I would like to calculate the walking time on existing paths in ArcGIS (hiking trails).

I have a dem of my area (30px cell size) and I consider that the slope is the main factor which affect the walking speed. When the path is uphill, the speed is slower so the walking time is higher and when the path is downhill the speed is higher and the walking time is lower.

I have read about Tobler's hiking function which calculates a vertical factor table ( first_column slope_degree, second_colum time(in hours) to cross 1 meter)

TIME (HOURS) TO CROSS 1 METER =0.000166666*(EXP(3.5*(ABS(TAN(RADIANS(slope_deg))+0.05))))

but I can not understand how to use to in my case. Is there any idea?

2 Answers 2


Is the network analyst extension available for you? If so, you can create a route network of your hiking trails and calculate the walking times automatically.

Here is a tutorial from ESRI: http://resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/#/About_the_ArcGIS_Network_Analyst_extension_tutorial/00470000005r000000/

Good luck!

  • when you say route network you mean network dataset?
    – Anastasia
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:22
  • Correct! You need to create/config a network dataset. The create network dataset wizard ESRI provides within ArcMap will help you. I personally advise to follow the tutorial. Although the wizard speaks for itself, the tutorial will make things that more understandable.
    – Stefan
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:29
  • Network Analyst will not take the slope factor into account.
    – GISGe
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:32
  • As far as I am interested in hiking is it possible to calculate walking time without inserting slope factor?is it correct?
    – Anastasia
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:35
  • You need to know the elevation angles of each trail. You can add it as a cost evaluator (see tutorial) to your network.
    – Stefan
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:40

Tobler's hiking function, Anisotropic Distance, can be implemented in ArcGIS using this step-by-step tutorial. The tutorial is created by Kaitlin Yanchar, M.A., R.P.A. and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

I feel it is answered here as well.

Toblers's Hiking Equation and Slope Dilemma

This tutorial is another option and the code by Jie will convert the slopes to negative and positive as you request in the comments.

  • From this article(Kaitlin's) I have tried my case and I have read about Tobler's hiking function. But in this article there are calculated 2 hours zones , 3 hours zones etc walking hours started of a specific start point. My case is that I have specific route and I am trying to calculate the walking time on this route depending on the slope..
    – Anastasia
    Dec 18, 2015 at 14:52
  • Isn't it just the sum of the cells on your route? Dec 18, 2015 at 15:00
  • no because in this article on the step 4, it is created a surface where each pixel has the final time from this pixel to the first specified point. (site of interest in this article and I convert in my case the start point of a hiking trail). So I can not sum the cell..Moreover when we create the slope surface in arcgis it is not calculated negative values for uphill..all values in slope are positive.so this is also a big problem for me)
    – Anastasia
    Dec 18, 2015 at 15:05

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