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Best Time to Visit Scottsdale (Outdoor Sports & Fun Events!)

Plan your Scottsdale trip with our guide on the best times for outdoor sports and fun events, from cool January hikes to hot air balloon rides in May.

Tobi Miles
July 24, 2022
Best Time to Visit Scottsdale (Outdoor Sports & Fun Events!)

Scottsdale sits in the region known as the Valley of the Sun, where more than 330 days of sunlight occurs annually. The summer is brutal with two halves; a dry and wet seasons. As Scottsdale is in the desert, there are many beautiful sites to see. But, since it's in the desert, isn't it always hot? When is the best time to visit?

Between January and May is the best time to visit Scottsdale. The temperature average is about 78 F, with a possible high of 92 F. You can attend the NASCAR FanSheild 500 Race in March and the LPGA Tour's Founders Cup. However, to save the most money, September is the best month to visit as accommodations cost under $100 per night.

There's more to travel than just choosing a place to go and packing up your bags. You'll want to ensure you go during the best time for you. In this article, we'll go month by month for all of what Scottsdale has to offer and more!

Worst Time to Visit Scottsdale

Avoid the summer unless you prefer melting in the heat. Phoenix and Scottsdale's summers can become so hot that airport runways must be closed. Highs exceed 110 degrees, and the heat does not diminish much in the evening.

It's not as bad as it sounds because Arizona has dry heat. When business is slow, hotels reduce their rates and offer fantastic bargains to entice travelers. So, if the heat is something you feel you can withstand, then go! However, keep in mind that many outdoor events and festivities are closed due to the heat.

The hotel deals you will find can make it worthwhile to put up with the heat if you want to spend the most of your time at the spa or in the pool. Also, the monsoon season, which lasts until late summer, can bring erratic storms and lots of rain.

Remember that, generally speaking, summer is NOT the ideal time to visit Arizona. Even Sedona has high 90s temps. During the summer, people in Scottsdale and Phoenix will typically want to flee to the cooler regions. Therefore, it will be difficult for you to locate affordable hotel rates in Arizona's cooler cities.

Cheapest Time to Visit Scottsdale

Early to mid September is typically the most affordable time of year to visit Scottsdale. How affordable is a trip to Scottsdale? For those prepared to take standby flights, put up with inconvenience, and generally minimize travel costs, a trip to Scottsdale can be had for approximately $100 per person per day.

Vacation rentals can be rented for as little as $20 per night, and about 1% of total rentals are available for between $0 and $100.

These low-cost accommodations must be reserved as soon as possible and might not be in the most attractive locations. There are more likely to be 1-star hotels available, with rates beginning at about $62.

What Is The Best Month to Visit Scottsdale?

The best month to visit Scottsdale depends on what type of adventure you're looking for. Typically, between January and May is best for those who want to beat the heat. This is the ideal time for outdoor activities and exploration.

However, if you're a music fanatic, the best time for you to come is in the summer, during July or August, when the music festivals are in full swing. However, sometimes these are canceled due to the heat, or they've moved indoors.

Related Read: 45 BEST Things To Do in Scottsdale, Arizona

Best Month to Visit Scottsdale: Monthly Breakdown

January: Great Time for Family

Scottsdale experiences its second-coldest month of the year in January, with an average high temperature of 66°F (19°C) and a typical low temperature of 43°F (6°C). Additionally, this month experiences the highest annual precipitation rate, with a 1 inch rainfall predicted (32 mm).

Scottsdaleusually gets pleasant winter weather, despite January being the second coldest month of the year there. There are many different activities to choose from, but this month is a great time to go the hiking trails because it's not too hot.

  • New Years in Scottsdale
  • Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show
  • Scottsdale Fine Art & Chocolate Festival

Related Read: 15 Best Hiking Trails in Phoenix, AZ

February: Vacation for Couples

February sees a little increase in temperature, with an average high of 69°F (20°C) and an average low of 46°F (8°C).

In many other places during the month of February, people stay indoors to avoid the cold, but in Arizona, days tend to gradually warm up, with maximum highs typically averaging between 68 and 72 degrees. The weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and the month is packed with activities!

  • 3rd Annual Mardi Gras Bar Crawl
  • Valentine's Day in Scottsdale
  • Enjoy Live Music
  • Valentine's Day Stay and Play at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch

March: Best Time for Sports Fans

Spring begins in March, when the average high temperature climbs to 75°F (24°C), bringing with it higher temperatures and sunny days. The typical low temperature is 50°F (10°C).

The month of March will offer highs in the 40s at nighttime and mid-70s throughout the day, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, because of mlb training camp and a packed calendar of events, this is also a busy travel period with expensive hotel prices.

The NASCAR FanSheild 500 Race, the LPGA Tour's Founders Cup, the Phoenix Film Festival (which typically lasts through early April), and the M3F Music Festival are noteworthy March festivals and events. Additionally, the calendar is full of activities! There is plenty for everyone to enjoy, from yearly rodeos and music festivals that draw thousands to auto exhibitions and St. Patrick's Day events.

  • Scottsdale Rodeo
  • Music Festival
  • Scottsdale Auto Show
  • Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

April: For the Best Festivals

April brings a marked increase in both the normal high and average low temperatures in Scottsdale. The typical high temperature is 83°F (28°C), while the typical low is 57°F (14°C). Only a few festivals and events take place in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area throughout April.

The "Snowbird Season" also ends in April, with temps in the 70s and 80s before going up to the 90s in May. Under the bright blue skies, tourists are greeted by several outdoor entertainment choices.

While there aren't many to choose from, these are some of the most sought-after events that happen in the area. You don't want to miss these!

  • Phoenix Pride Festival
  • Nirvana Food and Wine Festival
  • Scottsdale Culinary Festival

May: Take A Hot Airballoon Trip

Scottsdale gets its first true taste of summer in May.The temperature is still cool in the mornings and evening hours to enjoy desert hiking trails and other attractions, but by midday, it has warmed up to the mid-90s. That indicates that you are hankering for a poolside cocktail.

May has one of the warmest temperatures and the least amount of precipitation—nearly 0 inches (5 mm)—of the entire year. The average high temperature in May is 92°F (34°C), while the average low is 66°F (19°C).

Always begin any outdoor activity in the morning, such as hiking, and spend the remainder of the day chilling off in the pool. If you love the cuisine, May is a terrific month to travel to Phoenix and Scottsdale because that is when Restaurant Week is held.

  • Kayak in Saguaro Lake
  • Visit the Grand Canyon
  • Go for a Hike
  • Ride the Rails at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
  • Ride in the Maverick Helicopter

June: Best Time to Avoid Crowds

The typical high temperature in June is 101°F (38°C). Additionally, the average low temperature rises to 75°F (24°C).

In the Phoenix-Scottsdale region, June is the warmest and driest month of the year, with temperatures rising steadily every day. The highest temperature recorded each day is from 102 to 106 degrees.

The city's activity and commerce usually slow down a little in the heat, and the most pleasurable activities are those that take place indoors, in water, or in the nights. Options are endless now that the city is open and unrestricted.

  • Elevate Music Festival
  • Mighty Mud Mania
  • Join Karaoke Days

Related Read: 20 BEST Restaurants in Scottsdale, AZ

July: Hottest Month of the Year

As the warmest month of the year, July leads the lists. The typical high is 104°F (40°C), which is scalding. The average low temperature, at 81°F (27°C), is also the highest of the year.

The Phoenix-Scottsdale region has its hottest month of the year, June, but July is still quite sweltering, with average highs of roughly 106 degrees. Fortunately, the city has been fully operational again since March, so the month's itinerary is likely to have lots of inside activities to keep cool.

  • Visit a Scottsdale Resort or Spa
  • Visit Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park
  • Skyzone Trampoline Park

August: Best for Indoor Activities

The average high temperature in August, the second hottest month of the year, is 102°F (39°C). When compared to July, low temperatures fall one degree.

Put some sunblock on and consider getting a travel fan. Even though the summer months come to an end in August, the temperatures are still quite high.

There are several of popular indoor activities in August that you can participate in without having to brave the weather. Don't let a little discomfort ruin your fun, no matter what you decide to do.

  • Visit the Museum of the West
  • Butterfly Wonderland
  • Penske Racing Museum
  • Wine tasting

September: Restaurant Week

Autumn officially begins in September. The typical high and low temperatures are 98°F (36°C) and 74°F (23°C), respectively. The month of September is pleasant, although on the warm side with a likelihood of the sweltering summer heat continuing. Most days have highs in the 90s, but occasionally there will be a few days with triple-digit temperatures.

September is the ideal month to travel to Scottsdale and Phoenix in the fall if obtaining a good hotel deal is a priority. There are less people due to the hot weather, kids returning to school, and a lack of events.

Take advantage of Restaurant Week to cool down! Take advantage of the mouthwatering pre-fixe and reduced meals that hundreds of restaurants are offering while relaxing indoors with air conditioning.

Visit these places to eat!

  • Fat Ox
  • Los Sombreros
  • Roka Akor
  • Citizen Public House

October: Taco Festival

One of the greatest months to visit Scottsdale in October. Finally, the temperature begins to decline from heated extremes to more comfortable averages. Better weather is accompanied by a full calendar. Phoenix hosts a ton of entertaining activities every day of the month.

The typical high and low temperatures in October decrease by over 10 degrees, to 87°F (30°C) and 62°F (17°C), respectively. By this time, the number of visitors has begun to decline, making it a wonderful time to go if you want to avoid crowds.

  • Peoria Country Music Fest
  • Arizona State Fair
  • Zombie Crawl

Related Read: 15 BEST Brunch Spots in Scottsdale, AZ

November: Goodguys Hot Rod Show

The temperature drops again in November, this time by almost 15 degrees. The typical high and low temperatures are 74°F (24°C) and 49°F (10°C), respectively.

There are a multitude of stuff to do in Scottsdale, whether you live there all year round, are a snowbird moving in for a relaxing winter, or are just planning a trip there in November. In fact, November is such a busy month that you should make travel arrangements in advance.

  • Mighty Monarchs at the Desert Botanical Garden
  • Canal Convergence
  • Scottsdale International Film Festival

December: Las Noches De Las Luminarias

Every holiday season, thousands of dazzling white lights and much more than 8,000 hand-lit luminarias illuminate the paths of the Desert Botanical Garden.

The atmosphere is enhanced by live entertainment, hot cocoa, and mulled cider. The addition of "Chihuly in the Desert," a series of glowing glass sculptures by famous artist Dale Chihuly, will make this year's celebration even more spectacular.

Scottsdale experiences the coldest month in December, with average high temperatures of only 65°F (18°C). To 42°F (6°C), the average low temperature drops even more.

Scottsdale's winters are nearly as ideal as they get. Consider days with clear sky, highs about 72 degrees (22C), and bright weather from December to mid-February.

The season is perfect for taking in one of our signature events, enjoying a round of championship golf, or visiting Scottsdale's Sonoran Desert. Here are ten of our favorite activities to enjoy the warm winter paradise in Scottsdale!

  • Explore the Sonoran Desert
  • Scottsdazzle
  • Parada Del Sol Parade

Best Time to Visit Scottsdale to Avoid crowds

The best time to visit Scottsdale is in the spring to avoid crowds. You'll still have the cooler weather, even though it's warming up, but fewer crowds. You mainly have tourists flocking to Scottsdale while locals are leaving for the summer. Thus, it's not overcrowded.

Keep in mind, though, that during this time, there are fewer events happening. Another great time to visit is during the fall. With highs in the 80s, still, not many people want to hang around in the heat.

The fall is a fantastic time of year to find affordable hotel rates. Fall typically has fewer activities than spring. The Rainbows Festival is in November, the Arizona State Fair opens in October, and Restaurant Week is the only noteworthy occasion in September.

You'll have a greater chance of obtaining a hotel deal because these events normally don't draw many visitors from outside Arizona. Remember that as northerners and tourists from chilly regions travel down for a sunny getaway, hotel rates will start to rise toward the end of November.

When is the Best Time to Visit Scottsdale for Golf?

We'll start with the cheapest times to go golfing, because who doesn't like a good deal? High temperatures but low rates can be found during the months of June through August.

Start a round of golf at sunrise to enjoy the coolest part of the day, and then indulge yourself with some time in one of Scottsdale's finest pools in the late morning.

The best weather in Scottsdale is from November through April, which is peak season. Tee times fill up quickly, particularly near the prestigious Waste Management Phoenix Open.

You can almost certainly acquire a tee time in Scottsdale because there are more than 50 golf courses, the majority of which are public. It just requires some forward planning.

Many Scottsdale golf courses "overseed" in October to switch from bermudagrass to ryegrass. Because of the lengthy process, play on the courses must be suspended.

The good news is that not all courses undergo overseeding simultaneously, and many 36-hole circuits overseed certain stretches of the course over the course of various weeks. Always give the course a call in advance in October to confirm that it is open.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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