One of the most popular treks worldwide, Annapurna Base Camp, is a vision of beauty. It has superb walking trails with magnificent scenery, which just looks fairly better in spring, especially during May. Annapurna Base Camp Trek in May brings out the best of lush green farms and flowers in bloom.
It may not have the ideal spring weather, but May is not that bad for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. It also has pleasant climatic conditions with mild weather, making it comfortable for hiking. Days are balmy and full of sunshine, so walking the trail becomes a scenic walk in the month.
Annapurna Base Camp weather is hot and humid in May. With summer just around the corner, temperatures reach as high as 25 Degree Celsius. Most of the days are sunny with a clear sky and cool air.
However, the weather at Annapurna Base Camp isn’t consistent. Spring is almost at its end, while summer eases its way into the camp. As a result, the weather starts getting hotter from the mid of May.
Late May is scorching hot, so not many trekkers climb the base camp at the time. The trails are uncrowded, so you can travel the region without being bothered. Trekkers visiting Annapurna Base Camp in May have a wonderful view to enjoy. Unlike March, they can witness Machhapiuchhre, Manaslu, Pisang, and many other snow peaks without any hindrance.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in May
- A pristine view of lofty snow peaks, including Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Pisang Peak, and Paunga Danda
- Traveling the old Gurung villages
- Crisp and clear weather with beautiful sunshine
- Discover the unique culture, customs, and traditions of local people
- A scenic walk through the conservation area
- Exploration of the rich biodiversity
Reasons to do Annapurna Base Camp Trek in May
Trekkers of Annapurna Base Camp often have trouble picking the right spring month to visit the place. They’re in the puzzle of whether to hike the camp in April or May. So, here are some reasons why they should take Annapurna Base Camp Trek in May.
1. Moderate Weather
It’s no secret that the weather at Annapurna Base Camp is unforeseeable. Due to the high elevation, the weather here is constantly changing. But, May is probably one of the few times when the weather at the base camp is stable.
The weather is mildly warm throughout the month. Days are generally warm at the base camp, with temperatures ranging from 18 to 25 Degree Celsius. The weather does get cold at night but it’s not frosty.
In fact, the climate is mild and bearable. The end of the month may be slightly hot and humid due to summer temperatures. Walking down the route is comfortable in May as compared to June and July.
2. Great scenery
May is the perfect time to relish the incredible views of Annapurna Base Camp. It’s when the spring is in full swing with warmer weather and full-bloom flowers. The trees have their leaves back by the month and birds will return to the nest, putting forth a great show.
May’s crisp and clear weather allows visitors to capture the beautiful shots of Annapurna massif. It tends to offer them picturesque scenes of lush green farms, vibrant valleys, and mountains.
The warm and lovely weather of May makes any stroll through the forest a nature walk. Not to mention, the sun is out all day long in May, which makes hiking comfortable and easy. Also, its cloudless sky enables trekkers to view the sunrise from Poon Hill.
3. Rich culture
Trekking Annapurna Base Camp is as much about knowing a different culture as it’s about exploring places and enjoying views. So, what’s better than May to visit the place when the locals are in a full festive mood?
Festivals like Buddha Jayanti fall right in the month. So, it’s the perfect time to travel the region and get an inside look into the customs and traditions of the Himalayan people. They’ll also get to visit ancient Tibetan monasteries, chortens, and mani walls during the trek.
Apart from that, you also have a good chance of learning about multiple other traditions and practices since villages in the Annapurna region are multi-ethnic. They also have many religious sites and landmarks, which travelers can explore on their trip.
4. Increased daylight hours
Another perk of trekking Annapurna Base Camp in May is more sunlight and longer days. Due to the spring equinox, trekkers climbing Annapurna Base Camp in May get extra hours of daylight. It takes the pressure off hikers by giving them more time to get things done.
There’s no rush for trekkers to reach the final stop. They can relax and go easy on the trail as the sun is up till late evening. Provided the warm sunshine, it’s more comfortable walking the course in May.
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and prepare for the trek
Day 02: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
Pokhara Altitude: 822 meters
Drive Duration: 7-8 hrs
Day 03: Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, then trek to Ghandruk
Nayapul Altitude: 1,071 meters / 2,723 ft
Drive Duration: 2-2.5 hrs
Ghandruk Altitude:1,940 meters / 6,364 ft
Trek Duration: 6 hrs
Day 04: Trek from Ghandruk to Chhomrong
Chhomrong Altitude: 2,170 meters / 7,119 ft
Trek Duration: 5-6 hrs
Day 05: Trek from Chhomrong to Bamboo
Bamboo Altitude: 2,310 meters / 7,578 ft
Trek Duration: 4-5 hrs
Day 06: Trek from Bamboo to Deurali
Deurali Altitude: 3,230 meters / 10,597 ft
Trek Duration: 6-7 hrs
Day 07: Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp via Machhapuchhre Base Camp
Annapurna Base Camp Altitude: 4,130 meters / 13,549 ft
Machhapuchhre Base Camp Altitude: 3,712 meters / 12,178 ft
Trek Duration: 7-8 hrs
Day 08: Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo
Bamboo Altitude: 2,310 meters / 7,570 ft
Trek Duration: 8 hrs
Day 09: Trek from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda
Jhinu Danda Altitude: 1,760 meters / 5,774 ft
Trek Duration: 6 hrs
Day 10: Trek from Jhinu Danda to Nayapul then drive to Pokhara
Trek Duration: 4-5 hrs
Drive Duration: 2-2.5 hrs
Day 11: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Day 12: Final Departure
What is the weather like at Annapurna Base Camp in May?
Late spring is one of the best times to visit Annapurna Base Camp. The weather is usually warm and sunny at this time around. Trekkers will experience a pleasant atmosphere for the most part, but by the end of the month, the weather gets hot.
Spring weather will persist till the mid of the month, causing trails to be busy-buzzy until then. Travelers are in a rush to reach the camp as the temperature starts to rise thereafter. Days are sunnier in May, while nights are mildly cold.
Trekkers can expect a clear sky with majestic scenery during the month. Of course, the warmer temperature helps flowers bloom inside the sanctuary and provides a breathtaking view. It’s likely that the May weather gives a summer vibe in the last few days before the summer.
With the increasing temperature, travelers will live out the hot weather. While the weather is super hot on days in the lower region, it’s cozy and warm at the base camp. The nights are not as cold as it is in April, which is likable. To avoid the extreme heat, most trekkers leave base camp by the end of the month.
The temperature at Annapurna Base Camp in May
With summer starting to take off at the Annapurna Base Camp, the temperature rises in May. It’s hot and humid during the days while the nights are warm. The average temperature of Annapurna Base Camp is in the range of 10 to 14 Degree Celsius in May.
Temperatures rise steadily from the end of the month, reaching up to 25 Degree Celsius. Mid-May is pretty hot as well, with temperatures reaching 12 Degree Celsius. With temperatures dropping below 0 Degree Celsius, trekkers may experience winter-like conditions at night.
Pokhara – min temp: 5 degree celsius / max temp: 25 degree celsius
Ghorepani – min temp: 2 degree celsius / max temp: 22 degree celsius
Chhomrong – min temp: 2.4 degree celsius / max temp: 22 degree celsius
Annapurna Base Camp – min temp: -3 degree celsius / max temp: 19 degree celsius
What are the challenges of trekking Annapurna Base Camp in May
It’s true that the Annapurna Base Camp trek is a moderate hike with no technical climbs. Its trails are significantly easier to navigate than the other hikes. But, that doesn’t mean, trekkers will have no trouble ascending it. Even aside from elevation, travelers will face many challenges while hiking Annapurna Base Camp. Some of them are
1. Larger crowd
May is the last time trekkers will get to enjoy spring weather before summer heat takes the region. The weather gets only hotter from here on and makes hiking more difficult. As a result, trekkers pull out all the stops to reach the camp.
Since everyone is in a rush to get to the base camp, the trails are more crowded in May than ever. There’s a lot of chaos and traffic jams along the way. It also leads to a shortage of accommodation and food, which is daunting.
2. Trek Distance
Trails of Annapurna Base Camp may not seem a big deal compared to other challenging hikes. It does appear like a walk in the park, but it’s certainly not. The routes are pretty long and demanding with over 110 km to walk.
Trekkers will have to cover the journey of 15 to 20 km every day for at least two weeks. On a typical day, they’ll have to travel an average of 5-6 hours, which is quite exhausting. Along with the trek duration, they’re also required to maintain the momentum and go fast on the trekkers.
Trekkers can waste no time on the trail if they want to reach the camp on a due date. So, they’ll have to be real quick and stick to the itinerary. Visiting any other place that’s not mentioned in the travel schedule will cost you extra time and cause a delay on the trip.
3. Lack of physical fitness
A high-altitude trek is usually more strenuous and difficult than the regular hikes. They are physically more demanding and gruesome. Hence, trekkers must come prepared to overcome challenges on the Annapurna Base Camp trek.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek has many inclines and steeps, which are incredibly tough to climb. Most of its trails are uneven with bumps and rocks. They pass through wild forests and a series of villages, which are long and tiring.
Therefore, travelers will have to improve their fitness level to beat the harsh terrains over the course of time. Travelers will have to take great care of their health before and during the trek. Since the journey gets more difficult with the increase in altitude, trekkers will have to have better stamina and endurance power.
4. Management of travel budget
One of the greatest challenges of trekking Annapurna Base Camp in May is a proper budget plan. With the increasing demand for accommodation, it can be complicated for trekkers to manage the budget, especially in the higher elevation.
Lodgings are generally pricey at a higher altitude due to few options. Apart from that, the extreme landscapes and lack of infrastructures also affect the price of dwellings. The budget is going to be slightly high during the peak season, like May.
Forget about the discount; it’s already hard to get rooms on the trekking route of Annapurna Base Camp in May. To not let that happen, make the reservations ahead of the trek. It will help you save money and not pay an extra price.
Another way of budget management is to go with simpler and easy options like teahouse as they are less expensive and have all the facilities required during the trek. The food and services are cheaper in the lower region, so stock whatever you need.
Food and Accommodation
Even though May marks the end of Spring, the celebration continues at Annapurna Base Camp. Guesthouses and lodges are filled with guests. They are somewhat busy treating the visitors with delicious food and quality service. They endeavor to take the best care of travelers and make their stay in the region more comfortable and relaxing.
Teahouses are the most common accommodation found on trails of Annapurna Base Camp. They are very popular among trekkers, mainly due to the low price and improved accessibility. The facilities are pretty standard with shared bedrooms and only a toilet for all the visitors.
Each room has a comfy bed with a pillow, blanket, and a towel. They have no luxurious amenities, but if you agree to splurge extra bucks on the trek, then maybe we can arrange additional facilities for you like a hot shower, internet, and en suite rooms.
Each day, you’ll get to taste the authentic Nepali dish, rice, vegetables, and other staple foods that are healthy. The items that make into the plate include lentils, pickles, pulses, and more. Their lunch and breakfast have some great food as well.
You get too many items to choose from like bread, noodles, spaghetti, soup, muesli, and more. Apart from that, there are many lodges and guest houses that serve western and Asian cuisines, so you can have them to eat.
There’s no doubt that Annapurna Base Camp is one of the ideal trek destinations we have. It’s quite likable with easy walking trails that anyone can do. The routes are moderate and start right off from Nayapul, following a 7 hours drive via Pokhara.
Trekkers will have to take the steep and jagged routes off the hillside to arrive at Ghandruk. From here, they’ll pass several old villages and walk through the dense forests filled with pine and rhododendron.
Leaving the Chhomrong behind, the trail heads to Bamboo. While on the journey, trekkers have to cross the suspension bridge multiple times and trek through the Machhapuchhre Base Camp to get to the foot of Annapurna.
The trek is quite thrilling as they get to witness the pristine view of Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri, Pisang, Manaslu, and Paunga Danda all through the way. The scenes from the camp are equally enticing, with diverse landscapes, rolling hills, and steep-sided valleys.
After the sightseeing, visitors will descend the trail to Jhinu Danda which is photogenic. There are green farms and meadows all along the way, putting a scenic display. You’ll then retrace the steps back to Nayapul and finally take a drive to Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu.
Preparation for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in May
Annapurna Base Camp is perhaps one of the most acclaimed treks in Nepal. It’s visited more than any other place here. But, hiking Annapurna Base Camp is no walk in the park. Steep walks, dramatic weather changes, rocky hills, and thin air are only a few factors that make the hike challenging and strenuous.
Beginners will find the base camp trek more difficult as they have to walk the mountainous terrains and also deal with the fluctuating temperature. Therefore, they have to be well-prepared before the hike.
Trekkers have to make sure that they are physically fit and strong enough to take on the course. Amateurs are required to improve their stamina and endurance to walk long-distance trails.
If you are to challenge the trails of Annapurna Base Camp, take ample time on training. Be informed of the workout plan and ensure that it fits your body. Do the exercise that prepares your body for long and steep walks.
Instead of following a hardcore fitness regimen, train for cardiovascular exercise like running, brisk walking, and swimming. They really help a lot to improve your balance and reduce the chances of knee pain.
To avoid getting injured, practice walking a few trails. They’ll boost your confidence and give you a preliminary idea of how to handle the different conditions. Trekking beforehand also supports the hikers to walk the mountainous terrains.
Mental preparation is as important as physical preparation. It helps you handle the pressure in unexpected circumstances. Mental toughness will provide you the strength to face difficulties more courageously.
If you want to maximize your abilities, try walking a few short and long-distance trails. Ensure that you have all the equipment required for the hike, as it’ll help you trek the base camp more comfortably.
Similarly, the weather and temperature at the base camp are generally harsh in May. Its low humidity and atmospheric pressure can affect the health of travelers. So take the weather forecast into consideration before heading to the camp.
Preparation for Annapurna Base Camp also requires trekkers to pack a few items that play along with the atmospheric conditions. Since the weather in May is slightly warmer than April, you’ll need light warm clothes. Daytime wear for the Annapurna Base Camp trek can range from short sleeve shirts to fleece sweaters and down jackets. Nights are generally cold at the base camp, so you need to bring some down jacket or insulated ones to keep yourself warm.
- Long and short-sleeved shirts
- Quick-drying t-shirt
- Fleece jacket
- Fleece trek pants
- Breathable pants and trousers
- Sun-shielding hat
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Bandana or buff
- Hiking boots
- Cotton socks
- Trekking shoes
- First-aid kit
- Personal toiletries like hand sanitizer
- Insect repellent
- Extra batteries, memory card, and camera
- Entry permit
- Outdoor journal and pen