Just 2.5 hours from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim is the red rock wonder of Sedona, AZ. Red rock buttes, pine forests, supernatural mysteries, and steep canyon walls surround this quaint, high desert town. The endless number of trails in and around the city of Sedona provides a unique look into towering desert summits and remote canyons.
The stunning red rock backdrop that sprawls across the Sedona landscape creates the perfect space for sightseers, hikers, mountain bikers, and spiritual sojourners alike. The scenery has become widely known and treasured for its unique beauty. Even if you have never set foot on the rust-colored ground of Northern Arizona, you will likely recognize it from images and film. The city of Sedona and the surrounding red rocks have been featured in over 100 Hollywood films since the 1920s. Since then, Sedona has grown in popularity and become a vacation mecca for many forms of outdoor recreation and artistic expression.
The mild winters and hot summers make it a year-round destination that tourists of all ages can enjoy. Even if you aren’t off hiking amongst the rocks and canyons, there is plenty to see and do throughout the city. Wildland Trekking offers world-class tours of this distinctive area of the Sonoran Desert. We give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the Sedona area at the level of comfort they prefer by offering day hikes, inn-based tours, as well as basecamp tours.
Wildland Trekking does not offer any Sedona backpacking tour options at this time, but these trips will be an option shortly.
When to Go
Sedona’s desert climate allows visitors to enjoy the beauty year-round. However, depending on the activities you enjoy, there may be certain times of year that are more suitable for your visit.
Spring in Sedona is the busiest time of year to visit – March through May. Average daytime temperatures during this time of year range from the mid-60s to mid-80s degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature makes it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and jeep tours.
The spring is also an ideal time to catch some extra color in the desert. Almost all of the plants are in full bloom during this time of the year. This colorful landscape makes hiking and sightseeing even more enjoyable. With the dramatic contrast between the desert flowers and a rust-colored backdrop, this can also make it a popular time for photographers to visit as well.
With the consistent flow of tourists in the Spring, booking tours and lodging early is a must. Remember, you will be paying more for accommodation during peak season due to the high demand. With the expected number of tourists being high, the city of Sedona also holds several springtime festivals and events. So, you can hike during the day and enjoy the city in the evening. Check out Sedona’s calendar of events to stay on top of current happenings.
If you’re looking for a time with fewer people but still some sunny days, then June to November will be a good time to visit. Both the Summer and Fall seasons still see a high number of tourists, but not as many as in the Springtime.
Summer temperatures in the Sedona area don’t often reach triple digits, and daytime temperatures are usually in the 90s (Fahrenheit). So, once it warms up, the number of tourists begins to drop, but only slightly. Many summertime visitors travel up from Southern Arizona to escape triple-digit temperatures. Still, it doesn’t fall into the 80s until mid-September. All visitors need to be extremely cautious when completing hikes and other outdoor activities during Sedona’s summer months.
July marks the beginning of Arizona’s monsoon season. Sudden and heavy rainfall is expected during this time until mid-September. This season brings in many mid-day thunderstorms, high winds, and some days of heavy rainfall. While the storms may help lower temperatures for a short time, frequent rain also makes it difficult to get out for most activities.
In the Fall months, September through November, visitors can enjoy daytime temperatures in the 70s and 80s Faranheight. These lower temperatures can make the Fall slightly more popular than the summer months. This is especially true with the number of festivals the city hosts throughout September and October.
As with many Northern Arizona destinations, the winter months usually see the lowest number of visitors. December through February should be considered the slowest tour season in Sedona. It often doesn’t snow much in the city, but there will be some snow on top of the iconic red rock features. That said, there be can be occasional snowstorms in the area, blocking roads and making travel difficult. Mid-day temperatures sit around 50 degrees Fahrenheit on average, whereas nighttime temperatures will occasionally drop below freezing.
With fewer people, lodging prices are generally the lowest during this period. This can certainly be to your benefit as the snow-covered rocks can make Sedona an amazingly unique winter destination. Many photographers head here in the winter to catch the stark contrast of snow and red rock. Others enjoy the midday sunshine and solitude on the trails.
If you are looking for a truly personal experience with the Sedona red rocks and only have a day to spare, then our day hike tours are a great option. During our day hiking tours, guests have a chance to explore desert oases, sandstone spires and towers, climb peaks for breathtaking vistas, and learn more about the cultural history of the area. If you’re looking to see more of Northern Arizona, there is even a two-day option that allows for a day hiking in Sedona and another day hiking in the Grand Canyon.
If you are in search of a high desert outdoor experience while enjoying the finest resorts and restaurants in the area, an Inn-Based tour is a perfect choice. Tour options included both 3-day and 4-day tours. Lodging is included, and we will handle the rest of the logistics as well. Let us do the leg work while you enjoy your stay. You will have a chance to hike throughout the day while not sacrificing the opportunity to experience the city of Sedona itself.
Hike throughout the day and enjoy an all-inclusive camping experience beside the desert oasis of Oak Creek. These 4-day hiking excursions give you a chance to get away for a while and walk amongst remote canyons and desert peaks. Our expert guides will lead you through the stunning landscape, teach you the natural and cultural history of the area, and provide gourmet meals back at camp each night.
COMING SOON! A new addition to our Sedona, AZ tours. These backpacking trips will give an in-depth look into the high desert canyons and unique landscapes. Our expert guides will safely lead you on an incredible adventure to remember. Sleep under the clear desert night sky, learn the ancient cultural and natural history of the land while hiking to unforgettable arches, mesas, and red rock spires.
Need to Know
Before you plan your next vacation to the red rock wonderland of Sedona, you’ll need to know where to stay, what to pack, and much more.
Primary Departure Cities For The Grand Canyon
If you are traveling from a distance, you may be flying into the Northern Arizona area for your Sedona tour. The two most popular cities to fly into are Phoenix, AZ, and Las Vegas, NV. We recommend flying into Phoenix, AZ as it is only a short drive away from Sedona.
There are plenty of lodging options in the city of Sedona, and Wildland Trekking tours can pick you up from your Sedona area hotel. Your guide will be in contact well before the trip start to arrange a pre-trip meeting and transportation logistics.
For more information about your tour specific travel arrangements, visit the “trip logistics” tab on your chosen tour’s webpage.
Book in Advance
After you’ve chosen the Sedona adventure that’s right for you, book the trip as soon as possible. Depending on the time of year, our tours fill up quickly, as do the hotels in the area. If you want to travel during the Peak Season, March-May, then you will need to make lodging reservations a minimum of 3 months in advance.
Before you make any other travel arrangements, book your tour with Wildland Trekking. Once the trip dates have been confirmed, then go ahead and make your other travel arrangements. These arrangements include flights, transportation to and from Sedona, and pre and post-trip lodging. Remember, your tour will include all lodging and transportation for the duration of the trip.
There is no shuttle available if you are traveling from Las Vegas, but there is a transportation shuttle from Phoenix. Although the shuttle company is reliable and affordable, many of our guests choose to rent a car to use when coming to and from the airport. This alleviates some time restrictions and allows for a slightly more flexible schedule.
While there are a number of excellent lodging options available in Sedona, our number one recommendation is the Arabella Hotel. This is the primary hotel location for all our Sedona trips, and they allow luggage storage as well as vehicle parking during your tour. Not only that, but Wildland Trekking guests will receive a discount when booking their stay.
Planning a Sedona adventure requires proper planning and pre-trip preparation. To ensure that you are able to start your tour on time and you will not miss a return flight, always plan flights or travel days with one day of wiggle room before and after your scheduled trip dates. Our expert guides do a great job of trying to keep our tours on schedule, but sometimes life brings on unexpected travel delays.
For more detailed information about Sedona travel information, visit our Travel Resources page and select the Sedona specific travel section. If you have any questions or concerns prior to your trip, feel free to contact Wildland Trekking at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453).
That’s all! You now have all the information you need to plan an epic Sedona hiking vacation from trip styles to travel advice. Peruse our trips, pick out your favorite, contact us, and we’ll work together to make your hiking adventure a wonderful experience.
Have more questions? Send us an email or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453). We’re here 7 days a week from 9:00 to 4:30 Mountain Time to make sure your trip planning goes as smoothly as possible.
For more information about all your options, check out our Sedona page on the website with the button below! Individual trip pages have detailed itineraries, trip specifics, travel information, and more.