During my thru-hiking of the Appalachian Trail, I listened to a lot of music. Before I started hiking I compiled the best hiking songs for my hiking playlist, “Everything Hurts and I’m Dying,” to help me get through the really hard times. It worked cause 188 days after I left Springer Mountain in Georgia I summited Mount Katahdin.
I hope this collection of songs helps you put together the ultimate playlist for your next hiking adventure!
Best Hiking Songs to add to your Hiking Playlist
Best Hiking Songs: Listening While on the Trail
Listening to music on the trail is a highly contested subject. Some purists feel that hikers should enjoy nature and be electronic-free. Others love being able to turn on their favorite tunes during tough uphills and difficult times.
Because I’m writing this you obviously know where I stand on the issue. However, there are some unspoken rules of the trail everyone who chooses to listen to hiking music should be aware of:
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times: From other hikers to potential animal encounters keep yourself safe by only having one earbud in.
- Keep the volume down: No one wants to hear your music. You have it for your enjoyment. Each hiker gets to choose how they enjoy nature. Ruining someone else’s hike isn’t cool.
- Leave the Bluetooth Speaker at home: Need I say more?
Read More: Appalachian Trail Gear on a Budget
Best Hiking Songs for your Hiking Playlist
Here are 30 songs I think should be on every hiking playlist. Granted my taste is pretty widespread, but I think most people will at least find a few songs they’ll enjoy. For my full playlist entitled, “Everything Hurts and I’m Dying,” go to the bottom of this post or head directly to Spotify.
Each of the hiking songs on the list has some notes I wrote about it. Some are meaningful, others are jibberish.
1. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
2. Hard Way Home by Brandi Carlile
I won’t lie when I say that there have been times in my life when I felt I was taking the hard way home. Now that I’m headed out on the Appalachian Trail I truly am!
3. Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen: If this isn’t one of the Best Hiking Songs I don’t know what is!
This is my theme song. Not just for this hike, but for always.
4. The Rocky Road to Dublin by The Dropkick Murphys
As an Irish girl who grew up in Massachusetts I love the Dropkick Murphys. I’ve seen them live more time than I can count and this song just gets me going any time I hear it.
5. Walk this Way by Run DMC featuring Aerosmith
The best collaborative song of all time; fight me on it. Plus it’s all about walking so how could I not include this on my hiking playlist?
6. I’m Still Standing by Elton John
For some hikes, you just need to be reminded that you’re still out there and to keep going. Elton John saying it perfectly in this song.
7. No Sleep Til Brooklyn by The Beastie Boys
I love The Beastie Boys and will NEVER apologize for it. In my head, I change this song to No Sleep till Maine.
8. Geronimo by Sheppard
This song’s message: Just go for it.
9. You Make My Dreams (Come True) by Hall and Oates
If you can hear this song and not want to dance there might be something wrong with you.
Pin this Hiking Playlist!
10. Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Ray
I worked at a summer camp the summer this song was big. Our motto became, fake it ’til you make it. I feel this could be applied to new hikers.
11. Go Big or Go Home by American Authors
If you’re going to do something GO BIG!
12. 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
I’m not into country music, but Dolly Parton is a gift from the Gods (whichever one you pray to). This song helps me to remember that I could be working, and that sucks compared to hiking.
13. Good as Hell by Lizzie
Lizzo is a BOSS. How she dances and plays the flute at the same time blows my mind. Take her with you all your hike.
14. Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show
Don’t let anyone else tell you that someone sings this song better than Old Crow Medicine Show, they’re lying.
15. Mountain Sound by Of Monsters and Men
16. Here it goes Again by OK Go: I feel this is one of the Best Hiking Songs for the constant ups and downs.
If you don’t like the song at least watch the video. I’m still not sure how they did this. I can barely step on a treadmill without killing myself.
17. Photosynthesis by Frank Turner
I could listen to Frank Turner sing all damn day.
18. Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede
The feeling I’m hooked on is reaching the summit.
19. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles
There are going to be days on the trail when you’ll be praying for the rain to stop, lets The Beatles help you out.
20. The Best by Tina Turner: This is one of the Best Hiking Songs because hiking is the BEST!
Damn, Tina Turner is amazing. I love so much of her music, but this one really sticks out. It always outs me in a good mood. This is also for every hiker out there that loves Schitt’s Creek and the love story that is Patrick and David.
21. Go your own Way by Fleetwood Mac
Long distance hiking is something people don’t understand, but keep going your own way. You’ve got this.
22. One Day by Matisyahu
Help keep your goals a reality and keep telling yourself you can make it.
23. Feel Good Inc. by The Gorillaz
If you need to feel go in a rain storm this is your song.
24. Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
When I did my first half marathon this song was on my playlist. It always makes me smile and helps me keep taking that next step.
25. Take Me Home (Country Roads) by John Denver
I dare you not to sing this one out loud. I bet you can’t.
26. Black Betty by Ram Jam
The guitar riffs will have you rocking the ups and downs like they’re nothing!
27. Party Up by DMX: The Best Hiking Song to get you up that damn mountain
Party Up by DMX makes me want to crush miles. I tend to be out of breath by the end of the song because I’ve been hiking so fast.
28. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
This one is on here because I like it, it’s catchy, and I hope you think so too.
29. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Daft Punk
Funk always keeps me moving and Daft Punk always does the trick. A long distance hike will make you the embodiment of this song.
30. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers: Because I’m 95% sure it’s one of the best hiking songs ever.
Would it be a hiking playlist without this song? I don’t think so.
Get my full Hiking Playlist with all 30 of the Best Hiking Songs!
When I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail I put together this playlist. Each hiking song in this post is included on my Everything Hurts and I’m Dying playlist! This post is very eclectic and sometimes it gets a little weird. I hope you enjoy at least some of the songs on this list.