A road trip to the southwestern states in the US will truly take your upcoming family adventure to the next level! If you have been yearning for some time away from the hustle and bustle… And are ready to spend quality time with your family, a road trip to the southwest is the perfect solution! There are so many things to do in the United States. However, some of the favorites can be found out near the Grand Canyon, Arizona, and New Mexico. I thought I would give you a head start with your thinking by providing the best things to do in the southwest in the fall.
Yes, you can visit the Grand Canyon at any time of the year. But the month of October brings incredible weather and fewer people. It’s a win-win for your family, because you won’t be dying from the heat or trying to escape the crowds. There are plenty of things you can do while on vacation at the Grand Canyon. Hiking will be the first thing on your list. But make sure you take the time to check out the sunrise at Mathers Point. I also recommend tackling the Desert View Drive.
You may not think the leaves change colors in Arizona, but they actually do during the fall months. A drive up Mount Lemmon via the Sky Island Scenic Byway will have you falling in love with the gorgeous scenery. While there are lots of places to stop, you should make sure you have Marshall Gulch and Bear Wallow on your list.
It is way too hot to hike up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix during the summer, but you can give it a try if you want! I prefer to tackle the 2,704 feet of elevation during the fall. There are two trails to choose from. Cholla Trail is one and a half miles in and back, while the Echo Canyon Trail is slightly more than a mile in and out.
Your teenagers will love you forever if you manage to add a little off-roading on sand dunes to your next family vacation. There are more than forty miles of dunes down by Yuma, so there is plenty of space for everyone. If you are not fans of OHVs, you can always choose to ride via horseback along these same dunes.
There is no better place than Arizona to take a hot air balloon ride, so I suggest adding it to your itinerary when in this part of the country. You can choose to take one early in the morning as the sun comes up. Or you can do a sunset or moonlit ride. This can even be a romantic option with the love of your life when the kids are still asleep back at the hotel!
If your family loves a good ghost tour or ghost hunt, you must spend at least one day over in the town of Jerome. This city is one of the most haunted areas of the southwest. There are multiple ghost tour options available. Therefore, you can take as many as you want to during your visit.
The drive along this scenic byway is not short and it will take you an entire day if you make a lot of stops. However, the scenery and experiences will make the sixteen-mile journey each way worthwhile. I recommend stopping for a hike or two along the way, as they are the best way to experience the true New Mexico.
Palisades Sill can be found in the Cimarron Canyon State Park. This massive attraction is forty million years old. It stands at three hundred feet high and looks quite dramatic both in the distance and up close.
This scenic railroad offers the best train ride in the entire country. This railroad was constructed back in 1880. It currently has one of the last steam engines in operation. If you choose to add this train ride to your itinerary, you can see the views between Chama and Antonito. During your train journey, you will reach elevations of more than ten thousand feet.
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