You’d like to get outdoors and hike or travel but it’s just not possible due to COVID, or want to get inspired for your next hiking tour in Georgia? Maybe looking for adventure travel movies like Into the Wild, or hiking movies similar to Wild?
There are countless amazing adventure films and documentaries on mountaineering climbing, and survival, but there are only a few which have hiking as the main topic.
We’re going to reveal to you 9 non-documentary hiking movies for outdoor inspiration. All of them have won various awards including the most important one – the heart of the audience, so gorge yourself on the best adventure movies featuring hiking and wilderness.
9. Edie (2017)
IMDB rating: 6.6
Edie is a story about the expectations of aging set against hiking in Scotland. This movie is funny, sad, entertaining, uplifting, and packed with social statements. Newly widowed Edie (played by Sheila Hancock) embarks on a trip to a remote part of the Scottish Highlands to realize a lifelong dream of hiking up the remote Mount Suilven.
Edie is an excellent proof that you’re never too old to hike!
8. A Walk in the Woods (2015)
IMDB rating: 6.3
One of the great movies similar to Wild, A Walk in the Woods is based on Bill Bryson’s best-selling book. It tells the story of how Bryson – an unfit, happily married, and accomplished writer – embarks on his version of a mid-life crisis by tackling the iconic 3,500 km (2200-mile) Appalachian trail in the Eastern U.S. stretching between Springer Mountain, Georgia and Mount Katahdin, Maine. Bryson has a hard time to find a partner for his hiking adventure and finally has to settle for a washed-out and in poor health, long-time friend, Stephen Katz. They make an awkward duo, making you laugh and at the same time give informative discussions about the trail’s history, the ecology, landscapes, and practical considerations.
A Walk in the Woods is full of hikers' philosophy and has a powerful cast: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson. Sadly it does not live up to the book’s excellence but is definitely worth watching.
7. The Loneliest Planet (2011)
IMDB rating: 5.5
This underrated adventure movie centres on a young couple, Alex and Nica (Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg) on holidays in Georgia, Europe. They hire a guide to take them backpacking through a remote pass in Caucasus mountains. When things go wrong, survival mode is on, resulting in some unexpected outcomes. Both of them discover a lot about themselves, and each other, and their priorities.
The Loneliest Planet reviews vary, but it’s truly one of the most haunting and memorable hiking movies you will ever watch. The film’s minimal dialogue and very slow pace is hard sometimes and it shows raw reality making you feel uncomfortable but that’s what art-house films do.
6. Tracks (2013)
IMDB rating: 7.2
Tracks is the story of Robyn Davidson’s (played by Mia Wasikowska) journey across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean on foot with four camels and a dog as her companions, a distance of 2,700 km (1,700 miles). While this type of grand adventure is more common these days, a single female attempting to conquer one of the planet’s harshest landscapes in the mid 1970’s was groundbreaking particularly given the societal expectations of the times.
This movie might remind you of Into the Wild: Isolation, being an alien in a foreign land, and the unexpected kindness one often encounters on the road.
5. The Way (2010) 7.4
IMDB rating: 7.4
Have you ever wanted to walk El Camino de Santiago road aka “The Way of St James” in Europe? Well, you might want to after seeing Emilio Estevez’s The Way.
The touching story of a grieving father who embarks on a long pilgrimage journey to pay homage to his late son who dies only a few days into his El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, an ancient 800 km (500-mile) pilgrimage trail across the north of Spain. During the hike, Tom meets up with interesting people, all on their own journeys to find meaning, healing or just to lose weight.
The movie captures both physical and psychological challenges, the friendship, cultural and spiritual aspects of a long-distance pilgrimage walk. It is an excellent introduction for anyone thinking about walking the Camino, or any long-distance walk.
4. Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
IMDB rating: 7.1
Ever thought about hiking in Tibet? This one is going to give you some insight on it!
An amazingly true story about an Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) who ran away from his military duties in World War 2. After an epic journey by foot across the Himalayas, Heinrich and his companion end up in Lhasa where he finds refuge and forms a bond with a young 14th Dalai Lama (Tibet’s current spiritual leader). In Tibet, he becomes a witness of the Chinese invasion and its consequences.
The movie was filmed in Austria, Argentina, Canada and Nepal, though it features about 20 minutes of ‘secret footage’ shot in Tibet. Because of this, Brad Pitt, his co-star David Thewlis and the film’s director are banned from ever visiting China. Overall, the movie is very involving and emotional without sentimentality, with wonderful music and outstanding cinematography.
3. Jungle (2017)
IMDB rating: 6.7
Jungle is a lesser-known movie similar to Into the Wild based on true events that unfolded in Bolivia in 1981. It is an inspiring story of friendship and strength and the courage to never give up. Filmed in Colombia and Australia, Jungle reminds us of nature’s wild and unpredictable beauty – the very thing that drew the main character - Yossi (Daniel Radcliffe) to the Amazon in the first place.
After an encounter with a mysterious stranger in Bolivia Yossi and two others go hiking into the Amazon rainforest to get closer to the indigenous tribes of the area, but it quickly unravels. It’s a harrowing tale of mental endurance and physical survival with vivid imagery and the brutal beauty of the rainforest.
2. Wild (2014)
IMDB rating: 7.1
As far as adventure travel movies go, Wild is one of the most popular ones. Apart from the amazing scenery, this is a story of redemption and discovery. The film is an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir of her 1800 km (1,100-mile) solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) after the breakdown of her marriage and her life plunged into self-destructive behavior.
Cheryl starts the hike as a complete rookie in the Mojave Desert, one of the driest in North America with an oversized backpack and no clue, and as she wrestles with the difficulties of the trail through California and Oregon to the Bridge of the Gods, she also journeys inward to reflect on her troubled life and the death of her beloved mom.
1. Into the Wild (2007)
IMDB rating: 8.1
The stunningly beautiful and ultimately tragic true-life story of Christopher McCandles’ (Played by Emile Hirsch) search for truth, meaning, and healing. McCandles came from a dysfunctional upper-middle-class family, and his quest to make sense of life led him to give away all his earthly wealth to charity. He heads off to Alaska by hitchhiking and hiking through the wilderness, eventually, he sets up home in an abandoned bus.
Based on the best-selling book by John Krakauer, the movie directed by Sean Penn contains some of the most exquisite nature scenes you will ever see on screen, as well as a terrific soundtrack by Eddie Vedder. In short, it is a must-see movie!