by Ann Martin
We’ve been using the AllTrails app for about 4 years and love it! It is great for seeing trails in a given area, planning a hike, then using its GPS function to keep us on the trail. There have been numerous times when we’ve been hiking and have lost the trail, especially in snow time, but AllTrails has reliably helped to get us back on track!
THE BASICS AllTrails has a Free version and a Pro subscription, now called AllTrails+. AllTrails works on a phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Download the app for your phone from the AppStore or Google Play. For your laptop or desktop go to https://www.alltrails.com. One login works on all devices and synchronizes all your data between devices. So, you can explore trails on your big screen, then access on your phone while on trail. The app shows trails for activities such as hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and more.
As an AllTrails member, you can:
AllTrails+ (paid subscription) allows you to:
It’s an excellent planning tool. We love the little blue dot that is the GPS feature that has kept us on track while on poorly marked or confusing trails (or maybe it’s just us confused hikers!!) The reviews from other hikers give great insight and feedback about the trails. The directions to the trailhead have been very useful.
CONSIDERATIONS The rating system of Easy, Moderate, Hard seems very subjective and there have been trails where we would not agree with the rating. Make sure to check the length, elevation gain, and description. We think a better rating system would be a 1-10 scale of difficulty. You have to use your laptop or desktop to create custom maps which can then be accessed on your phone. If you not expecting to have service on the trail, you have to open the app, download your map before starting and leave the app running. Leaving the app running will run down your battery - using an iPhone 8 we have never run out of battery even on a 6 hour winter hike, but it definitely runs it down. ***TIP: if you don’t need service while hiking, put your phone on ‘airplane mode’ to preserve battery life, the GPS will still work to guide you on your hike.
CONCLUSION We highly recommend this app. Happy Hiking!
Here is an overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNWKK_f6xFQ