Fall colors about to arrive in Arizona

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

This Friday marks the official start of fall in the Northern Hemisphere. In Arizona, the autumnal equinox happens at 1:02 p.m. Friday.

Temperatures have already dropped significantly over the last week, and we'll see more cool weather coming our way this weekend with our second cool front of the season set to move in. 

[WEATHER: Your 7-day forecast]

Still, it might be just a TAD warm for boots, scarves and those hot pumpkin spice lattes. But we can drink them over ice and still get excited for fall. 

[READ MORE: The "real" fall]

[AND THIS: Countdown to fall]

[THIS, TOO: Fall leaves boast beautiful colors even in Arizona]

We may have to wait a little longer for the fall-like temperatures to get here, but we have some pretty glorious weather once it arrives AND we have fall colors, too. 

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the fall colors courtesy of the  Coconino National Forest

In Arizona, you can spot the red, oranges and golds by heading to the higher elevations of Northern and Eastern Arizona.

[SLIDESHOW: Best of Arizona's fall colors 2017]

In the Desert Southwest, fall colors usually begin to appear in mid- to late-September in the higher elevations of Northern Arizona. The colors are most vibrant and widespread in mid-October. My friend Kristi in Greer says they usually peak there between Oct. 15 and 25, and the leaves are off the trees around Halloween. 

[RELATED: Best places in Arizona to view fall foliage]

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the map of when fall color peaks

Some of the lower elevations of Arizona peak a bit later in late October and continue into November. 

[MORE: Weather blog]

According to the Forest Service, “Typically, the first color shows up in late September, and colors peak around Flagstaff and the Mogollon Rim the first two weeks of October. West Fork and Oak Creek Canyon typically peak around the third week of October. Sedona and the Verde Valley don't typically turn until the end of October and into November.”

MOBILE/APP USERS:  Click here to see the fall colors in Arizona courtesy of the Coconino National Forest

The Forest Service provides excellent updates for specific forests and areas each season. They have links to those areas and forests on their website.

The Flagstaff Convention Visitors Bureau also puts out and updates the “LEAF-omiter” every season.  Check it out at http://bit.ly/2xOZuye

A few favorite viewing spots for fall color in Arizona include Hart Prairie near Flagstaff and Oak Creek Canyon near Sedona. 

I mean, plenty of states have fall colors, but we have red leaves AND red rocks! It doesn’t get prettier than that.

[BUT IF YOU DO GET BIT BY THE TRAVEL BUG: Where you should go in October]

MOBILE/APP USERS: Click here to see the fall colors in Arizona courtesy of Coconino National Forest


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


  • Arizona's Family Weather BlogMore>>

  • Meteor or meteorite? So which is it?

    Meteor or meteorite? So which is it?

    Thursday, November 16 2017 5:06 PM EST2017-11-16 22:06:16 GMT
    (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Here is your crash course on meteor 101!

    More >

    Here is your crash course on meteor 101!

    More >
  • Looking ahead: Early Thanksgiving forecast

    Looking ahead: Early Thanksgiving forecast

    Wednesday, November 15 2017 1:46 PM EST2017-11-15 18:46:13 GMT

    We're currently tied for the fourth warmest start to the month of November in Phoenix. Just a little over a week away from Thanksgiving, will Mother Nature finally give in and provide fall-like weather for the holiday?

    More >

    We're currently tied for the fourth warmest start to the month of November in Phoenix. Just a little over a week away from Thanksgiving, will Mother Nature finally give in and provide fall-like weather for the holiday?

    More >
  • Royal Norman receives Distinguished Alumnus Award at ASU

    Royal Norman receives Distinguished Alumnus Award at ASU

    Wednesday, November 15 2017 4:20 AM EST2017-11-15 09:20:08 GMT
    It was a big night for my buddy Royal Norman who was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Arizona State University. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)It was a big night for my buddy Royal Norman who was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Arizona State University. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    It was a big night for my buddy Royal Norman who was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Arizona State University. Each year ASU welcomes back an alumnus who has gone on to make great strides and achievements in their professional field.

    More >

    It was a big night for my buddy Royal Norman who was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award at Arizona State University. Each year ASU welcomes back an alumnus who has gone on to make great strides and achievements in their professional field.

    More >