Children hiking on top of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs. Photo Credit: NetaDegany (iStock).

Children hiking on top of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs. Photo Credit: NetaDegany (iStock).

A recent data analysis conducted by LawnStarter sought to determine which American cities were the best (and worst) for hiking. On a list that compares the 150 most populated cities in the country, one spot in Colorado ranked in the top 25, while two other cities ranked above the median.

Colorado Springs ranked 17th nationally, the highest among Colorado's three most populated cities. A 5th place 'access' rank helped Olympic City USA score highly, along with the number of local hiking routes – 3rd in the country.

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Other factors that were included in the analysis were air quality, number of sunny days, safety, and variety of route difficulty, among other things.

To a Colorado Springs local this high ranking likely comes at no surprise, with many likely left wondering why the ranking wasn't a bit higher. Colorado Springs is known nationally for its local hiking, with routes that range from a scenic walk through a city park to a trail that travels more than 12 miles to the summit of a 14,000-foot peak. The city's location on the edge of the Pikes Peak foothills creates ample opportunity for getting outside and 300-plus days of sunshine that occur in the area each year make outdoor recreation possible year-round.

Two additional Colorado cities were also on the list, including Aurora and Denver, ranked 52 and 54, respectively.

Nineteen of the top 25 cities were found in California, where scores were boosted thanks to mild weather and sunshine. The top five ranking spots were San Francisco (1st), Oakland (2nd), Los Angeles (3rd), San Diego (4th), and Portland (5th). The city that ranked the worst was Mobile, Alabama.

See the full results and more about the methodology here.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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(1) comment


Colorado, and Colorado Springs do NOT get 300 days of sunshine a year. This information is easily available to anyone willing to do a simple internet search for "300 sunshine days myth Colorado" on the internet:

"The farther the measurements move south, particularly near Alamosa, the easier it is to come up with 300 days of genuine sunshine, but the numbers don't hold up on average across the state. In Denver, the percent of possible sunshine is approximately 70 percent. The number of clear days, then, is 115, partly cloudy 130 and cloudy 120. It's an exaggeration, but it's still nice weather."

Annual days of sunshine

City Sunny Partly Sunny Total Days

With Sun

Alamosa 148 137 285

Colorado Springs 127 120 247

Denver 115 130 245

Grand Junction 136 106 242

Pueblo 139 119 258

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