Yes, we have fall colors in Arizona! We actually have a huge variety of landscapes in our beautiful state. One of my favorite road trips in early October is a drive to Lockett Meadow near Flagstaff. Lockett Meadow is a primitive campground located in the Coconino National Forest. It offers a beautiful view of the San Francisco Peaks and the golden aspens in the fall.
The campground has 17 sites which are all are set among the aspens. Lockett Meadow is also where the trailhead for the Inner Basin Trail starts, which leads to the heart of the ancient volcano. This is a busy trail, especially in the fall for the amazing colors.
Location: 15 miles north of Flagstaff in the heart of the San Francisco Peaks.
Directions: Drive northeast of Flagstaff on US Highway 89 for 12.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 552, directly across from the Sunset Crater National Monument turnoff. Follow FR 552 for approximately one mile. Turn right at the Lockett Meadow sign and continue to the campground.
This dirt road is closed in early spring and late fall due to snow. This road is not recommended for RVs/trailers due to the very steep, narrow (single lane), and rough road.
GPS: (Map): 35°21’33.3″N 111°37’09.7″W
Snow Bowl: Aspen Loop Trail
When I make the drive up to Lockett Meadow I usually plan on heading up to the Snow Bowl in the afternoon for sunset and more golden aspens. Another fall favorite is the Aspen Loop Trail, this is a 2.5 mile easy/moderate trail with nice aspens and meadows with views of the distant volcanic field to the west. The trail starts at the north end of the Snow Bowl parking lot. The fall is just beautiful up here, come for sunset, you won’t regret it.
This year I made the day trip to Lockett Meadow and Aspen loop for my birthday. My friends know that I love road trips and I know it sounds strange, but I really can’t think of many other things I would rather do on my birthday. The only thing that would have made this trip better would be doing it with my friends 🙂