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How Long Does It Take To Walk 20 Miles?

If you’re planning a long hike or you want to set a walking goal, it’s important to be able to calculate how quickly you’ll reach your destination.

Everyone walks 20 miles at a slightly different pace, but taking several factors into account can help you estimate how long it will take for you.

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How long does it take to walk 20 miles?

On average, it can take someone anywhere from just under 4 hours to just under 7 hours to walk 20 miles. If you’re walking very quickly and you keep a steady pace, your time will most likely be closer to four hours, and people who walk very quickly might even make better time than that. A leisurely walking pace, on the other hand, increases the walk time.

According to Healthline.com, the average walking speed is 3-4 miles per hour for most people.

There are also several other factors that need to be taken into account to more accurately calculate your walking speed.

woman walking on sidewalk in traffic

Terrain

Where you’re walking and what the terrain is like can make a big difference when it comes to how quickly you’ll complete a 20-mile walk.

If you’re walking along a paved road or sidewalk, and the slope and terrain remain relatively even, you’ll be able to walk more quickly.

If you’re hiking or the terrain is rougher and includes things like rocks, gravel, or grass, you’ll most likely walk a bit slower.

This is also the case for walks with hills. Walking uphill takes more effort, so it generally takes longer.

You may make up time walking downhill, however.

woman carrying suitcase on walking path

Fitness Level

Your personal fitness level also affects how quickly you can complete a walk.

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Twenty miles in a car or on a bike isn’t too far, but it’s a very long walk, and a walk of that length can take a lot of energy and stamina.

If you’re in shape and you walk frequently, your muscles, heart, and lungs will be prepared for vigorous exercise.

You’ll most likely keep a steady pace for most of the walk, and you may walk faster, all of which helps to speed up your overall time.

People who aren’t fit, on the other hand, will need to walk more slowly, and their pace may drop off at the end of the walk or over any rough or uphill areas.

athletic man and woman walking on trail

Rest Breaks

Rest breaks and personal fitness tie together.

People who are fit generally require fewer rest breaks, and this means that their overall walk will go by more quickly.

Taking more rest breaks, however, means that the walk will take more time.

How long your breaks are also affects the overall time.


It can take between 4-7 hours to walk 20 miles.

Weather

The weather you’re walking in can also make a big difference when it comes to pace times.

If it’s cool and clear outside, you’ll probably walk much faster.

If it’s very warm, however, you may walk slower, and you’re more likely to need more breaks in order to recuperate or take a drink.

Wet or icy weather also makes a difference.

If the ground is slippery, even if you’re walking on pavement, you’ll need to be more careful about where you place your feet, and this can slow your walking time.

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3 people walking on sidewalk in snow

Preparing For a 20 Mile Walk

A 20-mile walk is a big goal, and it’s important to train properly before attempting to tackle such a feat.

It’s a good idea to walk at least four times a week prior to your 20-mile walk.

Start with a distance that’s comfortable, and gradually increase that distance, either every day or every week, until you feel that you’re in shape and that your muscles are ready for a longer trek.

It’s a good idea to time yourself, too.

Timing your walk can help you get a feel for your pace, and you can work on gradually increasing that pace as you increase your distance.

Interval walks, where you walk quickly for a mile or two and then more leisurely for the same distance before picking up speed again, can also help you increase your overall walking speed.

You may also want to try other various types of strength or cardio training.

This can help you build up stamina and can keep your muscles in peak condition.

On the day of your walk, bring plenty of water and stay hydrated, even if the weather is cold or damp.

It’s a good idea to map out spots, such as drinking fountains, where you can stop and get a drink or fill your water bottles.

Your walk can take several hours, so you may want to dress in layers, and be prepared to carry any clothing you take off.

You can also carry a backpack.

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