4 Western States with Outdoor Activities for Travel Nurses

Travel nursing is the perfect career choice for nurses that want to live life to the fullest. Whether you’re satisfying your wanderlust or looking for maximum schedule flexibility, travel nursing allows you to pursue your passions.

Many travel nurses simply love traveling, and the Western United States is a vast landscape full of natural wonder.

We’ve created a list of destinations for travel nurses who love outdoor activities. Read on for the best destinations in the American West for nature-lovers and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

Horseshoe Bend in the Grand Canyon, Arizona.


Arizona is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The state’s breathtaking scenery includes the Grand Canyon and the Sonoran Desert, as well as beautiful alpine forests and refreshing lakes.

Travelers have access to an impressive number of state and national parks, each a unique gem. Highlights include Grand Canyon National Park, Red Rocks State Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and Saguaro National Park.

Route 66, America’s “Mother Road,” is lined with oddball attractions and small towns that seem to exist in a bygone era. Located in Seligman, Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In is a historic drive-in restaurant known for its vintage automobiles and kitsch memorabilia.

If you’re a travel nurse that loves the outdoors, it won’t take long to fall in love with Arizona.

Autumn in an aspen forest in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.


Colorado’s incredible natural beauty comes in a variety of forms: aspen forests, prairies, deserts, and the Rocky Mountains. Visitors have access to world-class skiing, hiking, and majestic wildlife.

The Great Sand Dunes National Park contains some of North America’s largest dunes, set against a backdrop of snowcapped mountains. Mesa Verde National Park features the well-preserved cave dwellings of the Pueblo tribe.

Colorado also features many natural hot springs. Places like Glenwood Springs, Gunnison, and Pagosa Springs have hot spring resorts that offer horseback riding, fishing, and swimming in refreshing natural springs.

No matter what season it is, it’s always a great time to visit the Colorado outdoors.

The Big Sur Bridge along Highway 1 in California.


If you love exploring the outdoors, California is hard to beat. From its world-famous Pacific coast to the Mojave Desert to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California offers surfing, skiing, biking, hiking, and much more.

Northern California offers the towering redwood forests of the Muir Woods National Monument and the incredible scenery of Lake Tahoe. California’s breathtaking and rugged coastline can be seen all along Pacific Highway 1. The state also has over 300 national and state parks, including the iconic Yosemite National Park.

In Southern California, explore San Diego’s Balboa Park, featuring the renowned San Diego Zoo (voted #1 Zoo in the World), 15 museums and opulent gardens. Or take a trip to the vast and humbling Joshua Tree National Park, which lies at the intersection of the Mojave and Colorado deserts.

Whether you’re marveling at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or surfing in Orange County, there are endless options for outdoor enthusiasts in California.

New Mexico’s White Sands National Monument at sunset.

New Mexico

New Mexico is called the “Land of Enchantment,” and for good reason. Due to its jaw-dropping landscape and ancient cultural traditions, it is a sanctuary for both artists and those seeking outdoor fun. High plateaus, caverns, and nearly 100 mountain ranges give the state a unique and mysterious character.

The White Sands National Monument features the world’s largest gypsum sand dune field, where visitors can go sand sledding or simply soak in the strange and beautiful scenery. The Carlsbad Caverns are comprised of over 100 underground limestone caverns whose beauty and complexity attracts visitors from across the world. Within the Navajo Nation sits the lone Shiprock Peak, a sacred rock formation that reaches over 1,500 feet.

Travel nurses looking for an outdoor adventure will surely be “enchanted” by what they find in New Mexico.

Explore the Great Outdoors with GIFTED Healthcare

From travel to per diem assignments, GIFTED Healthcare provides nurses with exceptional, high-paying career opportunities and the freedom to pursue their passions.

Apply today to begin your travel nursing adventure!

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