Best Winter Treks in Nepal

2023-03-11 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

Millions of tourists visit Nepal each year for its beautiful landscapes and well-known trekking routes because it is a country of unmatched natural beauty and adventure. While Nepal is a popular location for trekking all year long, the winter months from December to February provide hikers with a special and magnificent experience.

 Winter treks in Nepal

Trekkers can experience the Himalayas in Nepal even in winter with unadulterated splendor against a backdrop of pure blue skies, snow-capped peaks, and frozen landscapes. Nepal's winter trekking offers a variety of winter trekking locations to suit all interests and experience levels, whether you are an expert hiker or a novice.

There are plenty of options for people wanting adventure and the beauty of nature, ranging from the well-known Everest Base Camp Trek to the less well-known Upper Mustang Trek. This post will look at some of Nepal's top winter trekking locations, which provide breathtaking mountain vistas, interesting cultural encounters, and priceless memories.

Reasons to do Trekking in Winter

  • During winter, there are fewer tourists for trekking in Nepal, resulting in fewer crowds on the trails and at the teahouses.
  • You'll have more space and time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscapes without the crowds. 
  • Winter in Nepal is generally dry and has clear skies, which provides excellent visibility of the mountain ranges and scenery. 
  •  Trekking in Nepal during winter provides a unique experience compared to trekking during peak season. The snow-capped peaks and landscapes are stunning, and the atmosphere is more peaceful and serene. 
  • During the winter, local people are less busy with farming and other activities, so they have more time to interact with trekkers. You can have a more authentic cultural experience and learn about the local way of life. 
  • The snow and ice on the mountains provide a unique opportunity for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Some trekking routes, such as the Langtang trek, have areas with enough snow to engage in these activities. 
  • The snow-capped mountains, crystal clear blue skies, and frozen waterfalls provide a unique and picturesque landscape that is different from other seasons. You can capture stunning photographs of the Himalayas, the valleys, and the landscapes. 
  • Animals such as yaks, musk deer, snow leopards, and Himalayan Thar are better seen during winter.
  •  Trekking in Nepal during winter can be a challenging and rewarding personal experience. The colder temperatures and potentially slippery trails require physical and mental preparation and endurance, but completing the trek can be a significant accomplishment.

Packing Items for Winter Trekking in Nepal

  • Warm clothing like thermal base layers, insulated jackets, warm hats, gloves, and scarves are crucial to protect you from the cold. 
  • A waterproof jacket and pants protect you from snow, and windproof layers keep you warm in windy conditions. 
  • Good quality, waterproof hiking boots with good ankle support are essential to keep your feet warm and dry. 
  • In winter, temperatures can drop significantly at night, so carrying a good-quality sleeping bag is essential. 
  • The days are shorter in winter, and it's crucial to have a reliable source of light such as Headlamps and batteries.
  •  The snow reflects sunlight, which can cause eye strain and damage, so carrying sunglasses with good UV protection is essential. 
  • Trekking poles provide stability and support while walking on slippery and uneven terrain. 
  • A basic first aid kit with essential supplies like bandages, antiseptic cream, and painkillers is essential in case of injuries or illness. 
  • Trekker's Information Management System (TIMS) card is required for all trekking destinations whereas depending on the area you plan to trek you will need restricted area permits, for example, national park permits and conservation area permits.

Everest Base Camp Trek in Winter

While Everest Base Camp Trek in winter may seem unusual, this trek is quite feasible even during the colder months. For those comfortable with cold weather, winter trekking is possible as there are no chances of avalanches along the route.

A rewarding trip through Nepal's Khumbu region is the Everest Base Camp Trek. As you make your way through ancient Sherpa settlements like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, and Dingboche, the trek begins at Lukla. Magnificent vistas of the Himalayas, including Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam, are available along the walk.

The trek's high point is arriving at Everest Base Camp, where you can see the grandeur of the planet's tallest mountain up close. Hiking to Everest Base Camp in the dead of winter may be an interesting and fulfilling experience. Generally, there are fewer visitors during the off-season. You can see a different side of the mountains when the clear skies make for wonderful views.

However, the trail might be covered with snow, and the weather might be erratic and quite cold. The trek lasts between 12 and 14 days depending on the route and pace. Teahouses along the road offer lodging options, offering a relaxing location to pause and recharge.

Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley Trek is the best trek for anyone who wishes to see the splendor of the Himalayas in the winter because it is less difficult than some of the other treks in Nepal.

The walk passes through Langtang National Park, a haven for several animals, including the endangered red panda. The trip also goes past several traditional Tamang villages, so you can get a taste of the way of life there. Starting in Syabrubesi, the trip leads through verdant forests, rhododendron groves, and picturesque alpine meadows.

The journey's high point is arriving at Kyanjin Gompa, a Buddhist temple with breathtaking views of the Langtang mountains. On the way, you'll pass by waterfalls, suspension bridges, and snow-capped hills, making for a distinctive and unforgettable experience.

The Langtang Valley Trek takes around 7-10 days to complete, depending on the itinerary and pace. Accommodation is available in teahouses along the route, providing a comfortable place to rest and refuel.

Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang Trek is a remote and arid trekking route located in the Mustang region of Nepal. The trek starts from Jomsom and takes you through several traditional villages like Kagbeni, Lo Manthang, and Dhakmar. The region is rich in cultural heritage, with several monasteries, caves, and ancient palaces to explore.

The highlight of the trek is reaching the walled city of Lo Manthang, the capital of the former Mustang kingdom. The city is a treasure trove of ancient art, culture, and tradition, with its narrow alleys, whitewashed houses, and prayer flags adding to the unique experience of the trek.

The Upper Mustang Trek is suitable during the winter season, as the clear skies and dry weather offer some of the best views of the snow-capped mountains. The trek is physically demanding, with long stretches of barren landscapes and high passes to cross. The Upper Mustang Trek is a great choice for those who want to experience the unique culture and landscapes of this remote region of Nepal.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

A popular yet somewhat simple trek in Nepal's Annapurna region is the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek. Starting at Nayapul, the trek takes you past traditional Gurung settlements like Tikhedhunga and Ghorepani.

From Poon Hill, the climb provides breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas, including Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. The trek's climax is arriving at Poon Hill at daybreak when you can take in the breathtaking Mountains in all their splendor. A lovely and peaceful environment is created by the trek's passage through luxuriant forests of oak and rhododendron trees.

For those seeking a shorter and easier walk that nevertheless offers breathtaking views and a taste of local culture, the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is a fantastic option. Depending on the schedule, the walk takes about 4-6 days to accomplish.

Teahouses that are located along the route offer lodging options and a relaxing environment to recharge. Families and novice trekkers might consider the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek as a wonderful introduction to Nepali hiking.

Mardi Himal Trek

 In Nepal's Annapurna region, the Mardi Himal Trek remains an unspoiled treasure that provides a less congested, off-the-beaten-path trekking experience. Starting in Kande, the hike takes you past traditional Gurung settlements like Landruk and Forest Camp. Beautiful vistas of the Himalayas, including Machhapuchre, Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri, may be seen along the walk.

Reaching Mardi Himal Base Camp, where you may experience breathtaking vistas of the Mardi Himal and its surrounding peaks, is the trek's pinnacle. The hike also travels through luxuriant forests, groves of rhododendrons, and picturesque alpine meadows, making for an interesting and unforgettable experience. The trek normally takes 4 days to complete.

The winter months of December through February are ideal for the spectacular vistas of the Himalayas, even though the weather can be chilly and snowy. Winter trekking offers a more tranquil and calm experience. Although during this season, appropriate planning and equipment are required to guarantee a secure and enjoyable trek.

Khumai Dada Trek

In Nepal's Far West, a lesser-known trek called the Khumai Dada Trek offers a distinctive and daring trekking experience. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the Api and Saipal mountain ranges as you travel through rural towns, old-world inns, and virgin woods on the journey that departs from Chainpur.
In this journey you will arrive at Khumai Dada, a breathtaking hilltop overlook with expansive views of the Himalayas and the area.

The local villages are renowned for their hospitality and traditional way of life, the trip also provides an opportunity to experience their distinctive cultures and traditions. The Khumai Dada trek takes around 10-12 days to complete. Accommodation is available in traditional homestays along the route, providing a unique and authentic cultural experience.

Winter Gokyo Lake Trek

Gokyo Lake Trek is an alternative to the Everest Base Camp, offering one of Nepal's high-altitude treks feasible even in winter. It's suitable for those who can adapt to cold temperatures, as the no risk of snow avalanches in this route.

The Gokyo Lake Trek is a popular trekking route in the Everest region of Nepal, offering a unique and stunning trekking experience. The trek takes you through the picturesque Sherpa villages of Namche Bazaar, Khumjung, and Tengboche, with breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range.

The highlight of the trek is reaching the Gokyo Valley, where you can see the pristine alpine lakes and stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Everest, Lhotse, and Cho Oyu. The trek also offers a chance to experience the unique Sherpa culture and traditions, with visits to ancient monasteries and cultural sites.

The Gokyo Lake Trek offers a distinctive hiking experience between December and February when snow blankets the routes and there are fewer visitors. This time of year, the views of the frozen lakes and snow-covered mountains are particularly stunning.

View from Gokyo Ri -Gokyo Lake Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

One of the most well-liked trekking routes in Nepal is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, which offers stunning vistas of the Annapurna mountain range as well as a variety of natural settings. Traditional Gurung and Magar communities, verdant forests, and high-altitude scenery are all seen along the route.

Before climbing to the 4,130-meter-high Annapurna Base Camp, which is reached after leaving Nayapul, the walk takes you past charming towns like Ghandruk and Chomrong.

The Gurung and Magar people's distinctive culture, including their traditional attire, cuisine, and way of life, will be experienced along the journey. You will be surrounded by spectacular views of the Annapurna range, including Annapurna South, Annapurna I, and Machhapuchhre, once you arrive at Annapurna Base Camp (Fishtail).

Rara Lake Trek

The isolated Mugu area of western Nepal is home to the picturesque hiking path known as the Rara Lake trek. Flying from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and then to Jumla is the first step in the journey. The trek's high point is the picturesque Rara Lake, one of Nepal's largest freshwater lakes. Musk deer, Himalayan black bears, and several bird species are among the park's rich flora and fauna.

The trek usually takes about 10-12 days to complete, with a daily average walking distance of 5-6 hours. Accommodation is available in lodges and tea houses along the way. During the winter, the Rara Lake trek is less slippery than during the monsoon season, making it easier to trek. You can see clear and stunning snow-capped mountains, including the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges.

The lake also freezes in winter, creating an incredible ice-covered landscape. Trekking during the winter season requires good quality winter gear, including warm clothes, a sleeping bag, and a warm jacket.

Khopre Danda Trek

The Khopre Danda Trek is a relatively new trekking trail that allows you to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the mountains without the crowds. The Khopre Danda Trek begins in Nayapul and takes you through charming villages like Ghandruk, Chomrong, and Tadapani. You will also get to visit the popular viewpoint of Poon Hill, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Himalayas.

The Khopra Ridge, which offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna South, Fang, and Nilgiri mountains, is one of the trek's highlights. You will also have the opportunity to see Khayer Lake, a holy lake tucked away in the mountains. In Nepal, the Khopre Danda Trek is a top choice for winter trekking.

The Annapurna region experiences typically dry winters with clear, blue skies and brisk, chilly air. This makes it the perfect time to travel across the area and take in the breathtaking Himalayan views.

Mohare Dada Trek

In the western part of Nepal, there is a relatively new hiking route called the Mohare Dada Trek. This journey offers a distinctive and off-the-beaten-path trekking experience as it takes you through isolated villages and breathtaking vistas.

With breathtaking panoramas of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountain ranges, the journey departs from the village of Darbang and leads you through verdant woods, terraced farmlands, and rocky terrain.

Reaching Mohare Dada's top, a 3,500-meter peak with sweeping vistas of the mountains and valleys below is the trek's high point. Along the way, you will pass through traditional Magar and Gurung villages, where you can experience the local culture and hospitality. The trek also offers opportunities to see wildlife such as the Himalayan Thar, Musk Deer, and various bird species.

Tamang Heritage Trek

The Tamang Heritage Trek is a culturally rich and scenic trekking trail located in the Langtang region of Nepal. The trail takes you through traditional Tamang villages and offers stunning views of the Langtang mountain range.

The trek starts in Syabrubesi and takes you through picturesque villages like Gatlang, Tatopani, and Thuman. Along the way, you will get to experience the unique Tamang culture, including their traditional dress, food, and way of life.

The Tamang Heritage Trek includes a stop at Tatopani's hot springs, where you may unwind and regenerate after a day of hiking. Also, there are sweeping vistas of the nearby mountains, including Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, and other snow-capped summits, from the trek.

Pikey Peak Trek

A moderate trip like the Pikey Peak Trek can be finished in 7–10 days. A relatively new hiking route in Nepal's Solu-Khumbu region, the Pikey Peak Trek is renowned for its breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range, including Mount Everest. The journey offers a distinctive cultural and scenic trekking experience as it passes through traditional Sherpa settlements.

The journey begins in Jiri and passes through the charming communities of Lamjura, Junbesi, and Pikey Base Camp. The summit of Pikey Peak, a 4,068-meter peak that provides panoramic views of the other mountains, including Mount Everest, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga, is the trek's pinnacle.

Along the way, you will experience the unique Sherpa culture, including their traditional dress, food, and way of life. You will also have the opportunity to visit ancient monasteries, including the Thupten Choling Monastery in Junbesi.

Hiking around Kathmandu Valley

For tourists searching for a distinctive trekking experience, the Kathmandu Valley provides a range of hiking alternatives in addition to being a center of culture. Kathmandu Valley is a great place for hikers and trekkers because it is surrounded by lovely hills and medieval settlements. The Shivapuri Hiking Path is one of the most well-liked hiking routes in the Kathmandu Valley.

It is a fairly simple trip in the Shivapuri National Park that provides breathtaking views of the valley and neighboring mountains. The Chisapani Nagarkot Trek is another well-liked trekking route that passes through verdant forests, conventional villages, and historic temples. Panorama views of the Himalayan mountain range, including Mount Everest, are available on this easy climb.

The Nagarkot Changunarayan Trek is another popular hiking trail that takes you through beautiful landscapes and traditional villages to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Changunarayan Temple. Overall, hiking around the Kathmandu Valley offers a unique cultural and scenic trekking experience, and it is suitable for trekkers of all fitness levels.

Check-in Details: Best Hiking Around Kathmandu Valley

Hiking around Pokhara Valley

Pokhara Valley, located in the western region of Nepal, is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes. Several hiking trails in and around Pokhara Valley offer a unique trekking experience. One of the popular hiking trails is the Sarangkot Sunrise Hike, which takes you through terraced farmlands and traditional villages to reach the top of Sarangkot Hill.

You can witness the stunning sunrise over the Himalayan mountain range from here. Another popular hiking trail is the World Peace Pagoda Hike, which takes you through lush forests and traditional villages to reach the World Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist stupa that offers panoramic views of the Pokhara Valley and surrounding mountains.

Other popular hiking trails in the Pokhara Valley include the Panchase Hill Trek, the Dhampus Village Trek, and the Australian Camp Trek. These trails offer a unique cultural and scenic trekking experience and are suitable for trekkers of all fitness levels.

Read more In detail: Best Hiking Around Pokhara Valley