5 Reasons To Go Hiking At Night

Most recreational hikers are accustomed to hiking during the daylight hours – you know, they want to see the nature and enjoy the views. It makes a lot of sense actually. But hiking at night can give hiking a whole new meaning. A trail you’ve hiked 100 times will be different in many ways if you take the trek in the dark.

Put your fear of Bigfoot away and let’s take a look at 5 Reasons To Go Hiking At Night

Hiking at Night
Photo from Flickr Creative Commons

1. Solitude
If you’re in a National Park or just outside a big city then you know what it’s like to hike in a crowd. Every few yards you’re passing someone or having to stop while a family poses for a photo by a waterfall you’ve seen a dozen times this month. The crowds are annoying. When we’re in nature we want solitude. We want to hear the birds, smell the flowers and feel the leaves under our feet – they best way to get solitude on a hike in busy places is to go at night.

2. The Night Sky
The night sky is a beautiful thing – something I’ve been known to take for granted. Too often we are looking down at the trail… well, at night time it’s all about looking up at the beautiful stars. A night hike opens your eyes to the universe above. Pick a spot at the peak of your hike and lay down to enjoy the stars – you never know, you might catch a falling star.

3. New Challenges
Hiking at night will present a hiker with new challenges. You need different gear (hiking boots, head lamp, compass, etc) and have to be on your toes at all times. If you’re not careful you step on a loose rock and twist an ankle. You can’t always see what’s ahead of you and really need to plan your hike out ahead of time. Turn an easy 3 miles hike into a tough challenge by doing it in the dark.

4. Put Fear To The Test
What is lurking in the dark? Bigfoot? When hiking at night your vision is cut short and you can’t see what could be hiding in the woods nearby. A lot of people have a fear of being in the dark… we have horror movies to thank for this. You can put those fears to the test by hiking at night.

5. Weather
This reason only applies to certain times of year and in certain parts of the world. If it’s summer time and you’re hiking in the Southeast US (like in the Smokies) it’s going to be hot during the day time. The sun will beat you down to a pulp, give you nasty burns and make you beg for water. Why put you’re body through all that? Hike at night and stay cool, calm and collected during your adventure.

If you have any reasons you’d like to add to the list please post a comment and let us know.

One thought on “5 Reasons To Go Hiking At Night

  1. I recently visited Maryland Heights across the Potomac River from Harpers Ferry. I arrived about 5:30 in the morning so I could see the sunrise from the overlook. The darkness does pose significant challenges. Even with a decent headlamp, it’s difficult to judge distances and you get a feeling of claustrophobia. Also, even though the trail was very well blazed, it was easy to lose, as every false trail I thought was a turn I expected.

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