I’m an avid hiker and lucky to have hundreds of hikes to choose from here in Washington. I hike as much as possible and sometimes even do multiple weekly hikes, depending on my schedule. I downloaded the AllTrails app years ago on the recommendation of several people in an online hiking group I’m part of, and I’ve been obsessed with it since.
While you can download and use the app for free, I quickly bought the paid version after using it a few times. I am constantly tagging AllTrails on social media because I love the app so much, and I keep getting asked what’s the difference between AllTrails Pro vs. the free version, as well as if AllTrails Pro is worth it.
This AllTrails review covers some of the most common questions about the difference between the free version of AllTrails and the paid version and if AllTrails Pro is worth it or not.
AllTrails Review – Common AllTrails App Questions
What is the AllTrails app?
The AllTrails app is your new best friend when it comes to hiking. I’ve been using this app for years to find hikes in Washington and beyond, look up routes, and read reviews of current conditions on the trail.
The great part is they have hundreds of thousands of hike options all over the world. I used this when I went to Saguaro National Park to map out some of the hikes I wanted to do, and I’m also creating a list of hikes I want to do when I visit Ireland next.
Can I try the AllTrails Pro version out before committing to buying it?
If you’re not sure if AllTrails Pro is worth it, they offer a 7-day free trial, so you can see if you think you’ll use all the paid features.
How much does AllTrails cost?
You can use the free version and still access many of the features. However, if you buy AllTrails Pro, the annual fee is $35.99 (coming out to $2.99 per month). I personally buy the paid subscription because I know how often I use it, so it makes it more than worth it.
What do you get with the free version of AllTrails?
You get a ton of options with AllTrails without even having to give your credit card over, so let’s compare AllTrails Pro vs. the free version.
Some of these include:
- Search for hundreds of thousands of hikes all over the world
- Research crucial details about the hike, such as total mileage, elevation gain, and difficulty level, and see how long it’s taken other users to complete
- Create lists of hikes you want to do in the future
- View maps of your route while you’re online
- Track how long your hike takes you and share any tips you have for future hikers
How do you use the AllTrails app?
The AllTrails free app is very straightforward to use – simply create an account and start searching for hikes. You can look for hikes near you or filter it by max distance or elevation gain, kid-friendliness, easy hikes, and more.
I love using AllTrails to download maps and stay on the trail during all my hikes.
AllTrails Pro Review
As promised, here’s my AllTrails Pro review on why I love the paid version. I do a lot of solo hikes, so safety is extremely important to me. While I invested in a Garmin inReach in case of an emergency, the AllTrails app is a second way to keep me safe.
Download Maps Offline
Some people think that all hiking trails have plenty of signage so it’s obvious where you’re supposed to go, but that’s not always true. With AllTrails Pro, you can download the trail map in advance so you can still access it if you get on the trail and don’t have service (which is very likely, especially if you live in Washington).
I do want to point out that you need to download the maps in advance while you still have service, so I always do this the night before. Once they’re downloaded, you’ll pull up the map on your phone and be able to see via the little blue GPS where your location is on the trail.
This is the second reason I advocate for everyone to buy AllTrails Pro, and it’s a feature that stands out from other hiking GPS apps out there. When you have the route going on the app, and you suddenly get off track of the correct route, your phone will start vibrating and won’t stop until you get back on the trail.
This has saved me more times than I’d like to admit. While I’m pretty savvy with following a trail, there are times a small path looks like a continuation of the trail.
Once, I was doing a sunset hike with my toddler on a new trail, and I got completely off track. Luckily, my AllTrails app started vibrating to alert me something was up so I could look at the map and get back on track.
The beauty of this is that you don’t have to be holding your phone the entire time you’re hiking to ensure you’re on the trail. The vibration is obvious, so you’ll stop to see what’s happening.
This is also useful when it comes to winter hikes in Washington, as you can’t often see the trail underneath the snow. I consider the AllTrails app an essential part of my winter hiking checklist now.
Just a note, you should always have a plan B in case your phone happens to die. I study the map of the route pretty thoroughly and pay attention to any landmarks I’m passing if it’s an out-and-back trail. Some people also prefer having paper maps, although this may not be available for many trails.
I actually just discovered this a few months ago, but on top of viewing the map of the trail, you can have other map overlays when you buy AllTrails Pro. This includes air quality, which was crucial for me when I was trying to do fall hiking this past September with our wildfires all around the state.
You can also look at the weather in the area, a heatmap, pollen count, and light pollution for where you want to hike. These amazing features enhance your hike more by helping you pick one that’s best for your health (avoiding areas with poor air quality or a high pollen count) or your goals (low light pollution if you want to do stargazing/astrophotography).Try a 7-day free trial of AllTrails Pro!
Based on all that, yes, you can use AllTrails for free if you want to research hikes and create lists of future ones to do. However, I always believe in being as safe as possible in the outdoors, so I strongly feel AllTrails Pro is worth it. That’s why I wanted to write this AllTrails app review for others to see why I love it.
You won’t have to worry about getting off the trail when you have the offline map available, and you’ll get “nudged” if you do happen to get off the trail. I will continue to buy AllTrail Pro year after year for these reasons, as it’s easy to answer yes that AllTrails Pro is worth it.