Nepal has two seasons in a year i.e. the dry season (October to May) and the wet season (June to September). Generally, the weather of Nepal is pleasant and predictable. The year is divided into four different seasons i.e. summer (monsoon), autumn, spring, and winter.
The best period to visit the country for plant lovers is during spring when the flowers are in a full bloom. Spring season starts from early March and continues until late May.
From late May, the rainfall begins and continues through late August. About 80 percent of the rain falls during this period and the rest of the year is dry.
Autumn season begins from September till late November. This is the best time to visit the country because the climate and the mountain views are extraordinary. Summer and late spring temperature range from 28°C (83°F) in the hilly regions to more than 40°C (104°C) in the Terai.
Winter begins in early December and continues through late February. In this season, average maximum and minimum temperature are from 7°C (45°F) to a mild 23°C (74°F). The hilly region experience a minimum temperature often falling below freezing point and a maximum of 12°C (54°F).
Nepal has a diverse climate because of the topography which ranges from sea level at 75 m to 8848 m where the highest peak of the world, Mt. Everest lies.
The southern belt of Terai remains hot and humid most of the year. The temperature decreases gradually towards North as the altitude increases.
The temperature in the Himalayas never remain constant but the general rule is that as the higher you go, the colder it becomes. Thus, if you want to travel Nepal especially in the Himalayan region, the climate and the weather is one of the most crucial factors to be considered.
Seasons in Nepal
Summer season is accompanied by the monsoon season. Due to the hot weather, rainfall is maximum during this season.
Generally, this season is not recommended to travel as it rains in the lower altitudes below 3500 meters. In high altitudes above 4000 meters, it rains sometimes but very few people travel during this season.
However, there are positive sides of trekking during the summer season. Sometimes, excess rainfall provides ample opportunity to view spectacular waterfalls. Also, the most of the popular trekking trails are less crowded.
During monsoon, you can visit Pokhara which is one of the most beautiful cities of Nepal.
Highlights of Summer Season
- The farmer’s festival falls at this time. Most of the Nepalese farmers plant paddy seedlings.
- You will get a chance to enjoy different fascinating festivals such as Gaijatra and Teej in August and Janai Purnima in July.
- As this time is the off-season for trekking, there will be lesser crowds of trekkers. Thus, you can fully enjoy and get the best out of your trek.
- You can also enjoy the green and lush vegetation. You will also witness blooming flowers and agricultural cultivation.
- You can attend the Yartung Mela in Muktinath Valley on a full moon day during July-August. Yartung mean the ‘end’ and Mela mean ‘festival’, it means a festival to send off summer.
Best trekking trails for Summer Season
One of the main attractions of trekking in the Annapurna region is that it is much drier all year round than in the Everest region. The upper section of Annapurna Circuit Trek lies in the rain shadow area, which makes it a suitable trail for trekking in the summer season.
During summer, the water level of rivers decreases in the Upper Mustang region. You can also explore different hidden caves, red walled monasteries, and authentic Buddhist villages.
Phoksundo is the deepest lake in Nepal which lies at a high altitude in the Dolpo region. You can explore this beautiful lake and its surrounding area. This place is perfectly suitable for trekking in the monsoon season as it also lies in the rain shadow area.
Travel tips for visiting Nepal during Summer Season
- During the summer season, because of monsoon, the city gets the most rainfall. So, you need to carry an umbrella with yourself. It will also be a shade for you from the sun.
- You need to carry an insect repellent to protect yourself from leeches and mosquitoes.
- Normally, in summer it rains in the afternoons than in the morning. So if you want to get a clearer view of the mountains, you need to start early.
- Sometimes due to bad weather, your flight may get delayed. So you need to prepare yourself for a few extra days with some extra luggage.
- As the trails might get muddy and slippery, you need to carry light and breathable running shoes.
- You need to bring sunglasses and sun hat to protect yourself from extreme sunlight.
Autumn season is the season between September and November and it is the best time to time to visit Nepal. It marks a transition from summer to winter.
During autumn, the weather is perfect. It is neither too hot in the lower lands nor too cold in the highlands.
The monsoon also clears away all pollution and dust. Thus, this month offers a clear view of the sky and mountains.
As a result, many tourists arrive Nepal to trek in the northern region. During this season, only Annapurna region receives more than 50,000 trekkers.
Due to the large inflow of tourist in autumn, sometimes it is difficult to find proper accommodation. But, every penny you spend will be worth the trek and the experiences you make.
Besides, you can also get a glimpse of the rich festivals and cultures of the local Nepalese people. The major attraction of this season includes some of the biggest festivals like Dashain, Tihar, and Teej.
Highlights of Autumn Season
- This season is much drier than other time of the year. The temperature is also pleasant during the day with clear visibility.
- This is also the festive season as Nepal celebrates its biggest two festivals i.e. Dashain and Tihar.
- The average temperature in upper hill and lower Himalayan region during this time is 15°C-24°C (59°F-75°F).
- Days tend to be warmer and nights are colder.
- This season is also the best time to visit the Terai region as the temperature is moderate.
- Flight and accommodation costs tend to be expensive than other time.
Best trekking trails for Autumn Season
During the autumn season, all types of treks are possible. You can go for either a challenging trek in higher altitudes or a moderate trek in lower altitudes.
Autumn is the best time to go for the Everest Base Camp Trek as you will get a crystal clear view of the mountains. The sky is also clear and the temperature is moderate. You will witness the breathtaking views of some highest peaks including Mt. Everest, Mt. AMadablam, Mt. Nuptse, Mt. Lhotse and more.
Autumn is also the best season for the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal. The weather is pleasant and comfortable. You will get the perfect view of snow-capped mountains such as Annapurna I, II, III, IV and Dhaulagiri ranges.
Travel tips for visiting Nepal during Autumn Season
- As the nights are colder, sleeping bag is compulsory while trekking on popular trails.
- You need to pack good hiking boots and warm gears.
- You need to be physically fit to hike along the trails.
- You need to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated especially at higher altitudes.
- Altitude sickness can be a major problem while trekking. Thus, you need to seek immediate medical help if diagnosed.
- You can enjoy big autumn festivals like Dashain (October), Tihar (November), and the Mani Rimdu festival in Tengboche above Namche in the Everest region (November).
Spring season is another best time to visit Nepal because of its stable weather. It is also the best time to do trekking on the trails of the Himalayas, as the snow will have begun to melt. You will get plenty of opportunities to witness the spectacular views of mountains.
During this season, a variety of flowers blossom and the national flower of Nepal, Rhododendron will cover the hills. Plus, you can also view diverse floras and faunas which are famous in Nepal during spring.
This is the season when Nepal receives the second highest number of tourists in the year. It is because most of the trekking trails are excellent and the visibility is nearly perfect. The temperature is also warm in low lands and moderates in higher altitudes.
Highlights of Spring Season
- The weather is pleasant with very few chances of rainfall. Thus, it gives you a chance to observe the breathtaking mountain.
- You can enjoy the dance performance of monks in Mustang. Attending the Tiji Festival in Upper Mustang is the main attraction of the trekking in Annapurna Circuit Trek during Spring.
- The days will get longer with shorter nights which gives you plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities in daylight.
- This season also gives you an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful wildlife and bird watching at Chitwan National Park.
- You will get a chance to enjoy Holi, a festival of colors in March and the Nepalese New Year in April.
Best trekking trails for Spring Season
Annapurna region, Upper Mustang, and Everest region are perfect for longer treks during the spring season. In this time, you also can cross high passes like Larkya La of the Manaslu Circuit Trek, Kongma La of Three Passes Trek, Thorung La of Annapurna Circuit Trek and high viewpoints such as Kala Patthar and Gokyo Ri in the Everest Region.
Most of the trekking trails pass through ethnic villages which will provide a close sight of the culture and traditions of local people. Besides this, you can also enjoy short hikes around Nagarkot and Dhulikhel or go for Poon Hill Trek during this season.
Travel tips for visiting Nepal during Spring Season
- In the spring season, 95% of all treks are booked. It is one of the most crowded time of the year in Nepal. Thus, you need to pre-book your flight and lodges through your respective travel agency.
- On the high altitudes, there will be a huge difference in day and night temperatures when going from lower elevation to higher elevation. So, you need to dress in layers.
- As this is the second best season for trekking in Nepal, you can choose less known trekking trails or visit in early or late spring to avoid large crowds.
- There is only a little chance of rain in the lower altitudes. So, it’s better to carry a light rain jacket and backpack rain cover.
The winter season starts from December to February. January is the coldest month of the year and many mountain lodges are shut down due to extremely low temperatures. During the initial month of this season, lower altitude is less cold but when you ascend to higher altitudes, the temperature tends to decrease.
In this season, only treks below 4000m will be comfortable and safer. As Nepal has a short winter, you can visit the country during early December for trekking in the Himalayan regions.
Highlights of Winter Season
- During the winter season, it rarely rains. So, the skies remain clear most of the time.
- You can enjoy trekking in lower altitudes as the temperature is more comfortable and you can even witness the snow-capped mountains.
- As winter is the off season for trekking in Nepal, you do not have to face any problem related to accommodation at tea houses.
- You can enjoy festivals like Tamu Lhosar, Christmas, and Mageshangrati in the highlands of Nepal.
Best trekking trails for Winter Season
As winter is cold, this time offers you clear skies, beautiful sceneries, and majestic mountains. During this time, you can go for a short and easy trek like Everest Panorama Trek in the Everest region, Ghorepani Poonhill Trek around Annapurna region, and Langtang Valley Trek in Langtang region.
You can also trek to the lower Solu area south of Everest and shorter treks near Pokhara. The lowlands including Chitwan and Bardia National Parks have moderate temperatures and are gorgeous in winter.
Travel tips for visiting Nepal during Winter Season
- You need to prepare yourself for the cold and snowfall. Thus, you need to wear warm gears and dress up in layers.
- To have warm feet while trekking, you need to carry sturdy boots.
- You have to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
- If you are trekking above 2500 meters, you need to be aware of symptoms and precautions about altitude sickness.
Conclusion: Best Time to Visit Nepal
Each of Nepal’s climatic seasons has something different to offer. But there are a few unique months which are the best for trekking through different trials.
Autumn and Spring season are the best seasons for traveling in Nepal. During this time, many visitors from all around the world enter the country. So, you will need to pre book your flight.
The peak time for trekking in Nepal is from late September to early December as the climate is moderate and the skies are clear. You get a chance to get the best views of the mountains. Spring season is the second best time to trek and climb the Himalayas.
In Nepal, most of the times, the success of a trek completely depends upon the weather conditions. Plus, there are a number of other factors you might need to consider before deciding when you will be visiting Nepal.
Trekking trails of Nepal are flexible. So with the proper clothing and right trail selection depending upon the season, you can go all year round for trekking in Nepal.