Snow-capped New Zealand Mountains, South Island


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.

2023 December Trip Dates

U.S.A. Destinations

Arizona Hikes & Tours

View from Horseshoe Mesa in Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon Hiking Tours

Sunset on Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona Sedona Hiking Tours

California Hikes & Tours

Mammoth Lakes backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range Beyond Yosemite: High Sierra

Sunset in Death Valley National Park Death Valley Hiking Tours

Sunset in Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree Hiking Tours

Sunset at Lassen Peak with reflection on Manzanita Lake Lassen Volcanic National Park Hiking Tours

Two people backpacking on the Lost Coast of California Lost Coast Hiking Tours

Precipice Lake so still it's a mirror lake in the high sierras Sequoia & Kings Canyon Hiking Tours

Trinity Alps Wilderness

Sunset on Half Dome, Yosemite National Park Yosemite Hiking Tours

Colorado Hikes & Tours

Landscape from high up in Rocky Mountains in the Flattops Wilderness Area of Colorado with man traversing along ridge on summer day with alpine lakes below and background. Stunning mountain view. Flat Tops Hiking Tours

Bull Moose at Sprague Lake in the early morning light. Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking Tours

Maine Hikes & Tours

Wonderland Trail - Acadia National Park - Maine Acadia Hiking Tours

Montana and Wyoming Hikes & Tours

Absaroka Mountains in Wyoming Absaroka-Beartooths Hiking Tours

High ridge in the Gros Ventre Mountains of Wyoming Jackson Hole Guided Hikes

Jedediah Smith Wilderness in the Tetons Tetons Guided Hikes

Jagged peaks of the Wind River Range, Wyoming Wind River Range Hiking Tours

Heart Lake and Mount Sheridan in Yellowstone National Park Yellowstone Hiking Tours

New Hampshire Hikes & Tours

view from Mount Washington in New Hampshire in afternoon light White Mountains Hut Treks

North Carolina Hikes

Quartz high in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville Asheville Hiking Tours

Sunset and storm clouds over Great Smoky Mountains National Park Smoky Mountains Guided Hikes

Utah Hiking Tours

Sunset view of the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce Hiking Tours

Sunset on the cliffs of Canyonlands National Park Canyonlands Hiking Tours

Hiker under Hickman's Bridge arch in Capitol Reef National Park Capitol Reef Hiking Tours

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

Backpackers in Paria Canyon Wilderness Paria Slot Canyons Hiking Tours

Stunning vista of Zion National Park Zion National Park Hiking Tours

Vermont Hiking Tours

Early morning autumn in the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont Vermont Hiking Tours

Washington Hiking Tours

Wonderland Trail in Mount Rainier National Park Mount Rainier Hiking Tours

Backpackers in North Cascades National Park North Cascades Guided Hikes

Views from Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park Olympic Hiking Tours

International Destinations

Alps Guided Treks

Hiking trail in the Italian Dolomites Alps Guided Treks

Canada Hiking Tours

Canada Hiking Tours

Iceland Hiking Trips

Laugavegur Trail in Iceland Iceland Hiking Trips

Nepal Trekking Tours

Hikers on the Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal Nepal Trekking Tours

New Zealand Hiking Tours

New Zealand Hiking Tours

Norway Hiking Tours

Lofoten Islands Hiking Tour in Norway Norway Hiking Tours

Patagonia Hiking Tours

Puerto Natales sunset in Patagonia, Chile Patagonia Hiking Tours

Peru Hiking Tours

Alpine lake in the Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru Cordillera Huayhuash Trekking

Machu Picchu hiking tour in Peru Guided Hikes to Machu Picchu

Tanzania (Kilimanjaro) Hiking Tours

Tents at sunset on Kilimanjaro Tanzania (Kilimanjaro) Hiking Tours

Vietnam Hiking Tours

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam with boathouses and cruises Vietnam Hiking Tours



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!


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!


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.