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Winter Treks in Nepal

Winter Treks in Nepal
  • 31-Jul-2022
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December, January, and February are winter months in Nepal which are less preferred for a trek, but get to know that winter can be an excellent season for trekking in some regions of Nepal!

Although spring and autumn are the best and most preferred seasons for trekking in Nepal, some trekkers might only have time to trek in the winter. Or you might want to utilize your Christmas and New Year holidays to kill your hunger for adventure. Thus, you might be thinking about trekking in winter in Nepal. There are several treks in Nepal that you can do in winter. Although the nights are chilly in winter, the days can be sunny and pleasant. So, if you are thinking of trekking in Nepal in winter, go ahead; you can do it!

Packed with the right gear, choosing the suitable treks, and physically and mentally prepared, you will enjoy trekking in Nepal in winter. Or you may even have a better and unique experience in some aspects as below:


In winter, the skies are clear and stable with less precipitation. As a result, the trekkers enjoy spectacular and mesmerizing panoramas of majestic snow-capped mountains, breathtaking sunrise and sunset sights, and stunning landscapes while trekking in winter. The trekking areas that need flight involvement (such as the Everest region) are better regarding delays or cancellations in winter. Flight delays and cancellations are frequent in the spring and autumn months, but the flight happens more smoothly in winter, almost guaranteed. So, weatherwise, trekking in Nepal in winter is fantastic, I would say if you are not bothered by chilly nights!

The beauty of the landscape:

The smaller peaks, which usually don't get snow during the rest of the year, also get covered with snow in winter, which adds absolute beauty to the whole landscape. So, don't hesitate to trek in Nepal in winter if you love snowfall and the white beauty of nature.

Uncrowded trails:

Winter in Nepal benefits the trekkers with the less congested trails and less crowded lodges/ teahouses. In addition, winter gives you a chance to be closer to nature than the spring and autumn rush months.

Food and cultural closeness:

The teahouses are too busy in the spring and autumn months. Unfortunately, being too busy, sometimes the teahouses don't serve good food during active months; they don't have time to look at you! So along with enjoying relatively healthy and good food prepared leisurely by the lodge owners, who are 90% locals, winter trekking is the chance for you to understand the culture and lifestyle of the locals very close.

Discounted rates:

Since winters are less touristic, you can bargain for discounted rates with tour operators, hotels, and teahouses! But, unfortunately, there is no chance you can deal for discounts during busy months, especially the teahouses!


There are so many festivals in Nepal, some involving the whole country, some only involving some ethnic groups, and some involving only certain religions. Tamu Loshar, Sonam Loshar, Yomari Punhi, and Udhauli parba are some ethnic groups' special festivals. Dhanya Purnima, Mage Sakranti, Basanta Panchami (or Saraswoti puja), and Mahashivaratri are the festivals that all Hindus of Nepal celebrate. Of course, Nepalese people also celebrate Christmas and English New Year as new festivals.

Below are some treks in Nepal you can do in winter. We don't suggest walks that involve high passes because snow can block them in winter. However, you can do some low-altitude treks and even the Everest Base camp trek in winter because it is a developed trail. Consider an organized trek or take a guide with you for safety. It is crucial to be geared up properly for winter treks in Nepal. Sufficient warm clothing, thermals, down jacket, trousers, windproof jackets, trekking poles, -20 rated sleeping bag, woolen hat, gloves, and some pairs of woolen socks, are essential when trekking in Nepal in winter.

Some treks recommended for the winter season:

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang valley is one of the fabulous trekking destinations near Kathmandu, where you can trek throughout the year. It is one of Nepal's safest high-altitude trekking and most popular winter destinations. It is popularly known as the valley of Glaciers as there are more than seventy glaciers in the region, and exploring them in winter is an outstanding experience.

The trekking through the Langtang valley lets you explore the majestic views of the Himalayas and the mountain culture. The trail passes through the alpine and subalpine of Langtang National Park, which is rich in biodiversity. It is home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare species such as snow leopard and red panda.

Notably, the sceneries are more precise and more fascinating in the winter. So, it would be an unforgettable experience for every trekker to get astonishing views of the Langtang range of mountains, including Mt. Langtang Lirung (7,234m).

In addition to the spectacular view of the Himalayas, trekkers will closely see the lifestyle and culture of the Tamang and Sherpa people. You would be genuinely captivated by the Kyanjin Gompa (elevated at 3800 meters from sea level), which is most trekkers' final destination. Many go a little higher up to the Kyanjing Gompa, Kyanjing Ri (4,773m), or Tserko Ri (4,987) to see more intimate views of the Himalayas.

Overall, the breathtaking landscapes, 360 panoramas of the Himalayas, snow-covered region, diverse cultural and natural specialty, and well-maintained trek route make the Langtang Valley trek a popular winter trek destination in Nepal.

Mardi Himal Trekking

The Mardi Himal trek in the Annapurna region beneath glorious Mt. Machhapuchhre is the most attractive winter trekking adventure. Since the route was opened in 2012, this route has attracted numerous international and national trekkers. The more intimate sights of the Himalayas and the richness of biodiversity in the Annapurna region make this trek a popular destination in a short time. Moreover, it is one of the short treks that begins from Pokhara and is easy compared to other trek routes.

During the winter, the trail is less crowded with white snowy paths that are easily accessible. Therefore, people prefer this trek as the best choice to the overcrowded Annapurna base camp trek to explore the Himalayas comfortably. The skies are clear with breathtaking views of the snowy trails and astonishing views of snow-covered peaks and mountain ranges, including Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m), Mt. Annapurna (8091m), Annapurna II (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Annapurna south (7219m), Hiunchuli (6441m) and Mt. Machhapuchhre (6993m), Mardi Himal (5587m), etc. and several other small peaks and hills. Moreover, you will be equally delighted with the hospitality of culturally rich local people and the ethnic groups such as Gurungs along the trail.

The beauty of snowy tracks and pleasant panorama thrill the spirit of every trekker standing at the Base Camp of Mardi Himal (4500m). The route is well-managed with sufficient lodging facilities even in winter; charming and fascinating snowy villages, friendly local people, and springs and ridges lure the attention of every novice and professional trekker. In addition, there are fewer possibilities of avalanches and high altitude threats, which makes the trip easy and comfortable even in winter. Also, we suggest going only with guides and porters during winter.

Khopra Ridge Trek

Kopra Ridge trek is another stunning off-the-beaten-path trek in the Annapurna region. It is a short but worthwhile trek that starts from the beautiful city Pokhara, also known as the gateway to the Annapurna region.

Initially opened to sustain the economic status of local people, it has gained popularity in a short time. Trekkers encounter the hidden beauty of the Annapurna region that takes them up to the Khopra Ridge (3640m). This trek is the most preferred destination in the winter due to its comfort level and low altitude compared to other trek routes in those regions.

We get the mesmerizing vistas of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Hiunchuli, Nilgiri, and numerous astonishing peaks of Annapurna Massif and Dhaulagiri Massif. Moreover, the track passes through culturally rich ethnic communities, beautiful villages, and fantastic wildlife. 

Compared to other Annapurna region trekking routes, this trek is less crowded. In winter, the number of trekkers further reduces. The weather is not so cold compared to other high-altitude trekking routes in Nepal.

So, during winter, one can enjoy proximity to nature, tea houses are not packed, and trails are not clogged. The glazing snow peak in the morning sunlight lures every trekker's attention. As the journey passes through Khayer lake, every trekker is fascinated by the view of mountains that make spectacular reflections on the water.

Everest Base Camp Trek

Yes, the Everest Base Camp trek is entirely feasible in the winter. Everest Base Camp trail is the most developed trekking trail in Nepal. Thus not a problem to do Everest Base Camp Trek in winter too.

Compared to other trekking seasons, the sights of snowcapped mountains are most attractive under winter's clear blue sky. Besides the giant mountains - Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Nuptse, other smaller peaks are also blanketed by snow, and the view is breathtaking! 

Snow covers the trail, which counts as extra colors for the expedition. Everyone is captivated by the sunrise and sunset views in the Khumbu region, especially from Kala Patthar.

The cultures, traditions, festivals, Himalayan lifestyle, and warm hospitality of the Sherpa people will lure your heart. Moreover, you can be closer to them as they are at ease during winter with work compared to other months.

During the winter, there is a high possibility of getting discounts on food and accommodation! Not only do the flights have availability even at the last minute, but you also have a fantastic view from the flight, and there is almost no chance of the flight to cancel. Hence, the right equipment and clothing with the assistance of guides and porters are strongly suggested for trekking in Everest base camp in winter. You will get an exotic experience while doing the Everest Base Camp trek in winter, so it is one of the unique winter trekking destinations.

Everest View Trek

The nighttime temperature at Everest Base camp goes up to -20 degrees Celsius during winter. Suppose you are afraid of such a cold temperature, or you are not interested in trekking at 5000m altitude but are keen on seeing giant 8000m mountains, including Mt. Everest and the panorama these mountains display. In that case, you can do the Everest View trek. Everest View walk is a popular trek that reaches up to a point (Everest View Hotel) from where you can see Mt. Everest in its sheer beauty, i.e., peeping behind its neighboring mountains (Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori, Lo La, etc.). You can even extend the Everest View Trek to Tengboche if you want to feel the spirituality of Tengboche Monastery.

On a clear day (usually, days are clear in winter), the patio of Everest View Hotel offers 360-degree views of the awe-inspiring Himalayan peaks. If it snows a little bit, it adds more beauty to the panorama.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp trek is another most prominent winter trekking trail in Nepal that takes you to the base of the world's tenth highest peak, Mt. Annapurna (8091m).

The clear and stable weather with the spectacular views of snowcapped peaks and mountain ranges delights the soul of everyone. The scenery of enormous peaks like Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna South, Fishtail, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, and Annapurna IV shines differently in the winter season. The snowy path and surrounding geography attract the heart of every snow lover. The mesmerizing sunrise and sunset sight in the Annapurna region allure everyone.

During the busy spring and autumn months, you have to struggle to find beds in the lodges as there are limited lodges in the Annapurna Base Camp trekking route as you go higher. This is the classic problem in the Annapurna Base Camp trekking route. In winter, you won't have to worry about lodging facilities as several lodges/tea houses are open to provide the services to the trekkers. The route is less crowded, and so are the lodges.

Tamang Heritage Trail

Tamang Heritage trail is another stunning and exciting winter trekking adventure that lets you explore the mountain lifestyle of an indigenous group, Tamangs. Trekkers experience the unique cultural amenities and natural beauty along the path. A newly open trail in 2004, lying in the Langtang region near the Kathmandu valley, makes this route one of Nepal's most prominent and accessible non-touristic destinations.

The track offers rich biodiversity, abundant natural beauty, mountain lifestyle, stunning sights of the Himalayas, traditional ethnic villages such as Gatlang and Briddim, typical mountain architecture and wood carvings, ancient monasteries, and stupas, and unique culture and traditions of the Tamangs and Buddhist followers. Trekking in this region in winter lets you extend the trek horizon to the next level providing your life with the true essence.

Tamang Heritage trail is less crowded during other times of the year, but in winter, it is even cozier. Furthermore, the provision of sufficient food and accommodation facilities along the path makes the trek relaxing even in winter. More importantly, the mesmerizing views of exquisite snow peaks and mountain ranges add color to your trip. Clear and fascinating views of snow-capped mountains like Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, Tibetan mountains, and numerous other small peaks give you a sensational experience. The clear spectacular panorama of the Himalayas enlightens every trekker's soul, predominantly seen in winter.

You will be fascinated by the local ethnic communities, the Himalayan lifestyle of Tamangs, and the Buddhist way of life. Trekking in winter allows you to explore their lifestyle and experience their warm hospitality differently. Moreover, winter is the only option if you want to observe their biggest festival, Sonam Lhosar. Buddhist followers such as Tamangs celebrate this festival as the beginning of the New Year with great joy. Their unique food dishes, colorful dress, ornaments, typical dance, music, lifestyle, and distinctive culture and traditions make your trek special, like New Year. Due to these reasons, the Tamang Heritage trail has become one of Nepal's famous winter trekking destinations.

Ghorepanni Poon Hill Trekking

Primarily famous for its fabulous golden sunrise sight, Ghorepani Poonhill trekking is the most popular and comparatively short route, with a maximum elevation of 3210 meters from sea level. Being the most accessible trek route starting from the beautiful city Pokhara, you can do the Ghorepani Poohill trek throughout the year. Still, winter adds to the spectacular view of the Annapurna range, Machhapuchre, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Hiunchuli. 

In addition to the magnificent and breathtaking panorama of the Himalayas and biodiversity of the Annapurna conservation area, you can learn more about Nepali culture and lifestyle in detail. The trail passes through the villages of culturally rich ethnic groups such as Gurung, providing glimpses of the Nepalese rural lifestyle.

You don't go higher than 3210m altitude in Ghorepani Poonhill trek, so is a suitable trek for winter.

Treks around Kathmandu—almost about 10 short treks

Although central Kathmandu is being gulped by the fast-growing urbanization, the suburb area which is ringed by major mountains like Phulchoki (2791 metres), Shivapuri (2732 metres), Chandragiri (2551m), Nagarjun (2,128m). Other minor hills still have beautifully preserved forests (some are national parks), terraced fields, and culturally rich villages where centuries-old traditions are still living. Along these are beautiful trekking routes, you can spend days doing easy to moderate hiking.

The winter is mild in and around Kathmandu, and days in winter are usually sunny. So, the winter is an excellent time to trek, as the mountain views are generally at their best. On a clear day, the hikes around Kathmandu valley offer you magnificent 180-degree views of the Himalayas.

You won't be involving high altitudes, but still, you can trek easy to moderate trails. You can do a day-trek to or several days trek. 

Single day treks near Kathmandu: A day hike to Jamacho, a day hike to Shivapuri hill (Bagdwar), a day hike from Sanga to Panauti, a day hike from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel, a day hike from Changunarayan to Nagarkot, a day trek to Nagi gumba, a day trek from Budanilkantha to Sundarijal, a day hike from Kakani to Suryachaur, a day hike from Godawari to Phulchoki, Hattiban-Champadevi hike, etc.

Multiple day treks near Kathmandu: Chisapani-Nagarkot trek (2 days), Chandragiri-Nagarkot-Dhulikhel-Namobuddha (3-4 days) Chandragiri –Chitlang trek (2 days), Champadevi-Chandragiri trek (1 or 2 day, Namobuddha-Panauti hike(1 day)

You can combine these hikes and make a 7 to 10 days program too!

You can do the hikes in the capital city's proximity without taking long drives or flights. And you can still enjoy the wild beauties, waterfall, woodlands, and various Newari settlements allowing you to explore the typical Newari lifestyle, culture, traditions, and Himalayan panorama. Close to Kathmandu, the well-maintained and accessible track makes these routes more popular for a family trek, and the winter in Kathmandu is sunny and pleasant and a suitable time to enjoy these hikes.

Treks around Pokhara

Hiking routes around Pokhara are best for the winter season. Besides Ghorepani Poonhill and Annapurna Base camp trek, the foothill of Annapurna has many other hikes that are suitable for winter.

Australian Camp Trek, Dhampus-Pothana-Landruk trek, Ghandruk trek, Muldai View Point trek, Mohare Danda Trek, Panchase hike, Sarankot-Naudanda hike, royal trek, etc. are only a few of them.

Prepare yourself physically and mentally with the right gears for the winter trek in Nepal. The right gear is some extra warm clothes, and you might need to add light crampons to your gear list. You can buy such light crampons in Kathmandu too. Also, don't miss the walking poles; it's a great help, especially if you are trekking in winter.

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