As autumn begins and our sunlit days become shorter the leaves begin their annual change that leads to the rich fall colors we see in our Arizona forests.
Weather plays a big role, as temperature and moisture are directly related to the amount of color each leaf turns before falling from the tree.
Some of the best areas to witness this colorful change are in Arizona's high country and along the Mogollon Rim.
Beginning in early October, the pinyon-juniper, ponderosa pine, fir, spruce and aspen trees in the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests begin to transform.
By mid-October the Apache and the Sitgreaves National Forests begin to peak.
Late October into early November, you'll find the cottonwood, oak, douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, aspen and juniper trees in full color in the Prescott and Tonto National Forests.
Southeastern Arizona also offers beautiful fall colors going into November.
The fall color hotline ( 1-800-354-4595) is great resource for finding up-to-date information on brilliant colors across our state.
Here are a few suggested places to visit:
Early to Mid October:
Kaibab Plateau- North Rim Parkway
East Rim Overlook
Hart Prairie- Highway 180 and Forest Service Road 151
Lockett Meadow- Highway 89, north of Flagstaff
Schultz Pass Road
Aspen Loop Trail
Oak Creek Canyon- North of Sedona
Mid to Late October:
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park- North of Payson on highway 87
Rim Road along the Mogollon Rim
Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery- Off highway 260 in the Tonto National Forest