The Southwest US is a magical place. Red rocks jut out of the sky like titans. And the green foliage during the summer months makes it hard to beat. We love road tripping down through Utah, Arizona, and Nevada during late spring. The weather is always phenomenal and you can relax knowing that it isn’t too touristy until May or June. This trip took place in April and we spent 13 days traveling through different landscapes and enjoying our destinations!
The first stop on our trip was Moab, Utah. Moab is a place that everyone should definitely see once before they die. All of the national parks and beautiful scenery make this place pretty hard to beat. Don’t just go to Arches National Park. On summer days, make your way to Fisher Towers and do some paddling around the Colorado River. You’ll feel like an ant surrounded by the canyon walls and large trees surrounding the water!
Next stop on our journey was to Mexican Hat and Lake Powell. We were truly looking forward to Lake Powell’s water activities, because staying the night near Mexican Hat felt like an oven.Tthere was no escape from the dry heat and even at night, the temperatures stayed in the 80’s. Lake Powell was a blast (read Lake Powell’s blog here) and we spent an extra day (or two) down there just to enjoy the water and paddle around.
We then drove further south in Arizona and spent another couple of days in Sedona. Sedona is a magical town; some people even say that it holds healing properties, and can lift your ailments straight out of your body (we didn’t get to experience that though, maybe next time!). We off-roaded and did some bouldering while camping at the top of Schnebly Hill, a well known off-road trail that overlooks the whole town. We enjoyed both the sunset and sunrise there, admiring both the twinkling stars and the city twinkling below us. After having a startling scorpion experience by our campfire, we decided to only spend a night in Sedona and get back north as soon as we could.
Wanting to cool down a bit, we headed to Lake Mead outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. I know you’re probably reading this thinking, nature in Vegas? No way! Well, way, because Lake Mead is an awesome gem about an hour from the strip. We landed a prime spot next to the water and paddled around, drank a couple of beers while making dinner, and fell asleep with our tent completely open because the weather was so nice. It was such an epic change of pace from what we thought Vegas normally holds!
Once we wrapped up the trip and came home, we realized how vast the southwest really is. It’s not just cacti and barren landscapes—the southwest is truly full of rich culture, amazing food, epic paddling spots and incredible views. Have you spent time in the Southwest before? We would love to know! Comment below with your favorite paddling and swimming spots.