Posted by: Lori Reinhold
Arizona’s temperature sure likes to creep up in the summertime. The thought of going on an exposed jeep tour, hiking around on a mesa, or even just being outside might sound unbearable, but we’ve got some really cool (get it?) activities and secrets to beat the summer heat. First things first, WATER WATER WATER!!!! Hydration is key year-round but in the summertime, water consumption is even more important. Always bring a little too much water with you when exploring around, and remember, if you’re craving water, you’re already dehydrated! Now that you’re ready for the day and properly prepared, here are a ton of great activities that are sure to cool you off and keep you happy all summer long.
Take a tube or kayak down the Verde River. Swim in the river, eat lunch in the shade, and experience the river trip of a lifetime. Take a guided tour and learn about the area, or self-guide down the river to float at your own pace. We love Verde Adventure Tours and their awesome packages. Keep an eye out for their Water to Wine tour that takes you for a float on the river and to a winery for wine tastings. Get the best of both worlds!
Doesn’t food always taste better outdoors? Make an event out of your lunch and head on over to Grasshopper Point Swimming & Picnic Area. Located just down the street from the much more crowded Midgley Bridge Picnic Area, this little gem has about half the people with the same great scenery! Hike down to the bottom and you’ll find a beautiful river surrounded by shade trees and plenty of red rocks (both shaded and sunny) to enjoy your lunch. Our perfect picnic would include a backpack with local melon, some cheese and crackers, something sweet, and lots of water!
There’s no better way to cool off than to go swimming, but what if there was a waterslide hidden in the creeks of Sedona for you to glide through? Wait. There is! Slide Rock State Park is the place to be on an unusually hot day. The natural rockslide is a blast and gets you drenched. Also, the red rocks surrounding it offer a warm seating area to soak up the sun, dry off, watch some others go down the slide, and repeat the process! Due to its unique nature, it can be pretty crowded on a nice summer day. Our tip is to go early to avoid the crowds!
Hot day, cold ice cream. Now that is a match made in heaven. A good ice cream shop can really hit the spot. We recommend going over to the Black Cow Cafe in Uptown because they make their own waffle cones and have some pretty unique flavors. Another favorite is Red Rock Gelato, serving up authentic, small-batch, gelato all made with all-natural ingredients.
Keep an eye out for prickly-pear ice cream, a true desert dessert!
Are you an early bird? Even if you’re not, getting up early to embark on a hot air balloon ride over the town is an absolute must when visiting Sedona. Because you’re already out and about before the heat tends to sink in you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the day by getting lunch, wandering around, and going shopping. Check out Red Rock Balloon Adventures to get an entirely unique view of Sedona.
If the heat is just a little too much you can still explore some of the best parts of Sedona in and around Uptown. Head over to the Tlaquepaque Arts & Shopping Village for lunch, wander into the art galleries, grab a drink at the Oak Creek Brewery, and explore the jewelry and clothing stores. Nestled in the shade of Sycamore trees, the shade paired with the air-conditioned stores will keep you nice and refreshed all day long.
I know, hiking? In this heat? It sounds counterproductive, but as long as you avoid the plateau-like hikes where the sun is directly on you and go explore some of Sedona’s cool canyons, a hike on a hot day can be just what you need. The West Fork Trail on Oak Creek is one of the most popular hikes in Sedona. It just so happens to be especially refreshing on a high-temperature day. This beautiful trail follows a stream against red rock canyon walls. The shade from the canyon walls and oasis of trees, paired with the stream crossings will be sure to keep you nice and cool the whole way up and down. Our Tip: Go early and bring $15 cash with you for parking (rates seem to hover between $10-$11). Some say the parking lot is full as early as 9 am. Pack a lot of water and some snacks, you’ll need them!
You’ll be surprised at how much better you tolerate the heat with a nice chilled glass of white wine in your hand. Page Spring Cellars is one of our favorites and they have a lovely deck by the river to enjoy tapas and cool off. Their tasting room is open 7 days a week from 11-7 and their wine tours are wonderfully refreshing!
The Alma de Sedona Inn has a lovely pool just steps away from your rooms. You can still enjoy the magnificent views of Sedona while dipping your toes in the pool and having a relaxation day. From breakfast, which can be served poolside, to sipping on the raspberry lemonade or mint iced tea we serve each afternoon to the best sunset in Sedona, you could spend an entire day at our pool and still not want to leave.
If your vacation happens to fall on an unusually hot week, don’t sweat it (literally). Just some minor tweaks to your itinerary and everyone will be having a blast, staying cool, and who knows, you might even see something you would have never encountered before.
Planning a trip to Sedona, Arizona this summer? Book a stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn for warm service and unbeatable red rock views.