While we don’t get any fall colors in the Phoenix area this time of year there are a number of places to visit for a weekend or a day to get our fill of autumn without leaving the state. The trick is to go North and go up! Here are some recommendations.
Oak Creek Canyon: About 2 ½ hours from Phoenix, you can find yourself in the kind of world you expect to see in New England. Oaks and other deciduous trees change colors, and the Creek itself along with rocks makes the scenery spectacular in the fall. Colors are at their best from late October to early November, but you might want to make a call to see how they’re shaping up this year. And on your way in or out, be sure to stop at the roadside stand selling fresh squeezed cider to really capture the season!
Flagstaff: Spend a weekend and take the time to ask locals for the best drives. Leaves generally peak up there in mid-to-late October. While you’re visiting, wander around Northern Arizona University’s campus to capture the mood of college students caught up in the semester.
Visit some of Northern Arizona’s ski areas: Altitude helps create color in the fall. Snowbowl road is one great choice. Also look into ski areas in the White Mountains. These options are more suited to a weekend trip than an overnight, but pre-snow prices can make the trip a bargain.
Check with AAA, the State of Arizona visitor’s bureau and chambers of commerce in some of our Northern towns to get more ideas. And get on the road to find your fall color!