Trekking in Nepal: When is the best time to trek?
The simple answer is Spring and Fall, at least for a lot of places in Nepal. As for the reason, it is because of the weather in Nepal. The monsoon begins in early summer lasts until fall. Now if you know anything about trekking, you know that these seasons do not offer ideal conditions for trekking due to slippery roads and unpredictable rainfalls.
Rains are frequent and the clouds often block the views of the high peaks during this season. What about the Winter season? Well not exactly. Temperatures can drop really low in the mountains and hills during this season.
So when is the best time to trek in Nepal if not monsoon and Winter? Well for that, you first have to know the weather patterns. Along with this, you have to know about the best places to trek in that time frame. So for that, we have researched some rough weather patterns of Nepal in any given year as well.
Mid-January to March
The general weather in Nepal during this time frame is cold. However, it is still possible to trek. While the best destination during this time is mountain passes and high hills, you should be aware of the snow. It is generally impassable due to the snow and the days are short.
The good news is that the trails are not very busy, due to which you can enjoy some solitude. Not so surprisingly, this is the best time to trek for those who want to be one with nature and don’t like crowds.
March to June
In March, walking conditions can be a bit difficult at high altitudes as they are blocked by snow. Along with this, a light mist can cover the mountains till the second half of March. Despite this, there are some routes that are open for business.
April is probably the best time of the spring season for high-altitude treks. Late snowfall is possible, however. The high passes usually open around mid-April. The medium mountains, carpeted with flowers, are flooded with colors, which adds to the diversity of the landscapes.
The temperature will heat up. On a long journey, this factor should not be overlooked. There is a risk of clouds, showers and heat mists at low and medium altitudes in almost all regions of Nepal, especially in May.
June To Mid-September
Starting from mid-June, the monsoon lasts till mid-September. This season is not really the best time to trek due to all the rain and slippery trails. Despite this, you can still go to a few hills and smaller mountains that are not severely affected.
While this is being said, you have to be prepared and be updated about the weather forecast. A few gears that you must have are shoes with good grip, an umbrella or raincoat, and insect repellents. It can rain anytime and this monsoon is the breeding period for leeches. You don’t want to get soaked and then get bitten by leeches, do you?
Mid-September To Mid-October
By Mid-September, the rains decrease and the trekking season slowly opens up. There can still be clouds and rain, especially at low and medium altitudes. Still, there are days when the sky is clear and views of the countrysides are great. This period is conducive to delays on domestic flights, particularly to Lukla.
Taking precautions against rain is still a good idea for it may still rain at times. As you may have guessed, the gears that you should have are shoes with good grips and insect repellents.
Mid-October To Late November
At this time of the year as the weather is mostly clear with some chances of an overcast sky. So naturally, Mid-October To November is the ultimate trekking season, especially for high altitudes.
On a clear day, you can see miles away from the right location. But if you want to trek in the mountains, you have to be careful as beyond 4,000 meters, the temperature can fluctuate from 15°C during the day to -10°C at night.
If you want to go on trekking during this season, you have to be prepared for the crowd. The trails are very busy during this period with the influx of domestic and international tourists. If you are lucky, you can even chat with local people in the different locality as this is the harvest season of Nepal as well.
By the month of December, most of the trek routes close down due to the onset of winter. Snow falls become common in the mountains. Meanwhile, the weather becomes chilly in high hills. So as you may have guessed, December is not the best month for going on a trek.
Despite this, there are some routes, that are open and to be honest, just perfect for this weather. So if you want to trek at this time, wear warm clothes and do your best to prevent the cold from getting to you.
Best time for trekking in Nepal
|Time Frame||Best Trekking Destinations|
|Mid-January to March||Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek|
Langtang Valley Trek
Kathmandu Valley Trek
|March to June||Annapurna Trek|
Everest Camp Trek
The Kanchanjunga Trek
|June to Mid-September||Everest Base Camp|
Langtang Valley Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek
|Mid-September To Mid-October||Gokyo Lake Trek|
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Mardi Himal Trek
|Mid-October To Late November||Rara Lake Trek|
Makalu Base Camp Trek
Upper Mustang Trek
|December||Everest Base Camp Trek|
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Special Features of Trekking Destinations in Nepal
More arid regions, particularly in north-western Nepal, are less prone to monsoon effects. Beyond the monsoon rain curtain, north of Muktinath and Manang, the much drier, if not arid, climatic conditions of the Transhimalaya prevailing to you.
It should be noted that travelers reporting their trek during the monsoon on various forums often report of the rain. Others mention the presence of frequent clouds and snowstorms in the middle of October, the supposedly ideal month for trekking.
Chance or bad luck? Early or late arrival of the monsoon? Rather isolated phenomena? Are changes due to global warming likely to disrupt the climatological trends observed over time? However, these are the questions for another article.