Ranking in the top spot as the best U.S. state for outdoor enthusiasts is … California! Hawaii also came in at a strong second place. Here are the top 10 states in the ranking by Rickshaw Travel—a UK-based tour company that focuses on adventure and outdoors travel. It rates the United States as an outstanding destination and especially likes the United States and its scenic outdoors and, in particular, it seems, its national parks. The top 10 states are: California; Hawaii; Washington; Vermont; Oregon; Alaska; South Dakota; New Hampshire; Idaho; and Montana.
Rickshaw came out with its index and ranking in what is a de facto celebration of the U.S. For the index, the company scored each state on the following categories: National parks; wildlife biodiversity; natural beauty; carbon dioxide emissions; greenest states; and ir quality. Using these categories, the Rickshaw team established an overall Great American Outdoors score by scoring each state out of 5 across the elements and totaling this together, allowing for the highest available score of 35. (Analysts used seven different information sources in its review.)
The Carbon Dioxide Emissions score was first assigned a ranking which was then scored out of 5, as the highest level was far above the average across the states. If there was a tie in the total score, we used the greenest states score as the determining ranking factor.
Here is what the factors look like in a color scheme:
Following are the complete index scores of the 50 U.S. States
Finally, what the USA states look like according to the Great American Outdoors Index:
There is more commentary on why some of the states scored so well (“California soared to the top with nine national parks across the entire state, which was more than anywhere else in the U.S. It’s also home to a staggering 6,717 different species of native plants and animals.”), as well as a brief slide show here.