Winter in Nepal brings great visibility, but temperatures can drop to a teeth-chattering 1°C, so if you’re trekking then, make sure your endurance is up.
The Annapurna hiking circuit is the most likely to be affected by snowfall and has been known to close during peak winter months, so double check before you book.
From late December through January and into February, Nepal's weather is cold, but not unbearable, although temperatures drop significantly at night, especially in the mountains. January is by far the coldest month, but fewer people means fewer crowds.
March heralds spring in Nepal, when temperatures start to get warmer and rhododendrons are in beautiful bloom. Days are longer during March and April too, making them ideal for trekking, but temperatures are still a bit chilly at night, so pack your layers.
May is one of the warmest months and is lovely, but is also the calm before the storm: clouds begin to loom and showers begin to fall as a precursor to the monsoon season.
During Nepal’s monsoon season – June, July and August – 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. It’s not the best time for trekking therefore, but because most rain falls at night, the mornings are spectacular and sightseeing is still possible.
During the monsoon, more rain falls at night than during the day, so the mornings are often crisp and beautiful – if you want to trek then, avoid Nepal’s more popular circuits and head to Manang, Mustang or Dolpo, Himalayan areas that sit in rain shadows.
As the monsoon dissipates in September, Nepal is a glorious kingdom of huge clear skies, fresh air and breathtaking views. October through to November is possibly the best time to visit Nepal as dry days make trekking easier and offer good visibility. The way the replenished landscapes spring to life during autumn is spectacular; don’t forget your camera!