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The Best Hiking Quotes to Inspire Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Last Updated: September 19, 2021
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Hiking is a favorite pastime for many of us. But, when we’re not out on the trail, reading hiking quotes is perhaps the next best alternative.

A good hiking quote can lift your spirits, motivate you to get out on an afternoon wander, or finally give you the push you need to plan that trekking trip you’ve always dreamed of. So, here are a few dozen of our absolute favorite hiking quotes to inspire your next outdoor adventure.

Adventure Hiking Quotes

A bit of adventure is a must during any hiking trip. These quotes remind us of the highs and lows of outdoor adventures, both on and off the trail.

“Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.” - Diane Spicer

“Jumping from boulder to boulder and never falling with a heavy pack is easier than it sounds; you just can’t fall when you get into the rhythm of the dance.” - Jack Kerouac

“On a hike, the days pass with the wind, the sun, the stars; movement is powered by a belly full of food and water, not a noxious tankful of fossil fuels. On a hike, you’re less a job title and more a human being. A periodic hike not only stretches the limbs but also reminds us: Wow there’s a big old world out there.” - Ken Ilgunas

“You need special shoes for hiking - and a bit of a special soul as well.” - Terri Guillemets

“You, who know that all the bruises and scrapes from scrambling and rambling are the best because they remind you of being alive.” - Madison Perrins

“Hiking is not for everyone. Notice the wilderness is mostly empty.” - Sonja Yoerg

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” - Amelia Earhart

“The best journeys in life are those that answer questions you never thought to ask.” - Rick Ridgeway

“You must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong.” - Sue Fitzmaurice

Quotes About Hiking Trails

Whether you’re thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail or going on a short afternoon jaunt on your local forest path, life on the trail is unique, to say the least. Here are some great quotes about crushing miles on difficult trails, casual wanders in alpine meadows, and everything in between.

“Only one who wanders finds new paths.” - Norwegian proverb

“The long distance hiker, a breed set apart, from the likes of the usual pack. He’ll shoulder his gear, be hittin’ the trail; long gone, long ‘fore he’ll be back.” - M.J. Eberhart

“Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” - Cindy Ross

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” - Edward Abbey

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” - Frank A. Clark

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” - Rosalia de Castro

“If you face the rest of your life with the spirit you show on the trail, it will have no choice but to yield the same kind of memories and dreams.” - Adrienne Hall 

“Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. By all means, you should follow that.” - Ellen Degeneres

“The trail leads not merely north and south, but up to the body, mind, and soul of man.” - Harold Allen 

“A path is a prior interpretation of the best way to traverse a landscape.” - Rebecca Solnit

“When you’re on the AT, the forest is your universe, infinite and entire. It is all you experience day after day. Eventually it is about all you can imagine. You are aware, somewhere, there are mighty cities, but here, the forest rules.” - Bill Bryson, A Walk In The Woods

Hiking Mountain Quotes

For many of us, nothing beats being in the mountains. These great quotes remind us of how amazing it is to be up in the alpine, experiencing the best that the world has to offer while hiking.

“Mountains teach that not everything in this world can be rationally explained.” - Aleksander Lwow

“You need mountains, long staircases don’t make good hikers.” - Amit Kalantri

“No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied - it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.” - Ansel Adams

“When preparing to climb a mountain, pack a light heart.” - Dan May

“Every fresh peak ascended teaches something.” - Sir Martin Conway

“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” - Aldous Huxley

“Only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.” - Richard Nixon

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” - Sir Edmund Hillary

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet; this is not done by jostling in the street.” - William Blake

“The hills have a power to soothe and heal which is their very own.” - Alfred Wainwright

“Everybody wants to reach the peak, but there is no growth on the top of a mountain. It is in the valley that we slog through, the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life’s next peak.” - Andy Andrews

“Those who travel to mountain tops are half in love with themselves and half in love with oblivion.” - Robert Macfarlane

“In the mountains, you are sometimes invited, sometimes tolerated, and sometimes told to go home.” - Fred Beckey

“You climb to reach the summit, but once there, discover that all roads lead down.” - Stanislaw Lem

“Mountain hikes instilled in me a lifelong urge to get to the top of any inviting summit or speak.” - Paul D. Boyer

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.” - Andy Rooney

“Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.” - Anatoli Boukreev

“Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air, and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” - David McCullough Jr.

Hiking With Family Quotes

There’s no better way to spend time with your family than to get out on a hike. Whether you’re already an adventurous family or you’re looking to take your kids out on their first mountain adventure, here are some great quotes to get you started.

“It’s not how many miles you walk, it’s how many smiles you share.” - Anonymous

“Set loose, a child would run down the paths, scramble up the rocks, lie on the earth. Grown-ups more often let their minds do the running, scrambling, and lying but the emotion is shared. It feels good to be here.” - David Milner

“Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives.” - Thomas Berry

Motivational Hiking Quotes

We all need a little motivation, sometimes, even when on the trail. If you’re lacking inspiration or need a little extra umph to get you going today, check out these great motivational hiking quotes: 

“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” - Mary Davis

“For hiking is one of those things that you can only do when you have the determination in you.” - Carl Sagan

“I slow down when hiking. The rhythm of nature is more leisurely. The sun comes up, it moves across the sky, and you begin to synchronize to that rhythm.” - John Mackey

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” - Mary Davis

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” - Raymond Inmon

“Days of slow walking are very long: They make you live longer because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepend, instead of filling them up by straining the joints.” - Frédéric Gros

“The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot.” - Werner Herzog

“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.” - Henry David Thoreau

“He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

“I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.” - Abraham Lincoln

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” - Vince Lombardy

Hiking Quotes For Couples

Hiking with your partner is a great way to spend some quality time together while enjoying the great outdoors. Here are a handful of our favorite quotes about hitting the trails with your soulmate:

“You’d be surprised who the love of your life turns out to be. After all, adventure fell in love with lost.” - Mary Oliver

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of the world and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

“In life, it’s not where you go, it’s who you travel with.” - Charles Schulz

“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.” - Lewis Carroll

Final Thoughts

We hope that you enjoyed this list of hiking quotes as much as we did and that you can use them to inspire your next outdoor adventure. If you enjoyed our list of the best hiking quotes, please let us know which one was your favorite in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to share our list so your friends and family can share in the hiking fun!

Gaby Pilson is a professional outdoor educator and climbing instructor with over ten years of experience delivering outdoor experiences. She holds multiple outdoor safety and education certifications and specializes in guiding expeditions to the polar regions. Gaby also works as a Wilderness Medicine Instructor and Climbing Wall Instructor Course Provider.
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