15 Best GPS Hiking Apps on [Android & iOS]

Mobile Apps

Hiking apps is essential especially since hiking crowned to be one of the most famous outdoor activity nowadays. Aside from boosting our overall fitness and mental well-being, it helps us reinvigorate our social lives and increase the level of our happiness like no other.

However, some people may find this activity a little tricky as hikers tend to get lost along their trails. Thankfully, there are many hiking apps out there to help trekkers keep track of their route and give hiking activities such as bird watching and wildlife photography a boost. Here are the 15 free and best-hiking apps on mobiles.

 

Hiking App: What Is It and Why Do We Need To Install It?

Man using smartphone and map
Photo by Patrick Schöpflin on Unsplash

Much like any other activity, hiking also requires a checklist of preparation. Being physically and mentally fit for the adventure sits at the top of the list, otherwise getting through halfway your route is a big challenge. Another thing to keep in mind is to prepare the basic necessities including weather-appropriate clothing, hiking backpack with bottles of water and snacks, and by all means, best-hiking apps for your mobile. 

Hiking apps allow users to find out the best route to reach a certain destination and help them connect and navigate along the trail. Likewise, these apps record hike trails and provide in-depth details about each hike such as distance and duration. 

Additionally, hiking apps vary according to their functions. Depending on your needs, these apps sport a multitude of helpful capabilities to keep you company as you embark with your hiking journey. Some of them are primarily developed to provide maps and trail information, others for safety and survival, and the remaining with special features related to blogging, social media, and more. Without further ado, let’s take a look at our list of the best hiking apps to be downloaded on your mobile before heading al fresco.

 

1. AllTrails

AllTrails Mobile dashboard
Photo AllTrails from Official Website

With over 55,000 hand-curated trails in 102 countries, it’s not hard to see why the AllTrials app is one of the most famous hiking apps available in the market. You wouldn’t have to worry looking for the nearest trail as this app boasts an easy way to find the best trailhead to match your level whether you’re hiker, biker, or a trail runner. Category filters such as dog-, kid-, and wheelchair-friendly also allow you to hike conveniently if you prefer trekking with any of your kin. 

AllTrails app is free to download for Android and iOS. However, subscribing to the pro version ($29.99/month) enables you to access premium features such as downloading offline maps and the ability to design and print custom topo maps.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

2. MapMyHike

MapMyHike dashboard mobile screenshot
Photo of MapMyHike from Official Website

Undoubtedly one of the best hiking apps around, MapMyHike aims not only to monitor your location but also to keep you in the pink health by logging in your hikes and workouts, as well as your food intake to track your calories and nutritional content. MapMyHike is developed by the athletic clothing company, Under Armour, and has a community of hikers and fitness enthusiasts ready to give motivation during your trek. 

MapMyHike is free to download on Android and iOS. It does offer a monthly subscription for the premium features which costs $5.99. 

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

3. Gaia Maps GPS Hiking

Man holding phone opening Gaia Maps GPS Hiking dashboard
Photo of Gaia Maps GPS Hiking from Official Website

If you prefer a hiking app that provides a detailed topographic, satellite, and road maps – look no further than Gaia GPS. This app lets you track your location and waypoints in real-time using GPS, and capture geotagged photos to store your location accurately. In addition to Gaia’s historic and classic print maps, you can also explore its broad directory of natural parks and trails. Don’t worry, Gaia automatically backs all of your data and syncs them across your devices so you can enjoy interacting with nature sans the fear of losing your trek.

Gaia’s basic features are available for Android and iOS for free. However, you’ll have to pay for $39.99/year to access premium features. The annual fee is well worth the premium benefit as it gives you a broader range of map sources. 

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

4. Komoot

Komoot mobile and desktop dashboard
Photo of Komoot from Official Website

What makes Komoot special among the others in this list is that it sports a user-friendly interface perfect for amateur hikers. It’s never complicated to navigate around the app. All it takes is just a few clicks to come up with an offroad foot and hiking plans in seconds. To top it all, the app supports turn-by-turn voice navigation to help hikers focus on their journey and steer with ease whether on small trails and or in the woods.

Komoot is one of the best hiking GPS apps for Android and iOS. It is free to download on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store with in-app products for the premium features.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

5. Ramblr

Are you fond of sharing your adventures in your blog and social media accounts? Good news, Ramblr is a hiking app that goes beyond the basics of hiking and trekking such as locating the best trailhead and recording your hiking stats. It allows you to commit your outdoor venture into a story by snapping photos or videos, recording audio, writing your experiences, and sharing them to Facebook and Twitter. 

While Ramblr is free to download on Android and iOS, subscribing to the monthly ($2.49) or yearly plan ($24.99) gives you access to premium functions such as the realtime tracking service.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

6. A-GPS Tracker

 A-GPS Tracker mobile dashbpard
Photo of A-GPS Tracker from Google Play Store

A-GPS Tracker is a well-known GPS app for Android for plenty of reasons. It showcases almost all the basic functions you can find from the paid and free hiking apps in Play Store, yet it is lightweight and even user-friendly. You can easily import and export GPX files, plot on maps, and receive an alarm in case you are starting to leave a loaded GPX path. On top of all of these, the app works flawlessly with no ads, is battery-friendly, and even consumes fewer data. 

A-GPS Tracker is completely free to download on Google Play Store. However, it’s not available on apps store yet.

Download on Android

 

7. Cairn

3 different mobile dashboard of Cairn
Photo of Cairn from App Store

Never worry about your safety with the Cairn. This app is equipped with safety-first tools that assure you’re out of harm’s way on your outdoor adventure. Aside from tracking your location and recording your trail stats, the app notifies your contacts when you’re past due and sends them your GPS location and essential information needed to make a sound rescue decision during an incident. Apart from it, it finds a spot with strong cell coverage to help you connect with anyone during your trip.

As of late, Cairn is only available for iOS and it offers a 30-day free trial for the full features.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

8. ViewRanger

Two different mobile dashboard of ViewRanger
Photo of ViewRanger from Official Website

Another entry on the list that is a notch above the rest is ViewRanger. Over a hundred search and rescue teams worldwide use since it touts a plethora of accurate content that is accessible even offline. It includes more than 180,000 trails, free and premium map data. These map data are the USA and USGS Topo maps and BuddyBeacon for safety purposes and more. 

ViewRanger doesn’t stop there. It also features a “Skyline” augmented reality viewer that identifies peaks and points of interest using your camera. Overall, the app is free to download on Android and iOS and offers some in-app purchases for the premium content.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

9. PeakFinder

Mobile dashboard screenshot of PeakFinder
Photo of PeakFinder from Official Website

PeakFinder is a useful app for budding and ultra mountaineers. It provides detailed information of over 650,000 peaks worldwide, from the tallest peak to the little hill in your area. All it takes is to point the camera on the area and the app automatically gives in-depth data about the mountain. 

PeakFinder does come free to download on Android and iOS but the pro version costs around $4.99 to $6.99.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

10. SAS Survival Guide

If ever you find yourself lost in the wilderness, the SAS Survival Guide app will help you outlast the mire until you find a way out. The app is written by John “Lofty” Wise, a former SAS soldier and survivor. He included all the basic and advanced survival information one has to know before hitting the outdoors. SAS Survival Guide contains downloadable videos from Lofty, photo galleries of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants, as well as Morse code and first-aid tips. 

You can download the free version of the app on Android and iOS. To access more content, you have to pay for $5.99 for the full version. Try the lite version here.

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

11. Guthook

dashboard Screenshot of Guthook hiking app
Photo of Guthook from Official Website

Guthook is one of the best hiking apps that cover routes primarily for the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and Europe. It offers guides that you can completely access even when you’re offline. Detailed maps and waypoints, as well as the route-builder tool that allows you to create and plan your own trek. Many people love this app as it contains reliable scenic trails along the US and other parts of the world. 

Guthook is free to download on Android and iOS. Although, it offers in-app purchases to avail of some of its premium contents. 

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

12. Maps 3D Pro

Four different dashboard screenshot of Maps 3D Pro hiking app
Photo of Maps 3D Pro from App Store

A list of best-hiking apps for mobile wouldn’t be complete without Maps 3D Pro. It has been rated as one of the best Topo map apps for iOS. Simply because it projects 3D maps that are user-friendly and easy to read, perfectly suited for amateur hikers. Plus, you can record your trail by GPS and obtain hiking stats. These statistics are the distance traveled, and pre-load a map for offline viewing. 

The app is only available on iOS for $3.99.

Download on iOS

 

13. REI – National Parks

REI - National Parks hiking app official dashboard
Photo of REI – National Parks from Official Website

Exploring outdoors with your friends and family? REI National Park Guide and Maps dab a hand at providing you everything you need to know about national parks and routes. It features trail maps, navigational aid tools, as well as a curated list of hikes. Hikes with difficulty ratings and insights on seasons. What more is that it renders additional info about family-friendly destinations including camping and lodging and more. 

The app is completely free on Android and iOS as part of the 2016 National Park Service’s Centennial Celebration. 

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

14. SpyGlass

Screenshot of one of the SpyGlass feature one of the best hiking apps
Photo of SpyGlass from App Store

Are you an iPhone user looking for the best GPS app for hiking? SpyGlass is your answer. This versatile app serves as a GPS navigation with augmented reality wayfinding technology. It provides positioning details, reliable compass, and maps perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. It allows you to download offline maps, navigate by stars, and take measurements. You can measure by using a sextant, angular calculator, and inclinometer tools. 

While the app is free to download on Android with in-app purchases for the premium content. You can download it in on iOS for $5.99. 

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

15. iNaturalist

Three different dashboard screenshot of iNaturalist one of best hiking apps
Photo of iNaturalist from Google Play Store

Are you an avid hiker-cum-nature lover? We have the app just for you. iNaturalist is of the most popular nature apps associated with your hikes as it promotes a deep love for the environment while hiking. With this app, you can discover new plants and animals around you and even share them in a community of over 400,000 scientists and naturalists. All you have to do is to explore your surroundings while hiking and if you have encounter something unfamiliar to you, record your observations, share them with the community, and receive suggestions identifications of what you’ve encountered. 

The app is free to download on Android and iOS. 

Download on Android

Download on iOS

 

The Takeaway

From the simple navigational hiking apps to the ones with bells and whistles, this list of best-hiking apps surely does the trick of assisting you as you prepare for your great adventure. Download one or two from our list and we assure you, you’ll truly enjoy your trip in full swing. Learn more about other GPS navigation apps here.

x