If you told someone that you are going to do trekking in Nepal in December, most of them would suggest you not to do it. But it is completely wrong.
Trekking in Nepal is possible in all months of the year and Yes in December too.
The month of December welcomes the winter season in Nepal. And winter means cold. We recommend you to trek in November if possible. Otherwise, in the first half of December, if you are planning to do high altitude treks.
It is because from late December there will be snowfall in high altitudes above 3,500 meters. But few lodges and guest houses will remain open to serve trekkers.
December is the best time to enjoy on a lower elevation. It is time to do short treks in Nepal.
Nepal trekking in December offers you lesser crowd trekking experience, clear sky and sharp view of surrounding mountains.
Like other months, in December also, the days are warmer and nights and mornings are a bit colder.
Weather in Nepal in December
Since its winter, December is one of the coldest months of the year. Winter in Nepal lasts from December to February.
Weather varies depending on altitudes and region. Usually, in the capital city of Kathmandu, the temperature is bearable. The daytime temperature is somewhere around 10°C-12°C, and it decreases to below 5°C on the night time.
Since Kathmandu is in Hilly region, it is bearable. The winter in the mountain region is freezing.
Above 3,500 meters it is very cold in December even during daytime. The nighttime temperature is below 0°C to even -10°C and more on high altitudes above 4,500 meters.
So try to avoid high altitude treks in this month because the weather will not favour you to complete the trek. You might have to return from the mid destination.
Best Treks in Nepal in December
You can choose and do high altitude treks in early December, but you have to avoid it if you are planning trekking in Nepal in late December.
The famous high altitude treks like Annapurna base camp, Everest base camp remain open, but you have to walk on a snow-covered path and it is too cold after mid-December.
Like mentioned above, it is a perfect time to do lower altitude treks in Nepal. You can experience snowfall and enjoy even at lower altitudes below 4,000 meters.
Here are some of the best treks in Nepal in December that you should consider doing.
The Nagarkot trekking via Chisapani village is a popular destination to see the mountain sunrise view including Mount Everest.
It is a short duration of 3 days hike from Kathmandu. To avoid the cold weather of high altitude, you can do this trek in December.
The trek offers beautiful views of Langtang Himalayas including Dorje Lakpa, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu, Shisa Pangma, and Gauri Shankar from your balcony.
It is near Kathmandu, and in lower elevation, you can experience a bearable cold temperature even in December during the trek. You can walk in sunny weather during the day and the temperature decrease only at night.
Explore villages of Mulpani, Chisapani, Bhaktapur and Nagarkot during the trek.
The Poon Hill trekking via Ghorepani and Tadapani village is the best treks in Nepal in December that you should consider taking. It is on the way to Annapurna Base Camp.
For more adventure and challenge with the cold climate, you can further head to Annapurna Base Camp too.
Poon Hill offers a beautiful sunrise view over Annapurna region Mountains like Dhaulagiri.
Since it is popular trekking trail, In December also you can meet many trekkers on the way. The maximum altitude of the trek is just 3,200 meters, so the temperature here is bearable cold.
In December the maximum temperature of Ghorepani is 8°C while it deceases at night to 0°C or even -2°C sometimes.
If you did this trekking in late December, you might experience snowfall in Poon Hill.
For more adventure experience plan a trip to Annapurna circuit which includes a high mountain pass above 5,000 meters. Make sure that you can do it. If you have never been to high altitude treks before it is better to avoid it.
But you can do mini Annapurna circuit during December, which means trekking to Jomsom and Muktinath villages.
Everest base camp is located at an altitude of 5,364 meters. So that, the trekking to EBC is a little bit difficult in December in comparison to other months because of a snowy trail. The temperatures decrease to less than -13°C at night. But with proper preparation and planning it is doable.
On the other hand side, you can enjoy Everest region trekking on its lower elevation. Everest view trek takes you to the Tengboche village located at an altitude of 3,860 meters.
From Tengboche, you can see the extraordinary view of Mount Everest, Ama Dablam and other tallest mountains of the region.
The temperature here is not that much colder like high altitude. Even at night, the temperature falls minimum to -5°C, but you can enjoy a sunny day.
Also, in lower elevation, there will be little to no chance of snowstorms.
Langtang valley is another best trek that you should consider choosing in December. The trek is near from Kathmandu and located lower elevation except Tserko Ri, which you can avoid to climb if the weather becomes terrible suddenly.
Instead, you can climb to Kyanjin Ri for impressive mountain views of Langtang Himalayas.
In December you can experience Glacier, Waterfalls, and snow-filled mountain views in Langtang trekking.
Since it is a mountain region and high altitude then Kathmandu it is cold here. The temperature ranges from 6°C to 9°C.
Furthermore, you can visit Helambu trail, a beautiful countryside village trail located in the lower elevation of the mountain region.
Another famous trekking of Langtang region, Gosaikunda is also accessible and best treks in Nepal in December. You can meet domestic and international trekkers here. Frozen lake of Gosaikunda and other snow-capped mountain views will reward you during Gosaikunda trek in December.
Reasons to choose December for Trekking in Nepal
- No chance of rainfall in December, you can enjoy trekking without a raincoat.
- With the peak trekking season of autumn coming to an end, December sees a declining trend in the number of trekkers. Hence you can experience crowd-free trekking.
- Trekking companies, Hotels and Restaurants offer good offseason discount for trekkers visiting Nepal in December.
- You can enjoy snowfall at lower elevations without climbing high—also clear and stunning mountain views.
- Celebrate New Year and Christmas either in Mountain or city. The huge crowd will celebrate these festivals in Nepal with a late-night party in a major tourist destination like Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Reasons not to choose Trekking in Nepal in December
- Early December might be fit with almost all trekking trails, but late December can be hard for most. The temperature goes very low, and you might face some difficulties because of bad weather, too much cold, and snowfall at high altitude.
- There are high chances of altitude sickness if you choose top altitude treks in late December. For emergency cases, the helicopter can rescue you, but if the weather is too bad, it would not be able to land properly or get to your location in time.
- Sometimes if bad weather makes heavy snowfall, you have to return from mid of the trek because of trail blocked.
Useful Tips for Trekking in Nepal in December
- Pack winter-friendly clothes to avoid cold at high altitudes, also carry winter gears and hiking boots to make it easier to walk.
- If you are a first-time trekker, do not go above 4,000 meters. Choose a comfortable lower elevation beginner treks.
- Do trekking with a professional guide through reputed company to avoid any difficulty that arises due to inexperience.
- Insure with the best travel insurance for trekking Nepal, which covers emergency helicopter rescue and medical expenses.
- Keep few extra days except trekking itinerary to deal with any delay in flight due to bad weather.
Trekking in Nepal in December is an unforgettable memory. Especially if you love to trek in snowy trails, it is the best time for you to visit Nepal.
You can experience snowfall at lower altitudes like Poon Hill, Kalinchowk, Tengboche and many more.
Winter is not the recommended season to trekking in high altitude because the thick layers of snow will cover the walking trail completely. But you can trek freely and comfortably in lower elevations.
December offers breathtaking mountain views with fresh snow in peaks. Contact us to plan your December trekking in Nepal.