How To Find Your Next Hike

I know a lot of people are making hiking-based resolutions right now and starting the 52 Hike Challenge for 2018.  And I am so excited to hear that so many people are getting out and hitting the trails!  But the first step in going for a hike is choosing where you’re going to go.  That can be overwhelming sometimes, especially if you’re new to hiking.  So what’s a hiker to do?  I’ve got a few suggestions on how to find your next hiking adventure.


Hiking books:  I’m kind of old school, but this is always my first step when I’m looking for a new hike to do.  Whenever I move somewhere new I head to REI or Barnes and Noble to grab a book with the top local hiking trails.  I’ll browse through the pages whenever I’m looking for an adventure and pick something based on whatever I’m feeling like doing at that moment.

Hiking Facebook groups:  I’m a member of a few different hiking-based Facebook groups (including Girls Who Hike AK!) and the main focus of a lot of these groups is for people to post pictures of trails that they did that day and give trail reports, as well as for asking questions about hiking trails.  I’ve heard about so many little-known trails from online pages.  My photo album on my phone is filled with screenshots of hike ideas that I’m saving for later!

Local hiking groups:  I’m an ambassador for Girls Who Hike, but I’m also a member of a few local women’s only hiking groups.  I like hiking with them every once in a while because they will host hikes on trails that I’ve never done before and sometimes haven’t heard of before.  My final hike of the 52 Hike Challenge last year was one I’d never done before, and I did it with a bunch of girls who had hiked the trail many times and could tell me what to expect.  It’s great to let someone else do the planning sometimes!

Websites with hike lists and reviews:  Whenever I hear about a hike, I head over to google to learn more about it (I always want to know the difficulty level before I start planning a hike).  Every time I do that, it leads me to a review on Alaska Hike Search.  That website also has ways to search for hikes based on location, type, and time of year.  It’s obviously a state specific site that is maintained by people who live here, but there’s probably one of more of these types of sites for your area as well.

How do you find information on local hikes?  What is the coolest way you learned about a great hike?

15 thoughts on “How To Find Your Next Hike

  1. All great advice.

    Like you, I’m totally old school. I always start with the books. We find them always reliable and there’s such consistency in their difficulty level reporting.

    If it’s a little more challenging, or if there’s route finding involved, we take a photocopy of the page with us. I know…. old school too… but sometimes it’s hard to read a screenshot in bright sunlight, and I never trust the batteries in our phone. Especially on winter hikes.

    In our neck of the woods (Alberta Rockies), there are terrific online groups that are great sources of inspiration too.

    Should you ever find your way down here, these are the ones we rely on… Happy trails!

    1. I’ve found so many great trails just by joining those groups! I never post anything myself, but I love that other people post pictures and detailed descriptions of all of their hikes.

  2. My sister told me of an app called AllTrails, and it is really great. I use books too but I have a goal to go to as many hot springs in Montana and Idaho as I can and I can look up “hot springs” and it gives me a list by distance from where I live. I suggest the app to everyone now!

    1. I’ll have to check that out! I feel like most trailheads in AK don’t have cell service so I never thought about using an app, but that would be a great idea for when I’m at my house searching for a new trail.

    1. Yes I agree! If I’m traveling somewhere new I always make sure to read blogs about that area and the hikes there. This was super helpful when I went to Yosemite!

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