When Northern Arizona’s beautiful fall season arrives, the leaves of the oaks and maple along the West Fork trail begin to change into gorgeous hues of red, orange, and gold. The ponderosa pines contrast dramatically against these colorful autumn leaves. The West Fork’s immense popularity comes from the fact that it is one of few trails in the state to offer the type of fall foliage you would typically only see out East. While neighboring Flagstaff offers the most dazzling fall foliage in Arizona, this is solely in the form of golden aspen trees. If you are looking for something a bit more traditional, then the West Fork is the better option.

Standing amongst the golden leaves on the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon


Fall foliage in Flagstaff…


Vs. Fall Foliage in Oak Creek…


For anyone looking for a more traditional fall hike with a medley of autumn hues, the West Fork is the place for you in Arizona. It’s basically the only place in Arizona where you can see such a wide variety of fall color all in one place. The soothing sounds of the creek in an area with little water combined with an abundance of maples and oaks make West Fork the most New Englandish feeling hike in the area. The leaves scattered amongst the trail really enhance the fall ambiance. As you walk through the dense forest, you can’t help but feel that East Coast fall nostalgia as you hear the sound of the leaves crunching beneath your feet. So anyone living out West missing the leafy scenery and ambiance of the East will likely appreciate this trail even more!

Beautiful fall scenes throughout the West Fork trail

Great red rock views and fall foliage along the West Fork trail in Oak Creek Canyon