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CHECK OUT OUR TOP RECOMMENDED APPS FOR ADVENTURING. THESE 11 ARE THE PERFECT APPS TO HELP YOU FIND INSPIRATION, PLAN YOUR ROUTE, AND FIGURE OUT WHERE TO GO NEXT.
Planning an epic outdoor adventure can be an exciting and fun experience. Especially when you have the right set of tools. We have found ourselves often turning to a few super useful mapping apps to help us plan our own travels, be it trips to major cities or out on a wild outdoor adventure.
Below are 11 of the best adventure mapping apps on the market. We have split them up into specific categories based on what they do best, from the top app for finding epic hiking trails to the best app for making your way around a new city via public transportation.
Explore the top adventure apps below.
11 BEST MAP APPS FOR ADVENTURING
\\ For Hiking and Backpacking
Probably the most popular hiking app out there, AllTrails is a great tool to have if you are either looking to quickly find trails in your area or planning your own epic adventure. We often use AllTrails when we are looking to plan shorter weekend trips (day-hikes, trail runs), especially if we are in a newer place and haven't gotten used to the area yet.
There are two versions of AllTrails: the free basic plan and AllTrails+, which costs $2.99 a month (or $36 a year). The paid version allows you to download offline maps, find trails by distance from you and check out 3D maps (plus some other cool features).
| Lots of mapped trails
| Super handy filters to help you find the perfect trail for you (you can sort by distance, activity and difficulty)
| Each trail clearly shows you the elevation gain, route type
| Largest network of users (which usually means up-to-date comments)
| You need to purchase AllTrails+ in order to use it when you don't have service (which is common while hiking)
| Isn't the best for recording your hikes and/or activities
➳ Explore it here.
We first heard about komoot during our adventures in Colombia. And since then, we have turned to the easy-to-use app many times - especially when we are looking to plan long distance routes (including for backpacking and bikepacking).
This app really shines when it comes to finding inspiring routes around the world. While it isn't as widely used in the USA (especially compared to some other apps like AllTrails), it is still a great app to have if you are looking to travel abroad - especially to Europe.
| Great route-planning capabilities, especially for backpacking and trekking
| Has turn-by-turn navigation and even information on the exact surfaces you will be exploring (which is especially good for biking)
| Tons of inspiring routes for lots of different activities around the world
| Not as many routes in the USA compared to other apps
| Some services are only available with a premium subscription ($4.99 a month)
➳ Explore all of komoot here.
We have been using Gaia GPS as our main adventure tracking app for a couple of years now. This adventure app is actually a partnership with Outside Magazine, and if you choose to subscribe to their Gaia GPS+ and Outside plan you will get access to expert-led online courses on Outside Learn and other benefits through their Outside Network.
We specifically like this mapping app because it has so much available data - including adventure-focused points of interest (like Nordic centers, ski resorts and marinas), as well as clear markings for dirt roads, paved roads, trails and the like. This is especially helpful if you are planning a quick run or bike ride and don't want to be on pavement.
| Easy to use map and route maker, especially for hiking, biking and running
| The paid versions (especially the one with Outside) gives you a ton of helpful tools, including outdoor classes
| Very easy to transfer the GPX files to other apps and sites
| There is a lot of information on the maps, so it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming
| The free version doesn't include offline use
➳ Explore all of Gaia GPS here.
❔ GOOD TO KNOW: if you want to use this app offline, you have two premium subscription options. The first is just Gaia GPS Premium which is $3.33 USD a month (this includes offline maps and weather and terrain information), and the second is the Gaia GPS Premium + Outside which costs $3.74 a month and includes offline maps, weather and terrain information, outdoor classes and access to the app Trailforks Pro (see more on this app below).
Have you ever been out hiking or backpacking and wondered what epic mountain was way off in the distance? I know we have. Luckily, if you had the handy PeakVisor app you wouldn't be left wandering (and maybe arguing) and instead you would be able to know exactly what mountain it was and also its elevation.
At its core, PeakVisor is an AR map that shows you a 3D view of your surroundings, with easy to read highlighted mountain peaks (watch this video to see what we mean). When out hiking you simply need to scan your surroundings and boom, the name and elevation will pop up. Plus, in some cases you can even see the best trails for reaching the summit.
| Great tool to learn more about your surroundings
| Can be downloaded so you can use it offline
| Pretty much every mountain range (big and small) is on the app, with more places being added daily
| Really only useful for identifying nearby mountain peaks and not for actual route planning<