We’ve written on how to embrace the cold with Winter van camping destinations in Colorado, so today we’re going to discuss an alternative strategy: places you can go to chase that warm weather and get a break from the shivers. While many people love the crisp, quiet, snow-blanketed peace of Winter, there are probably far more who prefer to fly like birds to warmer climes for their campervan excursions. If you’re a part of the latter group, this post’s for you.

So, what makes a great Winter campervan getaway, besides just the lack of chill in the air? It turns out that many places in the American Southwest can be even more idyllic in the Winter than they are in the Summer, depending on your constitution, with highs in the 50s or 60s. In this post, we’ll provide some great suggestions, which will hopefully help you see how you can have a great van camping experience in any season, with the right destination.

Petrified Forest National Park

Whether you have an interest in geology or just enjoy the beauty of desert landscapes, fossils, and petrified wood, Petrified Forest National Park is a beautiful destination that usually experiences pretty mild Winters. Spanning over 100 square miles, there are plenty of majestic geological features such as mesas and buttes, in addition to all of the desert wildlife, plants, and fossilized remains. This is a destination that can be not just fun but also educational for the whole family, as well.

Grand Canyon National Park

We can’t talk about Winter van camping destinations without mentioning Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon is a national treasure of nature, and one of the most majestic features in the entire country, right up there with Niagara Falls or Mammoth Cavern. People come from all over the world to hike its many miles of trails, and weather in the Winter is relatively mild. Like most desert locales, it will still be mighty chilly at night, but luckily with a warm campervan to sleep in, you should be nice and cozy.

Havasu Canyon Trail

This beautiful trail is worth a mention primarily because it includes waterfalls and swimming holes, something you may not expect to find even in the desert, for a Winter destination. However, with highs usually in the 60s during Winter, it may not be quite warm enough for a swim. However, the blue-green waterfalls and pools are nevertheless beautiful, as are the trails and its views.

Sedona, AZ

Sedona is one of the most beautiful locations in the Southwest, and also a quite interesting city to visit. With beautiful red rock canyons and monumental mesas, there’s no shortage of beautiful views and hikes. Additionally, the area is considered to be a “power point” by the New Age community, so you can experience many interesting characters and crystal shops in town, and perhaps partake of the spiritual energies at one of its many “vortexes.” Whether you believe in that sort of thing or not, the gorgeous landscape is undeniable, and there’s also some free camping to be found South of town, at Angel Valley.