My 9 Favorite Hiking Blogs

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As someone who runs a blog and likes to share a great deal of my travels and adventures, I often find inspiration through the writings of others. Running a blog is easy work, writing for a blog is the hard part. Creating engaging and accessible content can be a lot more difficult than it sounds. This is why I appreciate the work of all bloggers, and the time they commit to sharing their ideas. My blog has a focus on hiking and outdoor adventures, so it should come as no surprise that some of my favorite blogs cover similar topics. Below, you will find the 9 hiking blogs I find myself visiting most often. If you have a blog you really like that’s not on the list, please share it with me in the comments section below!

1.) CaliTrails

CaliTrails is a great blog that focuses on hikes in California that are dog friendly. As a pet owner that loves to hike, this blog offers a lot of really great hiking and backpacking ideas. One of the main themes you’ll see throughout this list, is my love for rich media content. This is especially true for me with photography. CaliTrails uses a great WordPress theme to display and showcase his wonderful captures. Each blog post features massive high quality images that come from the eye of a great photographer. Finally, you can’t help but love the star of the show, a dog named Callie. Callie is the subject in many of my favorite photos from this blog, and is unquestionably a championship hiking dog!

Follow this blog if you like: Photography, Dogs, California Hiking

2.) SoCal Hiker

SoCal Hiker is a hiking blog create by Jeff Hester. This is one of my favorite hiking blogs for trail guides and information in Southern California. Jeff puts together comprehensive trail guides that are easy to read and full of essential information. You can tell he spends a lot of time putting these together, as each guide comes with ‘start to finish’ instructions accompanied by photographs. His blog also utilizes some great plug-ins that give you weather, gps maps, and elevation profiles for each hike. Most importantly, Jeff has a pretty big social media presence with SoCal Hiker and answers a lot of questions for those that need additional assistance. I used the SoCal Hiker guide for the Trans-Catalina Trail hike I did, and it was the only resource I needed outside of physical maps.

Follow this blog if you like: Comprehensive Guides, Southern California Hiking, Accessible Writing

3.) The Big Outside

The Big Outside is written by Michael Lanza, and brings “stories and images of outdoor adventures”. Michael is a very experienced outdoorsman with quite the blog resume. My two favorite things about The Big Outside are the incredible photographs and practical gear reviews. The Big Outside takes you to some really incredible places through Michael’s photography.  As for the gear reviews, I have a very similar taste in gear, so I often find shoe, pack, and clothing reviews that are for purchases I’m considering. This is very helpful coming from someone with Micheal’s experience. The Big Outside also has a lot of posts featuring tips and tricks to get the most out of your backpacking and hiking experience.

Follow this blog if you like: Photography, Gear Reviews, Family Adventures

4.) Modern Hiker

Modern Hiker is probably the most well known and most indexed hiking blog for California hiking, and for good reason. You can find Modern Hiker featured in the La Times, Backpacker, Lonely Planet, and countless other places. The team at Modern Hiker is spearheaded by Casey Schreiner, who also works as a television producer. His entertainments chops definite show through, as this blog is a breeze to click through. Everything is well organized and easily accessible. That’s just the start though, as each blog post is not only well written, but very engaging and thoroughly put together. Similar to SoCal Hiker, this blog utilizes a number of great plugins for maps, tables, elevation profiles, and gps downloads. This blog is definitely the Rolls-Royce of the hiking blog world.

Follow this blog if you like: Comprehensive Guides, California Hiking, A “One-Stop-Shop”

5.) Hiking In Finland

Hiking in Finland is a blog written by Hendrik Morkel. This blog has some of the best gear reviews that I’ve found online, and from a variety of outdoor activities. That’s one of the coolest things about this blog, as I get to see a lot of packrafting and bikepacking posts in conditions I’ll never face here in California. Hiking in Finland also covers trade shows in Europe, so I get a chance to see product offerings before they become available here in the States.  As I mentioned earlier, I love high quality photography, and Hendrik delivers big here. I’ll probably never get a chance to see many of the destinations on his list, but they sure are fun to read about.

Follow this blog if you like: Photography, Gear, European Destinations, Entertaining Writing

6.) Brian’s Backpacking Blog

As the name suggests, Brian’s Backpacking Blog focuses more on backpacking and less on day hiking than the blogs I mentioned earlier. Brain is an experienced outdoorsman and has put together an incredible, comprehensive, backpacking resource blog. On this blog you’ll find gear reviews, backpacking basic skills posts, cooking tips, navigation basics, and much more.

Follow this blog if you like:  All Things Backpacking

7.) Erik the Black’s Backpacking Blog

This is another great backpacking blog that offers a lot of really great tips and advice for lightweight backpackers. Not only does Erik write for this blog, he also writes books and creates maps. It’s really incredible to see the amount of quality content Erik has created. I’ve been relying on this content as I prepare for my upcoming John Muir Trail hike this summer. Eric only has a few posts dedicated to his hikes, but he more than makes up for it with his quality planning and preparation posts.

Follow this blog if you like: Advice For Food Clothing And Gear For Backpacking

8.) Section Hiker

Section Hiker is written by avid outdoorsman, Philip Werner. The blog name “Section Hiker” comes from his hiking of the Appalachian Trail by section. I’m sure his initial goal upon creating this blog was to document just that, but Section Hiker is so much more than just a section by section breakdown of the AT. Philip posts a lot about his hikes in Vermont, and the 4,000 footers in New Hampshire. Coming from Southern California, I don’t get to see very much snow. The posts on Section Hiker more than make up for this. Section Hiker also has the most in depth and comprehensive gear review page of any blog on this list. Philip’s gear reviews are thorough. If you are looking to read reviews on anything hiking gear related, start at Section Hiker.

Follow this blog if you like: Appalachian Trail, Awesome Gear Reviews, New England Hiking

9.) HikesPeak

HikesPeak is a blog created by Seth Smigelski. Anyone who reads my blog or knows me personally knows how much I love the Central Coast. My time living in San Luis Obispo and attending Cal Poly were some of the best years of my life. HikesPeak is one of the only blogs I’ve found that features all of the best hikes on the Central Coast. I’ve found so many new hikes on HikesPeak and still have plenty more to explore for future trips up to SLO. This blog is very well organized, with geographic category pages for hikes listed in sortable tables. Every hike post is written with accurate pictures, descriptions, and guide details. If you’re looking to explore some hikes on the Central Coast, you have to check out HikesPeak.

Follow this blog if you like:  Central Coast Hiking


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31 thoughts on “My 9 Favorite Hiking Blogs”

  1. Hi Drew!
    Love the blog, man. Great photos and turn-by-turn info. Thanks for putting so much awesome content out there!👌🏻👍🏻

    I am an avid So Cal day hiker out of the San Fernando Valley but am planning to thru-hike the JMT in Aug 2018. I found your blog after searching for JMT info…it’s awesome to get your info on that as well as all of the other hikes in SoCal. My gf and I just usually go off of word of mouth and social media!

    I really dig Jeff Hester’s SoCal Hiker blog and community as well…I found it during my JMT search. I’m planning to do the Six Pack of Peaks (albeit “unofficially” haha) and the Trans Catalina Trail this year in preparation for the JMT.

    If you are looking for other good hiking blogs, check out Kristen Bor’s “Bearfoot Theory”. She has a lot of awesome stuff too…hikes, trips, gear reviews, JMT content and a slew of other hiking/backpacking info. Check it out!

    Peace brotha!

    • Thanks, Brian! I appreciate it. It’s always nice to hear from fellow So Cal hikers. Great to hear you’re planning to hike the JMT. Hopefully the snow wont be as crazy as this year. I got lucky in 2015 with some really nice conditions. I have guides on the JMT and TCT if you haven’t seen them already. I’ll have to checkout Bearfoot Theory.

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  4. I love the way you guide me as a reader. Amazing photos and you have a great adventure to the beautiful places. Thank you for sharing. This is what you meant by adventure, but getting there is the best part of the trip.

  5. Great list! Especially helpful to know where I can take my dog on a hike! I’ve recently gotten into ultralight hiking and can attest it has positively impacted my physical health and mental well-being. Looking forward to exploring more of these blogs for ideas!


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