5 Best Hiking Apps on Your Apple Watch in 2023


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Best Hiking Apps on Your Apple Watch

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Hiking is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in nature, challenge your physical abilities, and enjoy breathtaking views. And with the advent of technology, you can now elevate your hiking experience further by using hiking apps on your Apple Watch.

Best hiking apps on your Apple Watch 

Is there a hiking app for Apple Watch? Yes! There are some good apps for hiking for Apple Watch. These apps provide a variety of capabilities, including navigation and tracking, as well as safety and information about your surroundings.

In this article, we present the 7 best hiking apps for Apple Watch that will help you make the most of your outdoor adventures.

1. AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Run – Best for GPS Hiking & Biking Trail Maps

AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Run – Best for GPS Hiking & Biking Trail Maps

AllTrails is a popular app among hikers, runners and outdoor enthusiasts, and its Apple Watch integration makes it even more convenient. The app provides a vast database of trail maps with detailed information such as distance, elevation, difficulty level, and user reviews. You can access essential trail details on your Apple Watch, follow the GPS route, and even record your hikes for future reference.

 AllTrails is a fantastic app for hiking and outdoor enthusiasts, providing a comprehensive range of features and a vibrant community of trail-goers.

Here’s a short review of the AllTrails app:

  • Discover trails: With access to over 400,000 trails worldwide, you can easily find the perfect trail based on location, skill level, and interests.
  • Plan your next adventure: Detailed trail information, including reviews, conditions, and GPS driving directions, helps you plan your hikes effectively. Save your favorite trails for future reference.
  • Stay on course: Whether you follow the suggested routes or create your own, AllTrails ensures you navigate confidently on the trail.
  • Grow your community: Connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts, celebrate your adventures, and find inspiration from the vibrant AllTrails community.
  • Share your outdoor adventures: Easily share your favorite trails and activities on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp.

AllTrails+ offers additional benefits for subscribers, including offline maps, live route planner details, GPS tracking even without cell service, and various safety and planning features. With AllTrails, you can focus on enjoying the great outdoors while having a reliable companion by your side.

2. ViewRanger: Hike, Bike or Walk – Best Outdoor GPS, Hiking Trail Maps

ViewRanger: Hike, Bike or Walk – Best Outdoor GPS, Hiking Trail Maps

ViewRanger is a comprehensive hiking app offering detailed topographic maps for regions worldwide. With its Apple Watch app, you can navigate through trails, view key information like distance and elevation, and even receive alerts for upcoming waypoints or points of interest. ViewRanger’s offline maps feature is handy when hiking in areas with limited or no internet connectivity.

Review of ViewRanger (now Outdooractive) for Hiking

  • ViewRanger has now transitioned into Outdooractive, and users are encouraged to switch to the Outdooractive app.
  • Existing ViewRanger users can easily transfer their maps, tracks, routes, points of interest, and other data to the Outdooractive app.
  • The Outdooractive app offers free access to a set of maps based on the region you made payments for in ViewRanger, ensuring a seamless transition.
  • If you have a ViewRanger subscription, it will automatically convert to an Outdooractive Pro subscription until its expiration. Subsequent renewals must be done through the Outdooractive app.
  • Connecting your ViewRanger account to Outdooractive will make all your plotted routes, downloaded routes, recorded activity tracks, and points of interest available within your Outdooractive account.
  • The app integrates with Apple Health, allowing you to track your activity and save recorded tracks as workouts.

3. Gaia GPS: Best Mobile Trail Maps for Hiking

Gaia GPS: Best Mobile Trail Maps for Hiking

Gaia GPS is a powerful app that turns your Apple Watch into a reliable navigation tool. It provides access to a vast library of maps, including topographic, road, and satellite imagery. The app lets you record tracks, measure distances, and even import or create routes. With Gaia GPS on your wrist, you’ll always retain your way and can focus more on enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.

Gaia GPS is a powerful and versatile app that caters to outdoor enthusiasts, especially hikers. Here’s why it’s worth considering for your next adventure:

  • Wide Range of Maps: With Gaia GPS, you can access an extensive collection of professional topographic maps, including Nat Geo Trails Illustrated and USFS maps. The hi-res satellite imagery adds to your navigation’s visual appeal and accuracy.
  • Offline Functionality: One of the standout features of Gaia GPS is its ability to work offline. This is incredibly useful when you’re in remote areas with no cell service. The app records your whereabouts even when you are not connected to the internet, guaranteeing you never get lost.
  • Route Planning and Tracking: Gaia GPS offers a comprehensive route planning feature that allows you to create custom trails and explore nature routes. You can mark campgrounds and points of interest and even drop photo waypoints for future reference. The breadcrumb feature helps you retrace your steps back to base camp.
  • Altitude, Elevation, and Distance Tracker: For those who like to keep track of their hiking metrics, Gaia GPS provides an altitude, elevation, and distance tracker. This information helps you gauge your progress and maintain your fitness goals.
  • Recognized and Trusted: Gaia GPS has been featured in reputable publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, and GearJunkie. Its recognition in the outdoor community speaks volumes about its reliability and quality.

4. komoot – hike, bike & run – Best Hiking route planner

komoot - hike, bike & run - Best Hiking route planner

Komoot is an excellent app for planning and discovering new hiking routes. With its Apple Watch app, you can access turn-by-turn directions, detailed trail information, and even view photos and highlights shared by other users. Komoot also considers your fitness level and preferences to suggest personalized route recommendations, making it a great companion for both beginners and experienced hikers.

  • Plan Your Perfect Adventure: Komoot allows you to easily plan your hiking, mountain biking, or road cycling adventures. The app provides detailed information on surfaces, difficulty levels, distances, and elevation profiles, ensuring you choose the route that suits your preferences and abilities.
  • Turn-by-Turn Voice Navigation: Stay focused on your surroundings while navigating with turn-by-turn voice instructions. Komoot’s precise voice navigation guides you through your chosen routes, including small trails or wooded areas, so you never have to take your eyes off the adventure before you.
  • Offline Maps for Reliability: Download maps for your planned outdoor adventures, enabling you to navigate even when the internet is unreliable or unavailable. Komoot’s offline maps feature allows you to differentiate between hiking paths, MTB singletracks, paved roads, and terrain, providing a comprehensive view of your surroundings.
  • Browse Highlights: Discover the community’s favorite places with Komoot’s Highlights feature. These red dots on the map indicate recommended peaks, parks, points of interest, singletracks, and more. Share your own recommendations with the community and create a network of like-minded explorers.
  • Track and Share Your Adventures: Record your rides and hikes using GPS, and enhance them with photos, Highlights, and tips. Build your personal adventure log and share it with the Komoot community, receiving likes and comments while inspiring others with your experiences.
  • Seamless Sync Across Devices: Komoot ensures a seamless experience across all your devices. Whether you plan on your desktop or on the go, your routes, adventures, and photos automatically sync across your smartphone, desktop, iPad, and Apple Watch. You can even connect your Komoot account with Garmin or Wahoo devices for added convenience.
  • Free Experience and Apple Integration: Downloading Komoot grants you a forever-free region, with the option to expand your coverage through single regions, region bundles, or the World Pack. The app is compatible with Apple Watch, providing real-time directions, distance, and speed at a glance. Additionally, you can connect Komoot to Apple Health to keep your data up-to-date and share activity information.

5. Avenza Maps: Offline Mapping – Best GPS, Trails, Hiking, Offroad

Avenza Maps: Offline Mapping - Best GPS, Trails, Hiking, Offroad

Avenza Maps focuses on providing detailed and accurate offline maps, making them perfect for hikers who venture into remote areas. The app lets you download and import various map types, including topographic, nautical, and aviation charts. With the Apple Watch app, you can view your location on the map, set waypoints, and navigate without the need for an internet connection.

  • Features maps from National Geographic, national parks, and more.
  • Stay on track with GPS using offline mobile maps.
  • Import custom maps and always stay on the grid.
  • Explore the largest mobile Map Store with maps for hiking, topographic, cycling, city, nautical, travel, and trails.
  • Maps are available for free or purchased from the in-app Map Store.
  • Offers a free version with access to all map downloads.
  • Premium maps from renowned publishers like National Geographic, Michelin, USFS, and more.
  • Real-time GPS position tracking and direction finding, even when offline.
  • Record GPS tracks during your activities.
  • Compass tools for easy navigation to features.
  • Add photos and notes to any location.
  • Add placemarks to your map and style them with recreational symbols.
  • Measure distances and estimate times.
  • Supports KML, GPX, and CSV formats.
  • Avenza Maps Plus subscription offers unlimited custom map imports and geofencing features.
  • Avenza Maps Pro subscription provides advanced features for professionals and organizations.
  • Pro subscription includes unlimited import of custom maps, high-accuracy GPS device connectivity, Esri Shapefile support, and more.
  • Available as annual subscriptions through Apple ID payment.
  • Auto-renewal option can be managed in iTunes Account Settings or through Avenza.
  • Pro subscription is required for commercial, academic, government, and professional use.

How do I record hiking on my Apple Watch?

To record a hike on your Apple Watch using the Gaia GPS app, follow these steps:

  • Make sure you have the Gaia GPS app installed on your iPhone.
  • Open the Gaia GPS app on your Apple Watch.
  • Tap on the “Record” option from the main screen.
  • Choose the type of activity you’ll be doing, such as hiking.
  • You will now see the main screen with various fields that you can scroll through.
  • Use the crown to scroll up and down and change the fields as desired.
  • You can also access music controls from this screen.
  • To start recording your hike, tap on “Record” again.
  • As you hike, you can add waypoints by swiping and tapping on “Waypoint” to save locations.
  • When you’re finished with your hike, swipe and tap on “End” to stop recording.
  • You can now view your recorded track and access various features within the Gaia GPS app on your iPhone.
  • You can manage waypoints, add photos, edit the track, and even share it with others.

Keep the Gaia GPS app open on your Apple Watch throughout your hike to ensure accurate track recording. Enjoy your adventures, and keep exploring with Gaia GPS!

What is the difference between hiking and walking on Apple Watch?

The main difference between hiking and walking on Apple Watch is how the workout types account for elevation gain/loss. The Hike option considers the elevation changes when calculating calories burned, while the Outdoor Walk option assumes relatively level ground.

If you choose the Hike workout type, it will consider the additional effort required for ascending and descending hills or steep terrains, resulting in potentially different calorie burn calculations compared to an Outdoor Walk workout.


With the help of these 5 best hiking apps for Apple Watch, you can take your outdoor adventures to the next level. Whether you need navigation assistance, trail recommendations, or information about your surroundings, these apps have got you covered. So, gear up, grab your Apple Watch, and embark on unforgettable hikes with confidence, convenience, and safety-enhancing features at your wrist’s reach. Happy hiking!

Md Mahbubul Islam Rokon

About the author

We Founded in 2019 by a good going group, TheSoftBest has come a long way from its beginnings in the USA. When we first started out, our passion for software review drove them to start their own business.