The Best Autumn / Spring Hiking,Walking & Treks in Nepal
The Best Autumn Treks in Nepal 2023/2024
Visiting Nepal in December, January or February? Winter is a great season for shorter treks at lower elevations. The temperatures are colder, but if you’re well prepared you can enjoy clear skies and fewer crowds.
The mountain views are best in the winter, with clear weather almost guaranteed
Enjoy some of the most popular treks in Nepal, such as Ghorepani Poon Hill, crowd-free
Get a great bargain on nicer hotels in the low season
Despite the cold nights, the sunny winter days are great for trekking and Hiking
Nepal Guide Info Overview
Although spring and autumn are the most popular times to visit Nepal, trekking in the winter has its distinct advantages. It rarely rains in December, January, and February, so the skies will be crisp and clear. This means the mountain views will be at their best. Because winter is considered the off-season, you will have no trouble getting a bed at tea houses (or cheaper rooms in Nepal’s cities). Plus, the trails will be less crowded, meaning you will have those clear views almost to yourself.
While Nepal’s lower elevations never get especially cold (cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara never see snow), the higher you go, the colder the temperatures. This means that some higher-elevation treks are not ideal in the winter, and some will be impassable with snow. Treks that stay below 4000 meters will be more comfortable, as well as safer. Also, Nepal’s winter is fairly short, so if you visit Nepal in early December or late February, you will likely see mild-to-warm temperatures.
Location December January February
Kathmandu 46-70°F (8-21°C) 40-62°F (4-17°C) 40-67°F (4-19°C)
Pokhara 46-70°F (8-21°C) 45-66°F (7-19°C) 48-70°F (9-21°C)
Namche Bazaar 20-45°F (-6.50-7.6°C) 18-43°F (-8-6°C) 21-43°F (-6-6°C)
Jomsom 32-59°F (0-15°C) 32-53°F (0-12°C) 33-55°F (1-13°C)
Chitwan 46-75°F (8-24°C) 44-75°F (7-24°C) 46-79°F (8-26°C)
*Temperatures shown are average min/max temperatures for those months
Everest Panorama Trek 2017/ 2018
While it is possible to trek all the way to Everest Base Camp in the winter, the high altitude (5335 meters) makes this trek even more challenging in the winter due to the cold temperatures. For a more comfortable taste of the Everest region, you could try one of the shorter treks nearby.
In five days, you can fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, and then trek to Namche Bazaar, the bustling heartland of Sherpa culture. With Namche as your base, you can hike to the beautiful village of Thame, with a picturesque monastery perched high up on the cliffs. With seven days, you can continue on to Tengboche.
In Tengboche, you can visit the famous monastery of Dawa Choling Gompa, where climbers and trekkers traditionally visit the Head Lama to receive his blessings for a successful trip. Tengboche also offers extraordinary close-up views of Ama Dablam, a deserving candidate for the world’s most beautiful mountain.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek 2023
The Ghorepani Poon Hill trek is a popular short trek in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including panoramic vistas of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. The trek is named after the village of Ghorepani, which serves as a base for hikers.
Here is a brief itinerary for the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek:
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Take some time to explore the city and make necessary preparations for the trek. You may need to obtain necessary permits and equipment.
Day 2: Kathmandu to Pokhara
Take a scenic drive or a short domestic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a beautiful lakeside city and the gateway to the Annapurna region. Spend the rest of the day exploring Pokhara and preparing for the trek.
Day 3: Pokhara to Tikhedhunga
Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, the starting point of the trek. Begin your hike and follow the trail along the Modi Khola river. Pass through picturesque villages and terraced fields, eventually reaching Tikhedhunga where you’ll spend the night.
Day 4: Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani
Continue your trek, ascending steep stone steps known as the “Ulleri staircase.” The trail takes you through dense rhododendron forests, offering glimpses of beautiful waterfalls. Reach the village of Ghorepani, where you’ll stay overnight.
Day 5: Ghorepani to Poon Hill to Tadapani
Wake up early in the morning and hike to Poon Hill (3,210 meters). From the summit, you’ll witness a breathtaking sunrise over the Himalayas, including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Descend back to Ghorepani and have breakfast before continuing your trek to Tadapani, passing through forests and charming Gurung villages.
Day 6: Tadapani to Ghandruk
The trail descends through a lush forest of rhododendrons to Ghandruk, a traditional Gurung village. Enjoy the cultural experience and learn about the local way of life. Ghandruk offers stunning views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machapuchare.
Day 7: Ghandruk to Nayapul and return to Pokhara
Descend further down to Nayapul, passing through terraced fields and small villages. From Nayapul, drive back to Pokhara. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring Pokhara’s lakeside area.
Day 8: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Return to Kathmandu from Pokhara, either by a scenic flight or a drive. Enjoy your last day in Nepal’s capital city, exploring the cultural sites, shopping for souvenirs, or simply relaxing.
Day 9: Departure
It’s time to say goodbye to Nepal. Depart from Kathmandu and head back home, carrying memories of the beautiful Ghorepani Poon Hill trek.
Please note that this is a general itinerary, and the actual duration and details of the trek may vary depending on your preferences, fitness level, and weather conditions. It’s always recommended to consult with a local trekking agency or guide for the most up-to-date and personalized information for your trip.
Khopra Danda Trek
While the Poon Hill trek can be done in as little as three days if you have more time you can add on the Khopra Danda extension. It’s a lesser-known trek even in the peak seasons, so during the winter, you are likely to have the trails all to yourself. The route follows the same path as the Poon Hill trek for the first couple of days, before a local trail takes you down into the valley north of Ghorepani, before climbing up to Khopra Ridge (3640 meters). You’ll have great views of peaks such as Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) on this trek.
Kathmandu Valley Trek
The Kathmandu Valley stays relatively mild throughout the winter, making it an ideal place to enjoy some shorter hikes at lower altitudes. A great 2-3 day trek will take you from Kathmandu city to Nagarkot, then on to Dhulikhel, and down to Bhaktapur. Nagarkot and Dhulikhel are old Newari towns just outside the Valley, and when the weather is clear, as it should be in the winter, the Himalayan views are spectacular. There are a variety of cozy guesthouses and homestays in both places, to suit any budget. For a luxurious experience, try Dwarika’s Dhulikhel; for a more budget-friendly option, head to the Nagarkot Farmhouse.
There are plenty of good day hikes around the Kathmandu Valley, as well, allowing you to return to your well-heated Kathmandu hotel at the end of each day. The Valley’s highest peaks, such as Phulchoki and Champadevi, make for good, challenging day hikes with spectacular city and mountain views, as does a hike in the Shivapuri National Park.
For something a little different, head south to the Chitwan National Park on Nepal’s flat plains, where it never gets too cold. While most tourists come to see the elephants and rhinos in the park, there are also some good hiking options. The Chitwan Hills Trail takes you to Siraichalai Hill, one of the highest hills in the Mahabharata range (1,945 meters). From there, sunrise and sunset is especially spectacular, and the views take in the plains as well as Himalayan peaks in the distance.
Preparation for all weather is necessary when trekking in Nepal at any time of year, but in the winter it is especially important to have enough warm layers. Daytime temperatures in Nepal can be warm in winter, yet drop to below freezing at higher elevations. You will likely need to take your coat off during the day while you’re trekking, so a good down coat is ideal. Down jackets are light to carry and will keep you warm when the sun goes down. Good woolen hats, gloves, socks, and scarves are also essential.
Almost all winter equipment can be bought or rented at one of the trekking shops in Thamel, Kathmandu. Depending on how long you’ll be trekking for and how cold it gets, it doesn’t hurt to bring your own winter gear, as well. While tea houses provide blankets, if you have a compact sleeping bag of your own, it is advisable to bring this for extra warmth.
Here’s a helpful list of essential winter gear to bring to Nepal:
A warm winter sleeping bag (ideally down)
A few pairs of warm socks
Layers (t-shirt, long-sleeved, and down jacket)
A pair of warm gloves and a toque
Sunscreen and sunglasses
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