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best hiking apps

21 Best Hiking Apps of 2021

Whether you want to discover a new trail or follow a route, hiking apps are quickly replacing the old-school paper map and compass. With so many out there, we’ve compiled a list of the best hiking apps out there. 

Whether you’re looking for GPS apps for hiking, safety apps, or something to spice up your next trek, there’s something on this list for every kind of hiker!

If you’re a keen hiker, chances are you have what it takes to be a great personal trainer! Taking a personal training course with OriGym will help you turn your passion for fitness into a lucrative career. Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus here

 

Benefits of using hiking apps

You might be tempted to leave your phone at home on a long hike, but there are many ways in which using a hiking app can actually enhance the experience. 

Hiking apps are easier to use than maps

With a handy hiking app, you can see exactly where you are at any given time without trying to find yourself on a large paper map. They also take up much less space than a traditional paper map, so you can pack lighter and have less to carry on your hikes. 

Even if you have no phone signal up in the mountains, many hiking map apps allow you to download them offline, so you’ll never get lost. 

You can track your progress on hiking apps

The best hiking apps will tell you exactly where you are on a trail. Not only does this help you stay on track, but it can be incredibly motivating to see where you are and how long you have left to go. 

Some hiking apps even allow you to compete with family and friends, giving your hikes a competitive element and allowing you to share your progress with the world. 

If you like the idea of using technology to keep track of your physical activity, check out our list of the best running watches

Hiking apps give you extra information about the trail

If you want an easy trail, a trail with less elevation, or a long trail, hiking apps are perfect for giving you extra information about a trail so you can know what you are letting yourself in for before you set off. 

Push yourself with a trail with extra hills, or find a more scenic route – the best hiking apps will give you some beautiful new trails to try out.

Knowing what kind of trail you are about to hike can help you decide what to wear before you set off, such as whether you need to wear your waterproof trail running shoes or not! 

Hiking apps can be cheaper than traditional maps 

Instead of buying a map for every place you want to go hiking, consider getting a walking trail app instead. 

Compared to traditional maps, hiking apps are a lot less expensive. Plus, you get a lot of extra features for your money, such as location tracking to help keep you safe on the trail – something that paper maps can’t provide!

If you want to stay fit on a budget, check out our list of the best cheap protein powders to fuel your hikes.

Hiking apps are more than just navigational apps

When you think about the best hiking apps, you probably think about hiking GPS apps that tell you where you’re going and how long the trail is. But hiking apps can be so much more! 

They can not only help you navigate, but also keep you safe, provide first aid tips, and allow you to share pictures and memories of your favourite trails. 

The 21 best hiking apps

#1 - AllTrails 

Price: Free (Premium version £2.50/month or £29.99/year)

This is one of the best hiking apps out there, thanks to the variety of trails that it offers as well as a whole host of other great features.

For example, it shows you details of the trail such as elevation, distance, and even how to get to the trail’s starting point. This can help you prepare for the hike, for example if you need to pack some high protein vegan snacks to keep you going on a long trail! 

Free versions of hiking apps can sometimes be poor, but the free version of AllTrails is still worth getting. It still tracks and records your hikes and allows you to search for routes based on difficulty, length or even whether they’re dog friendly! 

There’s also a Pro version if you want some extra features – for just £2.50 a month, you can download your maps offline if you lose signal, and the app will notify you if you stray off course. This is one of the best trekking apps for all budgets! 

#2 – Cairn

Price: Free to download (premium version £4.49/month, or £23.99/year)

If you’re worried about losing mobile phone service on the trail, Cairn is the best hiking app for you. It is a crowdsourced app that is all about interacting with other hikers and sharing important information about trails. 

You can inform others if there is phone reception on the trail, as well as notifying people that you’re going on a hike and what time you will be back. This is a great safety feature as it notifies your contacts if you aren’t back when you should be. 

This is another one of the best free hiking apps to use when you’re on a long trail. Not only will this trekking app keep you safe whether you’re hiking alone or in a group, but it also allows you to track your hikes and consult trail maps. 

Cairn is free to download, or you can opt for the premium version that gives you features such as sharing your real-time location with your contacts and giving automatic overdue alerts to keep you safe. The premium version also allows you to download maps offline, which is ideal for times when you don’t have a phone signal. 

#3 - OS Maps

Price: Free to download (Premium version £2.99/month or £23.99/year)

This is the best hiking app in the UK for searching for new hikes and walks to complete. So if you’re looking to add some variety to your hikes, this is this app for you!

You may be familiar with the large Ordnance Survey (OS) maps, which although useful, can be difficult to understand and a pain to carry around! However, this handy app means that you won’t be wrestling with sheets of paper, condensing all the great features of an OS map into your pocket! 

If you don’t want to even carry your phone in your pocket, why not try putting your phone in a running armband so you can hike completely hands-free! 

This hiking GPS app for iPhone and Android is free to download and has the option to upgrade to the premium version for just £2.99 a month. The free version is still useful, as it allows you to find and plan your routes as well as recording your hike. You can also use the website to print your maps and routes for free in case you lose phone signal. 

The premium version gives you a whole host of extra features, including the ability to download maps offline, view maps in 3D and use the AR Viewer to discover the nearby landmarks, forests, or hills on your hike.

#4 - Gaia GPS

Price: Free to download (premium version £34.99/year)

Gaia GPS is one of the best hiking apps for UK users because of its range of features and easy-to-use interface.

It allows you to find new trails, see the elevation, and exactly where you ascend and descend on the trail. You can save your hike times and statistics on the app too, and the free version allows you to view the satellite and topographical maps as well as backing up your data.

Not only can you map and track your hikes with Gaia GPS, but you can even find skiing routes if you’re in a snowy area. This is one of the best hiking apps if you want to plan an overnight trip, as it also shows you campsites on your route so you can have the best multiple-day hike possible.

If you like the idea of combining fitness with a trip away, these active holidays are a great way to stay fit and healthy on holiday! 

Gaia GPS is one of the best trekking apps for all levels of hikers, from beginners to pros. The paid version is great for more advanced hikers, as it unlocks many more features such as being able to download maps offline, print custom maps, and even fishing and nautical maps. 

It is currently priced at £34.99 per year on the Apple App Store, working out at around £2.99 a reasonable month. So if you’re a keen hiker, it is well worth the money! 

#5 - Komoot 

Price: Free to download (premium version £4.99/month or £59.99/year)

What makes Komoot one of the best hiking apps in the UK is the wide variety of maps and useful features that it has. Whether you’re a beginner or pro hiker, there is something for everyone in this app! 

Not only does Komoot come with step-by-step voice navigation, but it is super detailed to help to keep you safe on a long hike. It’s also very user-friendly, so even beginner hikers won’t struggle to use it.

Komoot also lets you plan your own hiking trails, telling you how long it will take and the elevation levels along it. It will also tell you what kind of terrain you’re heading along, so that you never get lost.

It also allows you to plan bike routes if you want a change from hiking. If you use this app for cycling routes, check out OriGym’s list of the best bike phone holders to keep your phone secure on your rides.

This walking trail app comes with a free map already unlocked, so you can start hiking close to home. Additional maps are £3.99 each, or you can get a whole region for £8.99, or the world for £29.99. 

There is also a premium version for £4.99 a month which adds many more features, such as live location sharing, weather notifications to help you prepare, and the ability to plan a hike or trip over multiple days.

#6 - Hiking Project

Price: Free

Unlike many of the others on this list, this is one of the best free hiking apps as there are no hidden prices or subscription options. 

The Hiking Project app always works both online and offline, so you can make the most of its features even without a phone signal. 

You can discover new trails nearby, as well as trails that have been marked as gems by other uses. Trails are ranked by difficulty and show a lot of detail, including ascent, descent, length, and rating. If you’re into running, there are also many running forums out there that allow you to recommend and discover new running routes too.

As one of the best GPS hiking apps for Android and Apple devices, Hiking Trails tracks your position at all times so you’ll never get lost. It is also free from advertising, and with nearly 250,000 miles worth of hikes from all around the world, it is a perfect hiking app for all levels.

#7 - Outdooractive (previously Viewranger)

Price: Free to download (Pro €2.50/month, Pro+ €5/month)

Outdooractive (previously called Viewranger) is one of the best hiking apps for Android, having won awards from Google Play. 

This trekking app has great free features, allowing you to print and save different hiking routes as well as participate in challenges for some extra motivation. If you like this element of competition, why not try one of these virtual running challenges?

You can search your routes by location, difficulty, and trail rating, and it shows you the elevation and time it will take to complete. You’ll be sure to find a new route that you love with this trekking app!

Outdooractive comes with two tiers of membership: Pro for €2.50 per month (around £2.15) and Pro+ for €5 per month (around £4.30). Pro allows you to download maps offline, mark your favourites, and remove the ads. Pro+ also adds 3D maps and animated weather maps for your hikes. 

#8 - Maps.me

Price: Free

Not only is this one of the best hiking GPS apps for iPhone and Android devices, but Maps.me has a whole range of other features that will be sure to come in handy on your next adventure. 

Maps.me has maps for countries all over the whole world, and you can see all of the attractions nearby, from cinemas to waterparks to zoos. 

With Maps.me, you can download local maps and use them offline, making it a great trekking app for those further afield routes. 

Although it doesn’t come with any preloaded routes to follow, it does allow you to plot your own routes, as well as showing you elevation, time, and distance. So if you like to plan your own hikes, this is the best free hiking app for you. 

Maps.me is very easy to use and the interface is clear and easy to understand while still being detailed, making it a great all-round hiking map app! 

#9 - Footpath Route Planner

Price: Free to download (Elite version £3.49/month or £21.49/year)

This is one of the highest-rated walking trail apps, with 4.7 stars on the Apple App Store from nearly 12,000 reviews. And it’s no wonder why! 

This hiking app has a unique feature where you can draw your desired hiking route and it will create a proper route for you, showing you all the footpaths and roads to get you to your destination. 

It’s also easy to erase sections of the map, and Footpath Route Planner has audio guidance to tell you where to turn. While this is one of the best free hiking apps in the UK, you can only save 5 hikes on the basic version of the app; something to consider if you go on a lot of hikes away from phone signal. 

Some people like the idea of having no phone signal and getting away from the stresses of daily life. If this sounds appealing, you might want to check out our list of the best yoga retreats in the UK and find your inner zen! 

That said, upgrading to the Elite version gives you access to premium maps and offline access, as well as colour-coding steep hills and allowing you to analyse various routes. 

The Elite version of Footpath Route Planner is available for £3.49 a month and is a great option if you’re a serious hiker or want an offline version of the app. 

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#10 - SAS Survival Guide 

Price: Lite version free, premium version £5.99 to download 

As one of the best apps for hiking in the UK, the SAS Survival Guide app offers you tips and information to keep you extra safe on long hikes. For advanced hikers who want to push themselves to their limits, this is the app for you!

If you like to push your fitness to its limits, competitions such as ironman and triathlon will certainly put you through your paces!

The app features photo guides, book chapters, and videos on how to protect yourself and survive in the wilderness. So if the worst happens on a hike, you’ll be prepared to help yourself and others! 

You can test yourself on the app with quizzes that make sure that you’re prepared and ready to spend time in the great outdoors. 

Since it doesn’t have a navigational feature, this isn’t a hiking GPS app. So don’t download it in the hope that it will help you get to your campsite or up a challenging hill! This hiking app is simply for when you want some extra tutorials on how to stay safe. 

The premium app contains the full book of the SAS Survival Guide, as well as extra videos and a detailed First Aid section. However, the Lite version is just as informative for basic survival skills that will help you on your hikes, so you definitely don’t have to splash out on the premium version if you don’t want to.

#11 - Relive 

Price: Free to download (premium version £6.99/month)

Relive is one of the top hiking apps for sharing your memories and pictures of all the hikes you complete. This app lets you share photos and videos from your hikes, cycles or runs, and upload them to Relive for your friends, family and other people to view.

Not only can you upload your photos with Relive, but with this hiking app you can turn them into 3D video stories and see the route that you took in full 3D! You can even track your activities, so that you can see your hikes through the app. 

Relive Plus is the premium membership option which adds features such as increasing your video quality and allowing you to add up to 50 photos. The premium version costs £5.99 a month, which if you’re wanting to spice up your runs, is well worth it!  

Similarly, there are also many great running apps for beginners that allow you to add photos to your runs and share your activity with others. It’s a great way to stay engaged and motivated! 

#12 - Map My Walk

Price: Free to download (premium version $5.99/month, or $29.99/year)

This is one of the best hiking GPS apps thanks to the detail it gives you about the walks and hikes that you complete. 

While Map My Walk doesn’t come with preloaded maps, it allows you to track your hikes and shows you the details of your pace and other metrics such as calories burned. You can also sync MyFitnessPal to this hiking app to record your calories burned and nutrition too. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, walking is one of the best ways to burn calories! Check out our guide to walking for weight loss to see how a hike can help you lose weight. 

Another great feature of this walking trail app is that you can connect with your friends and family to compare walks and hikes to give you that extra motivation. If you have a smart watch, you can sync it with this hiking app so that you can get the most accurate breakdowns of your performance.

Map My Walk has a whopping 325,000 reviews and comes out with a 4.8-star rating on the App Store, making it one of the highest rated hiking GPS apps for iPhone!

The premium version of Map My Walk introduces personal training plans for your walks- as well as removing adverts, and costs $5.99 a month (or around £3.65).

#13 - Go Jauntly

Price: Free to download (premium version £1.99/month or £19.99/year)

With a 4.5-star rating on the Apple App Store, Go Jauntly is one of the best apps for hiking in the UK thanks to the number of hikes and walks it has stored in it. 

This handy hiking app shows you walks nearby- both short and long, helping you to get out of the house and into nature! If you’re sitting inside at a desk all day, it’s important to get out into the fresh air. Another great activity for this is trail running, as it allows you to explore the great outdoors as well as getting fit! 

As a walking trail app, Go Jauntly features step-by-step instructions to navigate your hikes, and you can even plan your own routes and walks. An amazing feature of this app is that you can capture something called Nature Notes. This allows users to take pictures of nature and wildlife, which Go Jauntly has introduced to help support wellbeing.

The premium version of this GPS hiking app is £1.99 a month and allows you to download maps offline as well as unlocking extra walks. If you’re a dedicated hiker, Go Jauntly is one of the perfect walking trail apps to get you moving outside!

#14 – what3words 

Price: Free

What3words is the best hiking app in the UK if you need help navigating a trail. 

This clever app works by splitting the UK into 3m-by-3m squares and assigning each one three words that it can be identified by. If you’re lost on the trail or need help quickly, using what3words can help emergency services locate you and get help to you sooner.

What3words is a great hiking GPS app for iPhone and Android, as it is compatible with both Apple Maps and Google Maps. 

It also works offline, so even without phone service you’ll be able to know exactly where you are. This is an essential hiking app for safety, as if you need help in a remote area, it can make a huge difference to know exactly where you are. 

The importance of safety whilst you exercise outside shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’re a runner as well as hiker, you should check out our tips for running at night to stay safe on your nighttime runs. 

 

#15 – Hiiker 

Price: Free to download (£27.99 for premium access)

Hiiker is a great free hiking app for whether you’re planning a long hike or just want to find something shorter. It is therefore a great app for both beginner and more experienced hikers!

The app features nearly 600 trails in England which can be sorted by difficulty, popularity, and length in days, so you can find the perfect route for you.  

This hiking app is especially effective for long-distance trips. Hiiker shows you campgrounds and hotels along the trail, so you can plan for multiple days of trekking. If you like longer runs too, check out our long-distance running tips

The premium version of this hiking GPS app allows you to download maps offline and gives you the option to follow an alternative route on the trail.  You can also add in different map layers for added detail. It even tells you when the weather might be best for your hike.

This version costs £27.99 for the year, or you can access just one trail for £10.99 to see all the premium features. So although it is one of the more expensive hiking apps on this list, if you are a pro hiker who would benefit from these features, it is well worth the investment! 

#16 - Geocaching 

Price: Free to download (premium membership £4.99/month, or £24.99/year)

If you’re looking for a hiking app to spice up your walks, Geocaching is the one for you!

This is a GPS app for hiking that guides you to various hidden containers called ‘geocaches’, each one with something hidden inside. They can range from tiny to massive and you never know what will be inside- so each one is a surprise!

This is one of the most popular hiking GPS apps for iPhone, with 4.8 stars on the App Store from over 8000 ratings. The basic version allows you to hunt for geocaches, but Geocaching offers a premium membership that allows you to find exclusive geocaches and download maps offline.

Geocaching is essentially a navigational app with a twist. But it does have all the standard features you’d expect, such as detailed maps that will be sure to help you on your hikes. So if you want an exciting hiking app in the UK, Geocaching fits the bill perfectly. 

#17 - First Aid by British Red Cross 

Price: Free

An essential hiking app, First Aid by the British Red Cross gives detailed videos and instructions to help you in life-threatening situations that could arise on a hike. 

Rather than one to use during the hike itself, this is more so an app to use beforehand to prepare. Its best features are the quizzes and videos that you can watch before a hike, so you are prepared for whatever might happen! 

There is also a baby and child First Aid app, so if you’re taking your kids on a hike, be sure to check out this app. All the information on the apps is easy to access and simple to understand, so you won’t be baffled by any tricky medical terminology.

Health and safety is also an important role and responsibility of a personal trainer. If you’re good at this kind of thing, then personal training could be the career for you!

This is one of the best apps for hiking in the UK, as not only does it contain lifesaving information but also all the information is hosted on the app, meaning that you don’t need an internet connection to access anything. Be sure to keep this handy when on a long trail!

#18 – Wikiloc 

Price: Free to download (premium membership €4.99/3 months, or €9.99/year)

The best free hiking apps allow you to download maps offline for free, and Wikiloc lets you do just that!

Not only can you find maps for hiking, but also running, cycling, and up to 70 different types of activities. There are nearly 26 million trails to choose from all around the world, so you can find a route wherever you are! 

This hiking app features alerts to let you know when you’re venturing off track, as well as the ability to record your own routes. With in-app weather forecasts, Wikiloc helps you to pick the perfect day for your hike.

Wikiloc also allows you to upload pictures from your trail, so you can share your activity with friends or simply look back at your favourite hikes! 

While the free version of this walking trail app is great, there is also a premium version that gives you access to live location sharing, no adverts and weather forecasts for your hikes. 

Not only that, but 1% of each premium membership purchase goes to non-profit charity ‘1% for the Planet’, an environmental charity addressing ecological issues. So you can help save the planet as you walk too! Another easy way to help the environment is cutting back on plastic, so why not invest in one of these reusable water bottles to use on your next hike? 

#19 – Pub Walks

Price: Free

It’s no secret that most of us love a drink, and what’s better than finding a cozy pub for a nice cold pint at the end of a particularly gruelling hike? Pub Walks is one of the best apps for hiking in the UK for that precise reason. 

Not only is this one of the top hiking apps for pubs, but it’s also completely free and able to be used offline, so you won’t get lost and end up desperately hunting for the pub for hours. 

It’s packed with information about the walks, the pubs, nearby parking, and even whether the pub serves food. Why not stock up on some of these healthy cereal bars to keep you going on your hike before you reach the pub? 

If you’re after a non-traditional, more relaxed hiking app for a sunny day out, Pub Walks is ideal. After all, everyone deserves a treat after a long walk!

#20 – OutDoors GPS

Price: Free, paid version of the app £1.99 which includes National Park maps (premium membership available for £39.98/year)

This is one of the best apps for hiking in the UK, as it allows you to create routes on classic Ordnance Survey maps. Not only that, but you can also choose from over 200,000 pre-made routes if you want some extra route inspiration. 

OutDoors GPS also provides routes for runners and cyclists too. However, if you want an app committed to cycling, check out OriGym’s list of the best indoor cycling apps

This hiking app allows you to download your routes offline, as well as letting you track your hike, and share and mark your favourite places on the route. The interface is simple and easy to use, and is one of the best hiking apps for beginners thanks to its easy user interface. 

Although the basic version app is free, there aren’t many features included, meaning that you have to purchase maps for the app to work effectively. If you’re serious about your navigational apps, then the paid version is well worth it, giving you unlimited maps and access to all the premium routes. 

#21 – Spyglass

Price: £5.99 (premium version $2.99/month)

If you’re looking for a hiking app that also doubles as several high-tech compasses and trackers, then Spyglass is the best GPS hiking app for you. 

Its features include binoculars, a gyrocompass, an altimeter, and a rangefinder amongst many others- all of which are useful for hiking and keeping you safe on the trail. 

All of the equipment on Spyglass is highly accurate and is perfect for helping you navigate tricky trails without the hassle of physical tools and a large paper map. Instead of carrying several bulky tools with you in a running backpack, streamline your load with this handy trekking app!

The £5.99 price tag might be off-putting, but if you’re serious about your trails and know you’re going to be without signal for a while, it’s worth it for all the navigational tools you get.

With a 4.8-star rating on the App Store from over 3000 ratings, this is clearly one of the top hiking apps out there. 

FAQ

What are the best hiking apps for Android phones?

All of the apps on this list are available on Android phones through the Google Play store as well as Apple devices. The best hiking apps aren’t limited to just one style of phone – they need to be accessible and work for everyone. 

Is it worth paying for hiking apps?

That depends on your budget and what you want to get out of a hiking app. 

If you’re a more casual hiker who just wants to use hiking map apps on shorter hikes, then it might not be worth paying for a full subscription to an app. Often, the free versions of apps still contain great features. 

However, if you’re a more advanced hiker who is on the trail regularly, then a subscription would be well worth it for the extra features that it gives you.

The kind of bonus features that you get when you pay for hiking apps often include downloadable maps, which are always handy when you’re on long hikes. If you’re on a walking holiday or are only going to use your hiking app for a short amount of time, you could always use a free trial or pay for a month before cancelling, if you think the bonus features are worth it.

Will GPS apps for hiking drain my battery quickly?

In short, yes!

GPS is very taxing on the battery of your phone, so when it’s being used constantly by hiking GPS apps, you will see your battery die quicker. A way to get around this is to either download your maps offline- a feature that many of the hiking apps on this list offer. 

A full battery is essential when bringing your phone along for a hike in case of emergencies, and having a backup reserve of power in the form of a portable charger will ensure that you’re as safe as possible on the trail.

 

Before you go!

We hope you found our list of the best hiking apps useful for your next hiking trip. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced hiker, there is a hiking app for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Grab your phone and get out there! 

If you’ve ever thought about making fitness your career, check out OriGym’s range of personal training courses and see where it could take you! You can also browse all of our courses by downloading our free course prospectus here.

Written by Lauren Banks

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Lauren is a history graduate with a first-class degree from Lancaster University and is currently completing her Masters Degree. She worked on the university paper Scan for her 4 years there, eventually becoming the Carolynne Editor, overseeing 5 sections underneath her. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her lifting weights at the gym, trying to beat her current 5K personal best, or with her head in a long book.

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