The bigtooth maple is no longer in its own family of Aceraceae, but is in Sapindaceae. Molecular taxonomy keeps us plant geeks on our toes.
Across the southwest Acer grandidentatum ranges from 4,000 to 7,000 ft. in elevation. I love the lower elevation maples you find in the canyons that wander down the mountains. Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahuas has bigtooth maples and I remember many years ago admiring them in Ramsey Canyon of the Huachuca Mountains. I’m guessing you have a favorite canyon or mountain side to find them as well.
The photo of the maple in its fall glory is by Max Licher and taken from SEINet. Thank you. And below is my photo of scarlet sumac on the rocky slope mentioned in this episode.