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What is an Out and Back Trail

what is an out and back trail

Hiking is a fun activity regardless of your experience doing it. If you are completely a newbie, there are different types of trails that will fit your experience. I would suggest taking an out and back trail, one of the easiest routes you can do as a starter.

But what is an out and back trail? It is a type of hiking trail where you will take a roundtrip hike navigating on the same trail back and forth. If you are not familiar with this trail, we dedicate this article to you as we provide information regarding this type of trail.

Out and Back Trail: Simple and Fun Hike

The out and back trail is one of the types of hiking you can do, apart from loop trails and point-to-point hikes. The out and back trail is a type of hiking trail where the hike begins and ends on the same point. Meaning, you are taking a round trip away from the starting point and back again using the same path.

To make it simpler, if you are going for a hike from point A to point B, then back to point A using the same route you took, it is called an out and back trail. The starting point is usually what we called as the trailhead, then hike your way to the destination and back again to the trailhead.

The best thing about the out and back trail is it allows hikers to maximize their creativity when creating the route. It includes different path combinations as long as it connects from the starting point to the destination and back to where the hikers start.

The Benefits of Out and Back Trail

There are many reasons why it is better to choose out and back trails during the hike. People think that it can be boring if you see the same thing going in and back. But it is not actually the case. Please find below some reasons why doing an out and back trail is actually amazing.

Focus on Enjoying the Hike

The best thing about the out and back trail is its simplicity and laid-back traits. Doing this type of hike will let you focus more on the benefits rather than the difficulty of choosing different trail diversions.

So, once you are on the hike, you will be focused more on enjoying what nature has to offer. There will be no other things to think about but just the beauty of the path you are navigating and all the beautiful things you see along the way.

You will also not be distracted by the navigation because you will not need to consult maps or GPS for your navigation. Since the distraction is minimal, it will allow you to focus on all the possible experiences you can get during the hike.

Navigation is Easy

Let’s face it, not all hikers have the exceptional ability to navigate in the wilderness. Some people are just afraid or a little bit hesitant to bring themselves to unfamiliar places, especially in the wild. This situation makes it perfect for these types of hikers in doing out and back trails.

When doing this type of trail, you are essentially just navigating the same path twice, making it easy to navigate. You can easily remember different points or signs, which can serve as a guide when going back to your original destination.

the benefits of out and back trail

Offers Comfort and Familiarity

If you are navigating the route twice in a hike, you will be familiar with the route. Familiarity will bring a sense of comfort and security during the hike. Let’s face it; it can be intimidating for a beginner to hike in an unfamiliar place.

But having to use the route twice will build confidence due to its familiarity with the path, especially in going back to the starting point. This benefit is the reason why I always recommend trying them out and back trail when you are still a new hiker.

Motivation at its Finest

An out and back trail is an excellent way to motivate someone to hike easily. Usually, the destination of this trail is a great motivation for any hiker. It may be a fantastic view, a waterfall, or just any other beautiful sight to look up to.

The moment you reach the beautiful sight, it is fantastic to think that you are already halfway done and prepared to go back and finish the hike. The simplicity of this hike makes it more appealing to hikers who just want to enjoy what nature has to offer.

You can also use the midpoint of your hike to rest and take beautiful photos of the beautiful sight. This site is the destination trail that motivates hikers to go to the midpoint destination before going back to the starting point.

Excellent for Testing New Gear

The out and back trail is also the perfect trail to check and test new gears in your position. For example, if you buy new hiking boots, there is no better way to test them than in a short and simple trail.

If you feel uncomfortable and the hiking boots do not fit well, you can quickly go back to your starting point and change your hiking boots. When experiencing gear issues during the testing means you can quickly retreat or return if it is needed.

Easy to Plan

Doing an out and back trail is so easy to plan compared to other hiking trails. This fact is the reason why I am suggesting this type of trail for beginners. If you are just new, you do not need too many complications during the hike, and the out and back trail is an excellent way to start your hiking journey.


If you plan to hike for the first time, learning what is out and back trail is really important. This type of hiking trail is perfect for people who are just new to this outdoor activity. There are many benefits in doing this type of trail, but its ability to let you enjoy more what nature brings makes it perfect for novice hikers.

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