Many people think there are 2 reasons to visit Arizona in the winter-time. To escape the frigid temperatures in the north by staying in the warm desert valley (Phoenix, Scottsdale, etc), or to hit the slopes to go skiing (Flagstaff, White Mountains.) However, there is a third destination that sits between the two at 4350′ and that’s Sedona. Read on to discover why visiting Sedona during the cooler winter months might just be the best time for you and your partner to stay in Red Rock Country.
Sedona Winter Romance
Are you tired of going on vacation at the same time everyone else does? Or, perhaps you are thinking about a relaxing romantic getaway… away from boisterous families and busloads of travelers?
Well, Sedona is the perfect destination for you, if you know when to visit. Sedona in the winter is a dream. It is quieter, the weather is mild, and all the peak-season activities that might interest you are still available.
During the off-season, you can get it all:
- Less traffic
- Lower hotel rates and increased availability
- Easier access to tours
- Fewer families and bus tours
- Less waiting for entry into parks
- Mild weather
- Uncluttered trails
- A peaceful & romantic atmosphere
- Leisurely shopping
As you drive into Sedona, your first view is astounding. The majestic red rocks take your breath away. However, if you arrive in Sedona during the busy season, your first experience can be disheartening. It can take as long as an hour to move a couple of miles. You might spend your first day in Sedona in your car for hours, just trying to get to your hotel to check-in. It can practically be a wasted day of your vacation if you are heading into Sedona on a Friday during the spring or fall. However, in the winter-time, you can travel into Sedona with ease, take in the views with less frustration, and start your vacation with a positive vibe.
See Directions to Sedona – Driving to Sedona 9 Different Ways with Maps
Great Deals on Hotels
Your stay at a Sedona hotel can be the most expensive part of your trip. And you probably won’t spend that much time in your room. The hotel rates during the busy season can run from $200 – $600 or more. Visit during the slow season, and you can cut that cost in half. You can take that extra savings and treat yourself to a luxury hotel or an intimate bed and breakfast at an affordable price. An added romantic bonus is most properties have fireplaces to keep you and your partner warm and cozy.
Interested in Women-only Travel Adventures to Sedona? Canyon Calling has you covered! READ: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
You want special time with your significant other. The sounds of stomping feet and loud voices can ruin romance and tranquility. Luckily most kids are in school this time of year and big families traveling to Sedona are a little more rare. The hotels are less crowded, and the restaurants are more intimate—a perfect atmosphere for re-connecting or sharing quality time with a loved one.
Easier Entry into Parks
Sedona has some of the most beautiful and widely diverse State Parks, National Parks, and Recreation Areas that you can imagine. During high season, the entry at these parks can be challenging, or you may not be able to enter at all. The parks often fill up by 9 am, and you may spend a significant amount of time waiting for parking. Whether you prefer a rockier adventure at Slide Rock State Park, or a place shaded by trees and towering canyon walls, like West Fork Recreation Area, you will find it much easier to get into the parks during the off-season.
State and National Parks in the Sedona and Verde Valley area include:
Red Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Verde River Greenway
Tuzigoot National Monument
Fort Verde State Historic Park
Jerome State Historic Park
Notable Recreation Areas include:
Crescent Moon Ranch / Red Rock Crossing
West Fork, Coconino National Forest
Coconino Forest Recreation Map
Verde Ranger District (Prescott National Forest)
Can you imagine seeing snow glistening on the red rocks? People say it looks like Sedona was dusted with powdered sugar. It is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see. While the weather is quite mild during the winter, there can be light snow occasionally. When it happens, it can give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Don’t worry, the snow usually melts by mid-day. During most of the winter, the temperature is perfect for hiking in your favorite sweatshirt and great for cuddling at night. The sun shines an average of 278 days in Sedona, so it is very likely that you will feel the warmth during your stay.
Sedona AZ weather during the cooler months
|Month||Average High / Low (°F)||Rain|
Sedona has an endless number of trails, all with unique personalities. Hiking is one of the most popular activities in Sedona and draws people from all over the world. The trails, regardless of the area, are often crowded, and the trailhead parking fills up quickly. During the busy season, the crowds can be a little overwhelming, and it doesn’t always make for a peaceful hike. Winter in Sedona is a perfect time to hit these trails. The most popular are Devil’s Bridge, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, West Fork, and Boynton Canyon. These trails are well worth the experience but much more enjoyable when it is quieter.
Cuddly, Cozy Winter Romance
There are 3 million visitors that come through Sedona each year. That is a lot of people, and often it doesn’t lend to a romantic atmosphere. The off-season is different. Imagine enjoying a beautiful sunset, sitting next to a roaring fire, or eating an elegant dinner with spectacular views. You can try a couples massage at one of the luxurious Sedona spas; participate in a couple’s spiritual quest; have a picnic in a private location, or take a hot air balloon ride. It’s easy during this time of year to bring love and passion into your relationship.
Have you ever been in a crowded store where you can’t take any time to look through items of interest? It can be frustrating. Shop in Sedona during the winter. At this time of year, you can shop in peace. There is a wide variety of shops and most are quiet. You can get anything, from basic souvenirs to southwest treasures to crystals to exquisite fine art from one of the many art galleries.
Secret Places & Things To Do in Sedona in the Wintertime
Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but here are a few local secrets:
Visit Honanki and Palatki Heritage Sites – an off-road adventure to well-preserved Indian Ruins (must call to make reservations)
Explore tons of off-road trails (rent an ATV or bring your own off-road vehicle)
Meditate at Amitabha Stupa & Peace Park – nestled in a quiet neighborhood in West Sedona
Learn about the history of Sedona at the Sedona Heritage Museum
Enjoy fresh-pressed apple cider at various locations in Oak Creek Canyon
There are exceptions to the quiet off-season. During the holidays and events below, the crowds increase dramatically. If you are looking for peace and quiet, you may want to avoid these busy times:
Christmas – New Year week
Holiday weekends, such as Martin Luther King Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day
RunSedona and Sedona International Film Festival (both in February)
Your winter can be filled with romance. Whether you come for tranquility or a romantic vacation, you will find everything you need during this time of year. Visit Sedona to experience red-rock winter magic.
Note: Sedona is a clean and safe town. For the safety of all visitors, COVID-19 precautions are followed. Please check for closures or changed hours before your arrival.
Read More: What is Sedona Known For? 6 Reasons Why People Visit Sedona
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