Annual Weather

Cottonwood has what is considered mild weather for Arizona; it’s cooler than Phoenix in the summer and warmer than Flagstaff in the winter. Summer temperatures usually go well over 100°F for a few weeks in mid-summer but generally range from 85° to 95°F (three-year high - 111.6°F on July 4th, 2007). In the summer months, trail users should get out there early. However, unlike Phoenix, the temperature drops down to comfortable levels every evening. Winter temperatures can get down to the 20s and as high as the 60s (three-year low - 0.2°F on January 2nd, 2006).

The area has two major “rainy” seasons—winter and summer monsoons. The winter season runs from December thru March. Generally winter rains are gentle but can last throughout the day. Winter rains often cause snowmelt from the high country in the surrounding area and may cause the Verde River to rise dramatically! The summer monsoon season starts mid-June and runs through September. Monsoons are spectacular and short term. Dark clouds form during the day and by late afternoon can darken the sky, producing isolated thunderstorms often with torrential rains that pass quickly. At times like this, the water level in the Verde may rise briefly. Still, average annual precipitation is less than 12.0" per year—even lower recently due to continuing drought conditions). Each spring, strong winds blow through the Verde Valley, gusting up to 40 MPH. Most days start out relatively calm, but if it is going to be windy, the breeze usually begins to pick up around midday.

The nicest times of the year are from mid-March through early June (mean temperature 66 degrees F), and mid-September through early December (mean temperature 64 degrees F).

Below is a listing of average daily temperatures and monthly precipitation:

Dead Horse Ranch State Park Average Daily Temperature (Degrees Fahrenheit) & Monthly Precipitation (Inches)
Month Temperature Precipitation
High Low
January 59° F 31° F 1.19"
February 64° 35° 1.10"
March 69° 39° 1.22"
April 77° 44° 0.54"
May 86° 51° 0.33"
June 97° 59° 0.22"
July 100° 67° 1.70"
August 97° 66° 2.09"
September 91° 59° 1.50"
October 80° 48° 1.00"
November 68° 37° 0.22"
December 59° 31° 1.03"

Note: Weather data is provided as a general guide only. Arizona State Parks assumes no responsibility for any loss resulting from use of this information.