Tourism undoubtedly is the largest industry in Nepal. In 2019, over a million people visited this magnificent country, and more are on their way to explore this rich soil of cultural diversity and natural wonders. But all these people had one question popping into their minds: When to Trek in Nepal?
Why do you even need to consider it before trekking?
Though there's no seasonal constraint to visit Nepal, there are some factors worth noting. Everybody visiting Nepal has dreamt of memorable experiences of venturing sky-talking mountains, exploring ancient Tibetan tribes, and traversing yak pastures in the foothills of scenic valleys. But what if you reach there only to find out that the treks are overly crowded, the accommodations are already reserved. To the worst, either the sun is a little unmerciful, or the clouds wouldn’t stop lashing down. To your relief, you can still have a memorable expedition to Nepal without worrying about such weather complexities. Here’s How…
Best Trekking Seasons
The minuscule country of Nepal has diverse seasons, with rhododendrons blooming in spring; approachable feats in summer; down pouring monsoons; clear views of autumn; and a rather indifferent winter. Each with its own charm and attractions for sight seekers. We’ll be discussing the best trekking seasons in the following paragraphs.
Spring (March to April)
The spring seasons from March to April and May bring with it never-ending trekking options. The sun has just begun to gain altitude after a chilling winter, and the landscape starts to feel the warmth as the initiation of an excellent trekking period. Though the early season may be chilly, mostly the period remains mild, with temperatures around 20°C - 35°C (in Kathmandu).
The spring has color-washed the landscapes with blooming rhododendrons and vibrant floras, a great sign for all treks over 4000+ metres. The yak pastures are rejuvenated once again, and the life in sublime valleys has shown another hope. This is considered to be the best trekking season of all. The temperature is somewhat moderate, with clear skies and a sunny horizon, which are the ideal conditions for hiking the Himalayas and unveiling newly opened tracks which are usually inaccessible in other seasons.
You can embark towards Annapurna Treks for a pleasantly exquisite experience of rustic lifestyle, alpine massifs and traditional sites, and Sherpa villages.
All the previously obstructed high reaching passes of Kongma La (5,540m), Cho La (5,420m), Thorung La (5,416m), and Renjo La (5,360m) can be ventured for panoramic 360° views of the Himalayas.
There's more to this great country than breathtaking mountains and maze-like roads, and that's its rich cultural heritage. For instance, you may catch some …Once in a Decade festival on your trip to Nepal like Chait Dasain, which resembles the springtime Water Festival. Observed on the 08th of the new moon, it invites disciples from across seas. The food for this festival is also delicious! The week-long Holi where everyone gets to bathe in vibrant colors, Shivaratri marked by bonfire and vigils. Lastly, the grand festival of Buddha Jayanti also falls in this season.
Clear skies assure fewer cancellations of flights to your favorite trek destinations and prompt arrival to the Kanchenjunga Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, Gokyo Lake Trek, Langtang Trek and Three Passes Trek, which are best-traveled in the spring season.
Since this weather window marks the beginning of summer, the treks can be uncomfortable due to the overhead sun. Sometimes it may rain cats & dogs, making the tracks slippery and challenging to traverse.
Autumn (September to Mid-December)
If you're not very fond of the blazing sun keeping a watch on you but also yearn for an adventure under skies that are deep blue when the air is pure and conditions are optimal - then the autumn season has all of this on offer for you. Most people like to choose this weather window when the monsoon has just finished purifying the landscapes, and the visibility couldn't be better. The vivid scenery of the Himalayas is beyond explanation!
The season starts in the first portion of September when the weather is not as unpredictable as it was in the last quarter. The monsoon has finished, but the environment smells freshened with clear views of far-stretched valleys and sky stabbing Himalayas. The weather window in October/November is feasible to embark on long routed treks, especially those over 3,000-4,000 metres. The evenings near December can be cold sometimes, so a warm sleeping bag is a must-have, and we provide this for you on all of our treks.
The temperature ranges between 15°-25°C in lower elevations and mid alpine altitudes with promising views in October-November of Mt Everest (8,849m), Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Lhotse (8,516m), Manaslu (8,163), and Machhapuchhare (6,993m) from unbelievable distances.
There will be warmer days and comparatively colder nights that open gateways for treks like Kanchenjunga Trek, Makalu Base Camp, Mardi Himal Trek, Langtang Gosaikunda, and Everest Base Camp Trek.
Relish the eccentric Full Moon Festival at an alpinist altitude of Gosaikunda Lake. It is said that religious Hindu disciples flock towards the holy lake on the full moon nights for religious ceremonies and rituals. If the opportunity presents, be sure to witness such unthinkable ceremonial practices at God's place at 4,000m. The Festival of Lights, also known as Tihar, where you can even join a local hoedown, and Dashain, one of the biggest festivals in Nepal, also falls in the very same autumn season. Since music and dance are inseparable from Nepal’s culture, any fond of such interests will indeed have a great time at this part of the year.
Sadly the season cannot hold back like-minded people, and it may get crowded at some places. But this also gives you a chance to interact with people and listen to their stories.
Remember, anything that could happen will happen (sometimes)!
Imagine... we’re an hour away from reaching our accommodation from where we’ll start trekking. All of a sudden, we hear word of a landslide that will put up a barricade for a day or two.
..Or one of our vehicles malfunctions.
..Or the weather doesn’t cooperate as expected.
..Or you get a sore muscle or a sour stomach.
We pray that we will face none of these scenarios on our treks, but they are things that are completely out of our control, and they can happen. So in case something like this were to happen, we encourage you to always have an extra day or two worked into your itinerary, so that we don't have to hurry through places or cut our trek short and leave you missing out on experiencing your journey to its fullest.
An additional day might be a great relief too - especially if you can’t hold yourself back from wandering sidetracks or stopping by a once-in-a-decade festival. We are very flexible and only more than happy to accommodate you if this is to be the case.
We can’t wait to journey with you!