We are only a few days from the fall season. That means the colors will soon be snapping and the colors changes are imminent. It also means it’s time to head to one of my favorite spots in the Southwest, Lockett Meadow Arizona. This paradise of aspens is located only 30 minutes north of Flagstaff, right off of the 89 highway.
ProTip: Plug the GPS coordinates into your favorite navigation device: 35°21’33.3″N 111°37’09.7″W
The elevation is 8900 feet in the midst of the Coconino National Forest. The well-known areas and photographed are the Inner Basin trail and the San Francisco Peaks.
For directions, per the USDA: Drive northeast of Flagstaff on US Highway 89 for 12.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 552, directly across from the Sunset Crater National Monument turnoff. Follow FR 552 for approximately one mile. Turn right at the Lockett Meadow sign and continue to the campground.
From the Phoenix area where I live, it’s an easy day trip. Once you turn off of the 89 highway, there are a few miles of dirt road that you should be aware of. It’s not very rough, especially if driving slowly. There is, however, some very narrow points, that can be intimidating if you have never driven dirt roads like this before. Be careful, go slow, and be alert to your surroundings in all directions.
During the upcoming fall days, the parking can get a bit crowded, so it’s better to come early. The area is however somewhat spread out, and I have never encountered paths that are too crowded to enjoy. And that even includes me lugging a camera around. Lockett Meadow Arizona doesn’t only appeal to photographers and hikers, there’s plenty of bicycles as well, for the great trails towards the top.
Once you park, you will see the trails leading into the aspens, and that’s also where you will see the trailhead for the Inner Basin. Onward and up! I would recommend going towards the top of the trail to the bike paths. There are some awe-inspiring scenes up there, and it’s something to behold, with or without a camera. Lockett Meadow Arizona is worth the day trip to check it out. For those who like to camp, that’s also an option in the area.
For information on fees, restrictions and other useful information about check out the Forest Service USDA page.
If you enjoy landscapes, head over to the Landscapes Gallery.
I hope to see you this fall at Lockett Meadow Arizona!