and grasslands, ensures that this trail will offer incredible sights of the foliage. This trail comes in at two miles roundtrip, making it a wonderful option for those with minimal hiking experience and for those with children.

Aspen Nature Loop

Another salient trail, the Aspen Nature Loop offers views of the San Francisco Peaks and Kendrick Mountain. Located near the base of Arizona Snowbowl, this scenic loop is sure to expose some of the most impeccable fall colors. At a length of 1.8 miles, this hike is rated as relatively easy. Those looking for an effortless way to witness the scenery should consider Aspen Nature Loop.

Bismarck Lake

Situated in an alpine meadow, Bismarck Lake is the perfect location to observe both the altering autumn setting and the wildlife that is attracted by the lake. This remarkable “lake” exhibits pond-like features, acquiring shallow waters enclosed by marshes. As a resource for wildlife in the surrounding forests, visitors should expect to see some wildlife activity. Although rated at moderate difficulty, this trail gives hikers the option of a two mile roundtrip trail or an elongated seven mile roundtrip trail leading to Snowbowl Road.

Fall Events and Festivities

Wine In The Woods – Sunday, September 9

Wine in the Woods-AZ Style brings regionally produced Arizona wineries to one place for you to sample some of these delicious wines. Pairing with some of Northern Arizona’s best seasonally influenced restaurants to offer incredible samplings of regional cuisine and wine all enjoyed among the lush scenery of the Arboretum. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
$35 General Public Pre-sale/ $50 at the door
$30 Members Pre-sale/ $40 Members at the door

Flagstaff Festival of Science: The Science of Change – September 21-30

The Flagstaff Festival of Science is a FREE 10-day event with field trips, guided hikes, star parties, open houses, hands-on exhibits, presentations and archaeological excavations

Cornucopia Fall Festival – Saturday, September 29

Cornucopia is a community wide celebration of fall, the turning of the leaves and PUMPKINS! The event is held at Thorpe Park softball complex from 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Flagstaff Oktoberfest – Saturday, October 6

Munich returns to downtown Flagstaff, AZ with the 10th annual Flagstaff Oktoberfest. Kick off the autumn season with bratwurst, pretzels and Plenty of Beer! Guests will enjoy many crowd favorites including polka music, brat eating contest, stein holding competition and much more. Lace up your dirndl, throw on your lederhosen and grab a stein because Flagstaff is celebrating 10 years of the Flagstaff Oktoberfest! Located in Wheeler Park near downtown Flagstaff, Oktoberfest runs 11 a.m.–8 p.m.

Arizona Snowbowl Scenic Chairlift Ride – Through mid-October

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. As you soar over the mountains you enjoy the glories of autumn’s crisp ambers, with a bird’s eye view of the mixed fir and aspen tree canopy below. Located north of Flagstaff off Highway 180 on Snowbowl Road. The Scenic Chairlift is open Friday through Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through mid-October.

The Flagstaff Star Party – October 4-6

Join us for telescope viewing, night-sky orientations, and fascinating presentations about the starts and night skies at Buffalo Park in the First International Dark-Sky City. 7 p.m.-12 p.m.

Community Farmers Market – Through October 21

The freshest in regional fruits, vegetables, honey, baked goods, fresh flowers, tamales, jams, breads and more at the Flagstaff City Hall Parking Lot. Every Sunday (May-Oct.) 8 a.m.-12 p.m.

Northern Arizona University Homecoming Parade & Activities – October 21, 25, 26, 27

Students, Parents, Alumni, and Community Friends of Northern Arizona University and invited to join the annual Lumberjack homecoming festivities each year in October. Traditional events include a parade, family fun zone, campus tours, tailgate party and the football game in the Walkup Skydome.

NAU Fall Festival of Choirs – Tuesday, October 23

Ardrey Auditorium, Northern Arizona University Campus. Featuring NAU Shrine of the Ages Choir, Women’s Chorale, Men’s Chorale, University Singers and the Harold M. Harter Memorial Handbell Choir. 3 p.m.

Pumpkin Walk – Saturday, October 27

Walk through the Arboretum fall gardens on trails lit by glowing Jack-o-Lanterns. Celebrate the fall season in your best costume with hayrides, hot cider and cocoa, apple bobbing, great food from Good Times Rolling Kitchen and Wils Grill, spooky stories and performances by a campfire. Win prizes in the costume contests! This is our favorite family event for the year!

Date: Saturday, October 27th, 2018
Time: Pumpkin Walk & Fall Fest at the Arboretum 3:00– 7:00 PM
Cost: $8 Adults, $5 Youth ages 6 and up, Children 5 and under FREE. MEMBERS ARE FREE!*
Activity tickets: Most activities will require purchase of tickets for $1 each.
Bring and carve a pumpkin: 4pm – 7pm Friday, October 26th at Lumberyard Brewery! Have a beer and carve a pumpkin then receive free activity tickets for Pumpkin Walk on Saturday!

NAU Homecoming Football Game – Saturday, October 27

The Northern Arizona University Homecoming football game will kick off at 4 p.m. at the NAU Skydome. The NAU Alumni Association Award Winners and Blue & Gold Class of 1975 will be honored in the end zone during a special halftime ceremony.