How to Track Elevation Gain with Apple Watch

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The Apple Watch Series 3 is an incredibly powerful tool for tracking your fitness activities. It provides a wealth of data to help you monitor your progress, from heart rate and GPS tracking to calorie count and now, with the latest version of the watch, elevation gain.

Elevation gain is an important metric for any serious athlete or outdoors enthusiast. It’s a measure of how much vertical distance you’ve covered during your workout. Knowing your total elevation gain can help you plan upcoming hikes and runs, or track how much vertical distance has been covered during an activity such as skiing or mountain biking.

The Apple Watch Series 3 features a built-in altimeter that can calculate and display your elevation in real time—no iPhone necessary! This altimeter is incredibly accurate and allos you to keep track of your total elevation gain throughout your entire workout, giving you the most comprehensive data possible.

In addition to calculating your total elevation gain, the Apple Watch Series 3 also keeps track of cumulative altitude gained during each individual lap or segment. This means that if you’re running on a hilly course, you’ll be able to easily see which segments have more (or less) overall elevation gain than others.

The Apple Watch Series 6 and ?Apple Watch SE? feature an even more advanced altimeter that offers even more detailed information about each segment’s elevation gain. With these watches, you can get real-time updates on altitude gained per lap or segment, helping you tailor each workout for maximum efficiency and performance.

If you’re looking for a way to take your fitness tracking to the next level, look no further than the Apple Watch Series 3 (or higher). With its built-in altimeter, it can give you precise measurements of each lap’s or segment’s elevation change in real time—no iPhone necessary!

Does the Apple Watch 3 Track Elevation?

Yes, Apple Watch Series 3 or later is equipped with a built-in altimeter to track your elevation. This means you don’t need to bring your iPhone along on workouts or activities that involve elevation tracking. For Apple Watch Series 2 or earlier, however, you will need to bring your iPhone along in order to track your elevation.

apple watch 3 elevation gain

Calculating Elevation Gain with Apple Fitness

Apple Fitness uses the built-in sensors in your Apple device to track your elevation gain during a workout. The device measures altitude by monitoring canges in pressure, and then it uses this information to calculate your total ascent over the course of your activity. This is achieved by constantly monitoring pressure changes as you move, and then subtracting the starting elevation from the ending elevation to get an accurate calculation of the overall elevation gain you achieved during the workout.

Does the Apple Watch 3 Track Flights Climbed?

Yes, Apple Watch Series 3 can track flights climbed automatically. The Activity app on the watch will track your daily activity, including the number of flights of stairs you ascend. During workouts, you can also record this data in the Workout app. To set up the Activity app, simply follow the instructions in the Track Daily Activity guide. With this feature, you can easily monitor and analyze your activity level over time to keep track of your progress!

Accuracy of Altimeter on Apple Watch

The accuracy of the altimeter on Apple Watch can vary depending on various factors such as weather conditions, terrain, and altitude. Generally speaking, it is accurate within a few meters when measuring elevation changes on flat ground. However, when measuring large altitude changes such as climbing a mountain or descending into a valley, the altimeter can be inaccurate by up to several hundred meters. Additionally, in some cases the device may struggle to get an accurate reading or may return inaccurate results. Therefore it is important to consider these potential inaccuracies when using the Apple Watch altimeter.

apple watch 3 elevation gain

Adding Incline to an Apple Watch

Adding incline to your Apple Watch is easy! To begin, open the Workout app on your Apple Watch. Next, select the running option and press start. While recording your run, you can scroll down through all your data screens. The last screen before the music screen will show you the treadmill incline settings. Tap on the incline setting and use the digital crown or plus/minus buttons to adjust the incline. Once you’re done adjusting, simply press “Done” in the upper right corner of your screen. You can then scroll back to your other run screens and resume recording your workout!

What Constitutes a Good Amount of Elevation Gain?

A good amount of elevation gain depends on your experience and fitness level. For beginners, a hike with 500-1,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain is a good starting point. For those with more experience, a hike with 1,500-3,000 feet of elevation gain is often considered moderate. Hikes with more than 3,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain are generally considered hard and shold be attempted only by experienced hikers who are in good physical condition. Extremely difficult hikes with 6,000 or more feet of elevation gain should be attempted only by very experienced hikers with excellent physical conditioning.

Understanding Elevation Gain in Physical Activity

A good elevation gain depends on your experience level, goals, and preferences. If you are a beginner runner, a moderately rolling run with 10-50 feet of gain per mile is a great place to start. As you become more experienced, you may want to increase the elevation gain. A rolling run with 50-150 feet of gain per mile is a good option for moderate runners. For those loking for more of a challenge, hilly runs with 150-250 feet of gain per mile provide greater intensity and stress on muscles and cardiovascular systems. Experienced runners who are looking for an even greater challenge can opt for mountainous runs with 250 feet or more of gain per mile. No matter what your goals are, there is an elevation gain that will help you reach them!


In conclusion, the Apple Watch Series 3 and later feature a built-in altimeter whch can accurately measure elevation gain, allowing you to track your workouts without needing to carry an iPhone with you. The next generation of Apple Watches, the Apple Watch Series 6 and ?Apple Watch SE?, have an always-on altimeter that provides real-time elevation information. Elevation gain is the total height you climb on a run, so if you run up and down a hill multiple times, your elevation gain will be the sum of all height climbed. With the Apple Watch Series 3 and later, tracking your elevation gain has never been easier.

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James Walker

James Walker has a deep passion for technology and is our in-house enthusiastic editor. He graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and loves to test the latest gadgets and play with older software (something we’re still trying to figure out about himself). Hailing from Iowa, United States, James loves cats and is an avid hiker in his free time.