This is a detailed guide for those who are willing to do trekking in Nepal in Winter or trekking in Nepal in December and January.
Are you planning to visit Nepal for upcoming winters – during December or January?
Allow us to assist you with the winter whereabouts in Nepal.
Winter’s one of the best seasons to visit Nepal. Winters in Nepal aren’t harsh. Normal indoor heating and a good insulating jacket for the outdoors does the job.
Kathmandu is absolutely blissful in winters. But as you go higher, it temperature falls down gradually..
So, shorter treks at a lower altitude are the best choice.
The temperature is certainly low and it is colder, but since it is dry so you can expect the sky to be clear and also the traffic is less at this point of the year.
And the warm sun in the daytime is absolutely rejuvenating.
Why trek in Winter?
- Best mountain views, clear weather
- Crowd-free trekking trails
- A good offseason discount in good hotels
- The sunny winter days are great for trekking
- Stunning views of snow-capped mountains
- Negligible chance of rainfall
The most popular seasons for trekking in Nepal are during Spring and Autumn. However, trekking in winter has its own benefits.
It is usually dry and you will rarely experience any downpour in December, January, and February.
The sky will be crisp clear and the views amazing. The tall and mighty mountains look their best.
In addition to the astonishing outlook, you will also have no trouble in finding accommodation at a good tea house as the crowd will be very less. You can also get discounts and better hospitality.
The off-season will have lesser fellow trekkers in the trails, creating almost a personalized view for your satisfaction and also for the camera.
Blessed with varying topology within a small area, Nepal has some trekking destinations at lower altitudes which are considered ideal during winters. As lower elevations never get too cold it is a safe choice.
But as the temperature decreases with height, the places at higher elevations have freezing cold temperature. These trekking destinations are not ideal destinations for December and January if you are a novice trekker or if accompanied with children. There is some trek route which is impassable in snow.
Treks with the highest elevation below 4000 m will be far more comfortable and safe.
Also, winter is not prolonged in Nepal, it is quite short. You will experience mild to warm temperatures if you visit Nepal in early December or later in February.
Temperature of some of the popular places in Nepal during Dec – Jan
|Kathmandu||46-70°F (8-21°C)||40-62°F (4-17°C)|
|Pokhara||46-70°F (8-21°C)||45-66°F (7-19°C)|
|Namche Bazaar||20-45°F (-6.50-7.6°C)||18-43°F (-8-6°C)|
|Jomsom||32-59°F (0-15°C)||32-53°F (0-12°C)|
|Chitwan||46-75°F (8-24°C)||44-75°F (7-24°C)|
*All temperatures are average min/max temperatures for the mentioned seasons and can be expected to change due to change in weather.
Best Trek destinations for Winters
As per the popular places mentioned above, there are several trekking packages that will take you to these places. Furthermore, these places are usually the gateways to a lot of trekking destinations.
For instance, if you choose to trek to the Everest Region, there are chances you will reach Namche Bazaar. Likewise, you will experience the serenity and peace at Pokhara on your way to Poon Hill or Annapurna Base Camp.
Here are some interesting and amazing trek destinations for the best experience during the winter of Nepal.
Everest Panorama Trek
Though it is not impossible to trek through the Everest Base Camp, the altitude of 5335 m can be quite challenging in the winters. Due to the sudden drop in temperature at night and in the morning you might find it quite difficult to cope, if you do not pack wisely.
With proper gear and clothing, the temperature should not bother you.
So for first-time trekkers and people who want to keep it comfortable can go for shorter treks nearby.
The eight days Everest Panorama trek will give you an amazing experience.
First, you fly from Kathmandu to Lukla and take a route through Namche Bazaar – the trade center and heart of the Khumbu region, a Sherpa community.
With Namche as the base point, you can move uphill hiking to the beautiful village of Thame. At Thame, you will get the opportunity to explore a picturesque monastery situated on a hilltop.
If you have some more time to spare in this trek, a seven days tour to Tengboche can take you higher in altitude.
If you can consider trekking to Tengboche, you can explore the famous Dawa Choling Gompa monastery, where climbers and trekkers get to visit the Head Lama and receive blessings for a successful trip.
And to add to it, Tengboche offers you an extraordinary close-up view of Ama Dablam – one of the world’s most beautiful mountains.
- Astonishing views of mountain peaks; especially Mt. Everest
- Varying landscape and vegetation in Sagarmatha National Park
- Observance of diversity in flora and fauna
- The famous Sherpa culture and community
- A popular Buddhist monastery at the highest point in the Khumbu region, the Tengboche Monastery
- Experience the unique lifestyle, cuisines, and festivals of the local Sherpa people
The Ghorepani-Poonhill trek is an amazing, short, and easy trek that takes you around the Annapurna region. Starting at Pokhara, the second-largest city of the country, the trek trails lead you to the scenic adventure to the hilltop of height 3210m.
This is one of the most popular short treks suitable for all kind of trekkers.
The best part of this trek is the panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna range. This trek will give you an opportunity to visit the beautiful Gurung villages and experience the cordiality of villagers.
The trekking point starts at Nayapul followed by crossing the Modi Khola river, on the way to Hile. And finally, moving towards the fascinating Ghorepani Village – home to traditionally rich Gurung community.
The next morning, you will be heading towards Poon Hill after a few hour’s walk. The viewpoint will give you an amazing sight of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peaks. It is one of the most breathtaking views of the beautiful Annapurna mountain range.
Ghorepani will be cold in December and January with an average temperature of 2°C.
- An alluring glance of sunrise over the Annapurna range
- Astonishing views of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Machhapuchhre and Lamjung Himal
- Incredible and amiable Gurung Village of Ghorepani
- Experience the distinct tradition and heritage
- Explore the life of the lakeside at Pokhara, one of the most popular tourist holiday destinations in Nepal.
- Pokhara is a great place to relax and enjoy nature as well as several spas and rejuvenation centers.
Langtang Circuit Trek
Langtang is another interesting and popular trek destination in Nepal following the Annapurna and Everest regions. It is a trek that takes you nearest to the Himalayas from the Kathmandu Valley. Langtang Circuit Trek takes you through the various parts of the Langtang region.
The trek begins from Syabrubesi – 117 km away from Kathmandu.
In particular, this can be a great opportunity to explore the lower parts of the Valley, and trails leading to different villages and landscapes. Walking along the trek route will take you through the highest point of Kyanjin Ri.
The viewpoint from Kyanjin-RI gives you a spectacular sight of Mt. Langtang and other consecutive Himalayan ranges.
Moreover, the trek also offers a scenic view of towering waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and lowland glaciers.
Along with the beautiful trail, you will have an equal chance to experience the rich culture of the local Tamang community which is highly influenced by the Tibetan culture. The typical housing style and architecture of this place is commendable.
The month of December and January in Langtang Valley has warm and sunny days. The mountain and the sky are quite open and clear. Visibility is more than 80 percent.
However, the altitude leads to a decrease in temperature and it does get quite colder in comparison to that of Kathmandu Valley.
Trekkers, who are willing to enjoy nature but having a short time in-hand can opt for this trekking route.
This trek can also be ideal for people looking to explore the unique Tamang culture.
- Opportunity to explore the second largest national park in Nepal – Langtang National Park
- Visit the old Tibetan villages and unique Tamang culture
- Great hospitality and homely environment
- Featuring the Tamang traditions, cuisines, and lifestyles
- Spectacular views of the mountain like Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, and Langtang -II
- Round tour to culturally rich villages like Syabrubesi, Reimche, Ghoda Tabela, and Langtang village
Tips for trekking in Nepal in December and January
Despite the opportunities to explore majestic mountains and experience the feeling of tranquility in the base of these mountains, trekking at higher altitudes during winters can be quite adventurous.
If you aren’t a novice trekker, winters should be the best season for enjoying the Himalayas.
Therefore, in order to make your journey easy and comfortable, here are some tips that might come in handy.
- Since the winter is accompanied by cold and snow, you need to prepare yourself for the same. Consider your backpack with clothes that will keep you warm.
- Carry sturdy boots for trekking in the snow to protect your feet.
- Prefer a trek to lower altitudes if it is your first attempt at trekking.
- If you plan trekking to higher altitudes, be prepared with the proper gear, proper training, and of course, a licensed guide.
- Pack wisely, though winter is the first thing that comes to your mind, it is great if you wear it in layers. And, do not miss out on a well insulating jacket.
- Always stay hydrated. Also, drink plenty of water while on the trail and refill your bottle with filtered/boiled water.
- Trekking above the height of 2500 meters will require you to be aware of the Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) symptoms and take necessary preventive measures.
- Learn about the destination, and local communities before heading for the trek. This will help you in understanding their culture and also in communicating with them.
- Hire a guide or go with an experienced group of people.
You never know when you will encounter bad weather high up in the Himalayas.
The weather in Nepal during December and January is usually dry and stable. There are generally clear skies and you will get great views of the mountains. The humidity and precipitation are also low, maintaining excellent weather.
It is, undoubtedly, colder than October and November. But selecting a favorable trekking destination can help you avoid the consequences of going for the odds.
Moreover, appropriate gear, clothing, in addition to the trekking destination, will help reduce the possible risk factors associated with trekking in the Himalayas of Nepal.
The dry weather facilitates trekking in the lower altitudes of Nepal in the months of December and January.
However, treks at higher altitude are generally not recommended for amateur trekkers, this is due to the unexpected weather conditions and snowy (and even blocked) trails and passes.
Also, the trek route during winter has very less crowd so it is possible to enjoy the nature in peace. Therefore, you can get special discounts and focused hospitality at the tea houses of the trail.
The mountains are at their best during winters.
And if you are a winter person but are quite unsure of trekking to higher altitudes, shorter trips as mentioned above also give you the best views. Also, the picturesque view of the mountain vistas minus the hardship is possible at lower altitudes.
Pro Tip: It would be a wise decision to add a couple of days to your trip as the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, resulting in flight delays and changes in schedules.
If you have any queries regarding the trip then feel free to write to us anytime. We will be glad to clear your doubts.