Is July too hot for a vacation in Sedona?
Sedona is a popular tourist destination, with the highest number of visitors in spring and fall. However, if you prefer fewer crowds, summer may be a fantastic time to visit.
But rising temperatures are a valid concern. Is the lack of crowds worth the scorching heat? How hot is too hot?
Consider what you wish to do in Sedona, as July is the peak of summer. While Sedona is most known for its abundant outdoor activities, there are many other things to do.
Is July Too Hot to Go to Sedona?
While July is generally the hottest month in Sedona, the temperatures are lower than in Phoenix and other parts of Arizona. Temperatures in July are in the 90s. The hottest part of the day is in the afternoon.
Early mornings are pleasant and optimal for outdoor activities like mountain biking and hiking. Mid-day is ideal for spa treatments or exploring the city. By late afternoon the wind and rain cool things down.
What Is The Weather Like In Sedona During Summer?
Arizona has a dry, arid climate with summer monsoons that bring thunderstorms and rain. However, Sedona sits at more than 4200 feet elevation, which lowers the temperature.
Sedona’s climate in July is as follows:
- Average maximum temperature: 97°F
- Average minimum temperature: 64 °F
- Average precipitation: 1.65 inch
Most of Sedona’s annual rainfall occurs in the monsoon season, from mid-June to end-September.
During July, the mornings are comfortable and pleasant. From 10 am, temperates become warmer until it reaches their highest by late afternoon. The air is dry, which makes the temperature more bearable.
Monsoon rains often occur in the late afternoons, along with wind and thundershowers. At night, temperatures drop to an average of 64 °F.
Pros Of Visiting Sedona In July
Sedona’s tourism peak is spring, so one of the perks of visiting in July is escaping the crowds. In addition, the lack of visitors has several benefits.
You’ll find fewer crowds in restaurants, spas, and other attractions, so less waiting times and faster service. Many restaurants and tours offer discounts, while accommodation is less expensive.
Finding accommodation is much easier too, although booking in advance is advisable. While the warmer weather and increased rain deter most visitors, those from warmer areas in Arizona, like Phoenix, escape to Sedona. A road trip from Phoenix to Sedona is a popular escape for to get out of the heat.
Popular mountain biking and hiking trails, usually lined with hikers in spring, are less crowded.
Sedona is known for its unmatched natural beauty, with landscapes making phenomenal photographs. However, it can be a struggle to take the perfect picture in spring without someone accidentally photo-bombing you. You won’t have this problem in July.
Cons Of Visiting Sedona In July
Sedona is a beautiful place to visit all year round. While July is the warmest month, the heat is not unbearable.
The only drawback of the summer heat is that you have less time for outdoor activities like hiking. However, if you plan your day well, you can efficiently complete a challenging morning hike and avoid the hottest part of the day.
Arizona’s summer monsoon is the only disadvantage of visiting Sedona in July. The downpour of rain can flood the roads and make certain areas inaccessible and unsafe.
Luckily it mostly rains in the late afternoon. However, Jeep tracks and hiking trails may still be muddy and slippery the following morning.
July also experiences frequent thunderstorms.
Things To Do In Sedona In July
With high temperatures and an increased chance of rainfall in the late afternoon, outdoor activities are best done early in the morning.
One of the most enchanting experiences you can do in Sedona is a hot air balloon ride hosted by Red Rock Balloon Adventures. The great thing about their tours is that it only happens at sunrise.
West Fork Oak Creek Trail is an excellent trail to hike in summer. The trail follows a stream lined with trees that provide ample shade.
After an exhausting morning hike, head to Slide Rock State Park for a cooling, refreshing dip.
Slide Rock State Park is about 10-15 minutes from Sedona and is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot July day. The water is cool and refreshing, but the park gets very busy in the peak summer season. Still, if you are looking for ways to keep cool in Sedona in July, Slide Rock State Park is a must.
When the heat creeps in, you can enjoy any of these activities:
- Explore the art gallery at Sedona Arts Center, or sign up for a workshop or class. Classes include painting, drawing, and ceramics.
- Spend the day at a spa to unwind and release tight muscles.
- Treat yourself to a delicious dessert or ice cream.
- Go shopping at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village.
- For those inclined, head to Cliff Castle Casino for some adult fun.
Finally, the annual Sedona Hummingbird Festival is a 3-day festival dedicated to educating the public about the importance of hummingbirds and their conservation.
What To Wear To Sedona In Summer
An umbrella is a must. Monsoon season is in full swing, and rains can start suddenly and in high volume. Luckily rainfall happens mainly in the afternoons.
Dressing in layers is the best look, as the temperature fluctuates from pleasant to hot to rainy.
Short-sleeved tops, tank tops, shorts, and skirts are perfect for perusing Sedona in the heat of the day. Stick to materials that are light and breathable, like bamboo and linen.
Sandals keep you cool, but if you plan on walking a lot or doing tours, include a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
Remember to pack your favorite pair of jeans. The versatility of jeans can transition your outfits from day to night and are equally comfortable in hot and cooler weather.
Cardigans, sweaters, scarves, and hoodies will come in handy in the afternoons when temperatures drop and rain and wind pick up. Scarves are some of the most versatile pieces that can keep you warm, protect you from the scorching sun and add some pizazz to your outfit.
You should, of course, pack your hiking boots if you are doing hikes. However, some hiking trails, like West Fork Oak Creek Trail, follow streams and rivers you may need to cross. Waterproof shoes are highly recommended for these trails.
In addition to summer clothing and outdoor gear, be sure to include the following items in your packing list:
- A hat, preferably wide-brimmed
- Reusable, portable water bottle
Final Thoughts: Is July Too Hot To Merit A Visit To Sedona?
July is the peak of summer, and while it’s hot, it is not unbearable. Thanks to Sedona’s elevation, temperatures don’t often reach triple digits. As a result, there are plenty of indoor activities in Sedona. You can hike in the early mornings and spend the afternoon exploring other attractions like Slide Rock State Park.
So, as long as you avoid the sun during the heat of the day and keep outdoor activities to the morning. Don’t let the July heat stop you from enjoying Sedona. The city’s natural beauty more than makes up for its summer heat.
Steve Morrow owns Paddle About, an outdoor recreation and travel blog. Steve loves to travel, kayak, paddle board, camp, hike, and spend time outdoors with his wife and two kids. When he's not exploring the great outdoors, Steve enjoys writing about his adventures and sharing tips for getting the most out of your outdoor experiences. He has a lot of interesting stories to share, and he's always happy to help others get more out of life.