Outdoors blog

Lewiston ranked among Top 10 sportsman’s towns; Spokane not listed

The fleet is out, congregating at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers at Lewiston, casting its luck and a lure to catch a salmon or a steelhead. (Barry Kough / Lewiston Tribune)
The fleet is out, congregating at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers at Lewiston, casting its luck and a lure to catch a salmon or a steelhead. (Barry Kough / Lewiston Tribune)

HUNTING/FISHNG -- Bend, Ore., is tops and Lewiston, Idaho is sixth in Outdoor Life magazine's just-released list of the “Top 200 Towns for Sportsmen” for 2011.

Lewiston dropped from No. 1 in the rankings in 2009 and No. 4 last year despite great runs of steelhead and salmon.  What the...?  The town must be going to the dogs.

But Spokane is even worse off, ranking No. 184 in 2009 but dropping off the list this year.

The magazine bills the annual ranking as an exhaustive list of the best places to live for those who love the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing, plus a high quality of life and suitability for families. The magazine also gave greater consideration to towns that boast low unemployment rates, high household incomes and low cost of living.

Other Inland Northwest towns in the list and their rankings include: 32 Sandpoint, 38 Kalispell, 56 Moses Lake, 60 Orofino, 61 Dillon, 79 Coeur d'Alene, 82 Missoula, 85 Salmon, 99 Winthrop.

Washington's only entries in the list are: 103 Port Angeles and 150 Shelton.

Click here to see the complete list  and detals of the top 200 outdoor towns.

The city of Bend, Oregon, population 80,000, leads the list as the country’s top town for sportsmen. Rising in rank from number 6 on last year’s list, Bend nabbed the top spot for attributes including access to millions of acres of Forest Service land, grassland and wetland, as well as its hundreds of miles of fishable streams and rivers. The area’s unique landscape presents a bounty of both upland and big game hunting, and legendary waterways provide anglers with year-round opportunities. The city’s 300 days of sunshine per year also helped boost its ranking, as did a thriving economy that has pushed household income up 30 percent over the past decade. In total, 13 Oregon cities made this year’s Top Towns list.

 Outdoor Life’s 2011 “Top 20 Towns for Sportsmen”

  1. Bend, Oregon
  2. Pinedale, Wyoming
  3. Rapid City, South Dakota
  4. Kodiak, Alaska
  5. Saratoga, Wyoming
  6. Cooper Landing, Alaska
  7. Lewiston, Idaho
  8. Pendleton, Oregon
  9. Sheridan, Wyoming
  10. Bismarck, North Dakota
  11. Mountain Home, Arkansas
  12. Chamberlain, South Dakota
  13. Pierre, South Dakota
  14. Rawlins, Wyoming
  15. Lander, Wyoming
  16. Cody, Wyoming
  17. Williston, North Dakota
  18. Heber Springs, Arkansas
  19. Marquette, MI
  20. Loa, Utah



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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