December

EXPAND THE DESTINATION BOXES BELOW TO SEE OUR DECEMBER HIKING AND BACKPACKING TOURS.

To see other calendars, just select the month you’re interested in. You can always give us a call 7 days a week at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn availability immediately.

2021 December Trip Dates

U.S.A. Destinations

Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park

Backpacking Trips

Grand Canyon National Park has not yet issued backpacking permits for this month. It's extremely beneficial to register before the permit process (85+% of our guests do). You can pick any dates and you'll receive a 5% early registration discount! We have a great success rate and your deposit is fully transferrable or refundable if we're unsuccessful. Click here to read more about Grand Canyon's permit process, or get started by selecting a trip and hitting "Go!" below.

All Other Trip Types

Sedona Red Rock Country

California

Death Valley

Eastern Sierras

Joshua Tree

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Sequoia - Kings Canyon

The Lost Coast

Yosemite National Park

Colorado

Flat Tops Wilderness Flat Tops Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park

Montana / Wyoming

Absaroka-Beartooths

Jackson Hole Area

The Tetons

Wind River Range

Yellowstone National Park

New Hampshire

White Mountains Hut Treks

North Carolina

Blue Ridge Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Utah

Arches & Canyonlands

Bryce Canyon National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Wide angle Horizontal composition Golden Cathedral Neon Canyon Escalante National Park Utah Grand Staircase Escalante

Paria Slot Canyons

Zion National Park

Vermont

Vermont

Washington

Mount Rainier

North Cascades

Olympic National Park

International Destinations

Alps Guided Treks

Alps Guided Treks

Canadian Rockies Treks

Canadian Rockies Treks

Iceland Hiking Trips

Iceland Hiking Trips

Nepal Treks

Nepal Treks

New Zealand Hiking Tours

New Zealand Hiking Tours

Norway Hiking Tours

Norway Hiking Tours

Patagonia Trekking (Chile)

Patagonia Trekking (Chile)

Peru Treks

Cordillera Huayhuash Trekking

Guided Hikes to Machu Picchu

Tanzania (Kilimanjaro)

Tanzania (Kilimanjaro)

Vietnam

Vietnam

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HIKING IN DECEMBER

BENEFITS OF HIKING IN DECEMBER

The biggest benefit with December – like other winter months in the northern hemisphere – is the lack of crowds at many destinations. Because many people are focused on preparing for the holidays and winter, recreational and adventure travel ebbs, which is a benefit to those who do desire to get out.

Some USA desert and canyon destinations are also in their prime in December. Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Joshua Tree and the Sedona area are all wonderful throughout December, as well as Zion, Bryce and the Grand Staircase-Escalante but more for inn-based tours.

A big benefit in winter is the ability to visit major USA national parks and have them mostly to yourself. Parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rainier, and the Great Smoky Mountains offer wonderful winter hiking, snowshoeing or cross country skiing opportunities with amazing solitude.

Internationally, you can enjoy the Inca Trail in December with far fewer people on the trail but a higher chance of rain and wet conditions. Kilimanjaro is excellent in December. Also, southern hemisphere trekking destinations like New Zealand and Patagonia are in their prime in December and well worth a visit!

DRAWBACKS OF HIKING IN DECEMBER

The main drawbacks of December are that the northern hemisphere mountain destinations are fully entering winter and are no longer open for trekking. Many are open for snowshoeing and skiing though!

WHERE TO HIKE

Thunder River TrailThere are three main categories of destinations to hike in December:

– USA desert and canyon destinations – these options include Grand Canyon, Sedona’s Red Rock Country, Joshua Tree, Death Valley and more.

– USA winter hiking and snowshoeing destinations – these options include Yellowstone, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain National Park, Mount Rainier and the Great Smoky Mountains.

– Trekking and backpacking internationally – recommended options for December are Kilimanjaro, Vietnam, New Zealand and Patagonia.