Lockett Meadow aspen groves are a golden treasure


Not far from Flagstaff, groves of quaking aspen trees amaze visitors each fall as they paint the hillsides gold in preparation for winter.

Image of golden colored aspen trees on hillside
Aspen grove turns hillside gold on Lockett Meadow near Flagstaff. Photo by Sandhya Ravi
Lockett-Meadow-Aspens
Photo by Amy Novotny, amysimpressions.com

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) is native to northern Arizona and is considered by many to be the most widely distributed of any North American tree. Generally found at elevations 6,000 to 8,000 feet, aspens can reach 100 feet tall and 2 feet in diameter.  However, most are typically less than 60 feet high, and less than 12 inches thick.

Aspens generally occur as well-defined groves in the forest. Most groves are clones of a single tree. Since the trees genetically identical, the aspen grove is considered to be among the largest organisms on earth.

Although aspens are beautiful year round, the best chance to witness their golden leaves is during the first two weeks of October.

Here is where you can go to see them:

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