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50 Best Movies About Hiking and Backpacking to Watch

If you’re an adrenaline junkie and looking for movies about hiking to satisfy your cravings, look no further.

I know when it comes to climbing mountains or backpacking across the country I’d rather do it from the comfort of my own home.

And you can too! We have compiled a list of the best movies about hiking and backpacking for you to watch.

These movies will pique your interest and more, and who knows you might even pick up a new hobby.

Here is the scoop on the best hiking movies and backpacking movies!

Best Hiking Movies

1. Tracks (2013)

Mia Wasikowska in Tracks (2013)
See-Saw Films

The first movie in our watch list, Tracks is the true story of Robyn Davidson, played by (Mia Wasikowska) with the appearance of Adam Driver.

She takes the journey of 2,700 kilometers from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, crossing through central Australia and the Australian desert.

2. I’ll Push You: A Real-Life Inspiration (2016)

The true story of best friends Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray who hike a total of 500 miles together. It all started with three words, I’ll push you.

What makes this story so different and inspiring is Patrick pushes Justin in his wheelchair for the entire journey. This movie offers a glimpse into a world where anything is possible.

3. Wild (2014)

Inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”, is the true story of one woman’s journey.

Dealing with the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed played by (Reese Witherspoon) hikes over a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail alone on her self-fulfilling journey.

4. Into the Wild (2007)

Written, produced, and directed by Sean Penn, Into the Wild tells the true story of Christopher McCandless, played by (Emile Hirsch). He is a successful college athlete at Emory University who gets inspired by the book written by Jon Krakauer.

Christopher sells his material possessions and travels through the Alaskan Wilderness. The movie also features a debut solo studio album by Pearl Jam vocalist, Eddie Vedder.

5. The Way (2010)

Given a rotten tomatoes score of 83%, grieving father Tom played by (Martin Sheen) decides to take the journey through El Camino de Santiago to retrieve his son’s body.

His son was walking the journey when he died. His friend Daniel (Emilio Estevez), accompanies him on the journey.

6. Everest (2015)

Josh Brolin in Everest (2015)
© 2015 – Universal Pictures

A group of men tackle the challenging task of climbing Mount Everest, the tallest point and the highest mountain on Earth.

Rob Hall and Scott Fischer team up in 1996 and face a massive snowstorm brewing closer and closer to the mountain.

7. 127 Hours (2010)

Based on the true events, young man Aron Ralston, played by (James Franco) is a very experienced hiker and a do-it-by-himself climber.

He lands himself in some hot water when he falls in between a humongous boulder. Now it’s him versus nature in the fight for his life in 127 Hours.

8. A Walk in the Woods (2015)

Based on the best-selling book of the same name, Bill Bryson (Robert Redford) has been living in England for the last twenty years with his wife Catherine Bryson, played by Academy Award winner (Emma Thompson).

When he returns to the United States he decides to walk the Appalachian Trail with his old friend Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte).

9. Touching the Void (2003)

Based on a true story, the main characters Simon Yates and Joe Simpson are climbing partners who love adventure. They take their journey to the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

When Simon is faced with a tough decision, they realize just know dangerous climbing is.

10. The Outwaters (2022)

Michelle May in The Outwaters (2022) hiking movie
© Robbie Banfitch

If you’re a fan of the impossible I’ve got a movie for you. This one just might be for parent’s night and for the older audience.

The Outwaters is about a group of travelers who encounter strange phenomena while they are camping in the Mojave Desert.

And the longer they stay in the desert the more they think they’re not going to make it out alive.

11. Mile… Mile & a Half (2013)

This documentary film gives us an insight look on a group of friends who are hikers who hike the John Muir Trail.

They walk a long hike of over 200 miles in 25 days, and we get to see and hear it all through their point of view in this phenomenal movie about hiking.

12. Edie (2017)

Elderly woman Edie is tired of being told she is too old to do what she wants. So she leaves with a camping bag to go on a hiking trip to Mount Suilven in the Scottish Highlands.

While she walks and sees the beautiful scenery, she realizes that she is never too old to do what she’s passionate about.

13. Valley Uprising (2014)

Valley Uprising tells the story of multiple generations of climbers, starting out with the ones who brought it up from the beginning in California.

The climbers began their journey in Yosemite Valley at Yosemite National Park to camp and climb while doing a Kickstarter campaign to make climbing not illegal. 

14. The Dawn Wall (2017)

The true story of free climber Tommy Caldwell and his climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson who attempt to climb the most difficult climb of their career, the Dawn Wall of El Capitan.

Tommy has been climbing since he was 5 years old and plans to scale this mountain as his latest conquest.

15. A Lonely Place to Die (2011)

Kate Magowan in A Lonely Place to Die (2011) hiking movie
Eigerwand Pictures

If you’re looking for something in the horror genre that will keep you on the edge of your seat, A Lonely Place to Die is the perfect movie. A group of mountain climbers discovers a kidnapped girl in a cellar under the Earth.

While the mountain climbers make it their mission to get her off the mountain, they soon find themselves in danger when the girl’s captors began hunting them down to get their cargo back.

16. Significant Other (2022)

Significant Other is about a young couple, Ruth and Harry, who take a remote backpacking trip through the Pacific Northwest.

The longer they’re in the area, the weirder things become and they realize that the place they’re in is not what it is made out to be.

17. Wildlike (2014)

Up-and-coming star Ella Purnell stars as the main heroine in Wildlike. Ella plays Mackenzie, a runaway who befriends an older man hiking through the Alaskan wilderness. 

18. Only The Essential (2014)

This adventure documentary takes place in the summer of 2013 and follows Casey Gannon and Colin Arisman hiking through the Pacific Crest Trail.

We are given a first-person view of their daily lives for five months as they walk almost 3000 miles on foot.

19. Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) decides to climb Nanga Parbat in British India.

This movie follows his journey over seven years as he makes new friends and goes on a harrowing journey.

20. Arctic (2018)

Mads Mikkelsen in Arctic (2018)
Armory Films

Ovrergard survives a plane crash and has two choices; to stay in the makeshift camp or travel into the unknown. Surviving alongside him is a young woman who was on the plane as well. They soon find themselves needing help before it is too late.

21. Tell It on the Mountain (2013)

This documentary is about a group of hikers walking almost 3000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail. They start in North America at the Mexico Border and travel through the deserts in California.

We get a unique look into what they encountered and what they went through on their 5-month trip.

22. Meru (2015)

Three skilled climbers attempt to climb Mount Meru in a high-stakes game. Mount Meru is known to be the most difficult mountain to climb but that isn’t stopping them.

These men set their focus on being the first people to make it all the way to the top.

23. The Loneliest Planet (2011)

Engaged and in love, Alex and Nica go on a backpacking trip in the Caucasus Mountains.

While traveling, a single misstep threatens to derail their relationship and everything they believed about each other.

24. The Beckoning Silence (2007)

This followup to Touching the Void, this movie focuses on Joe Simpson and the injuries he sustained when his rope was cut by his climbing partner.

He talks about never climbing again, and confronting the questions thrown at him: Why, after almost dying, would he want to climb again?

25. Alone Across Alaska: 1,000 Miles of Wilderness (2013)

Bruce ‘Buck’ Nelson set off one summer to the remote forests of America to cross 1000 miles.

Along the way, he endured mountains, river crossings, rapids, and even wolves. In this solo adventure, he recorded what he endured in Northern Alaska.

26. Unbounded (2018)

The Patagonia Trail is 3000 kilometers of the most difficult terrain to travel through.

A crew of inexperienced and unaided people travels through the Patagonia Trail for four months as they learn through the natives about their way of life and how to conquer the trail.

27. Survive (2009)

Zack Gold hiking movie
Kiliuda Rock

After spending the summer in the Alaskan wilderness, four backpackers are ready to take their plane back home. When their plane doesn’t arrive to pick them up, they are stranded 140 miles from civilization.

Things start to escalate as one of the backpackers gets injured and they experience the pressure of extreme weather. This realistic hiking movie will leave you on the edge of your seat!

28. Free Solo (2018)

Alex Honnold a very experienced climber attempts to be the first person ever to free solo climb El Capitan.

El Capitan is 3200 feet of sheer granite and is going to be one of the most dangerous climbs of his career.

29. Walk (2004)

Documentarian Scott Herriott followers a group of hikers who attempt to walk from Mexico to Canada.

The hikers are taking the Pacific Crest Trail which is known for being challenging and dangerous. You will have to watch to find out just how difficult this trail really is.

30. Southbounders (2005)

Hiker Olivia attempts to hike through the Appalachian Trail which is over 2000 miles long. She gives us an inside look at the trials and tribulations she encounters.

31. The Hike (2011)

a group of girls walking on road
Bad Panda Films

A group of girlfriends go on a camping trip for the weekend. As it becomes closer to nightfall, the girls start to realize that they are being picked up one by one.

And this might be the last hike of their lives. Dive into this hiking movie with friends on a Saturday night!

32. Americano (2005)

Recent college graduate Chris McKinely is backpacking through Spain. He’s there trying to enjoy his freedom before he must join the American workforce.

While in Spain he meets new people who make him question if he should follow his heart or his mind.

33. Far. The Story of a Journey Around the World (2017)

In this documentary, we get to see the travels of two young German adults who have spent more than three years traveling around the world together.

Their methods of travel have been bus, train, ship, and hitchhiking. Together they have accumulated almost 10,000 kilometers on their travels.

34. Highline (2020)

In this documentary, five friends go on a ten-day journey to the Uinta Highline Trail in Utah. Highline offers a snapshot of this group with cameras telling their personal backstories and the tragedies that have followed them around.

35. Travel Light (2016)

A team of American filmmakers backpack across the Camino de Santiago. While in Spain they interview and talk to the locals to hear the stories of the pilgrims that created the long trail.

36. All Who Dare (2017)

A group of nine students who struggle goes to a reform school for their last chance at graduating high school.

The school they attend is Eagle Rock and their first course is a twenty-four-day backpacking trip.

The teenagers must travel across the Colorado wilderness to prove how serious they are about this school.

37. Redwood Highway (2013)

Shirley Knight in Redwood Highway (2013)
Redwood Highway

Now if hiking is still on your bucket list when you are Marie’s age, then you should consider it. This is definitely a must-see movie.

Redwood Highway follows an elderly woman, Marie, who has been living in a retirement home without interaction from family.

She decides to take an 80-mile journey to the coast of Oregon to see her granddaughter at her wedding. Along the way she meets new people who make Marie realize something she’s been missing along.

38. Backcountry (2014)

A couple goes camping in the Canadian wilderness for a little getaway. The longer they’re in the woods, the more strange encounters they have.

Until they finally meet their match and come in contact with a bear.  

39. Almost Sunrise (2016)

Almost Sunrise follows Voss and Anthony Anderson, two ex-soldiers battling PTSD and their injuries from the war.

To find meaning in their life, they walk 2,700 miles across America meeting and interacting with people all over the country. This journey provides healing for them as they learn about how to heal from the inside.

40. A Way to Forgiveness (2016)

Erin R. Dooley has been planning for 15 years to walk 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago.

To help her heal from her divorce, she talks with her fellow walkers and they get vulnerable and up close and personal about how to forgive and forget.

41. The Ritual (2017)

Luke in the darkness

The oldest friends from college reunite for the funeral of their friend. When they meet in Sweden, an unfortunate accident forces them to cut through the woods instead of going through their planned trail.

The longer they are out there the more they get the feeling that something is after them.

42. The Dark Divide (2020)

Based on the true story of butterfly expert Robert Pyle, The Dark Divide retells his travels going through unprotected wildlands in the summer of 1995.

Robert goes through a life-changing journey as he learns more about life and nature.

43. The Summit (2012)

K2 is one of the world’s most dangerous mountains. People all over the world attempt to climb it and ultimately fail.

This great movie follows 24 climbers who left for the summit to climb K2, and only 13 climbers came down. 11 of the other climbers mysteriously died on the deadliest day.

44. Find Me (2018)

Accountant Joe’s life is pretty plain and boring until one day his only friend and coworker, Amelia goes missing. Joe starts to receive clues left by Amelia to find her at various National Parks across the West.

The more Joe goes on, the more he comes out of his shell and the closer he is to finding Amelia.

45. Dog Gone (2023)

Rob Lowe and Johnny Berchtold in Dog Gone (2023)
Photo by Bob Mahoney – © 2022 Netflix, Inc.

Based on a true story, a father and son who are at odds with each other go on a journey to find their lost dog.

They head to the Appalachian Trail to look for their dog and during their journey, the two start to repair their relationship.

46. Journey of the Heart (2021)

We have to add a Hallmark movie to this list even if it’s not the most realistic movie about hiking. Wildlife biologist Abby travels to Alaska to follow up on an assignment done by Alice Hughes.

When Abby gets to Alaska she is assigned Eric as her guide, who also happens to be Alice’s grandson. Eric doubts all of Alice’s abilities but will her determination be enough? 

47. The Wishing Tree (2020)

A great hiking movie to hit the screens, The Wishing Tree takes audiences on a journey of self-discovery. Julia goes on a hiking expedition for the answers to peace and healing.

She meets Caleb and Ryan along the way who are also dealing with their own demons. While they bond over their journeys together they realize hope can be found in different ways.

48. Blue Jay (2016)

When couple Ashley and Jack take a hiking trip to Mount Whitney, it seems like the perfect getaway.

Things take a turn for the worse when the couple is overtaken by a group of men who want to do sinister things to the woman. 

49. Magic Mountains (2020)

Hannah Hoekstra in Magic Mountains (2020)
Arina Film

Magic Mountains follows writer Voytek who asks his ex-girlfriend to climb the mountains with him one last time. Hannah agrees and brings along her new boyfriend, Lex.

While Voytek, Hannah, and Lex spend time together climbing the mountains and exploring nature, Voytek starts to have other ideas in mind.

50. The Art of Travel (2008)

Connor goes on his honeymoon to Central America alone when the wedding falls through. There he meets a group of people who plan to cross the Darien Gap and beat the record time.

While Connor is on his trip, his eyes open up to natural beauty, which makes him realize that this is what he’s been missing along.

Best Hiking and Backpacking Movies Guide

Now I hope you’ve been pushed out of your comfort zone just a little, I know I have. And I hope you found this list helpful for your next outdoor adventures.

The movies about hiking on this list have interesting characters, and an amazing backdrop of nature, and are worth watching.

If you don’t want to venture into the Amazon rainforest, you can venture your way over to Amazon Prime. A majority of these trail movies can be found there along with the amazing scenery and the great outdoors.

best movies about hiking

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One Comment

  1. What a fantastic list of hiking and backpacking movies! I’ve always been fascinated by the incredible journeys people take on foot, and these films seem like a great way to experience that adventure from the comfort of home.

    One movie that particularly caught my eye is “Tracks.” It’d be remarkable to see how Robyn Davidson in her solo trek covered 2,700 kilometers on foot! The portrayal of her journey must be an incredible watch, and Mia Wasikowska’s performance, I’m sure, adds a lot of depth to the character.

    I have seen “127 Hours” (2010), and I found it to be a gripping and intense portrayal of the human spirit’s resilience in the face of adversity. James Franco’s performance as Aron Ralston, a hiker who becomes trapped under a boulder, is truly remarkable. The movie highlights the importance of preparedness and quick thinking in the wilderness, reminding us of the unpredictable nature of outdoor exploration.

    Thanks for sharing.

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