How Long Does It Take To Hike One Mile?

Hiking is a great activity to do if you want to get out and explore, or if you want a different way to keep in shape and lose weight rather than going to a gym. If you are new to hiking, or just getting into this outdoor activity, knowing how far, and how fast you can typically hike, is going to help you in your planning.

How long does it take to hike one mile? Typically, the average person can hike one mile in about 30 minutes. While there are many different factors that can make this number go up and down, if you are on a moderate hiking trail with water and typical hiking gear, you should be fine to plan a hike at 30 minutes per mile. You will always want to set your pace by the slowest, or newest person in your group if you are not alone.

Why Does It Matter

You might be asking yourself, why does knowing how long it will take me to hike a mile even matter? The answer to this is that when you are planning a hike, you really want to know where you are going to start, and where you are going to end. The problem is that if you do not know your pace and how far you can hike, you can possibly make the hike for too long, or too short, and you could run into problems.

If you under estimate your hike, the only problem you face is that you are finished early, and can go home and relax longer. If you over estimate your hike, you could end up not being able to finish, and run the risk of having problems getting back to your, especially at night. Knowing at least how many miles you can roughly travel, you can more accurately gauge how long and far you can go for, and if you over estimate, you are only out on the trail for a couple more hours.

6 Things That Can Change Your Hike Time

There are some things that you can do to get better accuracy on planning your hike, and figuring out exactly how far you can hike for. This will help you each time you plan a longer, tougher hike.

1. Weather:

Weather plays a HUGE role in how long you can hike, and also heavily impacts how fast and far you can hike an hour. If it is raining, and you are on a path that is not paved, you are going to deal with mud. Other factors like leaves, pine needles, and rocks can also slow you down in rain.

If it is too cold, your muscles and joints are going to need a warmup before you really kick your hike into gear. Hiking in the dead heat of summer can also slow you down, and you may have to take breaks to keep from getting heat stroke. You will also drink more water on hotter days, so you have to plan to bring extra water, which means extra weight. As you can see, weather conditions can really play a big part of your hiking distance/time.

long hike

2. Terrain:

When we say that you can hike an average of on mile for every 30 minutes, we say this as if you are going for a relatively moderate hike with no radical inclines or declines that you might have to maneuver. If you plan to go hike a 30% incline up a mountain, you will have to factor that in, since it will slow the average hiker down, so do not use our 30 minute mile as a blanket statement.

The same thing can be said for paved vs non paved trails. If you know you are on a nice paved trail, you will cover more distance per hour. Know the inclines and terrain of where you are hiking, and you can more accurately gauge your times and distance.

3. Fitness:

Your personal fitness levels are going to be the biggest calculator of distance/time. If you are extremely active, in great shape, and have no problem with stamina, you will cover a lot more ground than someone is not physically fit, and does not spend a lot of time outdoors. This does mean someone that is out of shape, and overweight cannot hike, hiking can be a great way to get in shape, but you will have to account for it in your distance/time calculation. The more you hike, the more you will build stamina and will be able to hike faster and longer.

4. Gear:

You are always going to have some gear when you go on a hike, that is just something you have to understand up front. If you are walking on a path, its good to bring water, matches, a knife and other things just in case, but if you are hiking a mountain trail, and long distances, you will have more gear.

The more gear you have, the heavier your pack becomes, and the slower you will go. Water is going to impact your hike a lot because the warmer it is, the more water you will have to bring to stay hydrated. Pack what you need for the type of hike you are going on, and you will be fine.

5. Other Hikers:

There will always be a time where you are going to encounter other hikers on the trail. If you go to a very popular hiking trail, you may encounter dozens of other hikers, and if the trail is too busy, you might not be able to pass them. This can slow your mileage down by quite a bit, so do your homework first.

Find out how popular the trail you want to hike is, and find out when the best times to start your hike will be to have a clear trail. You are less likely to encounter this on non paved hiking trails in the mounts.

taking a selfie on the mountain

6. Clothing:

Believe it or not, your clothes do play a huge part in how fast and far you can travel on a hiking trail. If you wear jeans and flip flops, you are going to cover a lot less ground, and you may run into problems like chaffing, or foot injuries. If you have on nylon and hiking shoes, you are going to move a lot faster. if you dont have hiking clothes, at least throw on some sweats or shorts, and never wear flip flops or anything that can break easily, or anything to does not support your ankles.

Final Thoughts

Hiking is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, but is also a great way to stay in shape. It is extremely important that you do not over or estimate your hike, and after these six tips, you should be able to accurately gauge if you are 30 minute mile person, or if you have add or subtract a little time. If you still don’t know, I would give yourself an extra 30 minutes or hour.

Related Topics

How Far Is A Typical Hike?

How far is a typical hike? Typically a hike will last anywhere between 4 and 8 hours. At a pace of 30 minutes per mile, you can expect to travel around 8 miles in a 4 hour hike, and up to 16 miles in an all day 8 hour hike. This estimation is based on a person with average health and stamina.