Sunday, October 27, 2013

A motorcycle trip through Arizona's Fall Foliage

Oak Creek Canyon between Sedona and Flagstaff in northern Arizona is one of the premier Fall destinations in the state. Outdoor Sports in Prescott Valley hosted a BBQ, open house and 2014 product launch event followed by a ride to Oak Creek Canyon organized by the Prescott STAR 511 motorcycle club. Riders from the Phoenix area and Flagstaff enjoyed a fantastic BBQ, checked out the new 2014 Yamaha and Star bikes, and then headed out to Oak Creek Canyon.

bikes ready to go at Outdoor Sports
14 bikes went on the 150 mile round-trip ride to Oak Creek Canyon, riding north on I-17 and then 179 into Sedona. As we headed north, the Mogollon Rim that stretches 200 miles across Arizona came into view.

Sedona is always busy with tourists eager to see the red rock monoliths that surround the town. A series of roundabouts slow down the traffic, which gave me a good opportunity to take photographs.

Once through Sedona, we turned west onto 89A and entered the 12 mile Oak Creek Canyon. Oak Creek is one of the few streams in northern Arizona that has water all year, and aspen, sumac and maple trees grow abundantly along the creek. Fall foliage in Arizona is mostly golden yellow, with a few bright red trees. The backdrop of the red and white sandstone cliffs that tower 7200' on the western rim and the bright colors of the trees that form a canopy over the twisting 2-lane road make this a fun trip on a motorcycle.

The group stopped at the Indian Gardens Cafe but since we were short on time, we turned around and headed back home. The late afternoon sun cast shadows on the red rock formations, and I watched hikers winding their way around the paths that snake up the rocks.

We moved to Arizona from Vermont three months ago, and while the Fall foliage in the Southwest doesn't come close to the masses of vividly colored trees covering the Vermont mountains, a ride through Oak Creek Canyon on a sunny October day is a good substitute.


  1. What a huge difference in fall colors you are experiencing.

    At least looking at all the changing leaves is a good excuse for a ride. It is nice a group could get together for a ride out.

    How was the temperature? I know that when sunny it can be deceiving.

  2. The temperature started off in the 60's and it was 80 in Sedona. Sunny, warm - a beautiful Fall day.