The states in the US Southwest are home to jaw-dropping natural scenery. Here’s a list of ideas for your fall vacation in the Southwest USA.
If you’re looking for US travel ideas during the fall, add the Southwest to your list. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities during the fall months!
Southwest is a region filled with beautiful natural features as well as cultural attractions that make it worth visiting.
You’ll find historic dwellings at Mesa Verde, unbeatable hiking trails in Sedona, and unique rock formations at all 5 Utah National Parks!
Check out this list of places in Southwest USA you need to add to your bucket list!
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Southwest USA Packing List
DOWNLOAD and print the US National Park Packing List – it’s applicable to use for your Southwest USA trip!
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
Best Time to Visit the US Southwest
One of the first things you need to research is what it’s like visiting these locations at various times during the year to decide when it’s the best time to go!
- Best Time to Visit Arizona
- Best Time to Visit Colorado
- Best Time to Visit Nevada
- Best Time to Visit New Mexico
- Best Time to Visit Utah
- Best Time to Visit Utah National Parks
Spring and Fall are the most popular times for visiting the Southwest because the temperatures are best for outdoor activities. Summer will be HOT and winter will be cold with possible rain and snow storms occurring any time.
USA AUDIO TOURS (GyPSy Guide)
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the area and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a guide in the car with you.”
Things to Do in the Southwest
Here’s a list of things to see, do, and photograph in the US Southwest.
Road Trips in the Southwest
There are so many ways to explore the states in the Southwest. We recommend a US Southwest road trip!
- American Southwest Road Trip Guide
- Southwest USA Road Trip
- Route 66 Roadside Attractions
- Utah National Park Road Trip Itinerary
Scenic Drives in the Southwest
You’ll find beautiful scenic drives at various National Parks and other locations in the Southwest USA.
- Arches National Park Scenic Drive
- Bryce Canyon Scenic Drive
- Canyonlands Island in the Sky Scenic Drive
- Capitol Reef Scenic Drive
- Zion National Park Scenic Drives
Hiking in the Southwest
Hiking is one of the best ways to experience the US Southwest, and really see the spectacular landscapes up close!
- Arches National Park Hiking Trails
- Bryce Canyon Hikes
- Canyonlands Hikes
- Capitol Reef Hikes
- Zion National Park Hikes
- Sedona, Arizona Hiking Trails
Southwest USA Photography
The American Southwest is a landscape photographer’s dream! The arches, balanced rocks, hoodoos, and river-carved canyons provide stunning photographic opportunities.
- Arches National Park Photography
- Bryce Canyon Photo Spots
- Canyonlands National Park Photography
- Capitol Reef National Park Photography
- Zion National Park Photography
- Guide to Moab Photography
- Guide to Kanab Photography
Ideas To Plan A Fall Vacation in the Southwest USA
For this article, we’re sharing information about visiting these five Southwest US states: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.
You might be surprised to know you can see fall colors in many parts of the Southwest – we’ll share those location as well!
Arizona Fall Vacation Ideas
You’ll find desert spires towering high above the landscape, dreamy river canyons, and mazes of red rock formations in Arizona. Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the fall in Arizona.
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Canyon de Chelly National Monument
- Page, Arizona Day Trips
- Antelope Canyon Slot Canyons
- Horseshoe Bend
- Monument Valley
- Fall Colors in Flagstaff, Arizona
- Antelope Canyon Tours
- Grand Canyon Tours: Helicopter Tours, River Rafting Tours, Grand Canyon Railway
- Sedona Tours: Jeep and ATV Tours, Kayak Tours, E-bike Tours
Colorado Fall Vacation Ideas
The southern part of Colorado is a wonderful place to begin learning about the native history of this region. Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the fall in Colorado.
- Mesa Verde National Park
- The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
- Garden of the Gods
- Autumn Colors in Colorado
- Hikes in Colorado
- Colorado Tours: Jeep Tours, Whitewater Rafting, Zipline Tours
Nevada Fall Vacation Ideas
The fall season in Nevada starts from September to early November. During this time, the weather is no longer TOO HOT for outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in Nevada during the fall season:
- Grand Canyon West Rim
- Valley of Fire State Park
- Hoover Dam
- Red Rock Canyon
- Free Things to Do in Las Vegas
- Nevada Tours: Jeep and ATV Tours, Helicopter Tours, Hoover Dam Tour
New Mexico Fall Vacation Ideas
The fall months in New Mexico begin to cool down in order to enjoy the outdoors most of the day! Here’s a list of fun things to do in New Mexico during the fall season:
- White Sands National Park
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park
- Bandelier National Monument Hike
- Petroglyph National Monument
- New Mexico Road Trip
New Mexico Tours
Southern Utah Fall Vacation Ideas
The landscape in Southern Utah includes arches, hoodoos, balanced rocks, and red rock canyons as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of places to visit and things to do in Southern Utah during the fall season:
- Utah National Park Road Trip Itinerary
- Arches National Park in the Fall
- Bryce Canyon in the Fall
- Canyonlands National Park in the Fall
- Capitol Reef National Park in the Fall
- Zion National Park in the Fall
- List of Utah State Parks
- Moab in the Fall
- Canyonlands White Water Rafting Tours
- Moab 4×4 and ATV Tours
- Capitol Reef Area Tours
- Zion Horseback Riding Tours
This list of Southwest USA bucket list destinations are epic! Use these travel guides to plan the perfect itinerary to explore the area!