Trekking in Nepal in December


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Trekking in Nepal is an enjoyable experience with offers of fabulous mountain views and an adventurous journey,

The Himalayan region of Nepal is less affected by the modernization, making it a rural paradise.

In December, these regions offer amazing clear views of the Himalayas with low humidity and precipitation.

December is the beginning of winter in Nepal. So, in the earlier weeks of December, you can still enjoy the last traces of the autumn season. During the latter half, the temperatures start to drop giving you a taste of the winter in the Himalayas.

Trekking in Nepal in December is an excellent choice.

The weather is usually settled and clear with low humidity and precipitation. Hence, you can enjoy amazing clear views of the Himalayas and the surrounding landscape.

Yet, for beginners and novices, trekking to higher altitudes is not recommended. There are other fabulous choices. These choices are treks in altitude below 4,000 meters where it is dry and the temperatures are moderate.

But if you love winters and are looking for trekking in snowy trails and want a more challenging trek, then it is the ideal month for all treks on offer in Nepal.

In December, the mountain views are also clear, crisp, and perfect. The weather is usually dry and bright. The temperatures are quite cold. Yet, with proper planning and right gears, trekking in December shouldn’t be a problem.

Weather Conditions in December

Weather Conditions in December

Within the same month, Nepal’s climate varies from one place to another. This is due to the diverse geography of Nepal. This is also the case for December- the beginning month of winter.

In the northern parts of Nepal, the winters are harsh with temperatures dropping to sub-zero degrees. While in the southern parts of Nepal, the winters are mild with average temperatures of 7 °C -15 ° C.

In the hilly regions of Nepal like the Kathmandu Valley, the climate is moderate in winter with average temperatures of 2°C to 12°C.

In the Himalayan regions, the winter temperature declines to sub-zero degrees.

December also sees generally dry weather with low humidity and precipitation. Hence, you get very little to no rainfall. The first half of December also sees very little to no snowfall.

The Himalayan regions of Nepal get occasional snowfall in the latter half of December.

Given below is a list of popular trekking rest stops with their average temperatures in December.

  • Kathmandu (1,400m): 46-70°F (8-21°C)
  • Pokhara (1,400m): 46-70°F (8-21°C)
  • Namche Bazaar (3,440m): 20-45°F (-6.50-7.6°C)
  • Jomsom (2,760m): 32-59°F (0-15°C)
  • Chitwan (100m-800m): 46-75°F (8-24°C)

Note: The temperatures given are average min/max temperatures for December. This can change due to the unpredictability of the weather.

The average temperatures decrease with the increase in altitude in most treks of Nepal.

Best Trekking Destinations in Nepal in December

There is a variety of trekking destinations available in Nepal in December. Hence, you can choose one depending on what you seek from your trekking experience.

For a more relaxed and comfortable trekking experience, the low altitude treks of Nepal are ideal. Most of the easy treks of Nepal are beautiful, and doable in December.

Here are some of the amazing low altitude treks that you can go on in December.

Everest Panorama Trek

Everest Panorama Trek

Highest Elevation: Tengboche Monastery- 3,865 meters

Duration: 7-14 Days

This short and easy trek is the perfect trek for those who wish to enjoy the fabulous views of the Everest region yet do not want to trek long and hard.

The Everest Panorama Trek starts and ends in Lukla. You only trek as far as Tengboche Monastery. This is one of the largest and oldest monasteries of the Everest Region.

Highlights:

  • A chance to enjoy clear and scenic views of snow-covered mountains. This includes the highest mountain in the world – Mt. Everest. Along with these, you can enjoy views of mountains like Mt.Lhotse, Thamserku, Ama Dablam, and many more.
  • Scenic mountain flight to and Kathmandu- Lukla.
  • A day at Namche Bazaar (3,440m). Here, you can enjoy both the natural and cultural aspects of the Himalayan region.
  • A chance to visit the ancient Tengboche monastery where you may witness the locals performing daily rituals and prayers.
  • Clean and crisp mountain air
  • Amazing sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas
  • Clear and amazing views of the night sky

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek

Ghorepani-Poonhill Trek

Duration: 3-9 Days

Highest Elevation: Poon Hill- 3,210 meters

This amazing, short and easy trek is the perfect introductory trek to the Annapurna Region. It takes you to the foothills of the great Annapurna Range.

With offers of fabulous views and stays in local villages, this is a great trek to do in December.

You will not face extreme winter cold. Instead, you can enjoy the trek in the cool, bright days and spend your nights at cozy teahouses.  The average temperature can drop to 2°C to below freezing if it snows, especially in the morning and evenings.

Highlights:

  • Clear, panoramic view of snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna range
  • You can see an amazing sight of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna peaks. You can also see Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Machhapuchhre and Lamjung Himal.
  • A chance to visit and stay at the beautiful Gurung villages, teahouses, and homestays. In December, you get the undivided attention of the locals and teahouse owners.
  • Amazing sunrise and sunset views over the Annapurna range
  • One of the best times for photography in the region

Kathmandu Valley Trek

Kathmandu Valley Trek

Duration: 2-7 Days

Highest Elevation: Nagarkot- 2,195 meters

Kathmandu Valley has mild winter weather conditions.

There are also beautiful hills in and around the valley. These make for great short and easy treks. For those who want to avoid the winter chill and are looking for short, easy, and accessible treks, this trek can be the ideal choice.

This trek takes you to the rim of the Kathmandu City like Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, and Bhaktapur.

Nagarkot and Dhulikhel are old Newari towns and are popular among the domestic tourists as well. These hilltops are great vantage points for sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas. There are also guesthouses and lodges to suit all kinds of budgets.

These places are also home to luxury boutique hotels. So, if you are looking for comfort with extraordinary views, this can be the choice for you. If walks are not for you, you can take a drive to these beautiful places as well.

Highlights:

  • Amazing sunrise and sunset views over the mountains
  • One of the most accessible treks of Nepal
  • Suitable for all types of trekkers
  • Amazing views of the Himalayan Giants like Ganesh Himal (7,405m),  Shisha Pangma (8,013m),  Lonpo Gang (7,083m), and Mt. Everest. Along with these, you can also see some other mountain peaks like Gang Chenpo, Dome Blanc, Dorje Lakpa, Gauri Shankar and Langtang.

Royal Trek

Royal Trek

Highest Elevation: Chisapani- 2,175 meters

Duration: 6-10 Days

This short and easy trek is another great trek that takes you to the foothills of the Annapurna.

Traveled by the Royal families of England and Nepal, the magnificent royal trek route offers beautiful sceneries.

Throughout the trek, you will not face extreme winter conditions even in December.

Highlights:

  • A chance to trek through terraced farmlands, lush green hills, beautiful forests, and scenic Gurung hamlets
  • Clear and magnificent views of the Annapurna range, Machapuchhre, and the Langtang.
  • A chance to view and explore the serene Begnas Lake

For more adventurous and thrilling treks, the popular treks of Nepal along with some other high altitude treks are ideal.

Here are some of the amazing, high altitude treks that you can do during December. Remember these regions do get snowfall and subzero temperatures in December. Come prepared for these conditions.

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Trek

Duration: 7-14 Days

Highest Elevation: Tsergo Ri – 4,985 meters

Langtang Valley trek lies in the nearest Himalayan region from Kathmandu. You will trek to the beautiful and well-preserved region of Langtang.

In December, Langtang Valley is sunny and warm during the days. The chance of a clear mountain view and open sky is more than 80%. In the higher altitudes, small peaks and passes of these treks, it is colder and the weather is more unpredictable.

Highlights:

  • Views of frozen waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and glaciers
  • A chance to explore the rich culture of the Tamang people without the usual crowd of trekkers
  • A chance to trek through the quiet and peaceful trails through Langtang National Park.
  • Spectacular and clear views of snow covered mountains. You can see mountains like Ganesh Himal, Langtang Lirung, and Langtang -II.
  • A chance to enjoy the hospitality and undivided attention of the locals. You can stay at local, traditional villages like Syabrubesi, Reimche, Ghoda Tabela, and Langtang village

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest Base Camp Trek

Highest Elevation: Kala Pathar- 5,545 meters

Duration: 9-21 Days

Yes, you can do the Everest Base Camp Trek in December. A journey to the Base Camp of the world’s highest mountain is a thrilling experience regardless of the time you do the trek.

In the higher altitudes of Everest Trek, the temperature falls below 0℃ in December. The Everest region is very cold, especially during the mornings and nights.

At night, the average temperature is around – 14 ℃. Yet, you can enjoy your treks during the days with an average temperature of 15 ℃ -20 ℃. The days are clear and sunny. You may get occasional blizzards and snowfalls in December in this region as well.

Highlights

  • Amazing, clear aerial views of the Everest Region, mountain glaciers, and villages.
  • A chance to enjoy the most beautiful trail of the Everest Region without the usual crowd.
  • Amazing, crisp, clear and panoramic views of the snow-covered Himalayan Giants of Nepal.
  • Beautiful sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas.
  • A sense of accomplishment of having done this trek in December (winter).
  • A chance to witness the rural lifestyle without the hustle and bustle of the trekkers and visitors.

Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek

Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) Trek

Highest Elevation: ABC- 4,130 m

Duration: 7-14 Days

You trek to the Base Camp of the world’s tenth highest mountain peak- Mt. Annapurna (8,091m).

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is quiet and peaceful in December. Unlike the popular months, you can enjoy the peaceful trails and nature along with the crisp and clean mountain air.

Highlights:

  • A clear and fresh view of thirteen peaks above 8,000 meters. Along with this view, you can enjoy views of the other sixteen peaks above 7,000 meters.
  • Some of the popular ones are Machhapuchhare(6,993m), Hiunchuli (6,641m), Annapurna, and Dhaulagiri.
  • A chance to see tall rocky walls with frozen or freezing-cold waterfalls
  • A chance to visit two Base Camps in one trip- the ABC and Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3,700m)
  • The beautiful and peaceful trails along with the undisturbed flora and fauna of the Annapurna Conservation Area
  • A chance to visit, stay, and see the amalgamation of beautiful villages and farmland
  • A chance to dip in the natural hot spring at Jhinudanda without the usual crowd

Reasons for Trekking in Nepal in December

Crowd Free Trails

Crowd Free Trails

In December, you will find the trekking trails free from large crowds. Hence, you can enjoy a peaceful and crowd-free trekking experience. In some sections, you may have the whole place to yourself.

You can also witness nature in its undisturbed state.

Winter Discount

December is the beginning of winter and the start of the off-peak season for treks in Nepal. Hence, you can enjoy the special winter discount provided by the teahouses in the trail.

This can include discounts on the cost of your accommodation, meals, flights, and trekking packages.

No need for advance booking

December is an off-season for trekking. So, you will not face any issues getting accommodation and meals at teahouses. You will also get flights easily.

In December, even the busiest of trekking trails are less crowded than regular trekking season.

During the evenings, you can rest and warm up near the fireplace of the kitchen. You can also ask for extra blankets if you are cold at night.

Some of the best mountain views

Due to the low precipitation levels and humidity, there are fewer chances of cloudy and rainy days. Hence, you can enjoy some of the best, clear, and crisp mountain views in December.

Less Rainfall

December in Nepal sees some of the lowest levels of precipitation. Hence, you can enjoy your trek in dry weather.

The chance of rainfall is little to none and the chances of snowfall are less in the higher altitudes. In the lower altitudes, the chances of snowfall are also little to none.

Festivals to enjoy

Festivals to enjoy

December is a host to some of the low-key ethnic and unique festivals of Nepal. These are Bibaha Panchami, Yomari Punhi, and Udhauli Festival.

Cons of Trekking in Nepal in December

Occasional Unforgiving Weather

Occasional Unforgiving Weather

December is the start of the winter season. At times, you may come across extreme cold and blizzards in December. You can also encounter the occasional heavy snowfall.

Delays in flights and Closure of high passes and trekking peaks

Due to the occasional extreme weather conditions in December, you may also face delays in your flights.

Some of the high passes and trekking peaks in the higher altitudes may remain closed in December.

Tips for Trekking in Nepal in December

In December, some tips to make your treks easier and more comfortable are:

Packing

Packing

You need to pack all your trekking essentials for a high altitude trek to Nepal. Besides these, you need to carry winter layers especially if you choose high altitude treks.

If you stick to the low altitude treks, you need at least one layer of winter clothes. The mornings and nights are slightly chilly in these regions as well.

Along with the clothing, make sure to carry your winter hiking boots and gear. If possible, have crampons with you for the occasional and unpredictable snowfall.

For lower altitude trek, a sleeping bag that is suitable for -15 ° C should be good. For higher altitude trek, you need to pack one that is suitable for at least -25 ° C.

Make sure to go through the gears with your trekking guide to ensure you have all the necessary things. If not, make sure to update or change where necessary.

Which trek to choose?

Which trek to choose

You should choose a trek that suits your needs and preference. Choosing a trek that meets the trekking experience you wish to have is the ideal way.

Trekkers looking for a relaxed and comfortable trek should choose the low altitude treks.

For trekkers looking for a more snowy and challenging trek experience, you can opt for the high altitude treks.

For both of these, always remember to keep your health and safety in the top priority.

But, if you do decide that these treks are not for you, you can opt for 1-day hikes in and around the Kathmandu Valley.

Start Early

Start Early

Make sure you start your trek early to reach your destination early. The days get shorter as December progresses along with the advancing cold.  Hence, if you wish to avoid walking in the dark and cold, starting early is recommended.

Solo or Group Treks

Solo or Group Treks

Both these treks are doable in Nepal. Yet in winter, the treks offer more challenges and there are fewer people on the trails. Keeping your safety and security as a priority, it is best not to travel alone during December.

To do this, you can hire a guide or any other trekking staff or join a group.

Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated

December is a winter month and due to cold, you may forget to stay hydrated.

Make sure to drink plenty of water while on the trail. For higher altitude treks, refill your bottle with filtered/boiled water. This way, your water will not freeze over.

Stay updated on the weather conditions

The weather conditions of the higher altitudes are unpredictable. This is especially true for the local summer and winter months of Nepal. Hence, stay updated on the weather conditions of the trails during the trek. This way you can do your trek in comfort and safety.

Flexible Trek

Flexible Trek

Even at the best time to do treks, the high altitude of Nepal may face unpredictable weather. This is the same for December.

During the second half of December, it is colder and the probability of snowfall is also higher. Hence, you need to keep some extra days in case of flight delays and roadblocks.

Final Say

December is a safe and comfortable month for trekking in Nepal.

In the first half, the temperatures are more moderate and hence preferred by trekkers. Yet, the temperatures do not drop as low as the higher altitudes in the low altitude treks. Hence, treks below 4,000 meters are comfortable throughout December.

If you have any queries or questions related to treks in Nepal in December or any other month of the year, feel free to contact us at any time.

You can also contact us to create your own custom itinerary for any treks and tours in Nepal throughout the year.

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