There is something so amazing about movies and how sometimes they can shake you down to the core or inspire you to follow in the footsteps of those characters on screen. This is especially true for movies about hiking or outdoor adventures. One of the things that get me inspired and motivated to get outside and go on an adventure are movies. A lot of the times, hiking movies are based on true stories with some pretty important lessons about hiking.
Here is a list of the five best hiking movies for me that you need to watch. These are five of my favorite movies and they get me inspired every time and leave me wanting to go out on an adventure myself.
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “stuck between a rock and a hard place”. 127 Hours takes that saying to a whole different level. The movie is actually based on a book titled, Stuck Between A Rock And A Hard Place, by Aron Ralston, who recounts his story while hiking through Blue John Canyon in Utah.
This movie starring James Franco has easily become one of the most famous hiking movies that have left an indelible impression in our minds when it comes to the extreme sport of canyoneering and mountaineering, for sure.
127 Hours is a biographical survival story about Aron, who found himself trapped by a boulder in an isolated area of the canyon – alone. If that wasn’t difficult enough, he had only packed enough food and water to last him for what was meant to be just a simple day hike.
The movie follows all the difficult decisions that Aron had to make in order to survive that no ordinary person may be willing to do, yet are things mountaineers constantly face during their adventures. One of the things this movie has taught me was to definitely be 110% prepared for any hike, even if it’s a short day hike that I’ve taken countless times and to either hike with a friend or let someone know where I am going.
As much as we want a smooth life without any pain or struggles, we are constantly faced with challenges such as the death of a loved one or the disintegration of a relationship with the one person we love and have committed ourselves to. When that happens, what do you do?
For Cheryl Strayed, that meant walking over 2,000 miles through the Pacific Crest Trail on her own to reflect on all the things that have caused her life to spiral downwards and attempt to change her life while out on the trail.
The movie starring Academy Ward Winner Reese Witherspoon is biographical survival drama based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. It gives you a sort of Eat, Pray, Love vibe – just, through miles and miles of winding trails and beautiful scenic views that you can only find on the Pacific Crest Trail. It will definitely get you itching to take the hike yourself.
“You, my friends, are following in the very footsteps of history – something beyond the power of words to describe. Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitude of a 747. Our bodies will be literally dying. Everest is another beast altogether.”
Nothing compares to the harsh conditions found in the highest peak on earth yet some people find the willpower and determination to somehow take on some of nature’s deadliest forces.
By far one of the most intense movies out there about mountaineering, Everest is one of those movies that make your heart race and your eyes water in an attempt to keep up with all the emotions flooding through your body.
The movie is based on the real-life events of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster about the survival attempts of two expedition groups – one led by Rob Hall and the other by Scott Fischer. The movie was adapted from a memoir titled, Left for Dead: My Journey Home From Everest, written by Beck Weathers, one of the survivors of the 1996 tragedy.
Southbounders is a film that was released in 2005 about a young woman attempting a hike through the ever-famous, 2,170 mile Appalachian Trail. The movie is titled “Southbounders” because of the direction she is heading – south from Maine to Georgie, which is more difficult than heading north through the trail.
The young woman named Olivia is a medical school student whose life and studies are heading towards trouble. In an attempt to boost her confidence, she decides to go through the Appalachian Trail in a span of about six months. There, she meets a companion named Slackpack and another man named Rollin and the movie follows their story and their adventures.
MILE… MILE AND A HALF
Last but not least on this list is a movie about five friends who decide to go on California’s historic John Muir Trail. It is a 211-mile trail from Yosemite all the way to Mt. Whitney, which is the highest peak in the contiguous U.S. Their goal is to complete the hike in 25 days.
The group becomes closer and starts to welcome in other people who are artists, musicians, and adventure seekers such as themselves. This movie is a documentary about the journey of friends to their destination, and all the things they learn and people they meet along the way.
GET THE POPCORN READY
Now it’s time to get the popcorn ready and watch all these movies to inspire you for your next great adventure. Whether you decide to watch because you’re planning a hike soon, or just in the mood to be transported into some of the most beautiful trails and extreme hikes on earth, these five movies will definitely keep you happy throughout the weekend.
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your friends! I’d also love to hear what some of your favorite hiking movies are so let me know in the comments below – I need a new list of movies for me to watch to get inspired!