Going Hiking on a First Date – is it a Good Idea?

Maybe you’ve met someone on Tinder, another dating app, or perhaps organically through a mutual friend. You’ve exchanged numbers and are hashing out the details for the first date. One of you suggests a nice hike and you are wondering if hiking on a first date is a good idea. You are going to be alone in the woods with this person for probably at least a couple of hours. So think this one through.

Is hiking on a first date a good idea?

It’s possible. It depends on how well you know this person and how you met. If you have known them for a while socially and just never dated before then I think going on a hike would be a great idea! It will give you a chance to spend some time together in nature with no distractions and get to know each other.

However, if you met this person on a dating app and know next to nothing about them then maybe this is where a cup of coffee or even a drink is a better choice. I know from experience there are some weirdos out there and the last thing I would want is to be stuck out in the wilderness miles from civilization with someone I quickly realize that I don’t even like.

So my short answer is no. Hiking on a first date probably is not a good idea, especially for a first meet. On a first date you both need a chance to bail if it starts to go south and you can’t easily do this on a hike. Another outdoor type option is meeting at a public park. Here you are both close to your cars. You can take off easily if you aren’t feeling it yet you are still outside and can walk around talking.

When is going on a hiking date a good idea?

In my opinion it’s probably fine on the 2nd date and beyond. If you have met up once and have decided to go out with them again, then what better way to get to know them than a nice hike. There will be no distractions and chances are no one will have there faces glued to their phones on Facebook or Instagram.

Maybe don’t overdo it and try anything too strenuous, something you can both do leisurely and enjoy each other’s company. A nice 2-3 hour hike would be perfect. One where you can stop at a waterfall and eat your lunch is a great idea. There is one in my area that I love to eat lunch at, Virgin Falls.

Why it’s not a great idea and what are some other options

As I mentioned already, you are going to be stuck with someone in the woods. Maybe they turn out to be really annoying, super creepy, or you just aren’t vibing with them. There are a lot of weirdos on social dating sites/apps. They can look totally normal and carry on great text conversations. You really need to vet people on the first date.

Most first dates I’ve gone on have been fine going for drinks. Coffee is another option. The important things are that you should be in a public and familiar place. I personally prefer drinks because 1 or 2 will loosen you up. Just enough so that there aren’t too many nerves and the conversation will flow nicely. This makes it easy to keep the conversation light and get to know them a little bit.

Then on the second date when you are both totally sober and you do decide to do that hike, you’ve got some stuff to continue talking about. All of the main questions are out of the way now. Like how long have you lived here, do you have any brothers or sisters, and what do you do for a living. Maybe if it feels right, what are you looking for relationship wise right now. This last one can be tricky and possibly should be saved for date number 3 or beyond.


Hiking on a first date may sound like a great idea, and maybe it works out fine for you! In my opinion though, save it for date number 2. At this point you will know if you like this person enough to spend more time with them. Good luck and happy hiking!

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