The American Southwest is a region filled with unique landscapes to explore and photograph, as well as cultural attractions to learn about the history of the region.
If you’re looking for US travel ideas during the spring, you’ll find no shortage of places to visit in the Southwest. We’ve put together a great list of ideas to help you plan a spring vacation in the Southwest USA.
This list of US Southwest vacation ideas includes hiking, biking, scenic drives, festivals, and more to explore the landscapes and history of the area.
During the spring, the temperatures are pretty much perfect for visiting the Southwest National Parks in the spring so be sure to add them all to your bucket list!
Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you! Read the full Disclosure Policy.
Plan a Spring Vacation in the Southwest USA
Are you looking for an unforgettable spring vacation? Look no further than the Southwest USA! With its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique culture, the Southwest offers plenty of activities to make your vacation truly memorable.
Best Times to Visit the US Southwest
This article is all about visiting the Southwest in the spring. But we always recommend you research is what it’s like visiting specific destination at various times during the year to decide when it’s the best time for YOU 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 vacations in the Southwest USA are the most popular times for because the temperatures are best for outdoor activities, but they are also the most crowded times as well.
Summer vacations in the Southwest will be HOT – it’s not our favorite time to visit.
We prefer winter Southwest vacations to avoid the crowds and heat. Yes, some locations will be cold with possible rain and snow storms occurring any time, but we pack for the weather and know we need to be flexible!
Spring Clothing for Hiking in the Southwest
Many locations in the US Southwest in early spring will still have cold mornings so layers are key.
- Clothing: Loose-fitting, light-colored, and wicking clothing
- Sunhat: Sun protection is a must in the spring
- Fleece jackets: A jacket is perfect for that morning layer when the temperatures are cool
- Darn Tough hiking socks: Do not wear cotton socks. Darn Tough Socks are comfortable, breathe well, and prevent blisters
- Waterproof hiking shoes: Spring rain is common so be sure your hiking shoes are waterproof, sturdy, and have good traction
Spring Hiking Gear for the US Southwest
Here’s the spring hiking gear we recommend and what to bring on a day hike:
- Water: Carry and drink at least two liters of water. Use refillable water bottles or hydration packs. We carry Propel powder packets to add to our water to help replace electrolytes.
- Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin! Due to the dry heat in the Southwest, you’ll also want lip balm and lotion!
- First aid kit: No matter whether your hike is long or short, always pack a hiking first aid kit. Make sure your first aid kit has the essentials like plasters, bandages, anti-bacterial wipes, etc.
- Headlamps: If you’ll be hiking in the morning or late afternoon, carry a headlamp so you’re prepared in case you need to hike in the dark.
- Snacks: Pack salty and easy to digest snack to replace electrolytes.
Spring Activities To Do in the American Southwest
Check out all the activities, tours, and things to photograph in the US Southwest.
Spring Road Trips in the Southwest USA
Spring is the perfect time for a road trip in the Southwest USA. With mild weather and stunningly beautiful landscapes, you can explore vibrant cities and discover hidden gems off the beaten path. A road trip through the Southwest in the spring is a great way to experience all that it has to offer.
- American Southwest Road Trip Guide
- Southwest USA Road Trip
- Route 66 Roadside Attractions
- Utah National Park Road Trip Itinerary
Spring Scenic Drives in the American Southwest
The American Southwest is an incredible place to explore, and the best way to do so is on a scenic drive. You’ll find beautiful scenic drives at various National Parks and other locations in the US Southwest. Whether you’re looking for a short day trip or a longer journey, here are some of the best spring scenic drives in the American Southwest that will take your breath away.
- 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
- Best Stops Along Scenic Byway 12 in Utah
- Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway in Moab, Utah
- Scenic Drive to Needles Overlook in Utah
- Scenic Drive to Anticline Overlook in Utah
We recommend the GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.
USA AUDIO TOURS (GuideAlong)
“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.”
Spring Hiking Trails in the US Southwest
The US Southwest is a region of breathtaking beauty and diverse terrain. From the rolling hills of Arizona to the towering peaks of Colorado, there are plenty of opportunities for spring hiking. Whether you’re looking for a short day hike or a multi-day trek, there are plenty of trails to choose from in the US Southwest.
- Arches National Park Spring Hikes
- Bryce Canyon Spring Hikes
- Canyonlands Hikes
- Capitol Reef Hikes
- Zion National Park Hikes
- Sedona, Arizona Hiking Trails
Photographing the American Southwest
The states in the US Southwest feature landscapes with arches, balanced rocks, hoodoos, and river-carved canyons that 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, Utah Photography
- Guide to Kanab, Utah Photography
Ideas To Plan A Spring Vacation in the Southwest USA
For this article, we’re sharing information about visiting these five Southwest US states in the spring: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.
Arizona Spring Vacation Ideas
Spring is an amazing time to explore the hiking trails in Arizona. You’ll see desert spires, river canyons, and mazes of red rock formations in Arizona… without the heat of summer! Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the spring in Arizona.
- Grand Canyon in the Spring
- Antelope Canyon
- Horseshoe Bend
- Monument Valley in the Spring
- Sedona in the Spring
- Day Trip to Phoenix
Arizona Spring Tours
- Antelope Canyon Tours
- Grand Canyon Tours: Helicopter Tours, Grand Canyon Railway
- Sedona Tours: Jeep and ATV Tours, E-bike Tours
Colorado Spring Vacation Ideas
You’ll enjoy learning about the native history of this region in the southern part of Colorado. Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the spring in Colorado.
- Mesa Verde National Park in the Spring
- The Great Sand Dunes in the Spring
- Black Canyon of the Gunnison
- Garden of the Gods
- Colorado Tours: Jeep Tours, Zipline Tours
Nevada Spring Vacation Ideas
The spring months in southern Nevada are amazing to enjoy outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in Nevada during the spring months:
- Nevada Tours: Jeep and ATV Tours, Helicopter Tours, Hoover Dam Tour
New Mexico Spring Vacation Ideas
You can’t beat New Mexico in the spring when the weather is so amazing! There are plenty of things to do in New Mexico in the spring:
- White Sands National Park
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park
- Bandelier National Monument Hike
- Petroglyph National Monument
- Southern New Mexico Road Trip
New Mexico Tours
Utah Spring Vacation Ideas
Spring is one of the best times to explore and photograph the landscape in Southern Utah: arches, hoodoos, balanced rocks, and red rock canyons! There are plenty of places to visit and things to do in Southern Utah during the spring:
- Spring Break in Utah
- Utah Spring Break Ideas
- Arches National Park in the Spring
- Bryce Canyon National Park in the Spring
- Canyonlands National Park in the Spring
- Capitol Reef National Park in the Spring
- Zion National Park in the Spring
- List of Utah State Parks
- Moab in the Spring
Use these travel guides, itineraries, and tour ideas to plan the perfect itinerary to explore the area!