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Best Time to Trek Annapurna Circuit

Best Time To Trek Annapurna Circuit

If you are considering hiking the Annapurna circuit, you must consider a number of factors, the most important of which is the season and weather. This is especially important when traveling to Nepal, where temperatures and rainfall can vary hugely depending on the season and region.

The Annapurna Circuit trek is by far the most popular trek in Nepal’s Annapurna region, and is widely regarded as one of the best treks in the world. The trek is well-known for its diverse scenery and climatic changes. The trek begins in Besisahar and ascends through subtropical meadows before reaching the magnificent Thorong La Pass at 5,416m, the highest point of the trek. The trail descends from Thorong La Pass into the wild Mustang region, where the scenery becomes semi-arid.

Because of its location, the northern area of the Annapurna region receives far less rain than the rest of the Himalaya, allowing for year-round trekking even during the monsoon season. The best time to trek the Annapurna Circuit is based on two factors: weather and crowds. The drier seasons attract far more visitors, although the wetter seasons less crowded.

The seasons and weather in the Annapurna region can be divided into 4 seasons, however the rain pattern is quite different and should be considered before trekking the circuit.

Spring (March – May) Crystal Clear Views

As the weather warms, trekkers return to the mountains, making this the Annapurna Region’s second most popular trekking season. By April, much of the snow and cloud cover has disappeared, leaving the views crystal clear.

End of May, a strange haze appears over the mountains, but it is only visible at low altitudes, and the sky becomes perfectly clear once you reach the higher altitudes near Thorong La Pass. As the monsoon season approaches, the heat builds around mid-May, and trekking at low altitudes can get hot, especially in the Mustang Region of the Annapurna Circuit.

Trekking in the spring, between mid-March and mid-April, allows you to see the spectacular displays of Rhododendrons that flower in the forests surrounding Ghorepani. Rhododendrons are a truly amazing sight, bringing entire hillsides with red, white, and pink flames

You’ll need to dress in layers and drink plenty of water on a regular basis. Because of its popularity, this is the busiest time on the Annapurna Circuit, and tea-houses fill up quickly; therefore, we therefore recommend booking with Himalaya Discovery as early as possible.

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Summer/Monsoon (June – August) Rainy Periods and Quiet

 The monsoon season arrives in the Annapurna Region around mid June. Although torrential downpours, leech plagues, and mudslides make the monsoon season less trek able throughout Nepal, this is not the case in the Annapurna Region, where rainfall, especially in the north, is far lower than in most other regions.

The southern Annapurna region, particularly around Pokhara, gets a lot of rain during this time, and the Rhododendron forests around Ghorepani area full of leeches. However, the northern parts of the Annapurna Circuit around the Mustang Region gets far less rain as it lies in the rain-shadow area where the mountain ranges protect the area from the major monsoon forces.

To put it into perspective, during the monsoon season, Pokhara gets an average of 800mm of rain per month, whereas areas like Jomsom and Marpha get less than 60mm! As a result, if you’re willing to put up with rain on some of your trek, the Annapurna Circuit is still a fairly good trekking choice during the monsoon season.

The added benefit of trekking during this time is that there are fewer people and many flora species bloom, making the trek especially beautiful. Please note that rain clouds often obscure the views.

Autumn (September to November) Popular Trekking

The most popular trekking season in Nepal is from September to November. It is the time just after the monsoon season when everything is refreshed, washed clean and vibrant. Even above 3,000 meters, the weather remains warm, and the views over the mountains are usually stunning and clear.

Even though nighttime temperatures will remain below zero, the clear night skies filled with a billion bright stars will make up the difference! Because of its popularity, this is the busiest time on the Annapurna Circuit, and guesthouses book up quickly; therefore, we recommend booking a with Himalaya Discovery as early as possible.

Best Time to Trek The Annapurna Circuit

Winter (DecemberJanuary) Coldest Season

Although more quiet, this is the coldest time in the Annapurna Region. Temperatures will be cool during the day and drop well below zero at night, depending on your altitude.

At over 5000m, Thorong La Pass is often deluged with snow and will close for days on end whenever this happens. Guesthouses are open during this time unless the track is closed due to snow. But there are still clear days with beautiful views.

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