Ideas for Summer Vacations in the Southwest

The American Southwest is a spectacular region full of incredible natural sights to behold. From the towering sandstone cliffs of Monument Valley to the awe-inspiring views of the Grand Canyon, the region offers many photogenic locations.

If you’re looking for US travel ideas during the summer, be sure to add the Southwest to your list. We’ve put together a great list of ideas for summer vacations in the Southwest USA.

Summer vacation ideas in the US Southwest

You’ll see amazing landscapes and history with these US Southwest vacation ideas! Summer isn’t the most ideal time of year for outdoor activities in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Utah and Southern Colorado due to the heat.

But if you need to plan your vacation at this time, you’ll find quite a few ideas of things to do in the summer in the US Southwest.

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Best Times to Visit the US Southwest

This article is all about visiting the Southwest in the summer. 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!

Spring and fall are the most popular times for because the temperatures are best for outdoor activities, but they are also the most crowded times as well.

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!

Activities To Do in the American Southwest

Check out all the activities, tours, and things to photograph in the US Southwest.

Road Trips in the Southwest USA

If you’re looking for the best way to explore the states in the Southwest, we recommend planning a road trip!

Scenic Drives in the American Southwest

You’ll find beautiful scenic drives at various National Parks and other locations in the US Southwest.

US Southwest Hiking Trails

Hiking in the Southwest is the best way to really see the spectacular landscapes up close!

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.

Utah National Parks photography guides bundle optin box

Ideas for Summer Vacations in the Southwest

For this article, we’re sharing information about visiting these five Southwest US states in the spring: Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. We’ll highlight things you can do at US Southwest National Parks in the summer as well!

Horseshoe Bend
Horseshoe Bend

Arizona Summer Vacation Ideas

When visiting Arizona you’ll see desert spires, river canyons, and mazes of red rock formations. Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the summer in Arizona.

Arizona Summer Tours

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park

Colorado Summer 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 summer in Colorado.

Colorado Summer Tours

Valley of Fire State Park
Valley of Fire State Park

Nevada Summer Vacation Ideas

The summer months in southern Nevada are stifling, especially for outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in Nevada in the summer if you plan them during the cooler morning and evenings: 

Nevada Summer Tours

  • Nevada Tours: Jeep and ATV Tours, Helicopter Tours, Hoover Dam Tour
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Switchbacks into Carlsbad Caverns

New Mexico Summer Vacation Ideas

Summer time in New Mexico is HOT, but there are plenty of things to do in New Mexico during the cooler times of day:

New Mexico Summer Tours

Zion Narrows hiking trail
Zion Narrows hiking trail

Utah Summer Vacation Ideas

The Southern Utah landscape is full of arches, hoodoos, balanced rocks, and red rock canyons! There are plenty of places to visit and things to do in Southern Utah in the summer: 

Utah Summer Tours

Use these travel guides, itineraries, and tour ideas to plan the perfect itinerary to explore the area!

Where To Go For Summer Vacation in the USA

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