If you ask people about trekking in Nepal in December, most will suggest you not to do it. They will tell you to avoid it at all costs. Most of these people have not experienced trekking in December, and are repeating what others tell them.
Trekking in Nepal in December lets you view some of the best views of the mountains and terrains. The weather can be perfect, and it gets less crowded this time of year. There will be fewer trekkers in comparison to the months of November and October.
You are less likely to be in the snow in December at an altitude of 3500 m. Above that altitude and you will experience snowfall. Still, you can find a few lodges for accommodation. Trekking in Nepal in December offers sharper views of the mountains and clearer sky.
There is less humidity. The mornings and evenings are cold, but you will find it warm in the day. However, one must be careful to trek in December. Sometimes the weather can be bad, and you might have to return from the mid destination.
In this article, I am going to talk about the basic things for trekking in Nepal in December. You will learn about the difficulties and primary packing list. I will also be talking about the available places for trekking in Nepal in December.
Weather in December in Nepal
Weather in Nepal varies from place to place. The winter in Kathmandu is bearable. The evenings reach an average of 2 degrees C, and during the day temperature reaches around 12 degrees C.
Whereas in Northern parts of Nepal, winter can be harsh. The temperature drops below 0 in many places. You need to pack warm clothes while trekking in such areas.
Since December is the beginning of winter in Nepal, you will not get many snowfalls in the major places of Nepal.
Where can you Trek in Nepal in December?
There are lots of trekking destinations in Nepal where you can visit this winter. There are some places that get a lot colder during late December. Whereas, there are some places that are perfect throughout the month of December.
You will see clear skies and sharp mountains in December.
1. Everest base camp in December
Trip duration: 14 days
Max altitude: 5380m
Minimum temperature: -14 degrees C
The Everest region is the most famous trekking destination in Nepal alongside the Annapurna region. The mighty mount Everest dominates this region. There are lots of other mountains standing tall.
Everest base camp is safer to trek in early December. It’s not like people do not visit this place in late December. The Everest region tends to be crowded in the trekking seasons. These areas are less crowded in December. You will find accommodations easily. There will be a few lodges available in these areas in early December.
Without a doubt, early December is one of the best times to visit the Everest region. The mountains are sharper, and the terrains are clear. You will see clear skies during day and night.
The surrounding is covered in snow, and the hills shine like a diamond.
However, the weather in the Everest region is unpredictable. You have to be extra careful while visiting this place.
2. Everest Panorama trek in December
Trip duration: 10 days
Max altitude: 3860m
Minimum temperature: -6.5 degrees C
Unlike the Everest base camp, Everest Panorama trek can be done throughout December. It is one of the most famous trekking in Nepal in December. This trekking offers you extraordinary views of some of the tallest mountains in the world.
You will get to see Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. This trekking starts at Lukla. Tengboche is the final place to visit in this Trekking. You can go even further if the weather is good.
3. Annapurna base camp in December
Trip duration: 14 days max
Max altitude: 4130m
Minimum temperature: – 5 degrees C
Annapurna region gets the most trekkers each year. You can do the Annapurna base camp trekking in December. Early December is ideal than late December. This place is less crowded at this time, and the accommodations are easy to find. However, some adventure seekers complete this trek in late December too.
You will find the weather pleasant during the day time. However, the nights at Annapurna base camp in December can be harsh.
The mountains are clear this time of the year. The Annapurna mountains look beautiful. The snow-capped summit looks mesmerizing. You might experience some snowfall as well.
There are lots of trekkers who prefer to go to Annapurna Base camp in December.
If you can manage, it can be the best trekking in Nepal in December.
4. Ghorepani Poonhill Trek in December
Trip duration: 7 days
Max altitude: 3210m
Minimum temperature: -3 degrees C
Ghorepani Poonhill trek in December is one of the best trekking routes. This can be even better trekking in Nepal in December. The weather is clear, and the surroundings are excellent. You can see the beautiful ranges of Himalayas.
Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri range seem even more beautiful. Since December is the beginning of winter in Nepal, you might not experience lots of snowfall during this period.
You can trek to Poonhill throughout the month of December. You will be walking through dense forest and vast vegetation. This trek offers you one of the best views of the mountains and the landscapes. You can experience the traditional Gurung culture and their customs.
Both the sunrise and sunset from Poonhill is mesmerizing. The sky will be clear in winter, which allows you the best view at night as well.
I highly recommend you trekking to Poonhill in December.
5. Langtang valley trek in December
Trip duration: 8 days
Max altitude: 4773 m
Minimum temperature: -2 degrees C
Langtang valley trek can be a life-changing experience. This trek offers you one of the most incredible views of mountains, traditional Tamang settlements, and beautiful landscapes. This trekking route is compatible throughout the month of December.
But, the Tsergo Ri lies above 5000 m. So, you would want to avoid climbing it in late December. Even early December might not be ideal for climbing Tsergo Ri.
You will be walking through dense forest and beautiful landscapes. There are several rivers, waterfalls, and glaciers on the way to Kyanjin Gompa. Kyanjin Gompa is a beautiful place with incredible mountains at a distance.
The devastating earthquake in 2015 has made a high impact to the Langtang region. You can see numerous places with destroyed trails and houses. But the people around those places are living a normal life again.
You can even climb the Kyanjin Ri for a spectacular view of the Langtang Himalayas. The valley beneath can be breathtaking.
6. Kathmandu valley trek in December
Trip duration: 9 days
Max altitude: 2175 m
Minimum temperature: 2 degrees C
You can do the Kathmandu valley trek throughout the year. But the winter season might be the best time to visit Kathmandu. Kathmandu is one of the most gifted cities in the world. The weather here is beautiful.
The winter in Kathmandu is reasonable. The sky is clear, and you can view an incredible range of mountains. The Langtang Himalayas are the highlights of this trek.
This trekking offers you the experience of traditional Nepali culture as well as beautiful landscapes. You will walk across dense forest and across rivers.
You will visit ancient Buddhist Monastery in Namo Buddha. The sunrise from Nagarkot is totally worth it, and the hiking to Chisapani is excellent.
Highlights of trekking in Nepal in December
The cool temperature and clear skies are what you can expect from trekking in Nepal in December. Although most do not take December as a trekking season, it is one of the best time to visit different corners of Nepal.
Nepal does not get much rain in December. Due to this, the sky remains clear for the most time. You will see the incredible mountains and mountain range during the day time. And you can see the stars at night.
You can still see the wide vegetation and beautiful landscapes. There will be snow at higher altitudes, but lower altitudes are ideal for trekking. You can enjoy your journey with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains.
Other than the incredible views and ideal trekking weather, the lack of crowd makes trekking in Nepal in December perfect. Usually, these trekking routes tend to be crowded in trekking seasons. But you will see fewer people in December. You will get good choices of accommodation and food.
Difficulties of trekking in Nepal in December
Trekking in Nepal in December can be challenging. Early December might be compatible with most trekking routes, but late December can be harsh for most. The temperature gets very low, and you might face several difficulties.
However, trekking in early December is reasonable. The temperature stays reasonable, and you will get to enjoy your journey. Since there are some high altitudes involved in these trekking routes, you must always be extra careful.
There are high chances of getting altitude sickness. Some places are remote and far from civilization. And if something happens to you, or the weather gets bad, you might be in huge trouble. The emergency helicopters would not be able to land properly or get to your location in time.
Besides its challenges and difficulties, trekking in Nepal in December can be one of the best experiences.
Yes, trekking in Nepal in December is possible. Since December is the start to winter in Nepal, you will rarely see any snowfall in the lower altitudes. Thus, the routes at lower altitude are ideal for trekking. You will see the beautiful mountains standing tall at a distance. These mountains are snow-capped and incredible.
Nepal gets hardly any rainfall during December. The sky is clearer, and the surroundings are sharper. Thus, everything looks more beautiful.
You would want to avoid trekking to a higher altitude in late December. Although it is doable, the weather could get worse suddenly, and you might be in trouble.
You should make up your mind and be ready for the harsh weather. The Himalayas are beautiful, but they can be rough. Weather up there is unpredictable. Since most places are remote and far from civilization, you should carry some medicines and basic stuff.
Make sure you do a health insurance before visiting the remote places in Nepal. There are no motorable roads in such a landscape. Some health insurances cover the emergency helicopter flight up to 6000m.
Do not forget to pack a sleeping bag with at least -20 degrees C capacity if you are trekking to the mountainous region.
To conclude, trekking in Nepal in December is a wonderful experience. I suggest you pack your bag and head towards different places of Nepal. The people are loving, and you will get the best hospitality in Nepal.
Note: Make sure you keep the environment clean. Manage your wastage and keep the water clean. Make sure you do not engage in activities that may harm the animals and vegetation. Make sure you follow the Nepal government and local rules.