Arizona in Fall

Fall in Arizona is a great time to visit due to the milder temperatures compared to the previous summer months.

From September to November, the state sees milder temperatures and fewer crowds in many places, making it an ideal time to explore its numerous attractions, scenic landscapes, and vibrant cultural festivals.

This article offers tips and information on the top destinations to visit in Arizona during the autumn season for

  • Crowds
  • Weather
  • What to Wear
  • Things to Do

Whether you choose to explore the majestic Grand Canyon or indulge in the urban delights of Phoenix or Tucson, the fall season will cater to every traveler’s penchant with its wealth of options and pleasant climate.

Tours/Hotels: Want to enjoy the best hotels and tours in Arizona during the fall without spending a fortune? You’re in luck! Below, you’ll find our hand-picked links to unbeatable deals on top-notch stays and exciting adventures — all within your budget:

🎟️ Antelope Canyon Tours
🏜️ Grand Canyon Tours
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🛖 Book Cheap Hotels in Arizona | HOTELS.COM

Additional resources:

🛣️ Arizona Travel Guides (Amazon)
💊 Travel Insurance (luggage/medical)
🚗 Rental Cars via

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Comfortable temperatures and a variety of activities are what make places like Flagstaff, Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Tucson, and Saguaro National Park worth visiting in the fall.

The lower temperatures, particularly in October and November, make outdoor activities and explorations much more enjoyable. For those seeking tranquility amidst nature, the colors of fall transforming the trees into a vibrant canvas of yellows provides the perfect backdrop for hiking, photography, or simply appreciating the natural splendor of Arizona.

Fall Overview

Fall in Arizona weather brings milder temperatures than during the extreme summer months, especially in October and November. During this time, fewer crowds can be seen at many places, and hotel rates often decrease.

During the fall months from September to November, average high temperatures in Arizona can range from the upper 90s°F (around 37°C) in the warmer regions like Phoenix and Tucson, gradually cooling down to the mid-60s°F (around 18°C) in areas such as Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon.

As each region has its own unique weather patterns and other specifics, we offer separate tips for each area.

  • Antelope Canyon (Page) | The Wave (Kanab)
  • Flagstaff | Grand Canyon (Mogollon Rim Country)
  • Phoenix | Tucson | Saguaro National Park (Central/Southern Deserts)
  • Sedona | Petrified Forest National Park (North/Central Arizona)

💡 Don’t forget to read our 10 ‘must-do’ things at the end of the article.

Antelope Canyon | The Wave

If you plan to visit Antelope Canyon, please keep in mind that the light beams are only present until mid-October. However, it’s still a magical experience in late October and November, just without the famous light beams.


Antelope Canyon: It’s usually still very busy in early fall, especially on weekends. Book your tour for a weekday if possible. Read our full Antelope Canyon season guide.

Upper Antelope Canyon crowd tip:

  • Midday tours are heavily crowded until mid-October (light beam season).
  • It’s less busy if you book an early morning tour during the week. No light beams, though.
  • But still, don’t expect a quiet visit.
  • Less busy in the off-season fall months in late October and in November, burt without light beams. However, avoid weekend tours and book your slot online in advance!

While Upper Antelope Canyon is slightly less busy in November there is no more real off-season these days, except for January (we had a quiet time during a mid-January visit).

Lower Antelope Canyon used to be less busy, so there is always a chance for less crowded tours.

The Wave: Since only 64 persons per day are allowed to hike The Wave each day, crowds are not an issue on the trail. Read our complete ‘The Wave in Arizona guide.


Antelope Canyon: The average high temps in September hover around 87°F (30°C) and drop to 65°F (21°C) in late November. Thus, you will experience pleasant weather conditions in the fall months.

Rain: Until mid-September, it’s still ‘Arizona’s Monsoon Season’ with a higher possibility for rain and storms. However, thunderstorms are usually afternoon thundershowers and more wind and lightning than rain. But still, dangerous flash floods are possible.

Once, we went on an Antelope Canyon tour in early fall, and it was predicted to be rainy. I was disappointed as I thought it would spoil our experience. However, our tour operator informed us that cloudy days were ideal for taking photos, which made me feel better.

Despite there being a 70% chance of rain, it did not start sprinkling until we were almost back to our car. Afternoon have a higher chance of rain.

The Wave: The weather conditions in this area are comparable to those in Antelope Canyon and Page.

What to Wear

Typically, you can dress in t-shirts and shorts throughout the fall time. The evenings and mornings are, of course, a bit chillier, so bring a sweater and pants to change into on the colder nights, especially in late fall.

Flagstaff | Havasupai | Grand Canyon


Besides springtime, fall offers decreased crowds in Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. It is one of the slower seasons that this area experiences every year. If you’re looking to avoid a massive number of people, head to this region during September (after Labor Day), October, and November. However, September can still have medium crowds, especially on weekends. October and November in particular are a lot quieter.

As the demand is down for accommodations during this season, you’ll find the rates are also reasonable and much lower than in summer/winter. Book trips during this time for you and your family – you’ll still be able to enjoy the outdoors during the fall time.


The weather in Flagstaff during the fall time ranges from 71°F (September) down to 51°F in November. The average rainfall during these months ranges between 3-5 days, so you’ll be able to avoid the rain as well in this area.

The Grand Canyon stays on the warmer side even through the fall months. Expect the temperatures to stay between 96°F (September) and 69°F (November).

Rain is even more scarce here, with an average of 2-3 days per month. This fall months were always our preferred time to do outdoor activities without overheating – especially in October/November.

Havasupai/Havasu Falls: In September, it’s pleasant and still very warm, but still a very busy month. Start your hike to the falls early! Also, thunderstorms and flash floods can still happen until mid-September.

In October, it’s still pleasant at Havasu Falls without the summer heat: 48-77°F (9-25°C). Especially until mid-October, it’s perfect for swimming and hiking: It’s hot enough to get wet all day and cold enough to wear a light sweater.

In November temperatures drop to 37-63°F (3-17°C), but it’s still a great month and less busy. However, many visitors say that it’s not pleasant to swim anymore.

What To Wear

As the temperature begins to decrease in Flagstaff, you’ll want to include light to medium jackets during the daytime. In September, you can get away with a light jacket both during the day and at night.

Once you hit November, expect to need a thicker jacket and more layers – especially at night as the temperatures drop to the 20s. Plan on bringing thicker pants like jeans, long sleeve shirts, and boots or thicker closed toes shoes. At the beginning of fall, you’ll want to wear lighter pants (like cargo pants), t-shirts, and sneakers.

With the temperatures in the Grand Canyon staying higher, you can continue to dress in t-shirts and shorts throughout the fall time. The evenings are, of course, a bit chillier so bring a sweater and pants to change into on the colder nights.

Things To Do / Great Time To

September-November is the best time to see fall colors in Arizona. Yellow hues cover the trees and provide excellent scenery.

Fall is the best time to visit the Grand Canyon with fewer crowds and warmer weather. There will still be some crowds as it is a popular destination. However, it will be closer to ½ the number of people who visit in the summer.

Grand Canyon: Grab a spot on a helicopter tour in the fall. With fewer crowds, you’ll find more availability to do this activity. There is also higher availability for van, airplane, and bicycling tours during this time.

If you’re visiting in September, head to the Annual Celebration of Art. This is hosted each year at the Grand Canyon and features art surrounding the location. The event is free to attend and benefits an art shop in the South Rim.

October brings the Fall Sustainability Fair. If you’re traveling with children and are interested in having them learn about protecting the environment, you’ll love this event.

Flagstaff: With the beautiful fall colors in Arizona being present, it’s a great time to hike around Flagstaff. You’ll be able to view both amazing flowers and bright foliage. Head to Wilson Meadow for both as well as shorter trails that are perfect for kids.

The end of September features the Flagstaff Star Party, which features night sky sights and workshops. You’ll also be able to learn more about the stars via presentations.

In October, you can check out the popular Sacred Spaces event. This takes place in the NAU Ardey Auditorium and is sponsored by the army. It features videos and music of the Grand Canyon.

Phoenix | Tucson | Saguaro National Park


Fall time in Phoenix, Tucson, and Saguaro National Park offers lower crowds, making it an excellent time to visit these locations. This is the time of the year to grab great accommodation rates.

Crowds will start increasing in Tucson/Phoenix in November, and hotel room rates will increase due to the pleasant winter season. Aim to travel here in September/October.


Phoenix weather stays between 100°F and 76°F as it shifts into the colder season. Tucson and Saguaro National Park offer temperatures of 95°F – 74°F. The weather tends to stay dry for these three locations through the fall, with only a few days of rain each month.

If these temperatures are still too warm for you – aim for evening activities. Or, make sure to take breaks by stopping in stores/restaurants every few hours.

What To Wear

With the high temperatures through the fall season, you’ll want to wear items that both block the sun and keep you cool. This includes UV blocking shirts (long sleeves if available), shorts or light cotton pants, and hats.

Temperatures dip down to the 50s in these areas during the nighttime, so it’s best to bring jackets, sweaters, and hoodies at night. Prepare to wear lighter clothes during the day and layers in the evenings.

Things to Do / Great Time To

Fall is the best time to visit these areas. The hotel rates are low, and crowds have dispersed.

This is also the best time to do outdoor activities like hiking. You’ll be able to enjoy sunny weather for the most part without the staggering heat of the summer.

Phoenix: Ride above Phoenix by hot air balloon. You’ll be able to see the scenery from a new perspective in the fall. It’s also a great time to participate in fall activities like visiting a pumpkin farm.

Desert Botanical Garden offers fun exhibits in the fall. Check out the monarch butterfly exhibit or the annual ofrenda exhibit. Both will wow you and your family.

If you’re a fan of folk-rock music, check out the Outlaw Music Festival that occurs in October. Expect to see big names like The Avett Brothers.

Tucson: Fall in Tucson brings multiple pumpkin patches for the kids and fresh produce at each pumpkin farm. This is a great way to entertain the kids while viewing the changing fall colors.

Film Fest Tucson runs for four days in October and features more than 30 films. You’ll be able to catch documentaries of varying lengths during this event.

The Tucson Fall Fine Arts Festival is a must-see during November. It has been ongoing for 60+ years and features art from local artists, crafters, and unique ethnic foods to try along the way.

Saguaro National Park: Fall is an excellent time to learn about the bugs, animals, and cacti in the Saguaro National Park. Each Wednesday in October, a short update is provided on what can be seen in this park.

Attend the Sonoran Secrets To Desert Survival event for information about how plants/animals survive here. Not only will you learn the survival tactics of the local critters, but you’ll also gain information on how you can stay safe in the heat.

Sedona | Petrified Forest National Park


Crowds are high in Sedona during the fall. This is due to a combination of the more mild temperatures available and the beautiful fall colors. You can expect hotel rates to be high in the fall, just like during the spring months.

Good to know: The busiest of all times in Sedona, regardless of the season, is in October. Try to avoid this time if possible.

Petrified Forest National Park has an average amount of crowds/visitors during this time. Fall is not the least or most crowded season for this spot. Expect the surrounding hotels to be at a somewhat reasonable price.


The weather in Sedona and Petrified Forest National Park is fantastic during the fall. Sedona offers temperatures of 88°F to 65°F. Petrified Forest sees slightly lower temperatures ranging from 84°F to 60°F.

During the fall months, it is common to see some rain as well. The majority of the days will still be sunny though about 3-5 days will have rainstorms.

What To Wear

As the temperatures are within a few degrees between the two locations, you can safely pack the same clothing items for each location. For earlier fall trips, you can opt for skirts/shorts, t-shirts, and sneakers. Later fall will have you wanting to wear jeans and long-sleeved shirts.

Of course, it gets chillier in the later parts of the day, especially in November. There is a small chance you will see snow in November, just in case, bring some boots and a coat.

Things To Do / Great Time To

Fall is the best time to see the foliage near the red rocks in Sedona. The contrast in colors between the yellowed leaves and the red sand offers quite a picturesque sight.

This season is the best time to bring your dog to Petrified Forest National Park. The milder temperatures allow for a safer time to explore the park without fear of your furry friend overheating. Of course, make sure you bring enough water even though the temperatures are lower.

Sedona: Take your family for apple picking in Sedona during the fall. September/October brings many family-friendly activities. It’s the perfect time for a weekend trip here.

Red Rocks Music Festival is not to be missed. It occurs every year in October and offers group and solo performances by a chamber orchestra.

Bike lovers can enjoy the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, which runs for three days in November. You’ll find new gear here, live entertainment every night, and bike demos. It’s a perfect event for adventure lovers and bike enthusiasts.

Petrified Forest National Park: Beyond hiking in this park with your family and dog, there are excellent activities and events during the fall season. The junior park ranger activities continue through the end of December. If you’re planning on an extended stay – these are a great option for children.

In November, there is a guided backcountry hike that leads through Blue Mesa Walkabout. This is a free event and is geared towards intermediate to advanced hikers. You’ll be hiking off-trail for about 6-6.5 miles.

10 Best Things to Do in Fall

As the sweltering summer heat subsides, Arizona reveals its other side, offering a variety of vibrant and exciting experiences perfect for fall.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an adrenaline junkie, there’s something for everyone. So grab your things and get ready to discover the top 10 things to do in Arizona during the picturesque fall season.

1. Explore the Grand Canyon

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. During fall, the average temperatures range from 96°F (36°C) in September to 69°F (21°C) in November, making it the ideal time to appreciate its vast and colorful landscapes.

How to get there: From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, it’s a scenic drive of about 3.5 hours by car.

Why it’s great: The Grand Canyon’s awe-inspiring size, vibrant colors, and unique geology make it a must-visit.

Visiting tips: It’s less crowded in the fall, especially after Labor Day. Helicopter tours are more available during this season, offering a unique perspective of the canyon.

How to spend your time: Plan for a hike down the canyon, take a mule trip, or embark on a white-water rafting adventure.

2. Hiking in Flagstaff

Experience the brilliance of fall colors while hiking in Flagstaff. With temperatures ranging from 71°F (22°C) in September to 51°F (11°C) in November, it’s the perfect time to explore the city’s stunning trails.

How to get there: Flagstaff is a 2-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: Flagstaff’s colorful autumn foliage provides breathtaking vistas and great photo opportunities.

Visiting tips: Dress in layers to handle temperature changes and always carry water and wear comfortable shoes.

How to spend your time: Explore various trails for varying difficulties and make sure to visit the picturesque Wilson Meadow.

3. Hot Air Balloon Ride over Phoenix

Soar above Phoenix’s cityscape and surrounding desert in a hot air balloon. In fall, the temperature stays between 100°F (38°C) and 76°F (24°C), a wonderful time to enjoy an unparalleled view of the city.

How to get there: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is in the heart of the city, and hot air balloon ride providers are just a short drive away.

Why it’s great: The sky-high perspective offers a unique way to appreciate Phoenix’s sprawling cityscape and the beauty of the desert.

Visiting tips: Wear comfortable clothes and bring your camera to capture these unforgettable views.

How to spend your time: After the ride, explore Phoenix’s vibrant arts scene and indulge in the city’s culinary delights.

4. Visit a Pumpkin Patch in Tucson

Celebrate the essence of fall by visiting a pumpkin patch in Tucson. The average high temperatures are 95°F (35°C) in September and 74°F (23°C) in November, making it a fun and comfortable outdoor activity.

How to get there: Tucson is about a 2-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: Pumpkin patches offer a quintessential fall experience, perfect for family outings.

Visiting tips: Remember to bring sunscreen and wear comfy shoes for the farm terrain.

How to spend your time: Pick your perfect pumpkin, take part in a hayride, navigate a corn maze, and savor a pumpkin-flavored treat.

5. Attend the Fall Sustainability Fair in Flagstaff

Embrace the spirit of conservation at the Fall Sustainability Fair in Flagstaff. With pleasant outdoor weather during fall, it’s a great time to learn about environmental protection.

How to get there: Flagstaff is easily accessible by a 2-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: It’s an educational and interactive event, perfect for those interested in sustainability and the environment.

Visiting tips: Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and be ready to soak up new knowledge.

How to spend your time: Attend presentations, participate in engaging activities, and interact with exhibitors dedicated to promoting sustainability.

6. Tour the Sedona Red Rocks

Discover the beauty of Sedona’s famous Red Rocks, especially vibrant during the fall season. With temperatures dropping from 86°F (30°C) in September to 62°F (17°C) in November, this is an ideal time to enjoy Sedona’s scenic beauty.

How to get there: Sedona is just a 2-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: The dramatic red rock formations set against the clear blue sky offer an unforgettable visual spectacle.

Visiting tips: Take a guided tour for a deeper understanding of the area’s geology and culture. Don’t forget your camera!

How to spend your time: Besides hiking, consider taking a jeep tour or try out mountain biking.

7. Attend the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix

Join in the festivities at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix, one of the most anticipated events in fall. The weather averages between 100°F (38°C) and 76°F (24°C) during this season, so it’s comfortable for a day full of outdoor fun.

How to get there: The Arizona State Fair is held in Phoenix, easily accessible from the Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: The fair offers a variety of entertainment, from thrilling rides and games to concerts and food stalls.

Visiting tips: Plan your visit ahead of time to cover various attractions, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

How to spend your time: Try out different rides, taste unique foods, and enjoy live performances.

8. Wildlife Viewing in the Sonoran Desert

Experience the unique flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. Temperatures range from 100°F (38°C) in September to 74°F (23°C) in November, making fall a good time for wildlife viewing.

How to get there: The Sonoran Desert can be accessed from Phoenix, which is just a short drive from Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: It’s home to diverse and unique species like the saguaro cactus and the Gila monster.

Visiting tips: Opt for a guided tour for a safer and more informed experience. Don’t forget your binoculars!

How to spend your time: Go on nature walks or wildlife spotting tours, and learn about desert ecology.

9. Visit Old Tucson Studios

Step into the Wild West at Old Tucson Studios, a historic film location. With temperatures dropping from 95°F (35°C) in September to 74°F (23°C) in November, it’s a pleasant time to visit.

How to get there: Old Tucson Studios is located in Tucson, a 2-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Why it’s great: It’s an exciting peek into the world of classic Western films, complete with live stunt shows.

Visiting tips: Check the schedule to catch the various shows and tours. Pack a hat for sun protection.

How to spend your time: Watch exciting live performances, explore the film sets, and take a historic tour.

10. Experience Route 66

Drive along the legendary Route 66 for a taste of classic Americana. Fall temperatures range from 96°F (36°C) in September to 69°F (21°C) in November, making for a comfortable road trip.

How to get there: Route 66 stretches across Northern Arizona. The closest airport is in Flagstaff, a short drive from the route.

Why it’s great: It’s a historical journey lined with iconic landmarks and unique roadside attractions.

Visiting tips: Plan your route ahead of time to hit all the attractions. Don’t forget your road trip playlist!

How to spend your time: Stop at vintage diners, visit unique museums, and snap pictures at famous landmarks like the Twin Arrows.

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