Fall Color Guide

Whether you're in the mood for a leisurely drive, a train ride or a forest stroll, there are plenty of ways to experience Arizona's autumn hues. Here are 17 of them. | Map by Kevin Kibsey

Fall Color Guide

Drives

1. Jacob Lake to Grand Canyon Lodge (State Route 67)

Condition: Paved
Distance: 48 miles one way
Elevation: 7,921 to 8,200 feet
Trees: Aspen
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October (snow closes road)
Contact: North Kaibab Ranger District, 928-643-7395 or www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab

2. Forest Road 22

Condition: Good unpaved
Distance: 0.7 miles (west of State Route 67) one way
Elevation: 8,701 to 8,713 feet
Trees: Aspen
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October (snow closes road) 
Contact: North Kaibab Ranger District, 928-643-7395 or www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab

3. Lockett Meadow (Forest Road 552) from U.S. Route 89

Condition: Unpaved, with switchbacks; four-wheel-drive recommended 
Distance: 4.7 miles one way
Elevation: 8,560 feet
Trees: Aspen
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October
Contact: Flagstaff Ranger District, 928-526-0866 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino

4. Snowbowl Road from U.S. Route 180

Condition: Paved 
Distance: 7 miles one way
Elevation: 7,200 to 9,000 feet
Trees: Aspen (groves in top 2 miles)
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October
Contact: Flagstaff Ranger District, 928-526-0866 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino

5. Bellemont to Parks (Historic Route 66)

Condition: Good unpaved
Distance: 8.5 miles one way
Elevation: 7,152 to 7,425 feet
Trees: Aspen 
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October
Contact: Williams Ranger District, 928-635-5600 or www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab

6. Flagstaff to Sedona (State Route 89A)

Condition: Paved 
Distance: 28 miles one way
Elevation: 6,905 to 4,240 feet
Trees: Apple, oak, cottonwood, fern, sycamore, walnut 
Timing: Early October to early November
Contact: Red Rock Ranger District, 928-203-2900 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino

7. Verde Canyon Railroad (Clarkdale to Perkinsville)

Distance: 20 miles one way
Elevation: 3,225 to 3,550 feet
Trees: Cottonwood, willow 
Timing: Early October to early November
Contact: Verde Canyon Railroad, 800-582-7245 or www.verdecanyonrr.com

8. Springerville to Alpine (U.S. Route 191)

Condition: Paved 
Distance: 26 miles one way 
Elevation: 6,965 to 8,030 feet
Trees: Aspen (on Escudilla Mountain)
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October
Contact: Alpine Ranger District, 928-339-5000 or www.fs.usda.gov/asnf

9. Madera Canyon (forest roads 62 and 70) 

Condition: Paved
Distance: 15 miles one way (from Interstate 19 to Roundup Picnic Area)
Elevation: 2,972 to 5,200 feet
Trees: Oak, ash, maple, willow 
Timing: Mid-September to mid-October
Contact: Nogales Ranger District, 520-281-2296 or www.fs.usda.gov/coronado

Hikes

10. North Kaibab Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 8,250 to 5,200 feet
Length: 2.7 to 4.7 miles one way
Access: From the Grand Canyon National Park entrance station, go south on State Route 67 for 11 miles to the trailhead, on the east side of the road.
Trees: Aspen, maple, oak, cottonwood, boxelder, creeping barberry
Timing: Early October
Contact: Grand Canyon National Park, 928-638-7888 or www.nps.gov/grca
Fee: Park entry fee ($35 per vehicle) 

11. Hart Prairie Preserve 

Nature walks: Sundays at 10 a.m. from June through September
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 8,500 feet
Length: 2 miles
Access: From Historic Route 66 in Flagstaff, go north on Humphreys Street to the Fort Valley Plaza shopping center, where the street dead-ends at the top of the hill. Meet the van at the southwest corner of the parking lot. 
Trees: Aspen, willow
Timing: June through September
Contact: Hart Prairie Preserve, 928-779-6129 or www.nature.org/arizona
Fee: None

12. West Fork Trail, Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness 

Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 5,400 to 5,500 feet
Length: 3 miles one way
Access: From Sedona, go north on State Route 89A for 9.9 miles to the Call of the Canyon parking area.
Trees: Apple, boxelder, ash, canyon grape, maple, dogwood, willow, Virginia creeper
Timing: Mid-October
Contact: Red Rock Ranger District, 928-203-2900 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino
Fee: Parking fee ($10 per vehicle)

13. Verde River Greenway

Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 3,300 feet
Length: 2 miles one way
Access: From Clarkdale, take State Route 89A (Main Street) to 10th Street. Turn right onto 10th Street and continue to the Dead Horse Ranch State Park entrance. From there, take Dead Horse Ranch Road to the trailhead at the West Lagoon parking area.
Trees: Cottonwood, willow
Timing: Late October to mid-November
Contact: Dead Horse Ranch State Park, 928-634-5283 or www.azstateparks.com/dead-horse
Fee: Park entry fee ($7 per vehicle)

14. Fossil Creek Trail

Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation: 5,800 to 4,300 feet
Length: 3.5 miles one way
Access: From State Route 87 in Strawberry, go west on Forest Road 708 for 4.5 miles to the trailhead.
Trees: Ash, boxelder, cottonwood, oak, sycamore
Timing: Late October
Contact: Red Rock Ranger District, 928-203-2900 or www.fs.usda.gov/coconino
Fee: None for October 2 through March 31; $10 permit required for April 1 through October 1

15. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 2,400 feet
Length: 1.5-mile loop
Access: From Phoenix, go east on U.S. Route 60 to Mile Marker 223, near Superior.
Trees: Chinese pistachio, combretum, sumac, walnut
Timing: Mid-November to early December; open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: Boyce Thomspon Arboretum State Park, 520-689-2811 or www.azstateparks.com/boyce-thompson
Fee: Park entry fee ($12.50 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12)

16. West Baldy Trail

Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 9,287 to 11,420 feet
Length: 7 miles one way
Access: From Eagar, go west on State Route 260 for 18.7 miles to State Route 273. Turn left onto SR 273 and continue south for 8.6 miles to the trailhead at Sheeps Crossing.
Trees: Aspen
Timing: September
Contact: Springerville Ranger District, 928-333-6200 or www.fs.usda.gov/asnf
Fee: None

17. Hamburg Trail

Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 5,498 to 6,826 feet
Length: 2.8 miles one way
Access: From Sierra Vista, go south on State Route 92 for 6 miles to Ramsey Canyon Road, then go west for 3.5 miles to The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve and the trailhead.
Trees: Sycamore, maple, ash, cottonwood, willow
Timing: Mid-October to early November 
Contact: Ramsey Canyon Preserve, 520-378-2785 or www.nature.org/arizona
Fee: Preserve entry fee ($6 per person); free for children under 16