Rocky Mountain National Park is 2nd most popular in U.S. for hiking

Rocky Mountain National Park comes in at No. 2 on a list of America’s five most popular national parks for hiking, according to Conde Nast Traveler, trailing only Zion National Park in southwest Utah.

The popularity rating was derived from an analysis of most-searched parks on Google. The others on the list, in order, are Glacier, near the Canadian border, Shenandoah in Virginia and Yosemite in California.

Conde Nast says Rocky Mountain National Park is “one of the most glorious — and calming — in the country for hiking with clear lakes and luscious meadows set among craggy peaks.”

Zion, it says, “traverses plateaus, canyons and even a 2,000-foot sandstone cliff … creating a hiker’s playground of variegated pathways and scenery.” Zion is located about 33 miles from St. George, Utah, which is about seven miles from the Nevada border.

Because the story is based on Google searches, it also ranks the most popular hiking trails in each park. No surprise that Emerald Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park is the most searched. At Zion it is The Narrows, “going through the slimmest section of Zion Canyon by crossing the Virgin River (sometimes waist-deep).”

Glacier, the story notes, has more than 700 miles of trails, about twice as many as Rocky.

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