Best time to trek in Nepal

Best time to trek in Nepal


TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL

Region: Annapurna | Langtang | Everest
When is the best time to trek in Nepal is a tricky question; the summer monsoon (June – Sept), though brings growth and freshness, but is sadly best avoided by trekkers. Autumn (Sept – late Nov) and spring (Feb – mid-April) are your best bet: autumn brings exceptional clarity, the bugs and dust washed away by the monsoon; spring days are warmer and longer allowing for maximum time spent exploring. Winter in Nepal (Dec – Jan) doesn’t bring much snow, but is chilly; wrap up warm and you’ll be one of very few up in the mountains.

When not to take a Nepal
trekking vacation


What to avoid & when

  • Winter in Nepal brings great visibility, but temperatures can drop to a teeth-chattering one-degree, so your trek is likely to become as much about endurance as it is enjoyment.
  • The Annapurna hiking circuit is the most likely to be affected by snowfall and has been known to close during winter.
  • A lot of the cheaper hotels in Kathmandu have no heating and can get very chilly during winter, so pack your thermals to avoid discomfort.
  • During Nepal’s monsoon season, it doesn’t necessarily rain all day, but it does rain every day, so trails are muddy and rife with leeches, the mountains are often thick with cloud, and landslides are common and disruptive to travel plans.
  • During the monsoon, more rain falls at night than during the day, so the morning are often crisp and beautiful – if you want to travel then, avoid Nepal’s more popular circuits and head to Manang, Mustang or Dolpo, Himalayan areas that sit in rain shadows.

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WHEN TO go on a NEPAL trekking vacation

Emma Garrick from our supplier, Exodus: “There are two main trekking seasons in Nepal: the spring, late March and April, which is beautiful because the rhododendrons and other flowers are in full bloom and the days are longer, and autumn, which starts in late September through to early November. The autumn is colder and the days are shorter, but you get much better clarity with really clear skies. November and December are perfectly good skies for trekking, but it will be colder; the upside is that the normally very busy trails, like Annapurna and Everest Base Camp, will be much less busy then. Personally, I like trekking in November in early December purely because there’s fewer people on the trails, which for me is a real positive and also tour prices and flight prices tend to drop a little bit then.”
Richard Goodey from our supplier, Lost Earth Adventures: “A lot of people are put off by the idea of winter trekking in Nepal, but if you go in December there are barely any tourists around, so it’s lovely and quiet. It is cold, but you get incredibly crisp skies, as the air is so clear. The cold is more likely to affect you at night because the teahouses don’t have any heating, so bring a warm sleeping bag, or rent one in Nepal, which is easy to organise if you don’t want to carry one out with you. My favourite time to trek is October and November; it’s warmer, so it’s great weather for making headway and enjoying sunny days, but it does bring the tourists, so my advice would be to stick to the more off the beaten path destinations like Langtang trekking into Helambu, and also the Manaslu Circuit.”
Photo credits: [topbox: Vera & Jean-Christophe]
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