'A spectacular scenic desert. Gorgeous, colorful, with impressive mountain ranges! Photos don't do justice!'
You might be wondering: What's the best time to experience Wadi Rum desert? Get ready for our fascinating insights and let us help you finding your best time to visit this amazing scenic desert landscape as well as a complete Wadi Rum guide (updated 2019!). Here is everyhting you need to know (click the links to jump directly to your desired section):
- Where to Stay (The Best Camps)
- Quick Facts
- Quick Guide (Itinerary)
- History and Facts
- How to Get to Wadi Rum
- What to Do (Activities)
- How to Spend the Night
- Must-Know Tips
March - April - May (Spring)
- Season: Peak season
- Tourists: Medium - high
- Weather: Excellent
In March the temperatures are getting pleasant. Often ranging from 15-20°C (59-68°F). From mid-March to late March it's getting even warmer. However, keep in mind that especially in early March the nights are still cold. Definitely bring additional layer of clothes and a jacket. Later in the month nights are getting warmer and you usually don't extra clothing any more during nighttime. In April and May the average daytime temperatures are climbing and reach around 30°C (86°F).
Are there a lot of tourist crowds? Besides autumn, spring is the most popular time to visit Wadi Rum. It's also the busiest time. However, since you are on a tour in a vast desert during the day, tourist crowds are not a big issue. Except for Wadi Rum Village, which is busier of course as well as hot spots visited during desert tours. Book your accommodation well in advance. Another great thing about spring are the desert flowers which bloom in March/April. It's not unlikely that you'll see gorgeous carpets of purple wildflowers during that time.
June - July - August (Summer)
- Season: Low season
- Tourists: Low
- Weather: Hot - very hot
While in summer the average highs hover around 33°C (91°F) 'only', temperatures can in fact reach 40°C (104°F) and more sometimes. That means it boiling hot at times, especially in July and August. However, you can get lucky as there are days when it's not that hot, even in the summer. On the other hand you could experience heatwaves with extreme temperatures. Even in June there are already days when it gets very hot up to 40°C. For many visitors that's not the time for a pleasant visit. This is why this is low season in Wadi Rum, with the big advantage of having less crowds in Wadi Rum Village and quiet camps.
So, is summer a good time to visit? It depends! First of all, the heat is easier to tolerate than in other regions. Mostly, because it's a dry heat. However, if you're not good with boiling temperatures, don't go in summer. We think it's a great time. Tours in summer take the heat into account: Lunch breaks are longer and in a shady place. If you travel with kids, we'd say choose spring or fall instead. For children it's more difficult to tolerate the heat.
September - October - November (Autumn)
- Season: Peak season
- Tourists: Medium - high
- Weather: Excellent
In September temperatures are still high up to 35°C (95°F). Especially until mid-September some visitors say it's still too hot for them. Towards the end of September it starts to get cooler. Weather wise from mid-September until end of October it's the most pleasant time to visit. Temperatures range from 20 to 30 °C. Although, evenings, mornings and in particular the nights in October are getting a lot cooler with temps ranging from 8 - 12°C (46 - 54°F) Also, there can be a little rain in October.
Is autumn really that great? In general a fall visit is an excellent time with a lot of daylight (8 - 11 hours of sunshine), beautiful clear skies, less dusty wind and fascinating migrating birds. Another big advantage: You can experience sunrise without getting up in the night. Sunrise is between 6 and 6:30 in autumn. From mid-October through November it's also the perfect time for trekking/hiking tours. While you need warm clothes in the evening and morning already in October, it's even cooler in November (about 10°C / 50°F mornings/evenings) but still not as cold as in winter. In general autumn is a busier time tourist wise. That means places like Wadi Rum Village and some popular tour spots can't be enjoyed in solitude.
December - January - February (Winter)
- Season: Low season
- Tourists: Low
- Weather: Cooler but not cold (except during nighttime)
Like summer, winter is low season in Wadi Rum. Which results in quieter hot spots and less busy popular sunset places, which you now can enjoy almost in solitude. Is it cold? Not during the day. It's just cooler with average temps between 10-15°C (50-59°F), which is excellent for tours, in particular hiking/trekking tours. But still, prepare for cold evenings and mornings as well as much colder nights. Alle three months, from December to February, are equally 'cold', with January being slightly cooler. Bring layers of clothes, gloves and a warm jacket (rainproof) for the evenings and nights. Warm blankets are provided by the camp. In the night temps can drop to zero degrees celsius.
Can it rain in winter? Yes, Wadi Rum experiences about 15 days of rain every year and most of them in the winter. However, rain showers are usually not very long. Rainfall which is going on for days is very rare and it's very unlikely hat rain will spoil your visit during winter season. Despite popular opinions, we highly recommend a visit to Wadi Rum in the winter.
It can get very hot in the summer months. However, the heat in Wadi Rum area is more tolerable since it's a dry heat. Unlike in Aqaba for example, where it's getting uncomfortable humid and even hotter. In Petra on the other hand it's slightly cooler due to the higher elevation. From late April throughout May, you may experience 'khamsin' in Wadi Rum. This means hot, dry and dusty winds which may cause heavier sandstorms. Wind, although not as as extreme as 'khamsin', can be present in summer, especially in the afternoon. Good to know for photography are the sunrise and sunset hours: Sunrise and Sunset Times
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Wadi Rum is still (2018) significantly less busy than Petra for example. However, during spring and fall it gets busy at Wadi Rum Village, as well as at the popular desert hot spot sites. Booking a remote camp (see below) with knowledgeable local guides helps. They can take you to stunning hidden spots, away from all tourists. Also visiting in the low seasons of winter or summer means enjoying even the popular spots in solitude.
The desert is inhabited with several smaller villages. Buy enough water there.
We visited this desert in the month of april. Overall you could say the best time to visit are our wintermonths november to april. The place is considered the hottest place on earth, measured by Nasa. They registered 70 degrees celcius in our summer!
This isn't just the set for the corny, 1996 movie, Bio-Dome. This is one of the world's most fascinating facilities dedicated to, "The research and understanding of global scientific issues" ...
Summer, despite being the desert, this will be the least expensive time to travel and you will encounter fewer tourists.
‘Breathtaking! And when you see it in life it’s just epic in its proportions!’
Monument Valley is not a National Park. It’s a Navajo Tribal Park with a stunning desert like landscape in Arizona and an excellent year-round destination. Seasons with pleasant weather and without a lot of traffic on the scenic drive are early spring (late March/April) and late autumn (October). Cooler but very quiet months are the winter months from November until March. Read on for more season details (spring -summer - fall - winter), the best ‘WHEN TO GO’ tips and our detailed hotel and camping guide.
Weather and Visitation
Despite the possibility for extreme weather conditions with some very hot days in the summer and a few colder times in the winter, most days of the year are quite suitable for an enjoyable visit. Due to the higher elevation of 5200 feet it’s a little cooler in general. The Wind is a major force in the valley. Even in the warmer months of spring and fall, bring an extra layer of cloth as it can get chilly in the mornings or late evenings. Light rain gear is also a good idea.
April - May (Spring)
The average maximum daytime temperature in April is a pleasant 19°C (66°F). In May it gets warmer with an average maximum of 25°C (77°F). That means both months are perfect for a visit. Most April visitors report, that it’s still quiet most of the time. In May it gets busier but still not heavily crowded. Keep in mind that particularly from April into June it’s often more windy than usual and it can become horrible dusty due to heavy winds.
June - July - August (Summer)
Clear, warm, sunny days and cool nights make this a delightful season to visit. July and August bring the warmest conditions, with temperatures in the 90s (over 33 °C) but rarely exceed 100 °F. The Visitor Center, as well as the scenic drive, become very busy during these summer months. Always check the weather forecast for occasional summer thunderstorms, especially from July to mid-September.
September - October (Autumn)
Still warm in September and pleasant temperatures in October. Autumn provides some of the most stable weather of the year. Keep in mind that in September even after labor day the scenic drive and the Visitor Center are often still busy. In October the crowds get smaller and there is less traffic on the road.
November - March (Winter / Early Spring)
Mild cold weather conditions start around mid-November. Snow conditions start later around mid-December and can last until February/early-March. Even in the winter, temperatures below 0 °F (−18 °C) are rare. But still, a warm coat is highly recommended. The valley only receives an occasional light snowfall and sometimes snowstorms in the winter. However, the snow melts usually within a day or two. Most visitors report that it's no problem to drive with almost any kind of car in the colder months. Winter is the perfect time for solitude without the crowds and low prices. Lucky visitors can see the valley and rock formations dusted in snow. Later in early spring, March is a great month without the holiday crowds and temperatures get more pleasant as they can rise up to 60°F (15°C), nights and mornings are still cool and chilly though.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds (Visitor Center / View Hotel / Scenic Drive)
Crowds in Monument Valley means a busy road while driving the scenic loop, many tourists at the Visitor Center and a fully booked View Hotel. The busiest months are from May to September with a peak in the summer months: late June, July and August. (The ‘official peak-season’ with different opening times is from April through September) If you plan to stay at ‘The View Hotel’ in high season, book well in advance. Also, keep in mind that the hotel rates are at their highest. Sometimes there are even busy days / weekends on the road in April or October. However, most visitors experience a rather quiet drive in early spring or late autumn and real solitude in the winter. During busier months the traffic starts to pick up around 10 AM. That means you can’t just pull over and take pictures at will because of the traffic and dust. In peak season the major viewpoints are crowded resulting in big traffic jams. Avoid those busy times by starting early in the morning with less traffic and less dust. Even in early spring and late fall, you’ll benefit by heading out at breakfast time. Avoid weekends and try to go on a weekday. Another option is to visit in the cooler months or even in the winter: It’s colder, but especially in December, January and February you’ll experience peace and solace. November (up to 12°C / 54°F) as well as March (up to 14°C / 57°F) bring more pleasant temperatures but it’s still much quieter than during busier months.
Another possible alternative to get away from the crowds during high season: Either take the self-guided hike on the Wildcat-Trail (see below) in the morning or purchase one of the Navajo tours for smaller groups. Some visitors book a tour for their family group only. Further reading on seasons and crowds: Some interesting and useful ‘when to go’ statements on TripAdvisor Peak vs Off-Season
Time of Day (Sunrise/Sunset)
Sunrise is not only the best time to dodge the crowds and avoid a busy road, it’s also a magical moment. To experience a stunning sunrise in the winter or late fall, stay at The View Hotel as you can't get into the park before 8 AM in off-season from the outside. In peak season they open at 6 AM. However, most visitors say, that watching the sunrise from the View Hotel is priceless regardless of the season. If you can, stay until sunset as well. It’s spectacular and unforgettable! Quote from our user Ray Downs: “Sunrise is great everywhere and sunset is best from the parking lot of the view hotel parking lot...that is where the banner photo was taken.” Check sunrise and sunset in advance here: Sunrise - Sunset Times Monument Valley
Amazing natural arches and surreal landscape where you have to hike to. The arches are not visible from the road. Roads are mostly paved and can get crowded in peak summer months.
Anytime is magical! Most comfortable temperatures in spring and fall. End of summer violent storm and heavy rainfall can occur which quickly causes flash floods.
More than 1.4 million visitors each year and the number is still growing. The most popular months are from March to October. Delicate Arch is the most famous one. Often there are more than hundred people and even more at sunset. Winter is great without crowds, but can be very cold. If you have snow trails can get slippery.
To avoid crowds and to get your car parked arrive early morning or even better late afternoon when temps are getting cooler. Morning and evening are best times to photograph.
TIP: If you want to avoid 100 degree temps but still enjoy comfortable weather go April, May or September, October. In September, it gets less crowded after Labor Day. Again, crowded in October at the Utah Education Association break
[updated by whentobewhere]