The changing of the colors of leaves continues to march from the higher to lower elevations. The higher elevations and aspens peaked in mid October while places such as Oak Creek Canyon hit their peak a few weeks later. Peak color is just now reaching Sedona and similar locations. Here are several photos of leaves taken over the past few weeks in and near Oak Creek Canyon.
The changing color of aspen leaves has peaked in many locations — and just now peaking in others. It’s always interesting to see which areas go early and which hang on until later.
Here are some photos of aspen around northern Arizona this past week.
The colors have peaked and the leaves have fallen across the higher elevations of northern Arizona. Here are some of my favorites from this season.
It’s been a relatively warm and very dry autumn so far across northern Arizona. For example, Flagstaff recorded 0.42″ of rain for the months of September and October combined—normal is closer to 4 inches (4.04″). This combination of warm and dry might be responsible for the less-than-stellar autumn colors in the aspens and other trees. Or, perhaps it was actually pretty colorful and I just happened to go out at the wrong times. Either way, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me this year to get the high-impact, really colorful photographs.
A previous post highlighted some of the photographs of aspens taken across the higher elevations and also provides some comparison with previous years.
More recently, I’ve been shooting images in Oak Creek where there are plenty of maple, oak, sycamore, and other types of trees to provide a nice mix of colors.
While wandering around looking for autumn colors, we saw this. I’ve walked by this rock face in Oak Creek Canyon several times and never noticed the name etched in the rock.
We also found ourselves hiking up the North Wilson Trail in Oak Creek Canyon with hopes for some maples. Those we did find were not particularly photogenic because they were surrounded by dead/burnt trees—courtesy of the Brins Mesa wildfire of 2006. On the other hand, I enjoyed this view from the Wilson Bench near the intersection of North Wilson and Wilson Mtn. Trails.
On our descent I enjoyed the quickly shifting patterns of light and shadow on the opposite side of Oak Creek Canyon. Perched high up on the canyon walls is the area known to rock climbers as “The Waterfall.” Visitors to Oak Creek Canyon during the spring snowmelt season have often looked up from the road to see water cascading down this rock face. They may not have known that it is also a world-class rock climbing site.
As we descended the North Wilson Trail I was able to see that some of the best color was—where else—along Oak Creek and in the parking lot from which we had started. We still had some time so down to the creek we went. The light was very soft with no hard shadows or bright spots and autumn colors were nicely reflected in the waters.
I’ve always skipped the North Wilson Trail in all the years of hiking around here. Now, I wonder why. It’s a steep trail, for certain, but very interesting views in all directions.