Even though Spring and Autumn are peak seasons for trekking in Nepal, trekking in December has its own kind of advantages. December is the beginning of the winter season in Nepal. Hence there is less humidity and no rainfall offering you a crystal clear view of the landscapes and the snow-capped mountains. Due to the snowfall in the mountains, they look spectacular and pristine during winter. Winter trekkings in Nepal are ideal for those who want to experience the beauty of the Himalayas in a tranquil environment. In December, the trails don't become crowded with trekkers unlike in peak seasons.
Even though the temperature in the Himalayas in December is quite low, it is bearable in lower regions. So December is the best month to do mountain panorama view trekking. You will get to enjoy the clearest view of the mountains and the landscape during the Panorama trekking. The Himalayas against the crystal clear sky look mesmerizing in December. The night sky also looks amazing during December. Spending the night under the starry night in the Himalayas can be a life-changing experience for you.
One of the perks of trekking in December is you don't have to worry about not getting proper accommodation in teahouses. After the long days of walking, you get to spend the night without having to share a room with anyone and a peaceful environment in tea houses as there will be no crowd during winter. Trekking in winter is also a great opportunity to enjoy the festivals of the indigenous community such as Lhosar, Yomari Punhi, etc. Especially when you are trekking to the Annapurna region, you will get to witness the amazing festival of Gurung, Magar, and Tamang people as they have a grand celebration of their new year/Lhosar. You can participate in the Christmas celebration as well.
December marks the start of winter in Nepal and is the end of the peak season for trekking in Nepal. Normally, the temperature in the Himalayan region varies from 21 degrees to the freezing point. It can decrease further as the altitude increase at the end of the month. The region experiences cold and chilly wind in the morning and in the evening. However, the days are quite warm and tranquil. The weather is almost clear and consistent on most days. During the day, the sky becomes crystal clear and you can get a mesmerizing view of the snow-capped mountains and the landscapes as the snow thickens extra inches in these mountains.
Humidity also becomes low and hence the chances of the rainfall are also very low. To get the best view of the mountains, winter is the best season if you can endure a few harsh temperatures during the night. Panorama view treks are the best choices in winter as you can enjoy the spectacular view of the mountains without having to experience the below freezing point temperatures of the high altitude.
You need to make sure you have proper clothes to defeat the cold and chilly weather of the Himalayas. You need to bring a warm fleece and long trousers and a down jacket. You are recommended to wear layered clothes as the day gets warmer you will have to put off some clothes along the way. You may have to face snowfall as well at some places so all sorts of clothing should be available with you. It is a good idea to bring a sleeping bag with you, it helps you stay warm at night even though the tea houses provide blankets.
While walking on the trail after a snowfall, you need to be extra careful as the trail might become slippery due to the melting-down of the snow.
As December is not the peak month for trekkings, tea houses are easily available along the way. The teahouses may not be luxurious in the remote areas of Nepal. However, they provide you with basic accommodation services and common western and traditional food items. Hot water and hot bath services are available in these tea houses but you will have to pay extra to get those services. The heaters will be available in the dining room only.
Best Treks in Nepal for December
There are plenty of trekking options available during December in Nepal. However, at the high altitudes such as base camps and mountain passes, the temperature drops very low making it difficult to trek. So mountain view treks are perfect in December. Some of the best treks to consider are as follows:
Poon hill trek
Poon hill treks are the best view trek to great opportunity to behold the mountain ranges and landscapes of the Annapurna region at their best. Only a few days' treks from Pokhara take you to Poonhill. From this vantage point, you can expect to see the mountains such as Annapurna South, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, etc. Especially in December, you will get an unobstructed view of these mountains covered in a thick layer of snow. One of the best experiences to have during the Poon hill trek is observing the mesmerizing sunrise view over the mountains from Poon hill. Apart from the heartwarming view of the mountains and sunrise, you will pass through many picturesque villages, forests, rivers, waterfalls, etc along the way.
Everest view trek
Everest view trek offers the view of the landscapes of the Everest region including the highest peak Mt. Everest view trek is a trek Tengboche after the plane flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. The view of the river valley, Morain valleys, glaciers, and snowcapped mountains look amazing from Tengboche and along the way. During your plane flight, you will get a mesmerizing bird's eye view of the landscapes. You can expect to see mountains such as Tawache, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, Thamserku, etc. Winter enhances the beauty of these mountains in December. You can enjoy the view without having to face the harsh temperature and chilly wind of the higher altitude. Trekking is also an amazing opportunity to explore the Sherpa culture and tradition. You can visit the Tengboche monastery during the trek.
Another most beautiful thing to do in the Everest region is the Everest base camp Helicopter tour during the month of December. On this Everest helicopter tour, you will be taken to Everest base camp directly from Kathmandu and land at Kalapattar view point and taken back to Kathmandu on the same day.
Chisapani Nagarkot Trek
Chisapani Nagarkot Trek is a short trek that introduces you to the landscapes around Kathmandu valley. It is only two days trek where you will get to explore the subtropical forest of Shivapuri National Park and wild animals, and birds in their natural habitat. This trek is ideal for those who don't have much time to pursue long treks and still want to experience the beauty of the landscapes of Nepal. From Nagarkot, you will get the amazing panorama of the mountain ranges. December is the best month to get an awesome view of these mountains. You can expect to get a panoramic view of major peaks of the Eastern Himalayas including Mt. Everest. Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Langtang, Ganesh Himal, and Gaurishankar range. The view of the sunrise over these mountains looks mesmerizing. As Kathmandu lies in the Hilly region, you don't have to worry about the cold temperature at all.
Dhampus Sarangkot trek
Dhampus Sarangkot Trek is also a short trek that lets you explore the landscapes around Pokhara valley. During the two days trek, you will have a leisurely hike through beautiful valleys, forests, ricefield, picturesque villages, etc. Along the way, you will get a view of the mountains in the backdrop which look amazing in December. You will also get to learn about the tradition and culture of the local people. Nagarkot is a wonderful vantage point from where you will get a view of the mountains and Pokhara valley. You can expect to see the mountains such as Annapurna South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, etc. You can explore the Pokhara as well while going for the trek.
Annapurna base camp trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks of Nepal that takes you to the base camp of two mountains, Machhapuchhre and Annapurna. The trail passes through the amazing forests, river valleys, and many beautiful villages. The closer you get to the mountains, the better the view gets. Finally, from the base camps, you will get an up-close view of the mountains soaring against the clear blue sky. Along the way, you will witness amazing sunsets and sunrises over the mountains. You will encounter many species of birds and animals in their natural habitats. It is also a great opportunity to explore the culture of the Gurung and Magar people who reside in this region. Diving into the hot springs in the cold and chilly winter can be one of the best experiences you get during the trek.
Tips for trekking in Nepal in December
- Since the temperature drops really low in December, you need to dress in warm clothes and layers to stay warm.
- While travelling in high altitudes, you should not rush and take it slow and steady in order to avoid altitude sickness and fatigue.
- It is recommended to carry a warm sleeping bag with you during trekking. (Tea houses provide blankets but a sleeping bag helps a lot to keep you warm)
- Trekking in December is more fun because of the festivals such as Lhosar of Gurung and Tamang People, and many people celebrate Chrismas in different regions so you should consider attending those festivals while trekking to the Himalayan region