When it comes to hiking trails, state and national parks, campgrounds or rock climbing, Montana can lay claim to having some of the best in the country -- literally.

Montana was ranked among the top states in the nation for having one of the best outdoor lifestyles in America. Big Sky Country nabbed the No. 10 spot; California snagged the No. 1 spot. In between were New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Colorado, Alaska and Florida.

The least outdoorsy state is Delaware, which came in dead last at No. 50. Rhode Island was ranked No. 49 and North Dakota holds the No. 48 spot.

The list was compiled by the outreach team at Retale, a location-based shopping app and website. based in Chicago.

Montana was lauded for a number of features, including its:

  • 559 miles of national recreational trails
  • 1,364 rock climbing locations
  • 210 campgrounds
  • 8 national parks
  • 44 state parks
  • 55 summer camps
  • 15 ski resorts
  • 11 kayak and canoe locations
Guang Niu, Getty Images

"Montana's nickname, 'Big Sky Country,' says it all, the report's author wrote. "Montanans don't spend their days indoors."

Camping in Montana
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

The report noted that the sun-drenched Rocky Mountains of the western part of the state contain Glacier National Park. The authors described it as a "postcard-like scene with cragged, snowy mountains, gleaming waters and impossible shades of green."

Of course, no report on Montana's outdoors would be complete without mention of Yellowstone National Park. Authors credited the national park for "brown buffalo herd in yellow fields, natural volcanic hot springs (that) roll from 'neath the mountains and Old Faithful ... "

Where the buffalo roam
David McNew, Getty Images

The ranking was based on an analysis of several factors, including:

  • Number of campgrounds per state
  • Number of national parks per state
  • Number of state parks per state
  • Number of summer camps per state
  • Number of kayak and canoe locations per state
  • Population density state (the lower the better)
Montana was also heralded for having the highest number of fly-fishing waters across the country.


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