Walkers are of Native American descent and are born with the ability shape-shift into a specific animal. They are generally the offspring of a human and a "primal" in human form (Patricia Briggs' term for Native American deities or great spirits), or the descendant of another walker. A walker (or more accurately avatar according to Gordon Seeker) is not to be confused with a "skinwalker" which is a different kind of shape-shifter native to the indigenous peoples of the American Southwest.
- Mercy Thompson - coyote walker
- Gary Laughingdog - coyote walker
- Joe Old Coyote - actually an incarnation of the primal Coyote, but he had the abilities of a walker
- Fred Owens - Yakama, red-tailed hawk walker
- Hank Owens - Yakama, red-tailed hawk walker
- Shifting - A walker can change from human form to a specific type of animal, based on their parentage. Unlike werewolves, the shift from animal to human and vice versa is painless, and almost instantaneous.
- Heightened Senses - In human form, a walker has some of the heightened senses that their animal form has, although to a lesser degree. This includes being able to see well at night or in low light, and a heightened sense of smell/hearing.
- Ghost Sight - Coyote walkers can see and sometimes communicate with ghosts. This ability brought them into conflict with the vampires when they first came to the New World. Vampires' dwellings are often haunted by the ghosts of their victims, making them easy to spot by walkers. Based on discussions Mercy has had with other walkers it is currently unknown wether or not other types of walkers can see ghosts.
- Magic Resistance - Mercy, at least, is more resistant to magic than humans and even some other supernatural beings; it is not known if this extends to all walkers or only her. Mercy thinks that the dangerous a magic is the less likely she is to be resistant to it.
Apart from their previously described abilities, walkers are generally human. They are still susceptible to sickness and disease. They generally age at the same rate as a normal person, but those "closer to the source," such as Gary Laughingdog or Mercedes Thompson are implied to have potentially longer lifespans while retaining their youth.
Shifting back and forth between animal and human forms is tiring and requires the walker to rest after many shifts.