Where to See Arizona Fall Leaves - Visit Sedona Blog

Where to See Arizona Fall Leaves

This is an excerpt from an AZCentral.com article, including this section on Sedona. Written by Roger Naylor.


The winding drive on State Route 89A through Oak Creek Canyon between Flagstaff and Sedona is astonishing anytime but explodes with color during the cooling autumn months. If you’re looking for the closest thing Arizona has to a New England display of fall foliage, make a stop at West Fork Trail.
Starting from the Call of the Canyon Picnic Site, West Fork pulls you into verdant forests tucked beneath high cliffs. Echoes of birdsong and the splashy stream fill the canyon. The main trail parallels the meandering creek the whole way.

Peak season for fall colors usually runs from mid-October well into November. The path seems to burrow into a kaleidoscope of willows, boxelders, velvet ash and the fiery scarlet of the bigtooth maples. They’re supported by an understory of grapevines, sumac and Virginia creeper in a tangle of varying hues.

Naturally, West Fork is packed on autumn weekends. The parking lot usually fills early in the morning. (The fee is $10.) If you can wrangle a weekday visit, you won’t regret it.

You can enjoy a little more solitude at other Sedona trails. The Huckaby Trail emerges along an elevated ridge, overlooking the multi-hued ribbon of Oak Creek before descending to the stream banks past a colorful collection of vines, shrubs and trees.

The hike through Secret Canyon leads through a deeply forested ravine and some beautiful red rock narrows. Most of the vibrant leaves surround the canyon bottom that often harbors a few pools.

Allens Bend Trail is a short jaunt beneath the remnants of an old orchard and a canopy of riparian trees. Enjoy the serenade of the nearby stream but be careful of poison ivy. The itch-inducing vine changes to lovely shades of yellow, orange and red in the fall but remains just as potent.

Details: 928-203-2900, www.fs.usda.gov/coconino.