When to Trek

Route descriptions

Each trek contains a very basic explanation of your daily aims and is a rough guide to the distance you are planning to travel. But note your actual stopping distance should depend on your level of fitness and you need to remember this isn’t a race but a hike through country that should be enjoyed. And are designed for any moderately fit trekker to accomplish within 6-8 hours though at higher altitudes please proceed at a pace suitable to avoid altitude sickness. Always remember though a trek in the Himalayas is for enjoyment and should be treated as so.

Times and distances

In our PDF’s we have included average times for each days walking and should be used as a guide for the simple reason each person has a different speed for walking so use this as a guide only as we hope everyone will walk at their own pace and enjoy their time in the Himalayas. And the best way to do this is listening to your guide and plan each day so you have plenty of time for photos and side trips along the way and reach the stopping place in plenty of time to obtain enough rest that night. But you know your own body as in order for you to enjoy your trek is have a rough plan ready and match this to our guide then change it after a couple of days to suit you.  Because it is very difficult to determine genuine distance from a map because of the topography of the land and you should only walk at your pace.

Planning

As you can imagine a trek to Nepal will involve slightly more preparation than an average trip abroad as the high Himalaya is not a place to visit on a casual whim. Because you do not want to find yourself a week into a trek from Kathmandu ill equipped, exhausted and unable to cope with a full days walking back. So start early looking for international flights as with inoculations need to be booked several months in advance. And more so if you are planning to fly in the months of October her or November as it’s some of the busiest months. Then several months before your start date we advise that you start training by walking as much as possible. Also start arranging equipment if you are planning a camping trip because if you are well prepared you can get a map at the airport jump on a bus and within a few hours hit the trail.

When to Trek

The best way to choose when to start a trek is to strike a balance between good weather and the busy crowds the great weather will attract. The best weather will obviously be in the most popular trekking season of October to November and you will find the flights and hotels very busy resulting with the trails on the popular treks being very crowded. And the weather will be nights are cold sometimes down to -10 but in the daytime the bright sun they can reach 20-24 centigrade. With the mornings skies are usually clear but you will find clouds building up in the afternoon before disappearing in the evening to give you a spectacular view of the starry skies.

Then as the year comes to an end during December to February you find it gets a little colder so the number of tourists will drop making it a good time if you like trekking on quiet trails. But note over the Christmas holiday you will see an increase in Japanese and Australians so you will have some company along the trail especially in places like the Annapurna. Though around this time you will usually find treks in the remote areas like Upper Mustang will close from around Mid-December to late February as well as some of the higher altitude lodges but you can usually find some of them open and the same in monsoon season. From February you will find it cold but the numbers of tourists start to pick up as early spring opens the trekking season.

One thing to not however be most of the precipitation in the Himalayas occurs during the summer monsoon you find less snow on the mountains during winter. And it’s worth pointing out that Everest itself is a mass of black rock through the winter but snow covered during the summer but there are always exceptions in this weather patterns when sometimes you can find winter storms in December/January blocking the high passes. That can often result in Avalanches especially high up in areas around the Annapurna. So through these months you will find it’s an excellent time to trek and you can sometimes have whole lodges to yourself and the trails very quiet. There are several windows throughout this time ideal for trekking and these are the first two weeks in December, entire month of February as well as the section and half of September so if you want to walk in peace then these are the best times to go.

In Pokhara you will find the middle hill range hazy in April and May but the high country is usually clear making it one of the most popular times to trek. An added bonus is the amazing colours of the mustard fields with massive swathes of yellow in February followed by the spectacular rhododendron forests displaying shades of pink through to crimson between March & April. Then you will find trekking tapering off in the heat of May right through the monsoon season up to September so if you are prepared to put up with leeches and slippery trails it’s a perfect time if you like to walk through the mountains if you like peace and quiet. And it’s also a good time to visit

However if you would like to experience the culture as well then it’s also worth timing your trek with one of the popular Nepali festivals that occur throughout the year like Holi or the Bikram Jatta. We can advise you on this if you so wish.