Summer Activities in the West

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1. Experience the tranquility and beauty of Zion National Park
Located in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park is home to some of the most scenic canyon country in the U.S. Absorb the rich history of the past and enjoy the excitement of present day adventures like hiking and rock climbing – and prepare to be enchanted!

2. Take a swim in Lake Tahoe, the “Jewel of the High Sierra”
One of the most popular destinations in the U.S., Lake Tahoe is considered the jewel of the High Sierra. Near Reno, Nevada, the lake is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides.

3. Explore Mormon history in Salt Lake City
All roads in Utah’s capital lead from Temple Square, the historic headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Completed in 1893, the 10-acre campus is the focal point of the church, whose founder helped settle the American West. Most buildings, except for the six-spired iconic temple, are open to the public.

4. Soak in a hot spring
Colorado has more than 20 geothermal hot springs open to the public, with pools filled with naturally warm (or hot!) water. Some are luxurious and a little pricier, while others are quite basic and affordable, but still come with amazing views.

5. Go sand sledding
The tallest sand dunes in North America (750 feet) are not on the coast, but in southern Colorado, at Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve. Surrounding them is a diverse landscape of forests, lakes, grasslands, and wetlands. In the summer, you can rent sandboards and sand sleds just outside the park entrance.

6. Take a tour of the United States Olympic Training Center
The U.S. Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs is the flagship training center for the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Olympic Training Center programs. Located near downtown Colorado Springs, the center offers regular tours throughout the summer months.

7. Lose yourself in Bryce Canyon
From the world’s largest collection of hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion), to roofless caves, to amazing forests of stone – there’s no place on Earth like Bryce Canyon. Bring your sense of wonder!

8. Take a cog railway up Pikes Peak
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway celebrated 125 years of operation last summer. Called “America’s Mountain,” 14,115-foot Pikes Peak is said to have inspired Katherine Lee Bates to compose “America the Beautiful.”

9. Viva Las Vegas!
Whether you’re into Cirque du Soleil, magic shows, or live music concerts, or just enjoy being dazzled by neon lights, see why Las Vegas is known as the entertainment capital of the world.

10. Volunteer in your local community
Whether you prefer to walk the dogs at an animal shelter, serve food at a soup kitchen, or plant a tree with a conservation group, there are many ways to volunteer in your local community. You’ll find plenty of other opportunities at or Be sure to tag #cieegivingback when you post your photos! 

We’d love to see and hear about your adventures on Facebook.