OGDEN — Once Utah's second-largest city, Ogden slipped into a long-term slump after railroad travel declined in the 1960s.

However, in recent years Ogden has strived to be more of a recreational area, and now that effort seems to be paying off big time with national recognition.

Weber County's largest city gained yet another outdoor honor on Aug. 12 when the September issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine listed Ogden as one of the nation's 50 "next-generation adventure towns."

Of the 50 U.S. towns included in the "Where to Live and Play Now" article, Ogden was also highlighted as one of the authors' "top 12 picks."

The other 12 cities in the Rocky Mountain area listed by the magazine were Missoula, Mont.; Lander, Wyo.; Idaho Falls; Silver City, N.M.; Carbondale, Colo.; Prescott, Ariz.; Reno, Nev.; Pagosa Springs, Colo.; Red Lodge, Mont.; Tucson, Ariz.; Colorado Springs; and Hailey, Idaho.

Missoula and Carbondale were also among the authors' dozen favorites.

National Geographic magazine writers Sarah Tuff and Greg Melville said they "selected 50 innovative towns that aren't just prime relocation spots right now but smart choices for the future."

A photograph of Ogden in the magazine shows rock wall climbing. It also mentions the 40-foot-high Ninth Street crag as a popular local climbing spot and the rustic Alaskan Inn in Ogden Canyon as a great place to stay overnight.

The article said Ogden is the "Disneyland for adrenalized adults."

"It is very gratifying to have so many members of the national media recognize Ogden's focus on adventure recreation," Mayor Matthew Godfrey said. "Having two of the largest outdoor magazines (Outside and National Geographic Adventure) in the world recognize us in this way has surpassed our expectations."

In July, Outdoor Magazine ranked Ogden third behind Washington, D.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., as the top best re-invented cities in America.

The city's been in the spotlight not just for outdoor or recreational rankings. Ogden was also one of two Utah cities ranked on Forbes' list of the "Best Places for Business and Careers" last March. Ogden placed 23rd. Provo was 11th.

To view the complete list of ranked cities by National Geographic Adventure, go to adventure.nationalgeographic.com.

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