Trekking in Mount Everest

Travel Advice Best Time To Trek In Nepal

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When to visit Nepal

Deciding when to trek in Nepal will depend on your preferred destination, activity, budget and personal preferences. There is a main wet season in Nepal from late May through to early Sept, with the worst monsoons in July and August.

The best time for a Nepal trekking trip tends to be spring or autumn. In spring there are warmer temperatures, the flora and fauna is in full display, the days are long and the skies are clear. In autumn the days are shorter, but the weather is cooler and clearer, there are less visitors about and it’s a great time to avoid the crowds.

Peak seasons

February - May

February to May is the most popular time to trek the Himalayas because of the clear, bright days that appear around this time of year. Just coming out of winter you can still expect the occasional short rain shower, but most days will be fairly stable and dry. Expect this period to be busy in the Everest and Everest Base Camp region, as this is the time of year when most Everest summit attempts occur. Despite the hoards, this is a great time to meet people attempting the summit and to experience the activity and buzz surrounding the other climbing expeditions around you.

Look out for the spectacular Rhododendrons on display during April!

September - October

September to October is also a popular time of year for trekkers as it provides stable and clear weather. The huge bonus of trekking in autumn is most treks offer stunning vistas which, on a clear day, are simply spectacular. Although not the warmest time of the year, this season provides a pleasant temperature for trekking and the nights do not get super cold like they do in winter. You will have to contend with a fair amount of traffic, as the popular routes still get very busy around this time.

Avoid the crowds by choosing a quieter route such as the Gokyo Lakes Trek or the Three Passes Route to Everest Base Camp. Both of these will get you off the beaten track and away from the crowds. Although usually clear, storms occasionally hit during this time of year, and you should bring suitable gear in case of this.

Off peak seasons

November - January

November through to January is the coldest period on the Nepalese calendar, however, for intrepid travellers out there, it can still be an enjoyable time to trek Nepal. Although very cold, the weather is generally stable and dry. The coolness of the weather will very much depend upon how high you want to trek. If you are going to Everest Base Camp, expect overnight temperatures of around -20 to -30 degrees Celsius. However, if you stay down in the valleys, such as around Poon Hill, the temperatures will remain moderate and, if you're the hardy type, you will have no problems. Although far less crowded, remember that many of the popular routes are closed during this period and the daylight hours will be much shorter.

June - August

June through to August is the wettest period in the Himalayas thanks to the monsoon season. Brought on by the warm, moist air coming off the Indian Ocean, the monsoon period is characterized by short, sharp downpours. The tea houses and trails begin to empty out in June and only the hikers looking to trek high altitudes are seen during these months. Even if you are trekking higher in the mountains you will get rain, particularly in wet regions like Everest. Not many foreign trekkers hike during the monsoon period as mud, rain, leeches and a lack of mountain views, put most hikers off. Although not the best time to trek in Nepal, if this is the only period you can go then we would suggest trekking in one of the rain-shadow areas like the Annapurna’s where it remains slightly drier during this period.

Our advice

Whilst it's possible to trek all year-round in Nepal, the best time to trek in Nepal is in the peak seasons as they are warmer, have safer conditions and provide the best opportunity for clear views of the stunning surrounding natural landscapes.

If you don't like the thought of the crowds, then we would suggest taking other less-trodden routes or visiting just outside of the main seasons. The routes will be less busy, and you should still be able to take advantage of the drier months and cheaper flights.

Most tour companies will not trek during the off-peak seasons, as adventure specialists such as Kandoo Adventures will want you to have the best possible, and safest experience of the incredible Himalayas. The team at Kandoo we can arrange private treks during the off-peak seasons for intrepid hikers but would advise only experienced trekkers to trek Nepal during the winter period as the temperatures get very low and many routes will be snow covered and consequently much more technical.

For more information on when the best time to visit Nepal is, check out our Nepal Travel Guide or Mountain IQ’s informative Nepal trekking guide.