Hikers have different motivations for going out for a trek and climbing. It could be the solitude they feel whenever they witness glorious sceneries or take pleasure in testing their physical limits on challenging trails.
If you are looking for inspiration or are stuck indoors, here are the best hiking movies to binge.
1. Touching the Void (2003)
English 1h 46m IMDb
Stars: Simon Yates, Joe Simpson, Brendan Mackey
The movie is exhausting, yet you will find yourself spellbound by the plot. It shows the thrill and hardships of hiking and mountaineering. It narrates the story of British climbers trying to reach an unclimbed mountain in South America.
A movie that will redefine your perception of the capabilities of the human mind and body in hiking and surviving through strong elements. If you want a nerve-wracking hiking movie, this one is definitely for you.
2. Into the Wild (2007)
English, Danish 2h 28m IMDb
Stars: Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener
Some might argue that this movie should not be a part of the list, but I beg to disagree. It shows the adventurous life of Christopher McCandless, a man who removed himself from society and lived in the Alaskan Wilderness.
There’s much to ponder in his hitchhiking journey. The movie does not only showcase the wonders of nature but the beauty in finding the purpose of oneself. A touching film that you must watch.
3. 127 Hours (2010)
English, Italian 1h 34m IMDb
Stars: James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
If you are wondering about the movie title, this is not the number of hours to climb an isolated canyon in Utah. It is how long a mountain climber was stuck and rescued beneath a boulder in a remote canyon— and yes, this movie is from the life story of Aron Ralston.
That’s why you always tell your whereabouts whenever you plan to go for a hike or climb. We never know what may happen.
4. The Way (2010)
English, Spanish, French, Catalan, Italian 2h 3m IMDb
Stars: Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Deborah Kara Unger
Hiking is a subtle way to soul-search or self-discovery. This movie shows a father’s love embarking on his journey to finish the pilgrimage his son never finished.
You might be surprised to discover new capabilities and exceed your limitations during the adventure. The internal transformation of being alone with your thoughts and taking a challenge is relatable in this movie.
This movie is an eye-opener for hikers who are lost and searching for their purpose in life.
5. Six Million Steps: A Journey Inward (2011)
English 1h 33m IMDb
Director: Will Oxley
Stars: Abby Capstick, Tom Emme
Can you imagine the life of a hiker who is determined to finish a 2,650-mile adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail? It is even more mindblowing to know that the Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Mexico to Canada! The crew filmed this documentary hiking movie for nearly 6 months; they left their daily lives and found solitude by hiking.
Watching this film gives you a lot of insights into the hiking community as it shows the culture of hikers.
6. The Summit (2012)
English, Italian 1h 35m IMDb
Director: Nick Ryan
Stars: Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite, Walter Bonatti(archive footage)
In 2008, mountain climbers pursued to climb K2, the world’s second highest peak. Although it is a compelling story, the reenactment and interviews in the documentary are confusing. It lacks focus on the storyline.
Watch the movie to know the point of view of climbers who have gone through such adversity in hiking.
7. Tell It on the Mountain (2013)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Stars: Scott Williamson, Inaki Diaz DE Etura , George Woodard
Are you ready to witness the life of hikers who walked the Pacific Crest Trail? You might associate this movie with Six Million Steps: A Journey Inward because it has almost the same storyline.
Hiking and living in the wilderness for 6 months is quite challenging. Indeed hiking movies like this teach you the essence of commitment and self-discovery and showcase the beauty of nature. Watch this nourishing and inspiring hiking movie.
8. The Way Back (2010)
English, Russian, Polish, Tibetan, Mongolian 2h 13m IMDb
Stars: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell
Warning: This is not your usual hiking movie; it is more of a survival hike.
The movie may have boasted its star-studded casts for this movie yet what made it big are the true-to-life scenes from the memoir of Slavomir Rawicz. The reason for its title narrates how these Siberian gulag escapees travel 4,000 miles by foot.
Satisfying cinematography, effective survival hacks, and epic landscape you can appreciate. Add this movie to your watch list; you might find helpful insights for your next hiking trip.
9. Mile… Mile & a Half (2013)
English, Japanese 1h 27m IMDb
Jason M. Fitzpatrick, Ric Serena
A riveting storyline that you will witness in this movie. It features a group of friends taking a journey on the John Muir Trail. Along the 211-mile trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney, and along the way, the group met several people.
A heartwarming movie to watch, especially for those new to hiking, the movie teaches you not to worry; you will meet more people with the same interest in hiking. But, if you are lucky enough to have a group, this movie will inspire you to take a challenging hike with your friends.
10. Tracks (2013)
English, Aboriginal 1h 52m IMDb
Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily Pearl
Indeed, women have grit and power. Can you believe a woman attempts to hike 2,000 miles across central Australia alone? That’s Robyn Davidson, and this movie is based on a true story. She did not need anybody; she only brought four camels and her dog to accompany her throughout the trek.
Amidst the blood and sweat that she went through, the film’s cinematography serves as a dose of inspiration to the viewers. This movie is also a reminder that beyond the struggles and risks you prepare for during a hike, you really must get acquainted.
11. Wild (2014)
English 1h 55m IMDb
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
Wild is another hiking movie on the list based on the best-selling novel and real-life story of Cheryl Strayed. As per Cheryl, there is solitude as she hikes along the Pacific Crest Trail. This film gives you the redeeming power of going on long-distance hikes. After all, self-discovery is inevitable when you are alone with your thoughts during a long hike.
If you are looking for answers or in doubt about yourself, try taking inspiration from this movie. Go for a hike, may it be a short or long trail, who never knows? It might work on you too.
12. Meru (2015)
English 1h 30m IMDb
Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Stars: Conrad Anker, Grace Chin, Jimmy Chin
The best nerve-wracking hiking movie that documents the first hikers and climbers to ascend Meru Peak in the Himalayas after their first attempt through the Shark’s Fin route. It is surprising to see the hikers have the determination to outdo themselves.
Will you witness these elite hikers dominate the adrenaline-filled climb? Witness whether they will succeed in their second attempt at hiking the 4,000 feet Shark’s Fin route.
Indeed, hiking movies motivate (or scare you) as the characters test their capabilities.
13. Everest (2015)
English, Russian 2h 1m IMDb
Stars: Jason Clarke, Ang Phula Sherpa, Thomas M. Wright
Have you heard about the Mount Everest disaster in 1996? Watch this biographical adventure film focusing on two expedition groups attempting to summit Mount Everest. The cinematography and delivery of the film make you feel you are one of the expedition teams.
Albeit this movie is nerve-wracking and shows the danger of hiking, it reminds hikers (experts or newbies) to be knowledgable and equipped to survive intense weather conditions. Add this movie to your watchlist!
14. National Parks Adventure (2016)
English 43m IMDb
Stars: Robert RedfordConrad Anker, Max Lowe
Hiking makes us realize how beautiful nature is, and watching this documentary makes you appreciate the creation of the National Park System of America. The movie starts with the three-day trip of President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir through the Yosemite wilderness. You can witness the majestic parks and unique historical perspectives of America in this film.
If you are passionate and in awe of nature, then now is the perfect time to add national parks to your hiking bucket list!
15. The Ritual (2017)
English, Swedish 1h 34m IMDb
Stars: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier
Do you remember when your mom used to say don’t talk to strangers? What happens when you are hiking through the woods and the night comes? You will gladly meet a stranger and ask for help, right? Not until you see this psychological thriller hiking movie.
There is a lot of adventure you will experience when hiking on unknown trails, but to experience something haunting is not on the bucket list. You might overthink your next forest hike after watching this horror hiking movie.
16. Jungle (2017)
English, Spanish, German 1h 55m IMDb
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell
If the Mile…Mile & a Half is an exciting film about a group of friends who enjoys hiking and loves to take on challenging trails; this movie is quite different. Although they were up for an adventure, the Amazon rainforest is a dangerously serious trail, and an inexperienced hiker will get caught up with tiring adversaries. Do not be deceived by the beauty of the Amazon rainforest; it will only harm you.
If you love the thrill of adventurous survival stories, this movie is best for you—an intense journey between humanity and nature. The movie will remind you what nature truly is.
Whether a newbie or an experienced hiker, these best hiking movies give you a dose of inspiration or a reminder to be careful on your hiking trips. You witness heartwarming stories and beautiful views that will surely motivate you to go for a hike more often.