Best Places to Live: Cities for Hiking

As each year brings the wave of new technologies and gadgets, it might seem that people no longer spend much time outdoors. Despite the number of hours an average person spends on screen (can you believe it’s around 10 hours per day?), it turns out that outdoor activities in general and hiking, in particular, are gaining in popularity. According to the most recent statistics out there, the number of people who go hiking almost doubled between 2008 and 2016. There were 29.23 million Americans hiking in 2008 and this number has grown to as much as 44.11 million since then.

Whatever way you slice it, hiking is an amazing outdoor activity. Aside from obvious benefits like getting in better shape and spending time in the open air, hiking is also associated with a bunch of health benefits. It’s well-documented that regular hiking can lower the risk of heart disease, balance blood sugar levels, improve blood pressure, and even boost your mood. Not even to mention it’s a great way to spend time with people you love.

If you’re a big fan of hiking and consider moving to another city at the moment, you need to take a look at the cities below. We’ve made research and composed a list of American cities that are best for hiking. Have any thoughts about which city will top the list? Which is the best city for hiking? If you think that you know the answer, check out whether or not you’re right. If you don’t, remove the guesswork and go see who’s the winner.

Salt Lake City, UT

Average rental price: $1,623/mo (Jan 2020)
Walkability Score: 57 out of 100 (somewhat walkable)
Hikes Nearby: Maybird Lakes, Mount Raymond, Lake Blanche

While most people think the area is only good for skiing in the winter, it is in fact just as good for hiking in the summer. If you’re seriously into hiking, you’ll surely appreciate all the variety of trails this area has to offer. There are routes around picturesque lakes, trails taking you to the high mountain peaks, and roads making you get lost in the majestic forests of Utah. At the same time, Salt Lake City itself is an amazing place to strike routes and live happily ever after. Affordable rental prices, moderate pace of life, as well as ample career opportunities (it’s been called one of the best cities for entrepreneurs this year) make Salt Lake City a great spot to relocate to.

Portland, OR

Average rental price: $1,855/mo (Jan 2020)
Walkability Score: 65 out of 100 (somewhat walkable)
Hikes Nearby: Balch Creek, Puff Falls, Hoyt Arboretum

If you’re a big fan of hiking and are in search of a new city to call home, take a look at Portland, Oregon. We wouldn’t go as far as to say that hiking is the backbone of Portland’s city life, but local hiking traditions run high. And it should come as no surprise given the grandeur of nature around. The city of exceptionally green reputation, Portland is surrounded by stunning mountains and tranquil woods. However, you don’t necessarily have to leave the city to enjoy nature. Rumor has it that Portland is home to the best park city hiking trails.

Locals say that nature defines Portland. If love for nature is what defines you, head over to Portland, Oregon. You won’t regret this.

Best places to find hiking trails

Los Angeles, CA

Average rental price: $4,104/mo (Jan 2020)
Walkability Score: 67 out of 100 (somewhat walkable)
Hikes Nearby: Runyon Canyon, Franklin Canyon Park, Vasquez Rocks

It’s one of the major attributes of Californians to spend their spare time hiking. The City of Angeles has so much to offer, but iconic hiking trails are surely one of the best things about living in LA. Thanks to nearly perfect weather all year round, distinct climate zones, and absolutely amazing geology, Los Angeles is the right place to be for those who can’t imagine their lives without long walks. The best part is that you won’t have to choose among mountains, beach views, and deserts. In LA, you can have it all on the same day. Although local prices for rent are among the highest in the country, people have no doubt this city is worth each dollar they spend.

Seattle, WA

Walkability Score: 73 out of 100 (very walkable)
Hikes Nearby: Rattlesnake Ledge, Ebey’s Landing, Chain Lakes Loop

In nearly all the cases, people are surprised to learn that Seattle is considered among the top destinations for hiking (and how wrong they are!). Just a short drive from Seattle, there lie breathtaking trails any experienced hiker would kill for. Located in proximity to some of the most picturesque environments in the US, Seattle should be a place of choice for those who can’t imagine their lives without hiking (but at the same time are not ready to give up on big city life). With so many scenic spots around the city, Seattle has a good portion of excitement to keep you inspired and motivated for years. It might not be the cheapest place to live, but in the case of Seattle, you see what you pay for.

Boulder, CO

Walkability Score: 58 out of 100 (somewhat walkable)
Hikes Nearby: Bear Peak, Mount Sanitas, Green Mountain

What is the first picture that comes to your mind when somebody talks about Colorado? Chances are good you imagine a colorful landscape; a powerful interplay of the mountains, the forests, and the lakes. Don’t be too surprised if we’ve guessed. One doesn’t have to be a fortune teller to do this because unbelievable nature is exactly what the state of Colorado is known for. No wonder local cities are among the best for hiking. Home to about 100,000 residents, Boulder might not be the right choice for city-type folks. But if you’re ready to ditch all the hassle and bustle of a big city for the sake of slow living, head over to Boulder, Colorado. This city was meant for a happy life.

The Final Word

Finding a perfect place to settle in is never easy. With so many options to be considered and factors to be weighed, it’s easy to get frustrated and confused. The best way to avoid this is to have your priorities set, and keep them in mind when choosing which city to relocate to. If health, physical activities, and access to nature are among your biggest concerns, feel free to choose among the cities on our list. Whichever one you choose, you won’t be on the losing side.

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