best outdoor documentaries on HBO

The Best Outdoor Documentaries and Films on HBO

Looking for movies to add to your watch list? Want something with a dose of outdoor adventure? Check out the best outdoor documentaries on HBO now.

With streaming video services everywhere these days, getting inspiration is just a click away. Here are five of our favorite outdoor sport, wilderness expedition, and adventure documentaries, all streaming on HBO now.

It’s worth noting that HBO has slimmer outdoor documentary pickings these days. If you like to stream elsewhere, be sure to check out our list of the best documentaries on Amazon and the best documentaries on Netflix as well.

The Best Outdoor Documentaries on HBO

Lindsey Vonn: The Final Season

Four-time Olympic gold medalist and 82-time World Cup winner Lindsey Vonn is the most decorated American skier of all time.

“I am making the hardest decision of my life — to end my career,” Vonn said in the film. In this documentary, HBO follows her in her final season before she retired in 2019.

Runtime: 89 minutes

Mikaela Shiffrin holding up glass trophy, atomic skis and Leki poles on podium
43 Wins: Shiffrin Ties Vonn's Impressive Record
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Any One of Us

For years, Paul Basagoitia was on fire when it came to MTB racing. Then, in 2015, he was injured at Red Bull Rampage.

“Any One of Us” documents Basagoitia’s spinal cord injury, recovery, and everything else that happens after.

Runtime: 85 minutes

Momentum Generation

“Momentum Generation” presents an epic documentary that follows a millennial generation of teen surfers as they revolutionize the sport. The hour-and-a-half documentary includes footage of surfers like Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Kalani Robb, Benji Weatherly, Ross Williams, Pat O’Connell, and Taylor Steele.

Runtime: 124 minutes

Weight of Gold

Premiered in 2020, this sports documentary takes a deep look at Olympic athletes and the subject of mental health. “Weight of Gold” seeks to inspire discussion about mental health issues, encourage people to seek help, and highlight the need for readily available support.

A host of Olympic athletes including Michael Phelps, Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, and Katie Uhlaender share their stories.

Runtime: 60 minutes


This documentary is about the life and career of George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States. But, it also dives into his lesser-known accomplishments as an athlete and lifelong outdoorsman. Skydiving, hiking, fishing — with Bush, there’s more than meets the eye.

Runtime: 98 minutes

More Outdoor Movies on HBO

Chasing Mavericks

Chasing Mavericks tells the true story of surfing phenom Jay Moriarity. When the 15-year-old discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, is near his Santa Cruz home, he decides to try and ride it.

“Chasing Mavericks” was made with the help of some of the biggest names in surfing and features some of the most mind-blowing wave footage ever captured on film.

Jay Moriarity died in 2001 at age 22, free diving off the coast of the Maldives.

Runtime: 116 minutes

The Call of the Wild

Adapted from the Jack London novel, “The Call of the Wild” brings the story of Buck the dog to life on screen. Buck’s blissful domestic life is turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his home in California and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s.

Runtime: 120 minutes

The 10 Best Outdoor Documentaries Streaming on Netflix
The 10 Best Outdoor Documentaries Streaming on Netflix
These 10 documentaries streaming on Netflix will inspire outdoor adventure. Read more…

Mary Murphy

Mary is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and is based in GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has a background in both newspaper and magazine writing. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.