Fall Colors on the Prescott National Forest

Trees in Haywood Canyon turn bright yellow, orange, and red during the peak fall colorsAspens leaves turning gold along Copper Basin RoadBlazing gold leaves against a bright blue sky at Lynx Lake South ShoreLynx Lake South Shore on a crisp, clear autumn dayFetid Goosefoot bursts with reds, oranges, and golds in Granite BasinClose up of fetid goosefoot in Granite Basin during the fallHumphrey's Peak near Flagstaff and red rock views from Mingus MountainBright red virginia creeper vines cling to pnderosa pine and oaksClose up of bright red virginia creeperGranite Mountain reflected in Granite Basin LakeGreen, red, orange, and gold trees line Mount Vernon Street in Prescott


Fall colors in Arizona?  Seriously?

OK, so Arizona can't compete with New England or the Upper Midwest when it comes to displays of fall color  that go on for miles and miles, but come visit the Prescott National Forest this fall and you might be surprised by what you find! Trees near lakes and waterways put on what we traditionally think of as fall color with pockets of ash, maple, oaks, cottonwoods, aspen, poplars, and sycamore sprinkled throughout the forest. But perhaps the best autumn colors on the forest are less traditional, though startlingly beautiful! Fetid goosefoot covers the foothills and bursts with golds, oranges, and reds in the fall, and Virginia Creeper (a tree-climbing vine) goes unnoticed all summer, but turns a vivid red before losing its leaves for the  winter.  Of course, if you're set on seeing a large number of fall colors in one place, you can always swing through any of the towns or cities adjacent to the forest where you'll find abundant ornamental trees in a dazzling array of bright fall colors rivaling those found in wetter parts of the country. 

When do fall colors peak on the Prescott?

 Like in other parts of the country, it is impossible to say--but as a general rule, trees and bushes at the highest elevations start changing from mid- to late September with leaves falling around mid- to late October.  Trees at lower elevations begin changing a couple weeks to a month later, and you can still find signs of autumn into mid-December in the Verde Valley and other low elevation parts of the forest. So, think about an autumn drive to see the sights on the Prescott National Forest. If you miss peak colors, you're sure to find plenty of beauty and color such as the red rock vistas as you drop off Mingus Mountain headed towards the Verde Valley, or the blue sky, clouds, trees, and rock formations reflected off ofany of the forest lakes or waterways.  If you're hankering to get out of town and see natural beauty this fall, the Prescott National Forest will not dissappoint!