It's been three years now living full time in Rim Country, and while there's some variation year to year we'd say the height of fall color in Payson is late September and early October - and we've got the photos to prove it!
Whether visiting the area for a late fall wedding or simply escaping to see the colors that Rim Country can produce - we figure you'll find the peak of color right before the first freezes which are usually in mid-to-late October. The cottonwood, maple - even the pine trees all turn shades of brown, red, orange and yellow - and mixed with the evergreens we go into a color explosion that's worth the drive from Phoenix valley or surrounding areas.
You'll find the brightest colors at 5,000 foot or above, especially around areas with water. If you're looking for aspens, you'll need to head even higher, to the base of the Mogollon Rim or up top of the Rim near Pine and Strawberry. Down here at the AirBNB in Whispering Pines we're at 5,400 ft - so mainly showing off the cotton woods and sycamore trees in fall.
Winter's first freezes will quickly drop the leaves from the trees and all the color will be gone. Our advice is watch the temperature in Payson and subtract 10 degrees. When you see temps get into the 30s - head on up, or contact us with an inquiry on Airbnb and we'll give you the 'color report', or follow us on Instragram @heartrockcreek. You can bet we'll be posting pictures to celebrate the season as the leaves start changing each fall.