Updated 07.02.2018. Since June 2015, we’ve been sharing our recommendations for best hiking apps. This is the most recent update that includes eliminating apps that are no longer published plus we introduce you to our latest finds. If you’re an app user who loves to include hiking in your travels, bookmark this page so that you don’t miss any updates. Or subscribe to the My Itchy Travel Feet Weekly Broadcast so you’ll be the first to know!
The Best Hiking Apps for Boomer Travelers
As active boomers, Alan and I love anything that gets our heart pumping while traveling. We think that putting your feet on the ground is one of the best ways to experience a destination. Some of our favorite travel memories have been made hiking around the world, including trekking over majestic Baird Glacier in Alaska and exploring our favorite national park hiking trails.
No matter your hiking style—easy day hikes or long distance backpacking—staying organized and up-to-date is vital to a safe, successful hiking experience. We’ve found apps for choosing the right trail, route finding, stargazing, staying safe and more. And of course you’ll need apps for planning how to get to your hike. So download the hiking apps that we recommend to make your experience the best it can be.
Plan your hike with an app
Gaia GPS Hiking Maps, Hike App is the perfect resource for outdoor nature lovers because it offers up-to-date topographic maps, satellite imagery, and road maps of many of our national parks. Gaia GPS offers reliable GPS information that will guide you off-the-beaten-path into lesser-explored backcountry. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Map My Hike – GPS Hiking Tracker & Trail Finder offers an in-depth and interactive hiking guide. With millions of hiking trails in its database, this app is a great tool for any hiker anywhere. Map My Hike uses built-in GPS technology to enable users to track and record hikes. Additionally, the live tracking feature lets hiking companions communicate their locations on the map in real time. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
National Parks by Chimani is perfect for hiking in any of the 417 U.S. national park units. The free app includes historical parks, seashores, preserves and lake shores. Users can then download detailed guides, including GPS-enabled maps and also free stand alone maps for each park, which is handy when cell service is spotty. The Chimani National Parks app lets you choose your interests, then the app provides instant recommendations for each park. WIFI or cell services is required to download photos, or view the online interactive map. Free. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Camp Finder app is great for those long-term hikers. With over 17,000 campground and RV parks throughout the US, you’ll be able to find a place to rest those weary feet in no time. Using dates from Camping Road Trip, the app contains detailed information on each camp ground including photos and reviews. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Weather Live provides meteorological data on precipitation, pressure, humidity, wind direction and visibility. The animated weather radar map lets you quickly see if weather is coming your way. Available for purchase at the App Store.
Have you seen the My Itchy Travel Feet Hiking Planner? Take a look before your next hike.
Enjoy the trail with these hiking apps
PlantSnap Plant Identification helps identify the flowers, trees and other plant life that you’ll see on the trail. No more asking yourself, “What plant is that?” Simply consult the plant identification data base, look at the photos and descriptions, then identify the plant. It works on every continent, no matter where you are hiking. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Star Walk 2 Night Sky Map is your guide to viewing the night sky on an overnight hiking trip. Explore 20,000 celestial bodies as the app follows your body movements in real time. Part of the fun on an outdoor adventure is enjoying the night sky. Of course you’ll need a wifi or cell phone signal. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Rise – Photographer Companion – Sunrise Sunset Calendar: If you enjoy taking sunrise and sunset photos, you’ll want this app for the trail. Look up sunrise and sunset times anywhere in the world. And you won’t need Internet connectivity to do it! Available for purchase at the App Store.
Apps to keep you safe on the trail
SAS Survival Guide app is for those moments that no one wants to have. Hiking and outdoor exploration always carry some sort of risk. Based on the U.S. Military Survival Manual FM 21-76, this app lets user learn how to survive in the most extreme of situations, advising on ways to find water, food and shelter. Additionally, it teaches users the basics of first aid and how to signal for help, to navigate safely, to avoid unpleasant interactions with animals and plants. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
The Hiker Alert app is an indispensable tool for any hiker of any level. The app lets users record and share vital information with friends and family as you explore the trails. If you don’t check in on time, HikerAlert will send alert messages to your emergency contacts. Works on any mobile device. No download necessary, just register from any browser.
Spyglass app is a great guide to take on any adventure. The app allows travelers to use its GPS system for outdoors and off-road navigation, even when offline. The app comes packed with extras such as binoculars, heads-up display, hi-tech compass, etc. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
First Aid app is perfect for those who love to find new adventures, but are also a bit accident prone. Active adventure travel is great for everyone, but this app will definitely help out in case of emergencies. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Stretching Sworkit app encourages you to stay fit and flexible while out searching the world for new adventures. Sworkit has a series of Pilates-based stretches for every level of fitness to keep travelers in good shape while on the road. Available for purchase at the App Store and Google Play.
Flashlight for iPhone, iPod and iPad app may sound a little too basic, but you’ll be glad to have it when you open your pack and realize you left the actual flashlight at home. Available for purchase at the App Store.