Hiking during the day is great. Exploring the trails, enjoying the views, and getting exercise are all great reasons to hike at any time of the day.

However, I have found morning walks to be more satisfying. Here are my reasons.

The Light

Photographers call it the golden hour for good reason. The light makes everything softer and with deeper colors versus the glare of the day.

Frequently there is a morning mist, which makes it more mysterious. I always bring my phone with me and take pictures of particularly gorgeous views. Even without taking pictures, I enjoy the views better in the soft light than the harsh sun during the day.

Birds and Animals

Morning is the time where many animals are more active and visible. The nocturnal animals are heading to bed while the diurnal (day) animals are just waking up. Birding can be better in the morning, and the birds are certainly noisier as they wake up and talk to each other.

Many animals find a hiding place to sleep during the hot day. Normal animals I’ve seen on morning walks include the rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and deer. More exotic animals and birds I’ve seen have included gray foxes, coyotes, bobcats, alligators, bald eagles, and feral pigs.

FYI, many times I bring along a stick to break morning spiderwebs on a path. If I was ever threatened by an animal (and I haven’t been), I figure that stick might help me.

I will mention that deer can actually be scary. I’ve scared (and been scared by) deer that were hidden along the path. That sudden noise as they run away woke me up those mornings!

Even the remains of an old liquor container still look better in the morning at Skidaway Island State Park, Georgia.


Depending on the weather, hiking in the cooler morning may be a better time. Day hikes can be sweaty and difficult during the heat.

Morning hikes are cooler, allowing you to enjoy the hike more. In the desert, the air is crisp. For places like Florida, Texas, and Arizona, morning walks are better much of the year. If it’s too cool where you are, just add a jacket!

The Quiet and Solitude

Day hikes can seem to bring a line of hikers traveling the trail. Mornings are quieter, with fewer people on the trails. You can take in a view without a crowd.

The world is different in the morning. Did you know barges and ships pull over along the shore of the Mississippi River at night? Mornings are quiet while daytime along the river can sound like a highway with these barges passing.

Sometimes it may seem to be too lonely. I’ve pulled a muscle on a hike and was once followed by a bobcat. For the pulled muscle, I gave my husband a call to meet me at the next trailhead. The bobcat ran off. You realize that you can survive on your own, even if it is only for a short morning walk.

Meditation or Time to Think

Morning walks give me time to think through the issues of the day, or the meaning of life or of nothing except “being.” The downside of this is when I’ve gotten lost as my mind wandered, but each time I found a new thing to see as I made my way back to the RV.

Obviously, I am a morning person. But the wonder of walking in the morning is something that anyone can enjoy.