The New Mexico Department of Tourism suggests the colors are going to peak early this year; some of the aspen leaves are already turning red in the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico.
The best strategy, the Forest Service says: Select your travel dates in advance, but not your destination. Then go wherever the color is. One way to do that is check the most current information on the Forest Service’s Facebook pages. Links to New Mexico and Arizona forests are here: fs.usda.gov/main/r3/home.
The lack of moisture, combined with early frosts in the high country, is pushing the change, according to the Department of Tourism.
Forest Service officials recommend:
- McKnight Mountain on the Gila National Forest for four-wheelers.
- Hikers can trek the Rim Trail near Cloudcroft on the Lincoln National Forest.
- The Enchanted Circle Scenic byway on the Carson National Forest offers a spectacular drive.
- The 4th of July campground on the Cibola National Forest offers colors not often seen in the Southwest.
- In the Santa Fe National Forest, enjoy N.M. 126 between Cuba and Jemez Springs for great views.