Thanks to Arizona’s varied terrain, the state’s symphony of seasonal color begins on the aspen-covered alpine peaks in late September and extends into December in riparian canyons. These easy drives and hikes take you to leafy wine country, maple-fringed mountain roads, and a secret golden wilderness.
Arizona’s most famous fall drive is Highway 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, which winds through Oak Creek Canyon’s flaming red maples, sumacs, and gambel oaks. The only problem? It’s over too soon.
To lengthen your leaf-peeping jaunt, take a detour through bucolic Page Springs on the way to Sedona. From the Phoenix area, drive north on I-17 and take exit 293 after you pass Camp Verde, then wend your way through kernel-sized Cornville. Turn right onto Page Springs Road, which is spangled with fallen yellow leaves as it winds past wineries. Consider stretching your legs at D.A.Ranch, a sprawling estate vineyard with a willow-draped lake and a swing dangling from a golden, grandfatherly cottonwood. Continue on Page Springs Road to Highway 89A, then head northeast through Sedona and spectacular Oak Creek Canyon.
Best time to go: Mid-October to mid-November. Check the LEAF-ometer for Sedona and Flagstaff foliage updates.