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3 Places to Find Fall Colors in Arizona

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Desperate times call for desperate measures. When there’s not a hint of crispness in the air, it’s time to hit the road and go in search of fall. Here’s where to go when you just can’t take another day of summer.
Aspen trees on FSR 612 at North Kaibab Ranger District on Sept. 21, 2014. Photo by David Hercher, courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Kaibab National Forest.
Aspen trees on FSR 612 at North Kaibab Ranger District on Sept. 21, 2014. Photo by David Hercher, courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Kaibab National Forest.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

Spanning 2 million acres in east-central Arizona, the Apache-Sitgreaves forest plays host to vibrant fall colors through October. In addition to gaping at the colorful trees, visitors can explore eight cold-water lakes and the Mogollon Rim, which at 7,600 feet provides sprawling views of the lower lands to the south.

If you go: Rent a cabin in Show Low, Heber or Alpine for easy access to the surrounding forest.

Coconino National Forest

As if Sedona and Flagstaff didn’t already have enough natural eye candy on display, they also happen to be located in one of the best destinations for fall colors in Arizona. The maples on the Mogollon Rim District are worth the visit, and the deciduous trees in Oak Creek Canyon and the Sedona area are spectacular.

If you go: Take a trip up the Snowbowl chairlift for a birds-eye view of the changing leaves.

Kaibab National Forest

Kaibab’s peak viewing season runs only through the month of October, but it’s well worth it to squeeze in a quick trip to this area near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Rows of Aspen trees put on a colorful show, and remote hikes are aplenty, so you won’t have to share the view with hordes of other people.

If you go: Hike the Rainbow Rim Trail for views of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim along with the fall colors.

 

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