The Best Hiking Apps For 2024

Hiking is a popular outdoor activity that allows individuals to explore nature, challenge themselves physically, and enjoy breathtaking views. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or new to the trails, having the right app can greatly enhance your hiking experience. With the abundance of apps for hiking available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs. That’s where we come in. In this blog post, we will explore the top hiking apps for 2024, highlighting their key features, pros, and cons. We will also discuss the essential features to look for in a hiking app and how technology can enhance your hiking experience. So, let’s dive in and find the best app for hiking trails to make your outdoor adventures even more enjoyable and memorable.

Top Apps for Hiking Trails in 2024

When it comes to the best apps for hiking trails in 2024, several top contenders stand out. These apps offer a range of features to help you navigate the best paths and maximise your outdoor adventures. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top hiking apps for 2024, including the popular Google Maps app.

1. AllTrails – Your Guide to the Outdoors

AllTrails is a leading app for hikers, offering a diverse database of over 400,000 trails globally. It stands out for its extensive collection of trail guides and user-generated content, including popular trails, reviews, and photos. With AllTrails, you can easily find and explore new trails, discover hidden gems, and connect with a community of outdoor enthusiasts. The app’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive search filters make it easy to find trails that match your preferences and skill level. Available on both Apple and Google Play stores, AllTrails is the only thing you need to worry about when planning your next hiking trip.

2. Gaia GPS – For the Trailblazing Navigator

Gaia GPS is a trailblazing app designed for outdoor adventurers. It offers detailed maps, offline use, and a range of features that make it a valuable companion on the trails. With Gaia GPS, you can navigate with confidence, even in remote areas with no cell service. The app provides access to detailed topographic maps, satellite imagery, and trail information. It also allows you to track your route, record waypoints, and plan your adventures in advance. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or camping, Gaia GPS has the tools you need to explore the great outdoors.

3. PeakVisor – Mountains Made Easy to Identify

If you’re a mountain enthusiast, PeakVisor is the perfect app for you. It uses augmented reality technology to help you identify mountains and peaks around you. With a database of over 800,000 peaks worldwide, PeakVisor can provide you with the names, elevations, and other information of mountains in your vicinity. The app also offers detailed 3D maps, elevation profiles, and the ability to track your hikes. Whether you’re hiking in mountainous regions or simply want to learn more about the peaks around you, PeakVisor is a valuable tool for any outdoor adventurer. And here’s some good news – the app is constantly updating its database, so you’ll always have the most accurate information at your fingertips.

4. Komoot – Plan Your Perfect Hiking Adventure

Komoot is an all-in-one app that allows you to plan and navigate your perfect hiking adventure. With Komoot, you can easily create custom routes, track your progress, and discover points of interest along the way. The app offers detailed offline maps, so you can navigate even in areas with no internet connection. It also provides turn-by-turn voice navigation, elevation profiles, and real-time weather updates. Whether you’re planning a day hike or a multi-day trek, Komoot has the features you need to make your hiking adventure unforgettable.

5. FarOut (Formerly Guthook Guides) – The Backpacker’s Companion

FarOut, formerly known as Guthook Guides, is a must-have app for backpackers tackling long-distance trails like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. The app provides detailed trail guides, including maps, mileages, and points of interest. It also offers offline maps and the ability to track your progress along the trail. With FarOut, you can find water sources, campsites, and resupply points, making it an essential companion for any long-distance hiker. Whether you’re planning a thru-hike or simply want to explore a new trail, FarOut has the resources you need to make your backpacking trip a success.

6. Caltopo – Custom Maps for Serious Hikers

Caltopo is a powerful mapping tool designed for serious hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. It allows you to create custom maps with contour lines, elevation profiles, and other important details. With Caltopo, you can plan your route, measure distances, and analyze terrain. The app also offers offline maps, so you can access your custom maps even in areas with no internet connection. Whether you’re exploring remote wilderness or familiar trails, Caltopo is a valuable tool for anyone who wants to take their hiking adventures to the next level.

7. Spyglass – Navigate Like a Pro

Spyglass is a professional-grade app that provides advanced navigational tools for outdoor enthusiasts. It uses your device’s GPS to provide accurate location data, compass readings, and augmented reality overlays. With Spyglass, you can navigate with precision, track your route, and measure distances and angles. The app also offers offline map support, so you can access maps and data even without an internet connection. Whether you’re hiking, boating, or camping, Spyglass is a reliable companion that will help you navigate like a pro.

8. Avenza Maps – Offline Maps for Any Trail

Avenza Maps is a versatile app that provides offline maps for any trail. With Avenza Maps, you can download and access detailed maps of national parks, hiking trails, and other outdoor areas. The app offers features like GPS location tracking, route planning, and the ability to mark waypoints. It also allows you to import and export maps, so you can easily share your routes with others. Whether you’re hiking in a remote wilderness or exploring a popular national park, Avenza Maps has offline maps, including paper maps, which you need to navigate with confidence.

9. Hiking Project – Community-Powered Trail Guides

Hiking Project is a community-powered app that provides trail guides, maps, and user reviews for hiking trails around the world. With Hiking Project, you can discover new trails, read reviews from fellow hikers, and plan your next outdoor adventure. The app offers detailed trail information, including difficulty ratings, elevation profiles, and photos. It also allows you to track your hikes, record waypoints, and share your experiences with the hiking community. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, Hiking Project is a comprehensive guide and valuable resource for finding and exploring hiking trails.

10. Outdooractive – For the Ultimate Outdoor Enthusiasts

Outdooractive is an all-in-one app for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of features, including a route planner, detailed maps, and information on outdoor activities. With Outdooractive, you can plan your adventures, discover new trails, and track your progress along the way. The app, along with the popular web app, offers customised, interactive route planning and offline navigation, ensuring you can explore with confidence, armed with all the necessary information at your fingertips. The app also provides information on points of interest, accommodations, and local amenities. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or skiing, Outdooractive has the resources you need to make the most of your outdoor adventures.


hiking apps

Essential Features of a Hiking App

When choosing a hiking app, there are several essential features to consider. These features can enhance your hiking experience and provide you with the tools you need to navigate the trails with confidence. Some of the essential features to look for in a hiking app include real-time GPS tracking for safety, offline map accessibility for remote areas, trail difficulty ratings to match your skill level, and community reviews and photos for insider insights. Additionally, be on the lookout for unique features such as social sharing, weather forecasting, and safety features that can enrich your hiking adventures and potentially save your life in uncharted territories. By choosing an app that offers these unique features, you can ensure a more enjoyable and successful hiking adventure.

Real-Time GPS Tracking for Safety

Real-time GPS tracking is a crucial feature in a hiking app as it ensures your safety on the trails. With real-time GPS tracking, you can accurately monitor your location and track your progress along the trail. This feature allows you to stay on the right path and avoid getting lost, especially in unfamiliar or remote areas. It also enables you to share your location with others, providing peace of mind to your loved ones. By choosing a hiking app that offers real-time GPS tracking, you can hike with confidence and enjoy your outdoor adventures to the fullest.

Offline Map Accessibility for Remote Areas

Offline map accessibility is another essential feature to consider in a hiking app, especially if you plan to hike in remote areas with no cell service. With offline map accessibility, you can download and access maps, such as the Ordnance Survey map, even without an internet connection. This feature allows you to navigate the trails and stay on track, regardless of your location. It ensures that you have access to detailed maps, route information, and points of interest, even when you’re off the grid. By choosing a hiking app that offers offline map accessibility, like the Mountain Forecast Viewer, you can explore remote areas with confidence and peace of mind.

Trail Difficulty Ratings to Match Your Skill Level

Trail difficulty ratings are an important feature in a hiking app, as they help you choose trails that match your skill level. With trail difficulty ratings, you can easily identify trails that are suitable for beginners, intermediate hikers, or experienced adventurers. These ratings provide information on factors such as elevation gain, terrain challenges, and overall difficulty level. By selecting trails that match your skill level, you can ensure a more enjoyable and safe hiking experience. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, trail difficulty ratings can guide you in choosing the right trail for your abilities.

Community Reviews and Photos for Insider Insights

Community reviews and photos are valuable features in a hiking app, as they provide insider insights and user experiences. By reading community reviews, you can get first-hand information on trail conditions, scenic views, and any potential challenges or hazards. These reviews offer valuable insights that can help you plan your hikes and make informed decisions based on your specific needs. User-generated photos also provide a visual representation of the trail, allowing you to get a glimpse of what to expect. By choosing a hiking app that offers community reviews and photos, you can benefit from the collective knowledge and experiences of fellow hikers.


Enhancing Your Hiking Experience with Technology

Technology can greatly enhance your hiking experience by providing innovative tools and features. From smartwatches to augmented reality, there are several ways to incorporate technology into your outdoor adventures. In this section, we will explore how smartwatches complement hiking apps, the role of augmented reality in mountain identification, and the benefits of weather forecasting apps for hikers. By leveraging technology, you can take your hiking experience to the next level and make the most of your time on the trails.

How Smartwatches Complement Hiking Apps

Smartwatches are a great complement to hiking apps as they provide convenient access to important information and features right on your wrist. With a smartwatch, you can view your hiking app’s maps, track your route, and monitor your progress without having to take out your phone. Smartwatches also offer additional features like heart rate monitoring, altitude tracking, and weather updates, enhancing your overall hiking experience. Popular smartwatch options for hiking include the Apple Watch and Garmin watches. By pairing your smartwatch with a hiking app, you can have all the information you need at your fingertips, making your hikes more convenient and enjoyable.

The Role of AR in Mountain Identification

Augmented reality (AR) technology plays a significant role in mountain identification, especially with apps like PeakVisor. By using your device’s camera and GPS, AR apps can overlay information about nearby mountains and peaks in real time. This feature allows you to identify mountains, view their names and elevations, and gain a deeper understanding of the landscape. AR technology provides an interactive and immersive experience, making mountain identification more engaging and educational. With the help of AR apps, you can appreciate the beauty of the mountains and enhance your knowledge of the natural world around you.

Weather Forecasting Features for Hikers

Weather forecasting features are essential for hikers, as they provide valuable information for planning and preparing for hiking trips. These apps can provide forecasts for temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and other weather conditions that can impact your hiking experience. By checking the weather forecast before your hike, you can dress appropriately, pack necessary gear, and make informed decisions about trail conditions. Some hiking apps also offer real-time weather updates, such as the popular app Weather Live, ensuring that you stay informed about any changes in weather conditions while on the trails. By incorporating weather live forecasting features into your hiking app, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable hiking experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which hiking apps are free and reliable?

While many hiking apps offer a free version, the reliability can vary. Some free options include AllTrails, Hiking Project, and Outdooractive. It’s best to read user reviews and check the app store ratings to ensure you choose a reliable app that meets your needs.

Can these apps be used without internet connectivity?

Yes, many hiking apps offer offline use, allowing you to access maps, trail information, and other features even without an internet connection. These apps typically require you to download maps and data in advance, so you can use them in remote areas with no internet connectivity.

How do I choose the best hiking app for international trails?

When choosing a hiking app for international trails, consider features like detailed maps, trail information, and offline use. Look for apps that have wide coverage of international trails and positive user reviews to ensure the best experience on your international hiking adventures.

Are there any apps specifically designed for hiking safety?

Yes, several hiking apps offer safety features like real-time GPS tracking, emergency services contact, and SOS capabilities. These apps can provide peace of mind and ensure your safety while hiking. Examples include AllTrails, Gaia GPS, and Spyglass.

How accurate are the GPS features in these hiking apps?

The GPS features in hiking apps are generally accurate, especially when combined with a reliable GPS-enabled device. However, accuracy can vary depending on factors like the device’s quality, signal strength, and environmental conditions. It’s always recommended to cross-reference GPS data with other navigational tools for added assurance.

Can I contribute my own trails to these apps?

Some hiking apps allow users to contribute their own trails and share them with the community. This user-generated content enhances the app’s trail database and provides valuable information for other hikers. Examples of such apps include AllTrails, Hiking Project, and Outdooractive.

What are the benefits of premium versions of hiking apps?

Premium versions of hiking apps often offer additional features like offline maps, advanced route planning, and an ad-free experience. These paid versions provide a more comprehensive and enhanced user experience, making them worth considering for avid hikers. Some apps may also offer free trials of their premium versions.