Yes! You heard it right Trekking in Nepal in January is possible. You might have heard many times that trekking during winter is not a good idea. But there are many trekking routes that are suitable for trekking in January.
If you’re making plans for trekking in Nepal in January, here are some facts and recommendations you might want to know. Our tips will surely help you make the most out of your winter trek trip.
December, January, and February are the coldest months here in Nepal. Now, you definitely have figured out that the weather is going to get to the coldest point as the temperature drops to its lowest in January.
January is the first month of the year and the second month of the winter season. This month is the time for the occurrence of heavy snowfall in the Himalayas. And due to that people don’t prefer trekking in the high regions during this month.
However, there are fewer to no chances of snowfall in Lower regions. So you can trek in routes below 4000 m elevation. These treks are also as thrilling and challenging as high altitude treks.
To complete these treks, you need to be physically and mentally fit. So, always be prepared when trekking in the Himalaya region. Don’t worry, trekking in January is not as harsh as people portray. With proper training and preparation, you can complete these treks with ease.
We have listed out a few of the treks suitable for Trekking in Nepal in January. To know more about them, read further below.
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Trekking in Nepal in January
So, how is the weather up there in January?
Freezing cold! Literally.
You might already know that January is the coldest month of the year. And the time when there is an occurrence of heavy snowfall in higher regions. The temperature in the mountains can drop down to -30 Degrees. Wind chills make it feel even colder. The weather might change by hours. Possible avalanches occur this time around. Heavy snow can block passes.
However, it is safe and ideal to consider trek passes at an altitude below 4000 meters.
Weather-wise, Autumn and spring are considered the best seasons for trekking in Nepal. So why trek in January (the midwinter)?
Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Of all seasons, winter offers the best view. Mountains are covered with sparkling white snow. It does not rain and the sky is clear. Less crowd, so no photobombs to your perfect picture. Easy and economic accommodation as the tea houses and lodges are not much occupied.
Most of the tea houses and lodges in higher altitudes stay closed as people move down to the valleys where it is less cold. However, plenty of these places stay open at places where we recommend it is best to trek in Nepal in January.
However, you don’t have to worry as there are many treks suitable to do during January. And we have mentioned a few of them below:
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Best Trekking Trails in Nepal in January
If you’ve just made a new year’s resolution to trek the highest trails. Don’t hurry, you can put it aside for later months. It is very difficult and risky to trek the higher routes like Manaslu, Langtang Gosaikunda, Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and Annapurna Circuit in winter.
Here, the weather is not harsh. The nights are cold and the day is sunny and warmer.
Ghorepani Poonhill Trekking
An ideal destination for trekking in Nepal in January. Ghorepani Poonhill is one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal for short trek throughout the trekking seasons.
Ghorepani Poon hill trek is a five-day trek to the maximum elevation of 3210 meters.
Ghorepani Poon Hill trek in January will serve you the best of all seasons. This short trek has so much to offer you in terms of beauty. Throughout the trek, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) the most beautiful mountain will always be by your side.
Without any spoilers, let’s just say that this trek will bring you right to your present. You can enjoy the beautiful views and peaceful environment and forget the rest. This trek is simply meditative.
Be sure of the storage space on your mobile phones or cameras to take back home all the captured moments.
Highlights of the trek
- View of beautiful sunrise from Poon Hill
- Beautiful panoramic view of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri himalayan range
- Beautiful side view of Mount Machhapuchhre (Fish-tail)
- Magical view of the mountains that turn golden with the morning and evening rays of the sun
A short and easy seven-day trek up to the elevation of 3870 meters. This is another recommended trek rout for your January trek in Nepal.
This trek route lies in Khumbu, Everest region but we are not going higher up the Everest Basecamp. It is very difficult and risky to trek such heights in this month.
It sure is going to be a thrill to reach the infamous Lukla airport. From Lukla, the trek starts till Tengboche village lying in the lap of Ama Dablam.
Along the trek route, you will come to places where you can get the most beautiful viewpoints of the mountains. The mountains like the Everest, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and many more will amaze you.
Highlights of the trek
- Explore the rich and diverse Sherpa culture
- Sherpa village and Buddhist monasteries
- Explore the beautiful Tengboche village surrounded by snow covered mountains
- Visit one of the biggest Buddhist monasteries
- Spectacular views of the Mount Everest up close and many other high mountains.
Kathmandu Valley Trek
Every traveler that visits Nepal has to stop in the capital city, Kathmandu. As it is home to the only international airport in Nepal. This city is famous for its ancient arts, cultural sites, short treks, and many more.
If you love trekking but don’t have enough time, then Kathmandu Valley Trek is an excellent choice for you. This trek takes about 3 to 4 days off your schedule. It is a short and easy trek made for trekkers having limited time.
Kathmandu Valley trek takes place in the Northern part of the capital city. It is suitable for people of any age group and can be done with family, friends, and children. This trek is ideal for any time of the year, even during monsoon and winter.
You will be visiting some of the famous sites of the valley in this trek, such as Chisapani, Nagarkot, Namo Buddha, and many more. You begin your journey from Sundarijal and end it in Dhulikhel.
Pass through beautiful settlements of the Tamang community. Visit an ancient Buddhist monastery, a beautiful sunrise view from the tower of Nagarkot. This trek is full of exciting adventures and engaging scenarios.
You get the mesmerizing view of Mount Everest, Ganesh Himal, Gauri Shankar, and many more. As this trek lies in the lower region, you don’t have to worry about snowfall.
However, it can be icy cold during January, so don’t forget your warm clothes. Kathmandu Valley Trek gives you a marvelous opportunity to explore the beautiful valley.
Kalinchowk Temple Trek
Kalinchowk Temple Trek is another excellent choice for Trekking in Nepal in January. Trek to Kalinchowk Temple is a moderate level climb suitable for any level trekker. This trek is short and easily accessible from Kathmandu.
Kalinchowk Temple is the highest point of this trek situated at an altitude of 3842 m above sea level. Kalinchowk is a Hindu temple that resides in the Dolakha district. This place is quite popular among the domestic people as well.
You get to view various beautiful rivers, landscapes, and mesmerizing peaks while passing through dense forest. Also, experience the excellent hospitality, culture, and lifestyle of the locals living here.
This place is quite crowded with travelers, both foreigners, and locals, during January. There is snowfall occurring here during late December, attracting many snow-lovers to visit here.
You begin your journey by driving to Charikot from Kathmandu, viewing the beauty of nature. You will reach the trailhead to Kalinchowk Trek in just half a day. Then staying there, you head towards the campsite and move to Kalinchowk the following day.
Exploring the temple, you descend to Kuri Camp and head to Charikot the next day. From there, you drive back to Kathmandu. This trek is about 4 to 7 days long.
During your trek, altitude sickness can be a problem for some trekkers. Few people suffer from AMS while climbing elevation above 2500 m. So, always drink plenty of water and walk slowly.
Also, it will be very windy and chilly in the upper regions, so carry extra warm clothes. This fantastic trek to the holy Hindu Shrine will be a memorable one of nature lovers.
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Ghandruk Trek is one of the best short trekking destinations of the Annapurna region. The trek takes about 6 to 7 days off from your schedule. This trek can be done during January as well.
During January, the weather is warm at day time but gets cold as night falls. However, there is no chance of snowfall in the routes of Ghandruk Trek. So, your trek won’t be much harsh and challenging.
But it is full of amazing views of various peaks, landscapes, and great cultural experiences. Ghandruk Trek is one heck of an adventurous journey in the Himalayas.
Ghandruk village is the highest point of your trek situated at an altitude of 1940 m above sea level. This village lies in the Kaski district of Gandaki province about 32 km away on the north-west side of Pokhara.
Ghandruk Village is home to the Gurung Community, who are the native people of this place. You get the opportunity to know more about their tradition and lifestyle on this trek.
The people of this heritage village are friendly and welcoming. They perform their cultural dances at night and entertain the trekkers during their stay. So, don’t miss out on their fantastic performance.
On this trek, you will be walking through the beautiful forests of Rhododendron, pines, and oaks. Also, the breathtaking view of Mount Annapurna, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, will accompany all the way.
This trek is about 3 to 4 days long, which is enough to explore and create beautiful memories.
Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang Valley Trek is one of the closest trekking destinations near Kathmandu valley. It lies in the north-central part of the Himalayas in the Bagmati Zone. It is located about 51 km away from Kathmandu on its north side.
This trek is popular among trekkers for its picturesque view and traditional villages. It is also a part of the Langtang National Park which acts as a border with Tibet.
This park is home to some of the rare animals and plants found in this region. The park was made to preserve the wildlife, forests, natural and cultural resources of this place.
The majority of people living in this area belong to the Tamang community. Most of these people still rely on the timber and woods for fire. However, their warm welcome and friendly nature will be mesmerizing.
During your trek, you get to experience the Tibetan influenced culture. And view some of the spectacular peaks of this country, such as Langtang Lirung, Dorje Lakpa, Kyunga Ri, etc.
Kyanjin Gompa is the highest point of this trek situated at an altitude of 3800 m above sea level. You get to see many spectacular views of mountain peaks from here.
Langtang Valley trek lasts about 10 to 15 days. It begins by driving till Syabru Besi from Kathmandu. Then following the routes, you trek and stay in various settlements for the next few trekking days.
Then again descending till Syabru Besi, you head back to Kathmandu. The views become more eye-catching during winters as the snow covers the valley. Forest paths and houses bedded with snow look stunning.
Mardi Himal Trek
In a short period, Mardi Himal Trek has been able to gain popularity in the Trekking world. The trek routes to Mardi Himal recently opened in 2012 for trekking.
The trails follow through off beaten paths used by shepherds for summer grazing. As this is a newly discovered route, it is still unspoiled and untouched. However, you will find fewer tea-houses with essential services on this route.
You will be reaching the base of Mardi Himal on this trek. Mardi Himal lies in the Annapurna region and beneath Mount Machhapuchhre. It resides at an elevation of 5587 m above sea level.
The majority of people living in this area are from Gurung Community. You can also find people from Thakali, Rai, and Magar communities as well. Their friendly nature and mesmerizing hospitality will add joy to your trip.
You will be staying in many traditional villages during your time here. Thus, you get to know more about their lifestyle, cuisines, cultures, and traditions closely. Not only that, but the picturesque view of the landscapes and snowy peaks are also another attraction.
On your trek, you get to view Mount Annapurna, Mount Machapuchhre, Hiunchuli, and many more. Also, the forest paths covered with Rhododendron, Oaks, Birch, etc add color to your trip.
The valley covered in blankets of snow looks breathtaking during January. However, the routes can be harsh and challenging, so don’t rush. Take short rests in the paths and enjoy the beauty of nature.
For further queries, please contact us anytime at https://himalayasonfoot.com/contact-us/
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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 a hike.
A lot of hiking equipment is available for rent in Pokhara too. And you can buy almost everything in Kathmandu as well.
Toiletries and Personal Hygiene
- Tissue / Toilet roll
- Anti bacterial hands wash
- Wet wipes
- Multipurpose soap/ handwash
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Quick drying towel
- Feminine Hygiene products
- Light thermal bottoms
- Under Garments
- Lightweight cotton pants
- Fleece or wool pants
- Waterproof shell pants (preferably breathable fabric)
- Fleece jacket or pullover
- Fleece Wind-Stopper Jacket
- Waterproof shell Jacket
- Light and expedition weight thermal tops
- Sun hat or scarf
- UV Sunglasses
- Warm head gear or a hat
Foot and Handwear
- Thin, lightweight inner socks
- Thick, warm hiking socks
- Heavyweight gloves or mittens
- Waterproof shell outer
- Gaiters for hiking in winter
- Best Hiking boots with spare laces
- Camp shoes (sneakers/sandals)
- Lightweight gloves
- Warm insulating jacket
- Sleeping bag
- Day pack
- Duffel or Rucksack Bag
- Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees
- Water bottles
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Trekking poles
- Large plastic bags inside trekking bag, to keep your things dry
- Day pack
Extra / Luxuries(Optional)
- Pillow case
- Trail Map/ Guide Book
(Note: this List is given for reference purpose only)
Trekking in Nepal in January is an interesting choice. Firstly, it is quite challenging due to the weather and Secondly, it might be a lot peaceful than the usual trekking seasons.
Most difficulties you might face will be related to the weather. Apart from the weather, you will be able to enjoy the hospitality and extra discounts that you might receive in the tea houses.
The surrounding and cultural life is a lot normal and at peace. You will be able to enjoy the socio-cultural life in their true form. The pseudo-cultural display will be sparse.
Trekking in lower altitudes and shorter treks are highly recommended in January. But if you like winters and love to explore the snow-capped mountains and the chilling adventure, definitely go for it.
The best trekking season doesn’t matter while trekking to the higher altitudes. The weather in the Himalayas can be pretty unpredictable. So, it is best to be prepared. Flight schedules may differ and flight delays may occur due to the weather conditions. Just to be on a safe side, please be prepared with extra days on your side.
For further queries, please contact us anytime at https://himalayasonfoot.com/contact-us/