Adventures in the American Southwest

This article may contain referral links. Read our DISCLOSURE

If you’re a boomer traveler looking for adventures in the American Southwest, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a part of the United States that we love to explore, and know well.

photo-workshop-northern-arizona
Photo workshops introduce boomers to photogenic wonders

American Southwest travel tips

Which states make up the American Southwest? Arizona and New Mexico are the heart of the region. But most experts also include Utah, Nevada, California, Colorado and parts of Texas. Those are the destinations that we’ll feature here.

When should you visit the American Southwest? We recommend avoiding the hot summer temperatures in favor of spring or fall. Winter is also a fine time to explore, however higher elevations might have snow. Plus you’ll run into the winter snowbird crowds, especially in southern Arizona.

How do you plan your American Southwest trips? When researching road trips, as well as off-road adventures, The Bench Press Road & Recreation Atlas is our go-to guide. You’ll find individual versions for all the western states.

When it comes to hiking, we are big fans of Falcon Guide hiking books. Again, you can find versions by state, national park or even regions of the U.S.

And if you’re looking to visit a national park in the American Southwest, start your research at our national park adventures page. Road trippers will want to check out our US road trips page for more southwestern travel ideas. Now let’s get started on what you came here for—adventure!

Boomer Travel Tip

Come back often as we continue to add new southwestern U.S. travel adventures to this page. Or subscribe to the My Itchy Travel Feet Weekly Broadcast to be the first to know!

The best adventures in the American Southwest for boomer travelers

From hiking to biking to bird watching to simply exploring, this region of the U.S. has it all. Active boomer travelers will find more than enough to do. We promise!

After living in Tucson, Arizona, for eleven years, it’s safe to say that we know active travel in the Southwestern United States. We spent much of our time hiking, four-wheeling, road tripping and exploring, especially in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

Take a Monument Valley Scenic Drive Using our Boomer Travel Tips

Are you planning a road trip in the American Southwest? A scenic drive in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park on the border of Arizona and Utah places you in the middle of nature’s wonderland of spires, buttes and red rock creations. Grab your camera (I use a Panasonic Lumix) and let’s get started! The Ultimate […]

Read More >
a group of earthen buildings with a ladder

Active Travel In Taos, New Mexico

If you’re looking for active travel ideas in Taos, New Mexico, we can help! the region is filled with Native American culture, beautiful hikes and gorgeous drives like the High Road to Taos. Enveloped by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is especially lively, and well-known for its active travel options. From mountain adventures, to […]

Read More >
White Pocket

Exploring the White Pocket on a Boomer Adventure in Arizona

If anything piques our travel radar, it’s exploring the many off-the beaten-path travel destinations located throughout the American Southwest. Guest writer, Bill Haskamp, is here to tell us all about one of the most remarkable and isolated sites in Vermillion Cliffs National Monument as we go exploring White Pocket, Arizona. Discover an off-the-beaten-path adventure in […]

Read More >
Driving the Burr Trail is a fun experience in southern Utah.

Driving the Burr Trail on a Boomer Road Trip in Southern Utah

Alan and I are huge fans of exploring the country lanes and dirt roads of the United States. And when it comes to finding adventure in the American Southwest, a bumpy dirt road is the place to be. On a visit to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, we had our pick of dirt roads […]

Read More >

36 Hours in Tucson for the Active Baby Boomer

When it comes to American Southwest adventures, Tucson is full of them. Having lived in this southwestern city for eleven years, I can safely say active boomer travelers won’t be bored. But what if you have to stuff all of that adventure into 36 hours?   Finding fun in Tucson in only 36 hours How […]

Read More >
monument valley

5 Adventures on the Navajo Rez

Exploring the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona is one of my favorite baby boomer travel memories. However, with just two visits under my belt, I’m far from an expert. Not to worry. Vera Marie Badertscher became extremely familiar with the area during the ten years that she researched her current book, which she co-authored with […]

Read More >

How to Visit Valley of the Gods in Southeastern Utah

Let me take you on a Valley of the Gods tour, one of my favorite off-the-beaten-path Utah destinations. Alan’s, too. It’s the very best kind of do-it-yourself adventure.   If you’ve hung around My Itchy Travel Feet for very long, you know that Alan and I enjoy nothing better than to take the road less […]

Read More >
Dead Horse Utah

Dead Horse Point State Park: at the End of the Road in Utah

The road through Dead Horse Point State Park, near Moab, Utah, ends at a parking lot with an overlook to the Colorado River some 2,000 feet below. The view may look familiar to you as it’s one of the most photographed vistas in the world. It’s literally the end of the road for human visitors. Legend […]

Read More >
Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Uncrowded Summer destinations in the American West

Cummins is sponsoring this look at summer travel in the American West. If you’re like Alan and me, traveling in the summer is a challenge. Crowds, especially over the July 4th and Labor Day holidays are not for us. But who wants to stay home during beautiful days filled with long hours of sunlight? We […]

Read More >
Scenic Byway 12 leads to fun in southern Utah

Five Fun Places to Go in Southern Utah

When it comes to visiting Utah, boomers will find plenty to see and do. The entire state is an active traveler’s paradise. But Alan and I are particularly drawn to the fun places to go in Southern Utah. You could spend most of your southern Utah vacation exploring the Mighty 5—Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and […]

Read More >
lower-antelope-canyon-arizona

Discovering Arizona’s slot canyons

Water Holes, Lower Antelope, Upper Antelope. Are these the names of hiking trails? No, they’re Arizona slot canyons located on the Navajo Reservation near Page, Arizona. Alan and I discovered the photogenic gems while on a photo workshop. But you don’t have to be a boomer photographer to enjoy exploring canyons carved by nature’s power. Walking […]

Read More >

Flying in a Hot Air Balloon Over Bluff, Utah

When Alan and I attended the 2010 Bluff Balloon Festival in Bluff, we enjoyed a boomer trip to Utah that included our favorite activities—photography and exploring. But what we really longed to do was fly in a hot air balloon. During check-in at our accommodations, Desert Rose Inn, I mentioned to innkeeper Cindy Tumeh that […]

Read More >
new mexico road trip

New Mexico Backroads Adventure

There’s nothing that Alan and I like better than an off-the-beaten-travel experience, especially if it includes driving. Here’s a New Mexico backroads trip that’s one of our favorites. It includes national monuments, out-of-the-way destinations with plenty of history. New Mexico backroads trip itinerary At the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook (you have clicked […]

Read More >
Visit Ouray, Colorado

Go Off-the-Beaten-Path in Ouray, Colorado

Do you have a favorite off-the-beaten-path mountain town in Colorado? For Alan and me, Ouray takes that honor. Situated at 7,700 ft in the San Juan Mountains, the former mining town is a quaint counterpart to upscale Telluride—a skip and a jump over the mountains to the west. When it comes to charm combined with fun […]

Read More >

San Antonio, Beyond the Alamo

Although many would be wise to pay heed to the warning, “Don’t mess with Texas” when it comes to travel, the Lone Star State has a wealth of interesting sites as well as its own rich history to explore. Guest writer, Sam Lowe, explains the best way to see one of the state’s most intriguing, […]

Read More >
hawk in a tree

Birding South Texas on a Rio Grande Valley Road Trip

Did you know that the birding in South Texas is world class? For avid birdwatchers, stopping to observe the birds is a fun addition to a Rio Grande Valley road trip itinerary.  James Richardson is here with the best places to go for birding in South Texas. What a unique road trip! Birding South Texas […]

Read More >
White Sands Monument

Two Off the Beaten Path Treasures for New Mexican Travel

When it comes to New Mexican travel, you won’t find a more vibrant state in the US. From colorful Santa Fe to off-the-beaten-path El Morro active boomers will find plenty of adventure. Our previous trips to the Land of Enchantment have been nothing short of spectacular, especially our New Mexico Backroads Adventure. Today’s guest writer, […]

Read More >
Stone Formations in Chiricahua National Monument

Traveling Off the Beaten Path in the Chiricahuas

We’re often asked about our favorite off-the-beaten-path travel experiences. In Arizona, that would have to be Chiricahua National Monument. Whether camping or RVing in Bonita Canyon campground or staying at nearby Sunglow Ranch, active travelers will get their fill of hikes, 4-wheel driving, exploring history or photographing the scenery in a less-crowded southeastern Arizona setting. […]

Read More >
Mummys Cave

Exploring Canyon de Chelly on a four-wheel-drive adventure

What would you rather do? Peer down into a canyon from the rim drive or venture inside? If you chose being in the canyon, then we recommend exploring Canyon de Chelly by four-wheel-drive. For an introduction to off-roading, Canyon de Chelly National Monument near Chinlé, Arizona, offers baby boomers easy to moderate driving challenges in […]

Read More >
Let Coloring the West inspire your southwestern road trips.

Southwestern Road Trips Inspired by a Coloring Book

Can your Southwestern road trips be inspired by a coloring book? The answer is yes if it’s Coloring the West, An Adult Coloring Book for Travelers. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite completed pages from the book, paired with road trip suggestions on how you can travel in my footsteps! Page, Arizona On a road […]

Read More >
New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure

Go Roadtripping in New Mexico With Our New Ebook

Boomer roadtrippers, are you looking for a fun weekend adventure in New Mexico? New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure, takes readers off-the-beaten path in a remote corner of New Mexico. This weekend road trip guide travels up the border between Arizona and New Mexico to Grants, NM. Along the way, discover off-the-beaten-path destinations like the Gila Wilderness, the […]

Read More >