According to the dictionary, hike means “to take a long walk” and climb means “to move upward”. Unfortunately, the dictionary does not always give you enough information about how native speakers actually use a word.

When we are talking about people, we usually only use the verb climb when we use our hands (like Spiderman or Mission Impossible!). If you are talking about walking up a hill or mountain, then we use the verb hike.

It is not safe to climb mountains without a rope and harness.

The child was climbing all over the furniture. (using his hands)

I like to go hiking on the weekend.

We hiked up Mount Hood over the weekend. (even though it was a mountain, we did not use our hands)

However, when we are not talking about people, you must use climb.

The car slowly climbed the mountain road.

The plane climbed above the clouds.

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