Trekking in Nepal at any time of the year is beautiful in its way. Every season brings a different kind of flavors and experience for the travelers. So, if you keep your options open, you are in for more than what you expected. People mostly travel in Nepal during the spring and autumn season due to its moderate climate and beautiful mountain views. However, winter offers a different ambiance than the spring and autumn season in Nepal. Snows are one of the main factors which you may not see in another season however, that only does not make why trekking in the winter is best. Here, we will explore different factors of trekking in Nepal during the winter season. We will discuss the pros and cons of trekking in the winter season in Nepal and the best winter treks in Nepal in this blog.
Before moving on further, find out why you should go for trekking in Nepal during the winter season.
Trekking during this time of the year is gentler to your body than you expect
The trails are relatively less crowded thus you can have the trail to yourself
The views of the mountains are crystal clear, so you will get to capture splendid and picturesque sights of the mountains
Since there will be less traffic, accommodation accessibility is higher
The chance of encountering locals on the route is higher since they will come out to work in their fields.
Fewer chances of encountering bugs on the trail
Foods taste tastier since you will be eating it warm and freshly prepared
Along with that, as much as there are pros to something there are always some cons to it too. Hence, with the pros, there are some cons to going hiking in the winter.
Some of the cons of doing treks in winter in Nepal are as follows:
Extreme cold Temperature
Higher chances of snow blocking the high altitude trails
Will have to carry heavy trekking gears than necessary
Possibility of flight delays and cancellation
So these are some of the diddling features of trekking in the winter. But do not worry, because we have some expert tips as well which will help you to do trekking in the winter season. Winters in the Himalayas are quite crucial and it is very necessary to prepare beforehand. Before that, we suggest you to not think the cold in winter is unbearable. When you are organized with the right clothing and gear, it is not hard to beat the cold weather.
Bring Appropriate Clothing
When trekking during the winter season in Nepal, the foremost important thing is to pack warm clothes. It is very important to dress as per the weather condition of the place you will be trekking. Hence, packing the right clothing is very important. Furthermore, if you are trekking when the temperature is -15 degrees Celsius or lower, the general rule is the wear at least six layers of clothing. But if the temperature drops down by 10 degrees, then it is okay to remove one layer of clothing. But do not ever remove 3 or more layers of clothing just because you are already feeling warm or hot.
Do not ever bring woolen or cotton clothes
Woolen or cotton clothes for trekking is not advisable even if it is not the winter season. Woolen clothes soak the sweat and make the clothes wet which later on becomes the reason for catching a cold. And being sick while in the mountains is not a fond thing to happen. So instead of woolen clothes, you can bring polyester clothes that are much more suitable for trekking. Woolen clothes are bulgy and heavy too thus if you wear more than two layers, it will become difficult to move. But polyester is thin yet warm. So even if you wear more than 3 or 4 layers of clothes it will still be comfortable to move.
Drink plenty of water while trekking
Drinking water is very important while trekking. We know drinking water during the winter season is not a frequent thing we do. But while trekking staying hydrated is very important thus, you should drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. You can use this tip while trekking in other seasons as well.
Bring only the right gears for the trek
During winter, the trails at some level covered by snow which makes it difficult to approach the next destination. Also, your shoes and hiking pants will get soaked too. So to prevent these things from happening, we would suggest you bring waterproof gears. We advise bringing waterproof hiking shoes with a strong grip, gaiters, crampons or microspikes, and trekking poles. These gears are available to rent as well.
Avoid eating non-veg meals and drink lots of hot soups
When you are at high altitude, it is difficult to digest certain foods. And that certain meal would be non-veg meals. It takes a lot of time for non-veg meals to digest and it builds up the pressure too. And when your stomach is bloating it is difficult to approach the trek. So we would suggest eating lighter and soupy meals rather than eating heavier meals.
So these are some expert tips you should hold on to if you are thinking of doing trekking in the winter season. Trekking is a fun activity but it has been done with care and planning. There are plenty of chances when you can come across unpredictable events. So we advise you to do the planning and gather as much information you can gather regarding treks for the winter season. It will be better for your smooth vacation.
After going through the above information you must be inspired to do trekking in the winter season. Trust me, winter except for its harsh weather, is one of the best times to do trekking. You will love exploring Himalayan trails of Nepal during the winter season. The trails during this time of the years look like a fantasy world. So without any further ado, let’s check out 15 winter treks in Nepal regionally.
Everest Region Best Winter Treks in Nepal:-
1. Everest View Trek
Among numerous treks in the Everest region, the first one we suggest is Everest View Trek for the winter season. In this trek, you get the chance to applaud the magnificence of Mt Everest and its neighboring tops in its finest form. Likewise, you will get to experience the blend of the delightful nature and the different societies of the Sherpa group residing in Khumbu valley.
On the same note, you will get to encounter superb mountain views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Nuptse, and Mt. Thamserku, Mt Ama Dablam, Mt Lhotse, and various others. Similarly, you will also get to enjoy the cheerful nature of Namche Bazaar. Everest View Trek is a short gateway from Kathmandu and perfect for winter treks in Nepal. It does not require you to go high altitude thus it is an easy trek. Also, in this trek, you can enjoy an encounter with the bona fide mountain life.
2. Everest Base Camp Trek
Everybody is aware of the beauty of Everest Base Camp Trek. It stands 8848 meters above ocean level and is the dream destination for many explorers and globe-trotters from everywhere throughout the world. This trek will bring you into probably the most seasoned and most prized spots on earth. In this trek, you will see the stunning Mountain View, transcending icy glaciers and forested slopes. Also, experience the excellence of nature and local Sherpa culture while traversing through this route. Similarly, the EBC trek is a great way to get close to the greatness of Mount Everest.
For the genuine traveler, there is nothing that beats Everest base camp trekking for the absolute best sights of the mountains. This is a bit tough to do in the winter season due to extreme cold weather and snow. However, it is a doable trek with appropriate trekking clothing and gear. And the view of the Everest range after the hard walk is worthwhile. Due to heavy clouds, the flight to Lukla can disturb your journey but it will not halt your trek. All in all, it is a beautiful winter trek in Nepal that offers incredible beauty of the mountain.
3. Gokyo Lakes Trek
Everest Gokyo Lake Trek is one of the best treks in Nepal. You may wonder this must to a tough trek to do while in the winter season. But do not worry, because it is not. It is a moderate trek just like Everest Base Camp trek. Both occur in Khumbu valley and gives the pleasure of being in the purlieu of the mountains. However, in Gokyo Lakes trek, you will get to enjoy the serenity of Himalayan lakes.
The journey is astonishing. Moreover, during the winter season, the Gokyo Lakes are covered in ice and makes a perfect ice rink. So if you a nice ice skater and can do ice skating then you are welcome to do that. The crystalline state of the Gokyo Lakes is truly breathtaking around wintertime. If Lakes are your forte and snow do not bother you, then do go for Gokyo Lakes trek during the winter season. The pristine sights are awesome and will surely amaze you.
4. Pikey Peak Trek
If you compare the picture of Pikey peak during spring or autumn or even in the summer season with the winter season, you will be amazed how different the same place will look at a different time of the year. This is the same for every trekking treks in Nepal. But most of the trekking trails around the winter season are close due to extreme weather. But since pikey peak is lies at the 4065M above sea level it is one of the easiest treks in Nepal.
Also, it is one of the shortest treks in the Khumbu valley too. During the winter season, the snow level is quite high, but the 360-degree view Himalayas of Nepal from the top of the peak is worth the hike. Pikey peak is one of the best viewpoints to watch picturesque mountain sceneries. Additionally, it is also one of the best places to watch sunsets and sunrise.
Annapurna Region for Winter Trek
5. Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Among many treks that fall in the Annapurna region, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the best treks for winter. This trek carries you closer to the mountain peaks that stand over 7,000m and 8,000m above sea level. This goes through quintessential galore of Mother Nature. You will traverse through Annapurna Conservation Area exploring the natural habitation of flora and fauna.
Similarly, on the trek, you will also explore the quintessential cultural background of this region. ABC trek during spring and autumn season is quite crowded. Hence other benefits of doing this trek in winter are less traffic on the trek. Overall, it is an amazing trek that incorporates scenic rice fields, bright rhododendron woods, and dazzling mountain scenes.
6. Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is one of the new trekking routes in the Annapurna region. It is popular as off the beaten trek and for its fairy tale like forests. The treks in winter offer obscure and majestic views of snow capped mountain views in the Annapurna region. Furthermore, even if it is an off the beaten trek, it is a moderate trek. So people with no prior experience can also do this trek any time of the year. Also, due to its easy accessibility, domestic trekkers go for Mardi Himal trek in the winter season.
In this trek, you will go through rural villages and explore its authentic cultural values as well. The path also entails awesome mountain views and incorporates the bewildering scene of the locale. To sum up, it is a beautiful trek that includes traversing emerald landscapes and deep forest. And together with these features, the crystal clear mountain views add more delight to the trek. And due to these reasons, it is one of the best winter treks in Nepal.
7. Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill Trek is a short trekking venture in the Annapurna region. This trekking trail is alive all through the year. For this trail, no season is difficult or extreme. It presents a slick bundle that compels the entirety of the best trekking experience in Nepal. Be it mountain vistas or an opportunity to explore the vibrant culture, it has everything. Hence, it is a simple and amazing voyage.
In winter, Poon Hill is blanketed by snow and bears awesome panoramic sights of the mountain range. The journey entails traversing through timberland of fir and maple trees and ultimately proceeds to Ghorepani and Poon Hill. Similarly, you will go over settlements and towns en route. While passing the villages you can watch the conventions and societies of the individuals dwelling in their daily activities. In brief, it is a beautiful trek incorporating exquisite landscape and glorious vistas of mountain.
8. Khopra Ridge Trek
Khopra Ridge Trek is underrated trekking trails of Nepal. The trek includes passing through rural villages, experiencing joyous treks in the Annapurna region. It contains all the components of a great trekking trail. A beautiful journey that includes passing ethnic towns, experiencing wild vegetation, mountainous grandeur, and delightful experience. Since it is a new trial, many are unfamiliar with the trail.
However, it is a moderate trek and perfect for doing in the winter season too. You will come across the wonderful vistas of Himalayan pinnacles like Nilgiri, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Hiunchuli and so on. To the entirety, the trek offers a dazzling overhang to watch the Himalayas.
9. Dhampus Sarangkot Trek
Dhampus Sarangkot Trek is one of the celebrated trekking routes in Nepal. The journey is short and very easy so you can do this easily with no glitch. Also, it is a doable trek for all age group of people. Besides, since, we are discussing winter treks, this trek is one of the appropriate treks to do in the winter season. As it is a short trek, you do not have to pack heavy trekking bags even in the winter season.
Thus you will get to enjoy your experience fully without having to worry about heavy bags. Also, frequent encounters with the locals add more meanings to your journey. On the whole, it is a pretty awesome trekking destination for trekking in the winter season.
10. Jomsom Muktinath Trek
Jomsom Muktinath is an exemplary trek that incorporates most of the beautiful places in the Annapurna region. In the trek, you will visit, Kagbeni, Poon Hill, Muktinath, Kali Gandaki gorge and Jomsom. The trek takes you from the green and lush valley to high and dry arid desert-like valleys. So to explore this transition during the winter season is quite a delight. It is also doable all through the year, but doing in winter gives you a different picture.
For instance, the dry and arid valley of Muktinath, Jomsom, and Kagbeni, in this time of year, will be covered in a huge pile of snow. Thus, from usual brown scenery, you will get to see snowy white valleys. So we encourage you to explore contrast in the creation of Mother Nature. And opt for a winter adventure in the desert-like landscape of the Annapurna region. Your energy will not go in vain you will love exploring the grandeur of this place.
Langtang Region for Winter Trek
11. Langtang Valley Trek
Another on our list of beautiful winter treks in Nepal includes Langtang Valley Trek. It is quite popular for its large number of glaciers. The region has more than 70 glaciers which you can explore on this trek. More so, the glaciers are not the highlight of this amazing trek.
The authentic Tamang and Sherpa culture, the pristine ambiance of place are some other things that are enchanting to explore too. Moreover, even though, the trek is quite rough and rugged, it is doable all year round and offers emerald mountain vistas. Additionally, trekking in winter in this valley is a delightful sight to see. Similarly, the place offers a vibrant and snowy atmosphere that will feel warm to experience and capture in your memories.
12. Tamang Heritage Trek
Tamang ethnic group is a huge part of Langtang valley. One of the identities of the Langtang valley is warm and pure Tamang community. These indigenous groups are so interesting to know and learn about. The people in the region have their way of living life and own cultural values, traditions, norms, rituals, and culture. Not only are these groups of people awesome, but the place they live in is equally splendid too.
Hence, Tamang heritage trek incorporates the highlight of both features. So if you are looking to enjoy your splendid winter vacation learning new things about the ethnic group of Nepal then you should go for this trek. After all, the mountain vistas and the genuine cultural experience are the pleasure of this trek.
13. Helambu Valley Trek
Helambu Trek is a chance to encounter all the nice elements of Mother Nature. For instance, in this trek, you will see plenty of mountains, knolls, waterfalls, thick forests, and rural villages at the same time. Possessing to its availability close to Kathmandu, Helambu Trek is a short and sweet trekking venture.
Owing up to every requirement to be winter treks in Nepal, Helambu is a complete package for delighting winter experience. The trek involves closet Himalayan Park -Langtang National Park to Kathmandu. Moreover, the trek is an awesome opportunity to experience some uncommon segments of the region. It is a moderate trek hence it is perfect for winter treks. At the same time, it incorporates the perfect combo of nature and culture.
14. Langtang Gosaikunda Lake Trek
Langtang Gosaikunda Trek is a beautiful trek that presents you with the majestic mountain grandeur of mountains and serene lakes. The immaculate and calm lakes out of sight of snow-clad mountains look divine. And to discover these natural gifts amidst the snowy time is gorgeous.
This is not only about exploring tranquil Himalayan Lakes but a euphoric trek. It involves navigating Langtang National Park and various other ethnic settlement towns. We can discover numerous novel greenness and faunas in the valley. Strolling along the rich timberland of rhododendron and bamboo en route is pleasing while passing through one village to another. Altogether, it is an adventure-filled yet perfect trek to do in the winter season.
Winter Best Treks in Nepal around Katmandu region:-
15. Nagarkot Chisapani Trek
The Chisapani Nagarkot Hiking is an incredible way to get yourself near the mountains while as yet remaining near to the capital. It is ideal for individuals who are unable to do weeks long trekking. The Nagarkot Chisapani Hiking is an incredible method to escape from the confusion of the clamoring city. It allows you to submerge yourself in the peacefulness of the indigenous habitat. On the same note, exploring these places during the winter season is amazing. The weather remains perfect at the same time, you will get to see amazing vistas of the Himalayan range. You will stroll along the harsh path that enters through the Shivapuri National Park.
The forests encompassing the climbing way offers a delightful encounter of being near nature. And the scene en route is a remarkable element. Strolling up the stone-cut way, the grounds open up to snow-canvassed mountains transcending out there. All in all, doing this trek in the winter season allows you to check out the brilliance of nature without going far and carrying heavy trekking bag.
All trekking trails mentioned above are easy to moderate trek which we jutted down thinking of the winter conditions. These are easy to do and explore. You are sure to have an awesome time while traveling these beautiful trails. So go ahead and start planning your trek for winter of 2021 or 2022. You are ought to have an incredible time.
Balaram Thapa, an executive director at Nepal Hiking Team had a long journey before making NHT one of the revolutionary tour operators in this competitive field of Tourism. He finished his Bachelor’s degree in Travel and Tourism from Tribhuwan University in the year 2000.
He started his career as a trekking support staff in 1998 and gradually earned a status of trekking leader. He has trekked several trekking routes such as Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Mustang, Makalu, etc. Thus has immense knowledge about the trekking routes of Nepal. Alongside this, he has also organized several tours to Bhutan and Tibet as a tour guide. He has traveled to Germany, France, Switzerland, Poland, Italy promoting Nepal’s tourism.
After earning lots of experience in this field, he wanted to explore his own business ideology. He along with his brother- Ganga Raj Thapa start their own company, Nepal Hiking Team in 2009. He is friendly and works side by side with the staff inspiring and motivating them. He is an expert travel consultant and handles all the concerns of travelers regarding their trip. He inspires people to travel new and unique destinations and implement the same ideology on himself as well.
He started his journey 22 years ago and has immense experience in this field. His passion for traveling has made his 22 years of working journey, a precious phase of his life. And he plans to continue doing this and add more years in it.