Pros and Cons of AllTrails: All You Should Know

Sharing a passion for hiking can lead to some truly breathtaking views. However, while indulging in your more adventurous side, you can easily find yourself in the middle of nowhere without a clue where you should be going. To that end, AllTrails can fill your navigational needs.

Hiking can be one of the most enjoyable pastimes around. From the incredible exercise you get while enjoying the great outdoors to the optimism that can rush through you. At the same time, you escape modern society into nature. The pure joy and serenity are well worth the adventure.

This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of AllTrails. We will discuss whether it is worth getting the pro over the free version. If you love hiking, this is an article you do not want to miss out on reading! 

What Is AllTrails?


AllTrails is an app on your iPhone, Android, tablet, and even laptop. This program will help you find your way through the thickest of forests, the highest of mountains, and the most barren and remote locations worldwide.

Knowing where you are is just the beginning of what AllTrails has to offer. However, the free app version is loaded with other goodies to help you on your way, and you can find a perfect trail. These benefits range from height elevation settings to whether or not your fluffy pet can join you and trails that are perfect for people who might be disabled.

Diving even deeper into what the app has to offer, you can take in your surroundings and either stick to the beaten path with one of the highest-rated trails listed on the map or create one of your very own, with settings that will allow you to save it and share it with others.


What Features Does AllTrails Have?


It goes without saying that the free version of the app will have fewer flashy features than the paid version. Still, that initial investment is well worth it in most cases, assuming you have the spare funds to buy it and are spending enough time hiking to get the most out of your purchase. Below, we’ll review the perks of the free and premium versions.


Pro Version


The pro version of AllTrails, which has recently been rebranded as AllTrails+, offers a litany of new features but costs $35.99. This might not seem like much to most people, but it’s worth noting.

Aside from everything the free version includes, the pro version grants you access to many features. Here is a quick list of things it offers:


  • A location-based trail finder, handy for picking something new and refreshing on the fly.


  • A downloadable version of all trails is included so you can find your way back to civilization should you lose cell phone service.


  • Some features double down on your personal safety, like one that alerts you when you are straying just a tad too far from the trail you’ve chosen, urging you to return to the correct trail.


A few other perks of the pro version include overlays while looking over your maps that can help you better gauge the lay of the land you’ll be traversing. This is fantastic when coupled with the 3D map and additional weather notifications. You’ll be very hard-pressed to find yourself in a situation you aren’t aptly prepared for.

Just like a Swiss Army knife, if things do go a little unexpected on your hike, there is a native lifeline tool built into the app. It can notify your family of where your most recent trials were and whether or not you managed to make it home on time. Finally, constant updates on your location are getting you help if needed.


Free Version


The app’s free version is, first and foremost, free, allowing you to enjoy access to thousands of trails at the press of a button. While most of the critical features the app grants you are free, you must create an account to get the most out of the free version. It may seem like a buzzkill to some, but sparing the minute or two to knock it out truly allows you to enjoy all it offers.

Simply typing in the location of where you plan on hiking will pull up a myriad of different trails near you on the free version of the app. Doing so helps you utilize the filters available so that you can truly designate a trail that is perfect for you. 

Keeping everything from the overall height of the trail to the distance you feel comfortable going, you can tailor everything about your hike on the app and then let it navigate. At the same time, you focus on enjoying your surroundings.

What Are the Pros and Cons of AllTrails Pro?


The greatest boon you get when you commit to the pro version of AllTrails is the lifeline perk, which keeps your safety at the top of the list should something unexpected happen. Still, you also gain access to the offline downloadable maps, which are considered by many to be the best thing the app itself has to offer.

One of the most significant drawbacks to AllTrails+ would be the simple understanding that if you don’t plan on using it often, you won’t likely utilize the app to its fullest. Doing so may make the investment lackluster, considering how much you get from the free version.


What Are the Pros and Cons of AllTrails Free?


The vast majority of the essential features of the AllTrails app are available in the free version. The only thing you are truly missing out on is the offline maps. Assuming you will be hiking in a place with cell phone data, this shouldn’t be much of an issue.

If there truly had to be a con of AllTrails free, it’s obviously the lack of safety features and inability to navigate back on track should you get a little sidetracked looking at your surroundings. Also, if something unfortunate were to happen, you lack the luxury of the real-time updates that could get you critical help in an emergency.


How Much Does It Cost to Purchase AllTrails Pro?


As of this article’s writing, AllTrails+ is currently being marketed at $35.99. However, there may be discounts or codes available that can lower the price, but assuming you do not get them, you can expect to pay at least this much.


How Do You Use the AllTrails App?


In order to use the AllTrails app (both the free and pro versions), you’ll need to download it onto a phone compatible with it and then open the app. Next, you’ll want to enable your location to find trails closest to you or type in the name of the location you plan on hiking.


What Do People Say About the App?


Overall satisfaction with both the free and pro versions of AllTrails seems to be incredibly high, with people stating that it perfectly fits their needs while hiking around even the most problematic locations to get to. There are some gripes about offline features not being included in the free version of the app, but nothing overwhelmingly negative.


What Is the Difference Between AllTrails and Gaia GPS?


The two apps are relatively the same in most categories, but AllTrails has far more trails available in their free version as opposed to Gaia GPS (truthfully, even the pro version only boasts 300+ maps)

If you are looking for access to a navigational app that offers offline options, you’ll have to get the pro version of either of them. Gaia costs roughly $59.00 annually, while AllTrails only costs $35.00 for the same time. With AllTrails offering more features, maps, and overall support, it’s easy to see some of their biggest differences.

Is AllTrails Worth Purchasing?


If you spend a lot of time hiking in your free time or happen to be going to trails that are more dangerous than others, or value the peace of mind and extra features the app offers, it could make a fantastic purchase. Take the time to gauge how often you will be using it to make sure you make an investment that is right for you.

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