Is there a way I can use Path Distance in ArcMap to calculate Tobler's Hiking Function with a DEM but also with additional time costs from non-slope impediments?

For example, part of the landscape I am modeling has surfaces that will slow a person down two-fold.

Is there a way I can integrate those areas into the path distance tool (or even another cost distance model that can account for slope direction just as path distance can)?


1 Answer 1


I followed @FelixIP’s instruction and used a cost surface as a multiplier for the vertical factor. This increased the time by the cost factor in areas I mapped as impediments. This allows mapping the hiking function with additional impediments.

In short, create an impediment raster (for the cost surface) consisting of multiplying factors in order to increase the time to cross that terrain. If an area should double the time it takes, the impediment raster value should be classified as 2 in that area.

  • So if we wanted to bring the concept of trails into this we would simply create a cost raster where off-trail areas have the value of 3 and on trails areas have a value of 1 (if we say it takes 3x the time to travel off-trail v on the trail)?
    – cnzac
    Mar 11, 2021 at 17:44

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