Hiking Time Calculator using Naismith’s Rule

female hiker looking at a map in the mountains
Here's a handy little hiking time calculator based on Naismith's rule! How accurate is it? Well, as ever, these things depend on your own fitness and so forth. But I've always found Naismith's rule to be a handy benchmark to aim for in terms of time for any given route.


“How long will this hike take?”

It’s a question I’ve often been asked when people are coming out for a hike with me. And honestly, the answer is pretty much always “I don’t know,” followed by a rough estimate.

The reality is that a whole host of things can affect how long a hike will take:

  • Distance
  • Elevation
  • Fitness levels of the hikers
  • The weather
  • Complexity of navigation
  • Any scrambling requirement (scrambling is always slower than walking and requires care and caution)

But one commonly used formula for calculating hiking time is Naimith’s Rule, so here’s a handy calculator based on Naismith’s Rule to estimate hiking time.

Hiking Time Calculator

Hiking Time Calculator

Naismith’s Rule Formula

If you prefer to manually calculate that, Naismith’s rule says to allow:

  • 15 minutes per km walked
  • Plus add 10 minutes for every 100m in elevation gain
Of course, this will vary based on fitness, hiking speed and so forth. Poor weather conditions slow you down, for example.


However, I have often found Naismith’s Rule to be a pretty decent benchmark on a reasonable weather conditions day. So if you want to estimate your hiking time, it’s a good starting point.

As you hike more, you tend to get more of a feel for your own pace (and you tend to get fitter and therefore faster) so you become a little better at estimating your hiking times.

Golden rule: allow plenty of time!

Happy hiking!


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