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20 percent more visitors flocking to see Arizona’s fall colors

(Flikr Photo/Coconino National Forest)

PHOENIX — Things may be looking fairly normal in the Phoenix area, but officials in Northern Arizona said they’re seeing a 20 percent jump in visitors seeking fall foliage.

“For the most part, we’re seeing the colors past their prime in the north aspects and their highest elevations, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to see beautiful aspens and other trees throughout the forest,” Coconino National Forest Spokeswoman Brienne Pettit said.

Pettit said visitors have plenty of options to spot some fall color.

“Heading north of Flagstaff of Highway 180, the Arizona Snowbowl area is just beautiful right now, as is an area called Hart Prairie just north of Arizona Snowbowl,” she said.

Coconino Forest officials were restricting visitors to the popular Lockett Meadow area north of Flagstaff to about 50 vehicles per day, but Pettit said that area is past time for prime viewing. The restriction has been lifted.

Pettit said that if visitors can’t make it up to the area north of Flagstaff to see the fall colors soon, they might try another area in the next few weeks.

“Generally the leaves in the lower elevation start to turn about a week or so behind,” she said. “Folks could see things start to change in (other areas) around Sedona here later in the month.”

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