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5 Incredible Ways to Experience Sedona in the Fall (Full Guide)

Jun 10, 2024

Southwest

5 Incredible Ways to Experience Sedona in the Fall (Full Guide)

Jun 10, 2024

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I'm a travel creator and influencer coach based out of Arizona. This blog is where I share the best itineraries for US & beyond, 63 US National Parks, and influencer tips.

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Fall in Sedona offers a magical experience. Why, you may wonder?

Picture this: vibrant hues of orange, yellow, and crimson set against the backdrops of towering red rock cliffs, pleasant weather, and lots of things to do in Sedona, all at your disposal. What’s not to love?

From exploring the best hiking trails to taking scenic drives through the wilderness and wine tasting at vineyards amidst foliage, fall is arguably the best time to visit Sedona.

If you’re a nature enthusiast with a passion for photography, look no further than Sedona in the fall.

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

Best Time to See Fall Colors in Sedona

Sedona’s fall colors begin to appear at higher elevations in late September and peak at lower elevations in mid- to late October.

The foliage lasts until early November when even the dry desert spots in the valley are beaming with fall colors.

Best Things to Do in Sedona in the Fall

From leaf peeping and trekking the best hikes in Sedona to chasing waterfalls and taking a stab at nature photography, Sedona in the fall presents a rich blend of fun things to do.

Take a look at these amazing activities that await you during this season.

#1 Go Leaf Peeping + Hiking on the Best Trails

Hiking in Sedona is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the red rock landscapes.

But in the fall, the city has a unique appeal due to its colorful leaves and moderate weather.

Here are a few of the best trails to hike during the fall in Sedona.

West Fork Trail: Offering a scenic walk through a canyon with a creek, the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek is undeniably one of the best in Arizona. Enjoy the vibrant fall colors, the sound of the flowing creek, and the towering canyon walls as you trek through the trail. 

Cathedral Rock Trail: Although it’s a challenging climb, the hike up the Cathedral Rock Trail offers panoramic views of Sedona’s red rock country and vibrant fall foliage. Experience breathtaking views from the top, including expansive vistas of the fall-colored landscape.

Boynton Canyon Trail: This unique hike in Sedona takes you through a scenic box canyon featuring impressive rock formations and vibrant foliage. On the Boynton Canyon Trail, you’ll walk through forested areas, see ancient ruins, and enjoy the peaceful canyon environment.

Bell Rock Pathway: This is a moderate hike offering stunning views of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, two of Sedona’s best attractions. The Bell Rock Pathway hike takes you through open desert terrain with close-up views of iconic rock formations and colorful foliage. 

#2 Take One of the Scenic Drives

If you’re not keen on hiking, these Sedona scenic drives are right up your alley.

Taking a scenic drive is a fantastic way to see the fall foliage without dispensing much energy.

Here are some of the best routes Sedona offers for scenic drives.

Oak Creek Canyon Drive (SR 89A): Winding through several switchbacks and the lush aspen groves of the Coconino Forest from Sedona to Flagstaff, this scenic drive is one of the best ways to see the fall foliage. Stop at the overlooks along the way, like Oak Creek Vista.  

Red Rock Scenic Byway (SR 179): Offering breathtaking views of the famous red rock formations like Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock, this drive takes you through lush scenery with various pullouts. It also gives you primary access to the iconic Sedona vortexes.

#3 Go Chasing Waterfalls

Sedona is home to several hidden waterfalls that are particularly beautiful in the fall.

The combination of colorful leaves and flowing water creates a serene and picturesque setting, perfect for nature photography and relaxation.

Take a look at these scenic waterfall trails.

Seven Sacred Pools: Featuring a series of natural pools formed by cascading water and set against a backdrop of red rocks, the Seven Sacred Pools are surrounded by vibrant foliage in the fall. Use the Soldier Pass Trail to marvel at the pools and lush scenery. 

Slide Rock State Park: Famous for its natural water slide, Slide Rock State Park offers a unique way to experience Sedona’s waters surrounded by colorful foliage. Slide down the natural rock formations, enjoy the cool creek water, and explore the park’s scenic fall beauty. 

#4 Try Your Hand at Nature Photography

There are plenty of Instagrammable places in Sedona, and the fall foliage only makes them prettier.

So, while you’re here, try your hand at nature photography.

Red Rock Crossing is a picturesque spot where you can capture the reflection of Cathedral Rock in Oak Creek.

This famous landmark is set as the backdrop, and the lush foliage sits at the base of Oak Creek.

You can take impressive photos at the iconic Bell Rock.

This attraction stands amidst lush shrubs that turn into vibrant hues of fall colors.

You’ll especially love taking photos of Bell Rock at sunset when the kaleidoscopic sky brims with hues of yellow, orange, and purple. 

#5 Go Wine Tasting

Sedona offers a delightful wine tasting experience with several wineries and tasting rooms.

So, after leaf peeping and hiking amidst the red rocks and foliage, explore the Verde Valley Wine Trail to sample local wines, enjoy vineyard tours, and relax in the beautiful fall weather. 

Here are a couple of Sedona wineries and vineyards to go wine tasting in the fall:

Where to Stay in Sedona During the Fall

Now that you’re all clued up on where to see fall foliage and the best things to do during this season.

Have a look at these unique places to stay in Sedona during the fall. 

Enchantment Resort ($$$)

Providing upscale amenities and stunning views of the red rock landscapes, Enchantment Resort is the best place to stay in Sedona for a tranquil getaway.

Head out to the pool for sweeping views of the towering Boynton Canyon and the colorful foliage set at its base.

You’ll also love that the resort is one of the best spa retreats in Sedona, offering the renowned Mii Amo Spa.

Sky Ranch Lodge ($$)

Looking for panoramic views of the Sedona landscape, affordable prices, and all the modern conveniences of a luxury hotel, then look no further than Sky Ranch Lodge.

It features chic interiors with expansive glass windows and balconies, so you’ll get great views throughout.

Sky Ranch is a pet-friendly hotel in Sedona, so be sure to bring your fur babies along.  

Desert Quail Inn ($)

With backdrops of Sedona’s best attractions, Desert Quail Inn provides an ideal stay for those looking to hike amazing trails.

Besides its proximity to Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, this inn offers modest rooms and amenities like free Wi-Fi, fireplaces, and a pool.

Desert Quail Inn is one of the best budget hotels in Sedona, so you won’t break the bank.

Sedona in the Fall | Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some unanswered questions about Sedona in the fall?

Here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers to respond to the burning questions you might have:

Is October a Good Time to Visit Sedona?

Yes. Contending with the spring months (April – May), October is one of the best times to visit Sedona. T

he month boasts warm weather, vibrant fall foliage, and many activities on offer. You’ll find lots of things to do in Sedona in October, from leaf peeping to chasing waterfalls.

How Do People Dress in Sedona in October?

Daytime temperatures are quite moderate, ranging from 60°F to 70°F, but by the evening, conditions tend to become cooler.

Pack light clothing, including short pants and dresses, but also bring light long-sleeve shirts and a jacket that can be layered during brisk nights.

Can You Swim in Sedona in October?

It depends on the time of day. The evenings can be cool, they’re not yet cold.

Daytime conditions allow you to swim in Sedona’s swimming holes. Grasshopper Point, Slide Rock State Park, and Midgley Bridge are a few of the best places to go swimming in Sedona in October.

Is September a Good Time to Go to Sedona?

Yes. Kicking off the fall season, September is a great time to visit Sedona.

The weather is good for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking, but the waters in Sedona’s swimming holes may not be warm enough for a splash.

However, you’ll be right on time for the Sedona Winefest.

Wrapping Up Sedona in the Fall

Sedona in the fall offers an enchanting mix of natural beauty and outdoor adventure.

From the moderate weather to abundant hiking trails and harvest season events popping up, you’ll have plenty of things to do in Sedona during this season. 

Whether you’re hiking through red rock canyons, driving along scenic byways, chasing waterfalls, or wine tasting along the Verde Valley Wine Trail, there’s something for you.

The fall season provides you with a unique opportunity to experience one of Arizona’s most beautiful destinations at its finest.

So, if you were wondering whether or not Sedona is worth visiting, hopefully, this guide has put your worries at bay.

Next Read: Stowe, Vermont in the Fall

Fall in Sedona offers a magical experience. Why, you may wonder?

Picture this: vibrant hues of orange, yellow, and crimson set against the backdrops of towering red rock cliffs, pleasant weather, and lots of things to do in Sedona, all at your disposal. What’s not to love?

From exploring the best hiking trails to taking scenic drives through the wilderness and wine tasting at vineyards amidst foliage, fall is arguably the best time to visit Sedona.

If you’re a nature enthusiast with a passion for photography, look no further than Sedona in the fall.

Disclaimer: Hey explorer! This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small percentage of each purchase made through my links. I only ever recommend products I believe in and appreciate your support if you decide to use my links—thank you!

Best Time to See Fall Colors in Sedona

Sedona’s fall colors begin to appear at higher elevations in late September and peak at lower elevations in mid- to late October.

The foliage lasts until early November when even the dry desert spots in the valley are beaming with fall colors.

Best Things to Do in Sedona in the Fall

From leaf peeping and trekking the best hikes in Sedona to chasing waterfalls and taking a stab at nature photography, Sedona in the fall presents a rich blend of fun things to do.

Take a look at these amazing activities that await you during this season.

#1 Go Leaf Peeping + Hiking on the Best Trails

Hiking in Sedona is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the red rock landscapes.

But in the fall, the city has a unique appeal due to its colorful leaves and moderate weather.

Here are a few of the best trails to hike during the fall in Sedona.

West Fork Trail: Offering a scenic walk through a canyon with a creek, the West Fork Trail of Oak Creek is undeniably one of the best in Arizona. Enjoy the vibrant fall colors, the sound of the flowing creek, and the towering canyon walls as you trek through the trail. 

Cathedral Rock Trail: Although it’s a challenging climb, the hike up the Cathedral Rock Trail offers panoramic views of Sedona’s red rock country and vibrant fall foliage. Experience breathtaking views from the top, including expansive vistas of the fall-colored landscape.

Boynton Canyon Trail: This unique hike in Sedona takes you through a scenic box canyon featuring impressive rock formations and vibrant foliage. On the Boynton Canyon Trail, you’ll walk through forested areas, see ancient ruins, and enjoy the peaceful canyon environment.

Bell Rock Pathway: This is a moderate hike offering stunning views of Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, two of Sedona’s best attractions. The Bell Rock Pathway hike takes you through open desert terrain with close-up views of iconic rock formations and colorful foliage. 

#2 Take One of the Scenic Drives

If you’re not keen on hiking, these Sedona scenic drives are right up your alley.

Taking a scenic drive is a fantastic way to see the fall foliage without dispensing much energy.

Here are some of the best routes Sedona offers for scenic drives.

Oak Creek Canyon Drive (SR 89A): Winding through several switchbacks and the lush aspen groves of the Coconino Forest from Sedona to Flagstaff, this scenic drive is one of the best ways to see the fall foliage. Stop at the overlooks along the way, like Oak Creek Vista.  

Red Rock Scenic Byway (SR 179): Offering breathtaking views of the famous red rock formations like Courthouse Butte and Bell Rock, this drive takes you through lush scenery with various pullouts. It also gives you primary access to the iconic Sedona vortexes.

#3 Go Chasing Waterfalls

Sedona is home to several hidden waterfalls that are particularly beautiful in the fall.

The combination of colorful leaves and flowing water creates a serene and picturesque setting, perfect for nature photography and relaxation.

Take a look at these scenic waterfall trails.

Seven Sacred Pools: Featuring a series of natural pools formed by cascading water and set against a backdrop of red rocks, the Seven Sacred Pools are surrounded by vibrant foliage in the fall. Use the Soldier Pass Trail to marvel at the pools and lush scenery. 

Slide Rock State Park: Famous for its natural water slide, Slide Rock State Park offers a unique way to experience Sedona’s waters surrounded by colorful foliage. Slide down the natural rock formations, enjoy the cool creek water, and explore the park’s scenic fall beauty. 

#4 Try Your Hand at Nature Photography

There are plenty of Instagrammable places in Sedona, and the fall foliage only makes them prettier.

So, while you’re here, try your hand at nature photography.

Red Rock Crossing is a picturesque spot where you can capture the reflection of Cathedral Rock in Oak Creek.

This famous landmark is set as the backdrop, and the lush foliage sits at the base of Oak Creek.

You can take impressive photos at the iconic Bell Rock.

This attraction stands amidst lush shrubs that turn into vibrant hues of fall colors.

You’ll especially love taking photos of Bell Rock at sunset when the kaleidoscopic sky brims with hues of yellow, orange, and purple. 

#5 Go Wine Tasting

Sedona offers a delightful wine tasting experience with several wineries and tasting rooms.

So, after leaf peeping and hiking amidst the red rocks and foliage, explore the Verde Valley Wine Trail to sample local wines, enjoy vineyard tours, and relax in the beautiful fall weather. 

Here are a couple of Sedona wineries and vineyards to go wine tasting in the fall:

Where to Stay in Sedona During the Fall

Now that you’re all clued up on where to see fall foliage and the best things to do during this season.

Have a look at these unique places to stay in Sedona during the fall. 

Enchantment Resort ($$$)

Providing upscale amenities and stunning views of the red rock landscapes, Enchantment Resort is the best place to stay in Sedona for a tranquil getaway.

Head out to the pool for sweeping views of the towering Boynton Canyon and the colorful foliage set at its base.

You’ll also love that the resort is one of the best spa retreats in Sedona, offering the renowned Mii Amo Spa.

Sky Ranch Lodge ($$)

Looking for panoramic views of the Sedona landscape, affordable prices, and all the modern conveniences of a luxury hotel, then look no further than Sky Ranch Lodge.

It features chic interiors with expansive glass windows and balconies, so you’ll get great views throughout.

Sky Ranch is a pet-friendly hotel in Sedona, so be sure to bring your fur babies along.  

Desert Quail Inn ($)

With backdrops of Sedona’s best attractions, Desert Quail Inn provides an ideal stay for those looking to hike amazing trails.

Besides its proximity to Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte, this inn offers modest rooms and amenities like free Wi-Fi, fireplaces, and a pool.

Desert Quail Inn is one of the best budget hotels in Sedona, so you won’t break the bank.

Sedona in the Fall | Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some unanswered questions about Sedona in the fall?

Here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers to respond to the burning questions you might have:

Is October a Good Time to Visit Sedona?

Yes. Contending with the spring months (April – May), October is one of the best times to visit Sedona. T

he month boasts warm weather, vibrant fall foliage, and many activities on offer. You’ll find lots of things to do in Sedona in October, from leaf peeping to chasing waterfalls.

How Do People Dress in Sedona in October?

Daytime temperatures are quite moderate, ranging from 60°F to 70°F, but by the evening, conditions tend to become cooler.

Pack light clothing, including short pants and dresses, but also bring light long-sleeve shirts and a jacket that can be layered during brisk nights.

Can You Swim in Sedona in October?

It depends on the time of day. The evenings can be cool, they’re not yet cold.

Daytime conditions allow you to swim in Sedona’s swimming holes. Grasshopper Point, Slide Rock State Park, and Midgley Bridge are a few of the best places to go swimming in Sedona in October.

Is September a Good Time to Go to Sedona?

Yes. Kicking off the fall season, September is a great time to visit Sedona.

The weather is good for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking, but the waters in Sedona’s swimming holes may not be warm enough for a splash.

However, you’ll be right on time for the Sedona Winefest.

Wrapping Up Sedona in the Fall

Sedona in the fall offers an enchanting mix of natural beauty and outdoor adventure.

From the moderate weather to abundant hiking trails and harvest season events popping up, you’ll have plenty of things to do in Sedona during this season. 

Whether you’re hiking through red rock canyons, driving along scenic byways, chasing waterfalls, or wine tasting along the Verde Valley Wine Trail, there’s something for you.

The fall season provides you with a unique opportunity to experience one of Arizona’s most beautiful destinations at its finest.

So, if you were wondering whether or not Sedona is worth visiting, hopefully, this guide has put your worries at bay.

Next Read: Stowe, Vermont in the Fall

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