Best 10 GPS Apps for Hiking Outdoors-min

Best 10 GPS Apps for Hiking Outdoors


In the past, adventurers find their way around using traditional maps and topographical drawings. With technological advancement, map digitalization and live geographical positioning is more common than ever before. Now, you don’t have to fret about getting lost in the wilderness anymore, as long as your device on hand. These GPS apps enable you to stay connected and track your journeys on-the-go.


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If you’re on a budget, you can check out our article on the Best Hunting GPS Under $200 instead.

Best GPS Apps for Hiking Outdoors

Check out our carefully selected best 10 GPS apps for hiking outdoors now!

#1: Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Basic → Free, Member → $17, Premium → $36

Gaia has an excellent repository of the newest trails and routes which are constantly updated. The app is membership-based to unlock its full features, which include unlimited download of maps for offline use, backpacking route collections and NatGeo trails. You could easily navigate using the device’s GPS chip without cellular connection. There is also a database to aid users in choosing the best route for their next adventure. As one of the leading GPS apps for outdoor enthusiasts, this app is ever expanding its compatibility with an array of devices.

#2: Cairne

Cairne App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Basic → Free, Premium: Monthly → $4.99, Annual → $26.99

Cairne is an app used both for navigation and safety. It falls in as one of the best apps for safety tracking, perfect for those who like to go for long hikes and trekking. Cairne actively finds cell coverage along your trail and alerts users where they could check in to notify their loved ones or even make emergency calls. Cairn’s core feature includes a tracking function where your nominated contacts can follow your GPS location en-route and will be notified to contact rescue parties after a stipulated time. Cairne also provides maps offline and personal data capture such as distance travelled and ETA.


#3: AllTrials

AllTrials App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Basic → Free, Pro: Annual → $29.99, 3-year Plan → $59.99

AllTrails really excels in the department for hikers, mountain bikers and marathon runners. With more than 100,000 curated trails, this app has it all. Within the app, you get to customize your own route, save favorite trails, view real time weather overlays, and view pictures of landmarks that you would probably come across. AllTrails also has a database of past user experiences and reports that would fill you in on what to expect along your desired trail. Furthermore, AllTrails is committed to donate 1% of their annual sales to organizations that aim to protect the planet.

#4: Maps 3D Pro

Maps 3D Pro App

EzoicPlatform(s): iOS

Price: Basic → $3.99, Premium → $13.99

This mobile GPS takes topographic maps to another dimension. The app has an easy user interface with 2D and 3D switchability between maps that enable you to quickly find and view the plan of your destination. It includes 11 map types, out of which 3 are topographic maps, MapQuest satellite views and ski trails. The app also has global coverage, downloadable content, and free offline storage on your device. Saved routes could also be exported to other GPS devices. Highly recommended for map-centric outdoor navigation.


#5: ViewRanger

ViewRanger GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Basic → Free, Premium: Annual → $4.99, Premium + Maps → Varies

This is another contender for the best navigation app. Like other top tier GPS apps, this app also works offline, provided you saved the maps prior. An in-built AR functionality also uses the device’s camera to identify mountain peaks and navigate them with ease. Your tracks and statistics could be viewed live and shared without boundaries. If you are travelling with a friend, live-tracking with BuddyBeacon ensures that you and your buddy are both within reach. An add-on premium subscription includes detailed outdoor maps of 1 out of 13 countries for more detailed applications.

#6: Google Maps

Google Maps GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Free

As one of the pioneers in digital maps and media, Google Maps does not look like it is backing up anytime soon. With consistent updates and ever-expanding functionality, Google Maps has become a staple in almost all phones and a go-to for almost anything and everything. Though not made for explorers, it is still a force to be reckoned with. Its mapping system can be used offline and its street view enables you to view the surroundings of your desired destination in a 360-degree panorama. What’s even better is that its free with no hidden charges.

#7: Hiking Project

Hiking Project GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, AndroidEzoic

Price: Free

This app is one of those from the REI collection, useful for outdoor enthusiasts. You can explore numerous trails and hiking routes found within the app, each categorized based on their difficulty. Each hike profile also includes a detailed map and key landmarks, so you can expect exactly what you are getting yourself into. The app also comes with on-trail navigation, so it is a live map during your expedition. Specially designed to work offline, so you don’t have to worry about reception outdoors. The Hiking Project has got you covered.

#8: Ramblr

Ramblr GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

EzoicPrice: Free

Ramblr is more than just a navigation app. It is a journal in your pocket to capture your experiences. What better way to pen down your expedition than recording audio and video files on top of pictures and written notes. Ramblr has it all and includes tagging them on specific points along your route. You get to show-off your achievements with all the statistics such as duration, speed, and distance as well as share your experience with your friends, family, and community. Watch others experience routes you always wished to take and see if you are up for it. Craft your personalized expedition story within your own device.


#9: PeakVisor

Peak Visor GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Basic → Free (iOS), $5.99 (Android), Pro: Monthly → $3.49, Annual → $29.99

The best app for mountain hikers and mountaineers alike. PeakVisor uses the device’s camera and AR technology to display the names and elevation of peaks in focus. This also works with hiking trails so you can explore summits, passes, viewpoints and so much more. This app also enables you to plan hiking routes beforehand and tracks your journey during your adventure. Along with that, PeakVisor comes equipped with a 3D compass, altimeter, and Sun Trail, helping photographers to get perfect lighting for the perfect shot.

#10: Spyglass

Spyglass GPS App

Platform(s): iOS, Android

Price: Free (Android), $5.99 (iOS)

This app is greatly known for its aesthetics and multifunctional compass with ever-changing backgrounds. It is a handy app as a GPS navigator when exploring the outdoors. Equipped with a hi-tech viewfinder, gyrocompass, maps, tactical GPS, sextant, inclinometer and so much more, this is an all-in-one for your backpacking needs. You could also save, find, track, and share your geographical locations in real time. Like other top navigation apps, it also has offline maps.


These are my top 10 app picks that fall under the navigation category for the outdoors. Depending on your willingness to spend a few bucks on membership subscription is totally up to your preference, but I do feel that free apps fare as well. I am pretty sure that any one of these apps would do you justice in navigating your way through your routes.

Stay safe out there and continue exploring!


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