The 15 Finest Cities in America for Climbing

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Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on LawnStarter.

Take a hike — seriously. Not only is it good to bask in the sun, but hiking will also help you clear your mind and steal some time back from the screens.

But where are the best places to slow down and take the scenic route?

LawnStarter ranked 2022’s Best Cities for Hiking by looking at 13 hiker-friendly factors, ranging from hiking access and quality to trail difficulty to natural hazards. Here are the top cities for hiking.

1. Portland, OR

Aerial view of Portland with Mount Hood in the background.josemaria-toscano / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 68.37

Hiking Access Rank: 5

Hiking Quality Rank: 49

Supplies Access Rank: 1

Climate Rank: 45

Safety Rank: 29

2. Tucson, AZ

bicyclist cyclist in Tucson ArizonaM Gavan / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 67.6

Hiking Access Rank: 2

Hiking Quality Rank: 30

Supplies Access Rank: 30

Climate Rank: 60

Safety Rank: 97

3.Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, Arizbryan-neuswanger / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 67.25

Hiking Access Rank: 1

Hiking Quality Rank: 8th

Supplies Access Rank: 18

Climate Rank: 184

Safety Rank: 171

4. Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Springs, Coloradophoto.ua / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 67.01

Hiking Access Rank: 3

Hiking Quality Rank: 36

Supplies Access Rank: 9

Climate Rank: 69

Safety Rank: 69

5. Oakland, CA

Oakland California neighborhoodSundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 66.01

Hiking Access Rank: 7

Hiking Quality Rank: 12

Supplies Access Rank: 115

Climate Rank: 9

Safety Rank: 87

6. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City, Utahf11photo / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 64.57

Hiking Access Rank: 4

Hiking Quality Rank: 19

Supplies Access Rank: 11

Climate Rank: 85

Safety Rank: 173

7.Los Angeles, CA

Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 63.24

Hiking Access Rank: 10

Hiking Quality Rank: 14

Supplies Access Rank: 25

Climate Rank: 30

Safety Rank: 152

8. Boise, ID

Boise, Idaho neighborhoodCSNafzger / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 63.05

Hiking Access Rank: 8th

Hiking Quality Rank: 17

Supplies Access Rank: 21

Climate Rank: 62

Safety Rank: 43

9. Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas neighborhood with desert hills beyond.Christopher Boswell / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 62

Hiking Access Rank: 6

Hiking Quality Rank: 20

Supplies Access Rank: 8th

Climate Rank: 49

Safety Rank: 166

10. San Diego, CA

Kapi Ng / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 61.46

Hiking Access Rank: 13

Hiking Quality Rank: 43

Supplies Access Rank: 4

Climate Rank: 5

Safety Rank: 81

11.Santa Rosa, CA

Santa Rosa, CaliforniaAnzhelika Polyak / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 60.3

Hiking Access Rank: 28

Hiking Quality Rank: 6

Supplies Access Rank: 71

Climate Rank: 1

Safety Rank: 184

12. San Francisco, CA

Runners in San Francisco Californiaoneinchpunch / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 60.18

Hiking Access Rank: 31

Hiking Quality Rank: 29

Supplies Access Rank: 5

Climate Rank: 9

Safety Rank: 11

13.San Jose, CA

San Jose Housespbk-pg / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 59.06

Hiking Access Rank: 17

Hiking Quality Rank: 25

Supplies Access Rank: 44

Climate Rank: 9

Safety Rank: 110

14. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, HawaiiFilip Carmen / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 58.91

Hiking Access Rank: 25

Hiking Quality Rank: 26

Supplies Access Rank: 13

Climate Rank: 2

Safety Rank: 197

15. Escondido, CA

Escondido, CaliforniaHernando Sorzano / Shutterstock.com

Overall Score: 57.69

Hiking Access Rank: 18

Hiking Quality Rank: 34

Supplies Access Rank: 136

Climate Rank: 5

Safety Rank: 81

methodology

Man doing market research on white boardalphaspirit / Shutterstock.com

We ranked the 200 biggest US cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 200) for hiking based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across all of the weighted metrics listed below.

  • Number of Hiking Routes
  • Number of camping sites
  • Average Consumer Rating for Hiking Trails
  • Share of “Moderately Difficult” and “Hard” Hiking Trails
  • Number of Outdoor Gear Stores
  • Historical Annual Average Number of Extremely Cold Days
  • Historical Annual Average Number of Extremely Hot Days
  • Historical Monthly Average Percentage of Sunshine
  • Historical Monthly Average Inches of Precipitation
  • Median Air Quality Index
  • Natural Hazards Index
  • Natural/Environmental Death Rate
  • Crime Index

Sources: AllTrails, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NeighborhoodScout, ReserveAmerica.com, US Environmental Protection Agency, and Yelp

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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