WHEN TO TREK &
TO GO IN NEPAL
There are two major factors to weigh as you decide
when to go to Nepal: crowds and weather. As a general
rule, the better the weather, the more people come
to Nepal to go trekking. During the high tourist season
in October and November, flights and hotels are fully
booked and hotels and trails in the hills can be horrendously
During autumn the nights are cold in
the mountains, but the bright sun makes for pleasant
day temperatures - in the high 20s° C, falling
to 5° C at night, between 2500 meters and 3500
meters. At higher altitudes temperatures range from
about 20° C down to -10° C. Mornings are usually
clear with clouds building up during the afternoon,
disappearing at night to reveal spectacular starry
skies. During winter it is about 10 degrees colder.
Early December usually has a lull, but this is also
a good trekking season. The Christmas period is cold,
but this is the holiday season in Japan and Australia
and these nationalities dominate flights and hotels.
High passes, especially Thorong La(5416m) on the Around
Annapurna trek Everest Region; Kongma La Pass(5545m),
Chola Pass (5335m) and Renjo Pass 5420m and Laurabina
Pass(4600m), Ganja La Pass(5106m) on the Gosainkund
trek are usually closed from late November to March.
February is still cold; though less so as the spring
trekking season of March and April approaches. The
Middle Hills, especially around Pokhara, are full
of dust and haze in April and May, but the high country
is usually clear. Trekking tapers off in the heat
of May except at high elevations.
The monsoon is a good time to visit Kathmandu, but
there are few trekkers among those who come. A monsoon
trek is possible if you are willing to put up with
the rain, leeches, slippery trails and lousy mountain
views. Flights operate throughout the monsoon to Lukla,
Jumla and Jomsom, so it is possible to fly in and
trek above the leech line. Many of the new treks to
recently opened restricted areas are good summer treks.
Mustang and Simikot are partially in the Himalayan
rain shadow; so trekking conditions are good throughout
the monsoon season. Most of the restricted area treks
are impossible during the winter season. Climate
Nepal has four distinct seasons. Spring,
from March to May, is warm and dusty with rain showers.
Summer, from June to August, is the monsoon season
when the hills turn lush and green. Autumn, from September
to November, is cool with clear skies, and is the
most popular trekking season. In winter, from December
to February, it is cold at night and can be foggy
in the early morning, but afternoons are usually clear
and pleasant, though there is occasional snow in the
mountains.Because Nepal is quite far south (at the
same latitude as Miami and Cairo) the weather is warmer
and winter is much milder at lower elevations, including
Kathmandu at 1400 metres. It rarely snows below 2000
metres. The monsoon in the Bay of Bengal governs the
weather pattern. The monsoon creates a rainy season
from the middle of June to the middle of September.
It is hot during the monsoon and it rains almost every
day, but it is a considerate rain, limiting itself
mostly to the night. During this season, trekking
in most of Nepal is difficult and uncomfortable. Clouds
usually hide the mountains and the trails are muddy
and infested with leeches. It usually does not rain
for more than one or two days during the entire autumn
season from mid-October to mid-December. During winter
and spring there may be a week or so of rainy evenings
and occasional thunderstorms blanket the hills with
snow. The Himalaya makes its own localized weather,
which varies significantly over a distance of a few
km. Despite the sanguine assurances of Radio Nepal
that the weather will be "...mainly fair throughout
the kingdom", always expect clouds in the afternoon
and be prepared for occasional rain. Most of the precipitation
in the Himalaya occurs during the summer monsoon.
There is less snow on the mountains and on many of
the high trails during winter. Everest itself is black
rock during the trekking season, becoming snow-covered
only during summer. There are always exceptions to
this weather pattern, so be prepared for extremes.
Winter snowstorms in December and January may make
an early spring pass crossing difficult and can present
an avalanche danger, especially on the approach to
the Annapurna Sanctuary. In Kathmandu, spring and
autumn days are comfortable and the evenings are cool,
usually requiring a light jacket or pullover. Winter
in Kathmandu brings cold foggy mornings and clear
evenings, but pleasant day temperatures with brilliant
sunshine most days after the morning fog has lifted.
It never snows in Kathmandu, though there is frost
on cold nights in January and February. The hottest
month is May, just before the rains start. Temperatures
in the Everest Region average 20 to 30° F (10
to 15° C) colder than the above figures up to
about 14,000 feet, the highest point reached on a
short Everest trek. Near Pokhara, temperatures are
5 to 10° F (3 to 5° C) warmer than Kathmandu.
Remember that it will often feel quite cold because
you will be outdoors all day.
FOUR MAJOR SEASON
Autumn (Mid September to November)
: following the monsoon the skies are generally
very clear, the days warm and the evening cool. This
makes an ideal time to trek or climb at higher altitudes.
This is Nepal most popular season.
Winter (December to February) :
Generally you enjoy the clear skies with crisp days
but cold night at higher altitude. A great time to
trek one or two week lower and mid altitude trails,
where the temperature still remain pleasant and with
fewer trekkers on the trail.
Spring March to Late May : This
season present a flora spectacular with the blossoming
of the giant rhododendron, the day are warmer which
makes higher altitude trekking in particular more
Summer June to early September :
This is the ideal time for traveling in the INDIAN,
TIBETAN HIMALAYA and in Nepal Upper Mustang, Dolpa
Upper, Manang Nar Phu. As the regions are generally
shadowed from seasonal rain. Nepal experience monsoon
rains from late May through to august so this season
is unsuitable for Trekking in Nepal.