How Long Does It Take to Walk 20 Miles? 5 Important Tips

You may be wondering how long it will take you to complete it. The answer to this question depends on various factors, such as your fitness level, terrain, and walking speed. 

On average, it takes a person between 5 and 7 hours to walk 20 miles.

In this article, I will explore how long it takes to walk 20 miles and provide you with tips for planning your walk.

Estimating Walking Time for 20 Miles

Let’s estimate how long it takes to walk 20 miles.

Walking Speed

On average, a person can walk 3-4 miles per hour (mph) on flat terrain. However, this varies depending on the factors we discussed above. If you’re walking on hilly terrain or carrying a heavy backpack, your speed will likely be slower.

Breaks and Rests

It’s important to take breaks and rests during your walk to avoid fatigue and injury. The length and frequency of your breaks will affect your overall walking time.

Walking Route

The route you take will also impact your walking time. If you’re walking on a sidewalk or paved road, you’re likely to make better time than if you’re hiking up a mountain trail.

Based on the average walking speed and assuming you take a few short breaks, it should take you approximately 5-7 hours to walk 20 miles on flat terrain. 

Related: How Long Does it Take to Walk 2 Miles?

Factors Affecting Walking Time

Let’s explore the various factors that can affect your walking time.



The terrain you’re walking on can have a significant impact on your walking speed. Walking on flat terrain is generally faster than walking on hilly or mountainous terrain. If you’re planning a 20-mile walk, consider the terrain you’ll be walking on and how it may affect your speed.

Fitness Level

Your fitness level is another significant factor that can affect your walking speed. If you’re an experienced walker and in good physical shape, you’ll likely be able to complete a 20-mile walk faster than someone who is less fit or less experienced.

Walking Speed

Your walking speed is another critical factor that can impact how long it takes you to walk 20 miles. On average, most people can walk between 3 and 4 miles per hour. However, if you’re a seasoned walker, you may be able to walk at a faster pace.

Rest Breaks

Rest breaks are essential when walking long distances. They give your body a chance to rest and recover, which can help you avoid injury and fatigue. Plan to take rest breaks every hour or so, depending on your fitness level.

Tips for Walking 20 Miles

tips for walking

Walking 20 miles can be challenging, but with the right preparation, it’s achievable. Here are some tips to help you successfully walk 20 miles:

Train in advance

If you’re planning to walk 20 miles, it’s important to train in advance to build up your stamina and endurance. Gradually increase the distance you walk each day to prepare your body for the challenge.

Wear comfortable shoes

Choose shoes that are comfortable and provide good support. Make sure to break them in before your walk to avoid blisters and discomfort.

Stay hydrated

Carry enough water to keep yourself hydrated during your walk. Drink water regularly to avoid dehydration, especially on hot days.

Take breaks

Take short breaks every hour or so to rest, stretch, and recharge.

Pack snacks

Bring high-energy snacks such as protein bars, nuts, and dried fruit to keep your energy levels up during your walk.

Preparing for a 20-Mile Walk

Preparing for a 20-mile walk is a significant undertaking that requires physical and mental preparation, as well as the right equipment and gear. Here are some key areas to consider when preparing for a long-distance walk:

Physical Preparation

Physical Preparation

Training is essential to help your body prepare for a 20-mile walk. It’s important to start slow and gradually increase your distance over time. Begin with short walks of one to two miles and gradually increase the distance by 10% each week.

Stretching is also crucial to prevent injury and improve flexibility. Stretching exercises such as hamstring stretches, calf stretches, and hip flexor stretches are particularly important for walking.

Hydration and nutrition are also critical factors in preparing for a 20-mile walk. Staying hydrated throughout the walk is essential to avoid dehydration and fatigue. Drinking plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids such as sports drinks is important. Also, eat nutritious food that provides your body with the energy it needs to sustain long periods of activity.

Mental Preparation

Mental Preparation

Preparing yourself mentally for a 20-mile walk can be just as important as physical preparation. Setting achievable goals and maintaining a positive mindset can help you stay motivated and focused during the walk.

Setting a goal, such as walking a specific distance or achieving a personal best time, can help provide motivation and a sense of purpose during the walk. Having a positive mindset and visualizing yourself successfully completing the walk can also help you stay motivated and overcome any challenges that may arise.

Equipment and Gear

Equipment and Gear

Having the right equipment and gear can help make your 20-mile walk more comfortable and enjoyable. Comfortable shoes with good arch support and cushioning are essential. Wearing appropriate clothing that is comfortable and allows for movement is also important.

Carrying a small backpack or hydration pack can help you stay hydrated and carry necessary items such as snacks, a map, or sunscreen. Additionally, consider using walking poles to help reduce strain on your knees and improve balance.

Preparing for a 20-mile walk involves physical and mental preparation, as well as having the right equipment and gear. Gradual training, stretching, proper hydration, nutrition, setting goals, maintaining a positive mindset, and using appropriate equipment and gear can all help make your 20-mile walk a success.


Can you walk 20 miles a day?

Yes, it is possible to walk 20 miles in a day, but it depends on your fitness level, the terrain, and other factors that can affect your walking speed and duration. Walking 20 miles a day can be challenging for beginners or people who are not used to walking long distances. However, with proper training and preparation, it is achievable.

How long does it take to do a 20-mile hike?

The time it takes to complete a 20-mile hike depends on factors such as the terrain, the level of difficulty, and your walking pace. On average, a person can complete a 20-mile hike in 6-10 hours. However, it can take longer or shorter depending on individual factors.

How do I prepare for a 20-mile walk?

To prepare for a 20-mile walk, you should start with gradual training, increasing your distance slowly over time. Stretching, hydration, nutrition, and mental preparation are all essential aspects of training for a long walk. It is also important to wear appropriate clothing and shoes and carry necessary gear and equipment such as water, snacks, and a map.

Can you walk 20 miles in 5 hours?

Walking 20 miles in 5 hours would require an average walking speed of 4 miles per hour. While some people may be able to walk at this pace, it is not achievable for everyone. The terrain, fitness level, and other factors can impact walking speed and duration. It is essential to train and prepare for a 20-mile walk to determine the right pace for you.

How hard is it to walk 20 miles?

Walking 20 miles can be challenging, especially if you are not used to walking long distances. However, with proper training and preparation, it is achievable. The difficulty level of a 20-mile walk can vary depending on factors such as the terrain, weather, and individual fitness level. It is important to prepare physically and mentally for a 20-mile walk to make it more comfortable and enjoyable.

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