My Favorite 15 Hiking Songs For Your Outdoor Playlist

Aug 28, 2021 | Hikers' Ed

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Hiking is a rhythmic activity. It’s about putting one foot forward and then the next and repeating the step again and again. To keep up this rhythmic pattern, hiking songs can be an excellent way. After all, music plays a pivotal role in all of my adventures. In long-distance hiking, music has always massively combatted boredom for me. 


In addition, by choosing the best hiking songs, you can boost your mood during the journey and keep yourself entertained. It also takes your mind off the mountain steep that is deemed to be difficult. There are services like Apple Music or Spotify that provide a unique list of playlists created by other people who are involved in similar activities. 


Still, I prefer creating my own hiking playlist to avoid any distractions. Since music can elevate your mood, I select the music carefully especially for hiking, trekking, or backpacking. Keep on reading to discover my favorite hiking songs so far. 

Should You Listen to Music While Hiking? 


It’s backed by studies that music helps you to become more focused and determined on a given task. Since it releases dopamine, a chemical that assists in keeping up your mood, goal-oriented behavior, and motivation, listening to music can significantly help you to regulate your mood throughout the journey. 


Nevertheless, the music should be wisely picked. If you pick any songs that stimulate your negative memories of the past, it could be a massive distraction while you’re hiking. Therefore, I listen to songs that keep me focused and motivated while I’m hiking in the mountains. There are a few reasons to listen to music while you’re hiking. 


The reasons that I figured for listening to music while hiking is:




The thought of getting up early in the morning or at midnight and going hiking can be daunting. However, if you start a good playlist after pulling yourself out of the bed, you won’t hesitate to become determined with your activity. Besides, walking upon the difficult trails and sweating involves a lot of physical effort. 


Sometimes, your mind will trick you to give up easily and take a rest. Nonetheless, if you listen to good music, it will prevent your mind from thinking lethargically. Instead, it will boost you to keep going and motivate you to keep up the pace. This is the primary reason why I prefer listening to music while on the go. 


Pace Regulation 


It’s important to decrease or increase the intensity at different points of the mountain while hiking. Hence, I create my hiking playlist by combining both slow and fast music to help me regulate my pace. Playing fast songs while hiking briskly helps to stay motivated and finish off the task quickly. 


Alternatively, when you’re resting in the woods with picturesque scenery surrounding you, then listening to slow and reverb music can help you rejuvenate yourself. You can also switch between both slow and fast songs to keep your pace up during the entire journey. 


Performance Tracking 


Performance tracking is crucial while hiking. You should know the number of hours or minutes you have walked, the distance covered, and many more. The majority of these tasks are done with hiking apps. Still listening to the music and tracking your performance through this is a fun way. 


You can create a playlist of 30 minutes or one hour and keep a track of your hiking while listening to the music. This way you can focus on the trails instead of focusing on the numbers and live data of the apps. 


These are the few reasons behind listening to music while hiking. Personally, music helps me in all of my wild adventures including hiking. 


15 Favorite Hiking Songs 


I’ll be sharing my favorite hiking songs that you can include in your playlist and listen to on the go to keep yourself motivated, and entertained throughout the journey. 


The list of my favorite hiking songs include:


  1. These Boots are Made for Walkin’


These boots are made for walkin’ is the hit song recorded by Nancy Sinatra. It was released in the year 1966, January, and placed No. 1 in the US billboard hot 100 and even in the UK singles chart. The song was written by Lee Hazlewood who intended to record it by himself but later Nancy Sinatra recorded it. 


It was a single song from Nancy’s debut album “Boots” Another popular song on this album was “These Boots” sung by Megadeth. This song is perfect for any hikers across the globe. This is an old-school song and it has kept its popularity in recent times as well. 


  1. Mountains 


The Mountains is a single song released in 2008. It was originally a non-album single released by the Scottish band Biffy Clyro. However, it was later included on the fifth studio album of the band “Only revolutions”. The song was first played live at an Electric Festival in Spain. So far, it is one of the highest-charting singles of this band. 


It’s a perfect song for hiking as it has a heavy emphasis on the melody. If you want to increase the pace during the hike, turn on the “Mountains” to keep yourself going throughout the journey. 


  1. Born to Be Wild 


Born to be Wild is the song written by Mars Bonfire and performed by the Steppenwolf band. It is invoked in the counterculture and popular culture to denote a biker’s appearance and attitude. It garnered huge popularity when it was featured in the film Easy Rider in 1969. It’s described as a heavy metal song by this band. 


It’s also an old-school song that has kept up its popularity throughout all these years, especially among hikers. It helps you to stay motivated while you’re walking, hiking, trekking, or backpacking. If you feel less energetic anytime, turn on this music to combat the boredom. 


  1. Ain’t no Mountain High Enough 


Ain’t no mountain high enough is a soul or pop song written by Valerie Simpson and Nickolas Ashford. It was released in 1966. However, the composition was successful when the hit single was recorded in 1967 by Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye. Later, it became a hit in 1970 again when it was recorded by Diana Ross. 


It’s one of my favorite hiking songs. When you’re hiking solo and taking a break in between the walks, turn on this music to rejuvenate yourself. It’s a type of slow music that takes off all your worries and helps you soothe during the journey. 


  1. Mountain at My Gates


This song was released by the band Foal, an English rock band. It was the second single from their album “what went down”. This album was released in 2015. It peaked at the number one position on the US billboard alternative songs chart. In fact, it bagged in the top 100 positions in a couple of other song charts as well. 


Nevertheless, the popularity reached its peak when the song was featured in the FIFA 16 video game’s soundtrack. Since it’s a fast song, it helps you to keep yourself entertained throughout the hiking journey. 


  1. Lose Yourself


Lose Yourself is a popular song released in 2002. It’s from the rap-rock, hip hop music, or hip-hop and rap music genres. It was written and produced by Eminem, an American rapper with the collaborator Jeff Bass. The song was released as the lead single from their soundtrack. The lyrics sum up Eminem’s character in the movie 8 Mile. 


Personally, this is one of my favorite songs that I like to play while hiking on difficult mountain trails. It bagged the first position in the Billboard hot 100 charts and remained there for twelve weeks consecutively. I love its inspiring and aggressive theme whenever I find myself in difficult times during the journey. 


  1. Saturday


If you are leaving for early morning backpacking or hiking, turn on some quality music like “Saturday” to get your day started. It’s created by the artist Chromatics and released in 2017. The “Saturday” is from the album “Twin Peaks”, a limited event series original soundtrack. 


You can play this song right after waking up in your tent while you’re shaking the dew off the tent, stretching your muscles, or cooking your breakfast. It has a relaxed and calm tone that helps you to refocus and prepare for the day. Therefore, don’t forget to include this in your hiking song playlist. 


  1. San Luis


San Luis is music released by Gregory Alan Isakov in 2018. Gregory Alan Isakov is a songwriter and singer based in Colorado but he is a south African-American artist. His music combines folk, indie and features musical instruments like banjo, guitar, etc. The San Luis is a type of song that helps hikers to soak in the splendor of mother nature. 


If you’re taking a break in between your hiking journey, turn on the music and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Even when I play this song after returning from the hiking journey, it vividly flashes of all the mind-blowing moments I have enjoyed on the trails. 


  1. Don’t Stop Me Now


Don’t stop me now is an old-school song released by the band Queen. It’s a British rock band that featured this song on their album “Jazz” which was released in 1978. The song is written by the lead singer Freddie Mercury. It provides an example of the trademark style of their band. 


This is a fast song that I usually turn on when I have miles of terrain to cover within a little time. If you want a blast and keep your legs churning throughout your hiking journey, play this song. It works like an unstoppable hiking machine that transforms your energy. 


  1. Free Bird


If you love classic folk and rock songs that perfectly sync up with a wide-open sprawling space, then this song would be perfect for you. It was released in 1973 by the American rock band named Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was first featured on their debut album. Thereafter, they have included this song in all their subsequent albums due to its popularity. 


I feel this song was perfectly built for the outdoors as it syncs up with travel, freedom, movement, and life changes which is the only constant. After all, hiking or backpacking is all about travel, changes, freedom, and constant movement. Hence, the song is perfect for all the hikers like me. 


  1. Never Let Down 


Never let down is one of the popular songs of the album “The Wolf” by American musician Andrew W.K. The album was released in 2003 by this hard rock musician. “The Wolf” was an ornate effort of Andrew with more melodic sound and insightful lyrics as compared to his debut album. In fact, he played all the instruments for the album. 


Never let down is one of my favorite hiking songs as it helps me to keep going even in a downright nasty condition, harsh temperature, or steep elevation changes. Sometimes, when the trails are too complicated and you feel less confident, turn this music on to help yourself fight through these hard times during your journey. 


  1. Nobody


I feel that backpacking or hiking brings a lot of emotions. Sometimes, you feel homesick, alone, angry, overwhelmed, or heartbroken especially when you’re hiking solo. There are difficult times when you have to push yourself as there’s nobody to pat your back. Besides, when you discover the ultimate meaning of life, it’s overwhelming. 


Listening to songs like “Nobody” which was created by Mac DeMarco always helped me to keep my mind focused instead of indulging in all these emotional thoughts. The song was released in 2019 in the album “Here Comes The Cowboy” by this Canadian singer and songwriter. He is also a multi-instrumentalist and a producer. 


  1. Harlem River Blues


There should be songs in your playlist when you’ll feel on top of the world during your hiking journey. This will take your experience to the next level. Personally, I play the “Harlem River Blues” whenever I feel blissful or ecstatic while walking down on the trails and there’s nobody in sight. 


The song is listed in the third studio album by Justin Townes Earle, released in 2010. All of the tracks in this album are written by Justin except for Rogers Park. When you’re well-hydrated, full of energy, content, and walking on the trails, turn to this song to elevate your mood a bit and enrich your hiking experience.


  1. Out Like a Light 2


There are times when you pitch the tent, crawl into the warm sleeping bag, and prepare yourself for a goodnight’s sleep after a tiring long day of hiking. Nonetheless, you can’t fall asleep even if your body is exhausted but your mind keeps racing. Sometimes, this happens when you miss your home and cozy bed at night. 


When you’re having a feeling like this, there are songs that may help you calm down and relax your nerves. I prefer listening to “Out Like a Light 2” by the Honeysticks. It was released in 2019 and since then it has been my constant companion in those lonely times. Put your headphones on and let yourself fade away into your dreamland. 


  1. Home


Home is one of the most popular songs released in 2009 by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. It’s an alternative and indie mixed song that was featured in the movie Jesus Henry Christ. The song was nominated for the world music award for the world’s best video and the world music award for the world’s best song as well. 


It features the use of whistling, opening melody along with other instruments such as trumpet, piano, guitar, etc. If you are feeling homesick during your hiking journey, turn to this song to make yourself feel better and sync with the present moments. I prefer turning to this song whenever I feel lonely during a long-distance hiking journey. 


Certainly, music works as a therapy every time, especially when you’re outdoors and away from your loved ones. There will be a ton of emotions to deal with during the journey and nothing better can help you feel relaxed and motivated at the same time than this list of songs I have mentioned. 


What Do People Like to Listen to When They Hike? 


The choice of music always depends on individuals. However, there are similarities in the type of music everyone listens to who are involved in similar activities. Therefore, the hiking songs have to be of a specific type to help you rejuvenate and motivate yourself. It’s always better to listen to both slow and fast music while hiking on the trails. 


If you keep listening to slow music, it may end up sounding too depressed for you especially when you’re hiking solo. Alternatively, if you always listen to fast music, it won’t help you to soothe and rejuvenate yourself which is the primary purpose of hiking. Furthermore, I hope you enjoy listening to the list of my favorite hiking songs so far.

Hello, There!

We’re Monica and Phillip. Just like you, we share a passion for the outdoors and our beautiful state of California. After many years of exploring amazing and hidden places, we thought we’d share them with you! We hope this blog shows you tons of new CA adventures!