PLEASE NOTE: If you’re interested in Grand Canyon backpacking trips, and you don’t see them in the calendar, it’s likely because permits aren’t available yet. Permits are issued approximately 4 months prior, and it’s extremely beneficial to register before the permit process begins. Learn more or register on the individual trip pages.

Trip Dates

More Information About Hiking in January

Benefits of hiking in January

The biggest benefit January provides avid trekkers and travelers around the world is the lack or reduced sizes of crowds at many destinations. In January the northern hemisphere is neck deep in winter, and the holidays have just passed (which involve lots of travel for many people.) These two factors make mid to late January one of the lightest travel periods of the year for Americans, Canadians and Europeans. This means destinations even outside of the USA, Canada and Europe are less busy.

Another benefit is of traveling in January is that the southern hemisphere is in the middle of their summer. So if you live in the northern hemisphere and would like to escape the winter, head to New Zealand, Patagonia, or Peru to take advantage of the southern summer season.

drawbacks of hiking in January

The biggest drawback for many areas is of course winter conditions. Mountain destinations across the USA, Canada, Iceland and Europe are going to be cold and snowy. We offer guided snowshoe tours at many mountain locations in the winter, which is a wonderful option for many people, and is a way to turn lemons into lemonade.

Where to Hike

There are three main categories of destinations to hike in January:

Desert destinations in the northern hemisphere – these options include Grand Canyon National Park, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Utah national parks, and the Sedona Red Rock Country.

Skiing and snowshoeing in mountain destinations in the northern hemisphere – we provide tours in this category to Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite National Park, Mount Rainier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. We also provide some winter backpacking trips in the Great Smoky Mountains, which are not snowshoeing but are fun, more temperate backcountry experiences.

Trekking and backpacking in mountain destinations in the southern hemisphere or near the equator – recommended options here are New Zealand, Chile (Patagonia), Peru, and Tanzania (Kilimanjaro).