When do the leaves change in Flagstaff, Arizona? The second week of October is always golden for Flagstaff leaf peeping.
The Second Week of October is Always Golden for Flagstaff Leaf PeepingFlagstaff, AZ, October 9– The San Francisco Peaks are alive with color this weekend. You can expect an illuminating car ride or hike as turning Aspen trees are dressed in glowing shades of golds and greens. The Arizona Daily Sun reported that “none could remember a better fall day of cycling to the Inner Basin than Saturday.” So I decided to hike up the Kachina Trail just outside the Arizona Snowbowl yesterday. The trail is relatively flat – considering you’re on the side of mountains that contain Arizona’s highest peak, Mount Humphreys at 12,637 feet (3,852 m). But even at the lower trail, the 9500 ft above sea level elevation put a cramp in my breathing. Once I blew the spider webs out of my lungs, I was entering The Kachina Peaks Wilderness Area. The doe prancing through the terrain ahead inspired me to bound from rock to rock. As she bounded up the steep slope to the left, I got a glimpse of her twin fawns. They looked hardly big enough to survive the upcoming snows of winter. When the doe stopped to look at me over her back, both fawns mimicked her, duplicating her pose. “I need my camera mounted to my forehead,” I sigh my favorite last words typically spoken immediately before the bull elk, herd of mulies or gaggle of turkeys disappear into the underbrush. This time, all three disappeared before I could get my Lumix out of the day pack slung over my shoulder. The photo below is all I got of the Mule deer doe, and her babies that I named Ray and Mi, as I sprinted along making up stories in my head.Kachina Trail. The gold Aspens on the road to Snowbowl were more memorable. I zoomed by them in my truck as photographers were straightening their tripods and making quite a fuss in front of the glowing plumage. That was at about 3:30 on Thursday. I was surprised to see so many wind-downed trees on the Kachina Trail. The forest service has cut paths through those fallen across the trail. It looked to me that a heavy wind came down the mountain from the northeast and snapped many of the tall Aspens. The winds usually come from the west here. Perhaps the trees had grown strong against the westerly winds, but when one came from the northeast, snapper-rooney! I’m no forester, but I’d like to check out my theory. Looks like it happened some time since late spring, since the broken trees had plenty of leaves. The forest service had time to clean up the trail, so it must have happened over four weeks ago, I am surmising. So my guess is that the wind storm happened sometime between July 1 and September 8. Anyone know? Leave a comment below.Check out hotel prices and more information about staying in the charming mountaintown of Flagstaff, Arizona.
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