Technically you can go trekking in Nepal at any time of the year. There are no restrictions. However, each season in Nepal will deliver a different looking landscape, environment and experience.
You'll also need to prepare a little bit differently depending on what month or season you planning to go trekking (don't worry we cover that here along with climate change issues).
The most popular times with optimal trekking experiences are divided into two “peak seasons”.
1) The first peak season of the year is between late February – March – April (Spring)
2) The second peak season of the year is between late September – October – November (Autumn)
The other seasons in Nepal include
On this page we'll look at each of Nepal's main seasons (there are five) and what to expect in each one. There's also a monthly breakdown and histocital climate data for those curious about it!
The best seasons to go trekking in Nepal
Spring is renown as Nepal's first peak season and it's one of the best times to go trekking in Nepal. Spring in Nepal is during March and April.
Traditionally February is not included in the first peak season as normally it's a winter month. However, over the past few years the cold winter and snows have ended by the middle of February. Something to keep in mind.
Spring is the end of the dry winter season and the second best time of year to go
trekking (September is the start of the best peak season). Visibility in the mountains can be hazy if there is a lot of dust in the air. But this is countered by blooming rhododendrons and other ﬂowers in the valleys. Trails are free from snow and it can start to get quite warm when the sun is shining.
Temperatures ( 2000m avg) have highs around 25 degrees and can drop to around 6 degrees.
Here's a look at what each month is like for trekking during Spring including the best treks:
Summer in Nepal is usually between May and June though it can stretch into July with ease. This is Nepal’s hot season and it can get very warm indeed. Mountain views are now obscured by haze from the dust and later from monsoon clouds. The closer to the end of June trekking in the mountains can be hot, sticky and not very pleasant due a constant threat of heavy rain from the incoming monsoons.
There's rarely any water shortages along the treks but keeping covered from the sun is vital along with staying hydrated. Some people like to trek at this time of year due to lower prices on treks. However they are often disappointed by the poor views and uncomfortable trekking experience.
Temperatures (2000m avg) have highs around 30+ degrees and can drop to around 20 degrees.
Monsoon Season in Nepal is usually between July and August though it can start earlier and stretch into September. This is type of season is like Nepal’s hot season but with very heavy rains and high humidity. Thunder and lightning storms are frequent.
Mountain views are are difficult at low altitude though up high they can be very clear when no cloud is around. The biggest issue is the heavy rain and high humidty which makes trekking difficult. There is also a very real threat of landslides during monsoon season in Nepal.
Temperatures (2000m avg) have highs around 30+ degrees and can drop to around 20 degrees with humidity making it feel much hotter.
The autumn months of mid-September, October and November are known for being Nepal’s peak and the best time to go trekking. The monsoon rains have cleared the sky of dust and the views are often spectacular. The valleys are still green and the weather is mild so trekking is far more enjoyable at this time of year.
Traditionally September is known as being a peak trekking month, however in recent years the monsoon rains have hung on until mid-September. Likewise December was traditionally known as a winter month but the first half of December in recent years has been good for trekking while the latter half is very much a winter month.
The only downside to this time of year and trekking is that the popular treks also tend to be full of trekkers and tourists! Picking a less popular trek can help here if this annoys you.
For those trying to plan you might have issues with early September rains. In my estimation if you want to avoid the rain then it's best to plan a trip to Nepal after the middle of September. Likewise if you want to avoid the possibility of snow blocking trekking paths then it's best to have completed your trek by the middle of December.
Always keep in mind – it's the weather and it's often unpredictable, especially in the mountains.
Temperatures (2000m avg) have highs around 25+ degrees and can drop to around 0 degrees.
December, January and February are the traditional winter months of Nepal which make up the winter season. Many years ago November used to be included, but it's rarely so cold in November these days. In winter the skies are clear but it can get very cold especially at night.
Trekkers need to be well prepared for snow and the possibility of turning back due to paths being blocked. This is particularly true on the popular Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp Treks.
Personally I've always enjoyed winter treks in Nepal. Though they've not been without incident. Blocked trail passes are a constant threat in late December and January. A blocked pass might mean you can't continue on or can't get back. Avoiding late December, January and February is best if you are stuck for time on treks with high passes or base camps.
Once again you can get lower off-peak prices for trekking during the winter in Nepal. However winter treks can be vastly more dangerous and can end abruptly due to trails being closed.
Temperatures (2000m avg) have highs around 18+ degrees and can drop well under 0 degrees.
The best time to go trekking in Nepal is between late September – October – November (Autumn). If this is your trip of a lifetime then it's best to leave your trek until October or November so the weather stands the best chance at being great.
The next best period to go trekking in Nepal is between late February – March – April (Spring). There is a danger of snow still being on the passes in February. It can also rain (especially the Annapurna side of things) in March or April. The rain during this period usually lasts an hour or so. The great positive for trekking at this time of year is that there are fewer tourists and you do get a lot green valleys, wildlife and the same great mountain views.
» Get the right travel insurance: It's vitally important to get the right travel insurance for trekking in Nepal. Anything can and does happen in the mountains. The weather can change in a matter of minutes and leave you stranded. Do read my page on getting the best travel insurance for Nepal.
» Don't skimp on budget : If this is your trip of a lifetime that you are only going to do once, then make it count. Don't try to squeeze for the cheapest guide service in the country (don't get cheated either) as you'll come away with with a poor experience. It does really pay to have the right guide. Not only can they show you the best routes, wildlife, nature and mountains but they'll also know what to do in an emergency. Do read my article on how to choose a trekking guide in Nepal.
» Choose your trek carefully: Just because Everest Base Camp is the most widely known doesn't mean you “have to do Everest”. Short treks like Mardi Himal, or long epic treks like the Annapurna Circuit can offer so much as well. This is especially true if the weather is not great. Annapurna treks are easier to change around at the last minute than Everest treks! See my lists of treks in Nepal.
» Explore more: There's more to Nepal than just trekking. If possible add in some historical culture too. Or, try historical culture mixed with hikes like those around Dhulikhel. There's lots to do in Nepal so do check some out in online Nepal guide when planning out how long your want to stay in Nepal.
» Get the right guidebook: Lastly do get my trekking in Nepal guidebook below. It covers trekking better than any other guidebook out there. And well, you did reach this far online so just imagine how much better the book is! Better yet, get my complete Nepal guidebook which includes the whole trekking book as a section!
The above information should give you a brief outline and understanding about when to trekking in Nepal.
I've compiled more detailed articles on the specifics of trekking in Nepal below.
You will find them to be a great place to thoroughly research your trip to Nepal, be sure to bookmark so ou don't forget them and do share them with others so you can help them too!
|You might find my following free guides helpful:|
My guide on trekking in Nepal
|Check out my guide on equipment & gear needed for trekking in Nepal|
|Check out my list of treks to do in Nepal complete with maps||Check out my guide on how to travel overland into Tibet for a lot more!|
|How to choose a trekking guide in Nepal||My Day by day account of trekking to Everest Base Camp in the off season (winter)|
|Check out my How to travel overland into Nepal guide||Check out my country Guide to Nepal|
Liked this page? You'll love my trekking book! It's a hands on trekking guidebook that's better than the rest. Yes, really!
In the book I cover all the popular treks in Nepal with step-by-step accuracy using scalable maps, photographs and travel tested up-to-date trekking information.
Just like my other guidebooks to Nepal it's an interactive & printable guidebook like no other.
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