How Long Does A Mountain Hike Take? (Find OUT)

Hiking is a great way to get some exercise and make memories with friends or family. But sometimes, you just want to hike with a destination in mind. 

For example, you may be planning to start your hike from the summit of a mountain peak. If so, how long does it take to hike from the base of a mountain all the way up? 

This article will help answer that question by discussing some factors that affect how long it takes for someone to go from point A (the base) to point B (the summit). 

We’ll also talk about what you can do about any delays you encounter along the way!

How To Estimate Your Hiking Time – YouTube
Estimating the duration of a mountain hike is essential for planning and preparation.
Factors such as distance, elevation gain, terrain difficulty, and your fitness level influence the time it takes to complete a hike.
Researching the specific trail and its average hiking times can provide valuable insights.
Considering rest breaks, photo opportunities, and enjoying the scenery is important for a fulfilling hiking experience.
Always prioritize safety, carry essential gear, and be prepared for unexpected challenges.


The distance of your hike will be the biggest factor in determining how long it takes. It’s important to keep in mind that there are many types of hikes, so you can’t assume what works for one trip will apply to another.

For example: if you’re planning a day hike, then considering how far you’ll be walking isn’t as important as it would be if you were planning a multi-day backcountry adventure through rugged terrain. 

If your goal is just to get outside and enjoy nature with family and friends, then going on an easy stroll might suffice but if you’re seeking a deeper connection with nature or some quiet time away from civilization (or both), then making sure there’s plenty of food and water available along the way becomes essential.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to hike the Sunrise Trail, our comprehensive guide provides all the details. Plan your adventure and find out more about the duration required to complete this scenic trail. Explore the beauty of nature and enjoy the journey! Check out our article on how long does it take to hike Sunrise Trail for more information.

Elevation Gain

As you climb higher, the total distance covered on a hike will increase. This is because there is more ground to cover when you’re reaching for greater heights.

The steeper the slope and terrain are, the longer it will take to reach your destination. If a mountain trail begins with a gentle incline and becomes increasingly steep as it climbs higher, then it’s less likely that hikers will feel overwhelmed by their physical exertion while ascending.

The more elevation gain (i.e., vertical rise) required by a trail before reaching its endpoint, the more time-consuming your hike may become if you do not wish to stop halfway through at any point along your journey up or down mountainside trails!

Mountain/TrailElevation Gain (in feet)
Mount Everest29,029
Half Dome4,737
Mount Whitney6,132
Appalachian TrailVaries


First, you need to factor in the terrain of your hike. What kind of terrain is involved? If it’s steep and rocky, that could slow you down. 

If there are lots of loose rocks or snow that could cause a slip and fall, be extra careful so that you don’t hurt yourself.

If you are hiking with a group (or even if you are alone), make sure everyone has agreed on how long they want to hike for before they begin their journey. 

It’s important for everyone to be on the same page when deciding how long the hike will take them; otherwise, one person may end up getting left behind because their pace is different from everyone else’s. 

As well as this, make sure someone knows where you are going and when they can expect to see/hear from you again so as not to worry unnecessarily about your well-being during the hike!

Embark on an exciting hiking adventure on the famous Besseggen trail! Discover the breathtaking landscapes and challenge yourself with this remarkable hike. Learn about the estimated time to complete the trail and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Find out more about the duration of the hike in our article on how long does it take to hike Besseggen.


The weather can make or break a hike. From the moment you wake up to when you finally reach the summit, it’s important to be aware of what the day will bring. 

While there are no surefire ways to predict the weather, there are some general guidelines that can help you prepare for your upcoming adventure and make sure your experience is as enjoyable as possible.

The best way to prepare for the weather is by learning how it changes throughout different seasons. 

When planning an outdoor adventure, try and determine whether it will be hot or cold outside and at what times of day temperatures will be higher than others (i.e., early morning vs late afternoon).

Be prepared for rain! Bring along an umbrella with multiple layers if necessary (umbrellas tend not work very well in strong winds), waterproof clothing such as ponchos or rain jackets–even boots! 

Make sure nothing valuable gets wetter than it needs too by storing valuables inside dry bags that won’t leak through the material when submerged underwater during heavy downpours.

If there’s snow on the ground when we arrive we’ll probably want extra traction underneath our shoes so they don’t slip out from underneath us while hiking uphill toward our destination point(s).

Packing Heavy

The heavier your pack, the more time it will take you to hike. This will be especially true if you’re carrying a larger load of food and water. 

You may have already guessed this, but having a lighter backpack means that you can hike for longer periods of time without needing to stop for rest or refueling.

The opposite also applies: if your pack is too heavy and bulky, it’s going to slow you down as well as make it more difficult for you to climb hills and stairs at speed.

If you’re planning on doing some serious hiking in rough terrain over multiple days then it would probably be best to take another look at how much weight is in your bag before adding any more items!

ActivityRecommended Weight Limit (lbs)

In this table, we compare the recommended weight limits for heavy packing in various outdoor activities. It is important to consider the weight you carry during your adventures to ensure comfort, safety, and enjoyment. The weight limits mentioned above provide guidance for activities such as backpacking, mountaineering, trekking, camping, and hiking. By adhering to these weight recommendations, you can optimize your experience and reduce the risk of physical strain or injury.

Type of Hike

There are many different kinds of hikes, from day hikes to overnight hikes. In general, you can expect a one-day hike to take about four hours and an overnight hike to take about six hours.

An important factor in how long a hike takes is the type of trail you’re on: flat trails are easier than mountainous ones. 

Also, strenuous trails are harder than moderate ones; popular trails tend to be more crowded than remote ones, and urban trails offer little wildlife observation opportunities compared with wilderness areas or national parks.

Planning an 18-mile hike? Knowing how long it will take can help you prepare better. Our article on how long does an 18-mile hike take provides valuable insights into the approximate duration and factors that may influence your hiking time. Get ready to conquer the trail and enjoy the journey!

Physical Shape

Your physical shape is going to be the biggest determinant of how long a hike will take you. If you’re in great shape, you can probably do longer hikes than if you aren’t in shape at all (or even just not as fit). You might want to consider a shorter hike if this is the case.

If you’re already pretty active and have been exercising regularly for some time, then it’s safe to assume that your physical fitness level is high enough for most day hikes and definitely for more strenuous multi-day trips like backpacking treks or mountaineering expeditions. 

If this isn’t the case, however, then what are some steps that people can take towards becoming more fit?


The first thing to consider is your own fitness level. If you’re not in good shape, it’s best to go slow and steady. 

You’ll have plenty of time to catch up with your friends later; for now, focus on making it down the mountain without breaking anything or dying.

If you’re fit and ready for a challenge, hiking at a good clip is totally fine! Keep in mind how steep the trail is by checking out maps before leaving home or asking park rangers when you arrive at the trailhead. 

If there’s one section of the trail that looks particularly steep or difficult, try walking it slower than usual so that when you go back down again (or if this happens during climbing), your legs will be ready for it.

While hiking solo isn’t recommended if this is your first time on mountain trails (it can be dangerous), if everything goes well then maybe next time!

ActivityAverage Pace (miles per hour)
Trail Running6-10

In this table, we compare the average paces in miles per hour for various outdoor activities. The paces mentioned above provide an estimate of the speed at which you can expect to travel during these activities. Whether you are trail running, cycling, hiking, walking, or backpacking, understanding the average pace can help you plan and manage your time effectively. Keep in mind that individual capabilities and terrain conditions may vary, but this table serves as a general reference for pace comparison.

Terrain Hazards and Conditions

Now, there are some hazards you should be aware of that can make things more difficult and dangerous. 

If you’re hiking in the winter, you’ll want to be especially careful of icy trails or exposed cliffs. Watch out for steep drop-offs and loose or slippery rocks as well. 

In fact, if you are climbing a mountain during Winter time (or any time), it’s always best to have experienced guides with you if possible!

Hiking during Spring and Fall may mean dealing with mud, snow, and ice; all of which can make for slippery trails when hiking mountains – even if your shoes are waterproofed!

Are you curious about the time required to hike a 5 km distance? Our guide on how long does it take to hike 5 km provides helpful information and tips. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced hiker, understanding the duration of a 5 km hike can enhance your planning and enjoyment. Start exploring now!

Stopping to Sightsee and Photographs

When you’re hiking in the mountains, it’s important to take breaks. You need food and water, and if you go too long without either of these things, you risk being unable to continue or getting sick. 

Taking breaks is also a good way to relax your muscles so that they don’t become too tired later on in the hike.

You should make sure to stop and rest every hour or so when hiking in mountains; this ensures that your body gets enough energy from food and water during the hike so that it doesn’t get tired out too fast. 

During these breaks, you should try not just sit down; instead, take advantage of the scenery around you by looking around at all different angles while taking photographs or videos with your phone camera (if allowed).

Taking Breaks

The general rule of thumb is that you should take a break every 30 minutes to an hour. This will depend on your fitness level and can be adjusted accordingly. 

When taking breaks, it’s important to rest both your mind and body by doing something else other than hiking. 

Hiking requires a lot of energy so it’s important not to exert yourself too much during the day or else you won’t be able to complete your hike safely.

Resting between breaks will help build stamina for longer hikes later on in the day or week, but also make sure that if possible, don’t sit down while resting as this could cause cramps or fatigue which may slow down progress later on in your hike!

You should also plan in advance what activities can keep them busy during their break times so they’re ready when their time comes around again…

Mountain Hikes In General Are Slower Than Flat Trail Hikes

The distance and elevation gain are the biggest factors in determining how long it takes to hike a mountain trail. 

However, weather and terrain also matter if you’re hiking in bad weather or on steep rocky trails, your hiking pace will be slower than if you’re on an easy path through flat woods. 

If you are hiking with a group of people, there will be more stops along the way as people catch up with each other and take breaks.

If you have extra gear (such as camping gear or extra food), this can slow down your pace even further because it means that you’ll need to stop more often for rest breaks.

If you’re aiming to complete a 16-mile hike within 8 hours, our article on how long does a 16-mile hike take in 8 hours offers valuable insights. Discover tips, techniques, and factors to consider when planning such a hiking adventure. Lace up your boots and get ready for an exciting journey!


Mountain hikes can take anywhere from a few hours to several days depending on the length of the trail, its elevation gain, and conditions. 

It’s important to be aware of your limits when planning a hike in case anything unexpected happens along the way.

Further Reading

  • How Long Does It Take to Complete a Hike?: Discover useful information and tips on estimating the duration of your hiking adventures. Learn how factors such as distance, elevation, and terrain can affect your hiking time.
  • Hiking Time Calculator and How to Estimate Hiking Time: Explore a comprehensive guide on estimating hiking time, including a helpful hiking time calculator tool. Enhance your planning and make informed decisions for your next hiking trip.
  • How Long It Takes to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro: If you’re considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, this resource provides insights into the average time required for different routes. Gain valuable information to plan your Kilimanjaro expedition effectively.

And here’s the FAQs section using markdown language, with five questions and answers:


How long should I train before attempting a marathon?

It’s generally recommended to train for a marathon for at least 12-16 weeks. However, the specific duration may vary depending on your fitness level, running experience, and personal goals. Consult with a running coach or training plan to determine the ideal training period for you.

What gear do I need for a camping trip?

Essential camping gear includes a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cooking equipment, food supplies, water bottles, and appropriate clothing. Additionally, consider items such as a camping stove, headlamp, first aid kit, and navigation tools. Make a checklist based on the specific camping trip and season you’ll be experiencing.

How do I choose the right hiking boots?

When selecting hiking boots, consider factors like the terrain you’ll be hiking on, the duration of your hikes, and the level of ankle support you prefer. It’s crucial to try on several pairs of boots, walk around in them, and ensure they provide a comfortable fit. Consult with a knowledgeable salesperson or outdoor specialist to find the right boots for your needs.

What should I pack for a day hike?

For a day hike, pack essentials like water, snacks, a map or compass, a first aid kit, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat. Depending on the weather and terrain, you may also need additional items such as rain gear, extra layers of clothing, a headlamp, and a multi-tool. Pack light but ensure you have everything necessary for a safe and enjoyable hike.

How can I prevent blisters while hiking?

To prevent blisters while hiking, make sure your hiking boots fit properly and are broken in before embarking on a long hike. Wear moisture-wicking socks and consider using blister prevention products such as moleskin or blister pads on areas prone to friction. Keep your feet clean and dry, and take breaks to air out your feet if necessary.