Sedona is an Arizona destination that calls to travelers from near and far with good reason. As scenic as it is exciting, Sedona is a place perfectly suited to the outdoor adventurer and traveler seeking restful and restorative moments alike. When your travel plans bring you this way in the winter, there is no shortage of options for fun waiting to be enjoyed. The following are just a few of the many things to do in Sedona in Winter you’ll want to be sure to add to your thrilling itinerary!
Enjoy the Slow Season
When people think of Sedona, they often think of hiking and being stuck out in the Arizona desert heat. They think of being hot, sweaty and looking for any type of relief. But that couldn’t be further from the truth, especially during the winter. Sedona definitely has a slow season where there are a lot less visitors running around Sedona. During the slow season you’ll be able to experience more, while being cool and laid-back, and possibly even experience a famous Sedona snowstorm. If you’re in town during December you’ll even be able to experience many of the holiday festivities that take place around the area.
Prices and rates for Sedona vacation rentals are usually a lot lower during the winter months than they are during the summer time when accommodations in Sedona are in high demand.
Local’s tip: Hiking is also a good idea during the slow season, as there are a lot less people on the trails leaving more time for you to get that perfect photo for your Instagram. Check out our favorite hiking trails in Sedona.
Enjoy a Hike
Hiking the many scenic trails that wind their way through the Sedona landscape is a well-loved summer activity that’s perhaps even more enjoyable in the winter thanks to fewer crowds and mild weather! Those winter travelers with a passion for trekking new routes won’t want to leave their hiking boots behind. Rather, this is the perfect time of year to check out iconic and hidden trails alike without having to worry about waiting for a line of people ahead of you. Devil’s Bridge, Munds Wagon Trail, and Airport Mesa are just a few of the many favorites you could consider starting with while you’re in the area.
Take a Jeep Tour
Yes, the landscape might look a bit different in Sedona if your travel plans bring you this way in the very middle of winter, but that makes booking a Pink Jeep Tour that much more exciting! Once you’re safely strapped in, you’ll take a backcountry trip with a guide behind the wheel who knows the most thrilling routes leading to some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable! Bring your camera and sense of adventure for this one-of-a-kind Sedona activity in Winter that proves well worth your time when winter is the season for your Sedona fun.
Photograph the Landscape
Incredible red rock buttes, sweeping canyons, and cliffs as well as delightful desert terrain all make up the landscape that visitors can’t wait to enjoy when they head to Sedona any time of year. That said, if you head this way in the winter, you could be in for some aesthetic and seasonal contrast that makes Sedona the very best canvas for photographers. At the peak of winter, it’s possible to see snow-capped rock formations in this area and the winter light lends itself perfectly to pristine pictures. For all of these reasons and more, grabbing your camera and enjoy a winter photography session in Sedona is an activity that could very well be a highlight of your stay!
Check Out the Festival of Lights
Another fun festival tradition in Sedona takes place at Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village. Every year thousands and thousands of luminaries are lit and lined along the pathways of this quirky shopping center in honor of cancer survivors. You can bring your own, decorate them at home and then bring them, or they can be purchased at the event to be lit during that time.
The Sedona Festival of Lights first started almost 50 years ago and has continued annually since. With visits from Santa, live music, and other activities catered to families this event is a can’t miss if you are in Sedona during the holiday season. Walking through the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village is almost like a Christmas dream with lights towering above and below you. You will feel the true meaning of the holidays in full affect during this event.
Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village has been a landmark in Sedona since the 1970s, they are the true “Art and Soul“ of Sedona. This event provides free shuttles from surrounding areas so that parking is not a difficult venture. This event is very popular so expect to be surrounded by many like-minded individuals who love the holidays just as much as you.
Take Advantage of Fewer Crowds and go Shopping
When there are fewer crowds to contend with, the possibilities for fun are endless in Sedona and that includes time set aside to enjoy shopping in the city’s historic downtown. This fun and vibrant area is made that much more enjoyable when you have more space to move freely between boutique storefronts. Whether you’re on the hunt for apparel, souvenirs, art, or handcrafted goods, you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more and can feel free to shop at a pace that suits your travel style.
Book a Hot Air Balloon Ride
A winter trip to Sedona is an ideal time to take your travels to a new sky-high vantage point and it starts by booking a hot air balloon ride while you’re in town! This thrilling things to do in Sedona in Winter is a fantastic way to get a bird’s eye view on the landscape and create memories with your travel companions that you won’t soon forget. Northern Lights Balloon Expeditions is a great place to start. Open daily from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm, this company specializes in providing hot air balloon rides that point out those points of interest travelers crave with insight along the way from a knowledgeable and experienced pilot. The opportunity to see canyons, red rocks, and colorful terrain from above in this style is just something you won’t want to miss out on!
Take A Helicopter Tour of Sedona
Whether the weather is cold, or whether the weather is hot, a Helicopter Tour is always a good idea when you’re in Sedona. Aerial views and stunning vistas across the Sonoran Desert are hard to be missed when traveling by helicopter. Sedona Air Tours offers one of the best experiences when looking for the perfect helicopter flight and guide. They offer two-hour tours that will leave you with the visions of a snow globe Sedona printed in your mind for years and years.
Keep in mind to book in advance at least a week ahead with Sedona Air Tours. That way you’re guaranteed the beautiful memory of hovering above one of the nation’s most breath-taking areas.
Ride the Verde Canyon Railroad Christmas Train
Just next door in Clarkdale, Arizona is the forever-chugging Verde Canyon Railroad. During the year they offer many excursions up and through the Verde Valley by Train. During the Winter time things get a little different, as your trip is transported through the Verde Valley up all the way to the North Pole to visit Santa and his Christmas village.
If you have kids, the Railroad Christmas Train is one of the best excursions you can take. Mr. and Mrs. Claus hop aboard to read holiday stories to the young ones while passing out candy canes while Christmas Carolers are also onboard singing some of your favorite Christmas tunes. All of this and more is happening while surrounded by the beautiful red rocks of Arizona. This is a can’t miss activity if you’re in Sedona during December. Reservations are strongly encouraged; this event is very popular and is often a highlight of many locals holiday traditions.
Visit the Verde Canyon Railroad website for tickets and more information.
Book A Yoga Class
Sedona is revered as one of the most spiritual places in the Southwest. It’s a no brainer to book a yoga class no matter the time of year, but it’s even better to book during the winter for a good workout to warm up your blood. With many yoga studios around the area it won’t be hard to find a place that suits you best.
From beginner classes, to more experienced classes, to even classes that put you in different spaces, like hot yoga. When practicing hot yoga, the rooms are cranked up to a warm temperature so you can sweat out all those impurities. There are even yoga classes that are offered outdoors on the red rocks. Truly be one with nature as you cobra up from the ground to view the beautiful surrounding vistas that Sedona have to offer, all while breaking a sweat and keeping warm.
Experience a Horseback Ride
If a winter trip to Sedona has you inspired to access your inner cowboy or cowgirl, you’re in luck! This mild weather season in Arizona is the perfect time to try your skills on horseback and book a trail ride that’s both scenic and fun. Hitting the trails is a great way to access new terrain and learn a new skill simultaneously. Both Wild Western Horseback Adventures in nearby Camp Verde as well as Horsin’ Around Adventures in Cornville offer these trips for individuals and groups alike.
Book Today and Enjoy These Sedona Activities in Winter
When you’re ready to make the most of a winter getaway to Sedona, the property professionals at I Love Sedona are on-hand and ready to help. We’ll make sure you’re settled into a vacation rental that meets your need and exceeds expectations too! Let us handle the logistics so when you arrive, all that’s left to enjoy is the fun. Reach out today to learn more and to start planning your next trip!