Free Hiking Trail App To Get Trail Guides With Navigation, Offline Maps
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While the base version of All Trails is free, they also offer a Pro version for $29.99 per year. AllTrails Pro allows you to download maps offline and sends you notifications if you stray off-trail. The Pro version also comes with 3D maps!
There is both a free and paid version of the Gaia GPS hiking app. For most day hikers, the free version is enough. In the free version, you can view both topographic and satellite maps and track your hike with cell service.
The app itself is free, but each trail is purchased individually. You can buy full trail guides for thru-hikes or buy smaller trail guides for national parks. The guides range from $4.99 to $59.99, depending on trail length.
One of the coolest hiking apps is Seek by iNaturalist. It was developed by the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic. Seek uses your camera and GPS location to identify plants and animals you encounter on the trail.
Yes! Using your phone GPS for hiking is a great way to track your progress and stay on the trail. Many hiking apps, like AllTrails and Gaia GPS, work on your smartphone using its GPS to show your location in real time on topographic hiking maps.
Helpful tools within trail maps, navigation apps, and tracking apps, contain features such as camera-based rangefinder, GPS location navigator, and detailed hiking map helps you hike and participate in outdoor activities like a pro.
Google maps app help travelers and hikers plan their outdoor excursions ahead with their advanced precise location navigation feature, along with their ability to download maps or regions for offline access.
Google maps is great for a general purpose app if you wouldn't want to pay or download another app, but the app comes with many limitations that some other hiking apps have. This includes access to user-generated trails or less popular trails, limited rangefinder capabilities, no peak identification, and more.
Google does a great job at combining everything you'll need in one app, and Google Maps is no different. You can look up reviews of your favorite resturant and search for your next weekend hiking trail, all in the same app.
PeakVisor is available for free and with a pro premium subscription. While the free version covers most of the functionalities, the pro version will allow you to do all of that, offline with no cell service.
While FarOut Guides is free, you'll need to buy each trail's information and guides individually. Famous trails include but not limited to the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalacian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, or the ultimate America's Triple Crown trails.
Key features include an offline map and GPS location access, elevation profile views, detailed waypoint, and town guides such as campsites, water sources, trailheads, parking, and more. You're also able to create your own custom route and waypoints for your trip, and read other hikers' real-time comments!
One of the most prominent features of Gaia is its comprehensive GPS feature, combining different types of maps like topographic and satellite maps for you to route and record your trails. I personally think this is a powerful tool for any outdoor adventures you might want to partake in!
With the paid version of Gaia GPS, you'll get access to offline maps and Gaia's entire map catalog. Recently, Gaia GPS partnered with Outside+ for their new annual premium version. Gaia GPS's annual version includes additional maps for skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking, which is great for frequent hikers, backpackers, and backcountry trekkers.
AllTrails is one of the all-around best hiking apps for novices and experts alike. All it takes is a few taps on your phone to find curated hiking, biking, and running trails for various lengths and difficulty levels.
This up-to-date information provided by official government sources will help you navigate the tour trails, places to stay and camp, park & campsite amenities, personalized tour guides, interactive maps, and more!
While the national park service app might not have nearly enough features to compete with apps like AllTrails or Gaia GPS, they're definitely a download for the most updated official resource on trailheads and park amenities.
Among the best hiking apps Android offers, Backcountry Navigator operates on both smartphones and tablets. With pre-downloaded maps, it works offline as an alternative to a traditional GPS: displaying topo charts, logging waypoints and routes, and much more.
For both iOS and Android, Gaia GPS makes another fantastic app with among the best offline navigation capabilities. Cross-reference between USGS/USFS maps, National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps, road maps, and satellite views; define pre-planned routes and chart your on-the-ground travels and waypoints; and link up geologged photos to document your journey.
Spyglass kind of seems like a futuristic hiking app with really cool and advanced features like a heads up display and augmented reality no trails. This app also has a rangefinder feature which measures your distance from places on the trail.
The downside to this app is that while it has amazing features, it can come with a steep learning curve for new users, especially compared to other hiking apps. The iPad is best for functionality as one can really see the full range of instruments but I doubt many of us are packing an iPad on the trail.
Hiking Project is a favorite hiking app for folks looking to find trail inspiration. Overall the app is quite similar to All Trails with the ability to save trails and search for hikes in a familiar way.
For folks who used to know and love the ViewRanger app, this is the hiking app that gobbled it up! Outdoor Active is a broadly focused app that offers users a variety of features from navigation to challenges to trail info and more.
A hiking app allows you to easily navigate along the trails and quickly find the best route to your destination. Furthermore, hiking apps can also track your hikes and show you details about each hike such as the duration, distance, ascent, decent etc. Some hiking apps come with preloaded trails so that you can easily find hikes near your location.
By GPS navigation we mean that the app can show your current location and direction on a map and supports import of GPS tracks. GPS tracks are very useful for hiking because it is easy to get them online and they make navigation during hikes easier. To learn more about GPS tracks check out our article What are GPS tracks and how to use them for hiking. When it comes to maps, we were not picky, but we did indeed consider offline maps and/or topographic maps as a benefit.
The Gaia GPS and Green Tracks apps have the best topographic maps. The A-GPS Tracker app does not support a topographic map. Only the Green Tracks app has free offline maps. Below we made a screenshot of our GPS track from Triglav hike rendered in each app so that you can assess the quality of maps yourself. We used a topographic map, if the app could provide it.
My favourite is ViewRanger (www.viewranger.com) which has free apps for Android and iOS with free, downloadable maps from Open Street Map, Open Cycle Map etc available worldwide. Premium maps available to purchase if you need them. Responsive and helpful support team too.
Wikiloc is also good to use while hiking, you can see elevation gain and loss..time recorded and in moving time..and if you follow a track you can see how may km remains to finish.I use Koomot only in Tirol as this is the region I got when I subscribed.I tried Locus (free version) but I found it complicated.Lately people keep suggesting ViewRanger, which has a lot of free maps to download.
Thank you for the review, I tried a couple of these but they are pro hiker oriented and do not satisfy a rather simple need: create a breadcrumb trail as you wander about, using GPS and an offline map, then use the breadcrumbs to take you back home (preferably using turn-by-turn voice assistance).
Great overview,Looking forward to an update.Another one for the list: mapy.cz with free offline maps.And a question to the community:Do you know of any hiking or hiking app, that allows instantaneous voice note taking?I think it would be a killer feature to allow recording quick trail comments while hiking and exploring that are linked to the current GPS location.
Gaia GPS is a free app, but most users suggest upgrading to the paid version (upgrades are done in-app). Basic membership costs $20 a year and allows you to save maps for offline use, while Premium membership costs $40 a year and comes with custom Nat-Geo maps, U.S. hunting maps, and more.
Cairn is one of the best safety-oriented hiking GPS apps. Like other hiking apps, Cairn allows you to see, create, and follow trails (and even has offline maps). But it also has cell-coverage maps that can help you avoid dead-zones, live tracking that shows your location to friends, and automated messages to emergency contacts if you get lost.
onX Hunt is a premium hiking app with a serious emphasis on hunting. As a GPS app, onX Maps gives you access to hunting, hiking, and biking trails with topography info and live updates for weather. You can download the maps for offline use, and you can even view property boundaries and landowner names from the map.
I used GAIA on the trail and as a amature hiker it helped me accomplish great hikes I would not have the conifidence to do otherwise. Made my trip to north Georgia and hiking in blood mountain effortless.Just remember to download all the maps for the trails that you will be hiking.
Backpacking used to require hiking essentials such as a compass, paper maps, and more. But now cell phones can provide a vast network of information without even connecting to the internet!
Read on for our guide to the 10 Best Apps for Hikers and Backpackers, which can help make it easier to discover and explore hiking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains and all across the USA. 2b1af7f3a8