December in Nepal marks the begin 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 altitude (above 4000m) is not recommended.
However, Most of Annapurna, Langtang and Everest treks can be done. Even though spring and fall is 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.
Table of Contents
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 Trekking Trails 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.
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.
Highlight of the Trek
- 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
- 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 a short and easy trek towards 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 it 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.
Highlight of the Trek
- 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 lifdefstyle 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 Trek In December
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.
The 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.
It is an experience of a lifetime. Short and worth it.
Highlight 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
Trekking in Nepal in 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 load, it will definately exhaust you and make your journey loathsome. Packing wisely and carrying trekking gears is advisable.
- Though trekking gears are a bit expensive these do give you great return. These shed your load, provides you comfort and are extremely handy, these help you from every possible ways.
- 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.
Here is a list of the equipment that you will need to carry for a comfortable hike. However, it is not advised to carry a bag heavier than 7 kilograms. This is only to make it easier for 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 head gear 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
Extra / Luxuries(Optional)
- Trail Map/ Guide Book
- Pillow case
(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 the weather conditions. Just to be on a safe side, be prepared with extra days on your side.
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