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I cannot tell you how many times I have talked to folks from different states who have stated that Arizona only has 2 seasons, hot and hotter. Or how many transplants state, “I miss seasons!” Well, I got some news for ya, Arizona has all four seasons folks. And for those who want to see fall foliage, I got your fall foliage fix.
Oak Creek Canyon
Just north of Sedona (a two-hour drive from Scottsdale) is a great place to see beautiful leaf color. The drive on 89A hosts some of the most spectacular fall colors anywhere in the state. And if you want to get more into nature, West Fork Trail is a moderate hiking trail the follows Oak Creek Canyon and has some amazing vibrant fall colors. Best time to go is between late-September and mid-October.
Drive an hour and a half northeast of Scottsdale and you will reach the mountain town of Payson. Aspen trees reveal a wonderful golden glow and as you continue your adventure on 260 east towards the Mogollon Rim, you will see the full effect of abundant fall colors. Go check out Woods Canyon Lake off route 260 to take a break to soak in the view. Best time to go is between mid-to late October.
If you have some additional time on your hands, two and a half hours north of Scottsdale, you will find yourself at the base of the San Francisco Peaks. (Pictured below. Photo credit to Kelly Marcum) Flagstaff is abounding with hiking and outdoor adventure littered with fall colors but dress warm. If you have some additional time, keep on going to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to be blown away by the majesty of the Grand Canyon and the beauty of fall.
So, for all of those that think Arizona only offers a bi-season climate of hot and hotter; come see just how wrong you are!