Ways to beat the heat in Prescott during summer | The Ultimate Guide

Summer in Prescott is a time of blue skies, outdoor activities, and—let’s face it—some seriously sizzling temperatures. With the mercury regularly hitting the upper bounds, it’s essential to have a game plan for staying cool.


Whether you’re a local or a visitor, knowing ways to beat the heat in Prescott during summer can significantly enhance your experience. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find a variety of tips and options, from natural respite to water activities, to keep the heat at bay and enjoy your summer to the fullest.

Understand Prescott’s Climate

Understanding Prescott’s climate can significantly enhance your strategies for staying cool. The city generally experiences mild winters and hot, dry summers, meaning hydration and sun protection are especially important during the latter season. Prescott sits at an elevation of about 5,400 feet, which can sometimes lead to milder temperatures compared to lower-altitude areas in Arizona.

However, heatwaves can still push temperatures well above 90°F, and the dry air can accelerate dehydration. Keeping an eye on local weather forecasts, especially UV index and air quality reports, can help you plan your days better.

By understanding the nuances of Prescott’s climate, you’re better equipped to make informed decisions on how to beat the heat while enjoying all that the city has to offer.

The Seasonal Shifts

Prescott experiences a fairly mild climate most of the year, but when summer rolls around, things heat up. The transition from spring to summer is quite noticeable, especially in June and July. The temperatures can shoot up rapidly, so it’s good to be prepared for the shift.

If you’re not familiar with how intense the heat can get, websites like Weather.com provide historical data that can help you understand the seasonal trends. Knowing what to expect can better inform your plans, whether you decide to go for a morning hike or spend the day in a climate-controlled museum.

The Summer Highs

During the peak of summer, Prescott can see temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the low 100s. When the heat hits, you’ll want to be prepared with ways to cool down. It’s not just about comfort—it’s also a matter of safety.

Official weather alerts for extreme temperatures can be found on platforms like the National Weather Service. Keeping tabs on the weather can be a lifesaver, especially if you have outdoor activities planned.

How Humidity Plays a Role

Fortunately for Prescott, the summer heat is often dry, which is somewhat easier to manage than humid heat. However, this dryness can lead to dehydration quicker than you might think.

When planning any summer activities, always bring more water than you think you’ll need. Websites such as Mayo Clinic offer valuable tips on staying hydrated and recognizing the signs of dehydration.

Natural Ways to Beat the Heat

Nature often provides its own solutions for beating the heat, and in Prescott, you don’t have to look far to find them. Hiking trails often lead to shaded groves or natural springs where you can cool off. The city’s abundant parks offer large, shady trees under which you can have a picnic or simply relax.

For those who don’t mind a bit of travel, day trips to higher altitudes can offer significantly cooler temperatures and a break from the city heat. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple hat and loose, breathable clothing to feel a bit more comfortable when out and about.

By harnessing these natural ways to cool off, you can enjoy the beauty of Prescott’s outdoors without letting the summer heat get to you.

Find Shade in the Pines

Prescott is surrounded by gorgeous pine forests, providing ample opportunities for shade. While the temperature might be soaring in the city center, you’ll find it considerably cooler under the pines.

The Prescott National Forest is an ideal destination for this. With several shaded trails and picnic areas, it’s a natural oasis during the hotter months. Plus, being surrounded by nature gives you that fresh air and peace of mind we all need during a busy summer.

Take a Dip in a Lake

There’s nothing like the cooling embrace of water on a hot summer day. In Prescott, you have a few good options for freshwater swimming.

Goldwater Lake and Watson Lake are popular destinations for those looking to take a dip. Each lake offers its own set of amenities, including picnic areas, paddle boat rentals, and fishing spots. Information on lake facilities and water quality can often be found on the City of Prescott’s official website.

Cave Exploration

For those adventurous souls among us, how about some cave exploration? Caves offer a natural respite from the heat as their temperatures tend to be lower.

However, cave exploration in Prescott is not for the faint of heart. It requires some level of physical fitness and proper equipment. If you’re new to caving, consider guided tours that are both educational and safe. Websites like Recreation.gov can help you find suitable caves and guide services for an adventurous day underground.

Water Activities

When the summer sun turns up the heat in Prescott, water activities offer the perfect blend of fun and relief. The city’s lakes and nearby rivers provide a playground for water enthusiasts. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating are popular options that offer both excitement and a chance to cool off.

If you’re more into laid-back activities, consider a simple swim or a day of fishing by the water. The local marinas often offer rentals for different kinds of watercraft, making it easy for everyone to join in on the aquatic fun. Remember to always prioritize safety by wearing life jackets and keeping hydrated.

These water activities provide a cool escape and a way to actively enjoy Prescott’s scenic beauty, all while beating the summer heat.

Kayaking and Canoeing

If swimming isn’t your thing, perhaps kayaking or canoeing would suit you better. The calm waters of Prescott’s lakes are ideal for these activities, providing you with exercise and a cool breeze as you paddle along.

Before you head out, make sure to check the local rules and regulations. Some lakes may require permits, while others may have restrictions on the types of watercraft allowed. You can usually find this information on the official city website or at the lake entrance.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Another popular activity on Prescott’s lakes is stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a full-body workout, and you’ll appreciate the refreshing water beneath you. Even if you’re a beginner, many local outfitters offer lessons to get you up and paddling in no time.

If you’re new to paddleboarding, check out resources like Paddleboarding.com for beginner’s guides and safety tips. And remember, always wear a life jacket when you’re on the water.

Fishing in Cooler Locations

Fishing is a favorite pastime for many, but doing it in the blazing sun can be less than enjoyable. Thankfully, Prescott’s lakes have plenty of shaded spots where you can cast your line without sweating buckets.

Before you go, check the Arizona Game and Fish Department website for fishing licenses and regulations. The last thing you want is to get fined for illegal fishing during your cool getaway.

Physical Activities

Staying physically active in the sweltering heat of Prescott’s summer might seem like a daunting task, but it’s entirely doable with a little planning. Water-based activities like swimming, paddleboarding, or kayaking can keep you cool while allowing for exercise.

Many people turn to indoor facilities like gyms, yoga studios, and even rock-climbing venues that are air-conditioned for a more traditional workout. Early morning and late evening are also good times for jogging, cycling, or a leisurely walk when the temperatures are relatively lower.

By opting for these cooler or indoor alternatives, you can maintain your fitness routine without succumbing to the summer heat.

Morning Hikes

Hiking in the middle of the day during summer is asking for trouble. Instead, take advantage of the cooler mornings by hitting the trails early. Trails like Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain offer varying levels of difficulty, and the early morning hours are usually peaceful and less crowded.

For trail maps and safety tips, the AllTrails website is an invaluable resource. Always remember to carry water, wear appropriate clothing, and let someone know where you’re going.

Indoor Climbing

If you’re looking for a physical challenge without the sun beating down on you, indoor rock climbing is a great option. Prescott has several facilities where you can climb in a climate-controlled environment.

Not only is it an excellent way to stay active, but indoor climbing also offers different levels of difficulty, making it suitable for both beginners and seasoned climbers. Before visiting, it’s a good idea to check out reviews and safety guidelines from trusted sources like Indoor Climbing World.

Evening Bicycle Rides

When the sun starts to dip below the horizon, it’s the perfect time for a bike ride. The air cools down, and the scenery takes on a different, more subdued beauty.

Prescott offers several bike-friendly trails and routes suitable for all skill levels.

Cultural and Indoor Activities

If you’re seeking respite from the sun but still want to make the most of your summer in Prescott, there are plenty of cultural and indoor activities to consider. Museums and art galleries offer an enriching experience in climate-controlled environments.

The local theaters, whether they’re showing the latest blockbuster or hosting a community play, offer a couple of hours of entertainment in a cool setting. Bookstores and libraries are also ideal spots for the more intellectually inclined, where you can get lost in a novel while staying out of the sun.

These indoor activities not only keep you cool but also offer a chance to dive deeper into the local culture and arts scene, making your summer both enjoyable and enriching.

Museum Hopping

Prescott is home to several museums that not only enrich your mind but also offer a cool refuge from the scorching heat. The Phippen Museum, for instance, showcases Western art, while the Sharlot Hall Museum dives into Arizona’s rich history.

Visit the museums’ websites for current exhibitions and programs. This is a great way to integrate learning and culture into your summer without breaking a sweat.

Library Chill-out

Libraries are another excellent option for cooling down. Most public libraries in Prescott offer more than just books; you can find free Wi-Fi, magazines, and even digital resources. Not to mention, it’s a quiet and peaceful place to unwind.

Before you go, check the library hours and any special summer programs or reading lists that might be on offer. The Prescott Public Library often has seasonal events and workshops that can make your visit even more worthwhile.

Cinema Escapes

When it’s sweltering outside, there’s nothing like retreating to a dark, air-conditioned movie theater to escape. You can catch the latest summer blockbuster or even an indie film in one of Prescott’s cinemas.

The best part is that movie theaters usually offer matinee discounts, so you can enjoy a film without spending a lot. Websites like Fandango can help you find showtimes, buy tickets, and even select your seats in advance.

Dining and Drinking

When the summer heat in Prescott peaks, dining and drinking options offer a flavorful escape. From ice cream parlors serving up chilly delights to cafes that whip up iced versions of your favorite coffee drinks, there’s a refreshing option for every palate.

For those looking to avoid the hassle of cooking in a hot kitchen, indoor dining restaurants with robust air conditioning systems provide a culinary break from the heat. Whether you’re craving sushi, Italian, or classic American comfort food, there’s a cool, comfortable dining space waiting for you.

So, take advantage of the local dining scene to not just satisfy your taste buds, but also to beat the heat in style.

Best Ice Cream Parlors

Nothing says summer like a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Prescott has a range of ice cream parlors featuring classic and exotic flavors.

Local websites often publish lists of the best ice cream spots in town, so you can pick one that suits your taste buds. But why stick to just one? Make it a summer goal to try them all and find your absolute favorite.

Cafés with Cooling Drinks

If you’re a coffee addict, switch out your regular hot brew for something more refreshing. Many cafés in Prescott offer iced versions of your favorite drinks, as well as a variety of fruit smoothies.

Several places even have outdoor seating that’s shaded, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Check out review sites like Yelp to find the coolest (literally!) cafés in Prescott.

Indoor Dining Options

When the heat makes cooking at home an unappealing chore, it’s the perfect excuse to dine out. Prescott offers a variety of restaurants that not only serve delicious food but also feature robust air conditioning.

Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, sushi, or a good old American burger, you’ll find plenty of options to satiate your palate. For recommendations, local food blogs or platforms like TripAdvisor can offer real reviews and ratings to help you choose.

DIY Home Solutions

For those who prefer the sanctuary of their own homes, there are still plenty of innovative DIY solutions to keep cool during the hot Prescott summers. From crafting homemade popsicles with your favorite fruit juices to setting up a DIY misting system in your backyard, there are numerous ways to find relief from the heat without stepping out.

Even simple fan hacks, like placing a bowl of ice in front of a circulating fan, can create a makeshift air conditioner to help you and your family stay comfortable. These home-based solutions are not just cost-effective, but they also add a personal touch to your summer cooling strategies.

Make Your Own Popsicles

Why buy store-bought popsicles when you can make your own? All you need is some fruit juice or yogurt, a popsicle mold, and a freezer.

  • Simple, yet tasty recipes
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • Kids can join in on the fun

Popular cooking websites like Allrecipes offer a variety of popsicle recipes that are both easy and healthy.

Create a DIY Water Misting System

A DIY water misting system can be a lifesaver during the peak of summer. With some basic supplies from your local hardware store, you can set up a misting system that keeps your outdoor spaces cool and comfortable.

Before you get started, sites like DIY Network offer guides and tips to ensure you set up a safe and effective misting system.

Fan Hacks

Fans are good, but they can be made better with a few simple hacks. For example, placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan can create a makeshift air conditioner.

For more fan hacks and tips, websites like Lifehacker have articles that can guide you through optimizing your fan for the summer.

Community Services

When the heat becomes too much to handle in Prescott, the community steps in with a variety of services to help residents stay cool. Public pools offer a refreshing reprieve, often at an affordable rate, making them a great option for families.

During extreme heatwaves, the city often opens cooling centers—air-conditioned public spaces where people can escape the blistering temperatures for free. Additionally, volunteering opportunities in climate-controlled environments allow you to give back to the community while staying cool.

These services offer practical, low-cost solutions for beating the heat while fostering a sense of community support.

Public Pools

Swimming in a public pool can be a refreshing experience, and it’s generally more affordable than a day at a water park. Most public pools in Prescott offer both adult and children’s pools, making it a fun outing for the whole family.

For locations and opening times, the City of Prescott’s Parks and Recreation Department offers up-to-date information.

Cooling Centers

During extreme heat events, the city often opens cooling centers where residents can come to escape the heat. These are air-conditioned public spaces that are free to use.

You can find out when and where these cooling centers open by keeping an eye on local news or the city’s official website. This is a vital service, particularly for those who may not have effective air conditioning at home.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re looking for ways to give back to the community while staying cool, many organizations offer volunteer opportunities in air-conditioned environments.

Sites like VolunteerMatch can help you find opportunities in Prescott that match your interests and availability. Not only will you stay cool, but you’ll also feel good doing it.

Pet Care in the Heat

Taking care of pets during the scorching summer months in Prescott is just as crucial as looking after ourselves. Our furry friends are also susceptible to heat-related ailments like dehydration and heatstroke.

Simple measures, such as adjusting walk timings to cooler parts of the day, providing ample fresh water, and never leaving pets unattended in cars, can make a significant difference. Products like pet-safe cooling mats and special hydrating treats can also help.

So, while you’re enjoying or escaping the heat, remember that your pets need to stay cool too.

Walks During Cooler Hours

Just like us, pets can suffer from heat exhaustion. It’s best to walk your dogs during the cooler hours of the day, either early in the morning or late in the evening, to avoid peak heat.

Always carry water for both you and your pet. If you’re unsure whether the pavement is too hot for your dog, place your hand on the ground. If it’s too hot to keep your hand there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.

Keep Them Hydrated

Pet hydration is essential in the heat. Make sure there’s always a bowl of fresh, clean water available for your pets. Some pets might even enjoy a nice ice cube to chase around.

You can also consider pet-safe cooling mats or invest in a small kiddie pool where they can splash around. Several pet stores and online platforms like Chewy offer a variety of products designed to keep pets cool.

Never Leave Pets in a Car

It should go without saying, but never leave your pets in a car during the summer, even if it’s just for a few minutes. The temperature inside a parked car can quickly reach dangerous levels.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the temperature inside your car can rise almost 20°F in just 10 minutes. This can lead to fatal heatstroke in pets. Always be mindful and cautious.


In this section, we will be delving into some of the most common inquiries and curiosities that surround our topic.

What is the average summer temperature in Prescott?

The average high temperature during the summer months in Prescott is around 88°F, while the lows can drop to an average of 60°F. However, heat waves can push the temperature above 100°F.

Where can I find up-to-date information about cooling centers?

Up-to-date information about cooling centers can typically be found on the City of Prescott’s official website or through local news channels.

Are the lakes in Prescott safe for swimming?

Generally, yes. However, it’s always best to check local advisories about water quality, especially after heavy rains.

What are some pet-friendly activities in Prescott during the summer?

Some pet-friendly activities include early morning or late evening walks in one of Prescott’s many parks, a visit to a pet-friendly café, or even a day at a pet-friendly beach by the lake.


Summer in Prescott can be a wonderful experience if you know how to beat the heat effectively. Whether you prefer outdoor activities, cultural experiences, or just staying cool at home, there’s something for everyone.

Remember to stay hydrated, protect your skin from the harsh sun, and keep an eye on those vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, including your pets. By taking these precautions, you can make the most out of your summer in Prescott. Stay cool!

Leave a Comment

About the author

Hi, I'm Teri Franks, the voice behind Prescott Voice. I've spent years immersing myself in all that Prescott has to offer, and I love sharing the unique stories and experiences I've discovered. When I'm not writing, you'll find me exploring Prescott's trails or tasting our local cuisine. I believe that the vibrant lifestyle here in Prescott inspires us to live a healthier, happier life. Come join me on this exciting journey as we explore Prescott together.

Leave a Comment