8 ways to soak up the Southwest in fall

Get away to favorite hot springs, historic hideaways, and awe-inspiring national parks

Taos Ski Valley Wilderness Adventures

Jen Judge

Travel guide: Fun fall trips in the Southwest

Village vibe in Arroyo Seco, NM

Fall’s golds and reds are at their height in this tiny, eclectic village 9 miles north of Taos.

Right at the foot of towering Taos Mountain, Arroyo Seco is perfect for an outdoor adventure on horseback through streams, rocky cliffs, and changing leaves.

In town, country meets bohemian with tons of eco-friendly finds. America’s favorite boho sweetheart, Julia Roberts, even lives on a secluded ranch nearby.

More: Autumn in Arroyo Seco, NM

Zion National Park Angels Landing trail

Dave Lauridsen

Quiet Zion

Escape the crowds and find the hidden beauty of southern Utah's incomparable canyons.

With daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s, autumn is a good time to explore.

The cottonwoods blaze brilliant yellow against the surrounding red rock. No wonder renowned artists like Maynard Dixon found inspiration here.

More:  Zion's top wow spots and travel guide

Taos New Mexico's San Francisco de Asis Church

Cedric Angeles

Magical Taos, New Mexico

Golden leaves, killer margaritas, and an artistic core: This Southwestern town is the real deal.

At a time when so many towns have become soulless clones of one another, Taos, with its creative heart, natural beauty, and ancient roots, delivers an inimitable experience, especially in autumn.

More:  Taos, New Mexico

New Mexico Mountains Warm Springs

  Alison Bank

New Mexico hot springs weekend

In the New Mexico mountains, a beautiful road leads to three great places to soak your worries away.

Get our picks, plus a suggested 3-day weekend itinerary.

More:  Hot springs weekend

Gila Wilderness

David Fenton

New Mexico's Gila Wilderness, tamed

On a guided pack trip, you can explore some of the Southwest’'s most rugged, pristine country ― and let someone else worry about dinner (and pitching the tent).

Get our guide to the outfitters and the wilderness you can explore.

More:  Rough it easy in the Gila Wilderness

mountains lockett meadows near flagstaff

Courtesy of Logan Brumm

Getaway in Flagstaff, Arizona

This high-altitude town has the best of both worlds: great food and culture combined with some of the best hiking and foliage around.

Here's how to get there, what to do and where to shop, eat, drink, and stay.

More:  Experience Flagstaff's fall 

Mule trips

Courtesy of Xanterra Parks & Resorts

The Grand Canyon

The park is beautiful in autumn, with turning aspen and cool clear days.

Descend into the canyon on foot or by mule, experience the nightlife, or see an overlooked overlook during your ultimate Grand Canyon adventure.

More:  Your best 3 days in the Grand Canyon


Tuzigoot National Monument

Dawn Kish

Ancient dwellings in Arizona

Families can spend a crisp fall day in Arizona's Verde Valley, delving into ancient dwellings and learning about their former residents, the Sinagua.

And in autumn, the golden canopies of the area's towering sycamore and cottonwood trees are reason enough for the drive. 

More: Seeking the Sinagua


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