A highlight of Flagstaff, AZ, the Inner Basin Trail wanders through an extremely photogenic grove of beautiful white aspens. This is one of Flagstaff’s top trails since it is short, dog-friendly, and close to several great campgrounds.Therefore you will most likely have to share your forest experience with several other groups of hikers, but it’s a great chance to see a large stand of aspen trees. Since the Inner Basin itself sits in a crater surrounded by the San Francisco Mountains, the drive up to the trailhead involves heading up a windy dirt road up the side of a mountain where two cars can just fit past each other. Take a car that you feel confident can handle some dirt roads, and be prepared for oncoming traffic turning around the narrow corners. They grow so densely, and their white bark give the forest such a pure and almost angelic look. If you’re lucky enough to also catch the sun peaking through, you really do feel like you’re wandering through a magical forest.From the lot, the trail steadily gains elevation and starts off through shrubbery, ponderosa pines, and some baby aspen that might make you wonder if you’re on the correct trail to the thick aspen forests.
You have plenty of time to enjoy the aspens all the way up the hill before turning around and heading back down the switch backs back down to the valley floor.
This one week road trip heads through several prime landmarks in Norcal and Oregon. This itinerary is packed with incredible hikes, waterfalls, rugged coastline, redwoods, caves, and lakes you won’t want to miss. I’m Alice, a weekend hiker and outdoor adventurer based out of the Bay Area in California. Here you’ll find blog posts about some of my favorite backpacking and travel adventures. Contact me here and say hi 🙂 You’ll notice the aspens growing thicker and thicker around you, and once you start to spot the switchbacks up the hill about a mile in, you’ll be in the part of the trail with the thickest trees.We saw several groups turn around before heading up the hill, but I recommend at least climbing up partway to get a different perspective of the forest.Did you know the largest organism on Earth is a colony of Aspens all connected underground by a shared root system? I had no idea Aspen trees were colonial, and that all the trees in a colony are actually genetically the exact same! Mind blown.
Take some time this year, during the spring, summer, or fall, and visit an aspen stand on one of our western national forests. Find a sunny spot, lay or sit down on the ground and listen to the trees whisper to one another as they make their quaking sound. The soft whispering rustle of a quaking aspen is unlike the sound of any other tree in the forest.Old aspen trees get sick, weak, and die, or a fire or other disturbance might kill them. Even after they die, they provide homes and food for many small animals. The nutrients from decomposing wood and leaves return to the soil where they are used by the new generation of flowering plants and trees.
Where are aspen trees in Arizona?
Northern Arizona’s aspens and the pines of the White Mountains. Flagstaff’s San Francisco Peaks are the epicenter of fall’s brilliance—particularly the shimmery, golden-hued aspens, which drift down mountain slopes into meadows.
Aspen are medium-sized deciduous trees, commonly 20 to 80 feet in height, and 3 to 18 inches diameter. Trees more than 80 feet tall and larger than 24 inches diameter are occasionally found. Their bark is smooth, greenish-white, yellowish-white, yellowish-gray, or gray to almost white in color. The green color is from chlorophyll in the bark. Their bark may become rough and fissured with age.As aspen stands mature, they may begin to deteriorate as openings in the forest canopy are left by dying trees. Often, in the West, aspen is replaced by conifers in the absence of disturbance. On dryer sites, aspen may revert to rangeland dominated by shrubs, forbs, and grasses. However, root suckering will generally occur in the aspen stands as they deteriorate or as they are disturbed by fire or other events. When an aspen tree dies or as light becomes available from openings, chemical signals from the tree to the roots stimulate new sprouts to start growing. Through this regrowth, an aspen clone usually lives much longer than its individual trees. Even though individual aspen trees are not very old, aspen clones can be hundreds of years old.
Aspen twigs, leaves, flowers, and seeds. From DeByle, Norbert V., and Robert P. Winokur, editors. 1985. Aspen: Ecology and management in the western United States.The largest and oldest known aspen clone is the “Pando” clone on the Fishlake National Forest in southern Utah. Also known as the “Trembling Giant”, it is a clonal colony of an individual male quaking aspen determined to be a single living organism by identical genetic markers and believed to have one massive underground root system. It is over 100 acres in size and weighs more than 14 million pounds. That is more than 40 times the weight of the largest animal, a blue whale. It has been aged at 80,000 years, although 5-10,000 year-old clones are more common.Populus tremuloides, quaking aspen North American distribution map. From Digital Representations of Tree Species Range Maps from “Atlas of United States Trees” by Elbert L. Little, Jr., U.S. Geological Survey.Update (Wikipedia): Pando is currently thought to be dying. Though the exact reasons are not known, it is thought to be a combination of factors including drought, grazing, and fire suppression. The Western Aspen Alliance, a research group at Utah State University’s “S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources”, has been studying the tree in an effort to save it. The Forest Service is currently experimenting with several 5-acre sections of it in an effort to find a means to save it.Quaking aspen is the most widely distributed native North American tree species, growing in greatly diverse regions, environments, and communities. It occurs across Canada, through the United States, to Mexico, in a variety of habitats. In the western United States, aspen is generally found at 5,000 to 12,000 feet elevation. Aspen occurs in extensive pure stands in some areas, while in others, it is a minor component of the forest landscape. Most of the aspen forest in the United States is found in Utah and Colorado, though it is also scattered throughout all of the western states.A study published in October 2018 concludes that Pando has not been growing for the past 30 to 40 years. Human interference was named as the primary cause, with the study specifically citing people allowing cattle and deer populations to thrive, their grazing resulting in fewer saplings and dying trees.
Aspen provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including hare, moose, black bear, elk, deer, ruffed grouse, migratory birds, and a variety of smaller animals. Aspen stands produce livestock forage, biomass, and are a source for a variety of wood products. Aspens are visually appealing, as they provide contrast to the dark conifers during all seasons; and in the autumn, tourists come to the West to see the brilliant fall colors of the aspen groves.Aspen is noted for its ability to regenerate vegetatively by shoots and suckers arising along its long lateral roots. Root sprouting results in many genetically identical trees, in aggregate called a “clone”. All the trees in a clone have identical characteristics and share a root structure. The members of a clone can be distinguished from those of a neighboring clone often by a variety of traits such as leaf shape and size, bark character, branching habit, resistance to disease and air pollution, sex, time of flushing, and autumn leaf color. A clone may turn color earlier or later in the fall or exhibit a different fall color variation than its neighboring aspen clones, thus providing a means to tell them apart. Aspen clones can be less than an acre and up to 100 acres in size. There can be one clone in an aspen grove or there can be many. Aspen reproduces both by seeds and by root sprouts, though sprouting is the most common and successful form of reproduction. Aspen produces small flowers, on catkins that are 1-2 inches long. These flowers are produced in the early spring before the leaves grow on the trees. Aspen is dioecious, with male and female flowers normally borne on separate trees. The female flowers after fertilization produce small fruit that split to release lots of tiny, cottony seeds that are dispersed by the wind. Germination occurs within a couple days of dispersal provided the seeds reaches a suitable moist seedbed. Few aspen seedlings survive in nature due to the short time a seed is viable,lack of moisture during seed dispersal, fungi, adverse day/night temperature changes, and unfavorable soil conditions. Aspen leaves are are thin, firm, and nearly round, 1 1/2 to 3 inches diameter. They are pointed at the apex and rounded at the base, with many small rounded to sharply pointed teeth along their margins. Aspen leaves are smooth, bright green to yellowish-green, dull underneath, until they turn brilliant yellow, gold, orange, or slightly red in the fall. The leave’s small stem (petiole) is flattened along its entire length, perpendicular to the leaf blade. The flattened stem allow the leaves to quake or tremble in the slightest breeze; hence, their name. The leaves of young sucker aspens may be much larger, sometimes 7 to 8 inches long.Aspen trees usually do not live more than 150 years, though they may persist more than 200 years. It grows on many soil types, especially sandy and gravelly slopes, and is quick to pioneer disturbed sites where there is bare soil. It grows best where soils are moist and sunshine is plentiful. Aspen is intolerant of shade, and does not compete well with more shade-tolerant conifer species. Watch the twinkling of just one leaf. The stem, from one and one-half to three inches long, is flat and turned at right angles with the blade of the leaf. This unique leaf stem allows the leaves of the aspen to quake. Quaking aspen is America’s liveliest tree. With just the slightest breeze, its round leaves tremble almost incessantly, like thousands of fluttering butterfly wings. Quaking aspen is an aggressive pioneer species. It readily colonizes burned areas and can persist even when subjected to frequent fires. In the Central Rocky Mountains, the extensive stands of aspen are usually attributed to repeated wildfires. It may dominate a site until replaced by less fire-enduring but more shade-tolerant conifers. By the time one generation is treated, another is born. And research has found that, given the right conditions, females can produce more than one brood per year. An emerging pest species like OSS only compounds that loss, which means what aspen trees remain could die at a faster rate. Given Arizona’s already hot and dry climate, researchers like Crouch say that what happens here can be a harbinger for what could happen to aspen throughout their range in the future as temperatures climb elsewhere. To do that, they’re taking inventory of what lives on the trees using simple sticky traps that collect bugs. They’re also collecting scales and monitoring infested branches every two weeks, except during the winter. In addition, they hope to determine if natural predators differ between natural and urban areas.
Do aspen trees grow in Arizona?
Aspen…. those white-barked beauties are known for their golden fall foliage and leaves that tremble in the breeze. But aspen have more than just their good looks working for them. They are a critical component of our northern Arizona forests.
What looked like an inanimate object was actually a tiny, sap-sucking insect called oystershell scale. Its diminutive size belies the greater threat it poses to aspens and trees throughout Arizona. Colonies of the invasive creatures can encase mature trees, leading to fatal infestations. Eventually, oystershell scale populations can balloon to the point where they can kill entire stands of trees.As an animal that gradually expands its range and population before it’s detected, OSS is what scientists call a sleeper species. That essentially means that they establish themselves before causing widespread damage to their host.”I think when people hear aspen or think of fall in the western U.S., it’s really a critical component of kind of that aesthetic and cultural experience,” Crouch told The Republic. “From a non-human standpoint, it is hugely important for birds and mammals and other insects that really depend on aspen because it’s kind of one of the few deciduous trees that can form dominant stands across the west.”
The long-fought battles with these pest species have offered Waring and her colleagues some guidance on where to start when it comes to managing OSS. In urban areas, ornamental trees are easily treated with pesticides and fungicides. If a homeowner has a tree in their front yard, they can scrub the scale off with a scraper, said Amanda Grady, an entomologist with Forest Protection Health.
FLAGSTAFF — As flurries started to descend on the forest floor, a team of researchers examined a stand of sickly quaking aspen trees off U.S. Highway 180, just north of Flagstaff. To an untrained eye, the trees might have looked normal. But up close, the picture was different: The usually matte white bark was covered with thousands of tiny dark notches, giving the trunks a dull appearance, darkened, almost black.An OSS infestation can threaten that recovery by killing off trees in this age class, which means aspen stands could lose entire generations of trees and might not be allowed to reach their full potential. Clear-felling is different from clear-cutting because aspen trees can sprout new shoots from their roots. In this process, trees in one section of the plot are cut and stacked high into a burn pile, allowing the aspen to regenerate through root suckering, a process in which trees sprout new stems and shoots after being damaged. Even more concerning, Crouch’s research indicates that OSS prefers tall regeneration, trees that are generally taller than 4 feet, with a diameter of at least two inches. They’re taller than stems, Crouch said, but not yet considered overstory. This is an underrepresented age group in Arizona’s aspen forests. One of the main goals of the exclosures is to protect aspen from herbivores so new generations of trees can grow.
“Just to point out why aspen is so special, especially in Arizona and other parts of the West, is that, unlike the eastern forests, we don’t have very many hardwood species occurring in the forests. Aspen is our most prominent species that changes color in the fall,” Fairweather said. “And so that’s why aspen is such an iconic species in the Southwest.”
Thus far, the most promising solutions appear to be a combination of clear-felling and fire. Aspens naturally sprout new shoots when cut and oystershell can only live on a live host. When a branch is cut, the tree regenerates and the insects die.”So much of this period is gathering information on how we mitigate it, like these silvicultural treatments for management, in the forest setting, because we do understand quite a bit about scale management in value trees, especially in urban areas,” Grady said. “But we have not evaluated how or had the chance, because it’s so new, to mitigate oystershell scale in aspen in the forest setting.”
Once they’re established, they work their way through to the trunk. But by that time, they could have laid thousands of eggs and it’s likely already too late to save the tree.
So far, they’ve found mites, ladybugs, thrips, and wasps, all predatory insects that feed on oystershell. Those insects also prey on other insects and there simply aren’t enough of them to have a significant impact on oystershell populations.While no one solution seems to be a silver bullet, if each treatment is able to dent OSS populations, that would be encouraging. It likely means that all options would have to be used in concert for effective population management. What’s needed most of all, Waring said, is more funding to conduct more research.
When can you see aspen trees in Flagstaff?
Flagstaff typically starts seeing leaves change color at the end of September and throughout October. The peak leaf-peeping time varies depending on elevation, temperature and moisture received throughout the year. Cached
These treatments temporarily reduce the tree density, which Waring and her team are hoping will mitigate oystershell scale outbreaks. It’s just one strategy, among many, that they’re deploying in the battle to control the millimeter-sized insect that can literally suck the life out of trees.
What is unique about Flagstaff?
Flagstaff is located in the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest. Walnut Canyon was originally home to the Sinagua Indians, who lived in the area in the 1200s before volcanic eruptions drove them out. On average, 100 trains pass through Flagstaff in a day.
“Another primary factor in the decline of aspen is that the trees are very old and have not been able to regenerate. Aspen is a relatively short-lived species and regenerates primarily through root suckering,” adds Fairweather. “Regeneration has been limited over the last century due to fire suppression, which allowed other species to dominate aspen forests, and also due to browsing by livestock and elk and deer.”For instance, another potential disturbance could be cold weather. The researchers have found OSS mostly at elevations between 2,000 and 2,500 meters, or about 6,500 feet to just over 8,200 feet. They theorize this could be due to colder temperatures as elevation increases. They have also found OSS more prevalent on the north side of tree trunks, which means there could be a role that solar rays play as well.
For the past two years, Waring and her collaborators have been working with the U.S. Forest Service to avert that dire outcome. So far, their research has been confined to pens, or exclosures, meant to protect aspens from herbivores, like elk and cattle. The experimental exclosure Waring and her team recently visited had a section that had been cut in a process called clear-felling.Waring says one of the best ways to control OSS is to stop it from spreading into new stands. That has been hard since there are so many unknowns about how to manage it.
What’s more, while oystershell scale has had the most detrimental effects on aspen, they can feed on a wide array of hardwood tree species, such as willow and cottonwood. So while treatment and research has been targeted toward aspens, the insects are able to feed on other hosts, including shrubs.
Where are the most aspen trees?
Most of the aspen forest in the United States is found in Utah and Colorado, though it is also scattered throughout all of the western states. Aspen provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including hare, moose, black bear, elk, deer, ruffed grouse, migratory birds, and a variety of smaller animals.
That triggered a collaboration between federal agencies and NAU to study the insect. The Forest Service provided the initial funding. NAU and Forest Health Protection, a division with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, took on the research, and what they found worried everyone involved.
How long do fall colors last in Arizona?
Fall colors typically begin mid to late September in the higher elevations of the national forests of Arizona and New Mexico. Peak viewing is early to mid October. The lower elevations usually peak in mid to late October and can continue into early November.
Waring and her fellow researchers say the threat to aspens, the most widely distributed tree in North America, is so great that there could be a future where aspens no longer grow in the Southwest. The problem is particularly acute in this region, where warmer temperatures and less precipitation already stunt aspen regeneration. What’s at risk may be hard to quantify in numbers but the loss would be great. Aspen forests make up less than 1% of Arizona’s forests, according to Grady, but its golden metamorphosis is famous throughout the West. One of the more harmful characteristics of OSS is its perniciousness. At only a couple of millimeters in length, they are small, so they’re hard to see. They usually occur in one area of a tree initially, a branch or stem, making them pretty inconspicuous at first.Their knack for dispersing also makes control difficult. In addition to crawling to other host trees, OSS can be carried by strong winds or on other hosts such as animals, furthering their reach. Arizona’s strong spring winds make this mode of transport especially effective when females are laying eggs.
Since researchers with the U.S. Forest Service first observed oystershell scale on aspen trees near Parks over a decade ago, the insect, OSS for short, has spread across the Mogollon Rim. At the time, scientists were just starting to see outbreaks outside of urban settings. Their numbers in natural settings were previously so low that they weren’t considered a problem, Waring said.
Research into aspen mortality shows that 50-95% of the trees in aspen stands at lower elevations in Arizona have died in recent years due to things such as grazing, prolonged drought, diseases and native pests. The disappearance of aspen has been so pervasive that scientists have named the loss with an apt acronym: Sudden Aspen Decline, or SAD. Researchers have observed SAD less frequently in recent years, most likely because so many trees have already been killed, Fairweather said.”We believe that the scale probably took off a few years ago because of how much the climate already changed in Flagstaff,” Waring told The Republic. “Because this is such a new problem for aspen, the previous work has focused on what were the current problems at the time, and nobody anticipated that ‘scale’ would become this huge problem causing mortality. And so because of that, we do have more questions than answers.”
All of these challenges make treatment elusive and hard to formalize. While one solution might be right for one area, it could be useless in another. For instance, while clear-felling might work in an aspen exclosure, it might not be right for a riparian tree species.
“We’re going to have some really good data to begin answering some of the questions. We’re still in progress because it’s such a new problem,” Waring said.
After almost 20 years, the insect has expanded in geography and population. In 2017, regional Forest Service staff noticed widespread infestations of an aspen-killing insect in the Coconino National Forest. Shortly after, further research also found it in the Kaibab National Forest.
Oystershell scale has been in America for centuries. Researchers believe the insects hitched a ride on apple trees transported from Europe in the 1700s. Since then, they have mostly afflicted orchards and ornamental trees in urban areas, where homeowners and arborists can easily treat trees with pesticides, scrubbing and pruning.
If infestations of OSS are allowed to persist, researchers say Arizona could lose this key tree species in wild stands forever. That means losing not only the beauty and source of revenue they yield but also the significant ecological services they provide, such as standing as a fire break in conifer forests or providing refugia for species that like wetter environments, says Crouch.
The fall color change brings in thousands of tourists each year to the high country. It’s around that time of year that tourists flock to Arizona’s national forests like the Coconino, Apache-Sitegraves, and Kaibab to see the changing colors, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue to local businesses. “Being on the southern edge of the species’ range, we expect aspen in Arizona to experience the effects of a warming climate earlier and more severely than more northerly parts of the species’ range,” said Crouch. “So between climate change and oystershell scale, we hypothesize that what we’re seeing for aspen in Arizona may be a sign of things to come for aspen in more northerly parts of its range as the climate continues to warm.” Lindsey Botts is an environmental reporter for The Arizona Republic/azcentral. Follow his reporting on Twitter at @lkbotts and Lkbotts on Instagram. Tell him about stories at [email protected]”If we know more about how to control ‘scale,’ then that will help us to maintain aspen in some areas, in addition to identifying potential refugia and protecting those areas,” Waring said.
This still leaves room for some populations to persist on lower shrubs and bushes, which is where fire comes in. Fire is a natural disturbance in Arizona’s forests and early treatments in the Prescott National Forest have shown no OSS activity post-fire.
Kristen Waring, a professor of silviculture and applied forest health at the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University, knew what to look for. She and two graduate students, Connor Crouch and Kelsey Pemberton, quickly pinpointed problem areas.
“They have this tiny … long, piercing, sucking mouthpart that gets inserted into the bark of aspen or other hosts,” said Crouch, who was the lead author of a spring study into oystershell scale. “It inserts that into the host cells and just sucks fluid from those cells.”
“My biggest concern is that we will lose aspen out of the southwestern United States,” Waring told The Arizona Republic. “That, for me, I think means that ‘scale’ might just be kind of the nail in the coffin in a battle we’ve been fighting for a long time.”OSS has been observed in much of the Southwest. What’s more concerning for researchers is the pest’s expansion has been sudden and unexplained. They suspect it has to do with a warming climate.
Silviculture treatments aren’t ideal in the forest for several reasons. For one, it would be time-intensive and costly to spray and cut each infested branch or tree. Second, spraying large stands of trees with chemicals could have unintended consequences for the surrounding area and its inhabitants. The effects of DDT on birds is a famous example of pesticides gone awry. Other potential management strategies could include natural predators. Richard Hofstetter, a professor of forest entomology at NAU, and one of his graduate students, Kelsey Pemberton, are looking into which potential native insects feed on oystershell and what sort of effect they might have on infestations. “When there’s just a few oyster shell scales on the tree, that doesn’t really impact the tree all that much,” Crouch said. “Problems start to happen when you have them all over a tree, or they’re completely surrounding a tree and can sort of cut off its nutrients.”It’s still too early to definitively conclude anything without more studies. The team is working on proposals to get more funding, but to do that, they have to show that OSS is a major problem and that there is a risk of losing something. It’s hard to do that with such little information.
Is Flagstaff a dark sky city?
On October 24, 2001, Flagstaff was recognized as the world’s First International Dark Sky City for its pioneering work balancing preservation of our night sky natural resource with concerns about public safety and economic security.
Some reports indicate OSS had been observed in lower-elevation forests as early as the 1990s. Mary Lou Fairweather, who worked for the Forest Service for over 32 years and is now semi-retired, began studying the mortality of young aspen trees at this time. She did not see OSS in regeneration areas, where fire burned through and led to recovery. She did observe OSS on aspens in a few forested areas, but mainly at lower elevations.”There’s a fungus called Beauveria bassiana. And it’s ubiquitous around the globe. It’s an invertebrate pathogen. But what’s interesting is the fungus can persist within a plant,” Hofstetter told The Republic. “So the idea is that if we can inject the fungus into plants, and it persists within them, once the insect feeds, it gets infected and dies within a few days.”
Similarly dire situations are being documented in trees species across the country. Eastern hemlocks are plagued by woolly adelgid aphids. Pine trees are being decimated by bark beetles. Ash trees are ravaged by emerald ash borers. And American elms were almost wiped out by Dutch elm disease.
Environmental coverage on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is supported by a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Follow The Republic environmental reporting team at environment.azcentral.com and @azcenvironment on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
With a warming climate, scientists believe OSS has been able to expand its range. Aspen trees are already stressed in Arizona. They’re at the southern end of their range and higher temperatures with less precipitation has added pressure in an already hostile environment. As a result, trees are weaker and perhaps less able to fight off infestations.
In Flagstaff alone, a pre-pandemic report stated that over 5 million people visited the city between 2017 and 2018, generating almost $60 million in tax revenue. And with nearly 50% of the visitors coming for outdoor recreation not tied to hunting, a great deal of that tourism is likely due to the changing fall colors produced by the quaking aspen.”As the biggest, oldest trees die, we need younger, healthy trees to replace them. And so if you’ve got four size classes … we need trees in all the size classes to replace these older trees,” Waring said. “So if you’ve only got the smallest size class, and then the oyster shell scale takes out the tall regeneration and the saplings, for example, then you’ve got a problem because you’re not recruiting from the small regeneration into the overstory.”
Their lifecycle and biology also make them hard to control. On average, the insect’s entire life spans just a year. Eggs are laid under the female’s hard oyster-like shell, which gives them their name, in late fall. There, they overwinter. The eggs hatch in the spring, feed on trees in the summer, and then disperse in early fall to breed, after which a new generation repeats the cycle.
To help answer some of those questions, Waring and her collaborators are studying various methods, including clear-felling, pre-commercial thinning, fire, natural predators and fungus to see how the insects respond. What they’re looking for most is a way to control OSS populations.24-Hour Front Desk | Business Center | Discounts Available | Fireplace(s) | Free Self-Parking | Free Wi-Fi | Multi-Story | Outdoor Pool | Packages Available | Private Patios/Balconies | Suites | Wi-Fi Available | Free Hot Breakfast | Sedona Lodging | COVID-19 Precautions Taken | Pet-Friendly
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This 7.2-mile loop on the north face of the San Francisco Peaks might be your best bet for avoiding crowds. It is a rigorous hike that takes you up to a scenic saddle through the moss-draped, spruce-fir woodlands of Abineau Canyon and backs down the aspen-cluttered gorge of Bear Jaw Canyon via a 2-mile connecting walk along Waterline Road. Elevation range is 8,530 to 10,320 feet.A business center and meeting facilities are available at Flagstaff La Quinta Inn & Suites. Guests can work out in the fitness center. Laundry facilities is conveniently located on site.5.Freidlein Prairie (FR 522) North of Flagstaff via HWY 180. Right on FS 516 (Snowbowl Road). Right on FS 522 (Freidlein Prairie Rd). A very rough but beautiful out and back. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. Please be respectful of campers as this is a dispersed camping area.
What state has the most aspen trees?
Most of the aspen forest in the United States is found in Utah and Colorado, though it is also scattered throughout all of the western states.
Lowell Observatory is 5.7 miles from the vacation home, while Walkup Skydome is 6.1 miles from the property. The nearest airport is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, 7.5 miles from Observatory Lodge.Our home is nestled in 2.5 acres of Ponderosa Pines with breathtaking views of Doney Park East ridges & immediate access to hiking/mtn biking. The house is updated with a Gourmet kitchen & all the amenities you might need.
Aspen Corner is a beautiful sight you don’t want to pass up! On the way up Snowbowl Rd, you’ll reach an unmistakable stretch on the road that is draped by golden aspens on both sides of the road. Many people like to just find a safe parking spot off the road and start wandering around from there, but there are many beautiful trails off Aspen Corner that are well worth your time. Make sure to park completely off the road, be considerate of through traffic, and watch for cars as you cross. Many people get distracted by all the colorful leaves and forget common courtesy. Keep the peace and embrace your golden state of mind.
Outdoor Pool | Free Wi-Fi | Concierge Services | Fitness Center | Laundry | Fireplace(s) | On-Site Restaurant | COVID-19 Precautions Taken | ADA Accessible | Groups/MeetingsPet-Friendly | Family-Friendly | Access to Trails | Games Provided | Outdoor Heated Pool | BBQ or Grill | On-Site Restaurant | Laundry | Outdoor Fire Pit | Fireplace(s) | Free Wi-Fi | Free Self-Parking | Water Hookups Get your “pics” off Route 66! The Arboretum is an accessible, convenient way to experience fall leaf-peeping for the whole family. Open 6 days a week and featuring a collection of northern Arizona’s most colorful, high-elevation fall-changing flora, the Arboretum is sure to deliver the fall colors you seek. Have a picnic, take a stroll, enjoy the conveniences and resources of the Arboretum, and experience the relaxing atmosphere of fall in town, just off historic Route 66, four miles south on Woody Mountain Road. The spacious vacation home has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms with a hot tub. Providing a balcony with mountain views, this vacation home also offers a flat-screen TV, a well-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, an oven, and a microwave, as well as 2 bathrooms with a walk-in shower and a hair dryer. There’s also a seating area and a fireplace.
What are the trees called in Flagstaff?
Ponderosa Pine Forest Since Flagstaff is situated in the largest Ponderosa Pine Forest in the world, it’s easy to find places in town or the surrounding Coconino National Forest to meander through the trees.
Pet-Friendly | Family-Friendly | Access to Trails | Games Provided | Outdoor Heated Pool | BBQ or Grill | On-Site Restaurant | Laundry | Outdoor Fire Pit | Fireplace(s) | Water Hookups | Free Wi-Fi | Free Self-ParkingWith free Wifi, this apartment offers a flat-screen TV, a washing machine, and a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and oven. Towels and bed linen are offered in the apartment. For added privacy, the accommodation features a private entrance. 1. Hart Prairie Road (FR 151) North of Flagstaff via HWY 180, past AZ Snowbowl. Right on FS 151. It’s a great trip through aspen groves with mountain views. A dishwasher, an oven and a microwave can be found in the kitchen. Towels and bed linen are provided in this self-catering accommodations. Other facilities at Mountain View Lodge include a hot tub, barbecue and fire pit.Flagstaff is one of the best places in Arizona to experience brilliant fall leaf colors. The cool, crisp, mountain air, sunny skies, forested meadows and aspen groves make fall leaf-peeping a favorite seasonal activity for visitors and locals alike. Because there are limited places in Arizona for people to experience this magical time of the year than many other parts of the country, many of the best places to see fall leaves in Flagstaff can get quite busy. We’re going to provide as many up to date resources here so you can keep track of when then leaves change color so you can make the most out of your fall leaf experience and your day. A rule of thumb is to remember to bring a warm jacket and a camera! Get ready to explore and discover enchanting fall leaves like a local!
This is the perfect base for all your adventures including the Grand Canyon, skiing Snowbowl, hiking, exploring Sedona, visiting Flagstaff/NAU or exploring the attractions. Its 5 bedrooms, 3 baths comfortably accommodate 12 making this house perfect for large groups/families.
On Route 66 | Nordic Spa Experience | On-Site Restaurant | Outdoor Pool | Outdoor Fire Pit | Live Entertainment | Games Provided | Fitness Center | Star-Gazing | General StoreWith free Wifi, this 2-bedroom apartment offers a cable flat-screen TV and a kitchen with a dishwasher and oven. Towels and bed linen are offered in the apartment. For added privacy, the accommodation features a private entrance.
3. Forest Road 794 North of Flagstaff via HWY 180, past AZ Snowbowl. Right on FS 794. A relatively short out and back road with the terminus at a stunning aspen stand and views of the San Francisco Peaks.
2. Forest Road 418 North of Flagstaff via HWY 180, past AZ Snowbowl. Right on FS 1515. Right on FS 418. This road takes you to the north side of the mountain for great fall colors, especially near Bear Jaw Canyon. It can be a little fore for passenger cars, but great for SUVs and AWD vehicles. FR 418 ends at HWY 89.
Are there aspens in Flagstaff?
If you are wondering where to go to see fall color in Arizona, head to the Flagstaff area. The Golden Aspens, also known as Quaking Aspens, put on a spectacular show each fall, in Northern Arizona. Cached
The vacation home features 4 bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and an oven, a washing machine, and 3 bathrooms with a hair dryer. Towels and bed linen are offered in the vacation home. The accommodation has a fireplace.If you’d like to advertise your business with us, please go to our Southwest Media Communications website and get a hold of us through the contact form or call us!
Arizona Snowbowl is the popular skiing and snowboarding resort in Flagstaff. The Scenic Gondola from the ski resort is a great way to get a birds-eye view of all the fall colors happening all over the San Francisco Peaks. Enjoy spectacular views of the mixed fir and aspen tree canopy including a view of the Grand Canyon. Even if you don’t want to take a gondola drive, there the Humphreys Peak Trail or the Aspen Loop Trail offers incredible immersive fall leaf experiences as you hike through the alpin glow starting at 9,200ft elevation.
Cozy Flagstaff Studio with Patio – Near Dtwn! is located in Flagstaff, just 2.6 miles from The North Pole Experience and 5.3 miles from Coconino County Fairgrounds. This apartment provides accommodations with a balcony. The apartment also offers facilities for disabled guests.
McMillan Mesa Natural Area is a 300-acre protected area located in the heart of Flagstaff with intact native grasslands providing habitat for elk, deer, and other mammals. There is a relatively flat, loop trail on the top of the mesa with views of the San Francisco Peaks and Mt. Elden, which is also part of the Arizona Trail. You can access McMillan Mesa by crossing the footbridge from Buffalo Park. Please be 100% respectful of the wildlife you see here.A flat-screen TV with cable is featured in all rooms at La Quinta Inn & Suites Flagstaff. Comfortably furnished, each air-conditioned room is equipped with coffee-making facilities.
Spacious Family Home Surrounded by Mtn Views! is located in Flagstaff, 11 mi from The North Pole Experience and 12 mi from Northern Arizona University, in an area where skiing can be enjoyed. This holiday home features accommodations with a patio and free WiFi.
Guests at the vacation home will be able to enjoy activities in and around Flagstaff, like fishing. The vacation home has a picnic area where you can spend the day outdoors.Flagstaff typically starts seeing leaves change color at the end of September and throughout October. The peak leaf-peeping time varies depending on elevation, temperature and moisture received throughout the year. You’ll still be able to catch fall leaves in November the more south you travel, such as in Oak Creek Canyon on the way to Sedona from Flagstaff.
100% Non-Smoking | 24-Hour Front Desk | Bell Desk | Business Center | Concierge Services | Fireplace(s) | Fitness Center | Free Self-Parking | Interior Hallways | Jacuzzi | Laundry | On-Site Restaurant | Outdoor Pool | Private Patios/Balconies | Red Rock Views | Room Service | Suites | Valet Parking | Wi-Fi Available | Sedona Lodging | Mountain Bike Clean/Repair Station | Spa Services | Pet-Friendly
The holiday home features 4 bedrooms, a TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 4 bathrooms with a shower.Set in Flagstaff, 2.2 mi from Northern Arizona University and 4.3 mi from The North Pole Experience, Pinnacle Pines offers free WiFi and air conditioning. It is located 3.7 mi from Flagstaff Plaza Shopping Center and offers an ATM.
Mountain View Lodge is a detached holiday home located in Flagstaff in the Arizona Region and is 9.3 mi from Flagstaff. It provides free private parking. Free WiFi is offered throughout the property.
The holiday home has 4 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 3 bathrooms with a bath or shower.
Experience your own Amazing Chase! Your clues include places, art, angles, and unique photos based on clues and hints both North and South of the RR Tracks. Choose from a self-guided hunt with our clues, or let us plan and manage it for you complete with guides, awards, and more!Arizona Noric Village is a great way to play in nature year-round. From cross-country skiing trails in the winter to mountain biking trails the whole family can enjoy during the summer, this place certainly does not let us down in the Fall. Enjoy walking or riding on miles of maintained paths through pines, firs, aspen and other high-country flora. This magical fall destination also has yurts you can rent right there amidst the glowing fall setting.
Directions: From Flagstaff, go north on U.S. 180 to mile marker 235 and turn right on Forest Road 151 (Hart Prairie Road’s north access). Go 1.6 miles on FR 151 and connect to FR 418. Drive 3.1 miles on FR418 to FR 9123J (signed for Abineau-Bear Jaw), turn right and go 0.6 mile to the trailhead. Dirt/cinder roads are rutted but passable by carefully driven sedans.
The holiday home features 3 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with cable channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 3 bathrooms with a shower.
Feel at home in a comfortable guest room at this welcoming hotel in Flagstaff, all of which offer modern amenities, including an HDTV, complimentary WiFi and a plush, Serta Perfect Sleeper bed. Upgrade to an executive guest room or suite for additional space and amenities.
One of our top picks in Flagstaff. Offering an outdoor pool, this Flagstaff hotel is 16 mi from Arizona Snowbowl. A continental breakfast featuring waffles and fresh fruit is served daily. Free WiFi is included in all guest rooms.There are 2 moderately easy hiking options at Snowbowl: The Aspen Nature Loop and the Kachina Trail. Both of these hikes are real winners during the fall due to the abundance of aspen trees. The third option, the Humphrey’s Peak trail, goes to the tallest peak in Arizona (12,637 feet). This hike is suited only for the most advanced hikers. If you are simply seeking a great leaf peeping destination and a nice relaxing hike, the other 2 hikes are casual hiker approved.*A hiking stick and camelback are always recommended. The hiking stick comes in handy for extra traction and protection in case of a wildlife encounter. The camelbak ensures that you have an adequate water supply.There’s lots of aspens and pines here, and the contrast is strikingly beautiful in autumn. Lots of colorful leaves cover the ground, giving the trail a bit more of a traditional East coast feel. It’s shady and cool due to the dense tree coverage with lots of opportunity to crunch leaves beneath your feet for a true fall atmosphere.
I love this trail anytime of the year. In the summer, the pines and high altitude of Veit Springs provide a cool escape. In the fall, the golden leaves on the aspens and falling leaves on the ground create a picture perfect fall setting. Wintertime, the flat terrain and snowy pines makes Veit a picturesque choice for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Veit Springs is definitely the 4 season wonderland in Flagstaff! The non-touristy vibe is also refreshing.
This hike is great because you get to take in the ponderosa pines, golden aspens, and also some of the best mountain views in town. The fall foliage scattered amongst the trails and the golden leaves of the aspens shimmering in the sunlight really creates a wonderful fall atmosphere that is hard to top. The aspens here tend to get the brightest in town, creating the most vibrant fall setting.The Kachina Trail is another fantastic hiking option as the first mile or so of the trail is jam packed with aspens. On a sunny fall day, the entire trail appears to be glowing with the golden hue of the aspen leaves. This trail is 10 miles round trip, however, you only need to hike the first mile or so and back to take in the
gorgeous fall aspen scenery.