2016 was another amazing fall foliage season in Northern Arizona. Many may be surprised to find out that Northern Arizona, not to be confused with the mostly barren southern portion of the state, is considered to be one of the top destinations in the country for leaf peeping. This will likely really come as a surprise to some who think of the state as nothing more than an empty desert. However, many of the trails and scenic drives this time of the year, are loaded with the stunning fall color you would only expect to find in places like New England, the Midwest, and the Mid Atlantic. Although I prefer the more expansive & diverse fall color scenery of the East as opposed to the random fall foliage scattered in only certain areas out West, I have to say that the fall color which does exist in Northern Arizona is nothing short of amazing.


Towering golden aspens line the Inner Basin hiking trail in Flagstaff.

Many cities, especially Flagstaff which sits high at 7000 feet, really shine this time of the year with striking golden aspens. The aspens are so bright and they tower above you, creating a unique picture perfect fall scene not found anywhere else. The San Francisco Peaks, the tallest mountain range in Arizona, offer plenty of opportunities for dramatic fall color hikes. From late September-mid October, the trails begin to shine with shimmering golden aspens. The spectacular fall scenery is considered to be amongst the most magnificent out West, if not the entire country.

San Francisco Peaks covered with golden aspens

The San Francisco Peaks covered with golden aspens.

Below are a few scenes of the most spectacular fall foliage for 2016. Enjoy the pictures and be sure to visit yourself one day to immerse yourself in the stunning beauty. Pictures really do no justice!

Northern Arizona 2016 Fall Foliage Gallery


Aspen Corner, located 6 miles up Snowbowl Rd, is hands down the best place in town for fall photography.


Aspen Corner is one of picture perfect fall destinations. Thousands of locals and tourist flock to this area off of Snowbowl Road each fall.


A rare storm rolling through Flagstaff created a striking contrast between the fall foliage and dark skies. Absolutely spectacular!


The most amazing fall scenery along the Arizona Trail in Flagstaff.


The fall scenery along The Arizona Trail is nothing short of amazing.


Gorgeous mountain views and stunning fall scenery create a picture perfect fall scene along the Arizona trail in Flagstaff.


Gorgeous golden aspen line the Arizona Trail near Snowbowl in Flagstaff every season.

Inner Basin fall foliage in Flagstaff

Inner Basin is the most stunning fall foliage hike in Flagstaff. It gets very crowded and the wait to park is long, however, it is well worth it for the most amazing foliage out West!


A look at peak fall foliage along the Inner Basin trail in Flagstaff.


Nothing but golden aspens and blue skies are seen during a fall hike along the Inner Basin trail.


Rows and rows of bright golden aspens line the Inner Basin trail in Flagstaff.


The Inner Basin trail in Flagstaff ends with some of the most incredible fall foliage you will see anywhere.


Check out how bright these aspens are along the incredible Inner Basin trail in Flagstaff.


Incredible aspens line just about every section of the amazing Inner Basin trail in Flagstaff.


The Aspen Nature Loop at Flagstaff’s Snowbowl is one of the area’s best leaf peeping destinations.


The magnificent colors of the season as seen from a hike along the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff.


Gorgeous fall scenery along the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff.


The gorgeous colors of the season found along the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff.


Scenic mountain views and fall foliage are the highlights of a fall walk along the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff.


A gorgeous golden aspen along the incredible Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff.


Gorgeous groves of aspens line most of the picturesque Aspen Nature Loop every fall in Flagstaff.


Hiking amongst the towering golden aspens on the Aspen Nature Loop in Flagstaff.


Incredible fall foliage seen along Hart Prairie Rd, one of the hot spots for leaf peeping in Flagstaff.


A super bright golden aspen amongst the pines on the Bear Jaw trail in Flagstaff.


Strolling amongst the towering aspen trees on the beautiful Bear Jaw trail in Flagstaff.


Hiking the high altitude Bear Jaw trail in Flagstaff is incredible any season, but so much more spectacular during the fall for the amazing leaf peeping opportunities!


For a peaceful hiking combined with stunning fall foliage, the Kachina Trail in Flagstaff is a must during the fall season.


Shimmering towering aspens line the gorgeous Kachina Trail in Flagstaff.


The Kachina Trail is a secluded Flagstaff trail with amazing views of the golden aspens.


A forest of golden aspens along the Kachina Trail in Flagstaff.


FR 151 is a really rocky rough road to drive. However, if your car can make it, the fall foliage is amazing!


Red fall foliage and a hint of the mountain scenery in Flagstaff.


Although yellow foliage is more common, you will find a few red trees around town this time of year in Flagstaff.


You do not need to hit the trails to see Flagstaff’s gorgeous fall foliage. All the streets downtown are loaded with gorgeous yellow foliage!


The lovely fall color drive up Snowbowl Road in Flagstaff is a must again and again during the fall season. Views like this never get old!


Golden aspens and pretty ponderosa pines create a drastic contrast during Flagstaff”s stunning fall season. A drive up Snowbowl Road is a must!


Snowbowl Road is the most stunning fall color drive in Arizona. It is located just 7 miles outside of Flagstaff on the road leading up to the state’s most popular ski resort.


The Veit Springs trail in Flagstaff is one of the most scenic and peaceful options for hiking during the fall season.


An attractive mix of golden aspens and green pines line the Veit Springs Trail in Flagstaff come fall.


An amazing medley of fall foliage along the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon. It’s the best trail in Arizona if you are seeking the traditional maple and oaks of the season.


Pretty gold foliage along the West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon.


The gorgeous colors of the season really stand out amongst the red rock formations along the beautiful West Fork Trail of Oak Creek Canyon.


A wonderful mix of fall foliage along the West Fork trail of Oak Creek Canyon.


Pretty red and gold foliage can be found along the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek Canyon.


Pretty gold and red foliage lines the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek Canyon.

Standing amongst a pile of fallen gold leaves along the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek Canyon.

Standing amongst a pile of fallen gold leaves along the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek Canyon.

For more pictures of fall foliage throughout Northern Arizona and info on how to get to each trail, take a look at my list of the  top places for fall foliage in Arizona.