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When planning your vacation this summer there are a million different places to go.

But we’d like to suggest going on your summer vacations in the southwest.

The Southwest in the United States is full of so much wonder and beauty. 

Use this guide to plan a fabulous summer vacation visiting the American southwest:

• What states are considered in the southwest?

• Summer vacation ideas in the American southwest

• Map of summer vacation destinations in the southwest

• 9 fun summer vacation destinations in the southwest US


Places to Visit in the Summer in the Southwest

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What states are considered in the Southwest?

The states that are considered Southwest are:

    • Montana
    • North Dakota
    • South Dakota
    • Wyoming
    • Utah
    • Colorado
    • New Mexico
    • Arizona
    • Texas
    • Oklahoma
    • Arkansas
    • Louisiana 


Summer Vacations In The Southwest

There are so many great places to go on summer vacations in the southwest.

Here’s a few great Southwest US road trip ideas that allow you to see so many fantastic sites, National Parks and other great places throughout the southwest. 


Map of Summer Vacation Destinations in the Southwest

Map of summer vacation destinations in the southwest


9 Favorite Summer Vacation in the Southwest Destinations


Grand Canyon in the Summer

The Grand Canyon is perfect to visit during the summer months. 

Located in Northern Arizona there is so much to see and do. The most popular place to visit at the Grand Canyon is the South Rim followed by Grand Canyon West. 

The North Rim is a hidden beauty, but not visited by as many people because it is only open May 15th through October 15th. 

So if you are wanting to see the North Rim be sure to visit in the summer months. 

There are so many things to do at North Rim such as hiking, scenic drives, biking, and lots of trails to go on. 

Not only that, but there are several lodging places as well as campsites you can stay at while visiting the Grand Canyon. 

View of Grand Canyon national park in the summer.

View of Grand Canyon national park in the summer.


Yellowstone in the Summer

It is no surprise that Yellowstone is one of the most beautiful summer vacation destinations in the southwest. 

Millions of people visit Yellowstone each summer to see the beauty that it has to offer.

Don’t let this scare you though because you will not feel like there are millions of people visiting with you because there is so much to explore and see at Yellowstone in the summer. 

We have so many tips on planning the perfect Yellowstone vacation to make sure that your trip is the most memorable vacations you take.

→ We really like Kelly Inn when we stay in West Yellowstone.


Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the Summer 

If you are wanting an exciting adventure in New Mexico, Carlsbad Canyon National Park is the place for you. 

With over 100 caves to explore you won’t be disappointed. At Carlsbad Caverns, you can do a self-guided tour, a ranger guided tour, or even an audio tour while you are visiting. 

There are several trails and even a bat flight program you won’t want to miss. 


Zion National Park in the Summer

Zion National Park is a must-see destination. Zion National Park during the summer is the perfect time to visit.

While visiting Zion you can embark on beautiful hikes in Zion as well as see some really epic places within the park. 

If you are planning to visit Zion National Park be sure to garb this planning guide to help you prepare for your trip so you won’t miss a thing. 

→ Stay in Springdale so you’re close to the park entrance and can walk to shopping and restaurants. 


Canyon Overlook trail at sunrise is a fun summer activity at Zion.

Canyon Overlook trail at sunrise is a fun summer activity at Zion.


Arches National Park in the Summer

If you haven’t been to Arches National Park then you have to plan to go there very soon. 

At Arches, you will be in awe of the magnificent monuments and scenery you will see as you drive and hike around the park.

While visiting you will want to take advantage of the amazing Arches hikes that vary in length and skill level. A must-do hike is Devil’s garden trail for sure. 

Arches is definitely a photographers dream. So if you love photography be sure you don’t miss the best places to take pictures at Arches

We have a massive travel guide to Arches to help you plan your visit as well!

Arches is the perfect destination to add to your summer vacation in the southwest. 

→ Check out this condo in Moab, our favorite place to stay near Arches! 


3 Day Itinerary for Arches & Canyonlands


Garden of the Gods in the Summer

Garden of the Gods is one of those places that once you go, you will want to go back every time you visit Colorado. 

Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado you will find this majestic land where the sky is the limit. You can explore by car, jeep, segway, horseback, bike and foot and see all that Garden of the Gods has to offer. 

It is the perfect place to visit with kids because Garden of the Gods makes it so easy and fun for kids to explore.

There is no wonder why Garden of the Gods is one of the highly ranked parks to see in the United States. 

Plan your trip to Garden of the Gods.


Bryce Canyon in the Summer

Bryce Canyon is one of the most epic places to visit in the southwest in the summer. Once you arrive here you will realize you are not really visiting a canyon, but are visiting the most amazing carved amphitheaters that showcase the most colorful formations. 

There is plenty of hiking, ranger-led programs, backpacking, horseback riding, star gazing, and more.  If you want to experience the best hike at Bryce Canyon then Navajo Loop Queen’s Garden trail is a must! 

Not only that but the Bryce Canyon picture-perfect photo spots you won’t want to miss. 

To start planning your trip to Bryce Canyon, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to visiting Bryce Canyon to make sure you don’t miss a thing. 

Ruby’s Inn Vacation Rentals is where we like to stay. They are right near the entrance to Bryce!


Bryce Canyon sunrise in the summer.

Bryce Canyon sunrise in the summer.


Sedona, Arizona in the Summer

If you are looking for a summer vacation in the southwest to relax, check Sedona, Arizona. 

If you are looking for the most beautiful landscape with red rocks all around this is the place. 

Photographers far and wide swarm to Sedona, Arizona to photograph the beautiful landscape seen here. 

While in Sedona they make it easy to relax, explore various canyons, hike, mountain bike, and more. 

Sedona is free of humidity making it the perfect escape from the summer heat that you are used to during summer throughout the country.  


Sign up for the Your Photography Journey group!


Lake Powell in the Summer

Lake Powell is located in both Arizona and Utah and is absolutely perfectly breathtaking. 

Lake Powell in about 200 miles with 1900 miles of shores. There are over 90 canyons that you can visit by boat or kayak. 

The views are absolutely incredible which you can see from Glen Canyon Bridge. 

The best way to see Lake Powell and all its beauty is by boat. 


There you have it! 9 summer vacations in the southwest you don’t want to miss! Which one are you most excited about visiting?


10 page travel photography planner



US National Parks in the Summer

Best Summer Hiking Trails in the US

Places to Visit in Oregon in the Summer

Best US National Parks to Visit in June

US National Park Packing Lists for Summer



Southwest USA Road Trip Ideas

American Southwest Road Trip Guide: 8 Day Itinerary

Arizona Road Trip


Click to Pin for Later: Summer Vacations in the Southwest

Summer Vacation Ideas in the Southwest