Calories Burned Hiking Calculator

Written by Noleen Arendse
Reviewed by Gareth Chapman

The number of calories burned hiking can be between 300 to 600 per hour depending on your weight, backpack weight, hiking pace, and terrain. 

Use the calories burned hiking calculator to get a personal estimate.

Getting out on a mountain trail or the local countryside for a hike is a great way to burn calories for free!

The most important part of choosing any exercise routine for weight loss is making sure it’s something you can happily repeat routinely. So if you enjoy hiking and want to lose weight, carry on reading to find out how hiking can help you reach your weight loss goals.

calories burned hiking

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Table Contents

Calories burned hiking calculator

The calories burned hiking calculator is an easy way to estimate the calories you burned on your hike based on average metabolic rates. 

Here’s how to use the hiking calories calculator

  1. Enter your weight
  2. Enter the weight of any backpack you wore (enter 0 if you didn’t carry a backpack)
  3. Enter the duration of your hike
  4. Enter the distance you hiked (the calculator uses your time and distance to work out the speed)
  5. Select the type of hike:
    • relatively flat cross country
    • combination of uphill and downhill
    • all uphill
    • all downhill
  6. If hills are involved, choose the approximate average incline

The calculator will then use all of these factors to estimate your calories burned.

Use the calories burned walking calculator if you are going to be walking on a flat terrain only without a backpack.  

Calories Burned Hiking Calculator





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How many calories burned in a 1-hour hike? Easy chart

Generally, you can hike 2 miles in an hour. The number of calories burned hiking per hour varies depending on several factors. This includes your body weight, hiking pace, the terrain (uphill or downhill), and the intensity of the hike. 

A person can burn on average approximately 300 to 600 calories per hour while hiking. 

The chart below shows the hiking calories burned when hiking at a pace of 2 mph without a backpack with an average incline of 1 – 5%.

If you add a backpack or increase the incline, you’ll burn more calories.

Calories burned hiking 2 miles per hour

WeightCross countryUphill & DownhillUphill onlyDownhill only
150299351448254
160319374478271
170338398508288
180358421538305
190378445567322
200398468597338
210418492627355

Calories burned hiking per mile chart

The average time it takes to hike a mile is about 30 minutes. This depends on your weight, your pack weight, and the terrain. 

While the calories burned hiking a mile can vary, a good rule of thumb is about 150 to 300 calories per mile.

The table below shows the number of hiking calories burned per mile without a backpack and on an average incline of 1 – 5%.

WeightCross countryUphill & DownhillUphill onlyDownhill only
150149175224127
160159187239135
170169199254144
180179210269152
190189222284161
200199234299169
210209246314178

How many calories does a 3-mile hike burn?

Hiking 3 miles can burn between 450 to 900 calories depending on your weight, the weight of your backpack, the terrain, and more.

How many calories do you burn on a 7-mile hike?

A 7-mile hike can burn between 1,000 to 2,100 calories. However, this can vary between hikers depending on weight, backpack weight, the type of terrain, and more which is why it’s a good idea to use our hiking calories calculator.

On average, you can burn between 300 to 600 calories per hour hiking. You'll also burn 150 - 300 calories per mile hiking.

How many calories do you burn hiking?

Hiking calories can range from 300 to 600 calories per hour. However, this depends on the following factors:

Body weight: The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn

Backpack weight: Your pack weight can significantly increase the caloric burn while hiking. While it might be tempting to walk with a heavy pack to burn more calories, remember that the recommended maximum weight for a backpack is 20% of your body weight.

Hike duration and distance: The longer your hike, the more calories you’ll burn while hiking.

Hiking speed: Hiking at a moderate pace will burn more calories compared to a slow, leisurely hike. If you want to burn more calories on your hike, increase the pace. 

Type of terrain: You’ll burn more calories hiking over uneven terrain or terrain that has a mix of flat terrain, hills, and downhills. 

Average incline: The steeper the incline, the more calories you’ll burn. For example:

  • A 160-pound person, hiking at 2 miles an hour will burn 478 calories at an incline of 1 – 5%.
  • This increases to 573 when the incline is 5 – 10%.
  • If the incline is more than 10%, the calories increase to 733 calories.

The number of calories burned hiking can vary depending on your body weight, the weight of your backpack, the hike duration and distance, the terrain, and the incline.

Is hiking good for weight loss?

Yes, hiking can be good for weight loss and has several health benefits. It’s a low-impact exercise that’s easy on the joints, and it burns a lot of calories. Hiking can also help to build muscle, which boosts your metabolism and aids in weight loss. 

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. If you want to know more about losing weight, read: How many calories should I eat to lose weight?

The key to any exercise routine is to find something you enjoy doing and can stick to. Hiking can be extremely enjoyable which is why it’s a great option for weight loss. 

How to lose weight hiking

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to use a multi-faceted approach.

Step 1 – Reduce the calories in your diet.

Step 2 – Increase the number of calories you burn.

Calories burned hiking

Here’s an example:

To lose about a pound of weight, you need to burn approximately 3,500 calories more than you eat. This can vary between individuals but it’s a good rule of thumb to help you get going on your weight loss journey.

Step 1 – Reduce the calories in your diet

  • Two cans of soda are about 300 calories.
  • If you usually drink two cans of soda a day, cutting down to 1 can a day will reduce your calorie intake by 1,050 calories a week.
  • Cutting soda out completely will further reduce your weekly calories by 2,100 calories a week. 

Step 2 – Increase the number of calories you burn

  • Take a hike – if you weigh 200Ibs and complete a 3-hour leisurely hike with small hills once a week, with a 10lb pack weight, you can burn around 1,474 calories.
  • If you add the calorie deficit from cutting out soda to the calories burned hiking, you can expect to be in a calorie deficit of 2,524 to 3,574 calories a week.
  • This can potentially result in you losing close to a pound of fat a week.  

Keep in mind that the 3,500-calorie rule can vary between individuals and even from week to week. The principle is that a calorie deficit will help you lose weight over time which is why consistency is key! 

Is hiking better than walking for weight loss?

Hiking burns a lot more calories than walking. With a backpack included it can beat the calories burned running.

If your goal is to lose weight, a cross-terrain hike will beat a walk around the block every day. To understand more of the difference see hiking vs walking.

Let’s look at an example: 

If you weigh 175 lbs and walk for 2 hours at a normal pace, you’ll burn around 580 calories.

If you were to spend those 2 hours doing a hilly hike, while carrying a 30lb backpack, you’d burn around 1,120 calories.

Calories burned hiking vs walking

However, even though walking burns fewer calories, don’t underestimate the power of consistency. 

If you are able to regularly walk twice a week but can only hike once a week, you’ll end up burning more calories in the long run.

For example, the same walk twice a week will burn 1,740 calories. Over a month, that can potentially result in close to 2 pounds of fat lost.

Hiking is a great option for weight loss. If you combine regular hiking and reduce the calories in your diet, you'll be well on your way to losing weight and keeping it off!

How to burn more calories hiking

Burning more calories while hiking doesn’t necessarily mean huge changes or suddenly hiking a more challenging hike. Any physical activity has health benefits and we need moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week. 

Moderate-intensity physical activity is something that raises your heart rate to around 50% of the maximum. Brisk walking is an example of moderate-intensity physical activity.

Vigorous-intensity physical activity is something that raises your heart rate to 70% – 80% of the maximum. Hiking uphill is an example of Vigorous-intensity physical activity.

If you really want to get the maximum effect from hiking, follow this general approach:

Aim to keep your heart rate as high as possible for as long as possible.

  1. Warm up gently – to make sure you don’t injure yourself
  2. Go hard uphill at a fast pace – this drives your heart rate up
  3. Maintain a steady state – this doesn’t require as much effort but keeps your heart rate high

Here are our top tips to increase the calories you burn when hiking.

Hike with a backpack

The weight of your backpack makes a big difference. Every 1lb of backpack weight increases calorie burn by around 5 calories per 2-hour hike.

Your pack weight should not exceed 20% of your body weight. So a 200lb person should not exceed a backpack weight of 40lbs. 

A 150lb person, should not have a backpack bigger than 30lbs.

Hike uphill

Heading for the hills literally burns more calories. Here are some examples of the approximate calories burned for walking a mile uphill.  

Each example is for hiking 1 mile uphill at the same speed. 

What varies in each example is the person’s weight, the weight of the backpack, and the hill incline.

WeightGentle inclineMedium inclineSteep incline

150lbs –

 No backpack

224269343

150lbs –

20lb backpack

254305389

200lbs

No backpack

299358458

200lbs –

20lb backpack

328394504

To get an estimate of the calories you would burn walking a mile uphill use the calories burned hiking calculator.

Hike at a brisk pace

Aim to pick up the pace to help you burn more calories. A simple way to do this is to hike at a brisk pace along level paths when you get the chance.

Hike for longer

It goes without saying that increasing the duration and distance of your hike will naturally burn more calories.

As you become fitter and more accustomed to hiking, aim to hike for longer or fit in a few longer hikes in a month to burn more calories.

Use trekking poles

Trekking poles or hiking poles can help you burn more calories because they engage more muscles. While the main purpose of hiking poles is to provide support and stability, they can also cause increased energy expenditure and calorie burn in a few ways:

They use your arms: When using hiking or trekking poles, you use your arms as well as your legs. The extra muscle engagement leads to a higher overall calorie burn compared to hiking without poles.

They increase the intensity: Hiking poles can help you keep up a faster pace throughout your hike. They also provide added support when climbing up or down steep or challenging terrain. The increased intensity and speed can keep your heart rate elevated and can burn more calories overall. 

They help with endurance: Hiking poles can help reduce the strain on your legs and joints, which helps you hike for longer resulting in more calories burned during your hike.

Burn more calories hiking by using a backpack, hiking uphill, increasing the pace, hiking for longer or using trekking poles.

If you’re hoping to complete some of the more popular hiking trails in the USA, it might be useful to know how many calories you can potentially burn. 

Remember to pack in healthy snacks that will provide enough fuel and don’t forget to stay hydrated.

How many calories burned hiking the Grand Canyon?

The calories you burn hiking the Grand Canyon will depend on your weight, the trail you take, and the weight of any backpack you carry.

A 130-pound person hiking from North Kaibab Trailhead to Cottonwood Campground (6.8 miles) in 4 hours will burn around 1,200 calories.

A 210-pound person hiking from Bright Angel Trailhead to Indian Garden Campground (4.8 miles) in 3 hours will burn around 1,400 calories.

Here’s a map showing the three most popular hiking trails in the Grand Canyon.

Calories burned hiking Grand Canyon

Hiking Map for North Kaibab, South Kaibab, and Bright Angel Trails

Below are the three trail paths and the distance between popular points.

Look up the distance of your route then use the hiking calculator to input your own details for the route you’re going to take to see how many calories you will burn hiking the Grand Canyon.

North Kaibab Trail

Trailhead elevation: 8,241 feet (2,512 m)

Key points on the trail and the distance between each:

  • Trailhead to Supai Tunnel: 1.7 miles (2.5 km)
  • Supai Tunnel to Roaring Springs: 3 miles (4.8 km)
  • Roaring Springs to Pumphouse Ranger Station: 0.7 miles (1.1km)
  • Pumphouse Ranger Station to Cottonwood Campground: 1.4 miles (2.3 km)
  • Cottonwood Campground to Ribbon Falls: 1.6 miles (2.6 km)
  • Cottonwood Campground to Bright Angel Campground: 7.2 miles (11.6km)
  • Trailhead to Cottonwood Campground: 6.8 miles (10.9 km)
  • Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground: 14 miles (22.5 km)

South Kaibab Trail

Trailhead elevation: 7,260 feet (2,213 m)

  • Trailhead to Cedar Ridge: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Cedar Ridge to Skeleton Point: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Skeleton Point to Tip Off: 1.4 miles (2.3 km)
  • Tip-Off to Bright Angel Campground: 2.6 miles (4.2 km)
  • Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground: 7 miles (11.3 km)
Calories burned hiking south kaibab trail

South Kaibab trail

Bright Angel Trail

Trailhead elevation: 6,860 feet (2,093 m)

  • Trailhead to 1½-Mile Resthouse:1.6 miles (2.6 km)
  • 1½-Mile Resthouse to 3-Mile Resthouse:1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • 3-Mile Resthouse to Indian Garden Campground: 1.7 miles (2.7 km)
  • Trailhead to Indian Garden Campground:4.9 miles (7.9 km)
  • Indian Garden Campground to River Resthouse: 3.2 miles (5.2 km)
  • River Resthouse to Bright Angel Campground: 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
  • Trailhead to Bright Angel Campground: 9.5 miles (15.3 km)
Calories burned hiking Bright Angel trail

Bright Angel Trail

Calories burned hiking Grand Canyon elevation

Elevation map of trails

Look up the distance that you're planning to hike in the Grand Canyon. Use the calories burned hiking calculator to work out how many calories you'll burn hiking the Grand Canyon.

FAQs

You can burn between 300 to 600 calories hiking for 1 hour. You can burn more calories by carrying a backpack, increasing the pace, hiking uphill , and using trekking poles.

You can burn about 1000 to 2100 calories on a 7-mile hike depending on your weight, your backpack weight, pace, terrain, and more. Use our calories burned hiking calculator for a better estimate.

Yes, you can. While hiking won’t target belly fat, as you lose weight in general, you’ll also lose stubborn belly fat especially if you are also eating a healthy diet.

The best way is to use our calories burned hiking calculator. You can also use a fitness tracker or app such as Strava.

Hiking generally burns twice as many calories as walking. For example, if you burn about 100 calories per mile walking, you can easily burn 200 calories per mile hiking if you take into account the backpack and the terrain.  

Overall Summary

  • The calories burned hiking can be 300 to 600 calories per hour.
  • You can burn more calories by carrying a backpack, increasing the pace, heading uphill, hiking for longer or using trekking poles.
  • Hiking is a great way to lose weight because it burns lots of calories. The best way to lose weight is to reduce your calories and hike regularly.

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