From sharing the best hiking spots with friends to staying safe while on the trail, find out why it’s worth using what3words when hiking.

California is a hiker’s paradise. From stunning city views to mountain peaks and desert vistas, there’s something to satisfy every outdoor enthusiast. However, finding the best hiking spots can be difficult, and trying to communicate the exact point in a trail to others can feel impossible when there is no street address. This is why it’s worth using what3words when planning hikes.

what3words is a simple way to talk about any exact location. It’s given every 10ft square in the world a unique address made of 3 random words: a what3words address. For example, head to the peak of Runyon Canyon Park at ///flesh.winner.smile for the best view.

Find out how what3words can help you plan hikes and stay safe in California and beyond.

Finding hiking locations

Hiking locations can be hard to find, or describe to other people. By using what3words, the precise location of every viewpoint, water source or shelter can be described with just 3 words.

For rural hiking spots like Slot Canyon, the park is vast, covering hundreds of miles of trails, off-road tracks and campgrounds. Using what3words ensures you’ll know exactly where you parked your car or set up camp. You’ll find the entrance to the car park at ///socialite.supreme.acres and the botanical garden at ///participating.spills.offroad .

Lots of popular travel guides, including Lonely Planet and DK’s ‘Like A Local’ guides, include the what3words addresses to help you find exactly where you want to go. Enter the what3words address you want into the app, from there you can either save it for later, or tap ‘Navigate’ to get directions to that precise spot. Look out for what3words addresses on signs in National Parks too.

Creating lists of key locations

Find your favourite hiking locations time and time again by saving them on the free what3words app.

You can also create lists of what3words addresses , giving you an easy way to keep all of the locations along hiking trails in one place. Use it to record the start and end points of your journey, and key spots along the way like viewpoints or rest stops.

Create a shared list of all your favourite hiking spots

Create a list and share it in advance with friends so everyone knows exactly where to go.

Remember the precise location of your photos

Another great way to remember the what3words addresses of your favourite locations is using our photo mode . This is accessed within the app and lets you add the what3words address of your photo as a sticker. It even works on existing photos on your phone and means you’ll always be able to tell where a photo was taken. Share them with friends, post on socials and simply save them for your next trip. Learn how to use photo mode here .

An added tool in your hiking kit

It’s important to be prepared when planning a hike, including knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. 911 responders across the US, including the Los Angeles Fire Department , are using what3words to help locate callers who struggle to describe the exact location of a fire, an accident or anywhere help is needed.

what3words addresses are easy to communicate over the phone, and can save precious time in an emergency when given to a call handler who can dispatch help to that exact location. Read some of the real-life what3words rescue stories shared by people and emergency teams across the US and Canada.

It’s also useful for reporting public safety concerns like damage to property or fly tipping. Giving a what3words address to National Park authorities ensures they know the precise location of any concerns, so they can be resolved quickly.

Navigating on-the-go

The easiest way to use what3words during a hike is by using your smart watch. Both WatchOS and Wear OS have what3words apps that allow you to access your saved lists, making it easy to find every spot along the trail.

If you find any new locations during your adventure, use your smartwatch to add them to your saved list. To make navigation even easier, use the what3words Compass on your watch to find any what3words address simply by following the arrow.

Find out more

There are countless hikes you can take around California. Visit California State Parks website for some more inspiration, and don’t forget to download what3words to help you prepare.