Our Fall Foliage adventure this year took us from meandering forest creek beds to colorful and quaking aspens and the beautiful and warm red rock of Sedona.
Wildcat Spring Trail
We started our trip heading down one of the nicest forest roads I’ve ever been on in Arizona that took us to the Pivot Canyon campground. Most of the guides available say the campground is unsigned, but when we got to it, there was in fact a sign. The trail meanders along a creek bed that was currently dry in the fall weather. The going was easy and the weather was perfect. The lush ferns this trail is known for had started to retreat with the cold but there were still patches of gorgeous wildflowers here and there. The patches of shimmering limestone were particularly beautiful along the trail and we even had a little hawk buddy come and perch on a branch to see what we were up to. We ran into very few people along the trail so I would hike this one with a buddy. I would love to visit this area in the spring or summer and repeat the Wildcat Spring Trail as well as the other two trails that start at the campground.
Lamar Haines Wildlife Area/Veit Springs Trail
The Veit Springs Trail is right off Snowbowl Rd and is probably the easiest hike you are going to get in the area. The coolest thing about it is the variety of trees and trail that you get. There are beautiful groves of Aspen intermingled with the other trees, which is a little unusual, as on most of the other trails the Aspen seem to grow on their own. The quaking of Aspen leaves in the breeze could be heard throughout the entire journey. There is also a cabin from 1892 but be prepared as even relatively recent photos don’t show the recent reclamation by time of the cabin. As legend goes some bandits hid in the cabin with their loot and a bit of mystery still surrounds the place. Pictographs on rocks and symbols carved into the Aspens near the cabin deepen the mystery surrounding the area. The hike itself was fun but in order to find all the attractions you basically have to go on your own treasure hunt a little off trail.
Slide Rock State Park
I love our Arizona state parks and the little gems of beauty they hold and Slide Rock is no exception. Slide Rock is on the property of an old apple orchard and is so named because the water from Oak Creek running over the rocks create a natural waterslide that is a most popular attraction in the Arizona summer heat. Visiting in the fall was great as the apples are in season and you can purchase one or a whole bunch to try. The trail above the rocks is more of a walk than a hike, but you are surrounded by red Sedona cliffs in the distance and this definitely feels like a magical place. The walk down at the creek is amazing and even in the cooler fall temps was filled with tourists and brave children jumping into the icy cold water. I had seen many pictures and video of Slide Rock but there is something that can’t be captured that makes it worth experiencing in person.
Want to see more fall foliage photos? Check out our photostream on Flickr.