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Hiking Time Calculator – Quickly Estimate Your Hiking Time (Book Time)

Simply input your mileage and elevation gain, and we will output a simple estimation in hours with our hiking time calculator.

In this calculator, we use what is known as “Book Time”. (Explained Below)


What Is Book Time?

Book Time is a hiking time estimate based on 30 minutes for every mile, plus 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain (ascent). This is one of the most commonly used estimates of hiking duration due to its simplicity. You’ll find book time is used on a wide variety of hiking resources. Hikers will often quickly understand if they average a certain percentage over or under book times, to make accurate estimations for themselves. Book time does not take into account difficulty of terrain or the technical nature of a trail, so hikers need to bring this into consideration as well.


What Is An Average Hiking Speed?

Hikers often average between 1 and 3 miles per hour (1.61-4.83 kmph). Flat ground averages are closer to 3, while steep ascents move closer to 1. This explains why we add in 30 minutes for every 1000 feet (304.8 meters) of elevation gain in your hike.


What Is Naismith’s Rule?

Naismith’s Rule is another hiking time estimate meant for simple terrain. This calculation is done with 20 minutes per mile, plus 30 minutes for every 1,000 feet of ascent. This makes it a faster estimate than book time. This estimate doesn’t account for breaks or delays. If you are a hiker that doesn’t stop for the sights, or doesn’t take long breaks, this may be a better estimate of moving time, while book time is often a better estimate of overall hiking time.


Naismith’s Rule Calculator

Want to calculate your hike via this rule instead? Here you go!


What Effects Hiking Time?

Many factors will adjust your hiking time. Some of the most common include:

  • Average grade / steepness of the terrain
  • Technicality of the terrain – is this climbing? simple walking? or somewhere in between?
  • Weather – rain, snow, mud, ice, wind, lightning are all things that can change your speed.
  • Your fatigue levels or fitness levels
  • How much do you want to stop for breaks, snacks, or views.