Are you looking to visit Sedona in the Winter? Wondering if winter in Sedona is worth visiting?
You are in the right spot! We went to Sedona during the winter and loved it! No matter if you want to visit Sedona in December or later in the winter we are going to share all of the best things to do in Sedona in Winter.
Although not all of the Sedona winter tours are available, a Sedona Arizona winter vacation is well worth your time!
There are so many fun things to do in Sedona in the Winter. In this post, we provide a Sedona Winter guide that will include some of the best places to stay and the best attractions in Sedona in Winter. The most popular Sedona winter activities are hiking, star gazing, art workshops, and private Sedona Winter tours.
Let's get started and explore all of the fun things to do in Sedona in Winter!
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Where is Sedona Arizona?
If you want to visit Sedona in the winter, flying into Flagstaff or Phoenix is your best option.
Getting to Sedona during winter is not bad if you are coming from Phoenix.
Flagstaff to Sedona in Winter
Now if you are coming from Flagstaff that is another story!!! I couldn't believe how much snow Flagstaff had!
The road 89A from Flagstaff can sometimes be closed because of snowfall. We were actually really lucky to come a few days after a snowstorm and it was open again, but it would be a nightmare to drive on in the snow!
Sedona in Winter
Sedona in Winter is a great time to visit. There are fewer crowds and cooler temps compared to summer.
Sedona in Winter is fun! The climate is typically mild year-round however, snow is not uncommon. Walking around Sedona in the snow is pretty awesome.
Sedona is surrounded by beautiful red-rock buttes. Red Rock State Park is one of the main reasons people love to visit Sedona. Sedona also has amazing art, spas, and restaurants to help entertain the 3 million tourists that visit his area each year.
Sedona in Winter Weather
What to Wear in Sedona During Winter
Layers! You will want to have a few layers. You will probably start your morning and it will be chilly, by lunch you will want to shed a few layers because it will warm up. By 3:00 pm it will feel wonderful even hot. But it doesn't last long because after 4:00 pm it starts to get chilly again.
It is nice when you pack for Sedona to just be sure to bring a short sleve, long sleve, and jacket.
Another really helpful tip I can give you is to pack extra clothes because when you hike in Sedona in Winter it is muddy. Because the temperature changes so much during the day, you will find a lot of ice that melts and puddles everywhere.
Good hiking shoes are a must and be sure to pack extra socks! We ran out of clothes on our trip! Seriously, we were not prepared at how dirty some of our clothes would get.
Packing List for Sedona in Winter
- Short Sleeve Shirt
- Long Sleeve Shirt (I recommend dry fit material)
- Light Jacket
- Hiking Shoes (Colombia and Merrell are great brands)
- Winter Hat
- Neck Gaiter
You really will want full winter gear in the morning, but by the afternoon you can lose some of it. Bring a nice hiking backpack to store all of your layers!
Sedona Arizona Winter Accommodations
One thing that is so fun about Sedona is there are lots of really cool accomodations. There are seriously so many that I can not list them all.
What I will say is there are two areas Uptown and West Sedona. Both are great areas to stay. Uptown probably has more to do however you will be much closer to some of the most popular trailheads if you stay in West Sedona.
We stayed at the Element Marriott Hotel. It was really nice and conveniently located to everything we wanted to do. We did talk with several people who said finding accommodations was difficult. These hotels do fill up even during winter in Sedona.
Sedona Winter Accommodations
Sedona Winter Activities
We are going to list some Sedona winter activities. There are so many fun things to do in Sedona in Winter. You should easily be able to create a Sedona winter itinerary.
We are going to start with hiking in Sedona because this activity is free and there are so many trails you can access. I am going to list out some of the best winter hikes in Sedona.
I will also include hiking tours, stargazing tours, helicopter tours, and lots of other fun Sedona tours to help you know exactly what the fun things to do in Sedona in winter are.
1. Hiking in Sedona in Winter
We had two days in Sedona during winter. We really love trail running and hiking so we knew that is what we would be spending most of our time doing. We wanted to make the most of our time and hit the best winter hikes in Sedona.
Hiking Sedona in the snow was interesting. I guess I didn't really think that Sedona would have too much snow and I was surprised.
We loved it! I am going to share the Sedona hikes we were able to hit during our Sedona winter trip. I actually ran in hiking boots which is not ideal but with all the snow it was not a bad idea.
Cathedral Rock is the most photographed rock in Sedona. It is the best winter hike in Sedona!
This is a short beautiful out-and-back trail. I really liked hiking this trail. Unfortunately, during Sedona winter time this trail can be extremely slippery with black ice.
You can't even see it coming. We were only allowed to hike to a certain point and then there was a sign that indicated the end of the trail. I know during other seasons you can hike further.
I would not recommend this hike for a trail run. I feel like it was uphill the entire way. It wasn't bad but I would recommend walking this one.
There is a parking area located at the trailhead however, if the Sedona Shuttle is running access to the parking lot will not be available Thursdays-Sundays.
Miles: 1.8 but not really (4-5 miles round trip)
You might be wondering why I wrote “not really” above, unless you have an off-road vehicle you have to walk on the Mescal and Chuckwagon trail to get to the Devil's Bridge trailhead.
Sedona in Winter Hiking – Our Experience
This trail was muddy! Like insane mud! My husband and I love to trail run but we had to walk/run a lot of it. Once you get to the main Devil's Bridge Trail and as you get higher in elevation the trail becomes ice. We wished we would have had crampons.
We had to be super careful as we made our way to the top. Now I am a big chicken, there is no denying it. I did not want to go on the tiny ice-paved path that led to the top of Devil's Bridge. I wanted to hang out and gladly let my husband go for it.
The path when we went was crowded. As my husband went up I was able to find a fantastic look out point. I could clearly see Devil's Bridge covered in snow!
It was a fun long hike that I totally recommend and enjoyed. I will say it helps to be in shape for this one. There is a lot of uneven ground and an elevation gain that may be harder for some people.
So if you are wondering what to do in Sedona in December or winter, This is a great option. It will probably take you half a day to complete.
Bell Rock is a short hike with just an incredible view. You can hike along Bell Rock and get some great shots.
We just walked the loop around Bell Rock but you can actually ascend to the top. I don't think that is a good idea during a Sedona Winter. The red rock can be slippery!
Courthouse Butte Loop
As you are hiking around Bell Rock, you will come to an intersection where you can continue down Courthouse Butte Loop.
We did both of these hikes. Walking the loop around Courthouse Butte is pretty flat and really pretty. We were able to run a good portion of this trail.
It wasn't super crowded. It was actually one of the best Sedona winter trails for trail running. Although I will say there was one part where black ice was present.
We watched someone fall pretty hard. When the rock is slick just be careful. As you round the loop you will be able to look out and see the Chapel of the Holy Cross and Snoopy Rock.
This hike took us a few hours.
Winter in Sedona Hiking – Our Experience
We had a blast hiking around Sedona in winter. The trails were muddy/icy but it wasn't too bad. As long as you come prepared you will be fine! The hikes listed above are the hikes we were able to do. There are still plenty more to try out.
If you only have one or two days in Sedona I would include these hikes in your Sedona Winter itinerary!
2. Sedona UFO/Stargazing Tours
The Sedona UFO Stargazing tour is actually really popular. There are tons of great reviews!
In fact it is likely to sell out! This tour really is one of the best things to do in Sedona in Winter. The dark night sky in Sedona is incredible.
Winter in Sedona
One really important thing to mention is that heaters are provided so you won't get too cold!
This tour takes you to three locations: Fay Canyon, Cultural Park Place, and Crystal Magic Physic Center. You will be able to get a spectacular view of millions of stars and constellations.
One really cool thing is that you get to use military-grade night vision goggles.
This is a really fun Sedona Winter activity to go on.
3. Sedona Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
During the winter Sedona does not offer the free trolley every day of the week. The shuttle only runs Thursday – Sunday. So if you want a ride around town booking a Sedona Tour is your best bet.
Sedona Winter Tour
The Sedona Half Day tour is a small group tour. These tours will take you on beautiful scenic drives around Sedona. You will also get to go to the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
4. Magical Sedona City Tour
If the weather is too cold to get out and hike around, this Magical Sedona City Tour is a fantastic option
The climate-controlled van will take you to beautiful vantage points where you can get great pictures. It also takes on one of the best scenic tours in Sedona.
This tour allows you to get out of the van and check out various spots in the city. It is really the way to go if hiking isn't an option.
5. Off-Road Jeep/ATV Tour
If you are looking for fun things to do in Sedona in Winter you might be surprised that there are Sedona Winter Jeep and ATV tours.
Sedona Winter Jeep Tours
Off road jeep tours are available all winter long. These jeep and tours will take you along Dry Creek Road.
They are really fun and can fit up to 6-7 people. The ride is along an extreme rated desert trail beyond what any car has access to.
I love doing these jeep tours. They are so much fun! I wish we would have had more time because this is the tour I would have picked! If you have time this is a great option for your Sedona Winter itinerary.
Sedona Winter ATV Tours
Personally, I think ATV tours would be too cold for me unless you booked it in the afternoon.
6. Helicopter Sedona in December
Booking a helicopter ride in not available all winter, however, if you are visiting Sedona in December you are in luck because they are still available.
Winter in Sedona
Sedona has a small airport where you will start your adventure. You will be able to spot some of the distinct landmarks like the Holy Cross, Cathedral Rock, and Devil's Bridge from the air. The helicopter ride is normally around 30 minutes.
7. Sedona Glass Blowing Workshop
Sedona is known for its art, so one awesome thing to do while you visit Sedona in Winter is a Glass Blowing Experience. You can create an amazing piece of artwork and learn a new talent.
This is a fantastic experience to book after playing all day on the red rocks. If the weather isn't wonderful this is an indoor activity that will keep you warm as well.
It does take these projects a full night to anneal. So do not book this on your last day in Sedona during winter, however, there is an option to ship your design home if you are leaving town.
8. Boynton Canyon Trolley Tour
If you want to go for a fun scenic drive to Boynton Canyon consider the Boynton Trolley Experience.
This is a great ride where you will learn about native American stories and learn about the area.
9. Visting the Sedona Village
Sedona has a shopping district that is fun to visit and explore. Tlaquepaque and arts and crafts village.
If you are visiting Sedona in December, there are fun events happening at Tlaquepaque.
Sedona in December Events
- Sedona Tree Lighting and Santa Visit
- Festival of Lights
- Santa Photos with Pets
- Magic of Winter
On Main Street, you can visit art museums, and spas, and eat delicious restaurants.
10. Visit the Chapel of the Holy Cross
The Chapel of the Holy Cross has been voted as one of the top 10 most beautiful churches around the world.
It is a roman Catholic parish. Mass is held here weekly and weddings are preformed as well.
You can tour the building from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. This is a fantastic Sedona Winter activity!
11. Eating in Sedona in Winter
After a fun day in Sedona in winter, heading to one of the many yummy restaurants is a great idea. There are lot of options.
We decided to go to Javelina Cantina Mexican restaurant. It was really good. We had great service and the food was delicious. We were only able to go to this one restaurant when we were in town but I would highly recommend it.
Going out on the town is fun in Sedona!
Things to Do in Sedona in Winter
Are you ready to visit Sedona in Winter? I highly recommend visiting winter in Sedona. I hope this post helps you know what fun things to do in Sedona in Winter you would like to do.
If you are planning Sedona in December it is probably the best month of winter to go because more tours are available and the weather is better than going to Sedona in January or February. March is a great time as well just because the temperatures are a little warmer.
Have so much fun in Sedona in Winter!
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