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Best months for trekking in Nepal

Best months for Trekking in Nepal:

Which are the best months for trekking in Nepal? The answer is: it depends…

Usually Spring (March through May) and Autumn (October and November) are considered the best times for trekking in Nepal. However, it is recommended to wait until Summer to trek in the rain-shadow regions such as Upper Dolpo and Upper Mustang.

Officially, Monsoon begins around June 7 and lasts until around October 2. And Winter lasts from late November to February. So, technically, avoiding these months is advised. But, in 2022, the monsoons extended well into the Autumn season causing landslides in the Manaslu region and in other places. And in 2023, even until February, which is well past peak Winter it didn’t snow in most high places of Nepal besides light snow in Western Nepal. So one should expect variations every year.

List of treks and ideal month for trekking:

According to my experience, the following are the best months for trekking in Nepal. Let me qualify the following list by mentioning that due to the recent changes in climate, historical patterns do NOT hold and one-off weather induced events are now becoming more common.

Annapurna Skyline Trek: January, February, March, April, May, October, November and December.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek: March, April and October, November and December (Avalanches can be an objective risk in the Summer – late April, May and June)

Annapurna Circuit Trek: April, May, June, October and November.

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: late April, May, October and November.

Everest Base Camp Trek, and Everest Fast-paced Trek: March, April, May, October, November, December.

Everest Three Passes Trek: late April, May, October and November.

Gokyo Lakes Trek: March, April, May, October, November, December.

Island Peak Climb: April, May, October and November

Khopra Ridge Trek: March, April, May, October, November, December.

Langtang only trek: March, April, May, October, November, December

Langtang and Gosaikunda Lakes Trek: April, May, October, November, December

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek: late April, May, October and November.

Manaslu Circuit Trek: April, May, October and November

Makalu Base Camp Trek: late April, May, October and November.

Pikey Peak Trek: March, April, May, October and November.

Tsum Valley Trek: March, April, May, October and November.

Tengboche Monastery Trek: March, April, May, October, November and December

Ultimate Everest Trek: late April, May, October and November.

Upper Mustang Trek: April, May, June, July, August, September and October.

Upper Dolpo Trek: late May, June, July, August and September.

Remember, if your trek involves crossing a high pass (besides the Renjola and Chola passes in the Everest region which are quite busy), try to plan your trip for late April and May or late October and November. If your trek involves trekking in the high rain-shadow regions of Nepal (Upper Dolpo and Humla), plan for those treks in late May through early October.

Seasons of Nepal:

While most countries have four seasons, Nepal has six “ritus” (literal translation – season). They are:

  • Basanta Ritu (Spring and pre-Summer): mid-March to mid-May
  • Grishma Ritu (Summer and pre-Monsoon): mid-May to mid-July
  • Barsha Ritu (Monsoon and pre-Autumn): mid-July to mid-September
  • Sharad Ritu (Post monsoon and Autumn): mid-September to mid-November
  • Hemanta Ritu (Winter): mid-November to mid-January
  • Shishir Ritu (Winter to pre-Spring): mid-January to mid-MarchAverage monthly temperature by altitude:

Average monthly breakdown of Minimum/Maximum temperatures in Nepal are listed below:

(Elevation in meters and temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit)

Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Kathmandu 61/86 61/83 58/79 45/72 34/68 34/65 40/70 46/85 54/90
2,000 m 56/72 50/70 40/63 34/58 32/56 34/57 39/65 45/72 54/74
3,000 m 52/66 43/65 34/60 28/55 27/54 30/55 36/61 41/66 47/68
4,000 m 34/56 25/54 18/46 14/43 11/39 14/41 20/48 27/54 29/56
5,000 m 27/50 16/47 9/43 5/40 -4/38 5/40 14/45 20/52 27/61

 

(Elevation in meters and temperatures in degrees Centigrade)

Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May
Kathmandu 16/30 18/29 15/28 8/23 2/20 3/18 5/20 8/30 13/33
2,000 m 13/23 10/25 5/18 3/15 0/13 2/16 4/18 7/22 13/24
3,000 m 12/19 6/20 -1/16 -2/13 -1/12 -1/13 3/17 5/18 9/20
4,000 m 3/13 -3/12 -6/9 -10/6 -9/4 -10/5 -7/8 -3/12 -1/14
5,000 m -3/10 -8/10 -12/8 -8/4 -20/3 -7/4 -10/7 -2/11 -2/16

Average monthly precipitation in Kathmandu and Pokhara:

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation.

Rainfall Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Kathmandu .3” .4” .3” .6” 1.8” 4.3” 7.3” 6.3” 4.1” 1.2” .1” .2”
Pokhara .4” .4” .4” .6” 1.6” 4.8” 8.4” 6.9” 4.6” 1.6” .2” .2”

Lumle near Pokhara is the wettest region of Nepal receiving 5,550 mm of rain annually. The hills just south of Makalu is the second wettest region of Nepal. Similarly, the higher areas of Mustang, Dolpo, Manang and Jumla are the driest regions of Nepal barely receiving 250mm of annual rainfall.

 

Reference: Meteorological Forecasting Division, Nepal – http://mfd.gov.np/

 

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