I know it’s winter now and fall color is well over for all of us. However, it’s never too late to plan for next season. Many people do not realize that Arizona is much more than just desert. There are 17 mountains known as “Sky Islands” in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, as well as the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff. Sitting at 7,000 feet, Flagstaff and its surrounding area is ideal for fall color viewing. Here’s a few places to go.
Snow Bowl is 14 miles north of Flagstaff and is a ski resort in the winter. It has a couple of large stands of Aspen near the parking lot and a good stand about five minutes drive below the main lot. It’s really popular for fall color and you’ll find plenty of company on the trails, but with ample room, it does not feel crowded.
Lockett’s Meadow and the Inner Basin Trail is a 4 mile, 900 foot climb, out and back track near the 9,000 foot mountain, Sugarloaf in the San Francisco Peaks. The parking near the trail head is very limited and the additional parking is outside of the campground. Unless you are here near dawn, plan on a little extra walking. Its super easy to get to and it is very popular and can feel crowded as the trail is fairly narrow.
There is so much good shooting here, though, you won’t mind.
We were planning to do the famous West Fork of Oak Creek in Sedona, but we got a last second hotel opening at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and changed our plans to drive North, rather than South. The West Fork trailhead is just 30 minutes from Flagstaff and 18 minutes from Sedona. We’ll do it next year.
To see more of our photographs, please go to our Flickr page – https://www.flickr.com/photos/pamimages/albums