Hiking Trails

AllTrails – The app every hiker needs now

One of the main reasons we go hiking is to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a chance to put that phone down, turn off the TV, and decompress from whatever life throws at us.

And yes, we want to leave all those electronic gadgets behind when we hit the trail, but don’t leave your phone on the console by the door just yet. When hiking, you want to know where you’re going, how long the trip will take, what to expect on the trail, and just as important, you want to feel safe while you’re on the trail. That’s where one of a hiker’s best friends comes in: AllTrails.

AllTrails app on phone

Photo credit: Joe Cuhaj

What is the AllTrails app?

Founded in 2010, AllTrails has become the world’s leading outdoor app with (and deservedly) over 10 million members, 40 million downloads, and other explorers in over 200 countries.

What makes AllTrails unique is that it is a community app, which means members can post their outdoor adventures – route tracking on topographic maps, photos, details on the trails – and share them with the world so others can enjoy the same adventure. And it’s not just for hikers; it can be accessible to anyone looking to get outside! It can be used by cyclists, equestrians, anglers and even parents looking for a good paved path to push a stroller on.

Once a trail is added by a user, other users can add their own comments to update members on trail conditions, suggest corrections, or note changes made to the trail since it was posted.

AllTrails has taken the world by storm not only because of the sheer number of member-curated trails, but also because it’s so user-friendly. Beginners will love its simplicity and the fact that the basic version is absolutely free. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll want to try AllTrails Pro, which will give you even more information and details about a trail.

Pro tip: Until November 30, save 50% on your AllTrails Pro subscription with their huge e-sale!

What does AllTrails offer?

So I’ve established that AllTrails is a very handy app to have with you on your next outdoor adventure. What does AllTrails offer the user? Let’s break it down.

Both versions are also accessible on your PC or laptop so you can plan your trip easily from home. You can download the app from Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Keep in mind that although AllTrails provides accurate tracking of your trail trip, you should always carry a map and compass (and know how to use them) and/or GPS as a backup, especially with the version free. Cell phone signals are not always reliable. However, AllTrails Pro will continue to display navigation tools to stay on the route, even without cell service.

AllTrails Free Version

  • Ideal for beginner hikers, cyclists etc. who won’t get out of the way
  • Easily find trails near wherever you are based on distance from your location
  • Turn-by-turn trail navigation showing your location
  • Incredible database of thousands of trails curated by members around the world
  • Advanced search features to help you easily locate new trails to explore
  • Excellent overlay features, including US Geological Survey topographic maps, terrain, satellite imagery, and even 3D overlays

AllTrails Pro Version

  • Turn-by-turn trail navigation showing your location
  • Ability to download maps to your phone to show your exact GPS location, even offline
  • Wrong turn alerts
  • Lifeline feature tracks your progress and lets your safety contact know where you are in case of an emergency
  • Set the Lifeline feature for an off-track return time – if you’re late it alerts your safety contact
  • Real-time satellite weather images, air quality and even pollen forecasts
  • Printable cards
  • More detailed map details
  • No advertising
  • Easily find trails near wherever you are based on distance from your location
  • 1% of your subscription fee is donated to an eco-friendly charity

How to use AllTrails

Using AllTrails couldn’t be easier. Simply download and install the app on your phone. If you are using the free version, you can sign in via Google or Facebook. For the Pro version, log in with your username and password.

Screenshot of the AllTrails app

Upon entering AllTrails, you are presented with many search options.

Photo credit: Joe Cuhaj

If you are using the free version, you will have the option to upgrade to Pro. You can leave this screen to continue using the free version, but you can easily upgrade at any time through the app.

Screenshot of the hike on the AllTrails app

Screenshot of the hike on the AllTrails app

Photo credit: Joe Cuhaj

Once inside, you will be presented with several options for locating a trail, such as Top Trails Nearby, Best Views Nearby, a list of trails by type of activity (hiking, mountain biking, running, etc.) , Weekend Worthy treks, Top Moderate Trails nearby, well, you get the idea.

You can also enter the name of a city, park, or trail to search for.

When you find a trail, click on it to find a treasure trove of data: length, elevation, type of route (out and back, loop, etc.) keywords that describe the trail (kid-friendly, birding, trail running, etc.) .), a trail map, a brief description of the trail, weather forecasts and reviews from other users.

And that’s all there is to it. Of course, the Pro version has many more options, too many to describe here.

Why I love AllTrails Pro

The best thing about AllTrails is that all the trail information you need, from a trail overview to turn-by-turn navigation to weather forecasts, is right at your fingertips. No need to carry this guide or torn pages from the guide with you. And that’s saying something about a guy who wrote 11 hiking and outdoor recreation guides.

I’ve used AllTrails to find many trails I didn’t know existed and used the app to pre-plan trips to other trails I already knew from reading the latest reviews of conditions trails published by other users. Much better than hiking deep into a trail only to find portions have been washed out, closed, or the trailhead has been moved.

Whether you use the Free or Pro version, AllTrails is an outdoor enthusiast’s best friend.

For even more hiking tips, check out: