Aravaipa Canyon is now past peak on the East entrance. Some rust sycamore and frozen green cottonwoods left but for the most part this remote area’s color is now frozen off.
For many people in northern latitudes, the month of December often rings of snow storms, shopping, and celebrations. While the latest storm left parts of Arizona covered in that unfamiliar white stuff and the day-time high temperatures have dropped to a <sarcasm> frigid </sarcasm> 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the deciduous trees in southern Arizona are still saying it’s fall in this part of the country.
A day-long visit to the Hassyampa River Preserve outside of Wickenburg revealed a painterly palette of golds along the Hassyampa River Bed. Peak color likely occurred a mere couple days ago, but with the recent storm leaving traces of snow behind on the high desert, the browning leaves will quickly find their way to the ground within a week or so.
A short hike up the steep Lyke’s Lookout trail showcases a more aerial view of the curvy waterway. A stroll along the easy Palm Lake Loop and Willow Walkway provide excellent photographic opportunities to capture reflecting trees and leaves in the small man-made, but now spring-fed, pond.
During the winter, the preserve is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (trails close at 4:30). An entrance fee is required. For more information, visit the Hassyampa River Preserve.