Trekking in Nepal in December: December in Nepal marks the beginning of winter. Yes, it is already a bit chilly by the end of November. But the days of the later are still hot. As December slides in, it actually starts to get a bit cold during the day too. This month is marked by clear skies and warm days.
But of course, the days start to get shorter from the end of September itself.
Trekking in Nepal in December is quite comfortable. The days are dry, sunny, and warm. It doesn’t make you sweaty and gets you sunburns. But, the nights are chilly. This changes as you ascend; it gets colder.
In December, the temperature drops drastically at higher altitudes. So trekking at higher altitudes (above 4000m) is not recommended.
However, Most of Annapurna, Langtang, and Everest treks can be done. Even though spring and fall are the most popular season to trek in Nepal, trekking in winter has its own advantages. The mountain views are best in the winter, clear weather is almost guaranteed.
December is the beginning of the winter season in Nepal. The normal temperature is around 15°C (around 59°F) to 21°C (70°F). And drops to a normal least temperature of 8°C (46°F) in the hilly region( mostly Kathmandu). But it drops as the altitude increases.
It is significantly colder in the Mountain Region in compared to the Hilly and the Terai.
Duration of the Trek
December is not the best season for trekking in Nepal. But you will be compensated with clearer skies, dry and warm weather, bug-free travel, and hassle-free lodging.
Because it is an off-season, you will enjoy the extra hospitality and choices in Tea houses and lodges.
But, since you will be trekking to higher altitudes, shorter treks are recommended. Since the temperature falls drastically above 4000m, it would be wiser to stay comfortable and safer with shorter treks.
You can enjoy breathtaking views and mingle with nature equally. All that without having to deal with the discomfort of the freezing temperature.
Best Trails for Trekking in Nepal in December
During early December and late November, you can opt for longer treks. But if you trek at higher altitudes, late December makes it a lot more difficult.
However, satisfying shorter treks can be taken during December. They are just as beautiful.
Here are some treks that you can enjoy in December.
Langtang Valley Trek in December
A drive from Kathmandu to Syabrubesi marks the begin of this astounding journey. This is the nearest Himalayan region from Kathmandu and is the third most popular treks in Nepal. First and second being the Annapurna and Everest Region Treks.
Langtang Valley Trek is a 7-day trek. This trek will take you through some of the most amazing views of the landscapes and breathtaking panoramic mountains.
Though it is a few kilometers away from the capital it is still uninfluenced by modernization. The beauty of the Langtang valley will be explored in the Langtang Valley trek.
It is a short trek that will usher you through the wild nature in its original form.
The beauty of this region is captivating. It is indisputably one of the best doable trekking in December in Nepal.
On a social encounter, this trek allows you to witness a new culture; the Tibetan lifestyle and their unique tradition. While a variety of flora and fauna will not fail to make an impression. The rhododendron forest, bamboo forests will make this encounter with nature fruitful.
The majestic waterfalls and the snow-capped Himalayas will grab your diverted attention. It is also a natural habitat of some rare birds and animals such as Himalayan Thar, Lungur, Red pandas, etc.
This is a diverse trek.
Highlights of the Langtang Valley Trekking in December in Nepal
- Touring the historical and cultural valley of Kathmandu including UNESCO enlisted sites
- Interesting Tamang culture and local lifestyle
- Scenic slopes, rural settlement, and a wide variety of vegetation
- The fantastic perspective of mountains over 7000m ie. Langtang Lirung (7,200m) Ganesh Himal (7,600m) and Langtang – II (7,227m)
- Home to 1000 plants, 150 winged animals and other species
- Langtang Valley which is called “the valley of icy masses”
- Run of the mill Sherpa town and customary Tamang towns,
- Langtang National Park, the second biggest national park of Nepal, the National bird of Nepal (Daphne), and more.
Everest Panorama Trek
The Everest Panorama Trek is a 9-day trek. It is short and easy plus doable trekking in December in Nepal which lies in the Everest region of the country. Everest Region is the most sought after treks in Nepal. It is a great way to get closer to the magnificent Mount Everest.
It is short, easy and a safe trek designed for those who want to witness the Everest but not willing to go through all the trouble of Everest Base Camp.
The trek starts at Lukla. You will get to experience the unique culture of the famous sherpas in the Namche village. This village is famous for its culture that has a hint of modernity.
At 3440m above sea level, it is the gateway to the Everest.
Which is why Namche is a popular destination. So Namche tries to be well equipped in entertaining guests from all around the globe. Good tea houses, ATMs, better shops, you name it.
The Tengboche village on the lap of Ama Dablam is a beautiful village. Here you can also see the Tengboche Monastery that is an old yet popular Buddhist Monastery located at such a high altitude. This monastery will leave you enchanted.
It is a great way to experience the culture and nature of the Everest region. It might as well draw you to your next expedition for the Everest base camp trek.
Highlights of the Trek
- The short yet thrilling experience of the majestic Mount Everest
- Tengboche village and the Tengboche monastery. The beauty and the vibe of the monastery will definitely rejuvenate you.
- Diverse flora and fauna and the unique socio-cultural lifestyle of the sherpas and the locals.
- Breathtaking view of the Everest and the view from Lukla. The airport at the highest altitude in the world.
Ghorepani Poonhill Trekking In December in Nepal
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is a short trek that is suggested in December. It is an adventurous trek around the Annapurna Region. This trek will amaze you with a panoramic view of Mt Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu.
This trek starts and ends at Pokhara. It is the second-largest and popular city in Nepal. All year round Pokhara is swarmed by tourists. So it is prepared to entertain tourists all year round.
Ghorepani Village is a fascinating village rich in tradition and culture. This is a village that you will pass through. The Gurungs flaunt their culturally rich tradition here.
The Socio-cultural experience during this trek is just as spectacular. It is unique and welcoming.
Snow-capped mountains, deep gorges, diverse flora and fauna, picturesque countryside, natural hot springs; it has it all. Beautiful landscapes, wildlife, cultural flux, Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples. You can experience it all in the Annapurna Region.
This trekking in December in Nepal is an experience of a lifetime. Short and worth it.
Highlights of the Trek
- Golden sunrise view over the Annapurna range
- Amazing and diverse flora and fauna.
- Socio-cultural encounter with the Magars and the Gurungs, the locals.
- Rejuvenating Pokhara and lakeside
Annapurna Base Camp Trekking In December In Nepal
Ever heard of Mt Annapurna, the tenth most towering peak in the world. Well, the trek to see the Mt Annapurna at its best from its base camp is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Annapurna Region is the most satisfying part of Nepal to view nature’s greatest art. Flocked with various appealing peaks like Annapurna & Machhapuchhre and captivating lush and sometimes dry terrains, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the ideal way to experience natural thicks and thins of the Annapurna region.
Likewise, ABC Trek invites people to explore the rich culture and lifestyle of the people surviving perfectly in the region from ever. Iconic and culturally rich Gurung settlements like Ghandruk, Ghorepani, Tadapani, Chhomrong, etc are the perfect stopovers of ABC Trek. This trek is via Poon Hill(3,210m)– a dream place to enjoy mountain panorama and sunrise.
The feature of this hill station has also made the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. But, it’s not that Poon Hill is the only best thing about this trek. The entire trek from the very start to its end is flawless. Your all of the hurdles will make worth after reaching Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m). Every tiredness and pain will vanish away after seeing mountains just in front of your eyes.
To add to this, Annapurna Base Camp Trek is possible during December. The Annapurna region does not turn into Iceland until late December. Rather it has dry, stable weather, and clear mountain views. So, yes, Annapurna Base Camp Trekking in Nepal in December is achievable with the right backpacking.
This panoramic trekking in December in Nepal is popular and doable.
Kathmandu Valley Trek
When most of the trekking in December in Nepal is not doable, Kathmandu Valley Trek can be the savior for you. As you know, December is the start of Winter month so high altitude treks can be a bit more difficult and dangerous than the lower altitude treks. For your information, Kathmandu Valley Trek is one of the best lower altitude treks to do in Nepal and a very quick one also.
The trek takes place from Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park and it goes upwards to Chisapani via Sundarijal. Both of the places i.e. Chisapani and Sundarijal are best known as the perfect places for hikes into the woods near Kathmandu. Chisapani(2,145m) is a hilltop from where you can enjoy the astonishing views of Manaslu, Langtang, Gauri Shanker, Annapurna, etc. Nagarkot(2,100m), the most popular hill stopover around Kathmandu will be the next stop. This hilltop is a level up from the Chisapani as you can see more peaks from here than from the latter one. Surprisingly, Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga is also sightable from Nagarkot. This is short and appropriate trekking in December in Nepal.
Then, the Kathmandu Valley Trek will make you descend down to Bhaktapur after touching Chisapani and Nagarkot. Bhaktapur is an important city of Kathmandu valley where you can visit two UNESCO world heritage sites: Changu Narayan Temple-The oldest temple of Nepal and Bhaktapur Durbar Square– a place to enjoy the outstanding architecture. Despite December being the cold month, the temperature around the Kathmandu valley is easily workable and so is the Kathmandu Valley Trek.
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Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal(Peak) is the peak in the Annapurna region and a popular destination because of Mardi Himal Trek. The Mardi Himal Trek is a trek up to the High Base Camp(4,450m) of Mardi Peak. This trek is much hyped in recent times because of its scenic happenings. Trails of this trek are through some of the best parts of the Annapurna region. You’ll get to experience every bit of nature: lush forests, mountains, scenic hills, and many more.
It is one of the shortest yet most beautiful and doable trekking in December in Nepal. In a matter of 10 days, a trekker will have encountered the attractive Mardi Himal and all the beautiful things on the way to Mardi Peak. This trek has been recently opened that is in the year 2012 and has gained much popularity.
The best part about Mardi Himal Trek is the trails of this trek are through the colorful and vibrant forest of the Annapurna region mostly. Plus, it is not that difficult and any sort of trekker can do it quite comfortably.
This trek is also popular for iconic mountain views of Mardi peak, Annapurna, Fishtail, Hiunchuli, and several more peaks.
Mardi Himal Trek is a great option if you are looking for a perfect trekking destination in December. The weather during December is stable and bearable in the Annapurna region. But still, you need to be equipped with layers as the weather can get harsher any day. However, throughout December no serious problems are bound to happen in December.
Ghandruk Trekking is another doable short trekking in December in Nepal. It is a trek through hills of the Annapurna region to the Ghandruk village.
Ghandruk(2,012m) is an iconic village of Gurungs placed nicely amid the beautiful hills. The village is very much explorable and sightable as nicely built and decorated traditional houses are dotted all over Ghandruk village.
The unique culture and lifestyle of Gurungs are what people around the world come to this place to explore closely. You cannot forget the hospitality and coziness provided by the people living in this village.
Although this trek is more dedicated to Ghandruk village, it also lets one enjoy the raw nature of the Annapurna region. Almost from every part of this trek, one can intake breathtaking mountain views of Annapurna South, HImalchuli, Machhapuchhre(Fishtail), etc. The sights of terraced fields near the various villages is also a view to enjoy. Alongside that, the rich and vibrant flora of the Annapurna region will create an amazing trekking environment. Before reaching Ghandruk, one will come across several other lively villages like Pothana, Landruk, Tolkha.
It can be said that Ghandruk Trekking is a great way to celebrate natural and cultural beauty together. As Ghandruk is a part of the Annapurna region, it’s sure that this trek is going to be a scenic experience. Trekkers can embark on this trek even in the off-seasons like Winter and Monsoon. That means you can do it in December too. The right clothing to avoid the cold of December is enough for you to head on the Ghandruk search.
Khopra Danda Trekking in December in Nepal
Khopra Danda Trek which is also popular as the Khopra Ridge Trek is the best alternative of the always crowded Ghorepani Trek. This trek lies in the Annapurna region and Khopra Danda is another place to enjoy the Annapurna region’s mountains. It is one of the doable trekking in Nepal in December. Khopra Danda or Ridge lies at an altitude of 3,640m and the journey to it is picturesque and dramatic. If you love a peaceful trekking environment then this trek can work perfectly for you. It’s a newly opened trekking route in the land of Annapurna and has not walked by many. So, Khopra Danda can be a trek to taste the untouched beauty of the Annapurna region.
Just like every trek of Nepal, Khopra Danda Trek is best for the towering and exotic mountains of Nepal. Peaks like Mt Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, Nigiri, Lamjung Himal, and Annapurna are the major things to watch on this trek. Further, the trails are allocated between the colorful dense forest of rhododendron, oak, and pine. The settlements like Ghandruk, Tadapani, and Dobato and peoples living there will make the trek more happening along the way. Trails are extremely beautiful in some parts when you see mountains behind the green hills. The sunrise and sunset are the two things not to miss out on this trek. If possible make sure you watch those views every day.
Khopra Danda Trek is an easy trek that can be in the slightly cold month of December. The chilly and cold environment makes this trek more fun and memorable. But, be equipped with basic layers to avoid the cold of the Annapurna region during December.
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Trekking in Nepal in December (Winter) is not that bad especially if you plan it in the early winters. Winters in the hilly and Terai regions are quite pleasing. But treks towards higher altitudes are a bit gruesome.
Sunny days and clear view of the majestic mountains are the perks of Trekking in Nepal in Winter.
Having said that, your trips can be completely ruined if you are not well prepared
- If you tend to walk with a lot of loads, it will definitely exhaust you and make your journey loathsome. Packing wisely and carrying trekking gear is advisable.
- Though trekking gears are a bit expensive these do give you a great return. These shed your load, provide you comfort, and are extremely handy, these help you from every possible way.
- If you are trekking about 2500 meters, you need to be aware of the Acute Mountain Sickness and prepare yourself accordingly.
- Learning about local community etiquettes would be a plus point.
- It is best to trek; ‘with an agency or a licensed guide’. From bargains, better routes, great tea houses, better food, you name it. These are the basic perks.
- Any package you choose or any season you plan, it will be good if you have spare days. As mentioned earlier, weather changes may affect flight schedules.
Equipment Required For Trekking In Nepal In December
Here is a list of the equipment that you will need to carry for a comfortable hike during your trekking in Nepal in December. However, it is not advised to carry a bag heavier than 7 kilograms. This is only to make it easier for a hike.
A lot of hiking equipment is available for rent in Pokhara too. And you can buy almost everything in Kathmandu too.
- Day pack
- Duffel or Rucksack Bag
- Warm insulating jacket
- Sleeping bag
- UV Sunglasses
- Sun hat or scarf
- Warm headgear or a hat
Foot and Handwear
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm hiking socks
- Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers/sandals)
- Lightweight gloves
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens
- Waterproof shell outer
- Gaiters for hiking in winter
- Light thermal bottoms
- Under Garments
- Lightweight cotton pants
- Fleece or wool pants
- Waterproof shell pants (preferably breathable fabric)
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Fleece Wind-Stopper Jacket
- Waterproof shell Jacket
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Trekking poles
- Water bottles
- Large plastic bags inside trekking bag, to keep your things dry
- Day pack
Toiletries and Personal Hygiene
- Tissue / Toilet roll
- Anti-bacterial hands wash
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Quick-drying towel
- Wet wipes
- Multipurpose soap/ handwash
- Feminine Hygiene products
Extras / Luxuries(Optional)
- Trail Map/ Guide Book
(Note: the List is given for reference purpose only)
With low humidity and precipitation, trekking in Nepal in December is pretty amazing. Especially if you love winters.
It is of course colder that autumn and is a bit more difficult that trekking during peak season. But if you plan the trip accordingly and choose the right gear, I don’t think that trekking in December would be a problem.
In fact, it is a lot peaceful and less crowded than during peak seasons. The teahouses and rest houses too provide better discounts than in peak season.
It doesn’t matter if winter is the best trekking season. The weather in the Himalayas can be unpredictable. It is best to be prepared. Flight schedules and flight delays may occur due to weather conditions. Just to be on a safe side, be prepared with extra days on your side.
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