Best Outdoor Adventure Movies of All Time

When you can't be outdoors exploring on your own, the next best thing is being curled up on the couch streaming a movie about outdoor adventures or a true story of outdoor survival. With all the hoopla going on for the release of "Wild"the story about Cheryl Strayed's hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, I thought I'd suggest some of my favorite outdoor adventure movies of all time.

"Touching the Void"

Possibly one of the best survival documentaries of all time, Touching the Void is about a 1985 near fatal attempt to climb Siula Grande in the Andres by Joe Simpson and Simon Yates. This survival story will have you on the edge of your seat. A must see for climbers and mountaineers.

"Into the Wild"

This 2007 film based on the travels of Christopher McCandless has inspired many people to hike into the Alaskan wildness to find the bus made famous by this movie. Nominated for two Golden Globes and two Academy Awards plus original music by Eddie Vedder, how can you go wrong?

Slot canyon similar to the one featured in Slot canyon similar to the one featured in "127 Hours". Share your Adventure Photo by Steven Howa

"127 Hours"

I love exploring Utah's canyon country and I've hiked alone many times so the story of Aron Ralston's time spent stuck in Blue John Canyon and his inevitable decision to save his life was fascinating. This film is worth watching for any outdoor adventurer.

"Swiss Family Robinson"

I might take some criticism here, but the 1960 Disney version of an old novel from 1812 still stands out in my mind from when I saw it on VHS as a kid. The Robinson family is forced to survive off the land and live in a tree. This is a great survival film to watch with the whole family.

"Eiger Sanction"

Oh man, Clint Eastwood climbing mountains? Awesome. Clint Eastwood plays a mountain climber who doubles as a professional assassin. Sure the plot screams 1975 but it's still a cool movie. As a side note, the Marmot brand got its start supplying down jackets for the production of this movie.

"180 Degrees South"

This 2010 documentary follows Chris Malloy's journey to retrace the 1968 trip to Patagonia, Chile by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. Surfing, sailing and climbing footage from Patagonia is reason enough to watch this laid back journey.

"The Perfect Storm"

This film from 2000 is based on a true story of fishing boat workers hit by three raging weather fronts. Talk about a worst nightmare. Add this film to your list of must see survival movies.


Say what you will about Sylvester Stallone's rock climbing, this movie features some great climbing shots and an adventure storyline. If you haven't seen it, it's worth a watch.

Best Adventure Movies

There you have it, my list of eight great outdoor adventure movies. Time will tell if Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" will join the list.

What did we miss? What is your favorite outdoor adventure or survival movie?
Andy Hawbaker
posted by
Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
Join the Conversation