Where to See Fall Leaves in Arizona

Where to See Fall Leaves in Arizona

Whether you’re hiking through Northern Arizona or road tripping around the southeastern regions of the state, there are a number of picturesque spots to visit and immerse yourself in the beauty of autumn. Here’s where to see fall leaves in Arizona, where shades of yellow, orange and red start sprouting as early as late September.

[Originally posted October 2021]

Oak Creek Canyon


Sedona is most loved for its red rocks—but come fall, the town transforms into an autumnal wonderland of red, orange and golden hues. Fall leaves are most abundant in areas settled along Oak Creek, where the wildlife is lush and the sounds of the babbling waters create one of the state’s most ethereal atmospheres—so charming and peaceful you’ll forget you’re only a few hours outside of the Valley of the Sun.
For more information: www.fs.usda.gov.

Tonto Natural Bridge State Park


The identity of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is rooted in its sharpened geological arch—a towering formation that’s elevated by the backdrop of Payson’s lush surrounding forests, which transform beautifully during the fall season. Best of all, the spot boasts a waterfall that makes the scene all the more picturesque. The park is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, 14 and older; $4 for youth, 7 to 13.
For more information: azstateparks.com/tonto.

Mount Lemmon Fall Leaves Tucson, Arizona

Mt. Lemmon


Tucson might be a college town but beyond its downtown hub, the city is home to vibrant forests and elevated mountain ranges that give tourists and locals alike a bird’s-eye glimpse of the region’s diverse area. While it’s beautiful year-round, Tucson’s most pristine mountain—Mount Lemmon—reaches new and more charming heights in the fall, when hiking trails are treated to the changing colors of autumn leaves. The best way to peep those fall hues? Book a scenic Sky Ride until 4 p.m. (available only when not in ski season; closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays). Tickets are sold at the resort and start at $10.
For more information: www.skithelemmon.com.

Madera Canyon


Madera Canyon is another Southern Arizona hotspot located within the Santa Rita Mountains, just about 50 miles south of Tucson. Come fall, the region is engulfed in saturated, autumnal tones that are ever-present in the tree’s leaves—particularly near the canyon’s bustling streams which reflect the colors even more. Bonus: Madera Canyon is home to world-class birdwatching.
For more information: www.fs.usda.gov.



While awaiting snowfalls for skiing and snowboarding, Snowbowl’s Scenic Gondola Rides are available daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Arizona Gondola. Guests seeking fall leaves in Arizona will not only get an eyeful, but they will enjoy sights of the San Francisco Peaks and the fresh mountain air. Lift tickets start as low as $18 when purchased online and in advance.
For more information: www.snowbowl.ski/summer-scenic-gondola.

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