When it comes to finding the perfect hiking destination, look no further than Arizona. In a recent study conducted by LawnStarter, Phoenix and Tucson have emerged as some of the best hiking cities in the country.
LawnStarter evaluated the 200 largest cities in the U.S. and compared them based on five essential categories: Hiking Access, Hiking Quality, Supplies Access, Climate and Safety. These categories encompassed 15 key indicators of hiker-friendliness, including hiking trail availability, trail quality, climate conditions and safety measures.
By assigning weights to each factor based on its significance, LawnStarter calculated scores for every city. Phoenix impressed with outstanding results, securing the second spot overall. The city’s Hiking Quality was particularly noteworthy, ranking second in the country, right after Portland, Ore.
Phoenix offers hikers an unparalleled experience. The city excels in several factors, including the Number of Hiking Routes, where it claimed the top spot. It also boasted the highest Number of Top-Rated Hiking Trails, earning rave reviews with more than 4.5 stars and over 10 reviews. Additionally, Phoenix topped the charts for its Historical Monthly Average Percentage of Sunshine, ensuring sunny adventures year-round. Outdoor enthusiasts will find a variety of options with Phoenix’s impressive range of hiking trails.
The hiking scene in Arizona doesn’t stop with Phoenix. Tucson, another Arizona gem, secured the fifth position in the overall rankings. The state’s natural beauty elevates the hiking experience, with Glendale and Mesa also earning top scores among the 200 cities evaluated.
Beyond the excellent hiking opportunities, Arizona’s climate is a major draw for outdoor enthusiasts. Among the top 40 cities with the most hiker-friendly climate, 35 are located in California. However, Phoenix stands out as an outlier, further emphasizing its appeal as a top hiking destination. The city’s ideal climate conditions make it a year-round paradise for those seeking fresh air, scenic views, and the therapeutic benefits of nature.
It’s not just the physical benefits that make hiking in Phoenix so worthwhile. Numerous studies have highlighted the positive impact of spending time in nature on mental health. Even a 90-minute walk in a natural setting has been found to reduce depression, according to research conducted at Stanford University. So, aside from the breathtaking landscapes, exploring the hiking trails in Phoenix can provide a much-needed respite for the mind and soul.
With all this in mind, it’s time to put on your hiking boots, leave the comfort of your couch behind and embark on a hiking adventure. Arizona’s remarkable hiking infrastructure, combined with its breathtaking natural beauty and hiker-friendly climate, make it a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Read the full report here.