As anyone who has lived here long enough knows, the autumn months are Arizona’s best kept secret. There’s still plenty of sunshine to be enjoyed during the day, and it cools off just enough to warrant a cozy sweater at night. The only thing we’re missing is a brilliant display of fall foliage—or are we?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of places in Baja Arizona to enjoy all things autumn—and that includes color-changing trees! This year, travel outside your comfort zone and experience an Arizona autumn like never before.
One of the best ways to enjoy Arizona’s fall weather is by going outside—and not just outside your front door! Think more like outside the city limits. You might have to travel a little bit, but some of the best scenery, fall foliage, and hiking trails can be found less than 100 miles southeast of Tucson. If you’ve never been to the Coronado National Forest or the Chiricahua Mountains, it’s worth the trip.
Try camping out at West Turkey Creek, a beautiful secluded campground flanked by giant sycamores, pine trees, and a cool freshwater stream. There are plenty of hiking trails and waterfalls to be explored. If you come later in the year, order a Christmas tree cutting permit and bring home a fresh pine!
On the way, make sure to stop at Texas Canyon, home to some of the most magnificent rock structures in Baja Arizona. It’s the perfect place to get out and stretch your legs or enjoy a campfire picnic.
Your fall to-do list won’t be complete without a trip to Apple Annie’s in Willcox, AZ. This family-run, pick-your-own-produce farm has everything you need to satisfy your fall fever. Apple Annie’s has it all—homemade pies and ice cream, pumpkin patches, apple orchards, and corn mazes. Pick your own apples, pumpkins, peaches, pears, peas, and more! Or, purchase some of the fruit that’s already been picked for you—preferably in the form of a pie!
After you’ve filled your bucket with crisp, sun-ripened apples, you’ll definitely want to pop into the bakery and fudge kitchen. Pick up a few squares of homemade pumpkin praline fudge, or a moist loaf of apple bread. Top it off with a scoop of hand-churned pumpkin ice cream for a truly fall-tastic day. appleannies.com
You don’t have to book a flight to Tuscany to experience an authentic wine festival this fall. Head south on Arizona State Route 83 out of Tucson to visit Santa Cruz County, home to some of Arizona’s oldest wineries. Don’t miss St. Martin’s Festival happening this November in Sonoita! The festival will feature tastings from ten local vineyards, plus tours, vendors, and a special “Blessing of the Vintage.” You can book your tickets in advance here.
There’s always something fun happening in Bisbee, and fall is no exception. If you’re feeling ambitious, join in the famed Bisbee 1000, a 1000-stair climb throughout the city’s historic downtown neighborhood. Celebrate your accomplishment with some locally brewed pints during the “Best of the West” Bisbee 1000 Craft Beer Festival afterwards.
For those of us who think voluntarily running up and down stairs is crazy, there’s also the SidePony Express music festival to check out. This eccentric music festival features local bands and underground beats in intimate venues throughout Old Bisbee. The festival falls on Veteran’s Day this year, so book a cute Airbnb and make a long weekend of it.
Looking for more adventure? Check out our list of perfect fall road trips!