Be it traveling or anything; we obviously want to have the best of all experience. And of all the things, traveling during the best season is what the majority of travelers adheres by; after all, you are traveling to a whole new world.
As trekking is what Nepal is known for, it is often a matter of query for tourists on what is the best time for trekking in Nepal. Well, from September to November and March to May is considered as the best time for trekking in Nepal, when weather is excellent, the temperature is moderate and days are clear.
Trekking takes you towards the higher region in the Himalayas with the threat of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), and winter trekking in Nepal often makes trekkers reluctant. However, despite being a not-so-popular season, winter trekking in Nepal has its own distinct advantages.
-Because winter is off-season time for trekking in Nepal, there will be no trouble getting a room at guest houses/tea houses.
-Very less number of trekkers embarks for winter trekking in Nepal, which makes the trail less crowded. You will get to have the best experience all by yourself in a very serene and pleasing environment.
-Keeping aside the fact about a bit of chilliness in weather, during winter days are crystal clear providing you the clear and unobstructed view of mountains and landscape.
-Another advantage of winter trekking in Nepal is it rarely rains during this time of year. You can own the day and scale up as per your itinerary and have fun.
Winter is already cold, and as you go higher, the weather gets extreme, and the temperature is usually below zero. It means you cannot go for winter trekking in Nepal to some higher-elevation destination. Altitude below and around 4,000 meters is best for winter trekking in Nepal.
Winter is Nepal mainly exists for three months December – February, so if you visit Nepal in December (early) or February (late), you will experience mild-to-warm temperatures. Well, here are some of the best destination that serves the best for winter trekking in Nepal.
Annapurna Region Winter Trekking in Nepal
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Ghorepani Poon Hill trek is a short, easy and a popular trek in the Annapurna region, and is one of the best for winter trekking in Nepal. This trek takes no heed of the season, and you can enjoy it to the full extent in any time of the year.
You will observe a spectacular array of Himalayas including Dhaulagiri ranges, Annapurna I-IV, Annapurna South, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna, Tukuche Peak, Manaslu ranges, Gangapurna, Barasikhar, Nilgiri and Hiunchuli.
It is the four-day long trek; however, you can extend the itinerary joining other destinations as well. The journey starts from Nayapul, which takes one and a half hours of drive from Pokhara.
Now passing through typical villages inhabited by Gurungs and Magar and delightful rhododendron forest, we finally arrive at Poon Hill at 3,210 meters, from where not just the mountain views, sunrise and sunset are quite incredible too.
Annapurna Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp is probably one of the most-walked treks in Nepal. It is the journey towards the foot of Annapurna I, the tenth tallest mountain the world at 8,091 meters via Machhapurchrre Base Camp.
The trek is popularly known for the panorama of Annapurna Massif, which homes over 30 peaks and other neighboring peaks like Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchrre, and Hiunchuli amongst others.
The highest elevation reached during the trek is the base camp at 4,130 meters and is one of the best for winter trekking in Nepal. It is a mesmerizing trek alongside terraced rice paddies, rhododendron forest, and stunning high altitude landscapes starting from Pokhara and takes over a week to complete.
Everest Region Winter Trekking in Nepal
Pikey Peak Trek
It is a short trek that takes around a week and is the closest alternative to trekking in crowded Everest trail. Pikey Peak trek is newly introduced trail in the Khumbu region and is least walked the trail in Everest region. As Everest region is already popular for trekkers around the world, these particular treks take you towards least explored area of Everest.
Sherpa Culture, Himalayan scenery, sunset and sunrise view, off-the-beaten-trail, beautiful monasteries are some of the highlights of the trek. Everest, Makalu, Dhaulagiri, Mera Peak, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Thamserku, and other peaks can be observed from Pikey Peak at 3,640 meters.
And as it happens Sir Edmund Hillary, one of two first climbers of Everest, himself has agreed that the view from Everest is one of his favorites. This rewarding short trek in the Everest region can be the best winter trekking in Nepal for you.
Tengboche Monastery Trek
It is yet another sought-after trek in Everest region and is perfect for winter trekking in Nepal. The trek follows the trail of Everest Base Camp up to Tengboche Monastery.
The Monastery is the largest in the Khumbu region and a pivotal point of reverence for Sherpas of this and surrounding areas.
Tengboche Monastery is a short trek of around week with no bigger risk or challenge. Located at 3,867 meters, the monastery is a popular vantage point in Nepal from where Himalayan panorama can be observed including well-known peaks like Everest, Tawache, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, and Lhotse.
Everest Khumjung Trek
Khumjung is a charming Himalayan settlement at 3,790 meters and one of the best short trek in Everest region. It is located within Sagarmatha National Park and is about an hour hike from Namche Bazaar.
Trekkers make their way towards Khumjung for its beautiful location amid mountains and hills. More to that Khumjung monastery homes a yeti scalp, there is a school built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the neighboring village of Khunde is equally rich with preserved Himalayan culture and tradition.
Its moderate elevation and a stunning exhibition of cultural and natural aspects make it one of the best short trek in the Everest region and a perfect go for winter trekking in Nepal.
Kathmandu Valley Winter Trekking in Nepal
Although the capital and administrative center of Nepal, the valley of Kathmandu homes several ages-old settlements and rich ancient culture and practices which you can unravel in Kathmandu Valley trek.
As the winter in Kathmandu is not very extreme like that of the Himalayan region, the valley is ideal for winter trekking in Nepal.
You can go for short hikes, or join those hikes and go for a trek around the Kathmandu Valley. The trail starts from Sundarijal, connecting Chisapani, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namo Buddha, Panauti, Bhaktapur and back to Kathmandu.
Langtang Region Winter Trekking in Nepal
Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang Valley treks a remarkable journey in a very short duration of time. You will get past rhododendron, and bamboo forest, Tibetan influenced Buddhist culture, beautifully cascading waterfalls, and mesmerizing snow-capped mountains in off-the-beaten-path-trail of Nepal.
Although the trek goes above the elevation of 4,000 meters to Tserko Ri at 5,000 meters, you can embark on Langtang Valley as winter trekking in Nepal.
The journey showcases the diverse settlement of Tibetan Buddhist culture of Tamang and Sherpa people. Along with the spectacular view of mountains including Dorje Lakpa, Langtang Ri and Langtang Lirung, you will also pass through Langtang National Park which is pristine with natural beauty and rich in flora and fauna.
In the earthquake of April 2015, Langtang Valley was completely destroyed; however, the locals, with the constituted effort, have rebuilt the valley. It is the best trek to go if you want to experience the off-the-beaten-path trail of Nepal, in the most striking natural setting.
Helambu is another destination in the Langtang region that is best for winter trekking in Nepal. It is a short trek of around 5 to 7 days, starting at either Melamchi Bazaar about 60 km or Sundarijal about 26 km from Kathmandu as per your convenience.
Helambu Trek gives you the best experience in short time; the good Himalayan view, rhododendron bloom, lush forest of oaks, quaint villages with rich culture, least walked trails, you can have it all in this trek.
Rather known for sweet and savory apples, Helambhu has a rich Buddhist culture, which is totally exhibited in artistic Buddhist monasteries.
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