The Best Hiking Apps

Hiking is one of our favorite ways to get out and explore while traveling.  We look forward to summiting mountains and finding some of the most spectacular views in the world through hiking.  A big part of how we find and decide what different hikes we want to complete is through using different hiking apps. Through seeing pictures and reading reviews, we find inspiration for the best trails to complete.  These apps also give us all the details about distance and elevation, which are very pertinent details when preparing for a hike.  Here is a list of our three favorite apps below. 

#1 All Trails App 

Arches National Park
Arches National Park

This website really has the best database of hiking information. On this website, you can see the top hikes in an area and search different trails.  The information on this app is usually very accurate which is always important when planning a hike.  We like to use this application to plan out our hikes as you can make different lists with it (i.e. Anchorage hikes, Arches National Parks hikes, RMNP hikes, etc.) and share them with your friends. 

Our favorite feature of this app is that you can track your hike using it.  Even if you do not have data or service, you can track your hiking route using your phone’s GPS, just on airplane mode.  This feature has helped us several times, most recently at Arches National Park (see Arches National Park Quick Guide). When we were uncertain if we were on the right route, we simply pulled up the app and were able to make sure our GPS was still tracking on the correct path.  

The comments section of the hikes on this application are very helpful as well.  In the comments section, people rate the hike and discuss pros/cons as well as current trail conditions.  Reading these remarks the day of or before is a good way to be even more prepared for your hike. Important points we have used include finding out if there is snow on the trail or finding out the trail is closed in one section. 

There is a free version and a paid-for version of this application.  We use the free version and it does everything we need it to do, even the tracking.  If you try to track your hike on the free version, it may give you an error message at first but as long as you have the hike previously saved to a list, you should be able to track it.   

All Trails

​#2 Hiking Project App  

Shortoff Mountain, Linville Gorge
Shortoff Mountain, Linville Gorge

This website is similar to All Trails but with a smaller database.  We like this application because it shows the top hikes in certain areas in a more straightforward way than All Trails.  You can download offline maps from different states and then search for different hikes while you are in the area without data and without having a specific hike saved in advance. We download the states prior to our trip where we are visiting to have this information handy.  We found this application to be extra helpful in North Carolina (see Hiking Shortoff Mountain near Asheville, North Carolina) where some of the trails we hiked were not on All Trails. 

Hiking Project

#3 National Parks App

Lion Lake, RMNP

This application is made by the same developers as the Hiking Project application and quite user friendly as well.  It shows you the top hikes in each National Park that is in its database.  Most of the National Parks are on this application but the database is still growing.  We use this application mainly for inspiration for hiking views we want to see through pictures on the app. This app is how we found one of our favorite hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park to Lion Lake (see Top 5 Long Day Hikes in Rocky Mountain National Park).  Definitely check out this app if you are headed to one of the National Parks. 

National Parks App

When planning a hiking trip, we use a combination of all three of the above apps (only the top 2 if it is not a National Park) to decide which hikes we would like to complete. All three are great references and we recommend downloading each.  Additionally, given required cellphone use to track hikes, always charge your phone prior to leaving, have other members of your party download the app, and consider a back-up battery pack for the extra long hikes.

Looking to plan a hiking trip? Please see: 

Can you tell we really like to hike?

Are there any other hiking apps you use?  Please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear about them and hear from you. 

And remember, Always Have A Trip Planned! 

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