Getting out on a mountain trail or some local countryside for a hike is a great free way of burning those calories.
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.
Calories burned hiking calculator
This calculator gives your a simple way to estimate the calories you burned on your hike based on average metabolic rates.
- Enter your weight
- Enter the weight of any backpack you wore (enter 0 if you didn’t carry a backpack)
- Enter how long you hiked for
- Enter the distance you hiked (the calculator uses your time and distance to work out the speed)
- Select the type of hike:
- relatively flat cross country
- combination of uphill and downhill
- all uphill
- all downhill
- If hills are involved, choose the approximate avg incline
The calculator will then use all of these factors to estimate your calories burned.
If you’re looking for something more relevant for level firm surface walking, use the calories burned walking calculator.
Seven calories burned hiking questions answered
Answers to top questions about burning calories while hiking…
A leisurely hike will burn between 300 – 600 calories per hour, depending on your weight, backpack, speed and terrain.
The highest impacting factors for calorie burn are:
- Your Weight
- The weight of any backpack you carry
- How long you’re hiking for
- The distance you hike
- The speed of your hike
- The terrain you hike (cross country, uphill, downhill etc)
- How steep the hills are
A 150 pound person with no backpack hiking for 60 mins at 2.5 miles per hour cross country will burn: 351 calories.
The same person with a 20lb backpack on hiking at for 60 mins at speed of 3 miles and up up and down hills of 4% incline will burn: 464 calories.
Is hiking a good way to lose weight? In a word…..yes!!
Hiking is a great way to lose weight.
Do you enjoy getting out on hiking trails? Do you have ready access to some good trekking paths? Hiking is an ideal way to burn extra calories and lose weight.
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat.
The key to any exercise routine is to find something you enjoy doing and can stick to.
Establish yourself a regular routine of hiking several times a week. And reduce your calorie intake and you’ll soon start to see the inches drop off.
If you weigh around 200 lbs, a 90 minute hike over small hills, with a 10 lb backpack will burn over 700 calories.
Increase the incline of those hills and that calorie burn will be closer to 900 calories.
To lose a pound of weight you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you eat.
Reduce your current calorie intake by 250 calories per day.
For example drop two cans of soda and do 3 hours of easy paced hiking a week. You can expect to drop at least a pound of fat every week.
Use the calories burned hiking calculator above to get an estimate of your calorie burn.
Hiking burns a lot more calories than walking.
If you 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 a couple of examples:
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 30 lb backpack, you’d burn around 1,120 calories.
That’s 540 calories more!
If you weight 220 lbs and walk for 2 hours at a normal pace, you’ll burn around 730 calories.
Instead if you spend those 2 hours doing a hilly hike, with a 40 lb backpack, you’ll burn around 1,420 calories.
That’s 690 calories more!
Whatever your weight, hiking instead of walking, will burn up to twice as many calories.
The weight of your backpack makes a big difference. Every 1 lb of backpack weight increases calorie burn by around 5 calories per 2 hour hike.
Your backpack weight should not exceed 20% of your body weight. So a 200 lb person should not exceed a backpack weight of 40 lbs. A 150 lb person, should not have a backpack bigger than 30 lbs.
Here some examples of the approximate calories burned for walking a mile up hill. Each example is for hiking 1 mile up hill at the same speed.
WALKING A MILE UPHILL BURNS BETWEEN 175 TO 390 CALORIES.
What varies in each example is the person’s weight, the weight of the backpack and the hill incline.
150 lb person
- no backpack, 1 mile up gentle incline hill: 175 calories
- 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up gentle hill: 200 calories
- 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up medium incline hill: 235 calories
- 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up steep incline hill: 300 calories
200 lb person
- no backpack, 1 mile up gentle incline hill: 230 calories
- 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up gentle hill: 255 calories
- 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up medium incline hill: 305 calories
- 20 lb backpack: 1 mile up steep incline hill: 390 calories
To get an estimate of the calories you would burn walking a mile up hill use the calories burned hiking calculator.
“All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.
For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.
Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.
For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.
Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.”
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 up hill is an example of Vigorous-intensity physical activity.
If you really want to get the maximum effect from hiking following this general approach.
Aim to keep your heart rate as high as possible for as long as possible.
- Warm up gently – to make sure you don’t injure yourself
- Go hard uphill at a fast pace – this drives your heart rate up
- Maintain a steady state – doesn’t require as much effort but keeps you heart rate high
Calories burned hiking popular trails
Answers to top questions about burning calories while hiking…
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.
This is a map showing the three most popular hiking trails in the Grand Canyon.
Below are the three trail paths and 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 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)
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)
These are ten of the best places to go hiking in the UK
- South West Coast Path
- Hadrian’s wall path
- The Quiraing, Isle of Skye
- South Downs way, Hampshire to East Sussex
- Acafell Pike, Lake District
- Aberglaslyn Gorge and Cwm Bychan, Snowdonia
- Coast to coast, Cumbria to North Yorkshire
- West Highland Way, Glasgow to the Highlands
- Causeway Coast Way, County Antrim
- Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, Yorkshire