- July 5, 2019
- by Mantra Adventure
Nepal is the unanimous choice when it comes to trekking or any sorts of mountaineering activities. The country’s unique topography has given it a wealth of natural resources and the vast lands have given rise to a variety of rich cultures. And what better way to enjoy it all than to trek and observe them in all their natural glory. While trekking has been the go-to for tourists that come to visit Nepal, trekkers also get plenty of choices to choose their ideal trip. Considering the interest of our valued clients from all around the world we have opted Top 5 best winter treks in Nepal. However, choosing the appropriate season that matches their need for travel is also necessary.
The best seasons for Trekking in Nepal are considered to be spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). Spring is when the flowers are in full bloom, the forests are vivid green, and the hills are lush. Autumn is when the rainy season has ended and traveling is easy again. Monsoon (June to August) and winter (December to February) are said to be less than ideal time to trek. However, this widespread belief is not the truth.
A Yes to Trekking in Nepal in winter
Many people falsely assume that trekking in Nepal cannot be done in the winter. While nothing could be further away from the truth as there are a number of options to prove the point. Treks that do not go to very high altitudes can be easily done in the winters and even a few higher-altitude treks are possible as well.
Trekking in winter does pose a risk but there are many benefits as well. Since it does not usually rain in the winters, the views are clear and the snow-covered peaks stand out beautifully. It is especially pleasant during the daytime in winters, since the sun and the body heat produced while walking help keep trekkers warm with minimal winter clothing.
As winter is considered off-season for Trekking in Nepal, the popular treks are a lot less crowded, providing the trekkers with unimpeded roads and views of the landscape. This also means that rooms in lodges, homestays, and hotels on the way are less likely to be unavailable. The wintry nights will also add a charming coziness to the place with fireplaces and thick blankets along with steaming mugs of tea.
Find The List of Best Winter Treks in Nepal
Some treks that can be done in the winter are Everest Panorama Trek, Ghorepani-Poon Hill Trek, Mardi Himal Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, and Chisapani-Nagarkot Trek.
This trek is considered to be one of the best winter treks in Nepal and takes around a week to complete. It is relatively cheap at around US$990 and is easy to complete. As its name suggests, it provides a breathtaking view of the highest mountain in the world, the Mt. Everest (8848 m). Beginning from Lukla, the trek crosses Phakding and Namche Bazar through the Sagarmatha National Park to reach the Tengboche Monastery. Tengboche monastery at 3860 m is the highest altitude one reaches on the trek and it is one of the most illustrious monasteries in Nepal. Set against a backdrop of Mt. Ama Dablam (6856 m), the monastery is decorated with colorful prayer flags. And getting to the view of some of the tallest gorgeous peaks including the Mt. Everest, Lhotse (8414 m), Nuptse (7861 m); and Ama Dablam (6856 m) is the reward for anybody who does this trek.
2. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek with Chitwan Tour
Located in the famous Annapurna region, this trip combines the popular Ghorepani Poonhill Trek (highly recommended best winter treks in Nepal) with another popular Chitwan Tour. Beginning from Pokhara, the trek heads towards Ghorepani via Ulleri. Climbing up to the viewpoint at Poon Hill at 3210 m, the highest elevation on the trek is an easy journey that can be taken by people of any age and trekking experience. The viewpoint also provides panoramic views of mountains including Annapurna (8091 m), Manaslu (8163 m), Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Nilgiri (7061 m), Machhapuchhre (Fishtail|6997 m), and Hiunchuli (6441 m). The local Gurung, Magar, and Thakali cultures also make this a cultural haven for travelers.
Later, the trip heads south to the plain lands of Terai and settles at the tropical forests in the Chitwan National Park. The national park is wealthy in flora and fauna that people from all over the world come to see. Jungle safaris consisting of elephant ride through the trees and grasslands to see endangered and protected species like one-horned rhinos and Bengal tigers is an adventure of a lifetime!
Mardi Himal Trek is another short and simple one that can be easily done in the winter. That’s why it has become another best winter treks in Nepal. It usually takes about 10 days to complete and costs around US$900. The less-known trek begins from Pokhara and heads to Forest Camp followed by High Camp and the Mardi Himal Base Camp. Mardi Himal Base Camp at 4500 m provides stunning views of the Mardi Himal (5553 m), Machhapuchhre (6997 m), Annapurna, and Hiunchuli. Because it was only recently opened for trekking, there are not a lot of people there even during warmer seasons, so in winter it is definitely peaceful and uncrowded. As the trail only rises gradually, the elevation does not pose a problem and even though snow can fall thickly during the winter, the trails are still easy to navigate.
While the trails on the EBC Trek will be snowy during the winter, experienced trekkers can complete it without any problem. However, trekkers need to take caution as the temperature at night reaches minus 10-15 Celsius degrees and it makes a little bit hard. Even though, We listed this trekking package in the best winter treks in Nepal because as we found some of the people from all around the world who want to make their best moment of life reaching Everest base camp in such auspicious occasions like Christmas and Newyear. The trek begins as you land at the Lukla Airport and follows the Bhote Koshi River to Namche Bazaar. Hugging the Imja River, the trails head east to Tengboche and settle at Pangboche. Thereon, the trek continues along Khumbu Glacier to reach the Everest Base Camp which is also the highest point on the trek at 5364m. The Sherpa ethnic settlements on the way in villages like Lukla, Namche, and Gorakshep are wonderful cultural sites vying for attention alongside natural gems like the Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Imja Tse. A side trip to Kalapatthar (5545 m) to get an even clearer view of the Everest (8848m), is possible even in winter. The cost of the EBC trek starts at around US$1350 and the trip takes about two weeks to complete.
This is one of the shortest but best winter treks in Nepal available with some of the best views. It usually takes only under a week to complete and costs considerably less as well. Still, trekkers will get to see grand views of mountains like Manaslu (8163 m), Ganesh (7422 m), and Gaurishankar (7134 m). Beginning from Sundarijal, the trail climbs up through Shivapuri National Park all the way to Shivapuri Mountain at 2732 m. From here, one gets to not only see the mountains but also get a sweeping view of Kathmandu from high above. In winters, there can be snow on the trail but it is not much of a hindrance. At Chisapani, after going through beautiful villages and forests, the sunrise coming from behind the Everest, Langtang, and Ganesh Himal ranges welcome the travelers. From here, the trek moves on to Nagarkot, from where the sunrise view is also absolutely breathtaking.
Useful Information for Trekking in Nepal in winter
Things to Pack
Equipped with warm clothes like down jackets, and thick hats, gloves, and socks, anybody can trek in Nepal during the cold months without a hitch. In addition, proper winter trekking shoes with good traction for icy and snowy paths are also important. Thermal undergarments, waterproof clothes in case of snowfall, and windcheaters for cold wind are additional items to bring if required. A sub-zero temperature sleeping bag that is well-insulated is a must. Trekking poles to get better stability and avoid slipping on snow or even on dry paths are always recommended.
Precautions and Preparations
Trekkers should be careful that they do not unnecessarily spend time in the cold and in windy places as this could result in pneumonia or frostbite. But with proper clothing, this is not a big problem. Packing cold medicine and cough drops is a wise thing to do. Getting medical insurance is imperative for any trek – this would include emergency rescue services if altitude sickness or severe cold sets in. If the weather becomes bad, such as with snowstorms and blizzards, helicopters and guides can help a trekker easily get back to safety. So, with the proper precautions, trekking in winter can be the perfect balance of unique adventure and great fun.
Trekking in Nepal in the winter is not only possible but, some might argue, even better. It is best for trekkers who prefer winter or enjoy less-occupied trails. As long someone packs well for the cold weather and takes ample precautions, trekking the Himalayas in the winter can be just as great, if not better, than trekking in warmer seasons. A variety of easy and short treks, as well as higher and longer treks, are easily available year-round in Nepal. And choosing to do best winter treks in Nepal could be something that becomes an unexpected highlight of your trip to Nepal.
“Just because the warmer seasons end does not mean the adventure does too!”