Trekking in Nepal opens up various possibilities. It helps you appreciate the beauty of nature, build strength and stamina, learn about different cultures, and gives you unforgettable travel experiences. But before trekking, you need to decide which is the best time to trek in Nepal.
Nepal has 4 seasons. These seasons have their respective weather conditions. Some of the months are sunny, some are wet, some are chilly while others are moderate. You have to know what kind of trekking weather you will be the most comfortable while trekking.
Also, the flow of trekkers will be different in different seasons. Some seasons see a large influx of tourists. Some seasons are relatively quiet.
If you are someone who looks to trek in solitude, you would prefer the seasons when the number of tourists is low. On the other hand, if you are a people-person, you might want to trek when you have the opportunity of interacting with a large number of trekkers from all the around the globe.
Finally, the prices of accommodation are different in different seasons. For instance, in relatively quiet seasons, you might be able to receive discounts on accommodation. So there is also a slight change in your spending in different seasons.
So let us look at the various seasons in Nepal, the weather in these seasons, when you can receive discounts, and when you can find a large horde of tourists.
After that, you can decide which of the seasons is the best time for you to trek in Nepal.
Autumn season in Nepal falls in the month of September, October, and November. These months are also the peak trekking months in Nepal. The number of trekkers that trek in the various parts of Nepal in these months is truly astounding.
In terms of the number of tourists, the autumn season is the best time to trek in Nepal.
The biggest reason why many trekkers find autumn to be the best season to trek is down to the awesome weather conditions that makes way for some delightful trek.
In autumn season, the temperature is not too high and neither too cold. This moderate temperature is just perfect as you don’t have to wear a large number of clothes to make you feel warm. In addition, while trekking you won’t sweat as you would in the hotter months.
Another reason why the autumn season is regarded as a very good month for trekking is that the trekking regions don’t experience a lot of rain. So the clouds are far and few in between. So the astounding views of the mountains are pretty much unobstructed except for an odd day or two in a month.
The amount of wind that blows in autumn seasons in the mountainous regions is also mild. So trekkers won't have to deal with very cold temperatures or very cold wind like in the winter months.
Best Autumn Season Treks in Nepal
Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp is an iconic trek that takes you to the Base Camp of the tallest mountain in the world i.e. Everest Base Camp. There are some beautiful places in the Everest region like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Gorak Shep, and Kala Patthar.
All of these places have a moderate temperature in the winter. During the autumn season, many mountains in the Everest region like Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu, Mt. Ama Dablam etc will offer you mesmerizing views.
You can also go to the Tengboche Monastery that is surrounded by a panoramic view of these mountains. You can also trek to Gokyo lakes in the autumn season.
Autumn is definitely the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp is the most visited trekking site in Nepal. This place buzzes with a plethora of tourists in the autumn season. This is why many tourists consider autumn the best time to trek to Annapurna Base Camp.
Annapurna Base Camp lies in the central western part of Nepal and takes you to beautiful villages like Ghorepani, Tadapani, Ulleri, Dovan etc. From these villages, you will be able to get some mesmerizing views of mountains like Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli, and Gangapurna.
You can complete the Annapurna Base Camp trek in merely 7 days at a minimum. You can also complete the Annapurna Base Camp trek in 10 days, 11 days, or 15 days depending upon your preference.
Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal trek is quickly becoming the favorite trekking destination in the autumn season after the Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek.
This trek also lies in a region that is quite close to Annapurna region trek.
Mardi Himal trek starts after a one hour drive from Pokhara. Mardi Himal trek will take you to Mardi Base Camp which is located at an elevation of 4500 meters. The fact that Mardi Himal Base Camp trek is only 4500 meters, it is quite easy to trek to.
The wonderful trekking weather in the autumn is every trekker is delighted by.
Winter Season in Nepal lies in the months of December, January, and February. These three months are quite cold. The high altitude mountainous regions become especially cold in the winter season.
Winter season is also characterized by snowfall in the high altitude treks such as Everest Base Camp, Manaslu Base Camp, and Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Due to heavy snowfall, some parts of the trekking trails might be closed in the winter season.
However, winter trek has a distinct advantage. You will have plenty of discounts on food as well as accommodation. So there might be a slight decrease in your expenditure if you are trekking in the winters.
Winter season is also characterized by some harsh wind. So you must pack well in order to trek in the winter season. You will be able to get extra blankets and pillows while trekking in the autumn season as the number of trekkers will be quite low.
As you might find winter trekking a tad difficult, we advise you to trek in the low altitude regions in the winter seasons. You won’t have to deal with very cold climate and you also won't have to bear the hassle of heavy snowfall.
Best Winter Season Trek in Nepal
Nagarkot Chisapani Trek
Nagarkot Chisapani Trek takes place on the outskirts of the hills of Kathmandu valley. This trek takes place in altitude lower than 2500 meters. So the temperature is not very low. This trek can be completed in merely 6 days which is also an advantage.
You can see various Himalayan ranges from Nagarkot including Everest range, Manaslu range, Annapurna range, Ganesh Himal range amongst other. 8 out of the 13 Himalayan ranges are visible from Nagarkot.
The trek also takes you to the various UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as the oldest temple in Nepal- Changu Narayan. So this trek is perfect for you in the winter.
Ghorepani Poon Hill trek
Ghorepani Poon Hill trek is regarded as the best short trek in Nepal. During the winter season, this trek offers you some of the most staggering views of the mountains you can imagine.
During the winter, the chances of precipitation are the lowest of all seasons in Nepal. So the views of the mountains in the winter season are crystal clear. You can see various peaks like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, etc from Poon Hill.
The views of the sunrise amidst these mountains you get from Ghorepani Poon Hill is also quite mesmerizing. Poon Hill is often regarded as one of the best spots for viewing sunrise in Nepal. The fact that Poon Hill is merely 3200 meters in altitude makes winter the best time to trek here.
Spring season is the second most popular time to trek in Nepal after the autumn season. Spring in Nepal falls in the months of March, April, and May. The weather in the spring season is almost identical to the autumn season.
In terms of the number of trekkers, this is the second best time to trek in Nepal.
The amount of sunshine is moderate during the spring season. The same is true of the speed of the wind. However, you might experience some snowfall and cold, hard breeze in the first few weeks of March.
In the latter days of the spring season, especially towards the end of May, you might find more rainfall than usual as the monsoon season will be on the cards.
The low amount of rainfall in Spring means that there will be very few interruptions you will have while trekking.
During the spring seasons, you are likely to encounter a lot of mountaineers as spring is an expedition time.
Best Spring Season Trek in Nepal
Annapurna Circuit trek
The best time to trek to Annapurna Circuit is in the spring season. The views of the mountains in the Annapurna region are mesmerizing in the spring season.
Annapurna Circuit trek takes you to the holy site of Muktinath. Various festivals like Nepalese New Year and Buddha Jayanti are celebrated in Muktinath in the spring season.
Muktinath is also draped by some beautiful mountains making the spring trek here a wonderful time. You will also go to Jomsom in the Annapurna Circuit trek which is equally delightful with magnificent views in the springtime.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu is an off the beaten track trek in Nepal that is simply mesmerizing. The mountains during this trek just open up in a heavenly manner during the spring season.
The culture in the villages you will encounter in the Manaslu Circuit trek preserve centuries-old traditions. This is because the people here have had very little interaction with the people outside as the region was open to foreign trekkers only in 1991.
During this trek, you will be able to experience glorious views of Himalayas in the central-western part of Nepal like Himlung (7126m), Cheo Himal (6812m), Larkya Peak (6249m), Annapurna II (7937m), and Manaslu (8156m) during the Manaslu trek.
Langtang Gosaikunda Trek
Langtang is a region that lies to the north of Kathmandu valley. Like Manaslu region, Langtang Gosaikunda is a trek that is an off the beaten track and is best to visit in springtime.
During this trek, you will have splendid views of lofty mountains and beautiful lakes such as Gosaikunda.
The trail takes us through many descents and through subalpine forest, gorgeous Himalayan views, glaciers, and beautiful lakes such as Gosaikunda (4,460m), Saraswati Kund and Ganesh Kunda.
Summer Season in Nepal falls in the month of June, July, and August. These months are not simply characterized by a high amount of sunshine but also oftentimes a high amount of rainfall as well.
So trekking in the summer season might be hot as well as wet. So when you are trekking in the mountainous regions in Nepal during the summer season. So you have to make room for extra days in order to cover up for some days that might be lost due to rain.
During the summer season, you also won’t have to deal with cold wind that blows in the mountainous regions.
Your views of the mountains also might be obstructed in the summer season due to the cloud covering you are likely to experience in this season. So summer is not considered to be the best time to trek in Nepal.
However, there are some regions in Nepal that are impervious to the monsoon rain of the summer season. Let us take a look at them.
Best Summer Season Trek in Nepal
Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang has lofty mountains in its northern Tibetan side. As a result, most of the clouds that bring the onset of monsoon don’t affect this region even in the summer season. So this region is dry in the summers. This makes summer the best time to trek to Upper Mustang.
The ancient kingdom of Lo Manthang is one of the most popular places in Upper Mustang. The history of this kingdom dates back hundreds of years to 1380. Beautiful oversees hills and mountains that surround this kingdom add to its grandeur.
On your trekking trail to Upper Mustang, you will be able to see the mountains of Annapurna as well as Nilgiri range. Dhaulagiri at 8167 meters (26,795ft) and Annapurna I at 8091 meters (26,545ft) are the highest mountains visible during the Mustang region trek. In addition, 35 mountains over 6000 meters (19,680ft) high surround Mustang.
Rara Lake Trek
Rara Lake trek is another trek that is perfect for trekking in the summer season. Like the Mustang region, the tall mountains and hill of Rara region block out the monsoon clouds. Hence the region is dry and perfect to trek in the summer season.
Rara Trek takes you through Rara National Park, which is home to 240 species of birds and 51 species of mammals. The forest of Rara region glow with the signature red color of the rhododendron forests found here.
Rara Lake is the largest as well as the deepest freshwater lake in the Himalayas of Nepal. Boating in this lake with views of the snow-capped mountains is a treat.
The best time to trek in Nepal is undoubtedly the spring and the autumn season. However, you can trek in Nepal in all seasons and all kinds of weather. All you have to do is choose the regions that offer the best trekking experience in these seasons. And more importantly, you have to also pack accordingly bearing in mind the weather you are likely to encounter.