Almost every article you read will say that the best time to trek in Nepal is in the spring and fall. Both of these seasons are great for trekking because the sky is nice and the weather is nice all over the country. But does that mean that going to Nepal during the other times of the year is a waste of time?
Well, there are many places in Nepal that we think you should visit more than once in different seasons. You will really feel like you’ve been to different places because the seasons also change what you see in each place.
Having said that, Nepal has trekking opportunities all year long. Every season has something new to try, and it’s up to you to decide which one you want to try more. There are many things to think about, like where you want to travel and how cold you can handle. These things help you choose the best time to trek in Nepal.
Trekking Seasons in Nepal
So, we will have a brief discussion on what to expect in each season, as well as the benefits and drawbacks associated with that season that you will have to experience during your trip to Nepal.
Spring Season: March through May
The best time to trek in Nepal is during the spring when temperatures are pleasant at higher elevations but hot low down. Colorful rhododendrons and other flowers line the paths leading to the tree line. In this season, rhododendrons of more than 30 species will flower across the country. They are located between 1,400 and 3,600 feet in altitude.
Temperatures in the spring are mild enough at lower elevations (800-2000m) to make trekking in places like Lower Annapurna an enjoyable experience. Generally speaking, temperatures are moderate at locations above 4000m, allowing for clear skies and warm climate trekking conditions.
In Nepal, the Everest and Annapurna regions see the second-highest number of trekkers in the spring. The days are long, the weather is warm to hot, and there are only a few scattered showers.
This time of year is not only “the window” for trekking, but also for high-altitude climbing expeditions due to the consistent weather conditions. There is no doubt that spring is one of the best time to trek in Nepal.
Pros of Trekking in the Spring Season
- The trail is clear and the weather is mild, making this the ideal time for travelers to enjoy their challenging journey with minimal danger.
- The weather is nice, with a chilly morning and a warm, pleasant afternoon.
- This is the perfect time of year to get outside and experience the thrill of real exploration.
- Good conditions for ascending the towering peak of Everest.
- There are fewer tourists than in the fall season, which comparatively gives you a better chance of finding silence even during the peak season.
- The sight of pink rhododendron flowers dotting a green forest will take your breath away.
- Temperatures range from 16 to 23 degrees in the high and lowlands, respectively, making the weather bearable.
- In April, the snow melts away, making it possible to hike over 5000 meters in altitude at Cho La, Larkya La, or Throng La.
Cons of Trekking in the Spring Season
- Annapurna Base Camp, Ghorepani, and Poon Hill are all popular places to start a trek, so you might find that they are too crowded. If you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, you can always pick a different trekking destination.
- At higher elevations, you might get hit with a snow or rain shower every once in a while.
- During the peak of the trekking season, local teahouses and hotels may be completely booked.
- Temperatures are expected to rise, which could be problematic for trekkers in lowlands and areas of low elevation for several hours.
- Carrying heavy packs becomes increasingly difficult at higher altitudes because of the cold, the difficult terrain, and the wind.
Autumn Season: September to November
From September to November, the temperatures are nice, the weather is generally stable, and the air is clean. This makes it one of the best time to trek in Nepal. In fall, the average daytime temperature is 20 degrees Celsius and the average nighttime temperature is 10 degrees Celsius.
If you want to go hiking right at the end of this season, you might get wet. The rain is very likely to keep going for a while longer. Most of the time, the monsoon is gone enough by the middle of September for hiking to be comfortable.
In the spring, clouds tend to gather in the afternoon, but once the weather has settled, most days have bright blue skies and a strong sun that lasts all day. By the end of the year, nights are noticeably cooler, especially at higher elevations. This means that you must bring a warm trekking pack and sleeping clothes.
Autumn, also known as fall season, is also a very popular time to go climbing, and it is also the most beautiful time to do so. During these months, there will also be a lot of people in Nepal’s tea shops. During this time, trips to Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna Circuit are especially popular.
Pros of Trekking in the Autumn Season
- The weather is ideal for trekking, and the snow-capped mountains can be seen in the distance.
- When the weather is nice, the scenery can be a photographer’s dream, with shining lakes and green fields to look at.
- There are many opportunities to learn about Nepal’s vibrant culture and exciting hiking routes throughout the autumn months, which is festival season here.
- Autumn is better than other seasons because there is less chance of snow, floods, storms, and avalanches. Many trekkers think that autumn is the safest time to go on a cross-country trip because the weather is more stable then.
- Autumn is the most popular time to go trekking, so you are going to meet travelers from all over the globe who will join you on this exciting trip.
- There are also fewer people there from the beginning of September to about the middle of the month.
Cons of Trekking in the Autumn Season
- Many people may not enjoy the trekking experience because it is so popular and the local teahouses are always full.
- After the sun goes down, the temperature in the trekking zone at higher altitudes drops to below freezing.
Winter Season: December to February
From December through March, the Himalayas see their lowest temperatures, often dropping below freezing, especially at night and at higher elevations. While trekking is not recommended in January due to the extreme cold, in a select few locations it is possible to do so with the right clothing and equipment in December.
If you’re lucky, winter won’t begin until the middle of the season, when you’ll still enjoy warm temperatures but fewer crowds.
This is a terrific month for photographers because, despite the cold, the trails are peaceful and the skies are clear from sunrise to dusk. It is possible to go trekking in the winter if you stay at a lower altitude. National parks, conservation areas, and wildlife reserves can also be at their best during this time of year.
If you don’t mind the cold, winter is an excellent time to hike in the Everest region and other popular destinations because there are fewer people there than in the shoulder seasons of October and November. This is why our Nepali holiday and New Year’s treks are always so well-visited.
The snowy landscape you’ll be hiking in this time of year will look and feel like something out of a fairy tale. However, by late December, it becomes uncomfortably chilly. Furthermore, many tea houses stop taking guests at this time.
Extraordinary snowfall in winter causes the closure of even the highest crossings, including Thorong La (5416m) in the Annapurna region, Kongma La (5545m), Cho La (5335m), and Renjo La (5420m) in the Everest region.
Pros of Trekking in Winter Season
- Awe-inspiring mountain scenery.
- Amazing scenery with snow covering everything.
- Fewer people visiting means less of a crowd.
- Temperatures that are more tolerable during the day, with morning fog are worth experiencing.
- Winter is a great time to go low-altitude trekking.
- See rare animals in their natural habitats at Chitwan and Bardia National Parks. The one-horned rhinoceros and the royal Bengal tiger are both very visible throughout the winter months.
- Lumbini, Chitwan, and Bardia are some of the most visited lowland and terai areas in Nepal.
- One more benefit is the weather, which is clear and cold.
- A chance to take a full-frame photograph.
Cons of Trekking in Winter Season
- Trekking may be more challenging than usual due to the cold and windy weather.
- The possibility of snow blindness is high.
- Chances of missing the trail because of snow.
- Few places to trek at high altitudes.
- Even though avalanches are gorgeous to look at, they can be scary.
Monsoon (Stay Away): May through August
When it comes to TREKKING in Nepal, May through August are usually the most unpleasant times for visiting. A lot of heat and wetness from the Indian Ocean rises, bringing hot weather, clouds, haze, and sometimes even rain. Because of this, the view gets blocked, the paths get messy, and the ground becomes very hard to walk on.
After reaching its peak in July, the monsoon season slowly gives way to the drier weather of fall. Often, clouds hide the mountains and make it hard to see what they really look like. Most of the paths down low are wet and full of leeches. After the monsoons are over, the area is covered with green plants.
Still, this doesn’t mean you can’t go to the area at all in the summer. Dolpo and Mustang in Wild Nepal are the only places that are different from the rest of the country. These areas are drier than the rest of the country because they are in the rain shadow of the Himalayas. But in the summer, it’s warm and dry, so it’s a great place to go camping.
People who like the rain and would rather avoid big crowds can still go camping in the summer. You can enjoy peace and quiet, as well as a stunning view of green fields. At this time of year, another fun thing to do is to go to the city. The Kathmandu Valley, Lumbini, and Pokhara, as well as the nearby areas of Tibet and Ladakh (India), are all great places to visit.
Pros of Trekking in Monsoon
- There will be fewer people on the trail, giving the adventurers more time to themselves.
- With the monsoon rains, the dust will be decreased.
- Trekking destinations and accommodations can be reserved at a discount.
- You will be able to see many different kinds of flowers.
- The valleys are incredibly rich and gorgeous, painting a vivid image.
- Due to it being the off-season, both lodging and meals may be had at reasonable prices.
- Since it is currently the off-season, you can make a reservation at the very last minute.
Cons of Trekking in Monsoon
- The hot weather makes the trip uncomfortable.
- There are leeches all along the route.
- Fewer opportunities exist to connect with trekkers from all around the world.
- Fewer sightings of wild animals.
- Dangerous because of the possibility of landslides, storms, and bad weather.
- An obstacle during the travel.
Best time to trek in Nepal: Following the Events and Holidays of Nepal
Not everything about trekking in Nepal is breathtaking landscapes. The route also takes trekkers past a number of traditional Nepali villages, where they can get to know the locals. Participating in traditional Nepali celebrations is a great chance.
Dashain and Tihar, two major holidays in Nepal, are celebrated for a combined total of 15 days in the months of September and October. This event is celebrated by both Hindus and Buddhists and includes colorful ceremonies of Hindu and Nepalese deities, as well as singing, dancing, and kite-flying. Caution: the event includes the ritual killing of animals as an offering to the gods.
The Mani Rimdu festival takes place in October and November and lasts for 19 days, culminating in a three-day holiday. Celebratory events, in which local Sherpa and Tibetan groups join forces with Buddhist monks, make this an excellent time to be hiking around Tengboche or to Everest base camp. Tengboche monastery is a great place to see religious ceremonies, traditional mask dances, and folk music and dance.
Nepal celebrates the Hindu Holi festival, a joyous and colorful event marking the arrival of spring and the vanquishing of the Hindu evil Holika, in the months of February and March, just before the onset of the monsoons. Don’t wear your nicest clothing if you plan on participating in the ritual of flinging colored powder and water with the believers.