Best Hiking Apps for Trails

7 Best Hiking Apps to Find Trails Anywhere

Written By: author image Kyle Cash
author image Kyle Cash
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.

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Discover the best hiking apps to find trails. From trail info to creating custom maps, enjoy these apps on your phone and make the most of your hiking trips.


Hiking has never been more popular.

From casual hikers to backpackers, more and more people are hitting the trails to enjoy some of the great outdoors. And, with that, more people than ever are in need of solid hiking trail apps to help them find their way.

For me, AllTrails is the best overall hiking app that benefits everyone. From beginners to experienced hikers, it has features that cater to them. Plus, with a library of 400,000+ trails, features like offline maps, and a free version, it tops my list for the best hiking trail app.

But that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. There are plenty of GPS navigation apps to choose from, and I’ve listed a few of them here and broken them down so you can find which one works best for you.

Top hiking apps to find trails in 2024

hiking apps breakdown

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1. AllTrails

AllTrails is one of the best hiking apps to find trails

AllTrails has established itself as the best hiking app on the market.

The app caters to hikers of all skill levels with a mind-boggling trail library size. And it stands out with its user-friendly interface. You don’t have to be a tech whiz to find and follow a trail that meets your needs. It gives you detailed information, including trail length, difficulty rating, and user reviews. I’ve used AllTrails the most and love the library of trails. This app has helped me find most of the trails I’ve hiked/run, from the Gower Gulch Loop in Death Valley to the Cholla Trail in Phoenix.

Plus, you’re able to download offline maps for areas where you won’t have cell service. This is a pretty standard feature for most hiking trail apps, but it’s worth mentioning.

A topographic map of the Turk Mountain Trail on AllTrails app, featuring trail elevation profile, total distance, and a clear condition notice, with an option to download the map for offline use.
Map view on AllTrails app displaying a selection of trails near Luray with numbered indicators showing concentration of trails and a filter menu for distance, activity, and difficulty.

Top features:

  1. Easy to use: Users can filter trails based on length, difficulty, and activity type, making it easy to find the perfect hike.
  2. Offline maps: Easily download maps so you don’t get lost!
  3. Community: Hikers can track their routes, log their hiking activities, and share their experiences with the AllTrails community, which adds a social side to the app.

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Extensive trail database with detailed information.
  • User reviews and photos provide real-time trail insights.
  • Offline map functionality enhances safety and convenience.

Cons

  • Some advanced features require a paid Pro subscription.
  • Limited trail coverage in certain remote areas.

Pricing

AllTrails has a free version and a premium version. Paid plans start at $35.99/year.

Download AllTrails from the App Store or Google Play Store: Apple | Android

2. Gaia GPS hiking app

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a popular option for those heading to more remote areas.

Where AllTrails is excellent for the average hiker searching for existing trails, Gaia is fantastic for mapping your own trails. And with excellent precision and versatility, Gaia GPS caters to a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering.

The top feature of Gaia GPS is its high-resolution maps, which give you topographical information to help you navigate challenging terrain. Plus, it doesn’t kill your battery like other GPS apps. So that’s a bonus!

Detailed Gaia GPS app's map showing the purple trail path of the Forêt domaniale de Saint-Germain-en-Laye Loop, rated moderate difficulty, with topographic lines and surrounding roads and landmarks.
A topographic map view in Gaia GPS app highlighting the green terrain of Yosemite National Park, with elevation, speed, and a scenic photo of a rock face from within the park.
Search results on Gaia GPS app showcasing popular nearby trails, including the Forêt domaniale de Saint-Germain-en-Laye Loop and Roca Ponça Loop with satellite imagery and trail outlines.

Top features:

  1. Detailed maps: You get a variety of maps, including topographic maps, satellite, and road maps, along with useful overlays like weather patterns and public land boundaries.
  2. Custom routes: Plan trips by creating custom routes and marking waypoints, which is invaluable for backcountry navigation and setting up campsites.
  3. Cloud sync: Syncing across devices so you have a backup no matter what device you use.

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Comprehensive and high-quality map data suitable for difficult or lesser-mapped terrains
  • Offline map functionality for remote area exploration
  • Versatile features catering to different outdoor activities

Cons

  • Some advanced features and maps require a subscription
  • Interface not as simple for beginners

Pricing

Gaia GPS has a free version and a premium version. Paid plans start at $59.90/year.

Download Gaia GPS from the App Store or Google Play Store: Apple | Android

3. Hiking Project

Hiking Project

The Hiking Project app is one of the best hiking apps to help people find new trails. It’s primarily driven by a large community of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

It works similarly to AllTrails in terms of finding hikes. It also gives you the ability to download specific states for easy offline access.

But what makes the Hiking Project stand out is its community-driven content. Hikers contribute trail data, photos, and detailed reviews, creating a rich and constantly updated library of hiking information.

Hiking Project app homepage showing a map with trail ratings and conditions around the Pisgah National Forest area, with navigation icons at the bottom.
A detailed trail map within the Hiking Project app, highlighting the MST/Powhatan Loop with terrain details and recommended route information.
Downloaded areas section in the Hiking Project app, listing different U.S. states like North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia, with options to go to each area or update and delete the downloads.

Top features:

  1. Large community: From trail conditions to difficulty ratings, the information is gathered from individuals who have walked the paths themselves
  2. Detailed descriptions and data: Each trail in the app comes with detailed descriptions, elevation profiles, and high-quality photos, giving users a preview of what to expect
  3. Offline maps: Download trail data for offline use in areas without cell service

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Real-life accounts of the trail give realistic expectations of what to expect
  • Detailed trail descriptions and photos help with navigation
  • Offline functionality for hassle-free navigation

Cons

  • Limited to the trails contributed by users, which might exclude less popular or new trails.

Pricing

Hiking Project is completely free!

Download Hiking Project from the App Store or Google Play Store: Apple | Android

4. Topo Maps+

Topo Maps+

Topo Maps is designed specifically for those who love to venture into the backcountry.

This app caters specifically to the needs of serious hikers, backpackers, and mountaineers who require precision and depth in their mapping tools.

Topo Maps+ stands out for its high-resolution topographic maps and its focus on off-trail navigation. You get a range of map types, including USGS, USFS, and satellite imagery, making it a versatile tool for a variety of scenarios. Plus, its interface is straightforward and makes switching between maps easy.

Homepage of a topographic map app showing the extensive trail system of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, with user interface icons for adding, downloading, and sharing maps.
Screen from a hiking map app offering Natural Atlas maps for hiking, with preset maps and overlays tailored to activities such as hiking and backpacking in Ohio.
Route tracking screen of a hiking app displaying a starting point at 1118 Howard St with a paused activity, showing zero elevation gain and distance traveled, set against a map backdrop of North Carolina.

Top features:

  1. High-res topo maps: Invaluable terrain information that keeps you safe during backcountry exploration.
  2. Customizable overlays: Contour lines, hill shades, and more make it easy to customize the map to get the info you want.
  3. Track recording and sharing: Topo Maps+ enables users to record their tracks, mark waypoints, and share their routes with others.

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Comprehensive and high-quality topographic maps help with precise navigation
  • Customizable map overlays suit different hiking needs
  • Useful for planning and recording off-trail routes

Cons

  • Not for beginners or inexperienced hikers
  • Full access requires a subscription
  • Only available on iOS

Pricing

Topo Maps has a free version and different subscription levels. But the annual pro subscription is $59.99/year.

Download Topo Maps from the App Store: Apple

5. Avenza Maps

Avenza Maps

Avenza Maps is great for its user-friendly approach to outdoor navigation, offering a blend of detailed maps and practical tools.

It claims to have the world’s biggest collection of maps, so you’re covered no matter where you’re headed. Where Avenza Maps is truly different is its in-app map store. It offers tons of maps for free or purchase, so you can easily download them to your phone. That’s perfect for discovering new places or simply downloading only what you need.

With that collection of maps, Avenza is an invaluable tool if you’re heading into the backcountry.

Home screen of a hiking trail app displaying an empty library with a prompt to upload maps, set against a background of a green topographical map.
Screenshot of a hiking app's 'Find a Map' feature, showing search functionality and options to filter by popularity or cost, with icons for different activities like hiking and hunting, and a map snippet of Corte Madera.
Detailed map view within a hiking app showing the trails of Shenandoah National Park with marked points of interest and trail paths.

Top features:

  1. Large map store: Avenza Maps has an impressive map collection, including topographic, marine, and travel maps, available for purchase or free download within the app.
  2. Offline maps: Download maps and use them offline, with GPS location tracking.
  3. Map customization and annotation: Users can personalize maps by adding placemarks, photos, and notes, making it easy to mark points of interest or plan specific routes.

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Huge map collection gives you many options
  • Offline maps make sure you’re safe even with no cell reception
  • Suitable for beginner or experienced hikers

Cons

  • Some maps, especially specialized ones, require purchase
  • The app primarily focuses on map navigation and lacks some social or tracking features

Pricing

Avenza is free but has in-store map purchases available.

Download Avenza from the App Store or Google Play Store: Apple | Android

6. Hiiker

Hiiker app

Hiiker is a relative newcomer to the hiking trails app scene.

It’s a great mix of GPS mapping tools and community-inspired routes — like if AllTrails and Gaia GPS had a baby. But it really shines with its mapping, which is great for planning multi-day hikes or backpacking trips.

Plus, it gives you information on multi-day trails worldwide, including essential details about accommodation, resupply points, and points of interest.

Top features:

  1. Large database of trails: A mix of OSM-based free maps, USGS maps, and international topo maps.
  2. Stage-by-stage breakdown of long trails: Easily see each section of a longer hike (like the Appalachian Trail) to nail down your planning.
Homepage of the Hiiker app showing options for nearby hikes, community hikes, a search function, and a promotion for a free week of Hiiker Pro+ with a background image of a hiker overlooking a mountain.
Empty map view on the Hiiker app, with icons for map layers and settings, and a crosshair centered over a blue body of water on a world map.
Trail information within the Hiiker app for the Tahoe to Yosemite trail, displaying distance, duration, elevation gain, and options to start navigation, download, or print the map.

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Focus on long-distance hiking trails with comprehensive guides.
  • Detailed information and logistics
  • User-friendly interface and offline map access

Cons

  • Primarily for long-distance hikers
  • Limited in shorter or local trails

Pricing

Hiiker is completely free!

Download Hiiker from the App Store or Google Play Store: Apple | Android

7. Strava

Strava banner

Here’s one I’d say most people don’t expect to see here.

But Strava has become so much more than just a cycling/running app. And its maps, heatmap, and route planner have made it one of my go-to’s whenever I’m trying to find new running trails.

With its heatmap, it uploads data from all its users and routes. That means when you’re scanning a map trying to pick out if there’s a trail there, a simple toggle will turn on the heatmap and show you if anyone’s run, hiked, or biked it before! And that feature alone has helped me explore places I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Plus, it has a social component to it, which allows you to see others’ routes as well!

Activity summary in the Strava app showing a 3D map of the Kelso Sand Dunes hike, with statistics like distance, elevation gain, and calories burned, along with options to view analysis or add others to the activity.
Interactive map on a hiking app showcasing multiple trail options in the Grand Canyon National Park area, with icons indicating the number of routes available for trails like Thunder River and Tanner Trail.
Hiking app map screen displaying the green terrain of George Washington and Jefferson National Forests with a feature to send a beacon text, and a 'START' button for route tracking.

Top features:

  1. Route tracking: Strava excels in tracking routes and providing detailed analytics on performance, including speed, distance, and elevation gain.
  2. Social networking: The app’s social aspect allows hikers to share their routes, photos, and experiences, creating a community of outdoor enthusiasts.
  3. Strava heatmap: One location to see all the routing and mapping you need to plan out your hike.

Pros and cons:

Pros

  • Detailed tracking of hiking metrics and performance.
  • A strong social network that connects people globally.
  • Strava heatmap for easy route planning

Cons

  • The primary focus on performance tracking may not appeal to casual hikers.
  • Some advanced features require a subscription.

Pricing

Strava has a free version and you can view the Heatmap for free. But for planning, you need the paid version, which is $59.99/year.

Download Strava from the App Store or Google Play Store: Apple | Android

So, which app for hiking will you choose?

You could continue adding many map apps to this list — Google Maps, Maps.me, or Komoot.

But these seven apps do a fantastic job of covering worldwide maps with both free and paid versions. So, which smartphone app will you choose for your trail info? Let me know in the comments!

author avatar
Kyle Cash Owner
Kyle is the writer behind The Travel Runner. He’s a full-time traveler and adventurer who’s visited over 20 countries, including places like Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, and Albania.