Best time to trek in Nepal


Region: Annapurna | Langtang | Everest
Deciding the best time to trek in Nepal is tricky. The summer monsoon (June to Sept) brings growth and freshness, but is best avoided by trekkers. Autumn (Sept to late Nov) and spring (Feb to mid-April) are your best bets: autumn brings 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 to Jan) doesn't bring much snow, but it is chilly; wrap up warm and you'll be one of very few up in the mountains.

Nepal trekking month by month

  • October and November mark the end of monsoon season and the arrival of early season trekkers, who come for the clear skies and not-too-far-below-freezing temperatures. Days hover around 15°C and night temperatures rarely dip below zero in the lower parts of the Annapurna Circuit. Of course, the temperatures sink a little as you climb higher Ė especially at Everest Base Camp.
  • Temperatures drop to their lowest from December to February. Heavy snowfall closes some passes on the Annapurna Circuit, but lots of tracks on the lower elevations remain open all year. Just take note that temperatures drop to a teeth-chattering 1°C in the daytime and past -10°C at night all over Nepal. A lot of the cheaper hotels in Kathmandu have no heating, so pack your thermals.
  • Rhododendrons bloom in March and April, painting whole hillsides of the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in a blaze of pink and white. Temperatures rise Ė but so do the number of avalanches, so tracks might be closed unexpectedly.
  • Monsoon season swings back around in June. Trails are muddy and rife with leeches, the mountains are often thick with cloud, and landslides are common. Saying that, the season isnít a complete write-off. More rain falls at night, so the mornings are often beautifully crisp. If you want to travel then, avoid Nepalís popular circuits and head to Himalayan regions like Manang, Mustang or Dolpo that sit in the rain shadow.

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WHEN TO go on a NEPAL trekking vacation

Emma Garrick from our supplier, Exodus: ďThere 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 thereís 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.Ē
Richard Goodey from our supplier, Lost Earth Adventures: ďA 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 itís 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 donít have any heating, so bring a warm sleeping bag, or rent one in Nepal, which is easy to organise if you donít want to carry one out with you. My favourite time to trek is October and November; itís warmer, so itís 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.Ē
Photo credits: [topbox: Vera & Jean-Christophe]
Written by Polly Humphris
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