The Scenic Southwest USA
The Southwest USA is the most geographically diverse region in the United States. Images of the Southwest include Alpine Mountains, dramatic bluffs and cliffs, grand and colorful canyons, lakes and rivers, and impressive deserts.
The American Southwest contains the largest collection of the world’s natural wonders. Some of the most popular include the Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park that draw people from all over the world. Popular cultural sites include Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley Navajo Nation Park, Canyon de Chelly, and Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.
The human history of the Southwest dates back over 10,000 years and is preserved in unique cliff and pueblo dwellings, rock art, tools, and pottery. Today’s Native Americans reflect much of the culture and arts of the past.
The region experiences the full range of climate extremes from highs near 125 °F (52 °C) in the summer down to sub-zero temperatures in the winter alpine regions. The cold high mountainous regions also make for excellent skiing and summer sports. The winter desert warmth is perfect for those looking to escape the winter's extremes of the northern states.
In general, the Southwest USA includes Colorado, western Oklahoma, western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and parts of southeastern California.
Northern Arizona, Northern New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado all have distinctive four seasons with spectacular fall colors. The desert areas of Arizona, New Mexico and California have less distinctive seasons. All of the high country of the Southwest and West can get large quantities of snow in the winter and nice cooling thunder showers in the summer, yet some areas average over 348 days with the sun shinning. The average high daytime summer temperature at the south rim of the Grand Canyon is about 76 degrees. The average high winter "desert" temperature is about the same. Taking one of our Grand Canyon Tours in the winter off-season can be especially beautiful with fresh fallen snow, and much less crowded! This is also true of Bryce and Zion Canyons in southern Utah.