Does Alltrails Work Without Cell Service? | Hikers University

Alltrails works great for hikers with its excellent navigation features but does Alltrails work without cell service?

Hiking on less-traveled routes is one of the most exhilarating adventures that gives you the adrenaline rush you so badly long for. However, every time you head out for a hike, there must be one concern in the back of your mind; what if I get lost? How will I find my way back? Well, that’s where travel apps such as Alltrails come into the picture. They help you with navigation and ensure that you don’t get lost. But these apps are only good as long as there’s cellular service. What will you do when you reach a no-network zone on your trail?

With Alltrails, there’s not much you’ve got to worry about. All you’ve got to do is download the hiking trail map you’re planning to follow beforehand. Once you’ve downloaded the map, you can easily access and follow it even without cell service. You just have to be an Alltrails pro member.

It’s not uncommon for hikers to get lost on trails that they aren’t familiar with, especially if they’re hiking through the wilderness, where there aren’t many people to guide them. However, thanks to navigation apps like Alltrails, you can now hike anywhere you want without being scared of getting lost! Alltrails help you stay on the correct route, whether hiking, running or off-roading. However, the limitation with most apps like Alltrails is that they only show maps and directions as long as there’s an active network connection. They’re of not much use as soon as the network is lost. But Alltrails is different.

We’ve used Alltrails and studied it thoroughly. We can vouch that it’s unlike other navigation apps, and it’ll definitely keep you from getting lost.  

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How Do Alltrails Work?

Alltrails is packed with a wide range of features, so you may find it a bit confusing to understand at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’re never turning back. You can start exploring after you’ve logged in to the app and added your details, including your area’s zip code. The app will show you all the trails near you.

You can choose to follow a trail that’s already on the app, or you could simply look for other non-registered trails around your area. Once you’ve decided on the trail you’ll be heading out to; you simply start following the directions. It’s that simple!

Does Alltrails Work without Cell Service?

One of the most common questions that we get from outdoor activity enthusiasts is whether Alltrails will work without cell service because some of the most adventurous trails are the ones that are deep into the wilderness and still undiscovered.

The good news is that Alltrails work without cell service. You can rely on this app to have your back even when your network gets lost.

When you decide on the trail, you’ll hike on, and you aren’t sure if there will be cellular network coverage in that area, what you can do is download the map before heading out and save it for later use. Once a map is downloaded, you can access it and follow it even without cell service. This is what sets Alltrails apart from other navigation apps.

Can Everyone Use Alltrails without Cell Service?

Unfortunately, not everyone can continue using Alltrails without cell service. This feature is only available to Alltrails Pro members. Only Pro members have exclusive access to offline maps. However, even the Pro members have to download the map they want to use offline when they’ve got an active internet connection. Once downloaded, they can continue to use the map offline.

How Can You Use Alltrails without Cell Service?

If you’re a Pro member and are using the feature of offline maps for the first time, we can help you understand the Alltrails app better.

After you’ve downloaded the map, it’ll be saved on your device storage. You’ll be able to access it through your app at any time.

Go to the ‘Saved’ tab on the bottom of your navigation bar in the Alltrails app and select ‘Downloads’ You’ll be able to access the Downloads tab even without an internet connection. Once you’ve located the map, click on the ‘Start Navigating’. The app will load the Navigator, starting from your current location and ending at the destination.

Tap on the ‘Start’ button and follow your planned route. The route you’ve got to follow will turn semi-opaque, and the part of the route you’ve covered will be shown as a dark red line on the map.

What if Alltrails Isn’t Working without Cell Service?

We can think of if Alltrails isn’t working for you without cell service because you aren’t a Pro member or didn’t download the map properly.

Always double-check if the map has been downloaded. Go to the ‘Downloads’ tab and check if your map is listed there. The map is fully downloaded only if the green circle is fully filled. If the circle is hollow, but on the Downloads list, it hasn’t been downloaded properly. You’ve got to download it again.


Peter Brooks

Peter Brooks

I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.

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