12 Benefits of Hiking in the Morning

The benefits of hiking in the morning are hard to beat. But, what are the benefits of hiking in the morning?

benefits of hiking in the morning

Here are 12 reasons to go for a sunrise hike:

1. Cooler Temperatures

Ever noticed how mornings feel a bit chillier? That’s because, in many places, it’s cooler earlier in the day. This makes morning hikes way more comfy than sweating it out in the midday sun. So, if you’re not a fan of the heat, early hikes are a game-changer!

2. Fresh Air

You know that crispness you feel in the air when you step outside early? That’s the morning serving up some fresh air realness! Breathing it in doesn’t just feel good—it can kickstart your day on a positive note. Trust me, it’s like nature’s own energy drink!

3. Peace and Quiet

Have you ever craved some “me time” without the background noise of the world? Hit the trails early. It’s way quieter, and you can actually hear the whispers of nature without the usual crowd. It’s like having a VIP pass to tranquility.

4. Better Wildlife Viewing

Want a sneak peek into the animal kingdom’s morning routine? Head out for an early hike! Many critters are up and about, getting their day started. It’s a golden time for wildlife watching, so keep those eyes peeled!

5. Mental Clarity

Ever felt your brain’s a bit foggy? A morning hike is like hitting the refresh button. There’s something about that early trek that sweeps away the cobwebs and sets you up for a killer day. Trust me, it’s better than your morning coffee ritual!

6. Boosted Metabolism

Want to kickstart your inner calorie-burning engine? Get moving in the morning! A hike not only wakes you up but also revs up your metabolism. It’s like giving your body a friendly nudge to burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.

7. Enhanced Mood

Feeling a bit meh? Try a dose of nature and movement. Hiking not only gets your heart pumping but also sends a rush of happy hormones called endorphins your way. Think of it as nature’s own mood-lifting potion!

8. Better Sleep

Struggling to catch those Z’s at night? An early morning hike might be your ticket to dreamland. Soaking in that morning sunlight helps tune your body’s internal clock. The result? Sweeter slumber when you hit the pillow.

9. Consistency

You know those plans that often get bumped by life’s surprises? Morning hikes rarely face that problem. Setting them as a regular AM activity means fewer clashes with the day’s chaos. It’s like booking a consistent date with nature before the world wakes up!

10. Increased Productivity

Want a productivity hack that doesn’t involve more coffee? Try kicking off your day with a hike. It’s like a turbo boost for your energy and focus levels. By the time you’re back, you’re all set to crush the day’s to-do list!

11. Golden Hour Photography

Got a camera and a passion for epic shots? The early morning’s golden hour is your canvas. That soft, warm light is pure magic, turning even simple scenes into frame-worthy masterpieces. So, rise and shine, and let your lens catch the glow!

12. Sense of Accomplishment

Want to feel like you’ve conquered the day before most people have had their coffee? Tackle a morning hike. Crossing it off your list so early gives you this awesome “I’ve got this” vibe. And trust me, that winning feeling? It sticks around!

As you can see, hiking in the morning is a great idea and you’ll get to reap a whole host of benefits from doing so. Of course, hiking in the morning does have its drawbacks as well.

Here are 10 reasons not to hike in the morning:

1. Early Wake-Up Call

Love hitting that snooze button? Morning hikes might challenge that love affair. To catch the best of dawn, you’ve got to rise with—or before—the sun, and for the night owls among us, that’s no easy feat. Swapping late-night movies for early trails? Easier said than done!

2. Chilly Temperatures

Ever stepped outside in the AM and gotten an instant chill? Mornings, especially in certain spots, can be nippy. So, if you’re not into the crisp, cold vibes, hiking at dawn might feel more frosty than refreshing. Plus, bundling up with extra gear? That’s another layer of morning prep!

3. Dew and Moisture

You know that pretty morning dew glistening on the grass? Yeah, it’s not always a hiker’s friend. Early treks often come with damp trails that can turn your sure-footed walk into a surprise slip-and-slide. And those fresh kicks? They might end up looking and smelling pretty bad by the end of your hike.

4. Limited Visibility

Thinking of catching the trail before the rooster crows? Just remember, it might be more “mood lighting” than “spotlight.” Those pre-sunrise starts can make your path a tad elusive, and navigating can become a guessing game. So, until Mr. Sun decides to fully show up, you might be playing a bit of hide-and-seek with the trail.

5. Less Social

Love a good trailside chat with random hikers? Early morning hikes might cramp your social style a bit. Trails are usually less bustling, so there’s a chance you’ll have more trees for company than people. Great for solitude seekers, but if you’re after some chit-chat, you might be left listening to the birds!

6. Wildlife Concerns

Wildlife is more active in at dawn and dusk. This is great for those looking to do some wildlife watching or wildlife photography. The downside is that you’re also more likely to run into predatory animals. If you’re in an area with mountain lions or aggressive bears, you might want to wait until later on in the day to take your hike.

7. Less Preparation Time

You know the scramble of finding your left hiking boot at 5 AM? Morning hikes bring that fun challenge. If you’re more spontaneous than planner, prepping your gear in the twilight hours might feel like a chaotic treasure hunt. So, unless you’ve got night-vision goggles, setting out your gear the night before might be a game-changer!

8. Missed Evening Views

Sunrise enthusiast? Awesome. But here’s the catch: those early rises might have you missing the evening’s golden show. While dawn has its charm, there’s something magical about watching the world bask in sunset colors. So, morning hikers, just know you’re trading one kind of glow for another!

9. Restricted Duration

Planning an early hike but also have a noon commitment? That’s a bit of a tight squeeze. Kicking off your trail adventure at dawn might mean watching the clock if you’ve got afternoon plans. Epic, day-long trail? Might need a rain check if your day’s packed!

10. Cafes and Facilities

Dreaming of a post-hike latte or a stack of pancakes? Here’s the buzzkill: many cafes near popular trails are still in snooze mode early in the morning. So if you wrap up your hike and are craving that caffeine fix, you might have to wait a bit. Early bird gets the worm, but sometimes not the espresso!

Despite these challenges, many find that the advantages of morning hikes outweigh the downsides. But as with any activity, it’s all about personal preference!

Jim Murphy

Jim's love for camping started at an early age. His parents would take him camping every summer, where he'd spend his days getting quality time in with his dad and his nights eating too many smores.

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