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5 Things To Do Before Summer Ends

School started this week for most children and teenagers in Idaho and it reminded us how quickly the summers come to an end here. Even though the kids are in school, there is still some Summer left and we are going to make the most of it and encourage you to do the same! With Labor Day weekend coming up next week we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Summertime activities. In most places, August marks the end of Summer but here in Idaho we're lucky enough to have a Summer season that can, sometimes, last through the end of September. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the wonderful landscapes and outdoor activities that Idaho has to offer and Summer offers the most options.

1. Go for a hike! There are SO many hiking trails, over 19,000 miles, in Idaho no matter what part of the state you're in. Head to the Bruneau River Canyon for steep cliffs and breathtaking views, enjoy the 60 foot waterfall at Jump Creek or any of the over 190 miles of trails right in the Boise Foothills! If you're up North head to Priest Lake State Park or Farragut State Park for amazing trails and so many other ways to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

2. Check out the City Of Rocks National Reserve. This is one of our favorite places in Idaho, offering some of the best rock climbing in the country, great camp sites, a scenic byway, birding, mountain biking, miles of hiking trails and history at Register Rock where emigrants on the Oregon Trail stopped to sign their names. Located South-East of Burley off I-84 it is easily accessible with most vehicles and if you're hungry, the Outpost in Almo, about thirty minutes from the City Of Rocks, is open 7 days a week. Find their menu here.

3. Go to a farmers market! With over 20 markets throughout the state you shouldn't have to drive too far to enjoy farm fresh foods and locally made goods. Most of the markets run through September or even October so there's still plenty of time to start your weekend off by supporting local farmers, businesses and artists.

4. Go for a drive! There are over 30 registered scenic byways in Idaho that have either historical significance, access to natural attractions and outdoor recreation or are just plain beautiful. It doesn't matter what part of the state you're in, you wont have to travel far to find one. Some of our favorites are the Payette River, Thousand Springs and Hells Canyon Scenic Byways.

5. Go stargazing! Sure you can stargaze anytime but who wants to sit outside when it's cold and snowy? With so much open space in Idaho, it's not hard to find an area without light pollution to enjoy the magnificence that is the galaxy we live in. Even if you're in Boise, it doesn't take more than a half hour or so to get away from the bright city lights and enjoy the night's sky.

Make the most of the remaining weeks of summer, all of these activities are family friendly and won't empty your bank account either. We'd love to hear how you like to enjoy the summer months, head on over to our Facebook page and share your stories or pictures with us! For more information on Summer activities head over to VisitIdaho.org to find out all the things our wonderful state has to offer.

Drew ColwellIdaho, Summer