Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December: There’re places more heavenly than a folktale and sites ideally romantic that you’ll feel exploring all day. But, something that just strikes the eyes and doesn’t go off in hundreds of years is magnificent Annapurna Base Camp trek. One of the most reviving treks in Nepal, Annapurna Base Camp also happens to be holistically popular.
Would be it sweltering hot summer or freezing winter, nothing seems to stop trekkers from walking the trail. Given that, little does it surprise us to know why the trail of base camp is busy even in December when the weather is totally off.
With the cold morning air, hazy day, and chilly night, December foretells that winter is here. The average temperature is mostly below -5 Degree Celsius, increasing the difficulty level of trekkers. It’ll be quite hard for travelers especially beginners to deal with the falling weather but not impossible.
If the trek is well-planned and done with the right equipment then the trek is easy as can be. Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is a multi-day trekking route starting in lakeside and narrow hilltop before passing the hamlet. The trail walks through the verdant subtropical forests, hilltops, and out and above terrace fields.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December kicks off with a long drive from Kathmandu followed by Pokhara. However, the official trek starts after Nayapul, scaling the precipitous trail and suspension bridge to Tikhedhunga.
In the course of travel, you’ll pass many small villages including Ghorepani and Chomorong. Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp come with the most amazing view of Annapurna, cascading waterfalls, and tranquil lake.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek
- A pristine view of Annapurna massif and its surrounding snow peaks
- Connecting with nature while walking into deep forests with oaks and birch
- Experience simplicity of living and high thinking in the rural Himalaya
- A surprise visit to popping Gurung villages which provide a snake peek of culture
- Explore unique wildlife and vegetation soon as entered Annapurna Sanctuary
- Geothermal spring bath in Jhinu Danda
Nepal Temperature in December
Winter in Nepal happens during December to February. December marks the beginning. It starts getting cold and chilly. Days get shorter and are sunny & warm with clear skies. But, nights are chilly with strong winds and possible snowfalls at higher altitudes. From mid-December, winter will be in full force with freezing winds and snow in mountains.
Average Temperature – 15 degree Celsius
Maximum Temperature – 21 degree Celsius
Minimum Temperature -10/15 degree Celsius
Sunshine Hour – 6/7
Snowfall – High Chances
Average Rainfall Days – Not Fixed
Annapurna Base Camp December
Annapurna Base Camp Trekking in Nepal in December can be challenging but not impossible. Popular treks like Annapurna, Langtang, and Everest can be done. Even though spring and autumn are the most suggested seasons, trekking in winter especially December has its own advantages.
Subtropical meadows and at higher points, alpine peak section with unobstructed views, most beautiful sunrise, and sunset you will ever see.
Temperatures at the Annapurna summit are always above freezing and during December it can drop as low as -10/15℃. The coldest temperatures of the year start from mid-December onward.
Annapurna during winter can be challenging with average temperatures never much above 5℃ and often cold as -5℃.
Moreover, winter is dominated by the southward migration of the northern hemisphere jet stream which brings high winds and occasional snowfalls.
This is very cold weather period in the ABC trek. Depending on your altitude, day temperatures and night temperatures can be determined.
Day temperatures are comfortable with sunny skies but nights & morning are extremely freezing. Some days may be cloudy with obscure views but there are frequently crystal clear days. The views are often clearer than summer/autumn.
Naturally, temperatures and climatic conditions drop the higher up you go but views are pristine. The views are perfect for stunning photography.
Likewise, there are variations upon the trek. The passes and base camps have more extreme conditions.
When it comes to temperature and weather, Nepal is known for its extremities. Whenever you choose to go remember that high mountains make their own weather.
Although cold during this period, rain can be frequent. Annapurna region, being a shadow area, there is less chance of rainfall in this month. The high elevation and cold temperature act as a controlling influence on moisture amount and overall limit.
On the way to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December, we pass through Jhinu Danda with hot spring. In the sizzling cold of December, bath at the hot spring will boost your tired body.
Visiting ABC in different seasons has its own specialty. Similarly, December can be a great time for trekking since there are a lot fewer people and more wildlife. You will have the whole trek all by yourself. Plus, the days are stable and clear with majestical scenes and adjustable temperatures.
Other benefits are you can live in a room of your choice, have timely & smooth services, enjoy peaceful & serene atmosphere along with the timely flight.
Insufficient distractions make more attention to the scenery and people. You get to know your guides and porters really well. You also have an opportunity to meet and interact with lodge owners who are usually busy to spend time with their guests.
Permits, Food and Accommodation during December on ABC
Regarding permits, you need to have ACAP and a TIMS card. You can easily get them for December both in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
The prices of accommodations, food, and misc. expenses are comparatively less as compared to peak seasons. You can enjoy the winter discount offers. But you might have less option in food menus. Also, most lodges and guesthouses are closed due to extreme cold.
However, these days due to the rotation system at the local level, there would not be much problems.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
On this day, our representative will meet you at the airport for the first time. As per the flight scheduled, they’ll show up minutes before the plane lands the airport. After a brief introduction, they’ll extend a warm welcome and subsequently drive you to the hotel where you can ease up.
If you say it, we can walk you through the streets of Thamel where there is a sparkling light everywhere. This will indeed help you stay refreshed and have some good time ahead of the massive Annapurna Base Camp trek. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 02: Drive to Pokhara
Maximum Altitude: 1400 meters
Drive Distance: 202 km
Drive Duration: 6-7 hours
It’s the first day on a journey to Annapurna Base Camp trek in December and we clearly can’t run late today. So, after you’re finished doing breakfast, we’ll leave for a drive to Pokhara via Prithvi Highway.
The trip may not be too long on a shuttle but it can still get you tired unless behold the picturesque view. On the way to Pokhara, we’ll get a glimpse of roaring rivers, arable land, and a chain of mountain ranges.
After about 7 hours of four-wheel drive, we’ll finally reach the magnificent Pokhara. The city is as beautiful as you could imagine with a great series of tranquil lakes and waterfalls. It’s also the first place before the actual trek where you’ll get to view shimmering Annapurna. Overnight in a lodge.
Day 03: Drive to Nayapul, Trek to Tirkhedunga
Maximum Altitude: 1,570 meters
Drive Distance: 40.8 km
Trek Distance: 9.2 km
Drive Duration: 1-2 hours
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
It was a tough day yesterday but today is no different except the length of travel to Nayapul. Therefore, after having breakfast, we’ll continue our expedition with almost 2 hours long drive to Nayapul. From here onwards, we’ll begin walking from the bank of Modi Khola.
A few minutes later, we’ll reach Birethanti where there are plenty of local shops and teahouses to stop at have lunch. Passing the small settlements, we’ll follow Bhurungdi Khola on the north side of the valley up to Hille.
Taking a short steep walk, our trail will take us Tirkheduga. Sitting at an elevation of 1,570 meters, the village is extremely gorgeous. It offers an astonishing view of green hills, cornfields, and sweeping rivers. Overnight in a teahouse.
Day 04: Trek to Ghorepani
Maximum Altitude: 2,840 meters
Trek Distance: 12.9 km
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
To resist the cold morning of Tikhedhunga, we’ll have a warm meal and start hiking to Ghorepani. The trail sets off with a steep climb to Magar village at Ulleri then slowly reduces the speed.
With a steady ascent, we’ll walk into luscious forests of Rhododendron and oak leading to Bantanti. There’s a pretty good chance that we may see Langur and other wild creatures into the woods. After an hour’s walk from Nangethanti, we’ll finally arrive at Ghorepani. To ease up from the exhausting hike, we’ll spend the night in a teahouse.
Day 05: Hike to Poon Hill, Trek to Tadapani
Maximum Altitude: 3,210 meters
Trek Distance: 8 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
Since it’s December, we’ll have a little bit extra time to ascend Poon Hill and watch the first sunrise of the day. Climbing the steep hill for 45 minutes from Ghorepani, we’ll get to the viewpoint sitting at an elevation of 3,210 meters.
From the hilltop, we’ll get a close-up view of Annapurna massif as well as Nilgiri, Machhapuchhre, and Dhaulagiri. Furthermore, we have a glimpse of the stunning Pokhara valley, mountain ridge, and landscapes to savor.
Once the sightseeing is over, we’ll climb down the trail to Ghorepani and have breakfast. Before too long, we’ll continue trekking to Tadapani with a steep climb up the edge of the ridge along with pine forests.
Upon reaching Deurali, we have an easy downhill walk through a lovely waterfall, stream, and thick forest going as far as Banthati. Going on the other side of the bridge, we have a short climb to make up the hill to reach Tadapani. With that, we completed another beautiful day of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December.
Day 06: Trek to Chomrong
Maximum Altitude: 2,140 meters
Trek Distance: 7.6 km
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
After a sweet morning breakfast at Tadapani, we’ll head towards Chomrong on a downward sloping hill. Afterward, our trail winds its way through rhododendron forests and terrace farms to Kimrong Khola.
From the base down below upper Modi valley, we’ll get a lovely view of soaring hills and green foliage. Crossing the suspension bridge, we scale up to a Gurung village and into a forest.
Ascending under the cliff past the landslide area, we’ll have a relatively easy walk to Chomrong. Located at an altitude of 2,140 meters, Chomrong is a small village in the Annapurna area. Traveler’s walking the sanctuary often use the settlement for accommodation. So, we too will spend the night at Chomrong.
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Day 07: Trek to Dovan via Bamboo
Maximum Altitude: 2,500 meters
Trek Distance: 8.6 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
After a delicious morning breakfast, we will take a short downhill walk over a terrace farm and to the Chomrong river. We’ll have to cross a suspension bridge here, then ascend the hill for an hour to reach Sinuwa Danda.
It’s a small village in the way between Chomrong and Bamboo with a few lodges run by locals. We’ll stop here to have lunch and continue trekking upward above Modi River before finally reaching Dovan. Overnight stay in a guesthouse.
Day 08: Trek to Machhapuchhre Base Camp
Maximum Altitude: 3,720 meters
Trek Distance: 10 km
Trek Duration: 6 hours
Today’s trek is mostly uphill with a steep ascent on glacier and moraine around the old avalanche area. Therefore, after starting the walk on a zigzagged path near Hinko cave below Hiunchuli, we’ll ascend miles further and cross a bridge near Deurali.
After moving through woods with tall skinny shrubs, our rugged route mounts upstream Modi river. An hour steep climb up the snowy trail during ABC Trek in December will lead us to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. Overnight stay in a lodge. It’ll help you get a nice sleep and prevent the difficulties turning out during Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December.
Day 09: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp
Maximum Altitude: 4,130 meters
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
We have an early wake-up call to walk the greeny uphill slopes, with an increased elevation of 410 meters above Machhapuchhre Base Camp. Continuing the journey on a short stone staircase and stony trail past the waterfall, we’ll be exposed to the stunning view of the Annapurna range.
The hike involves scrambling hills and navigating snowy terrain of December to make it to Annapurna Base Camp. The view of snow-capped mountains and gorges is heartwarming from the top. We’ll make sure to choose the right day as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December usually fails to provide a clear view due to fog and mist.
Day 10: Trek to Bamboo
Maximum Altitude: 2,345 meters
Trek Distance: 12 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
Leaving the scenic view of Annapurna Base Camp, we shall walk downhill to Deurali. Passing the breathtaking scenery down the valley and through a quiet forest, we’ll reach an opening from where the trail heads to Bamboo. Overnight stay in a lodge at Bamboo.
Day 11: Trek to Jhinu Danda
Maximum Altitude: 1,740 meters
Trek Distance: 8.5 km
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
From Bamboo, we’ll ascend uphill to Khuldi Ghar and gently climb downhill through the forest preceding Sinuwa Danda. Here, our trail runs on the bridge over Chomrong Khola and scrambles uphill for about an hour to meet Chomrong village.
It’s a gorgeous place to stop and have lunch given the astonishing view of Annapurna. From here on, the trek gets less difficult with a largely downhill walk to Jhinu Danda. Perched at an altitude of 1,740 meters, the village has got a natural hot spring bath where the trekkers release all your stress and fatigue. Overnight in a lodge so that you get a sound sleep.
Day 12: Trek to Nayapul, Drive to Pokhara
Maximum Altitude: 1,400 meters
Drive Distance: 40/.8 km
Drive Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
It’s the last day of our Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December. Therefore, after breakfast, we’ll steadily descend the trail to Nayapul and then take a drive of an hour to Pokhara. As there are many adventurous sports to try in Sarangkot, you can climb the hill. But remember to get back to the hotel on time.
Day 13: Drive to Kathmandu
Maximum Altitude: 1,350 meters
Drive Distance: 6-7 hours
Drive Duration: 202 km
Unlike the day before, today’s a bit hard day with about a 125 miles long drive to Kathmandu. The journey sets off from Pokhara via well-marked Prithvi Highway passing terrain, local villages, gushing streams, and rivers.
It takes the four-wheel-drive around 7 hours to enter into the city from where our officials will drop you back to the hotel. There, you can take a long nap or as much as you want.
Day 14: Final Departure
Our representative will drop you at the airport this day as per the fight schedule. If you insist, they’ll also help you ahead of the terminal.
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Difficulties of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December
It may ring the year’s end but December marks the start of winter so it’s quite cold at Annapurna Base Camp. The severe weather can cause trekkers acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and even pulmonary disease, forcing them to withdraw from the trek.
Altitude sickness is another dire problem to be faced by hikers of Annapurna Base Camp trek in December. At an altitude of 4,130 meters where the base camp is located, trekkers struggle to catch the breath.
They show common symptoms of acute mountain sickness like nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. If the sickness is not treated on time, the result can be fatal although it rarely happens.
The total trek distance from Tikhedhunga to Annapurna Base Camp is 115 km with a round trip. On top of that, the trails are craggy with full of rocks and steep hills which is quite hard for a non-hiker to steer through.
Thus, Annapurna Base Camp can be fluently done in you are fully prepared. In December, you get a golden chance to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the lap of mountains. With low humidity and crystal clear views, your journey will be amazing.
Surely it is hard and it will be freezing cold, but the ravishing natural beauty of Annapurna will make your hardship more than worth it.