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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Scottsdale in 2024 (Our Take)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Scottsdale in 2024 (Our Take)

What's the best time to visit Scottsdale?

The best time to visit Scottsdale, Arizona, is in early spring or late fall, offering milder temperatures suitable for outdoor activities, from swimming to hiking and mountain biking. Avoiding the extreme summer heat, these seasons provide a comfortable climate for enjoying Scottsdale’s scenic desert landscape and numerous events like MLB Spring Training in March and cultural festivals in the fall.

The city of Scottsdale is one of Arizona’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to its many resorts and other attractions. Nestled in the desert, Scottsdale offers easy access to sparse, spectacular desert wonders such as the heights of Pinnacle Peak Park or on a Jeep tour of the Sonoran Desert.

The main attraction of the town is the many opportunities for pampering, from the boutiques of Old Town to the many resorts, spas, golf courses, and other amenities offered to visitors. Full of artsy charm, there’s something for everyone in Scottsdale.

The real trick is knowing when’s the best time to visit to take advantage of all the city has to offer. This quick guide can help you figure out when to visit Scottsdale, how to beat the crowds, and more.

The Overall Best Time to Visit Scottsdale

Photo of the canal pictured in the spring, the best time to visit Scottsdale, with blue skies overhead and still water with flowers in the foreground


The best time to visit Scottsdale is in early spring (March-April) or late fall (mid-October to November) for milder temperatures and access to a wide variety of outdoor activities.

Scottsdale is located in the desert, which means that it can experience extreme weather. High temperatures in the summer months of June, July, and August regularly climb above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to U.S. Climate Data.

At this temperature, not only is it unpleasant to spend a lot of time outdoors, but it is downright dangerous to go hiking during the day. The spring and fall are still warm, but have much milder temperatures.

Average temperatures in April and October are in the mid-80s, which is warm but not too hot. This weather is the perfect climate to visit Scottsdale because the temperatures are still warm enough to make the most of your resort or accommodation by lounging by the pool.

To cool off, you can also visit one of the many rivers and swimming holes close to the city, such as the Salt River. If you visit during the spring, water levels are even high enough to go white water rafting (the rest of the year the season is closed).

Although it’s still warm enough to go swimming, it’s also cool enough to try out other outdoor activities on the many trails near Scottsdale.

Spring is the perfect time to explore the Sonoran Desert as the weather is not too hot and you may even get to see wildflower blooms or wildlife (including babies). Go on a hike or on a 4×4 tour in this amazing landscape.

Spring and fall are also great times for more strenuous outdoor activities, such as:

  • Hiking Camelback Mountain
  • Mountain biking in the desert
  • Horseback riding on one of the local ranches

Spring and fall are also the busiest seasons in Scottsdale, with plenty of events to keep you busy. One of the main crowd draws is MLB Spring Training, which happens every March. This is a must-visit event for fans of baseball, but expect hotel prices and crowds to peak around this time.

Other popular spring events include:

Fall also has many popular events, although they are more low-key and mostly geared towards arts and culture. Popular artsy events such as the Canal Convergence bring together locals and tourists alike.

Plus, fall is when outdoor activities such as the farmer’s market and outdoor movies and concerts restart, following summer’s unbearable heat.

Cheapest Time to Visit Scottsdale

Summer view of a house with a pool at a resort pictured during the summer, the cheapest time to visit Scottsdale


The absolute cheapest time to visit Scottsdale is the summer, but you can also find good deals if you visit in January or early February.

Summer in Scottsdale is difficult to enjoy, with temperatures sometimes even reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it’s a lot easier to enjoy from the vantage of your discounted resort.

Even high-end resorts offer steep discounts during the summer, and you can get a hotel stay for less than half what you would pay during peak season. If you want to save money but aren’t ready for these levels of extreme heat, some parts of winter also offer savings.

Although winter is popular among snowbirds, it isn’t as popular as the spring, so prices don’t start to rise until March. In January or February, you can get discounts of 20-30% on your hotel room.

In the winter, you can save a lot of money on other trip-related expenses, not just accommodation. Flying within the United States tends to cost the least after New Year’s since airlines offer post-holiday season discounts.

Rental cars tend to be at their most affordable in the winter, with discounts of up to 80% on high season prices. Winters in Scottsdale are cooler, with evening temperatures sometimes hovering just above freezing.

However, it’s still warm enough to go hiking and exploring during the day. Winter is also a popular time for events in town, from art shows to Western Week and the Parada del Sol Parade, which celebrate the city’s Old West heritage.

One of the most popular winter events is the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a popular golf tournament. Keep in mind that prices tend to go up slightly during popular winter events, so if you’re not interested in attending, avoid them on the calendar to save money.

Least Busy Time to Visit Scottsdale

Cool view of trees and lighted fountains outside of a shopping mall in Scottsdale

Mark Skalny/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Scottsdale is the summer, but you can also beat the crowds by visiting in the early fall. Summer is the least attractive time to visit Scottsdale, mostly due to the hot weather.

However, the benefit is that there are way fewer people around. You can have all the amenities in your resort practically to yourself, and get reservations quickly for popular restaurants.

The crowds stay away until well into fall, with occupancy rates only beginning to climb back up in mid-October. Early autumn is still hot, but much more pleasant than the summer, and outdoor activities are possible.

Hiking and horseback riding are particularly popular, with nearby ranches and parks offering seasonal attractions such as the pumpkin patch at MacDonald’s Ranch.

Fall is also the best time to come for passionate golfers. In the winter and spring, golf courses are so crowded that you have to reserve popular golf courses, but in the fall you can just walk in and tee off.

Fall is also one of the best times to visit for good photos. Sunsets in the desert are vibrant due to the unique dry air, making for spectacular colors.

Worst Time to Visit Scottsdale

Hot day in the Majestic McDowell Mountains pictured during the summer, the worst time to visit Scottsdale

86Eric_Anthony_Mischke 86/Shutterstock

The absolute worst time to visit Scottsdale is the summer, when the heat is truly unbearable. Don’t underestimate the power of the desert summer. Temperatures in June, July, and August rarely dip below 100 degrees.

If you try to go on a hike, you’ll probably get heatstroke within the first 10 minutes. It’s no wonder that tourists don’t really come, and that locals mostly stick to the air-conditioned indoors.

If all you want is to spend time in a resort by the pool, then summer is an alright time to visit since you’ll get discounts on popular resorts (and it will definitely be hot enough to go swimming).

You can still do outdoor activities such as golf or yoga, as long as you get up with the sun before it gets too hot or head on nighttime excursions. Plus, there’s always indoor attractions such as the mall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Long exposure image of the Old Town fountains pictured during the best time to visit Scottsdale, the spring and fall

Scottsdale, AZ – February 9 2020: Traffic at night around Bob Parks’ Bronze Horse Fountain in Old Town Scottsdale’s 5th Avenue Shopping district/Kenelamb Photographics/Shutterstock

Still have questions about picking the best time to visit Scottsdale? We’ve got answers:

What are the hottest months in Scottsdale Arizona?

The hottest months in Scottsdale are June, July, and August, with temperatures reaching well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is Scottsdale bearable in the summer?

Scottsdale is unbearable in the summer, unless you are coming from another place that gets similar hot, dry heat. Avoid this season if you can.

What is the rainiest month in Arizona?

Arizona experiences desert monsoons, so expect rain in August, September, and January. The summer months tend to have fierce thunderstorms as well.

What’s the best month to visit Arizona?

The best month to visit Arizona in general is April, when temperatures are warm but not too hot and you can catch wildflower blooms in the desert.

So, When Is the Best Time to Visit Scottsdale?

Any time between October and early May is a good time to visit Scottsdale to avoid the summer heat. The best time is the spring, thanks to the great temperature and wildflowers, but fall is also beautiful.