Difference between Hiking, Trekking and Mountaineering

Anyone who is familiar with the territory of the mountains have been asked or come across or has had to convince someone about how a trek is not an expedition and how it is different than hard-core mountaineering. This is the question that I have faced most frequently from the trekkers.

Though all the three of Hiking, Trekking and Mountaineering involve outdoor physical activities, which involve exploring nature while walking on foot; there are some major differences. I hope this article will answer the question.





Hiking is basically walking along a trail often mountain slopes but also jungle trails or even cities. It essentially gets over by one day and doesn’t involve overnight stay. It generally takes place along well-known and frequent as well as marked paths.


A trek differs from a hike on accounts of duration, distance, location and difficulty. A trek mostly takes place in natural getaways a bit away from settlements and is essentially a multiday affair. We need to carry our rations and accommodation amenities like tents and sleeping bags.  A trek is much more taxing owing to its much rugged locations and long durations.


Mountaineering differs from both of it as it involves and requires much technical expertise. It’s not just walking along a trail but also involves, crossing crevasses, climbing glacial walls, climbing steep slopes , roped together and similar feats. It requires the set-up of a base camp and then make attempts at conquering a mountain in a series of load carries to higher camps.




An ardent traveller, this ex engineer has been a child of the mountains from early childhood. With the passion of mountaineering running in the veins, he has been instrumental in the operation and running of WeTrekkers. As a trek leader has successfully completed various batches at Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Bamsaru, Sandakphu, Pindari and many more.