Humans have long drawn inspiration, meaning and purpose from the natural world. Many of these humans have gone on to write or say beautiful or thought-provoking quotes about the outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a little outdoor inspiration (or you just need a hiking caption for your instagram) here are 120 of the best outdoor quotes!

Because there are SO MANY outdoor quotes, I’ve organized the quotes in to the following categories:

Cover Image for 120 Outdoor Quotes - Backgrounds of mountains and waterfall with text "120 Outdoor Quotes" in script font
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Classic Quotes about the Outdoors

These are the most iconic quotes about the outdoors (ones you’ve probably seen on a hiking Instagram caption). Nonetheless, these are excellent quotes about being outside that continue to be timeless.

1. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau

2. “All that is gold does not glitter, not all who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien

3. “A ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not what ships are for” – William Shedd

4. “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

5. “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

6. “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep” – Robert Frost

7. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

8. “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Alexander Supertramp McCandless

9. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

10. “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” – Henry David Thoreau

11. “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” – Dr Seuss

12. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao-Tzu

13. “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” – John Muir

14. “Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” – Walt Whitman

15. “The best views come after the hardest climb” – Unknown

16. “You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

17. “In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

18. “The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.” – Nancy Newhall

19. “Wilderness is not a luxury but necessity of the human spirit.” – Edward Abbey

20. “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” – John Muir


Hiking Quotes

Ah hiking quotes – the mottos we repeat over and over as we tramp up the mountain or trek across the dessert. Find the will to go just one step further with any of these quotes about hiking.

21. “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey

22. “Anywhere is within walking distance.”  Anonymous

23. “Hiking’s not for everyone. Notice the wilderness is mostly empty.” – Sonja Yoerg

24. “If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet. –  Rachel Wolchin

25. “Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take.” – Anonymous

26. “Hiking and happiness go hand in hand or foot in boot.” – Diane Spicer

27. “You need special shoes for hiking—and a bit of a special soul as well.” – Terri Guillemets

28. “We don’t stop hiking because we grow old. We grow old because we stop hiking.” – Finis Mitchell

29. “If the winter is too cold and the summer is too hot, you are not a hiker.” – Anonymous

30. “Days of slow walking are very long: they make you live longer, because you have allowed every hour, every minute, every second to breathe, to deepen, instead of filling them up by straining the joints.” – Frederic Gros

31. “Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care” – Earl Schaffer

32. “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

33. “Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking. You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.” – Cindy Ross

34. “The antidote to exhaustion isn’t rest. It’s nature.” – Shikoba 

35. “No Pain, No Rain, No Maine.” – Appalachian Trail Saying

36. “Walking: the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.” – Carrie Latet

37. “Hiking is not escapism; it’s realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong.” – Jennifer Pharr Davis

38. “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” – Alfred Wainwright

39. “A walk in nature walks the soul back home.” – Mary Davis

40. “A crude meal, no doubt, but the best of all sauces is hunger.” – Edward Abbey


Outdoor Inspirational Quotes

For thousands of years poets, scholars and philosophers have looked to nature for inspiration, and the outdoor never disappoints. Here are some inspirational quotes about being outdoors.

41. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

42. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

43. “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Alexander Supertramp Mccandless

44. “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” – Anne Frank

45. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

46. “One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” – Unknown

47. “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank A. Clark

48. “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Longfellow

49. “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be” – Douglas Adams

50. “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia De Castro

51. “Until you step into the unknown, you don’t know what you are made of.” – Roy T. Bennet

52. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

53. “Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.” – Anna Lee

54. “The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask.” – Nancy Newhall

55. “Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” – Ashley Smith

56. “If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” – Raymond Inmon

57. “I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day’s work.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

58. “In every walk with nature, one received far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

59. “Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind.” – Marty Rubin

60. “Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure” – Anonymous

61. “Not till we are completely lost or turned around…do we begin to find ourselves.” – Henry David Thoreau 

61. “Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” – Erol Ozan

62. “Every Mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing” – Barry Findlay

63. “May your dreams be larger than mountains and may you have the courage to scale their summits.” – Harley King


Outdoor Adventure Quotes

Here we have a mix of outdoor adventure quotes inspired by the challenges, risks and rewards inherent in the pursuit of adventure.

64. “No matter the risks we take, we always consider the end to be too soon, even though in life, more than anything else, quality should be more important than quantity.” – Alex Honnold

65. “Being brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it.” – Bear Grylls

66. “As human beings, we have an innate need to explore, to see what’s around the corner.” – Jimmy Chin

67. “Ambition leads me not only farther than any other man has been before me, but as far as I think it possible for man to go.” – Captain James Cook

68. “The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.”– Yvon Chouinard

69. “The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.” – JRR Tolkien

70. “Being brave or being courageous is really just a matter of how much you want to do something. If you don’t want to do something that much then you won’t be brave enough to do it. If you really want to do something then you will be brave enough to do it” – Hazel Findlay

71. “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.” – T.S Eliot

72. “Adventure isn’t all about rowing oceans or climbing mountains. Adventure in its purest form is simply a way of thinking. Live by that philosophy and you’ll make more of the short time we’ve been given on this rock” – Sean Conway


Climbing Quotes

Next up, we have a series of quotes about climbing mountains (and often conquering yourself in the process). These are some of the most universal outdoor quotes, as we can all relate to climbing either a physical or a metaphorical mountain.

73. “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you are climbing it.” – Andy Rooney

74. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac

75. “Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” – Greg Child

76. “The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what really matters” – Conrad Anker

77. “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Sir Edmund Hillary

78. “Everyone can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” – Irving Wallace

79. “I’ve done a lot of thinking about fear. For me the crucial question is not how to climb without fear – that’s impossible – but how to deal with it when it creeps into your nerve endings.” – Alex Honnold

80. “I didn’t go up there to die. I went up there to live.” – Reinhold Messner

81. “When you are in the middle of the Gigantic & Majestic Himalayas, you really find your true place in the Universe. You really figure out how small you are in the grand scheme of things. All your ego completely gets cleaned.” –Kuntal Joisher

82. “Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.” – Greg Child

83. “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” – David McCullough Jr.

84. “Never measure the height of a mountain until you reach the top. Then you will see how low it was.” – Dag Hammarskjold

85. “In the mountains there is the promise of… something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb…” – Rob Parker

86. “For those who climb, the answer is both obvious and impossible to explain — the everyday concerns of livelihood, of social standing, overdue bills, and futureless romance all fall away before the vast and overwhelming absolute of the mountain.” – Paul Watkins


Camping Quotes

87. “A bad day camping is still better than a good day working.” – Anonymous

88. “You don’t have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.” – Annie Dillard

89. “Home is where you stake it.” – Unknown

90. “Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” – Walt Whitman


Nature Quotes

91. “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” –Henry David Thoreau

92. “To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles” – Mary Davis

93. “I found far more answers in the woods than I ever did in the city.” – Mary Davis

94. “If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” – Vincent Van Gogh

95. “Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” – Charles Dickens

96. “The earth has music for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare

97. “There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.” – Linda Hogan

98. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

99. “I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored” – David Attenborough 

100. “Deep down, at the molecular heart of life, the trees and we are essentially identical.” – Carl Sagan

101. “Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and winds long to play with your hair.” – Kahli Gibran

102. “The environment, after all, is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest. It is one thing that all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.” – Lady Bird Johnson

103. “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates

104. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” – John Muir

105. “The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.” – Henry Warn Beecher

106. “There is pleasure in the pathless woods. There is rapture on the lonely shore. There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea and music in its roar. I love not man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron

107. “I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put together.” – John Burroughs

108. “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

109. “In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.”  Aristotle

110. “The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.” – Claude Monet

111. “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

112. “Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” – Charles Lindbergh

113. “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder


Outdoor Education Quotes

114. “Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.” – John Lubbock

115. “After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.” – G.M. Trevelyan

116. “Come forth into the light things, let nature be your teacher.” – William Wordsworth

117. “A healthy outside starts from the inside.” – Robert Urich

118. “We must get beyond textbooks, go out into bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness of truth and explore and tell the world of our glorious journey” – John Hope

119. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

120. “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” – Hippocrates



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