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Best Time to Trek to Everest Base Camp

Renjo La

Most people would say that the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp is Apr/May and Oct/Nov. And to be fair, those are excellent months to do the Everest Base Camp Trek. Hence, a lot of people follow this groupthink, and suddenly with crowded trails, these months are not so attractive anymore. Also, for those who are looking for wildflowers, wildlife, or festivals, other months are better. So in a lot of ways, the best period depends a lot on your preference.

Months with the Best Weather for Everest Base Camp Trek

The top three months are November, October, and April. This list, of course, assumes that good weather means low precipitation, moderate temperature, and high visibility.

Weather in the Everest Region is best divided into six seasons. The winter months of January/February are characterized by cold temperatures, sporadic snowfall, generally clear skies, and short days. March/April is spring in the Everest Region, and the weather is characterized by moderate temperature, windy conditions, sporadic showers with thunder and hailstones, and generally clearish skies. Come May/June, and we enter the summer months that are hot and sunny in the mornings and overcast/rainy in the afternoons. The increase in temperature is held in check by the rainy season from July/August, which sees torrential rains, high humidity, and warm temperature. Come autumn (September/October), the rains are in retreat, the temperature is moderate, and the skies are opening up. Lastly, we have the pre-winter, which is characterized by low temperatures, minimum precipitation, and stunningly clear skies.

Months with the Best Mountain Views in Everest Region

Everest as seen from Kala Pathhar
Everest as seen from Kala Patthar

The top three months are December, January, November. If we had to list four, October would be there too. This list assumes that we are looking for clear skies with minimum cloud and haze. However, please note that the clouds during April/May and September afternoons make the mountains look much more dynamic. Almost alive even!

Other than June, July, and August, you are guaranteed beautiful morning mountain views throughout the year.

Most Popular Months for the Everest Base Camp Trek

Female Group in Lukla ready to start the Everest Base Camp Trek
Female Group in Lukla ready to start the Everest Base Camp Trek

The top three months if you wish to avoid the crowds are December, January, September. Well, statistically, it is July, August, and June, but would you like those months in the top three? Also, if you are the kind that is looking for the crowds, October, April, and November will not disappoint.

Number of Trekkers in Everest National Park (2018)

During October and April, it frequently happens that trekkers don’t even get accommodation in Namche and have to stay at Kyangjuma or Khumjung! Nothing against the two beautiful villages, but you get the point. The high season is also not the best time for independent trekkers as large groups get priority for room bookings, and it is advisable to book lodges in advance and reconfirm a day before. The ambiance in the dining rooms, especially in October, can also feel rushed rather than relaxed. Another place that takes a rather strange aura during the high season is Kala Patthar: with cameras, arms, and legs all jostling for a pose and for what little space is available. If you ask us if you can avoid the high season, avoid it!

Late September and December are amazing periods in their own right, and to avoid the queues and cacophony, even the cold of January can be enjoyable.

Months with the least Lukla Flight Disruptions

Flight waiting to board in Lukla
Flight waiting to board in Lukla

The most reliable months when it comes to Lukla flights are December, November, January.

Precipitation is at an all-time low. Visibility is at an all-time high. And the traffic congestion both at Lukla and Tribhuvan International Airport is not that bad. But the best part is that flights take off from Kathmandu during this period, saving you the hassle of traveling to Ramechhap Airport. On the flipside, the switch to Ramechhap Airport has made cancellations during high season a thing of the past! Sure it is a bit of a hassle to travel to Ramechhap, but most people think it is better than waiting for days on end for a flight that never happens! Would you agree?

This post is part of the Best time to trek to Everest Base Camp Series. Here are some other posts from this series:

Renjo La
Best time for EBC
Himalaya Tahr
Seasons in EBC
Trekkers in Khumbu Glacier, Everest Base Camp
Health and Safety
Trekker in Everest
EBC in January
Ama Dablam from Khumjung
EBC in February
EBC in March
EBC in April
Everest Marathon
EBC in May
EBC in June
Dwarf Rhododendron
EBC in July
EBC in August
Cholatse
EBC in September
Everest as seen from Kala Pathhar
EBC in October
mount ama dablam
EBC in November
Mount Everest
EBC in December

The Best Months to do the Everest High Passes

Renjo La
Renjo La

The best months to do the high passes of Everest are November, October, December. These are the months that give you low precipitation and sunny days. While April is another close contestant, it has become increasingly unpredictable as both the pre-monsoon rains get stronger every year.

Some of the high passes in the Everest Region are:

  • Tashi Lapcha (5,755 meters) – Between Tsho Rolpa Valley and Thame
  • Renjo La (5,340 meters)- Between Thame and Gokyo Valley
  • Cho La (5,330 meter)- Between Gokyo Valley and Everest Base Camp
  • Kongma La (5,535 meters)- Between Everest Base Camp and Chukung
  • Ambulapcha La (5,845 meters)- Between Chukung and Arun Valley

For all the passes, it is essential to be vigilant for weather fluctuations regardless of when you are trekking. It is also strongly advised against attempting these passes without an experienced guide.

The Best Months for Sherpa Festivals

Here are the months for some colorful Sherpa festivals:

Mani Rimdu @Tengboche / Chiwong Monastery Oct / Nov
Mani Rimdu @ Thame Monastery May / June
Dumji at Namche Bazaar June / July

The Mani Rimdu is a two-week affair of which three days are open to the public and is filled with colorful and even outlandish masked dances. The Tengboche edition is the most famous one, while the Chiwong edition isn’t shabby either. As for Dumji, it is another festive affair and involves a lot of merrymaking and masked dances. The Namche edition is the most famous one. For more details and exact dates of these festivals, please see:

10 Amazing Festivals in the Himalayas

The Best time to see large wildlife

Himalaya Tahr
Himalaya Tahr

The best months to see large wildlife like the Himalayan Tahr, Musk Deer, and Snow Leopard are February, January, and December.

This is because most of the animals come down to the valleys for winter, and the predators naturally follow. As for large mammals of the temperate forests like the Himalayan Black Beat, Goral and Red Panda, spring is a better time.

The Best Period for Birdwatching

Danfe aka Himalaya Monal
Himalaya Monal / Danfe, the National Bird of Nepal

To get the most out of birdwatching, we recommend the following months, May, April, and December.

Everest National Park is one of the best places to see Tibetan Snowcock, Blood Pheasant, Himalayan Monal, and Grandala. However, with more dogs in the villages, the large pheasants have become a rarer sight.

The Best Period for Wild Flowers

Yellow Rhododendron
Curved-fruit Rhododendron (R. campylocarpum)

Since flowers follow the rains, the best months for flowers are August, July, and May.

July and August are fantastic for alpine flowers, while April and May are amazing for the different rhododendrons and other flowers below 4,000 meters.

Some of the notable flowers of the Everest Region are the yellow Curved-fruit Rhododendron, Himalayan Edelweiss, Sikkim Primula, and Spiny Mountain Poppy.

To the Mountains!

This post is part of the Best time to trek to Everest Base Camp Series. Here are some other posts from this series:

Renjo La
Best time for EBC
Himalaya Tahr
Seasons in EBC
Trekkers in Khumbu Glacier, Everest Base Camp
Health and Safety
Trekker in Everest
EBC in January
Ama Dablam from Khumjung
EBC in February
EBC in March
EBC in April
Everest Marathon
EBC in May
EBC in June
Dwarf Rhododendron
EBC in July
EBC in August
Cholatse
EBC in September
Everest as seen from Kala Pathhar
EBC in October
mount ama dablam
EBC in November
Mount Everest
EBC in December

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‎’There is no such thing as bad weather,
only inappropriate clothing.’
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes