We’ve all seen a rad photo on Instagram and immediately thought: Where is this? I want to go there! Or you’re trying to plan a trip and want to hit the best places to visit in the area.
Want to know how to find the best hiking trails, boondocking campsites, and more? Here are the best apps to help you plan your perfect adventure.
1. What is the Best App for Hiking Trails?
AllTrails is my #1 go-to app for looking up local hikes. Simply type in your search or scan the map.
Trail details include difficulty (easy, medium, hard), length, elevation, and route type. The general trail description also includes how popular or trafficked (lightly, moderately, heavily) the trail is and other basic details such as if it features a waterfall or if dogs are allowed.
Check the user ratings (based on a 5-star scale), reviews, photos, and recordings to get a better feel for the trail and what you should expect on the hike. AllTrails includes local forecast for weather, UV index, and daylight (sunrise and sunset). Plus, the Directions button will open your preferred map app to show you how to get directly to the trailhead. This is exactly what I used the first time I hiked the Garden Valley Loop in the Supes.
All these features are free, but there is also a paid version of the app. AllTrails Pro gets you access to the following:
2. What if You Want to Explore Beyond the Regular Trails?
Design your own adventure by exploring Google Earth. This is great for finding new places to explore and to see exactly what you’ll encounter. Want to explore Moab, Utah? Find it on the map and start zooming in!
View from the top down or use two fingers to tap and drag the screen to tilt the map. Toggle from 2D to 3D for a full orbiting view.
You can follow along forest service roads to find great places to set up camp. Zoom into rivers or canyons to see what campground or trailheads are nearby. This is the perfect way to go beyond just the well-known trails.
3. Want to Explore Public Lands?
Before you head out to that rad canyon to camp and explore, make sure you know what type of land you’ll be crossing. The US Public Lands app will keep you on track.
This app uses map layers to show federal government managed land—US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, etc. Exactly the type of information you’ll need to know if you want to go boondocking or exploring in general on public lands like Alabama Hills and more.
4. And the Key to My Adventure Planning... Pinterest!
What?! Yep. Pinterest is a surprisingly good place to look up local hikes and other adventures.
Want to know the best way to spend 3 days in Banff National Park? Pinterest is the perfect place to find that info. Looking for stellar boondocking locations in Idaho? Consider your list compiled.
Plus, their boards are an easy way to compile all the tidbits you find about a location. Save the pins you find within Pinterest or create pins linking to the trails you uncovered on AllTrails, etc.
What apps or websites do you use for adventures planning? Leave a comment or send an email if you have other tips for finding your next favorite hike or campsite!