Winter Hiking Vs. Summer Hiking: Which Is Better? 

Hiking is a beneficial leisure activity that brings tremendous health benefits. So, winter hiking vs. summer hiking: which is better? This post will show you.

Comparison Table: Winter Hiking Vs. Summer Hiking

Before going any deeper, let’s check this detailed Winter Hiking Vs. Summer Hiking comparison table.

Features Winter Hiking Winter Hiking
Main Features The hiking trail is often quieter

Snowy winter landscapes with thick snow, frozen lakes, and streams

Cold and freezing temperature

The hiking trail is often crowded

Beautiful and warm landscapes with sunlight, fresh water, and green trees

Warm and comfortable temperature

Suitable For People who love cold climates and quiet spaces. Nature lovers who want to enjoy the fresh air, warm sunlight, and a cheerful atmosphere.
Pros The hiking trail is relaxing and quiet, with very few people

The cold temperature prevents the small bugs and insects

Easier to move and hike

You can wear comfortable clothes with lightweight and high breathability

Warm and more comfortable temperature

It’s easier to navigate the road track

Cons The space will get quieter but also more lonely

The risks of frostbite and hypothermia

The snowy and slippery road is hard to hike

The snow may obstruct your vision, making it harder to navigate

You have to hike at a lower speed and consume more stamina

You have to wear thick and uncomfortable hiking clothes

The annoying insects and bugs growing in hot climates

The risks of sunburn and sunstroke

Your body will lose water faster

The hiking parks and trails may get too crowded on nice days.

The sunlight is more aggressive

The heatwaves may make you ill

Winter Hiking Vs. Summer Hiking: What Are The Differences

The main and obvious difference between hiking in summer and winter is the change in temperature. The hot climate leads to unique pros and cons, as well as changes in landscape and hiking conditions.

Similarly, winter hiking also brings its unique benefits and setbacks, which I shall discuss in the following sections.


Safety is the priority you should consider for hiking. In general, the summer months are safer to hike unless the temperature gets too high. The medium temperature can suit your body temperature better.

As a result, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a proper temperature. Meanwhile, hiking in cold climates makes you susceptible to hypothermia, which is very dangerous without good medical care.

You don’t have to wear thick clothes and protective snowshoes to avoid direct exposure to the icy snow surface. In addition, the track is easier to navigate without the thick snow or fog in the winter months.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about loss of direction when the road is fully covered in snow. However, there are fewer insects and bugs in the winter, which is a minor advantage of winter hiking when it comes to safety.


Hiking in the summer is evidently more comfortable than in the cold winter months. You can wear much lighter and breathable clothes like shorts, thin polyester shirts, and lightweight hiking shoes.

Meanwhile, the thick and heavy snowshoes or protective hats and clothes will hinder your movement on the hiking tracks. Plus, the thick snow makes it harder to move and also drains your stamina much faster.

In addition, the quietness of the winter season comes at a cost: Loneliness. It’s fine if you go on a hiking trip with friends, but standing alone in a remote hiking area is undoubtedly scary and lonely.

Watch should you prepare for a hiking trip in the winter months? Watch this video to find out!

Winter Hiking Vs. Summer Hiking: Which One Is Better?

In summary, summer hiking is the more prevalent option for hikers due to any reason. It obviously brings more comfort and safety since you don’t have to deal with freezing and harsh temperatures.

Hikers don’t have to put on heavy and thick protective clothes, which significantly hinder their movement and experience. The track is easier to navigate and follow, which is also comfortable to move on.

However, these reasons should not be too big of a problem if you love hiking in the winter. When putting all features aside, it eventually boils down to your preferences.

Many people love the quietness and somewhat sorrowful, lonely sceneries in the winter month. They also want to immerse in the airy and spectacular snowy tracks in a chilling and cold atmosphere.

Meanwhile, you may enjoy the cheerful vibe and the beautiful summer scenes with green trees, a warm climate, and bright sunlight. So, just go for the time you love the most as long as all the safety procedures are ensured.


I hope the information provided can help you choose the best hiking time for your preferences. Here are some additional questions relating to the topic you may find interesting.

Is Hiking In The Winter A Good Idea?

Hiking in the winter is a recreational activity that brings tremendous fun and health benefits. When your body stays active in cold temperatures, the immune system and stamina will increase significantly.

Plus, hiking on the soft and white snow is a fun experience that you cannot have every day.

What Is The Best Season For Hiking?

Fall is actually the best season to grab your hiking equipment. Its temperature is not too extreme but very cool and comfortable. The streets and hiking tracks are not crowded.

In addition, the beautiful autumn natural sceneries will add more fun to your hiking trip.

Is It Harder To Hike In The Cold?

Hiking in cold weather requires better physical conditions since your body has to burn more calories to maintain a proper temperature. It will also drain your stamina and water faster.

Therefore you should carry a water bottle to avoid dehydration. Plus, the warm and thick hiking clothes make it less comfortable to hike.

Is Hiking In The Snow Harder?

Hiking in the snow requires more stamina and effort since you have to carry heavy and thick snow hiking clothes. The thick and slippery snow makes it harder to hike since your feet can get stuck.

Sometimes heavy snow storms make it trickier to navigate the track and blur your vision.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For Hiking?

Below-freezing temperatures (less than 32°F or 0°C) are considered dangerous for hiking and doing physical activities. You must wear highly protective clothes to avoid dehydration and frost bites.

People with weak physical conditions or not in a good physical state should avoid hiking in cold temperatures.

What Temp Is Too Hot For Hiking?

You should not hike in locations with more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit in heat. These burning hot environments don’t ensure sufficient humidity, thus making your body dehydrated or worn out very fast.

Moreover, the aggressive sunlight and hot temperatures also affect your skin and lead to sunburns or exhaustion.

Do I Need Snowshoes For Winter Hiking?

It is always advisable to put on snowshoes when doing winter hiking. They can protect and cover your feet better, thus reducing the risk of plunging knee and waist deep.

They also maintain a proper foot temperature and provide an easier hiking experience on snow-packed terrains.

Is It Good To Hike In Summer?

Summer is an ideal time for hiking when the temperature is not too high. You should choose cloudy days or wait for the sunlight to smooth down to achieve the best hiking experience.

Also, avoid crowded hiking areas and look for more relaxing and quieter places, which are a luxury in the summer months.

What To Wear Hiking On A Hot Day?

Don’t wear too thick or heavy clothes, and spare more ventilating space on your body. The ideal outfit for hiking on hot days is a shirt, khaki, or tan. Also, choose clothes made of nylon or polyester with high breathability and comfort.

They will help the heat escape better and regulate your body temperature.

What Should I Wear For Hiking In Summer?

You should prioritize clothes with lightweight and high breathabilities, such as nylon or polyester shirts and shorts. Also, don’t forget to carry a backpack for water and food if you plan on a long hiking trip.

Wear protective hiking shoes for rugged and dangerous terrains like the jungle or mountains.

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