It’s easier than ever for us to find trails and plan your own routes when hiking, and this is all thanks for the internet and specifically hiking apps.
Though, there are many apps out there that can aid your walking experience, and it can be difficult to know which ones you should download. Here’s some of the best hiking apps you can find.
FarOut Guides – Our Favourite
FarOut Guides, formerly known as Guthook guides, is one of the the best smartphone apps you can download for long hikes and backpacking.
There are thousands of trails in the database, and although it’s particularly good for North America, the app is also great for UK and European hikes too including guides for Cotswolds way, Hadrian’s Wall Path and many of the Caminos.
This map was created by former hikers, and one of the ways you can tell this is that the app has extremely reliable offline maps – something of great importance to hikers out in the middle of nowhere.
This app provides detailed trail data — such as distances, elevations, waypoints, rivers and lakes — which can in their satellite maps.
The app has both detailed guides to waypoints on your journey, but also recaps on the nearest towns and the supplies you can pick up, as well as any potential accommodation too.
It also has a social element to the app too, meaning that you can connect with other hikers in your area if you wish too.
Overall, every hiker should download FarOut to their Android or iOS device before going on a new adventure.
Hiking Project – Best Hiking App For Finding New Trails
Another solid free hiking app, the increasingly-popular trailing app Hiking Project is worth a download.
The app provides an informative overview of the trail layout that you choose, and you can use the guidebook to find the best hikes in your local area, as well as regional and popular attractions nearby.
With the help of Hiking Project you can find the current condition of trails, and it provides a comprehensive trail list, which you can search and save to the latest hiking routes within the app.
Hiking Project allows you to check statistics of hikes too, including hiking trails ranked based on popularity of other hikers. You can also see wildlife and vegetation in the area too.
The Hiking Project allows users to get an idea of what the hikes will be like before you actually embark on them. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, it could be the best hiking app to downoad.
PeakVisor – Best for identifying mountains
If you want something a little more technical, the PeakVisor hiking app will help you get better views of your surroundings and trails.
The app uses a highly detailed terrain model, and it is possible to get a deeper view of a nearby mountain range, hills or landscape.
The profile generally covers elevation, covering mountain regions and topography information – it uses your phone’s camera combined with augmented reality to show what the local peaks in your region are called.
PeakVisor is more than just a gimmick though – it can also help you plan your hikes with GPS tracking, and then allow you to share your mountain adventures with others.
In the Premium version of PeakVisor, you can use the app offline, as all of the data is downloadable to your device.
The catalogue has nearly a million mountains in its inventory, so if you’re planning to go hiking in the Peaks, it’s a great additional app to download.
AllTrails – A long time popular hiking app
Alltrails is still one of the most popular hiking apps, and it is easy to understand why the trail app is popular worldwide.
Hikes in the app are easily searchable and you can filter them according to difficulty, duration, route type and user rating too. This makes it extremely easy to find hikes that are fitted to your own needs.
If you’ve found a hiking route, you can quickly check out distances or elevation maps within the app too.
AllTrails also offers helpful information about navigating the trails and how much time it takes to get there – you can quickly log in to the app to store trail data, and monitor routes via GPS too.
AllTrails was launched as a smartphone app that primarily focused using crowdsourced data, though it has evolved a lot more since then. It’s worth downloading even if it’s just to check the recent reviews of trails before you embark on a hike.
Gaia GPS – Best GPS Hiking App
Gaia GPS offers a strong GPS navigation technology for smartphones.
The free plan lets you quickly map your route and examine topographic maps – however, you must purchase a premium version to unlock offline capabilities and specific geography maps.
Plus, a premium member will get access to much more than just offline capability – you can track your speed, elevation profiles, and work out distances on ascent and descent too.
GPS is important for any hiker, especially if you plan to go hiking in areas that have notoriously bad weather conditions. Gaia GPS can help you prepare to deal with even the worst weather conditions.
For many hiking enthusiasts, it’s at least worth downloading the free version and checking out the topographic and satellite map views the app provides.
Spyglass – Most advanced hiking compass
Spyglass is an extremely robust offline GPS application, which is designed primarily for outdoor recreation or off-road navigation.
It’s another GPS app for hiking, with a high tech compass built into the app that you can access any time. It’s great for geocaching due to its hi-tech compass and offline navigation.
There are various different compass modes that you can use in the app, which can help you to make accurate directions – it is easy to set location coordinates manually within SpyGlass too.
For more advanced hikers looking to take the next step when hiking trails, Spyglass is a good addition to any hiking trip. It gives you detailed information about the use of imperial, metric nautical or survey units.
Google Maps – A must have
Okay it’s true – most people already use Google Maps. But, this is because it is a good idea to have Google maps downloaded, at least as a backup for your other hiking apps.
Google Map’s best feature is that hikers can download maps offline, as downloading maps ahead of the time ensures you are able to get to the trail even if you have no signal on your device.
Many popular walking paths are shown on Google maps, along with hiking trail reviews from other hikers that have previously walked the trail.
It isn’t just an excellent hiking app, but an awesome app for visiting a new place – it has a lot of information about local eateries and hotels, which is necessary for getting settled if you’re on a long trip.
Google Maps is offline capable, so it’s worth downloading and using a lot with your other hiking apps at least.
Apple Watch Workout app – Best tracker
The workout app on Apple Watch is the most useful hike app if you want to start wearing a fitness tracking device – obviously, you’ll need an Apple watch to use it.
The Workout app can be used to track your exercise rings, as you can easily integrate your Apple watch with the Health app on an iPhone.
An Apple Watch is a great investment for any hiker – the app tracks your activities in real time, logs your calories, calorie usage, and distances or elevations.
Though it’s not an essential to have, the Workout app is free for Apple watch owners and can become part of your hiking experience if you want to increase your fitness.
If you’ve found yourself heading out to walk some trails, an excellent hiking app is the perfect accompaniment to your journey. Hopefully, our list of the top hiking apps can help you make your way from A to B without having to worry about heading in the wrong direction.