To those of us who adore the outdoors, there is absolutely no worthy substitute for the time spent out in the wild. However much you may love the great outdoors, you may not be able to spend all your time out there.
When you are stuck indoors with nowhere to go, you can catch hiking movies to give you that charm of the wild right in your living room. After spending lots of hours reviewing an array of hiking movies, we have compiled this list that we hope you will absolutely enjoy going through our list.
You can even try to recreate a scene that thrills you most during your next outing. These movies will help you inject more creativity into your hiking. Grab some popcorn my fellow outdoors-person and get ready for the time of your life.
The Top 10 Best Hiking Movies of all time
1. Touching the void
This 2003 Documentary is based on a true story. It is an award-winning documentary. It tells the perilous hike of two climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates as they seek to tame the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in the year 1985.
The almost 20,813-foot-high hike takes the two climbers right through some of Mother Nature’s inhospitable conditions. They come face to face with unimaginable horrifying situations that will leave you right at the edge of your seat.
The heroics, determination, and bravery of the two will be sure to leave you gasping for breath as you are taken on a journey of the proverbial hell on earth. Touching the void is a real cliffhanger that will enable you to plan better for your outdoor activities while giving you the bravery to tackle any trick that Mother Nature might throw your way.
2. Into the wild
This 2007 movie narrates the story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch plays the character), a graduate of Emory University. A top athlete and student, Christopher decides to abandon all his possessions and give his entire life’s savings to charity.
He then sets on a hitchhike mission to Alaska and lives in the wilderness to do some soul searching on his own. On his way, he encounters a chronology of characters that play to shape his entire life. He finds an abandoned bus and sets up home in it.
This real-life story teaches us to do whatever makes us happy and not mind any earthly belongings. Challenges may come your way, but you have to brave them. That challenging mountain hike you have kept on postponing couldn’t have come at a better time.
Here is a 2015 Documentary that you will absolutely go nuts about. This is one of the best hiking movies that every person thinking about getting involved in outdoor activities should watch. This documentary takes you through the struggles that 3 elite climbers struggle through as they navigate their way to the top of Mt. Meru.
Losses and obsession attempt to come between them and their high-stake climb, but they tackle each in their unique ways. Climbing Mt. Meru is one of the coveted prizes of climbers in the Himalayan big wall climbing. Starring Conrad Anker, Grace Chine, Jimmy Chin and Amee Hinkley, it is a documentary worth your free time.
Climbing Mount Everest has become every Mountain climbers dream. Don’t you think so? Find yourself at the top of the world quite literally. It was acted based on real-life events that occurred in 1996 (Mount Everest Disaster). The storyline is based on two expedition groups of mountaineers led by Rob Hall and Scott Fischer.
This hair-raising movie is adapted from Beck Weather’s memoirs, Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest. Beck Weathers is one of the survivors of the tragic events of 1996. An intense Mountaineering movie, you will flood with emotions in your attempts to keep up with the heart racing turn of events.
The conditions at earth’s highest peak are just too harsh for humans to survive, yet others find the willpower to defy all odds amidst some of the nature’s furriest forces. Here is a challenge for you. With sheer willpower and determination, you can endure any outdoor activity.
5. Paddle to Seattle: The Journey Through the Inside Passage
To explore the great outdoors, two brothers set out to build their own Kayaks and paddle by themselves in the wilderness for 97 days. Their journey covers over 1,300 miles, traveling from Alaska to Seattle.
J.J. Kelly and Josh Thomas play a starring role as the two brothers talk about their experience in the jungle.
Going hiking does not require you to have any special skills, does it? This movie is based on a real-life experience of a lady who is a rookie in matters hiking. So, if you are new to hiking or you have been thinking of trekking outdoors, this movie should give you the motivation you need.
The heroine, played by Reese Witherspoon (as Cheryl Strayed) encounters real turmoil in her life. She loses her mom; her marriage tumbles, she becomes a drug addict and gets involved in sex escapades along the way. Her life is a total mess in brief. In one of those self-reflecting moments, she decides to do something wild to rediscover her lost glory.
What does she decide to do? With no experience at all, she decides to take a 1,100-mile-long hike on the Pacific Trail Crest, covering the West Coast. In the movie, you are taken through breathtaking scenery. She gets inspired along her 94-day journey by fellow hikers. This is a must watch if you are planning on going for your first hike.
7. Vertical Limit (2000)
A fictional survival thriller, this movie tells the story of two siblings, Peter and Annie Garrett. They lose their father, Royce when hiking in Monument Valley. Royce sacrifices himself to save Annie and Peter by forcing Peter to cut him loose after two amateur climbers who were falling had left them dangling.
This near-death experience forces Peter to retire from climbing. He becomes a wildlife photographer while his sister continues mountain climbing. Fast forward to three years; his ambitious sister makes attempts to climb K2, the second highest mountain in the world.
Unknown to her, tough conditions await her and her team at the summit. The inclement weather traps them along the way. Peter then must scramble a rescue team to save his sister who might go through their father’s fate. Is it getting Intense already?
8. The way
As a father, what do you do when your son whom you did not understand dies while traveling the El Camino de Santiago? Well, this is the dilemma a father played by Martin Sheen finds himself in. He decides to complete the journey his son never completed as he also gets to know more about him.
Using his sadness as a driving force, he sets out to trek to Santiago de Compostela in Spain from the French Pyrenees. He meets a couple of fellow pilgrimages and together copes up with the ever-unforgiving Mother Nature.
The story is told with brilliance and plenty of heartfelt moments to ease the tension. Not to mention the stunning mountain scenery plus ancient architecture. This is definitely a movie that will get you out of your comfort zone.
9. 127 Hours
Ever gone hiking and found yourself between a rock and a hard place? What did you do to survive? This movie will teach you some survival skills in case you find yourself in the thick of things. It is based on the book Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place written by Aron Ralston.
James Franco plays Aron’s character as he recounts what he went through while on a hike through Blue John Canyon found in Utah. While trapped alone in isolation by a boulder along the canyon, he only has enough food and water for a day.
The decisions Aron makes to survive are the ones that mountaineers are constantly faced with during their adventures. This movie teaches you to be more than prepared for any hike.
10. A walk in the woods
Hiking should be just about survival and mishaps. How about some humor for relief? This movie provides exactly that. Bill Bryson returns to the United States from Britain to brave the 2,200 miles Appalachian Trail. He has very little experience outdoors though.
To top it up, he brings along an equally inexperienced companion, Stephen Katz. The two encounter the most difficult hike of their lives, with one another and equipment. They end up not completing the hike as was planned. The duo’s struggles provide you with a comical relief and highlight the need for preparedness.
There are lots of amazing hiking movies that you can get inspiration from when planning your next hiking trip. I hope you have enjoyed this list, however short it is. For those planning to venture into the world of hiking, it is never too late to get those boots ready as illustrated by some of the movies.