When Is the Best Time to Visit Arizona
When Is the Best Time to Visit Arizona
Arizona’s deserts and mountains provide a range of weather conditions year-round, so there’s always much to do, yet AZ hotel rates spike or collapse at various times. Spring and October feature warm weather, attracting statewide numbers. Low humidity and monsoon rain showers keep the south cool from June through September.
Arizona, known as the Grand Canyon’s gateway, features many high-elevation hiking paths and mountain wineries. Phoenix is Arizona’s primary winter destination, but Arizona Snowbowl near Flagstaff and other mountain resorts offer fantastic skiing.
Here are the ideal seasons to visit Arizona for heat, trekking, and snow.
October to May is the peak Grand Canyon season.
Tucson and Phoenix may reach 100°F, whereas Flagstaff and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park are below 70°F. Both spring and fall are ideal for outdoor activities, with spring bringing desert flowers and fall hiking weather. Since these are the perfect time to visit Arizona, hotels might be expensive.
June to November is a desert season.
Winter temperatures in northern Arizona can drop to 42°F, yet the frigid weather sends snow to Sedona and Flagstaff, beginning the ski season. Sonoran, Mojave, and Chihuahuan deserts cover most of Arizona. In the south, temperatures reach the high 80s. Phoenix, Tucson, and Tombstone are great for exploring dry habitats. Early mornings are more relaxed and better for spotting wildlife.
First half of the year itinerary
January is ski season.
Visitors from colder climes travel to Arizona in winter for sunshine, beautiful sky, and skiing in Flagstaff and Mount Lemmon near Tucson. During Lake Havasu’s yearly celebration, the weather is perfect for hot-air balloon rides over London Bridge.
Southern Arizona has mild February weather.
In February, Arizona’s mild weather draws runners to the Run Sedona Marathon and golfers to the Phoenix Open. If you’re searching for a deal, stay outside Phoenix in the winter.
March sports are significant.
Spring in Arizona is great for outdoor and couch sports. Phoenix hosts MLB spring training in March. Sedona has 400 miles of multi-use trails and an annual mountain bike festival.
April is festival season.
Warm spring temps bring music and film festivals, agave appreciation in Tucson, and open artist workshops in Sedona.
May temperatures rise, and cactus flowers bloom.
Warmer days bring spring blossoms to the desert, with peak wildflower season in May. Saguaro National Park, Arizona’s renowned cacti, has white flowers and scarlet fruit. May is a great month to learn about nature at a birding event or eco-film.
June is the last month to explore before summer.
June is a terrific time to hit one of Arizona’s historic roadways because temperatures aren’t too high. Explore art towns and desert retreats. Sedona’s annual PhotoFest will help you frame Arizona’s unrivaled scenery.
Enjoy the second half of the year
Locals desire cooler temperatures in July.
In July, Arizonans often seek cooler temperatures or arrange water-based excursions for fishing and waterskiing. Weekends are bustling with school-aged children and day-trippers. Hotel prices are exorbitant, but it’s worth traveling north for culture. Take Route 66 to Williams for an annual Celtic festival featuring Scottish-style games and bagpiping. Flagstaff summers average 70°F.
Arizona’s August is hot.
Arizona is hot in August but rarely humid, and the desert cools at night. Enjoy a moonlit night trek, museums, and spas in Arizona. Hills and pine forests are 10 to 20 degrees cooler.
September is wine month.
Verde Valley, Sonoita, and Willcox have excellent wineries (the latter two are in the south). Taste local wines and foods at festivals and explore corn mazes. Beautiful weather can make hotels and restaurants busy, so book ahead.
Arizona calms down in October.
With Arizona’s peak season winding down, October can offer better hotel deals. Cooler days are perfect for outdoor arts and crafts fairs. Oktoberfest events throughout the state celebrate craft beer culture.
November is chilly.
November brings Arizona cooler temps and fewer tourists, at least temporarily. The Fountain Festival in Fountain Hills has 475 local artisans, and Phoenix Pride is a two-day LGBTIQ+ celebration.
December is festive
Arizona celebrates holiday celebration to the max, with Santa in the desert, cactus lights, and snow. Less touristic destinations may have lower prices, and Sedona is quieter in December. However, weekends and winter holidays can be expensive as people chase the weather (warmth in the south, skiing in the north).