Aspen Nature Loop Trail

Flagstaff Fall Colors

In October, you won’t want to miss the changing of the leaves.  One of the best places to see the Aspens change color is by hiking the Aspen Nature Loop Trail in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Located at the Arizona Snowbowl, this is an easy/moderate 2.5-mile hike.  The trail takes you through a grove of Aspen trees that are gorgeous in autumn.  Under the canopy of the grove, you will see the beautiful yellow and gold colors that the aspen trees are famous for.

Check the Flagstaff Leaf-Ometer to see when the fall colors peak in Flagstaff.

Along the trail, you will find several spots that are perfect for family photos.  There are logs and huge rocks that will make the perfect backdrop.  As the trail continues to the Aspen Loop, you will cross a field.  In the distance you can see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on a clear day.  You will also see more of the San Francisco Peaks.

Once you make it to the Aspen Loop, here you will find another grove of Aspen Trees.  The trail winds through the trees.  As you continue on, you will see the pine trees of the Coconino Forest.  Don’t miss where the Arizona Trail picks up from the Aspen Nature Loop Trail.  Head north to visit Utah or go south to Mexico.

Want to see the best places to see the fall colors change in Flagstaff? We have you covered.

Directions From Flagstaff

The Aspen Nature Loop Trail is located near Flagstaff at the Arizona Snowbowl.  From Downtown Flagstaff, take Highway 180 west about 7 miles to the Snowbowl turnoff.  Turn north onto Snow Bowl Road. From there, head up the mountain until you reach the Humphrey’s Peak Parking area.  There’s plenty of parking, even during the busiest times. The trailhead is located at the north end of the parking lot.

Learn more about Flagstaff to Snowbowl.

What to Expect

The weather is definitely cooler at the top of the mountain.  Remember to bring sweatshirts or jackets, a good sun hat, plenty of water and some snacks.  You’ll benefit from good hiking shoes, too.  The trail is dusty, and there are some rocks along the way.  There are no restrooms at the trailhead.  Porta-potties are available, but a trip to the lodge before the hike would be helpful. There are no fees for parking or hiking the Aspen Nature Loop Trail.

When the leaves begin to change colors, expect crowds on the trails.  During the week, there are fewer people, and the weekends are the busiest.  Arizona schools celebrate Fall Break during the weeks surrounding Columbus Day.  Expect crowds during this time as well.

The hike to the aspen trees is downhill, so be prepared for an uphill climb back to the parking lot.

Where are the best places to see Fall Colors in Sedona?  Try taking a drive through Oak Creek Canyon.