Mountain Biking VS Hiking: Which is better? (Differences)

Mountain biking and hiking are both popular outdoor activities. They both offer opportunities to enjoy nature and get some exercise, but they are different activities with different requirements.

Mountain biking: Mountain biking is a sport that involves riding a bicycle on a trail or off-road terrain. It can be a challenging activity that requires skill, strength, and endurance. Mountain bikers often ride through forests, hills, and steep slopes.

It would help if you had a mountain bike designed for off-road riding to mountain bike effectively. You will also need to know how to ride a bike and navigate rough terrain. In addition, you should be in good physical shape, as mountain biking can be a strenuous activity.

Hiking: Hiking is a recreation activity that involves walking on a hiking trail. It is a relatively easy activity that people can enjoy of all ages and fitness levels. Hiking is an excellent method to bring outdoors and enjoy nature.

To hike effectively, you need a good pair of hiking boots and some knowledge of the area you are hiking in. You should also be in excellent physical shape, as hiking can be strenuous.

Is mountain biking harder than hiking?


There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the individual and the specific activity.

Generally speaking, mountain biking is more challenging than hiking as it requires more skill and agility. However, hiking can also be demanding, especially in rugged terrain or high altitudes.

Mountain biking can be more physically demanding than hiking as it requires more stamina and strength. The terrain can also be more challenging, with obstacles such as rocks, roots, and logs to navigate. In contrast, hiking is generally less technical and can be enjoyed on flatter, more accessible trails.

It is important to remember that hiking can also be a strenuous activity, depending on the route chosen and difficulty level. Hiking uphill, for example, can be very demanding, as can walking in hot weather conditions.

So, in answer to the question, mountain biking is generally more complicated than hiking, but this can vary depending on the individual and the activity.

What to bring with you for hiking:

It is crucial to bring along the right supplies to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Some of the most vital things to pack include:

  • Map of the area
  • Compass
  • First-aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Food and water
  • Multi-tool
  • Knife
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hat
  • Rain jacket

For more details, you can visit the Hiking Guy’s site.

What to bring with you for Mountain Biking:

  • Helmet
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

If you are going on a lengthy bike ride, you may also want to bring a bike pump, a spare tube, and a bike tool kit.

A bike helmet is essential for safety, and water and snacks will help keep you fueled up. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat will help protect you from the sun’s rays.

If you maintain a mechanical issue with your bike, a bike pump, spare tube, and bike tool kit can come in handy.

A biking trip can be a fun outdoor activity. Bring the proper gear to make the most of your experience.

For more information, check out our step-by-step guide about what to bring while mountain biking.

Can hikers use mountain bike trails?


Mountain biking is allowed on most trails unless otherwise posted. Please be aware of other trail users and be considerate when passing. Always yield to hikers.

Can I stroll my dog on the trails?

Dogs are permitted on the trails but must be on a leash.

Can I ride my horse on the trails?

Horses are allowed on the trails but must be on a lead at all times.

What is the difference between a hiking trail and a mountain biking trail?

Hiking trails are typically wider and flat, while mountain biking trails are narrower and more technical.

Where can I find a map of the trails?

Maps of the trails can be found online or at the park office.

Are the trails well marked?

The trails are well marked with signs and blazes on the trees.

How long do the trails take to hike?

The trails vary in length and can take 30 minutes to a few hours to hike.

What should I bring on the trails?

You should always bring plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen when hiking.

Are there any hazards on the trails?

There are some trail hazards, such as roots, rocks, and branches. Please be aware of your surroundings and take caution when hiking.

Can I go off the trail?

You are not permitted to go off the trail. The trails are marked for a reason, and you should follow accordingly.

What burns more calories, cycling or hiking?


Cycling is a more efficient way to burn calories than hiking. A person who weighs 150 pounds will burn approximately 298 calories in an hour cycling, while a person who weighs 150 pounds will burn about 203 calories in an hour hiking. This is because cycling is a high-intensity exercise that recruits more muscle fibres than hiking, which is a lower-intensity exercise.

Many other factors can affect the number of calories burned during cycling or hiking, such as the terrain, weight of the person, and intensity of the exercise.

Overall, cycling is a more efficient way to burn calories than hiking.

However, it is crucial to note that many other factors can affect the number of calories burned during cycling or hiking, such as the terrain, weight of the person, and intensity of the exercise. So, it is essential to consult a doctor or nutritionist to get a more accurate estimate of the number of calories burned.

Is biking good training for hiking?

Yes, biking is a great way to train for hiking. It can help improve your endurance and strength and help you become more comfortable with being on your feet for long periods.

Biking can also help you become more familiar with the terrain you will be hiking on, which can help prepare for a hike.

Keep in mind that biking is not a perfect substitute for hiking, as there are some things that biking cannot replicate, such as the unevenness of trails. So, be sure to do some actual hiking to prepare for your hike.

If you are new to biking and hiking, starting slowly and building up your endurance gradually is essential. Start with shorter hikes and bike rides, gradually increasing the distance and difficulty.

Also, wear appropriate clothing and gear for biking and hiking, and bring plenty of water and snacks on your hikes.

What are the advantages of mountain biking over hiking?  

  • Mountain biking is faster than hiking, and it can be more fun.
  • Mountain biking also allows you to cover more ground, as you can go up and down hills, which you cannot do when hiking.
  • Finally, mountain biking is a great exercise, whereas hiking is less intense.

What are the disadvantages of mountain biking over hiking?

  • Mountain biking can be more dangerous than hiking, as you can fall off your bike if you are not careful.
  • Also, mountain biking can be more expensive than hiking, as you need to buy a bike and other equipment.
  • Finally, mountain biking can be more tiring than hiking, as it is more strenuous.

So, overall, the advantages of mountain biking over hiking are that it is faster, more fun, and allows you to cover more ground. The disadvantages are that it can be more dangerous, expensive, and tiring. Your chosen activity depends on your preferences and what you want in an outdoor activity.

Also, read our relevant blog post about Mountain Biking vs Running & Mountain Biking vs Dirt Biking Guides!


Mountain biking is a more intense and strenuous activity than hiking. It is a great workout and can be fun, but it is not for everyone. On the other hand, hiking is a more relaxed activity for people of all ages and fitness levels with a more relaxing and scenic experience. Choose which activity suits you the most and let us know!

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