Visiting Sedona in September
Learn all about what to expect visiting Sedona in September (Written by Erin McCarthy)
The fall months (September-November) are a popular time to visit Sedona; second only to spring. If you’re a rock climber, hiker, or mountain biker, this is a wonderful time of year to hit the trails. September is harvest season in Arizona and Sedona celebrates local vineyards with the Sedona Winefest. Keep in mind that a visit to Sedona in September requires planning ahead and early starts to your days if you want to avoid the midday crowds. Read on for our complete guide to visiting Sedona in September —benefits, drawbacks, things to do, and more!
benefits of visiting in september
When the calendar page turns to September, the summer heat begins to fade in Sedona. The weather is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing. The opportunities for exploring outside are among the top reasons people visit Sedona. If you choose to visit in September, you can fill your days with adventure in a beautiful backdrop.
drawbacks of visiting in september
The biggest drawback to visiting Sedona in September is the crowded trails. If you prefer a quieter time, aim for the winter months. However, if September is your most desired time for a visit it’s a good idea to get to the trailheads early. Plan ahead for lodging arrangements and restaurant reservations for a September visit as well.
things to do in september
September is a beautiful time to for a visit to Sedona — the weather is ideal for getting outside for a hike or a biking adventure. Below are some options for things to do in September for all activity levels:
Sedona Wagfest and Fair: This event is free and fun for the whole family! Shop and learn about products and services for your favorite canine.
Sedona Winefest: In September, Sedona celebrates harvest season with local Arizona vintners, music, and food. More details can be found here.
Rock Climbing: Sedona sits on the southern end of the Colorado Plateau, with endless sandstone spires perfect for rock climbing. If you’re looking for a guided rock climbing tour, check out this local outfitter. Guided rock climbing trips are an opportunity be up close and personal with nature, all while getting some exercise and having the adventure of a lifetime. If you’ve never rock climbed before, not to worry. There are trips for all ages and experience levels. If you have rock climbed before, but you find yourself in Sedona without the extensive gear or the expert knowledge of the surrounding area, consider booking a trip with a guide.
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.
Take a Jeep Tour: One of the more popular ways for adventure seekers to see the landscape of Red Rock Country is by taking a guided Jeep tour. There are several local companies that organize private Jeep tours. A guided Jeep tour through Sedona is the chance to take an exhilarating trip through the desert canyons and red rocks. Leave the driving up to someone else, the views will be all your own. Pink Adventure Tours is a popular company that offers several tour options in the Sedona area including Broken Arrow, Diamondback Gulch, and the Honanki Heritage Site to see ancient ruins of the Sinagua people. A Day in the West, the oldest family-owned Jeep Tour company in Arizona offers private Jeep tours and combination Jeep and horseback riding tours as well.
Enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Imagine yourself towering above the red rocks of Sedona, enjoying views that few others get to experience. See Sedona from the air and book a hot air balloon tour of Red Rock County. A quiet, aerial tour gliding over the desert canyons and red rocks is a peaceful way to experience the landscape of Sedona. Red Rock Balloon Adventure only runs their tours at sunrise due to weather and conditions, so plan accordingly.
Drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway: Take a desert drive along 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. This is a good option if the September temperatures are higher than normal; you can enjoy the views from an air conditioned vehicle!
Cool Off at Slide Rock State Park: Temperatures in Sedona in September can be in the high 80s, so if you’re looking for a respite from the desert heat, 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. Slide Rock State Park is a perfect destination for a lazy afternoon in September.
hiking in september
One of the best ways to experience Red Rock Country in the fall 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 september
The average high in Sedona in September is 88°F (31°C) and the average low is 58°F (14°C). The average monthly precipitation is 1.93 inches. The weather in September is ideal for getting outside— warm days and cool nights are perfect for a backpacking trip or even a day hike.
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.