Monsoon occurs in June, July and August in Nepal. Trekking in Nepal is not highly recommended during these months as heavy rains make the trails muddy and slippery. Also, you may have to go through flight delays or cancellations that crop up frequently during monsoons. Also, due to the cloudy environment, blue spots in the sky as well as sunrise and sunset, snow-covered peaks, etc. will rarely be seen.
Mosquitoes and lice are also more common in monsoon. You should carry mosquito repellent cream wherever you go and we suggest you carry long boots if you want to trek in this weather.
Apart from its disadvantages, monsoon can be an enjoyable time for many trekkers who want to combine the trekking experience with an exciting rafting experience. Monsoon is the perfect time for white water rafting. The thrill that can be enjoyed with different levels of white water during monsoons cannot be compared to any other season. The lush environment appeals to botanists to conduct research on plants. Monsoon is also the best time for you, if you want to enjoy trekking in monsoon then you can also trek in rain-shadow areas where the water does not recede. Humla, Jumla, Simikot, Dolpo, Mustang etc. are favorite places to visit in monsoon and lower regions of Nepal like Everest, Annapurna and Langtang in winter.
Trekking on your own during winter is not recommended. As we have said earlier, due to snows on trial finding traces of path will be difficult. You will need to pack more items than usual due to cold weather so having someone guide you and carry your gear is highly recommended.
What do I Need to Bring?
Trekking in Nepal during winter requires more packing than usual as the temperature will drop consistently as you go higher. Warm thermals, Good parka jacket, Gore-Tex pant and gear, Snow Gaiters, Full waterproof hiking boots, -20 rated Sleeping bag, Warm hat and gloves are essential items to bring for winter treks in Nepal. We advise you to know the region you are going to tread fully and pack accordingly. Feel free to contact us should you require any updated news/information on any trekking regions of Nepal for any time of the year.
Highlights of Trekking in Winter?
- The views are clearer at this time of year with the sky being clear and precipitation at the lowest
- You get the views you’d never get in Spring and Autumn
- Enjoy the serenity as the trails will be quieter
- Doesn’t require tremendous effort in terms of logistics (Accommodation, Flights, etc..
Where to go for Winter Trekking in Nepal?
For winter trekking in Nepal, high altitude treks consisting of high passes and camping treks are not recommended. However, base camp treks such as Everest base camp, Annapurna base camp are completely doable. Here are the most popular winter trekking routes for you to explore:
1. Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking to Everest base camp during winter is completely doable as long as you are with a guide. The lodges are open even during winter and the views are amazing. Hire a guide and get warm clothing for trekking to Everest base camp during winter.
2. Tengboche Monastery Trek
This short trek up to Tengboche Monastery, the biggest monastery in Everest is a perfect holiday in Everest region for winter. The elevation doesn’t exceed 4000m and yet the views and experience are second to none. You are likely to encounter snow higher above from Namche but this adds to more fun and provides a unique experience of trekking in winter. Most of the teahouses will be open on this trek during the whole winter.
3. Annapurna Poonhill Trek
Another famous shorter duration trek to consider for winter is Annapurna Poonhill Trek. The trek goes up to an elevation of 3200m at the top of Poonhill. The views from Poonhill during winter is very unique and different providing views of fully snow-covered mountains and clearer sky.
4. Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang is the third most popular trekking region in Nepal after Everest and Annapurna. The trek up to Kyanjin Gompa, the last settlement of Langtang valley before the Tibetan border is doable in winter season too. However, higher above from Kyanjin Gompa, there will be more snow if you have planned on hiking till Kyanjin Ri or Tserko Ri.
5. Pikey Peak Trek
Another winter trek in Nepal to consider is the Pikey Peak Trek situated at the lower part of Everest region. Pikey Peak Trek goes up to an elevation of 4200m and provides a panoramic view of mountains from Annapurna Range till Kanchenjunga. The panoramic view from the top of Pikey Peak is likely not seen from anywhere and the view of Everest, Lhotse is astounding.
6. Annapurna Base Camp (December)
The trek to the south base camp of Mt. Annapurna is another trekking option for winter in Nepal. However, due to the geographical situation of the trail to Machhapuchhre Base Camp, snow avalanches are of at high risk on this trek. Trekking during the early winter is fine and it should be avoided after Late December till March Mid as this region accumulates more snow and possess a high risk of an avalanche too. Winter 2018, Annapurna base camp was heavily affected by the huge snowfall leaving all the teahouses/lodges destroyed.
7. Kathmandu Valley Trek
If you prefer trekking in close proximity of Kathmandu valley and more luxury then Kathmandu Valley Trek will be a perfect pick for you. The trek covers major tourist places such as Chisapani, Nagarkot and Dhulikhel which all provides great mountain views. Like; Mt. Everest, Langtang region and Rolwaling Himalaya with Gaurishankar etc.
Useful tips for trekking in Nepal during winter
— Do not go to high altitude places and high passes on your own during winter as the trails will be completely covered with snow and difficult to navigate.
— Recheck your equipment list and make sure you have brought good winter gear.
— Days are shorter in winter so start your journey early.
— Bring a good thermos and a cover for your water bottle to keep hot water warm for longer.
— Pack extra batteries for your camera because batteries run out quickly
— Get updated information about the area you walk
— Pack extra socks and underwear as it takes longer than usual to dry your clothes after washing.
— Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.