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How Long Does It Take To Hike 5 Miles?

Hiking is great fun. Hiking is excellent exercise, and it is also a really great way to bond with family, friends, and partners. There are many places to hike, and there will be lots of designated trails near you.

You can hike surprisingly fast, and it is normal to hike five hours in a day. You can hike when you are going camping, or just spend the day.

It can be difficult to estimate how long a five-mile hike will take, and what you may need to bring. In this article, we help you understand what determines how long a hike takes, and what may affect this. 

How long does it take to hike 5 miles? 

The amount of time your hike takes depends on a few things. On average, a five-mile hike takes between an hour and a half, to three hours.

Fitness, elevation, weather, and the trail itself will influence the time it takes to hike five miles. Five miles is the average length of a hike, yet it is challenging enough to be a cardio workout for everyone. 


One of the first and most important things that may impact the time it takes you to complete a hike, is your fitness level. Typically, a five-mile hike is considered a medium-difficulty hike, and it may be challenging at times, but the whole hike should be pretty simple.

You should consider your fitness level and physical condition before you start your hike. If you are a beginner, or are unfit, the hike may take longer than anticipated.

Do not be alarmed, as the more you hike, the easier it will be. If you are super fit, a five-mile hike will be easy, and it may take you an hour.

An easy 2.5-mile hike may be a good starting point for someone of average fitness. Once you have done this, you can progress to the five-mile hike and see how you progress. 


The elevation of your hike will impact how long it takes you to complete the five miles. The higher elevation you are at, the less oxygen there will be.

This is a typical issue with hiking, especially in mountainous areas. The higher up in the mountains you are, the harder it will feel to breathe.

If the area is highly elevated, it will be a struggle to walk, as you will likely be walking uphill. Mix this aspect with the fact that there is less oxygen; you will likely be walking slower in these areas.

If a hike is at a consistently low elevation, it is possible that you could complete the five miles within two hours. 

Weather conditions

If the weather is sunny and cool, you’ll have no issue hiking the five miles. It is difficult to the weather to be perfect, so it is important to check how the weather will be, and what you can do about this.

If the weather is sunny, hot, and humid, you will struggle with your hike. This would mean it would take you a lot longer, as you do not want to overexert yourself.

If it is raining and cold, you may want to take it slow, as there may be risks of slipping or falling on any wet surfaces. 

Trail conditions

Each hiking location will have a different terrain and condition. If a hiking trail is hidden and unpopular, it may be slightly neglected.

It may be dangerous, especially if it is in mountainous terrain. This will make your five-mile hike take significantly longer, and you should look out for any risks.

It may also depend on the terrain; if it is sandy, it is significantly harder to walk in sand than it is on a path, or grass.

If a hiking trail is relatively popular and well-kept, it will take less time as you will be more confident that you can finish the five-mile hike.

Is hiking a good exercise? 

Hiking is a great workout, and an excellent time for all involved. Hiking is one of the best cardio workouts you can do, as well as a strength workout.

Although hiking is not one of the most strenuous activities, it has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, as well as improve circulation, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

It is a great practice of using your body to move in different terrains, for a longer amount of time. It is proven that jogging is sometimes not as beneficial as a long hike.

A hike is not just a short burst, but is a test of your body’s abilities. It is also a weight-bearing exercise, meaning your body is working hard the whole time. 

What should I pack for a 5-mile hike? 

If you are an experienced hiker, you may not need to bring much on your hike apart from essentials such as food, water, and a map (your car keys and phone of course!).

For those who do not hike as often, there are probably a few things you may want to bring with you on your hike. You will need a hiking backpack, and you can buy these in most outdoor stores.

It should have lots of pockets for essentials, and it should be waterproof, in the case of bad weather.

On your five-mile hike, prepare to be outside for up to three hours, maybe even four if you want to take it slow. Pack food such as energy bars and fruit in your hiking bag, as well as enough water or Gatorade for yourself and others if necessary.

You may also want to pack a map or compass, as well as a first aid kit (or just some blister plasters!) and a multi-tool device. Make sure you are wearing hiking shoes or boots, and you have waterproof or thermals packed (or wear them). 

What should I wear for a 5-mile hike? 

For a five-mile hike, you shouldn’t need to worry too much about clothing unless the weather is torrential weather. Wear clothes that are suitable for the weather as well as the terrain, and if it is warm, make sure any clothes can be removed.

If it is cold, wear thermals as well as warm socks, and pack any other items of clothing you may need. When hiking, always make sure that you are wearing the correct footwear.

Wearing sneakers when hiking up a mountain will cause you some serious issues. Invest in some good hiking boots, and you’ll be as comfortable as you can be. 

What terrain is the easiest to hike? 

Simple gravel track terrain as well as grassy sandy terrain are the easiest terrains to hike on. If a hike has several inclines, rocky terrain, or mossy uneven terrain, it is more difficult to find your footing.

This may slow your hike down slightly, and you need to be careful where you are walking. It is important to know the terrain of where your hike is, so you can prepare. 

What terrain is the hardest to hike? 

The hardest terrain to hike is a rocky, mountainous terrain, or a loose, uneven terrain. Terrains on the coastlines are often rather unstable, rocky, and loose. Be careful in these kinds of areas, and make sure you have sufficiently mapped out your hiking trail. 

How many miles can you hike in a day? 

Depending on your level, you can probably hike around 10-30 miles a day. It will be difficult to hike 30 miles, and you would have to be a hiking expert.

It is common for the average person to hike 2-3 miles per hour. It seems realistic that you could hike approximately 10-15 miles in seven hours. 

Final thoughts: 

Hiking is a great activity, and regular hiking will do your body a lot of good. When hiking, you should pack any essentials, and make sure you’re wearing the correct kind of attire.

Five miles is the average length of a hike, but it can take longer depending on your ability.

It is thought that the average person can hike five miles in two hours, but it can take up to three.

We hope you learned something new about hiking and what you need to do to make your hike as enjoyable as possible. 

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