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Everest Base Camp Trek in February

Everest Base Camp Trek in February

The off-season for trekking in Nepal continues into February, with chilly weather and fewer visitors across the country. The pristine views and quiet routes make February an ideal time to trek in the Everest region—and even all the way to Everest Base Camp if you’re well-prepared for snow and cold conditions.

Everest Base Camp Weather in February

While much of Nepal remains cold in early February, the temperature begins to rise later in the month. Temperatures in the mountains will remain cold, and snow will remain, but winter is approaching its end.

The average February temperature in Namche Bazaar (3440 meters) is 7°C, which is not too cold but certainly not warm. If you trek later in the month, you might get some pleasantly warm days.

Everest Base Camp Trek in February

Because winter is the low season, it should be easy to get a room at one of the teahouses open along the Everest Base Camp trail or in the surrounding Everest region. However, keep in mind that several close for the winter, so you won’t have as many alternatives as you would during peak seasons. Your guide will know which places are still open and will find you suitable accommodation.

More information on hiring a guide can be found in our article: Sherpa Independent Trekking guide in Nepal.

Just like in January, Everest Base Camp trek in February can be better value for money than trekking in the peak season. Flights to Lukla do not fill up as quickly, providing you a wider range of flight options.

The trails in the Everest region are much less crowded in February than in the peak months of October or April. This means no random people in your mountain photos and less crowds at viewpoints. You’ll have the more incredible views almost to yourself. As EBC is world’s greatest popular and busy trek, going in the off-season has the opportunity to make a significant difference to your experience.

Everest Base Camp Trek in February

Recommended Routes

Due to cold temperatures and snowfall, some higher-elevation treks are not recommended in February. Treks that require crossing high mountains passes (such as the Three Passes Trek) are more likely to be snowbound, however this can happen during more popular months as well.

In February, treks around 4000 meters will be more comfortable. Even so, it’s important to check (or have your guide check) the weather conditions as you progress along the trail, and be prepared to turn back or not proceed further at any point.

Unless you have lots of experience trekking in cold weather and at high altitude, you may wish to replace the EBC trek for a shorter Everest region trek that does not go all the way to Base Camp. Namche Bazaar is a lovely Sherpa village two days’ walk from Lukla, and from there you can take day hikes around the area, as well as overnight trips if weather are favorable.

At this time of year, the views are likely to be stunning, and you’re less likely to encounter altitude or temperature-related issues in Namche Bazaar. One advantage of trekking during the less-crowded low season is that you can decide to take overnight treks from Namche once you arrive, rather than having to arrange accomodation far in advance.

The ‘Pioneers’ Route’ trek from Jiri/Bhandar to Lukla is also a popular February trek option. It was named after the trekking trail that early Western mountaineers used to reach the Everest region before the airport at Lukla was built. Jiri is around a day’s trip from Kathmandu.

Alternatively, fly from Kathmandu to Phaplu and then trek through the Solukhumbu valley. Few people hike through the Solukhumbu these days (most prefer the higher-altitude Khumbu from Lukla), but those who do find an unique culture that contrasts with the Tibetan Buddhist Sherpa culture of higher altitudes. Depending on the route, these treks take 4 – 7 days. You might continue on from Lukla to Namche Bazaar and base yourself there for some of the day hikes suggested above.

February is also a fantastic month to go on a luxury trip. Travelers having a little more money to spend will enjoy staying in some of the nicest lodges in the Everest region (such as Yeti Mountain Homes and Everest Summit Lodges). These can be combined with helicopter rides one or both ways, providing an amazing experience. While this type of trip is amazing at any time of year, it is especially special in winter, when you can escape the cold by staying in a cozy boutique hotel in the Himalayas.

Everest Base Camp Trek in February

What Should You Bring?

It is important to be well-prepared for the cold in February, both for safety and comfort. Although many guesthouses provide blankets, these aren’t often enough for winter weather, so layer them with your own. A sleeping bag made to keep you warm in temperatures as low as -20° is perfect.

While the sun will warm things up during the day, you will still need to trek in warm clothes at higher altitudes, so bring a warm down jacket (great because it is so lightweight). Warm clothing for the evenings and nights is also required, as are woolen caps, gloves, socks, and scarves.

If you don’t have your own winter trekking gear and don’t need it at home, almost all winter equipment may be purchased or rented from trekking shops in Thamel, Kathmandu.

Getting There and Away

At any time of year, flying from Kathmandu to Lukla is the shortest way to reach the Everest region. While rain is less likely to cause delays and cancellations in February than in other months, Kathmandu does get fog in the winter, though less so later in the month. Even if the conditions in the Himalayas are good, this has the potential to hinder flights to and from Lukla.

Learn more about this flight in the following article: How to Get from Kathmandu to Lukla.

Events & Festivals in February

The people of the Everest region are mostly Sherpas who follow Tibetan Buddhism. They do not usually celebrate the same holidays as Hindu Nepalese in Kathmandu and other mountain areas.

However, February is a good month for festivals in Kathmandu and other regions of Nepal, with Maha Shivaratri and Holi (the spring festival) typically held in February (sometimes early March). While you won’t see these festivals celebrated in the Everest region, if your holiday to Nepal matches with them, you can enjoy them in Kathmandu after or before your trek.

Everest Base Camp Trek in February

Our Best February Itineraries

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