Plan a Winter Vacation in the Southwest USA

If you’re looking for winter vacation ideas in the US, add the Southwest to your list. You can find something for everyone when you plan a winter vacation in the Southwest USA.

The US Southwest is a region filled with stunning landscapes and cultural attractions to explore and photograph. During the winter, the temperatures are more moderate for hiking in Arizona or New Mexico. You can embrace winter cold and snowshoe around the trails in Bryce Canyon in Utah!

winter vacations in the USA Southwest

With so many US southwest vacation ideas for the winter, the hard part will be deciding what NOT to add to your bucket list!

In this guide you’ll find travel tips, attractions, recommended activities and a packing checklist to help you plan a fabulous vacation this winter.

Use our Winter Vacation Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for the destination you’ll visit! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

winter vacation packing list optin
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Best Times 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!

Spring and Fall are the most popular times for visiting the Southwest because the temperatures are best for outdoor activities, but they are the most crowded times as well. Summer is HOT in the Southwest. 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!

Ideas To Plan A Winter 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.

Visiting the US Southwest National Parks in the winter is a good time to go to escape the crowds you find in the spring and fall. You also escape the summer heat!!

sedona arizona in the winter with snow
Sedona, Arizona in the winter

Arizona Winter Vacation Ideas

Winter is the perfect time hike along the desert spires, river canyons, and mazes of red rock formations in Arizona… without the heat! Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the winter in Arizona.

Arizona Winter Tours

garden of the gods in the winter with snow
Garden of the Gods in the winter

Colorado Winter Vacation Ideas

The southern part of Colorado is a wonderful place to explore the native history of this region. Here are a list of places to visit and things to do in the winter in Colorado.

Colorado Tours

valley of fire state park
Valley of Fire State Park

Nevada Winter Vacation Ideas

The winter season in southern Nevada is just about perfect for outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in Nevada during the winter months: 

Nevada Tours

  • Nevada Tours: Jeep and ATV Tours, Helicopter Tours, Hoover Dam Tour
hot air balloon with New Mexico symbol
New Mexico hot air balloon

New Mexico Winter Vacation Ideas

You can’t beat New Mexico during the winter months to enjoy outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in New Mexico in the winter: 

New Mexico Tours

hikers on the trail at Bryce Canyon in the snow
Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah in the winter

Southern Utah Winter Vacation Ideas

The contrast of white snow against the red rock landscape in Southern Utah in the winter is stunning! There are plenty of places to visit and things to do in Southern Utah during the winter months: 

Utah Tours

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


national park guides and maps

Plan a Southwest US Vacation

Road Trip Planner

Be sure to grab the Road Trip Packing List that includes all the winter road trip supplies you need for comfort, organization, eating, and first aid to make the family vacation a success. You’ll also receive a Road Trip Itinerary to plan the day-to-day schedule of the trip! Simply click the graphic below to get your free copy!

get the free road trip planner

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