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Trekking in Nepal in December

December marks the start of winter in Nepal. With the peak trekking season of October/November coming to an end, December sees a declining trend in the number of trekkers. However, the early days of the month is a great time to consider trekking in Nepal as it gives pretty much the same vibe as the fall. The days are warm and sunny, but nights can be chilly (but tolerable). You will still witness the clear blue skies and great mountain views, along with the higher possibility of observing wildlife. Having said that, winter escalates starting mid-December in trekking areas, so it is highly advised to avoid trekking (especially high passes and base camp areas) in the later days of the month.

If you plan on coming to Nepal during December, you can also attend several events and festivals to add more colors to your visit here. The celebrations you can tag along includes:

  1. Yomari Punhi, celebrated by Newari communities in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan.
  2. Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the country.
  3. Tamu Lhosar, the new year of Gurung community. Gurungs inhabit several villages in western hills of hills. So, if you are around the Annapurna region, you can enjoy the celebrations in the authentic Gurung villages like Ghandruk, Ghale Gaun, Sikles, Bhujung, etc. as well.

Talking about trekking in Nepal during December, you can comfortably do treks below 4000 meters throughout the month. However, treks like Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, and Annapurna Circuit is best advised only during early December.
Here we have some popular trekking routes’ weather condition in December that can be helpful.

Everest Base Camp Trek in December

Everest Base Camp Trek in early December can be one of the best decisions you could have made. The mountains will still be amazing, daytime will still be sunny and dry, and getting flights to Lukla will be much easier. The best of December in EBC trek also has to be the sighting of wildlife like Himalayan tahrs, Himalayan Monal, and small birds as they will have moved or been heading to the lower altitudes. And most of all, the trails will be amazingly peaceful as you enjoy the pristine views of nature.

Accommodation in Everest Base Camp Trek shouldn’t be a problem as tea houses will be open throughout the month. Lodge owners start returning to the cities. However, there will always be staffs to serve you in the tea houses. Although sunny in the daytime, temperatures can drop massively at night. So, carrying layers (preferably fleece), warm sleeping blanket, sunglasses and sunscreen should be the right decision for you.

After mid-December, trekking alone and going to the high passes can be very risky. Weather in the mountains is unpredictable and changes within hours. So, even if you are going on a guided trek, it is highly advised to be pre-informed about the weather to avoid uncertainties

Learn Everything about the Everest Region

The table below might  be helpful for planning your Everest Base Camp Trek:

Place Rainfall Average

Temperature

Minimum

Temperature

Maximum

Temperature

Lukla

(2829 m/9281 ft)

7mm 4℃

39.2℉

-1.8℃

28.8℉

9.8℃

49.6℉

Namche

(3463 m/ 11361 ft)

7mm 0.5℃

32.9℉

-6.5℃

20.3℉

7.6℃

45.7℉

Dingboche

(4483 m/ 14708 ft)

3mm -5.1℃

22.8℉

-13.4℃

7.9℉

3.2℃

37.8℉

Annapurna Base Camp in December

Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in December (pre-winter) has its own adventurous charm. Daytime in December is pleasant and warm with clear skies, but the temperature drops significantly during night time. The altitude of ABC is around 4000 meters, which means it is rather safer than other high altitude treks like EBC and Annapurna Circuit. Winter trek (especially base camp) in high mountains might feel absurd to most people, but if you don’t mind bearing some cold and are dying for spectacular mountain views, December is a great time to trek Annapurna Base Camp.

Annapurna Base Camp area is rich in flora and fauna. Winter allows you to enjoy the pristine views of wildlife along the subtropical meadows. Additionally, you will enjoy the isolated snowy trails with only a few adventurous hikers passing by and is perfect if you are looking to avoid the hustle of peak season. Besides, photography enthusiasts also get an opportunity to photograph the scenic mountains and some killer night Astro shots of the stars or moon (during the full moon).

Accommodation and food in Annapurna Base Camp during December are comparatively cheaper during December. Not all the lodges will be open during the later days of the month, however finding tea houses should not be a problem due to the low traffic. Unlike peak seasons, the food menu will be limited, but you will be lucky to choose the room as per your convenience. As temperature drop is significant during night time, multiple layers and sleeping bag is advisable.

Learn more in Everything about Annapurna Base Camp Region

Here is the rough approximation of the temperature:

Place Rainfall Average

Temperature

Minimum

Temperature

Maximum

Temperature

Ghorepani

(2970m/9744 ft)

10 mm 3.3℃

37.9℉

-2.3℃

27.9℉

8.9℃

48℉

Ghandruk

(1982m/6502 ft)

6 mm 8℃

46.4℉

2.6℃

36.7℉

13.5℃

56.3℉

Annapurna Circuit trek in December

Annapurna Circuit trek, with all the variation it has to offer, is a golden trail that one must do in their lifetime. Trekking the area in December will delight you with its winter beauty. As being the cold and dry time of the year, the temperature will be freezing towards the end of the month. But it also means that you will experience great mountain views, better local interaction, and go star gazing during night time. The snowy trails offer you with a fantastic sight of snow-covered pine forests and wildlife like Blue Sheep and birds (since they migrate to the lowlands to avoid extreme cold). So if you don’t mind some cold, December is one of the best times to trek in Annapurna Circuit.

As the flow of people is low, finding accommodation in Annapurna Circuit Trek shouldn’t be a problem. Tea houses will be open to keep you warm and serve you with good warm food (menu although might be limited). Be prepared to experience some freezing temperature and cold nights at higher altitude. Tea houses will provide you with additional blankets as well. However, warm thermals, good down jacket and sleeping bag are a must carry if you want to avoid the cold. Please take good sunglasses and sunscreen to be protected from the harsh sun and snow blindness.

After mid-December, there is a very high chance of road and trails blockade due to deep snow. So please consider getting extra precaution, consultation with the locals, good weather check and avoid Thorung La pass during this time. Also, we suggest you avoid the side trips that don’t see many trekkers.

Also check out Everything about the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Region

Here is a tentative guide to temperature to give you an idea of weather.

Place Rainfall Avg Temp Min Temp Max Temp
Besisahar

(764 m/2506 ft)

7mm 14℃

57.2 ℉

7.8℃

46℉

20.2℃

68.4℉

Manang

(3517m/11538 ft)

9mm 0.5℃

32.9℉

-5.2℃

22.6℉

6.2℃

43.2℉

Jomsom

(2729 m/8950 ft)

7mm 4.5℃

40.1℉

-0.8℃

30.6℉

9.8℃

49.6 ℉

Beni

(883 m/2896 ft)

3mm 13℃

55.4℉

7℃

44.6 ℉

19.1℃

66.4℉

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’Going to the mountains
is going home.’
- John Muir
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men and mountains meet.’
- William Blake
‎’There is no such thing as bad weather,
only inappropriate clothing.’
- Sir Ranulph Fiennes