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9 of the Best Outdoor Adventure Movies of All Time

9 of the Best Outdoor Adventure Movies of All Time

9 Outdoor adventure movies that will inspire you to hit the trails


On the days when you can't make it outside, try the next best thing — an outdoor adventure movie! If you need some inspiration, here are nine of our favorite outdoor adventure films.


Outdoor Adventure Movies Based on Real Life


1. Into the Wild

Talk about going off the grid — this movie, based on Jon Krakauer’s book of the same name, tells the story of Christopher McCandless

In the early 1990s, McCandless hiked, camped and kayaked across North America, and most notably Alaska, to connect with himself outside of the demands of civilization.


2. 127 Hours

Aron Ralston wrote Between a Rock and a Hard Place after he was trapped by a boulder in a hiking accident and forced to use desperate measures to survive. 127 Hours is the retelling of that story, and it’s received excellent reviews.

But, keep in mind this survival film has more graphic imagery than the average outdoor adventure film.


3. Tracks

Set in 1977 and based on Robyn Davidson’s memoir, Tracks, this movie tells the story of a woman who traveled 1,700 miles over nine months across Australia to the Indian Ocean. A National Geographic photographer, Rick Smolan, chronicles her journey.


4. Wild

Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, titled Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, “Wild” follows Strayed as she hikes 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Though the film is a fictionalized account of Strayed’s journey, the movie stays true to the path of the Pacific Crest Trail and was praised for its cinematography.


Outdoor Adventure Documentaries

5. Meru

If you’re a rock climber with a hardcore sense of adventure, this is the movie for you. The film is a documentary-style recounting of the first successful ascent of the “Shark’s Fin” path up Meru Peak, located in the remote Indian Himalayas.

The firsthand account was filmed by the climbers, so the movie is personal and completely realistic.


6. 180° South

This film combines footage from a 1968 road trip from California to Chile with a 2010 chronicle of the same path, but the 2010 trip is taken by sea. Adventures include sailing and surfing, and the journey ends at Cerro Corcovado.


Fictionalized (But Still Great) Adventure Movies


7. The Way

Martin Sheen stars in this outdoor adventure film, which takes place around the famous Camino de Santiago trail in France and Spain. Though the 500-mile pilgrimage began as a religious pathway, thousands of people now traverse the Camino each year to explore the scenery, experience the culture and meet new friends.


8. Wildlike

“Wildlike” follows the story of a teenage girl who ventures through Alaska. The movie is known for its spectacular scenery, so if you’re interested in backpacking through the largest state in the USA, this will give you a glimpse into what you might see on your way.


9. The Edge

In this film, three men who live through a plane crash try to stay alive in the wilds of the northern frontier while they wait to be rescued. Throughout their adventure, they hike, canoe, camp and brave the harsh elements. They’re doing it for survival, of course, but if you love the great outdoors you’ll appreciate their adventure. 


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9 of the Best Outdoor Adventure Movies of All Time