We scoured Amazon Prime for the best documentaries for outdoor-loving folks. From hiking big miles to surviving on the mountain, these are sure to entertain and inspire.
Sure, we’d rather be outside. But when that’s not possible, watching one of these true tales of adventure on Amazon is the next best thing.
The Best Documentaries on Amazon Prime
Enjoy the perks of an Amazon Prime membership by streaming these films free of charge.
You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy this doc. It chronicles the cult-like race and its enigmatic founder. Inspired by a prison escape, this race is like no other. There have been only 10 finishers in 25 years. It’s challenging, it’s weird, and it’s spellbinding to watch.
Learn about the evolution of rock climbing in Yosemite Valley in this documentary from Sender Films. From the OG climbers in the ’60s when climbing was an under-the-radar, fringe activity to the “mainstream” sport it has become today, this film discusses some of the biggest names to further the sport of rock climbing.
Featuring stunning footage of the Coast Range of British Columbia, this film documents an epic mother-daughter journey from Vancouver, Canada, to Skagway, Alaska. Sprinkled throughout the 6-month-long ski traverse journey are other stories from folks who have made the mountains their life and home, in many different ways. This is a must-watch for anyone who loves the mountains.
Watch 66 teams compete in the “world’s toughest race” under the watchful eye of Bear Grylls. From biking through the muddy jungle to paddling oceans and rivers, you’ll find yourself cheering for and becoming attached to these teams. Ranging from veterans to elite racers to families, the competitors are what keep you coming back for more.
It’s hard to think about climbing without thinking of Fred Beckey. He made hundreds of first ascents and wrote several definitive climbing guides. This film explores his impressive achievements, unconventional life, and wacky yet lovable persona.
Take the plunge into big-wave surfing with this impressive film from Red Bull Media House. Nathan Fletcher comes from a long line of cutting-edge surfers — and it shows. Try not to shudder as he jumps from a helicopter into unfathomably huge waves.
This doc will have you on the edge of your seat. Elite alpinists Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk head to India to take on the massive (and dangerous) Mount Meru. Along the way, they must battle inner demons, face mortality, and work together no matter what.
Think one IRONMAN race — a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run — sounds difficult? Try doing 50 IRONMANs in 50 days in 50 states.
More than just a surf movie, this film explores the deeper roots of surfing and man’s quest to ride big waves. Some of the sound editing and narration can float toward cheesy. But if you can get past that, the ocean footage and hang-ten history make for an interesting documentary.
For more than 20 years, Poles held the record for summiting some of the highest mountaintops in the world. Watch as Jerzy Kukuczka becomes the first Pole to conquer the crown of the Himalayas — all 8,000 m. Keep in mind that you’ll need the subtitles to enjoy this story of alpine climbing in the ’80s.
This adrenaline-filled flick dives into the world of BASE jumping and wingsuit flying. Many of these athletes have gone on to revolutionize the sport, but this is where it all began.
Dams have changed the outdoor places we love. This film looks at the repercussions of damming America’s waterways and the possibilities that abound when we remove them. With excellent storytelling and videography, you’ll never look at a dam the same way again.
Join free climbers Alex Honnold and Hazel Findlay as they travel across Africa tackling some of the most challenging rock faces the continent has to offer. The film lacks a strong story arc but makes up for it in impressive climbing footage and a chance to see master climbers at work.
Follow along as non-professional runners attempt to complete some of the most difficult ultramarathons in the world. Each race is 250 km of brutal, beautiful desert adventure.
This film from Patagonia chronicles the iconic struggle between construction and land preservation. It tells the story of the decades-long fight over the future of British Columbia’s Jumbo Valley. And at only an hour long, it’s great for a weekday movie night.
Step by step, this group conquers the John Muir Trail and builds a likable camaraderie, covering 219 miles in 25 days.
No, it’s not the type of outdoor adventure we normally dream about, but this true-life cowboy tale is worth considering. Following four men and 16 mustangs on an unbelievable 3,000-mile journey from Mexico to Canada, “Unbranded” shows some of the most beautiful and rugged places the U.S. has to offer.
Top Documentaries on Amazon
These adventure documentaries aren’t currently available on Amazon Prime. But if you’re willing to shell out a few bucks, they’re worth the time and money.
If you somehow haven’t yet seen this Oscar-winning documentary, you need to drop what you’re doing, shell out the $4, and watch it right now. Elite climber Alex Honnold prepares for his lifelong dream — climbing the 3,200-foot El Capitan without a rope.
Not only is this ski and snowboard flick packed with top talent and epic views, but it digs even deeper. The film celebrates the athletes’ connection to the roots of skiing and snowboarding. It showcases the pure joy and adventure associated with these sports.
By exploring the history, places, and people in the world of skiing and snowboarding, viewers will learn how intimately connected the athletes are with those who came before.
Each February, 50 athletes are invited to tackle an incredible feat: a 1,000-mile journey across Alaska. This documentary chronicles The Iditarod Trail Invitational, one of the toughest races around.
More than just an alpine adventure, this documentary unveils the reality of life as a Sherpa. Filmed in 2014, it chronicles how the Sherpa community had to reevaluate their livelihood and ultimately unite following the avalanche that claimed 16 of their own. This film is compelling and beautifully shot.
Part outdoor adventure, part survival epic, this documentary will leave you feeling inspired. Chef and outdoorsman Eduardo Garcia’s life is changed during a regular Montana hike. Shocked with 2,400 V of electricity, he lost an arm and nearly lost his life. But he manages to rebuild an even better life.