January falls under the off-season months to do trekking in Nepal. It falls in the middle of the winter season. Autumn and Spring are the most popular seasons for trekking in Nepal. However, trekking in Nepal in January has its own benefits.
Trekking in Nepal in January offers you with spectacular mountain views. Mostly, January is popular for lower altitude treks such as Ghorepani Poonhill, Mardi Himal, Everest Panorama etc. But, this does not mean trekking to higher elevation is impossible during January. High altitude treks such as Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Circuit trek are also doable in January. January offers the best view in the higher elevation areas. The overall surrounding areas enfold beautifully in the layers of snow.
January is the coldest month and falls in the middle of winter in Nepal. So, most people fear trekking in January because of the harsh weather, heavy snowfall and various other conditions that may arise while trekking. Sadly, trekkers do not know that January is one of the best months to go trekking in Nepal. It is the best time to explore the Himalayas of Nepal as you will find very few trekkers along the trail.
Trekking in Nepal in January can also be an ideal package for the ones who admire solo trekking. Many trekkers choose autumn and spring as their ideal choice. It is because the climatic condition during these seasons is very favourable, unlike winter. Overall, trekking trails are least busy during winter which will help you to enjoy a solo trek.
Along with the astounding outlook of the Himalayas, trekkers will have no trouble in finding decent accommodation during winter. The teahouses become less crowded. You may also get better discounts and hospitality. To be on the safer side, you can choose trekking to the lower regions during January. However, if you want a challenging and thrilling trekking experience, trekking to the higher elevations can be the best option.
So, if you want to experience the true beauty of the winter world, trekking in Nepal in January can be an ideal choice. January offers trekkers with the crystal clear views of the mountains. So, are you ready to explore the beauty of Nepal in January? Exciting Nepal heartily welcomes every enthusiastic trekker from all around the world. Join us for an exciting adventure of trekking in Nepal in January.
Weather and Temperature of Nepal in January
January falls in the winter season in Nepal. Therefore, the weather and temperature in the Himalayas drop down gradually. The climate in January is cold and dry. However, the weather and temperature are usually warm and moderate on a lower altitude.
In the lower altitude, the weather is usually sunny. The average daytime temperature in the lower areas in January ranges between 10- 15 degrees. However, the nights and mornings might be quite chilly. The nighttime temperature in the lower altitude might fall below zero degrees.
When you talk about higher trekking destinations, the temperature decreases gradually as you ascend to a higher altitude. You can feel the decrease in temperature as you walk higher to the altitude of 3000 meters. The average daytime temperature in the higher altitude ranges between 0- 5 degrees. The nighttime temperature might reach to -7 degrees or even lower in the month of January.
Sometimes, the weather in the high altitude becomes quite harsh and unbearable. You may also face some difficulties to trek in the higher altitude. But, with proper training and clothing, you can reach to your destination successfully.
Overall, the weather and temperature in January offer trekkers with beautiful panoramic views of the crystal clear mountains. The weather is usually clear and does not have to worry about the rainfall in January. Although the temperature might be comparatively low in January, you will have a wonderful trekking experience.
Difficulties of trekking in Nepal in January
Trekking in Nepal in January might not be very difficult and challenging. However, trekking in January in the higher altitude such as the Himalayas of Nepal can be quite tricky.
You will have to walk through several snowy trails during your trek in January. Most of the trails become wet and slippery due to snow in winter. Walking in such trails might be quite difficult for you. Due to the harsh weather in January, most of the paths in the higher elevation might also get blocked.
Beginner trekkers face a lot of difficulties when trekking in the higher altitude in January. The wind chills in the higher altitude become a barrier in when trekking in January. It is better to trek in the lower altitudes if you are a beginner. It is because higher altitude treks are already demanding and January only adds to its difficulty. However, you can go ahead if you wish to test your limits.
Altitude sickness is some of the major problems that trekkers face when trekking in Nepal in every season. So, January is no exception. Many trekkers feel difficulty in breathing when trekking above the height of 3000 meters. So, altitude sickness is very common above the height of 3000 meters. There are various other difficulties that you will have to face because of altitude sickness. Headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, etc are some of such problems. If you have any such difficulty, descend to a lower height immediately.
Weather and temperature of your trekking destination play a great role in determining the difficulty level. The temperature in the Everest region is comparatively lower in January than in the Annapurna and Langtang region. The unfavorable weather condition in the Everest region in January might result in trekking difficulty.
Trekking in Nepal in January involves walking through various uphills and downhills. You will have to walk through narrow and steep ridges along the snowy trails. The average trekking duration in Nepal ranges between 5-6 hours and a day. But, this depends upon the length of the trek.
Overall, trekking in Nepal in January might be easy as well as difficult. Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Ghorepani Poonhill trek can be the best option if you wish to avoid the difficulties of trekking in January.
Suitable Destinations for Trekking in Nepal in January
Trekking in Nepal in January is very possible. Although it is an off-season trek, most of the teahouses and lodges remain open in January. January offer trekkers with more peaceful trekking experience. Less number of people prefer trekking in this month. Because of this, the trekking trails become less crowded.
Here are some of the best trekking destinations in Nepal in January:
1. Everest Panorama View Trek
When we talk about the Everest region trekking, people usually think about the Everest Base Camp Trek. Although the Everest Base Camp trek is not impossible in January, you will have to trek up to the height of 5335 meters. Reaching up to such height in January might be very challenging.
For first- time trekkers, we do not recommend Everest Base Camp Trek in January. But what we recommend is Everest Panorama Trek in the Everest region. Everest Panorama View Trek is relatively short and easy compared to the other treks in the Everest region. The short trek offers scenic views of the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest. And also the majestic views of the other Himalayas such as Lhotse, Thamserku, Ama Dablam, etc.
Everest Panorama View Trek is achievable within a week. The trek begins with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. You will head towards Namche Bazaar from Lukla. Namche Bazar is the trade center and gateway to the Everest region. You will hike towards a beautiful village of Thame from Namche Bazaar. From Thame, you will trek towards the beautiful Khumjung village and then towards Tengboche. Tengboche is the oldest and the largest monastery in the Khumbu region. The top of the monastery will give you magnificent views of Mount Ama Dablam.
- Astounding views of the snowy mountains. For example, Mount Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, Ama Dablam, etc.
- Visiting the popular Buddhist monastery in the Khumbu region, Tengboche monastery.
- Experiencing the Sherpa culture and lifestyle.
Where: Everest Region
Trek Difficult: Moderate
Maximum Height: 3870 meters
2. Ghorepani Poonhill Trek
Ghorepani Poonhill trek is a short and easy trek taking you around the Annapurna region of Nepal. The trek is mostly popular for sunrise and sunset viewpoints. Ghorepani Poonhill trek is also known as a winter trek. So, the trek may not be very risky due to the harsh weather of winter season in January.
The trek takes you to the foothills of Annapurna range along with Dhaulagiri and Mount Machhapuchhre. The highest point of Ghorepani Poonhill is at an altitude of 3210 meters. The trek sits relatively in lower regions. This makes it available throughout the year. So, it can be a decent option for trekking in the month of January.
Ghorepani Poonhill trek starts from a short drive from Pokhara to Nayapul. It involves walking along the Modi Khola to reach Hile. The route then follows towards the captivating village of Ghorepani. A morning hike to Poonhill will give you some of the best sunrise and sunset views. The sun over the snow-capped Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range looks majestic.
This short trek is doable in every season as the routes are quite simple and comfortable. The trek can also be suitable for the ones who have a shortage of time.
- Spectacular sunrise and sunset views over the snow-capped Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range.
- Exploring the Gurung village of Ghorepani and Ghandruk. Enjoying the hospitality the local offers.
Where: Annapurna region
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Maximum Height: 3210 meters
3. Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal trek is another popular trekking destination to do in January. The trek takes you to the foothills of Annapurna region. The trek is achievable within 5 to 7 days which is suitable for busy trekkers as well. The trek officially opened in 2012 for trekkers from all around the world.
Mardi Himal Trek is the hidden gem of the Annapurna region. The trek takes you to the off beaten paths along with the magnificent views of snow mountains. The trek officially begins from a short drive from Pokhara to Phedi. The route involves walking through rhododendron forest, charming villages, Buddhist monasteries and crossing several rivers. The trekking trail is also rich in wild flora and fauna. So, if you are lucky, you might witness of the wild animals such as musk deer, red panda, snow leopard etc.
Although you might have to walk on a snowy trail, the trek is achievable in January. The highest elevation of the trek is at 3580 meters. So, you should be able to walk 5-6 hours a day to complete the trek successfully on time.
- Walking along with the unique landscapes, captivating villages and terrace farming of the Annapurna region.
- Spectacular views of Mount Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and its neighboring peaks.
Where: Annapurna region
Maximum Height: 3580 meters
4. Khopra Danda Trek
Khopra Danda Trek is the newly opened trekking route in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The trek is also popular with the name of Khorpa ridge trek. Khayar Lake is the major attraction of this trek. The trek passes through the forest of pine, oak, rhododendron, and bamboo forest.
The trek takes you to the highest altitude of 4500 meters at Khayar Lake. it is the highest point of the trek. Khorpa Danda trek offers some of the best views of mountains such as Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche peak, Annapurna, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre, Mardi Himal and many more. This unspoiled and exotic trek is one of the best viewpoint treks in western Nepal.
The trek involves walking north towards the Ghorepani- Poonhill that is close to Annapurna south. The trekking trails are mostly easy and comfortable. So, the trek is achievable by everyone. January can be a decent option for Khorpa Danda Trek.
- The trek offers you with the best viewpoint for sunrise and sunset views along with the scenery of beautiful Himalayas.
- Exploring the Khayar lake at the height of 4500 meters.
Where: Annapurna region
Maximum Height: 4500 meters
5. Kathmandu Valley Trek
Kathmandu Valley Trek involves trekking in the northern part of the Kathmandu valley. It is a short and easy trek from the trekkers who have limited holiday duration. This trek can be an ideal option for people of every age, family members, children, friends, etc. The trek is also popular to the name Kathmandu Rim Valley trekking.
The Rim valley trek starts with a short drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal. On reaching Sundarijal, the route involves passing several Tamang villages via Mulkharka. You will take a short trek towards Chisapani and then towards Nagarkot. Nagarkot rewards trekkers with magnificent views of Mount Everest, Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Gauri Shankar and many more. It can be the best site to explore the Kathmandu valley.
You will trek towards Dhulikhel and get to witness the Namo Buddha. Namo Buddha is an ancient Buddhist monastery also called Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery. Kathmandu valley trek will give you a chance to explore this religiously significant monastery.
The Kathmandu Valley trek is equally beautiful and comfortable during January too. Every season is the best season when it comes to Kathmandu Valley Trek as it is comparatively a simple trek.
- Getting a chance to learn the different culture, tradition, and lifestyles of people living in the Kathmandu valley.
- Exploring the Shivapuri National National Park and Sundarijal waterfall.
Maximum Height: 2155 meters
Tips for Trekking in Nepal in January
- The days are shorter during January. So start your trek early in the morning so that you can reach your destination before the daylight ends.
- Carry appropriate trekking gear with you. The weather in the higher elevation may be very cold. So carry extra clothing such as warm fleece jackets, socks, neckwears, etc.
- Trekking to the Everest Base Camp or Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek might not be an ideal choice in January. So, for lower altitude treks such as Everest Panorama Trek, Mardi Himal, etc.
- Beginners can avoid higher altitudes treks in January. Physical strength and proper exercise can play a vital role before trekking.
- Hiring a guide and a porter can reduce the difficulty of trekking in Nepal in January.
Trekking in Nepal in January is a unique and daring decision to take. January will definitely give you a thrilling and adventurous trekking experience. Selecting a favourable destination when trekking in January is very important. It will help you to reduce the possible risk that may come along when trekking in January.
Higher altitude treks are not recommended for novice trekkers. Short and lower altitude treks in January will give a comfortable trekking experience. So if you still have any confusions about trekking in Nepal in January, I would be glad to clear your doubts. Do not hesitate to contact us at Exciting Nepal if you have any queries. We can also design your itinerary according to your choice if you want to.