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The Best Time to Visit Arizona in 2024 (& Travel Tips!)

The Best Time to Visit Arizona in 2024 (& Travel Tips!)

What's the best time to visit Arizona?

The best time to visit Arizona is in spring (March-May) when mild temperatures and pleasant weather greet visitors. This season is ideal for exploring national parks, forests, sports, camping, birding, hiking, and enjoying the desert’s wildflower blooms, especially in Saguaro National Park. While occasional showers and wind may occur, they shouldn’t significantly impact your plans.

World-famous for the Grand Canyon, popular for its foodie vibe, and recognized for its natural beauty, Arizona has something for every taste. But picking the wrong time to go can make for a very unpleasant trip.

Below, we’ll share all about the best time to visit Arizona, as well as tips on how to steer away from the busy crowds and secure affordable accommodation rates.

The Overall Best Time to Visit Arizona

A person hiking in an early morning of the best time to visit Arizona using two walking sticks towards a canyon.

Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Arizona is in spring (March—May). This season welcomes visitors with mild temperatures and a pleasant climate (as pleasant as Arizona can get).

Not only that, but it’s one of the best periods of the entire year to pay the national parks and forests a visit, do some sports, go camping, attend birding events, go for a hike, and so on.

Visiting around this time lowers the risk of wildfire encounters, which are far more frequent in the summer. These warmer months also bring about fresh blooms in the desert, with the wildflower season experiencing its peak in May.

If you head to Saguaro National Park, you can see Arizona’s famous cactuses with white flowers. Spring is also ideal for exploring the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, home to more than 50,000 plants and cactuses.

Note that the arrival of spring also brings occasional showers and wind, however, it shouldn’t impact your itinerary in any significant way. Also, spring sees an influx of tourists, as most travelers flock to Arizona to take advantage of the comfortable climate.

If you visit Arizona in spring, don’t forget to plan your visit around some of the more popular events around this time, such as the Tucson Festival of Books (March) and the McDowell Mountain Music Festival (March).

Cheapest Time to Visit Arizona

People dining out in Gilbert, Arizona during the best time to visit the state

GILBERT, ARIZONA – SEPTEMBER 27, 2023: People dining out on patio sidewalk at night under neon lights/Cavan-Images/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Arizona is in the fall (September—November). Fall is the perfect season for visitors who want to avoid peak-season crowds.

Also, engaging in outdoor activities during this time is a blast, as the temperatures are agreeable. Plus, this is a good time to see some of Arizona’s wildlife in their natural habitat.

That said, note that although this is the least busy season to visit Arizona, there are plenty of festivals, which leads to more traffic and moderate crowds in some areas.

Some events in the fall include the Arizona State Fair (September), featuring amusement rides, live performances, versatile food options, and games.

Sedona Arts Festival (October), displaying the work of more than 1000 artists from the ceramics, painting, sculpture, and jewelry industry, Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake (October), promising German beer, fun, a carnival, and food, Arizona Taco Festival (October), the first-ever festival of this kind in the world.

There’s also the Arizona State Fair (October), welcoming guests each year with live entertainment, exciting rides, exhibitions, contests, and diverse food options.

Next, the fall period also coincides with the harvest season, so use your time to sample some local wines and visit local wineries. You can find popular tasting rooms in Sonoita, Wilcox, and the Verde Valley.

November also sees the beginning of ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo, hands down one of the most spectacular light displays you’ve ever seen.

Least Busy Time to Visit Arizona

A winter on a desert where shrubs can be seen covered with snow, captured during the least busy time to visit Arizona.

Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Arizona is in winter (December—February). If you want to steer away from the cold weather in other states, heading to Arizona might do just the trick.

Considering Arizona’s winter conditons, you’ll feel pretty much comfortable most of the time. Warmer cities such as Tucson and Phoenix are still suitable for outdoor recreational activities.

If you visit the Grand Canyon at this time, you may enjoy snow-capped views, minus the peak season crowds and high temperatures. Winter visitors should be on the lookout for the Fiesta Bowl, an American college football bowl game played yearly in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The January Tucson Jazz Festival, brings jazz enthusiasts together. If you’re there in February, keep your eyes peeled for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the world’s biggest gem and mineral show.

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo is still on the table as well. Beer lovers rejoice! February sees the entertaining Arizona Beer Week, an opportunity to sample and celebrate local craft beers.

Devoted to promoting the spring training industry, the Cactus League Spring Training (February-March) is baseball fans’ haven. Finally, keep in mind that high-elevation cities such as Flagstaff and Sedona have a skiing season.

If winter sports resonate with you, by all means, add this activity to your Arizona itinerary. Do note that icy roads and occasional snow storms may mean getting there will be challenging, although this is very rare.

Worst Time to Visit Arizona

Sunrise over the heat in the middle of the summer on Camelback during the overall worst time to visit Arizona

Jeremy Janus/Shutterstock

And the worst time to find yourself in Arizona? Definitely in summer (June—August). Summers in Arizona are hot, dry, and seeing temperatures with triple digits isn’t unheard of.

Also, the monsoon season beginning in late summer makes insects such as mosquitos and animals such as scorpions make an appearance. That said, don’t let these weather conditions deter you from planning your potential summer holiday in Arizona.

The desert is way cooler at night, and getting an early start in the morning might help you avoid the intense day temperatures. Visiting art galleries and museums or heading to the nearest pine forests might also help you cool off.

To make your stay more dynamic, consider joining the Independence Day festivities in Tucson, Phoenix, or Flagstaff and experience the fireworks and parades.

An event honoring creativity, culture, and community, the Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture is a must for culture enthusiasts. If you’re into photography, consider Sedona’s yearly PhotoFest.

Arizona by Month: Climate & Activities

Dusk photo of a canal running through the middle of Scottsdale pictured during the best time to visit Arizona


Still unsure about the best time to visit Arizona? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


Winter temperatures in Arizona range from 4-18°C (39-64°F). It’s an ideal time for outdoor activities in areas like Sedona, exploring the Grand Canyon with milder temperatures, and attending cultural events in cities like Phoenix and Tucson.


Similar to January, February maintains cool temperatures between 6-20°C (43-68°F). Visitors can enjoy hiking in the Sonoran Desert, exploring the red rocks of Sedona, and attending events like the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.


As spring begins, temperatures range from 8-23°C (46-73°F). March is perfect for outdoor adventures in places like Saguaro National Park, attending spring training baseball games, and experiencing the vibrant colors of wildflowers in bloom.


Spring temperatures in Arizona range from 11-28°C (52-82°F). It’s an ideal time for hiking and exploring the unique landscapes of Antelope Canyon, visiting the botanical gardens in Phoenix, and enjoying outdoor festivals.


In May, Arizona sees temperatures ranging from 15-33°C (59-91°F). It’s a great month for river rafting in the Grand Canyon, experiencing the scenic beauty of Oak Creek Canyon, and attending cultural events in Native American reservations.


Summer arrives with temperatures between 20-39°C (68-102°F). June offers opportunities for cooling off in the lakes of the Mogollon Rim, exploring the historic sites of Tombstone, and enjoying the nightlife in cities like Scottsdale.


July maintains hot temperatures from 25-40°C (77-104°F). It’s a peak month for summer activities in Flagstaff, where visitors can escape the heat, and for stargazing in areas like the Lowell Observatory.


Temperatures in Arizona in August range from 24-39°C (75-103°F). Despite the heat, it’s an excellent time for exploring the scenic beauty of the White Mountains, visiting the meteor crater near Winslow, and enjoying the cool nights in higher elevations.


As fall begins, temperatures range from 20-36°C (68-97°F). September is ideal for exploring the red rock formations in Sedona, hiking in the Chiricahua Mountains, and attending events like the Arizona State Fair.


October sees temperatures ranging from 14-30°C (57-86°F). It’s a great month for outdoor activities in the Superstition Mountains, experiencing the fall foliage in Flagstaff, and attending cultural events in Phoenix.


Fall temperatures range from 8-23°C (46-73°F). November is perfect for hiking in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, exploring the historic district of Jerome, and enjoying the Thanksgiving Parade in Phoenix.


In December, winter returns to Arizona with temperatures ranging from 4-18°C (39-64°F). December brings opportunities for holiday festivities in Sedona and Tucson, exploring the festive lights in Phoenix, and skiing in the Arizona Snowbowl.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Arizona?

A car driving on a highway towards canyon landscapes with red soil, snapped during a cloudy day on the best time to visit Arizona.

Michael Urmann/Shutterstock

👍 Best Time to VisitMarch to May
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitSeptember to November
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitDecember to February
👎 Worst Time to VisitJune to August

With that said, there are ways to be flexible and make the weather work for you instead of against you, such as getting an early start in the morning, opting for indoor activities midday, and going on night walks.

All in all, going to Arizona may seem challenging at times due to the extreme weather conditions; however, it’s a state absolutely worth exploring — it has so much to offer that chances are the weather conditions will be the last thing on your mind during your stay there. Happy travels!