It’s officially fall, but it’s still a bit too hot to start breaking out the boots and scarves here in the Valley.

But it’s NOT too early to start daydreaming about fall colors.

If you’re dying to hear the crunching of leaves under your fall boots, you will have to get out of the Valley. But you won’t have to go too far.

In fact, if you know where to look, you can chase the golden glow of fall all across the state.

If you’ve got fall break coming up and want to take the family leaf-peeping, here are a few suggestions.

Head north about three or four hours from the Valley to the Snowbowl area. Those hills and meadows will soon be a winter wonderland, but before that, they’ll be an autumn lover’s dream.

The leaves start to change in these higher elevations in mid-September, but are most vibrant in the first two weeks of October.

You can get a birds-eye view of the golden aspens below from the scenic chairlift. You can also hike the Aspen nature loop.

Nearby, Lockett Meadow, Hart Prairie and the Inner Basin trail are amazing, but also very popular with leaf-peepers so you probably won’t be alone.

The timeline is about the same in Eastern Arizona.

With an elevation of 11,000 feet, early October is when the oak, pine, fir and aspen will blow you away with more fiery colors than an Arizona sunset.

But don’t wait too long. Those leaves are often on the ground by Halloween.

If you do miss that window, not to worry. Just head to some of the lower elevations like Oak Creek and Sedona.

The change happens here closer to late October and November.

Other states might have fall colors, but we have red leaves and red rocks.

It’s a gorgeous backdrop for those changing leaves, and just another reason autumn is just plain awesome in Arizona.

I’m sure you’ll know when the leaves are changing when you start to see those all those golden pics on social media (don’t forget to tag #azfamily!) but the Flagstaff Visitor Center also has this handy “leaf-ometer.”

For more information, click here


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