Planning to visit Sedona in October? Whether you have seen Sedona in the fall before or it is your first time, I’ve got you covered to help you plan your trip.
Having visited Sedona many times over the years during different months, I can easily say that October is one of the best months to visit Sedona after the spring months.
Home to mystic vortexes, heritage sites, stunning caves, slot canyons, waterfalls and many more landscapes, and attractions offering splendid panoramic views, there are many fantastic things to do in Sedona in October, with something in store for everyone.
Read on for the complete guide to visiting Sedona in October.
If you are visiting Sedona during a specific month in the winter, check these guides:
OTHER RECOMMENDED POSTS ON SEDONA FOR YOU
WHAT IS THE WEATHER IN SEDONA IN OCTOBER LIKE?
The weather in October in Sedona is typically mild and comfortable, especially for outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing.
The biggest drawback to visiting Sedona in October is that the trails and popular attractions including most tours will be crowded.
Its absolutely stunning beauty in fall and pleasant temperatures make it worth visiting Sedona in October, drawing thousands of visitors.
The Sedona Arizona weather in October is typically not very hot.
The average day temperature in Sedona during the month of October ranges from 20°C to 27°C.
If you plan to be out at night it’s a good idea to bring a light-weight jacket as it can get pretty chilly as the temperature drops to 9°C.
It does not rain very much in Sedona during the month of October.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA IN OCTOBER
ATTEND SEDONA ARTS FESTIVAL
One of the top things to do in Sedona in October for art lovers is the Sedona Arts Festival, which is more than 30 years old.
Sedona Arts Festival is the oldest and most extensive arts festival in the community.
Held every fall in Sedona, witness the beautiful work of more than a hundred local artists who exhibit various creative arts.
From ceramics to photography, sculpture, photography, drawing, fibre art and the Gourmet Gallery, you can enjoy beautiful works of art amidst live music, tasty food and lots of like-minded visitors.
Attend this zero-waste event held during the first half of October in Sedona open to the public for two days.
VISIT THIS ARTS AND CULTURE SHOPPING VILLAGE
Located on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek, Tlaquepaque is a year-round top attraction in the city, but it is known for its signature event during Christmas in Sedona.
This 50+ years old tradition is anticipated by locals and tourists alike as Tlaquepaque transforms into an even more enchanting winter wonderland.
The Tlaquepaque arts and shopping district has been the central attraction during Christmas in Sedona as the area comes alive with over 6000 luminaries.
These luminaries are icons for holidays in the Southwest, traditional paper-bag lanterns with candles set in sand.
Check out the arts and crafts village with shops where you can taste hot chocolates and Christmas cookies and shop for antiques.
The festivities begin after Thanksgiving, as the village basks in thousands of lights and kicks off the season with a Tree Lighting on Dec. 6.
Once the tree lights up, the festivities will begin with a visit from Santa, live music and other entertainment.
The Tlaquepaque Arts & Craft Village is one of Sedona’s most well-loved areas for its many boutiques and shops selling regional and hand-crafted goods.
Listen to choirs, and get your kids to meet Santa after the parade.
Opening hours – 11 AM to 7 PM
ENJOY MOUNTAIN BIKING
Rent mountain bikes and make your way through heart-racing trails leading you to spectacular landscapes in Sedona in October if you are an adventure game!
If you’re looking to book a guided mountain biking tour, there are options for every skill level, especially to meet new people and listen to many interesting local tales about Sedona’s mystic charm.
Here are some of the best biking tours I recommend worth checking:
TRY ROCK CLIMBING
While Arizona is one of the best places for lovers of rock climbing thanks to its rugged desert landscapes, Sedona especially is a favourite.
Thanks to its excellent location at the southern end of the Colorado Plateau, home to endless sandstone spires, mesas and buttes of all sizes and shapes, the city beckons adventure seekers of all experience levels.
If you’re looking for a guided rock climbing tour, check out this tour or this one.
GO ON A PINK JEEP TOUR
Hop aboard a Jeep and prepare to take in the stunning views of the 1,500 ft towering cliffs of Oak Creek Canyon and its gorgeous natural panoramas.
One of the best adventurous things to do in Sedona in October, you can admire views of the Colorado Plateau by climbing 2,000 ft along its south rim on one of these Pink Jeep tours.
Here are some of my recommendations for the best Jeep tours to enjoy Sedona sunrise:
Private Gambler Trail: Rugged 4×4 Hummer Tour in Sedona – Recommended if you are looking for a private tour. Check details here.
TOUR THE WINERIES NEAR SEDONA
Your trip to Sedona is incomplete without visiting the best Sedona wineries, whether you are a fan of wine specialities or the rich rolling vineyards.
Thanks to its excellent location in the flourishing Verde Valley Wine Region, Sedona is one of Arizona’s most famous wine destinations.
If you love wine, I highly recommend adding this to your itinerary of Arizona in December.
You can taste local at the charming tasting rooms in downtown Sedona, drive through the canyons and spectacular Verde Valley wine country, or book Sedona wine tours to discover the hidden gems along the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
A Sedona wine experience can also be a romantic getaway, a fabulous destination for girls’ weekends, and bachelor/bachelorette parties.
No matter how you do, you will love the lush, thriving vineyards, tranquil tasting rooms and a community of wine connoisseurs keeping Arizona’s wine history rich.
The first Verde Valley vineyards date back to the 17th century.
The earlier members of the Franciscan missionaries started harvesting grapes as they discovered the beautiful high-altitude oasis, perfect for syrahs, merlots, and chardonnays, thanks to the abundant sunshine, rich soil, and the flourishing Oak Creek and Verde River.
Today the valley is famous for its award-winning wineries and tasting rooms, popularly called the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
If you are looking for the top Sedona wineries, you will be spoilt for choice, as there are over 30 vineyards and tasting rooms within 25 miles of the city.
Check this list for 15 Best wineries in Sedona Worth Visiting For a Fabulous Day Trip
TAKE A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
One of the most popular tours loved by visitors and locals alike is the hot air balloon ride over Sedona in October, where you can tower above the red rocks, and mesas, and soak in blissful views of Red Rock County.
It is undoubtedly a romantic idea to experience Sedona in winter.
I highly recommend taking the tour in the morning to watch the stunning sunrise.
As the balloon starts to rise from the ground, you get to see one of the most beautiful sunrises from above, colouring the landscapes in vivid colors.
Here are some of the high-rated tours I recommend.
TAKE A HELICOPTER TOUR
Want to enjoy bird views of beautiful Arizona?
Take this helicopter tour to admire the stunning landscapes of Arizona from above, as you fly over Sedona’s famous red rock formations, including cliff dwellings, mesas and buttes.
Unlike hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides are fast and quick but cover more ground.
When booking a helicopter in December, make sure to join in the morning to see many vibrant colours.
I highly recommend adding this tour to your trip to Arizona in December for fantastic aerial views stretching far across the Sonoran Desert.
GO ON ONE OF THE SCENIC DRIVES
One of the best ways to enjoy Arizona in December if you are adding Sedona to your itinerary is by driving through the scenic routes.
There are many beautiful scenic drives near Sedona offering you the fantastic outdoors of this region, home to powerful vortexes, stunning Arizona slot canyons, hot springs, rugged views of the tremendous red-rocks landscapes, beautiful creeks amidst juniper and oaks.
These routes range between 30 minutes to a few hours, so depending on your preferences, pick one of these routes for a fabulous time on the road.
The Red Rock Scenic Byway is one of these enticing, 30-minute long road trips as you will be treated to 7.5 miles of stunning scenery featuring red rock formations and plenty of lookout points and ending up in Oak Creek.
JOIN YOGA SESSIONS
Considered one of the most spiritual places in the Southwest, Yoga is quite popular in the town, embraced by the locals and visitors alike.
One of the best things to do in Sedona in October is join one of the different types of Yoga sessions, from hot Yoga to Yoga outdoors, including meditations.
Join a yoga retreat to witness the spiritual vibe of the city, a unique experience amidst the gorgeous white landscapes in Sedona in winter.
HIKE THIS VORTEX
Sedona has long been regarded as a place both sacred and powerful, and people come from around the world to meditate and experience the mysterious cosmic forces within the area.
These vortexes, or powerful energy fields, are used for healing, meditation, accessing psychic abilities, and spiritual and self-exploration.
One of the famous vortexes in Sedona is Bell Rock, one of the first red rock formations that you will notice in the city.
Due to its more accessible trail and gorgeous formations, the Bell Rock Loop Trail is a popular spot among locals and visitors.
Although it is a short trail, the uphill climbing will make it a 30-minute journey to get to the base section of Bell Rock from the parking area.
A vast viewing platform offers splendid views of the sunrise in Sedona.
For more adventure, you can climb further to reach the upper portions of the rock.
Also, check out Courthouse Butte in the early morning sunlight.
GO HIKING IN SEDONA
Besides hiking the vortexes, October in Sedona is the best time to explore tons of other splendid hiking trails.
Check out Red Rock State Park, home to the most famous hiking trails in Sedona.
No matter what your experience level is or your preference, or traveling with kids or pets, there are many fantastic hikes to choose from when in Sedona in the fall.
But the biggest drawback of hiking in Sedona in October will be the crowded trails.
Since fall is the second most popular time to visit Sedona, hiking and mountain biking trails are packed, with accessing parking a hassle.
The earlier in the day you start, it will be better, or if you want to avoid the crowds, head to off-the-beaten trails.
FUN THINGS TO DO IN SEDONA IN OCTOBER
GO GHOST HUNTING IN JEROME
Nicknamed the most vertical city, Jerome is also the largest ghost town in the United States. October is one of the ideal months to explore this town
If you have time to spare while visiting Sedona in October, I highly recommend adding Jerome to your itinerary.
If you want to be introduced to the culture of Arizona ghost towns, Jerome is the best place to be as it is one of the best mining towns symbolising the Old Wild West.
Founded in 1876 with the discovery of gold and copper deposits in the area, Jerome attracted large numbers of migrants from everywhere, mainly miners, gamblers, and old-west bad boys.
This large-scale migration brought a wide boom, leading to the construction of many saloons and brothels.
The mines near Jerome were rich in copper rather than silver, with the mines producing 3 million pounds of copper per month, and during its peak time, the town inhabited over 15000 people.
Jerome was rightly nicknamed ‘The Billion Dollar Copper Camp’.
It grew into one of the wealthiest cities in the US at this time, and over 70 years, these copper mines in Jerome generated over a billion dollars worth of precious metal.
Eventually, in the 1950s, the mines began drying up. As expected, the town’s population dwindled to less than a hundred.
Jerome was designated a National Historic District in 1967, and artists began to flock to the town in the 60s and 70s.
Today, Jerome is home to 450 residents, making it the largest populated ghost town.
It is a vibrant community with old buildings of the 1800s renovated into art galleries, museums, coffee shops, antique shops, craft stores, gift and curios shops, and wine bars.
Join one of the guided tours to cover the highlights of Jerome, where you will also hear many eerie and exciting tales of this mining town and its past inhabitants.
Do you know? Jerome is also one of the most haunted towns in Arizona. There are many popular ghost tours, and if you are here for the first time, I recommend you join one.
Recommended – 28 Fantastic Things To Do In Jerome, The Wickedest City
Some of the most haunted places with bizarre and sad histories include the Ghost City Inn, Mile High Grill & Inn, a former brothel, and the Conner Hotel.
The tour guides will tell unbelievable stories and grim events in these spots.
If you are daring, stay overnight at the Jerome Grand Hotel, also rumoured to be haunted by the spirits of patients, dead miners, and staff.
Even if you’re not into the paranormal, there are many attractions worth visiting in Jerome.
Start from downtown Jerome, home to some galleries, restaurants and tasting rooms — and the famous “Haunted Hamburger” restaurant, worth stopping for lunch or dinner.
Visit the Jerome State Historic Park, home to Douglas Mansion, built in 1916 by a mining magnate.
Check out the unique Sliding Jail, a historic building and a museum constructed in the 1920s. Over the years, the building has slid down the hill about 200 feet to where it rests now.
The mining museum contains many excellent artefacts, photographs, and ancient equipment belonging to the miners, giving glimpses of the past of the mining town.
If you are with kids, head to the nearby Audrey Headframe Park to admire stunning views of the mountainous landscapes from the glass viewing platform over a 1918 mine shaft.
ENJOY STARGAZING IN SEDONA
If you are like me and love gazing at the stars, you will love it here at night as the clear weather in Sedona in October at night means sparkling stars above you everywhere.
Bundle up and enjoy stargazing in Sedona at night, one of the fun romantic things to do.
Sedona is one of only twenty certified Dark Sky Communities in the world, and make the best use of your time by picnicking under the stars or driving to the best viewpoints around the city.
For a fantastic night, I highly recommend this Night time UFO & Stargazing Tour where you will hear mysterious stories of hovering objects above!
But wear layers as the temperatures are chilly, and check for storms.
VISIT THE HERITAGE MUSEUM
One of the top places to get glimpses of the city’s history is the Sedona Heritage Museum, where you can explore the rich heritage of the Sedona area for free!
Although you can visit the museum any time of the year, add it to your itinerary of Sedona in October amidst a gorgeous apple orchard.
Check out unique collections of artefacts from the 8th century to learn about the histories of arts, heritage, wines, and orchards.
In October, the museum hosts the Arts and Crafts show where you can check out the pretty works of handmade arts and crafts by many talented artists.
CATCH THE SUNSET OR SUNRISE
Watching a glorious sunrise in Sedona is one of the best things to experience when you plan a trip to this desert town.
Packed with gorgeous geological wonders, including vortexes and red rocks, you have plenty of spots to watch the golden, bright orange and yellow sunshine colours transform the panoramas into beautiful scapes.
In addition to Sedona Sunsets, add watching the sunrise to your itinerary, especially if you love views of the mornings.
The sunrise in Sedona in October usually happens between 6:45 AM and 7:15 AM, which means you don’t have to wake up early, like at 5 AM(another reason to be in Sedona in November to enjoy stunning sunrise).
The distinct landmarks make these early dawn hours special, surreal views you will remember for a long time.
No wonder photographers from all around the world flock to capture the phenomenal spectacle every day.
Also, if you are visiting Sedona in winter, especially in October, the sun sets at around 6 PM so you can easily add a drive to watch the setting sun amidst gorgeous landscapes.
The timing also leaves plenty of time to hike and get back.
Bring a headlamp and carry jackets always while opting for any sunset hike in Sedona.
One of the fun things to do in Sedona in October for beer lovers is attending Red Rocks Oktoberfest.
Grab your favourite Stein and celebrate Oktoberfest by indulging in craft beer and food, while enjoying live music with your loved one in October in Sedona.
Hosted by the Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks, it is a fun way to unwind and relax after a packed day of sightseeing.
The entry fee is around $25 or $30 per person.
ENJOY CAMPING IN SEDONA
Sedona is surrounded by fantastic landscapes making it a paradise for outdoor lovers.
One of the best ways to experience the magnificent landscapes and views is by camping in Sedona in October.
Many campgrounds are near Coconino National Forest and Oak Creek Canyon, with some needing reservations.
Get your sleeping bags, insulated jackets, thermals and other camping essentials to camp under the stars on your winter trip.
But because of its popularity, it can be challenging to get a spot camping in Sedona in November.
If you are specifically planning a Sedona camping trip in November, it is best to book your campsites at least 6 months before.
VISIT A HISTORIC APPLE FARM
Apple harvest season is from late August through October in the state, and it is your best chance to enjoy apple orchards in Arizona.
When visiting Sedona in the fall, stop by one of the orchards, especially if you are traveling with your kids.
Most AZ apple orchards also host fun fall activities, primarily catering to families with young children and pets.
Not many know that one of the best places in Arizona for apple picking is Slide Rock State Park.
Yes, Slide Rock State Park, one of the famous national parks in Arizona known for the stunning Slide Rock trail Sedona leading to gorgeous Slide Rock Pools in Oak Creek Canyon, is also home to a beautiful apple orchard.
The apple trees have been here since 1912, before the establishment of the state park.
After being ignored for decades, the apple orchards in Slide State Park got a revival a few years ago, and now it is one of the best apple orchards in Arizona, home to over 300 apple trees.
September and October are the best months for apple picking here when you have over 13 varieties of apples ripe and ready for picking.
The best way to experience Slide Rock State Park orchard is by taking a tour of the farm machinery, packing shed, old cabins and the farmhouse at the site of the old Pendley homestead.
The apple orchard also hosts a fall festival, the Slide Rock Apple Festival, every October.
I had the chance to attend it last year, and I highly recommend attending if you are here during this time in Sedona, as it is one of the top Sedona fall activities.
Apart from picking your apples, you can also shop for souvenirs and handicrafts at the shops during the fest.
ADMIRE THE FALL COLORS NEAR OAK CREEK CANYON AND AROUND
One of the best places to see beautiful fall colors in Arizona is Sedona, where you can enjoy plenty of things to do and fun activities in autumn, besides admiring the fall foliage.
Drive along State Route 89A from October through November, where you have plenty of places, hiking trails, viewing spots, and campgrounds along the pretty Oak Creek.
Colorful oaks, maples and pines dominate the forests along the Canyon, creating a beautiful Sedona in the fall, amidst red-rock mountains, buttes, and mesas.
There are plenty of fall hikes in Sedona you can enjoy, from the famous Cathedral Rock trail for the iconic rock formations amidst the crimsons, and oranges to Red Rock Crossing hike, where you can play in the small waterfalls.
SHOP FOR GEMS AND CRYSTAL
One of the many popular things Sedona is famous for is the powerful gems and unique rocks used by mystic practitioners and healers.
Among the top events to attend in Sedona in October is the Annual Sedona Rock, Gem & Jewelry Show, held usually during the last week of October at Sedona Red Rock High School.
Over forty-five vendors sell dazzling crystals, including Amethyst, Agates, unusual minerals, rare fossils and meteorites, custom jewellery, gorgeous gemstones, and beads.
There are games for kids and events for the family, with food counter and beverages.
Admission is $4, and Children under 12 are free with free parking.
ATTEND THESE MEXICAN FESTIVALS
Held at Tlaquepaque Arts and Shopping Village, the Dia De Los Muertos Celebration and Marigold Mural Project is a Mexican cultural event lasting for 5 days.
One of the unique attractions in October in Sedona, it’s a day of remembrance and a celebration of the life of those who have passed, giving you a deeper understanding of the Day of the Dead traditions.
TAKE PART IN THE SEDONA PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL
Observe or participate in Art en Plein Air, another favourite event of art lovers visiting Sedona in October.
Hosted by the Sedona Arts Center this week-long festival, The Sedona Plein Air Festival consists of master artists’ painting, workshops, lectures and free events, amidst the stunning landscapes of the town.
Sedona Arts Center dates back 65 years to the founding of Sedona’s identity as an ‘art colony.’ This year, the event happens from October 20 through 29, 2023.
WHERE TO STAY IN SEDONA IN OCTOBER?
APARTMENTS AND LUXURY HOTELS
A Sunset Chateau – This bed and breakfast features an outdoor pool and hot tub, A fully equipped kitchenette and stunning mountain views from select rooms.
Junipine Resort – Offering apartments with a full kitchen and a living room with a fireplace, this resort boasts rustic elegance.
Close to the creek and many attractions, it is one of the best places to indulge. Check out rooms and the latest prices here.
Enchantment Resort – If you want a luxurious experience, check out Enchantment Resort, known for its spectacular vistas of Boynton Canyon.
Enjoy luxurious delicacies and outdoor activities, besides enjoying the comforts of suites and villas with private balconies. Check out rooms and the latest prices here.
Adobe Village Villa with Private Patio – Sunset Villa – Boasting air-conditioned accommodation with a patio, Adobe Village Villa with Private Patio – Sunset villa offers access to a balcony and free private parking.
It is one of my favourite recommendations for its rich exteriors and comfortable villas. Check out rooms and the latest prices here.
El Portal Sedona Hotel – El Portal Sedona Hotel is 20 20-minute drive from Red Rock State Park. You can also enjoy a spa bath, which is also featured in some rooms. Check out rooms and the latest prices here.
Matterhorn Inn – Matterhorn Inn provides excellent accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi throughout the property. The 4-star hotel has mountain views. Check here for the latest prices and deals.
If you are looking for a B&B, I recommend Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast, which features accommodation with free WiFi, barbecue facilities, a shared lounge and free private parking. They have excellent reviews and great prices. Click here for more details.
Hilton Vacation Club Sedona Summit – Situated in the Sedona Plateau and offering stunning views of the Arizona desert, Hilton Vacation Club Sedona Summit features studios and one and 2-bedroom suites. Check out their reviews and prices here. Check out rooms and the latest prices here.