72 Best Hiking Quotes of All Time

Classic hiking quotes from John Muir, some inspirational words from record holders, hiking puns, common thru-hiker phrases, and some down-right corny lines from the community. 

Updated on January 4th, 2022
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©Connor McClelland

Inspirational Hiking Quotes

1. "Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein

2. "Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong." - Jennifer Pharr Davis, Appalachian Trail Record Holder

hiking quote by jennifer phar david

3. "After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value." - G.M. Trevelyan

4. "Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow." - Henry David Thoreau

5. "The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

hiking quote by henry longfellow

6. “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” - John Muir

7. "In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." - John Muir

8. "If you’re going through hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill

hiking quote by campwalkalong

9. "If the average person walks about 913 miles per year, then we walked about three years of miles in five months!" - @campwalkalong thru-hikers' experience on the CDT

10. "They are able who think they are able." - Virgil

11. "To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live." - Tenzing Norgay

12. “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” - John Muir

hiking quote by lao tzu

13. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

14. "My loss of the PCT should have distressed me, but a new instinct led me forward. I asked the mountains for some guidance, the strength to get myself out of here, and pulled wild power from within myself I'd never known I'd had. I was no longer following a trail. I was learning to follow myself." - Aspen Matis, Girl in the Woods: A Memoir

hiking quote by chris carter

15. "Catching those first views of layered mountains, endlessly folding over each other like a giant blue blanket, tears sprung unbidden to my eyes. I had made it. And though I was indeed alone, I felt as if I was in the best company in the world." - Thru-hiker, Chris "Rad" Carter, on the Katahdin summit AT2021

16. "Where the signposts end, the trail begins." - Marty Rubin

17. "If everyone in the world took care of each other the way folks do out on the trail, and if everyone approached each day with as much hope and optimism as hikers do, the world would be a better place." - Jon Tullis

hiking quote by earl shaffer

18. "Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care.” - Earl Shaffer

19. "Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and numbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me – I am happy." - Hamlin Garland

hiking quote by bill

20. "It was terrifying, yet exciting all at once. I was the wind, untethered and flowing. I went from living as a couch potato the entire 2020 year to sleeping under the stars every night, trekking across deserts, over mountains, through rivers and fire and snow." - Thru-hiker, Bill, at the Northern Terminus PCT2021

21. "In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous." - Aristotle

22. "Real adventure is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive, and certainly not as the same person." - Yvon Chouinard

hiking quote by edmund hillary

23. "You won, this time. But you are as big as you are ever going to get. And I’m still growing." - Sir Edmund Hillary

24. "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, A Journey North: One Woman's Story of Hiking the Appalachian Trail

hiking quote by ginger slentz

25. "Taking on this trek with my disabilities in mind, I never thought my body and mind could handle it. Over the past 5 months I have done a lot of crying and talking but I also learned to finally be comfortable with the silence, with being alone. I have developed healthy relationships with my body and my people." - Thru-hiker, Ginger “Babs” Slentz, at the Northern Terminus PCT2021

26. "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." - Beverly Sills

hiking quote by cheryl strayed

27. "I was amazed that what I needed to survive could be carried on my back. And, most surprising of all, that I could carry it." - Cheryl Strayed: Wild

28. "Fall down seven times and stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

29. "When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top." - Anonymous

hiking quote by linett anderson

30. "So grateful for having a body that was able to walk all the way from Canada to Mexico - but also for the many great new people I’ve met along the way, the insane kindness and generosity I’ve experienced from strangers, the challenges that seemed too hard or daunting at times that I was able to push through and all the crazy experiences that only a thru-hike can bring." - Thru-hiker, Linnett Andersen, at the Southern Most Point CDT2021

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

Funny Hiking Quotes

32. "Sleeping bags are the soft tacos of the bear world." - Bears

hiking quote by bears

33. Bop Peoples (famous Appalachian Trail Angel) quotes from Reddit:

a. "Bob Peoples got bit by a zombie. The zombie turned human and started building switchbacks." 
b. "Bob Peoples got bit by a rattlesnake. After 3 days of agonizing pain, the snake died." 
c. "Bears hang Bob Peoples' bags."

34. “A crude meal, no doubt, but the best of all sauces is hunger.” - Edward Abbey

hiking quote by edward abbey

35. "I have two doctors, my left leg and my right." - G.M. Trevelyan

36. “DEET is nature's cologne.” - Every Hiker

37. "Anywhere is 'within walking distance'." - Anonymous Hiker

38. "Nowhere but on the trail can you meet a stranger for ten minutes, then decide to share sleeping quarters the same night, but it seems to happen all the time w/ thru-hikers. We're down! - Thru-hiker, Mary Poppins, experience on the PCT

hiking quote by mary poppins

39. “If you turn left at the next logging road, he said, and walk a quarter of a mile, you come to a dock on a lake, with an air horn hanging off it. You honk the air horn, and someone comes and picks you up in a boat, and they take you to this place where there's pizza and showers and cold beer!” ― Lucy Letcher's (author) experience on the AT, The Barefoot Sisters Southbound

Hiking Puns

40. "I love hiking — I don’t take it for granite." - Anonymous

hiking quote by anonymous

41. "I’m trying to mount-ain my distance." - Anonymous

42. "Slow down! Don’t you Everest?" - Anonymous

43. "There’s snow place like the mountains." - Anonymous

44. "Actions peak louder than words." - Anonymous

hiking quote by anonymous

45. "I’m all a-boot that hiking life." - Anonymous

46. "Mountains aren’t just funny. They’re hill-areas." - Anonymous

Classic Hiking Quotes

47. "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

48. "Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise." - Carrie Latet

hiking quote by frank herbert

49. "Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken." - Frank Herbert

50. "A vagrant is everywhere at home." - Martial

51. "Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." - Walt Whitman

52. "Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence." - Hermann Buhl

hiking quote by hermann buhl

53. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” - Jack Kerouac

54. "The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

55. "We live in a fast-paced society. Walking slows us down." - Robert Sweetgall

56. "If the winter is too cold and the summer is too hot, you are not a hiker." - A Bitter Hiker

57. "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread." - Edward Abbey

58. "Anywhere is 'within walking distance'." - Anonymous Hiker

59. "Great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street." - William Blake

hiking quote by hippocrates

60. "Walking is a man's best medicine." - Hippocrates

61. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau 

62. "Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity." - John Muir

hiking quote by john muir

63. "Leave the road, take the trails." – Pythagoras

64. "It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." – Sir Edmund Hillary

65. "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." - Beverly Sills

66. "Fall down seven times and stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

67. "And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul." - John Muir

68. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - Lao Tzu

69. "Hike Your Own Hike." - Thru-Hiker

70. "Hiking’s not for everyone. Notice the wilderness is mostly empty." – Sonja Yoerg

hiking quote by finis mitchel

71. "We don’t stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking." - Finis Mitchel

72. "The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot." – Werner Herzog

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