We will discuss the best iPhone apps for hiking to give your hiking experience the best.
Finding the finest places to go hiking might seem like a lot of work, but there is a technology that can help with that.
The availability of apps in today’s world has made route selection simpler than it has ever been.
You can look at photographs of must-see attractions such as picturesque overlooks and hidden jewels, well-known research treks in your region, and obtain information about parking and the ideal time of year to go.
This way, all you must worry about is remembering to bring some food.
Things to Consider Before Downloading iPhone Apps for Hiking
- Although hiking apps are incredibly helpful for navigation, you should put only some of your faith in them. Before embarking on a hike, know your destination and, if possible, bring a paper map along with you. The worst possible time for a phone’s battery to die is when you need it the most.
- You should always leave a trip plan with a friend or two before going out hiking, and certain hiking applications allow you to share your location with a companion. In addition to this, you should never go hiking alone. A trip plan should include the following information: the hiking trail you intend to take when you begin, what you intend to wear and bring with you, and the scheduled time of your return.
- If you plan on using your phone for navigation and, more importantly, for filming your trek, consider bringing along an additional battery pack that you can use to charge your phone while you are out hiking. Make sure you’re using airplane mode, at the very least!
Best iPhone Apps for Hiking
1. Recreation.gov App
You’ll need this app if you’re in the United States or visiting National Parks in the United States (see my guides!).
It’s wonderful for booking campsites up to six months in advance, tours, and US hiking permits through this app. If you’re in the United States, you’ll need this app. Having said that, this hiking software is capable of doing a great deal more than that.
These best iPhone apps for hiking allow users to obtain permits for treks and access to wilderness areas, as well as book ranger-led tours, which are currently required in a number of the United States National Parks.
For instance, it is the official location to submit your name for the lotteries to get a seat to walk Half Dome in Yosemite or The Wave in Arizona. Both of these hikes are quite popular and fill up quickly.
2. National Park Service App
Fans of the national parks in the United States should download the National Park Service app as soon as possible.
By downloading one of the best iPhone apps for hiking, you can obtain all the information you require for 63 United States national parks and 423 national park units.
There is information about the most enjoyable things, such as hiking in US national parks, where to stay, park amenities, excursions, and other things.
The hiking section of the National Park Service app provides information about the path itself and the amount of time it takes to finish a trip and allows you to download maps for use when you are not connected to the internet.
iNaturalist is yet another one of the best iPhone apps for hiking that can be used while hiking to learn more about the surrounding environment.
iNaturalist is a social network that promotes the exchange of information regarding biodiversity in order to facilitate members’ mutual education regarding the natural world.
During your hike, you take a picture of something interesting that you came across and then upload it to the app at a later time.
After that, the app will match your photo with comparable objects, and you can acquire additional knowledge regarding your plants.
By uploading these images using the iNaturalist app, scientists are able to gain more knowledge about the local biodiversity and seek patterns in nature. iNaturalist is also an app for citizen scientists.
4. SkyView Lite
Are you making a backpacking trip? Make sure that you download this hiking app onto your mobile device! When you’re away from the city’s bright lights, SkyView Lite is the ideal app for admiring the breathtaking beauty of the night sky.
SkyView Lite is a free app version of SkyView that makes use of GPS to show you the constellations that may be seen in the night sky. It functions in a manner that is comparable to that of Peak Finder.
You may also configure it to inform you of future astronomical phenomena, such as meteor showers and planet sightings, so you never miss a moment of the night sky.
5. BC AdventureSmart Trip Plan App
This app may only operate in Canada — it’s worth checking yourself – but it is among the best iPhone apps for hiking to keep you safe!
This software allows you to build a vacation itinerary and share it with your friends and family so that they know your plans and when to anticipate your return.
They can get in touch with the emergency services and send someone out to seek you if they are still waiting to hear from you by a specific time.
When you go hiking, leaving a trip plan behind is important, especially if you’re going it alone; therefore, make sure you use it!
6. Apple Watch Workout App
If you want to always keep track of your fitness and have an Apple Watch, the workout app that comes preinstalled on it is one the best iPhone apps for hiking for your Apple Watch.
Although I use a Garmin device, this one functions in a very similar manner. Using the hike tracking feature, you can record your time, distance, elevation, heart rate, and calories and then sync that information with Strava and Apple health.
Before I bought my Garmin Instinct watch, I relied heavily on AllTrails to help me plan my treks, discover new trails, and keep track of my previous hikes.
With more than 20 million users and over 100 thousand routes in its database, AllTrails is one of the most widely used hiking apps.
You can narrow your options on factors like distance from your current location, user rating, route type, and difficulty level. Look for dog-friendly routes if you plan to take your dog on a hike.
In most cases, being able to read comments left by other users is a huge time saver. You can find out if the trail is still covered in snow, how crowded it is, and if the road to the trailhead has been recently repaired.
You may keep track of your hike with the GPS app and share your progress with a designated contact.
A free version of AllTrails is available, but if you are planning on doing a lot of hiking, I recommend upgrading to AllTrails Pro. You may save maps for later use, and the app will alert you if you stray from your route.
When I go on a hike, I always use the AllTrails app to help me locate trails, make itineraries, and navigate my way about. AllTrails+ provides offline maps to ensure you’re on the right path even if you lose cell service.
8. OS Maps App
Since moving back to the UK, I’ve learned that AllTrails is only sometimes the most useful tool. Most of these applications should work fine whether you’re in the Lake District or on a hike in Scotland.
However, the OS Maps App is the greatest if you’re searching for a fresh walk around a community you’re traveling through or anything a little different.
In contrast to every Canadian map we could discover, OS Maps are completely unique. You can discover information on anything from footbridges to bars, watering holes to art supply shops there.
The software covers the entirety of the United Kingdom. It has to zoom in and out as well as GPS so you can easily pinpoint your location.
Wikiloc has a user base of over 10 million avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, and it features a global database of 34 million trails and 59 million trail photos.
This software goes above and beyond the typical hiking guide by including road trip itineraries, long cycle touring adventures, and other adventure kinds so that you can always discover something fresh to do and see, no matter where your travels take you.
Also, all hikers can get behind the 1% for the Planet effort because Wikiloc is one of the best iPhone apps for hiking to participate.
I keep tabs on my exercise frequency and intensity with the help of Strava. You may either use the in-app hiking log within Strava or link it to your compatible Apple or Garmin GPS watch to record your progress.
AllTrails and other hiking apps allow you to record your path, which you can export and publish to Strava when you return to civilization.
It’s rewarding to reflect on your hiking progress and speed improvements at the end of the year. It works wonderfully as one of the best iPhone apps for hiking or tracking any other exercise form.
11. Fat Map
Although I mostly use this trail hiking software for ski touring (thanks to its display of the slope angle! ), it was quite useful for my hikes.
This software is similar to others in that it allows you to record your hike, use GPS to get you where you need to go, and even find new pathways by perusing the uploaded data of other hikers.
Fat Map’s visual representation of that hike is my favorite feature after completing a hike and saving the route.
The program, called FlyOver, renders your journey in three dimensions and allows you to soar through the air above the path you just covered.
That’s quite sweet if you ask me. If you have yet to record your hike directly in-app, you may still connect it with Strava to receive these Flyover routes.
You’ve probably heard of Trailforks if you’re a mountain biker. Although Trailforks is well known in the mountain biking community, the developers have recently made efforts to expand the app’s coverage to include hiking routes as well.
Maps can be downloaded in an offline setting and are useful for navigation and strategic planning. Knowing whether the path is shared with cyclists, runners, or horseback riders is helpful. The routes are typically color-coded to show the degree of difficulty.
If you’re a hiker and cyclist who can only afford one hiking app, this is the one to acquire! Membership in Outside+ grants access to the magazine in addition to the subscription.
13. Gaia GPS App
Gaia GPS is another one of the best iPhone apps for hiking that provides navigational assistance while on the path.
It has all the features you’d expect from a hiking app, such as discovering new paths, keeping track of your progress and achievements, and recording your journey.
Using an app is a great way to prepare for a hike because you can check the weather, locate nearby camping options, and more.
There’s a premium edition, like with other hiking apps. The free edition is OK if you’re planning a day trek in an area with cell service. Still, the paid version’s offline maps are well worth the price if you plan on going on a longer or more isolated hike.
You can also use some nice overlays to see things like Public Lands, National Park maps, and more on top of your regular maps.
Do you enjoy being aware of the nearby peaks when you are hiking? Download Peak Finder to your phone.
Peak Finder does not have a free edition, but it is well worth the C$6.99 it costs to learn the names of the mountains you admire from afar.
After signing in and calibrating your phone as instructed, the app will identify the mountains you are looking at, along with their names and elevations. So effective!
The Cornell University app Merlin is also a fantastic resource for hikers. In essence, it’s Shazam, except for bird calls.
I’ve often heard a bird call and wished I knew more about birds to identify it. For all my inquiries, this app has the solutions.
Visual cues are also useful for determining the species of a bird. Merlin will provide a list of possible matches once you answer only three questions regarding the bird you are trying to identify.
16. Far Out
The hiking software Guthook Guides is familiar to you if you have considered or seen videos on Thru-hiking in the United States.
The FarOut/Guthook app shines in this situation, and you need not be on a long-distance route to benefit from it.
After initial setup, you may use their maps without an internet connection or data plan. They provide useful features like detailed waypoints, recommendations for restocking in nearby towns, and the option to check in with loved ones to let them know you’re safe.
17. BRMB Maps App
Backroad Maps are helpful for planning trips, and we have a few of the paper versions for various regions in British Columbia.
Camping areas, hiking paths, dirt bike trails, fishing locations, and more may all be viewed, as can the various road types (dirt, 4×4 only, main road, etc.).
For those times when a full paper map just won’t cut it on the trail, the BBRMB Maps: the app is a terrific alternative.
These are some of the best maps I’ve found in Canada; they’re perfect for scouting for hidden gems and plotting out your next backcountry excursion.
18. Garmin Connect
If you have a Garmin watch instead of an Apple watch, you can use your watch and Garmin Connect to create a hiking route that you can use for navigation while you’re out on the trail.
You can also track your hike, calories burned, elevation gained, and distance traveled and sync your data with Strava when you’re finished.
Garmin Explore allows you to display a physical map on your screen, should that be something that appeals to you among the best iPhone apps for hiking you have.
Komoot, another hiking software, functions comparable to All Trails, placing it among the best iPhone apps for hiking. Discovering new spots to wander around on two wheels or two feet is possible.
The capability to build guides is one of the distinguishing characteristics of Komoot. With the help of these guides, you will be able to compile a list of some of the region’s greatest hiking trails and biking routes to give to other people as recommendations.
Because of this, it is an excellent choice if you are unfamiliar with the area and searching for some hiking inspiration apps.
20. Hiking Project
The Hiking Project app is comparable to a detailed map and an in-depth guidebook combined into one convenient package.
You can rapidly find the full GPS route details, elevation profiles, interactive features, and photographs you seek when you are looking for anything specific.
The app displays hikes in the area you are currently in, along with information about the trip’s highlights, challenging elements, and other helpful insights for those just seeking ideas.
According to Banks, this software is superior to AllTrails since it allows users to download all of the trails in any or all 50 states as well as other countries; thus, all of the information is stored on the user’s phone.
You don’t have to decide which hike you want to take before you head out into the wilderness; that’s not necessary. She explains that “once the map data is downloaded onto your phone, all you need is a GPS connection in order to bring up the map and navigate.”
She also mentions that the user interface is wonderful for bringing up an area and searching for trails, which are color-coded by the degree of difficulty they present, as well as for zooming in and out to discover what you’re looking for on a specific day.
There are currently 78,829 trails spanning 257,226 miles, and new trails are being added all the time, so there is a considerable probability that you will find suitable routes.
As you can see, I have listed out the best iPhone apps for hiking, and you can choose from the options above.
All hikers aren’t the same, and neither are their technological requirements. For those who like to take things slowly and enjoy the scenery, Google Maps may be all they need.
Some people may require much more data, such as a million maps, filters, tracking, video production, and safety warnings.
Before hitting the road, make sure your app can do everything you need it to; some of them lose their reliability as you get closer to trailheads.
In those situations, save your map to your computer in advance. Before setting out on your hike, make sure your app is ready to go.