The Best Hiking Apps

A smart phone has become a great tool for hiking. The amazingly useful apps has meant that people have started to heavily rely on their smartphone. 

Here are the best hiking apps to use on day or even a Thru Hike and what I regularly use while Thru Hiking. 





Gaia GPS

Gaia app

Cost: $20 / year

This amazing app offers topo maps for anywhere in the world. It has a offline function by downloading a map area. The site has more GPS tracks than any other site, and these are easy to upload.

For an extra $20 / year, it offers a facility to draw a route and print hard copy maps.

Dedicatd Trail Apps

Guthook / Halfmile / Hikerbot


Cost: Varies, with some free

A lot of the more popular trails now have a dedicated app specific to that trail. These apps provide information such as navigation, waypoints, water sources, campsites, etc..

Guthooks is currently the most popular app and provides live comments for many US trails and a few others around the world.

It is best to search the name of the trail that you are about to start in the app store and you might get lucky.

GPS Mapsavenza

Avenza Maps

Cost: Varies, with some free

This app can download the TOPO! maps from around the world, and shows you your location on them through the GPS function.

There are also a lot of people who have uploaded track overlays onto these maps. If you cannot find a GPS track for a hike, try this app.

Photo Editing

lightroom app

Lightroom by Adobe

 Cost: Free

This amazing app is what I use to edit my photos on trail.

It is not the most powerful editing tool, and does not offer anywhere near the same functions as the Lightroom computer program, but it is able to alter the colour grading, exposure, black / white balance and shadow / highlight.

Here is a quick and dirty rundown of how I edit a photo: Editing Photos During A Hike (Lightroom)


Battery Management



Cost: Free

Saving battery on trail is a major asset and this app helps with that process. I use this app in conjunction with, flight mode, power saving mode and dimming the screen to extend my battery lift.

This app lets you monitor what other apps are draining your battery and lets you easily force stop any that you don’t need or are secretly using battery in the background. It is not necessary but does slightly improve the situation.

Camera photo transfer

Play Memory

Cost: Free

I pick a camera that has wifi capability so I can easily transfer the photos to my phone while on trail. Each camera brand has their own app.



Cost: Free

This is just a basic writing tool that I use to keep my journals in order. There are multiple other options out there that offer a very similar experience.



Podcast Addict

Cost: Free

One of many podcast apps. Choose your favorite!


Foobar / Spotify


Cost: Free

Foobar lightweight music player that uses very little battery. It lets 

you copy a folder structure and therefore is only really excellent if you want to listen to whole albums.

The other great alternative is Spotify!

Let me know in the comments what apps you love to use?