Although one reason I love hiking is to take a break from technology and just enjoy nature, I do fully admit I love having my phone with me out on the trail. Whether it’s to take photos (lugging a big DSLR camera seems like way too much work!), make sure I don’t get lost, or just serve as a security blanket just in case something happens, I don’t think I ever hit the trail without it. 

A hike isn’t complete without some good photos of fun times!

Plus, there are so many awesome apps out there now to record my stats so I can brag about it later (oh wait, is that just me?! 😉) and find new hikes to conquer in the future.

Below are a few of my favorite hiking apps to share and reminisce about prior hikes.


Probably the most popular of the hiking apps, AllTrails is a must-have in my opinion. It’s a great resource for finding hikes using the map or using filters, like miles or difficulty. I love using it to research where to go and save trails I want to try.

Members can rate hikes and share photos and commentary about the trail. With nearly 20 million users, I find it can be really helpful to read through those reviews before starting a new hike or check conditions before going on a familiar hike. 

Free vs Paid: For $29.99/year, the Pro version is a great upgrade. Here are my three favorite pro features:

  1. Downloading offline maps: before you set off, you can download the map, so even if you’re outside cell range, you still can see where to go. 
  2. “Lifeline”: This Pro feature allows you to message a contact what trail you’re on and your estimated completion time. It also provides them with GPS breadcrumbs of where you’re at whenever you have cell service. As someone who hikes by herself a fair amount, this makes me feel a lot safer. 
  3. Off-route notifications: while on the trail, I always have this on as it dings if you go off-trail. This is a huge necessity for me as I usually am chatting too much and miss my turn!


Strava is kind of like the Facebook of active apps. While it’s mostly used for running and biking, it’s definitely good for hiking as well. Using GPS, you can record your hike to show your distance, elevation gain, time, and route. Once you’re all done, add photos and commentary and post to your feed where friends can comment and “give kudos.” This app offers a nice, simple way to see your stats and share with friends.

Free vs Paid: I think the free version works just fine for my casual needs. But if you’re an avid cyclist, runner, or hiker and want access to more features like training videos, goal setting, and performance tracking, the premium version for $59.99/year may be worth it.


Yes, we go out to hike to soak up nature and get some exercise, but let’s not forget about the post-hike social media posting where it’s all about sharing those beautiful views and impressive stats!

The Relive app is a real cool way to show off your hike. It creates a short video showing the actual route you took (using GPS), with photos and videos you took mixed in at the actual spot where you took each picture. You can even tag the friends who were on the hike with you, and they’ll show up on the video too.

You can record directly in the app when you’re out, or if you’ve already recorded your hike using another app like MapMyRun or Garmin Connect, you can easily import the data. For AllTrails and Strava, it’s not currently connected, so you have to import via their website. Not the most convenient but the videos are cool enough I still think it’s worth it! 

Free vs Paid: There is a free version, but upgrading to their “Relive Club” for $38.99/yr allows you to add more photos, make more edits, and add music.

Current Altitude – Altimeter

This app helps you know what elevation you’re at, which is especially helpful when hiking in Utah where it’s nearly all at high altitude. It’s a really basic app, but I like using it when assessing how I’m doing with the elevation gains, and sometimes just for fun, particularly when breaking 10,000’! Just open it up to see the altitude at your current location, in feet, meters, or even miles. You can also save prior locations as well.

There is no paid version of this app.

Those are my favorite hiking apps. What are some of yours? Share in the comment section below!

Written by Erin Mckalip

Written by Erin Mckalip

Summit County Ambassador

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