The easy Canopy Trail and two-mile Verde River Greenway at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, located in Cottonwood, both offer stellar leaf-viewing. There are also spectacular views along the Verde River and by the lagoons.
- Best time to go: late October/early November
Flagstaff is surrounded by North America’s largest contiguous Ponderosa pine forest and offers a variety of options for soaking in seasonal colors: Wilson Meadow, Aspen Nature Loop and Bismark Lake, to name a few. The town’s Arizona Snowbowl and its scenic skyride even provide views of mountain vistas, golden aspens and evergreen pine as far as the eye can see. flagstaffarizona.org.
- Best time to go: October
Use the Leafometer on Flagstaff’s Web site to track fall color changes
Verde Canyon Railroad basically does the work for you as you settle into comfy loveseats or bistro chairs during four-hour Fall Colors Tours. The train travels from the charming Clarkdale depot to the ghost ranch at Perkinsville and back as guests take in fall hues along the Verde River and sip seasonally inspired cocktails. verdecanyonrr.com.
- Best time to go: Fall Colors Tours run October through November
White Mountains provide one of the earliest glimpses of fall color in the state, due to their elevation of 11,000 feet. The charm-packed towns of Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and Greer are speckled with Gambel Oaks and aspen, ripe for the viewing. A few leaf-viewing spots to bookmark per Arizona Office of Tourism: Sunrise Park Resort and Green’s Peak Area (Forest Road 117 north of Hwy. 260.
- Best time to go: last week of September through first three weeks of October
To Learn More
Arizona Office of Tourism tourism.az.gov.