Enter the total elevation gain and the total horizontal distance traveled from trailhead to summit to calculate the average hill grade.

Hill Grade Formula

The following formula is used to calculate the percentage hill grade of a trail or hike.

G = EG / HD *100
  • Where G is the hill grade %
  • EG is the elevation gain (ft/m/ect.)
  • HD is the horizontal straight line distance from head to the summit

To calculate hill grade, divide the elevation gain by the horizontal distance, then multiply by 100.

Hill Grade Definition

A hill grade is defined as the percentage of slope on average of a certain hiking trail.

Hill Grade Example

How to calculate a hill grade?

  1. First, determine the elevation gain.

    Calculate the total vertical elevation gain from the trailhead to the end of the hike or the summit.

  2. Next, determine the horizontal distance.

    Calculate the straight-line horizontal distance from the trailhead to the end of the hike.

  3. Finally, calculate the hill grade.

    Calculate the percentage hill grade using the formula above.


What is a hill grade?

A hill grade is a measure of the difficulty of a hike using the percentage of slope on average.