How Safe Is Sedona for Travel?

Sedona, United States
Safety Index:
83

A trip to Sedona, Arizona, is about as peaceful and calming of an experience as you can find (as long as you can handle a little bit of tourist traffic).

This city explodes with red rock formations at every turn, from Cathedral Rock to the Seven Sacred Pools to Red Rock Crossing and so many more.

This region is also said to be alive with Vortex centers.

Don’t tell my editor, but I spent a good working hour digging into what the heck a Vortex is.

This is a swirling section of energy from the earth said to help achieve different levels of consciousness.

Whether you’re looking for spirituality, switchbacks, spas, stories, or stuffing your face with fantastic food, this small town of fewer than 10,000 people has it all and then some.

There’s a reason why three million people visit this desert destination every year (Ok, maybe there’s more than just a LITTLE bit of traffic, but more on that later).

This region has some of the best stargazing you can find in the country.

There are pre-historic artifacts to be viewed and historic sites dating back to the 1400s.

Whether you want a hotel, B&B, Airbnb, campsite, or cabin, there are plenty of rooms for everyone (if you book early because #3millionvisitors.)

Warnings & Dangers in Sedona

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK : LOW

There's a low overall risk here as the crime numbers are habitually low. By that I mean, it's low for a city that just has 10,000 people, and it's beyond comprehension low for those three million visitors.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW

Your best bet when arriving in town, even if you drive, is to hop on the Sedona Trolly to get the lay of the land. The Verde Trolley gets you to Cottonwood and back. You can call a taxi or rideshare, but they might not be as fast or as numerous as bigger cities. All options come with low risk.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW

There were two pickpockets reported in 2020, so that's a very low risk considering a large number of visitors. What makes that statistic even better? The thieves got away with $20.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

There are plenty of risks in this beautiful mountainside community. Wildfires, flooding, landslides, and extreme winds are the main ones. There's a medium risk because, especially in the event of a wildfire, there aren't many ways to get in and out of this area. Read up on emergency management for Yapavai County and Sedona so you're ready just in case.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK : LOW

With only 32 robberies in the city as a whole in 2020, you've got a low risk. It doesn't mean letting your guard down, but it does mean you don't have to superglue your wallet into your pocket either.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK : LOW

There's a low terrorism risk here unless terrorists suddenly decide to go after the Vortices of the world. It's a remote and unpopulated area and a good two hours from Phoenix.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK : LOW

Interestingly enough, the first scam I saw reported was from someone complaining that a fortune teller scammed them out of money for a past life reading. I'll let that sink in. Overall, the risk is low, but there are some things to watch out for. Sedona doesn't have a lot of homes, and some of the homes are only used as rentals. You are not going to find a bargain basement deal on a rental home here. Ever. If you do find one, there's a good chance you'll be asked to wire money to hold your "good deal." That's another sign of a scam. Make sure your rental home is legitimate and try booking through a local rental agency and not an online service.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW

There's a low risk for women but there are dangers if you're hiking alone and not prepared for the wilderness or wildlife you might come across. Also, if you're a woman prone to road rage in traffic, that might be a problem. Just kidding! Kinda.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK : MEDIUM

Ok, so I am hoping we can provide an update to this confusing statement on the city water utility's website, "Our treated water meets drinking water standards although the city does not use it for drinking water. State regulations do not permit this water to be used as drinking water." You might want to stick with bottled water for drinking. I've reached out to the city to get clarification but who knows how long that response will take? People have complained the water tastes "funny" here, but that's also the case in much of Arizona. If nothing else, ask if your rental has a water purifier on hand.

Safest Places to Visit in Sedona

You’re going to have some of the best hiking in your life in Sedona.

I couldn’t possibly list them all without going way over my word count and writing well into the evening hours, so here’s a list.

  • Devil’s Bridge (more scrambling and not a great option to cross the road if you’re afraid of heights.)
  • Cathedral Rock
  • Chapel of the Cross (with a real chapel built into the rocks!)
  • Montezuma’s Castle: (You can’t go into the castle and don’t try)
  • Seven Sacred Pools: (Get there via Soldier Rock Trail)
  • Palatki Heritage Site
  • Red Rock State Park (See #8 below)

Please research the difficulty levels of these hikes before attempting them.

If you’re thinking “Look lady, I came here to rest not wear myself out hiking and climbing on rocks,” don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Many of these sites can be accessed by Pink Jeep Tours and all you have to do is take in the scenery.

Red Rock Crossing is an option closer to town and flat trails where the views from below are just as good.

There are also hot air balloon rides available above some of the most popular hiking spots.

Tlaquepaque Village (pronounced: Tal-UH-pack-EE) is a downtown area with cobblestone streets and charming adobe buildings for blocks.

This could take a good few hours, so give yourself time to shop and sample the doughnuts (I hear Sedounuts is pretty good!) and there are historical artifacts along the path too.

This is going to sound a little weird, but trust me.

Head in the direction of the Sedona Airport for some of the best stargazing possible.

Since it’s so far away from the city lights of Phoenix, the skies come alive at night.

The airport overlook is a popular spot a little closer to town to see the amazing Milky Way like never before.

Placess to Avoid in Sedona

Crime maps show the most reported incidents are on the west side of town, while the east side of town has fewer incidents.

However, this is a city that saw just 20 violent crimes in 2020, so there’s really no dangerous part of town.

You want to avoid going to the most popular hiking spots after 9 am if you are driving as parking fills up quickly (one lot had just six spaces) and you will get ticketed if you try to park in neighborhoods.

The best bet is to go at sunrise or take one of the private shuttles available in town.

Avoid hiking in anything but really good hiking boots.

This is a dry landscape with rocks that can quickly slide beneath your feet.

Tennis shoes aren’t going to cut it.

Bring twice as much water as you think you’ll need.

Avoid booking a rental home in an area with strict noise ordinances if you plan on partying.

One of the biggest complaints from homeowners is rental homes that have parties going non-stop throughout the year.

This is another great reason to reach out to a local rental agency as they can help you find a place to let loose without getting a noise complaint.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Sedona

  1. Maybe you don’t believe me about the crime statistics being so low, or maybe you just want to see more current numbers. No worries — the Sedona Police Department has a crime map updated weekly on its website and you can select parts of town and types of crime within certain date ranges to get that information.
  2. I would take my dogs everywhere with me if I could, but even I might not bring my dogs to Sedona. In the wild around Sedona, there are coyotes, cougars, and javelinas (think of it like a wild, tusked boar). One video I watched about Sedona told the story of a family dog who approached javelina and the dog ended up with hundreds of stitches. Coyotes will go after small dogs and cats unsupervised in backyards. That’s no joke, I have a friend who lost three cats to coyotes on the outskirts of Reno.
  3. Not that you’ll ever get a chance to speed since traffic is so intense here, but if you do, the police really crack down on it in this area. Yes, some of the speed limits feel uncomfortably low, but there are also a lot of people crossing streets and walking around. Keep at the speed limit when driving in Sedona and throughout Yapavai County.
  4. Sign up for Nixle.com alerts and select the Sedona Police Department alerts. This will give you traffic information, road closures, weather warnings, and civil emergency notifications, in addition to the handful of crimes that happen every year.
  5. Gosh, even in the middle of safety tips, I’m tempted to just get up and drive to Sedona right now. There are great restaurants in town, from fine dining to patio seating at a sports bar. Many of these places don’t accept reservations (even nice ones), so you might need to arrive 45 minutes to an hour ahead of when you’d like to eat just to get in line. The good news is, most places have incredible views to pass the time.
  6. Don’t make jokes about the aforementioned spiritual properties of this land if you’re not into those kinds of things. For some people, a trip to Sedona is a life-long dream to experience a Vortex (or four), and it would be akin to making fun of someone’s religion.
  7. For the safest, easier, and less crowded time of year, visit Sedona from December through May. You might have to deal with a dusting of snow and some colder weather, but even the locals like to get out of town when it’s “that cold” and seek warmer climates in southern Arizona.
  8. If you are visiting Red Rock Pass, you MUST get a permit to be there ahead of time. People without a pass will be cited. The passes help pay to keep the area landscaped and clean. A one-day pass is $5, a week-long pass is $7, and an annual pass is $20.
  9. If you aren’t used to being at high(er) altitudes, give yourself a day to adjust before hiking a mountain. Sedona sits at 4500 feet on the floor of the valley and the tallest peak is Wilson Mountain at 7122. (Incidentally, the namesake of the mountain, Richard Wilson, was killed by a grizzly bear on that mountain, so be Bear Aware as well.)
  10. Ok, I’m getting a little vertigo talking about mountains so much and some of these pictures are going to haunt me tonight with dreams of falling off the Mogollon Rim, so let’s go into something else. Sedona is in Arizona, which means from fall to spring it’s in the Mountain Time Zone, and spring through summer it’s in the Pacific Time Zone. Consider this when booking flights.

So... How Safe Is Sedona Really?

Seriously, the numbers speak for themselves:

  • Violent Crime: 20
  • Robbery: 32
  • Theft: 83

March through May and September through November, you’re going to see the biggest crowds in Sedona, thus there is a bigger risk of being a victim of crime.

There’s also a lot more traffic during those times, so there could be a great chance of being involved in a car or pedestrian accident.

How Does Sedona Compare?

CitySafety Index
Sedona83
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45

Useful Information

  • Visas - You won't need additional identification since you already got through customs at the airport. You will need to have proof of a valid driver's license or equivalent for some of the amenities in Sedona.
  • Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only currency accepted here and there is NO CURRENCY EXCHANGE in Sedona. Your closet option will be Phoenix or Flagstaff.
  • Weather - Winters are going to be a little cooler, and get colder the higher up a mountain you go. Expect temperatures in the 60s for highs and 30s for lows. Fall and spring will bring the 60s and 70s with lows in the 40s and 50s. The heat of the summer does still get "Arizona hot" with June through September having highs in the 90s and July even tops out at 100°(F) for an average high. The highs still cool down, however, into the 60s. Bring plenty of layers and a jacket would be nice, especially if you go stargazing. Good hiking boots are a must and sunscreen is a necessity too.
  • Airports - Sedona's airport is a public airport for general aviation and private planes, so if you have a private jet you can fly in that way (and come pick me up in Nebraska so I can be your tour guide). Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix is two hours south, and it's your biggest and closest option for commercial flights. If Sedona is on your way to a trip to Las Vegas, that's about 4 hours northwest.
  • Travel Insurance - You'll want to get travel insurance for a trip to Sedona because you don't want anything to get in your way of seeing this amazing natural wonder of a community and, without insurance, you could lose some of that hard-earned vacation cash.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Sedona Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 8° C
Feb 10° C
Mar 12° C
Apr 16° C
May 21° C
Jun 26° C
Jul 29° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 25° C
Oct 19° C
Nov 13° C
Dec 8° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
151820253036383633272015
Low
°C
124712162019161151
High
°F
5964687786971009791816859
Low
°F
343639455461686661524134

Where to Next?

1 Review on Sedona

  1. C
    Christopher says:

    This place has an insane energy

    Went to Sedona a year before the pandemic hit because we wanted to unwind after a bad couple of months – boy, we had no idea what bad was, did we… – so we just booked a stay at a cozy retreat.

    If you ever find yourself in Sedona your biggest threat would be the surrounding wildlife, just like the article states. With coyotes and bobcats being part of the recurring theme it’s obvious that being blissfully unaware of your surroundings could leave you in a lot of trouble. We’ve seen enough nature lovers that were so enthusiastically enthralled in what was ahead of them that they barely heard us moving around them. This is the kind of behavior that gets you in big, big trouble. Also, this is why everyone recommends leaving your dog at home; it’s hard enough to watch oneself, just imagine having to be on the lookout for your dog as well.

    Driving in the dark is a big no-no, again because of the meandering wildlife. Deer popping in front of your car and just freezing are a common occurrence, guys, so don’t risk it.

    As for exploring the city at night, it’s both safe and an unique experience, we can’t wait to get back! It’s a beautiful place, full of exciting people and fun things to do all year round.

    In real life Sedona is the magical place that everyone describes it as. No matter if you’re going there to experience its magical prowess or because you want to unplug and explore its wildlife. Regardless of your reason, be nice, polite and avoid confrontation with the people that actually live there. They’re just a handful of people that ‘tolerate’ the huge influx of tourists on a daily basis so acting like a jerk is not a great idea.

Rated 5 / 5 based on 1 user reviews.

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