As the weather cools off, the Southwest’s tourism industry is heating up. Thousands of travelers escape the cold and head down to Arizona, Southern Utah and New Mexico every fall, spring and winter. Discover five beautiful hikes found in this unique desert landscape.
1. TOADSTOOL HOODOOS TRAIL, KANAB, UTAH
Discover the otherworldly sandstone “toadstools” of Southern Utah on the 1.8-mile Toadstool Hoodoos Trail. This family-friendly trail is accessible year-round and allows leashed dogs to hike alongside their owners.
2. MCCAULEY HOT SPRINGS TRAIL, JEMEZ SPRINGS, NEW MEXICO
Located a short drive from Albuquerque, the six-mile all-level McCauley Hot Springs Trail is a must-see when in New Mexico. This trail guides you to a variety of hot spring pools, all warmed to comfortable 92º F. Be sure to pack your swimsuit so you can end your hike with a nice soak in one of the pools.
3. PINNACLE PEAK TRAIL, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
This 3.5-mile round-trip trail guides you up one of Arizona’s awe-inspiring mountains, letting you receive a close-up glance at native plants including majestic saguaro cacti. Pinnacle Peak Trail is great for family travelers looking to enjoy the great outdoors without wandering too far from city limits.
4. BUCKSKIN GULCH, PARIA CANYON, UTAH
Experience the Southwest’s longest slot canyon at the Buckskin Gulch, a 25-mile trail with shorter options that fit the needs of novice hikers. This one-of-a-kind, unique trail will make you feel as though you’re on Mars, with sandstone walls twisting the trail as you move along.
5. WINSOR TRAIL, SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
Enjoy views of scenic Lake Katherine on Santa Fe’s Winsor Trail, a 10.1-mile point-to-point hike popular among locals. Follow the trail through aspen groves and rolling meadows to enjoy New Mexico’s beautiful atmosphere.
This content was created in partnership with Best Western.