Visiting Sedona in August
Learn all about what to expect visiting Sedona in August (Written by Erin McCarthy)
If you are thinking about visiting Sedona in August, there are a few important things to keep in mind. August is an extremely hot month and it is also monsoon season in this part of the United States. Both of these factors will impact your choices for activities. With that being said, there is no shortage of things to do, both inside and out. Read on for our complete guide for visiting Sedona in August—benefits, drawbacks, things to do, ways to beat the heat, and more!
BENEFITS OF VISITING IN august
The biggest benefit of visiting Sedona in August is that the peak season for visitors is in the spring, so there will be less crowds to fight on trail. The combination of the scorching August temperatures and potential monsoons are deterrents for many potential visitors. The majority of visitors in August are from nearby Phoenix and Tucson. These cities consistently have temperatures of 100°F and above, so Sedona offers a respite from the scorching summer heat.
DRAWBACKS OF VISITING IN august
Monsoon season in Sedona runs from June – August, which can cause flash flooding both on trails and on roads. Monsoons in this part of the United States are a pattern of increased thunderstorms and rainfall. They typically occur during the late afternoon into early evening as the heat of the day builds. They can last into the night and are finished by early morning, and the cycle may repeat itself the following day. If you choose to visit Sedona in August, it is imperative to check the weather before you head out for the day.
THINGS TO DO IN august
Deciding which activities are best for you during the month of August in Sedona will be dictated by your tolerance for heat. Sedona is known for its many hiking and mountain biking trails, but in August it is highly recommended to do these activities early in the morning. If you’re looking to escape the heat, you can go for a scenic drive or take a dip in one of the best swimming holes in the entire country. There are a few arts events in August too. Read on for our suggestions for things to do in August:
Sedona Arts Center Exhibition: Throughout the month of August, art will be for sale and exhibited at the Sedona Arts Center.
Piano on the Rocks International Festival: This three-day concert series explores music and literature with internationally acclaimed musicians.
Sedona Photography Symposium: Presentations and workshops in a welcoming environment designed to help you become a better photographer. More information and dates can be found here.
Sedona Star Party: The city of Sedona has made significant efforts to reduce its light pollution, which is not only good for the environment, but fantastic for seeing the nighttime sky. In fact, Sedona is one of only twenty certified Dark Sky Communities in the entire world. The Sedona Star Party is a free community event in August featuring local astronomers, telescopes for use by the public, and guided constellation tours. This event in a must-do if you find yourself in Sedona in August.
Cool Off at Slide Rock State Park: In August, most visitors are looking to cool off from the summer heat and nearby Oak Creek offers a sweet escape. In fact, the legendary swimming hole at Slide Rock State Park made the Travel Channel’s list of the top ten swimming holes in the USA. Aptly named, the landscape here creates a natural sandstone water slide that is 80 feet long. It’s fun for the whole family!
Drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway: 7.5 miles of stunning scenery featuring red rock formations and plenty of lookout points to take it all in. It only takes about 30 minutes to drive it, but we recommend carving out an afternoon to stop at all the viewpoints. If it’s too hot, stay in your car and enjoy the air conditioned views!
Go Mountain Biking: Imagine yourself experiencing the landscape of Sedona on two wheels— the wind in your hair and the open road before you; peering up at the red rocks towering above and flying through desert canyons. This is an exhilarating way to experience the desert landscape of Sedona. Nearby Bike & Bean has rentals available. You can even enjoy espresso while you wait for your bike! If you are seeking to hit the trails check out the Mountain Bike Project, an extensive resource of trails rated by difficulty, distance, and elevation. If you’re looking to book a guided mountain biking tour, there are options for every skill level. Hermosa Tours offers half day and full day private mountain biking tours in Sedona based on ability level from beginner to expert and everything in between. 360 Adventures offers solely beginner tours which typically are two hours in length.
Tour the Chapel of the Holy Cross: This church was inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. It jets right out of the red rocks and offers stunning views of the Verde Valley. The Chapel of the Holy Cross is open everyday to visitors from 9am to 5pm. Parking is extremely limited so you may have to park further down the road and walk. Aim for a morning visit if you can, especially in a hot month like August.
HIKING IN august
One of the best ways to experience Red Rock Country in the summer is by hiking or backpacking through the desert canyons. If you’re looking for hiking trails on your own, check out our list of top ten hikes in Sedona. On the other hand, guided hiking trips provide an opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural history of Sedona, and take care of the planning and logistics for you.
Wildland Trekking offers several options for getting outside and exploring northern Arizona. Choose from an inn-based tour of Sedona and the Grand Canyon, or a camping-based tour to see the best local sights in and around Sedona. These trips take you out to see the sights and then back to either a cozy, rustic lodge; or a spacious basecamp complete with a gourmet fireside dinner. If you’re seeking more of a backcountry experience, choose a guided backpacking trip of Red Rock Country, explore the high desert canyons by day and have a restful night’s sleep under the “dark skies” of Sedona.
Choosing a guided tour allows you to leave the planning up to someone else —permits, lodging, meals, and transportation (excluded on some day trips) are all provided. When the stress of trip and meal planning are erased, you’ll spend your time and energy completely on enjoying yourself in some of the most iconic places in the southwest United States.
WEATHER IN august
The average high in Sedona in August is 94°F (34°C) and the average low is 63°F (17°C). The average monthly precipitation is 1.89 inches. Though this may appear to be a low number for total precipitation, keep in mind that monsoon season can present a real challenge for afternoon adventures in August.
JOIN A GUIDED HIKING ADVENTURE
Sedona is home to some of the Western United States’ most iconic and scenic hiking vacations. Wildland Trekking offers trips that highlight the must-see features of Sedona and the Grand Canyon: other-worldly rock formations, views, solitude, adventure, and fascinating natural and cultural interpretation.
Guided Sedona treks are all-inclusive which covers permits; local transportation (excluded on some day tours); meals; equipment; safety systems and professional hiking/wilderness guides; all of which allows visitors to maximize their time in Sedona and focus entirely on enjoying Red Rock Country.
SEDONA ADVENTURE TOURS
- INN-BASED HIKING PACKAGES: these tours are all-inclusive packages with lodging, amazing daily hikes, expert guides, meals, transportation and more!
- SEDONA CAMPING TOURS: camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of Sedona.
- SEDONA DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day in Sedona on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour of one of the area’s best trails.
- ALL ARIZONA HIKING TOURS: check out a full list of Arizona offerings, which include Sedona and the Grand Canyon.
- ARIZONA BACKPACKING TRIPS: explore options for discovering Arizona on an all-inclusive backpacking trip with expert guides and mind-blowing scenery.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erin McCarthy is a freelance writer and former Colgate University Outdoor Education Leader. When Erin isn’t writing, she is exploring the mountains and rivers of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. You can view her complete portfolio at www.erinannmccarthy.com.