An Arizona AutumnPosted: Updated:
It's the first official week of fall and we're looking at 100 degree temperatures. Looks like another typical Arizona autumn. For many parts of the country, changing leaves signify the arrival of fall. For Arizonans, it's turning down your car air conditioner from the highest setting to the second-highest setting.
Still, you can feel a change. The humidity from the monsoon is gone, our overnight temperatures have dropped into the low 70's and upper 60's and there's Halloween candy tempting me at the grocery store checkout. So despite what mother nature might suggest this week as temperatures rise, fall is here.
In fact, some leaves ARE beginning to change....you just have to get out of the Valley to see them. In the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona, aspens are 40-50% finished turning color. The Coronado Scenic Highway is expected to be spectacular in the next couple of weeks. The maples are turning in the Happy Jack area of Rim Country and the oaks and maples are just starting to turn in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff. In one of my favorite spots in the state, Oak Creek Canyon, no color changes yet...but it's still early.
You can find out the best spots to see changing leaves by calling a Forest Service Hotline: 1-800-354-4595. It will give you weekly updates on some of the most popular spots across the country to see the colors of fall, but really you don't have to go that far. A day trip to Northern Arizona or the White Mountains will show you the beauty of the changing seasons right here in Arizona...and give your car a break from the air conditioner at the same time.