visit big sur california

7 Places to Explore in December

December beckons outdoor enthusiasts with a unique blend of crisp air and natural beauty, offering an array of destinations that cater to those seeking adventure amidst the great outdoors.

From snow-capped mountain ranges to sun-drenched beaches, the possibilities for exhilarating activities abound. Picture yourself carving through pristine snow on a mountain slope or basking in the warmth of the sun on a scenic hiking trail.

This December, let the outdoors be your playground as you discover the breathtaking landscapes and invigorating experiences that await in destinations around the globe.

Big Sur, California

visit big sur china lookout
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Exploring Big Sur, California, unveils a breathtaking coastal stretch where rugged cliffs meet the Pacific Ocean, offering panoramic views and enchanting redwood forests that create a truly immersive natural experience.

Buckskin Gulch, Utah

A hiker walks towards a rock arch near buckskin gulch.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

In Utah, the otherworldly beauty of Buckskin Gulch, with its towering slot canyon walls and narrow passages, beckons adventure seekers to embark on an unforgettable journey through one of the longest and most captivating slot canyons in the world.

Mt. Rainier National Park

A photo looking down on the snowy hills in Mt. Rainier National Park in winter. There are tall mountains in the background and low hanging clouds.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

At Mt. Rainier National Park, visitors are greeted by the majestic presence of Washington’s highest peak, where pristine meadows are covered in snow and glaciers create a picture-perfect backdrop for snowshoeing and photography.

Angels Landing, Utah

The veiw lookout out from the top of Angels Landing 1,500 feet off the zion Canyon valley floor.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Angels Landing in Utah challenges thrill-seekers with a daring ascent, rewarding them with unparalleled vistas of Zion Canyon that make the heart-pounding climb well worth the effort.

Sedona, Arizona

A view of Cathedral Rock from the sky during sunrise. The sky has some sunrise colors in it.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Sedona, Arizona, captivates with its striking red rock formations, offering a serene escape and opportunities for spiritual exploration amid the mesmerizing desert landscape.

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Fairy Falls is a small, cascading waterfall. Here there are leaves on the ground and the photo is a long exposure, showing a dreamy like view.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Columbia River Gorge in Oregon showcases a stunning tapestry of waterfalls, lush forests, and towering cliffs along the Columbia River, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Santa Barbara, California

Lizards Mouth Hike places to see in santa barbara
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

Santa Barbara, California, combines Mediterranean-style architecture, palm-lined beaches, and a vibrant cultural scene, creating a laid-back coastal paradise that invites visitors to savor the best of California’s coastal charm.

Adventure Gift Guide

A snowshoer makes her way on the snow in Mount Rainier National park in winter.
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

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Backpacking Big Pine Lakes California
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

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A lone hiker stands in front of a lake with a mountain behind him
Photo Credit: Alec Sills-Trausch

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Author: Alec Sills-Trausch

Title: Founder of Explore with Alec

Expertise: Hiking, Backpacking, Photography, and Road Trips


Alec Sills-Trausch is a hiker, backpacker, landscape photographer, and syndicated travel writer. He enjoys showing off the beauty of the world through his photos, videos, and written work on Alec is also a 2x cancer survivor and bone marrow transplant recipient, showing the world that there is a future from this terrible disease.

He lives in Washington, where he gets to enjoy the stunning PNW mountains in addition to all the other places he attempts to visit each year! You can see more work on IG at @AlecOutside