Arizona October 10, 2018
The Awesome Hike That Will Take You To The Most Spectacular Fall Foliage In Arizona
We might be a tad biased, but Arizona’s fall foliage is some of the most beautiful in the country. Something about golden Aspen leaves shimmering in the sunlight ignites a warmth in our bones unique to autumn in the Grand Canyon State can. Inner Basin Trail in Flagstaff comes alive during October, creating spellbinding scenery thought to exist only in fairytales.
With the trailhead located at Lockett Meadow, this hike offers breathtaking views before it even starts. A grove of towering aspens seems to extend endlessly into the distant mountains, and these gorgeous hues are only a tiny snippet of what awaits on the path itself.
Clocking in at 7.8 miles round-trip, just looking at the distance can cause some feelings of intimidation. Although an undeniably long hike, it has an elevation gain of only 800 feet and is generally classified as easy.
The first half-mile or so is mostly pines that remain green throughout the fall season, and aspens slowly begin appearing after that brief stretch. By now, anticipation is at an all-time high, and for good reason.
Steepening slightly, as if to make you work for the impending reward, the path enters an absolutely breathtaking Aspen grove. Striking gold and yellow leaves line the treetops and create an enchanting forest canopy thought to exist only in fairytales.
Upon reaching the Old Pipeline Road, you'll take in panoramic vistas of surrounding summits far as the eye can see. Contrasting yellows and greens enhance one another for a visually stimulating scene unlike anything you've ever experienced.
About half a mile further, you'll encounter a covered bench allowing hikers to rest while basking in the spellbinding views. Elk, porcupine, and high-altitude runners are frequent sights at this point.
Yellow brick roads are cool, but yellow-leaf roads are where it's at. The trail itself will likely be invisible underneath all the fallen foliage, adding to the ever-present magic of this autumn adventure.
From Flagstaff, you'll follow US-89 for 12.5 miles to Forest Road 545. Turn right and drive 1.1 miles until coming upon FR 552, on which you'll make another right and follow the signs to Lockett Meadow.
Have you ever hiked the Inner Basin Trail during fall? What’s your favorite trail in Arizona to explore this time of year?
For more fall fun in the Grand Canyon State, check out our previous article:
3 Ridiculously Charming Train Rides To Take In Arizona This Fall.