Trekking in Nepal in January

Trekking in Nepal in January

You may ask, “is trekking in Nepal in January possible?”.

With the right preparation, yes, January trekking is possible in Nepal.

January is the coldest month of the year in Nepal. Mostly, in higher altitudes, the surroundings are beautifully enfolded in snow. Thus, it is the perfect time to experience the beauty of the winter world.

The temperature in the higher elevations drops down gradually. Sometimes you will have difficulties to trek to higher altitudes. As the routes are mostly covered with snow which makes the trails slippery and wet. And the wind chills make the trek even more difficult.

Hence, trekking in January in the higher altitudes might be tricky.

But, with the proper preparation and determination, trekking in Nepal in January is absolutely doable. It is a great time for those who love challenges and seeks adventures. Those who are professionals and experienced, you go for trekking in Nepal during this month.

Trekking does not necessarily mean you have to trek to extremely high altitudes. You can also choose to go for trekking in lower altitudes below 4000 meters in January.

The temperature in January in lower elevation remain sunny and warm. So, you can opt for easy and lower altitudes treks if you are a novice trekker.

The major attraction of trekking in Nepal in January is the crystal clear view of the mountains.

It is the best time to witness the beautiful Himalayas because of clear skies. And January is the off-season so, there will be very few trekkers on the trails. That means you will have a peaceful trek.

Also, you will have easier access to accommodation and get better services at an affordable price. All in all, you will also have a budget-friendly trek during January.

Climate and Weather in January

Climate and Weather in January

January is the coldest and the driest month of the year in Nepal. And it gets freezing cold in the Himalayan region of Nepal during this time. Cold wind and snowfall make it even colder.

In the Himalayan region, the nights are much colder than the daytime. Sometimes, the day temperatures can reach as high as 25°C and as low as -20°C in less than 24 hours.

In January, the maximum temperature is 2°C and minimum temperature is -6°C with an average temperature of -2°C in the Lukla region.

Average rainfall in January being 21mm in the Kathmandu area. And 30mm at Pokhara and the surrounding region.

The weather is foggy during the morning time. You will find the grass and trees covered in dew.

The visibility in the morning time may not be clear due to the fog and mist. But during the sunny days, you will get to see the crisp views of the landscapes, mountains, and the vegetation.

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7 Best Treks in Nepal in January

Everest Panorama Trek

Everest Panorama Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3,870 meters

Trek Duration: 7 to 10 days

Everest Panorama Trek is the short and less strenuous trek to the Everest region. This trek offers an amazing view of Mount Everest and other eight thousand peaks without reaching too high.

This trek gives a great introduction to Sherpa lifestyle and their cultures.

Everest Panorama Trek starts with a scenic 35 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Then the trail follows to Tengboche Monastery via Lukla and Namche Bazaar.

The trail is beautifully surrounded by fluttering prayer flags and glistering high peaks.

January is the ideal time for the Everest Panorama Trek, as you get to see the fine view of mountains. Since it is below 4,000 meters, the weather will be bearable.

Highlights of the Trek

  • Scenic flight from and to Lukla
  • Spectacular view of Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Ama Dablam, etc.
  • Explore the rich and diverse culture of the Sherpas
  • Pass through many beautiful villages and Buddhist monasteries
  • Visiting the beautiful Tengboche village surrounded by snow covered mountains

Mardi Himal Trek

Mardi Himal Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3,580 meters

Trek Duration: 5 to 7 days

Mardi Himal Trek is one of the popular trekking destinations in Nepal. It is a rich and diverse trek in the Annapurna region.

This is a relatively new route in the Annapurna region which was officially opened in 2012.

The trek to Mardi Himal starts after a short drive from Pokhara to Phedi. Then the trek continues to Mardi Himal Base Camp.

This trek takes you through beautiful forest, rocky mountain terrain, and several base camps. You can witness the spectacular view of Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna South.

You can also enjoy the best sunrise and sunset views.

The temperature is very cold and there can be heaps of snow on the trail during January. But, the skies are clear where you can see the amazing view of the whole Annapurna range.

Highlights of the Trek

  • Magnificent sunrise and sunset views from numerous viewpoints
  • Amazing landscapes, local villages, farmlands, rice terraces, stunning hills, and mountains.
  • Splendid views of Machhapuchhre Himal, Mt. Hiunchuli, and the Annapurna South.
  • Beautiful homestays and warm hospitality of the locals
  • An easy tour around the untouched beauty of Annapurna region.

Gokyo Valley Trek

Gokyo Valley Trek

Maximum Elevation: 5,357 meters

Trek Duration: 8 to 10 days

Gokyo Valley Trek is a typical trek to the Khumbu region of Nepal. It offers a magnificent view of mountains and Ngozumpa glacier. It is one of the biggest glaciers in Nepal.

This adventurous trek begins after a 35 minutes flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. You will get to climb Gokyo Ri. From Gokyo Ri, you can witness the clear view of Mount Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Manaslu.

You will pass through the Buddhist monastery with the view of Mount Everest and other peaks along the trail. Wonderful glaciers, ridges, and icefalls keep you amazed on the chilly January weather.

The most remarkable feature is the view of the tremendous ice ridge between Cho Oyu and Gyachung.

Highlights of the Trek

  • Witness pristine beauty of Khumbu region.
  • The magnificent view of the Himalayas and alpine scenery
  • Amazing views of Annapurna South, Macchapucchre and Mt.Hiunchuli
  • Stunning valleys and mixed indigenous culture
  • Diverse flora and fauna species.

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Valley Trek

Maximum Elevation: 5,000 meters

Trek Duration: 8 to 10 days

Dominated by the Langtang Himalayas, this valley trek is relatively a pleasant trek. This trek gives you an opportunity to explore the beauty of the Himalayas and its people.

This trek takes you through the various part of Langtang region. It starts from Syabrubesi which is 117 km away from Kathmandu.

The trail passes through bamboo forests, thundering waterfalls, and under stunning mountains. This diverse trek also introduces the Buddhist culture of Tamang and Sherpa peoples.

On this trek, you can enjoy the spectacular view of Dorje Lakpa, Langtang Ri, and Langtang Lirung. You can also trek to Tserko Ri at 5,000 m – the highest point of this trek, to see the beautiful sunrise view. You can visit the ancient monastery of Kyanjin Gompa, situated near Tserko.

The Langtang Valley trek passes through Langtang National Park, ensuring pristine countryside. Along with diverse flora and fauna, as well as yak pastures and even home-based cheese factories keep you accompanied throughout the trek.

During January, Langtang valley experiences warm and sunny days. The views are often clear and the visibility is more than 80%.

Highlights of the Trek

  • Explore the second largest national park i.e The Langtang National Park
  • Witness Tamang culture and visit the old Tibetan villages
  • Experience the great hospitality from the locals
  • Spectacular views of Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, and Langtang-II

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3,210 meters

Duration: 4 to 5 days

January is the perfect time to undertake the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. This trek is well known as winter trek.

This trek takes you to the foothills of the Annapurna region. It is a famous place for spectacular sunrise views. You can enjoy the magnificent view of Mount Annapurna, Mount Dhaulagiri, and other snow-capped peaks as well.

Ghorepani Poon Hill trek starts with a drive from Pokhara to Nayapul. On this trek, you can encounter dramatic landscapes, lush forests, and terraced slopes. You can also encounter the wonderful culture of ethnic people like Gurungs and Magars.

This trek is perfect for all trekkers including children too. This trek takes you to a maximum elevation of 3,210 meters. It means there is a risk of altitude sickness and also it takes only a couple of days to complete the trek.

Thus due to the short and mild altitude, Poonhill is the perfect destination in Nepal during January.

Highlights of the Trek

  • One of the famous and popular treks in the Annapurna region
  • Stunning view of sunrise and sunset.
  • Spectacular view of Mt Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Himchuli
  • Explore the lifestyle and culture of Gurungs and Magars

Khopra Danda Trek

Khopra Danda Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3,660 meters

Trek Duration: 8 to 10 days

This trek is the newly opened trek in the Annapurna region which feature the best view of the whole Annapurna Range. This trek is ideal for families with children as the trails are properly made and are easy to walk on.

Khopra Danda trek starts with a scenic drive from Pokhara to Kimchi. The route passes through a dense rhododendron forest, oaks, bamboos, and pines.

This trek offers the perfect view of snow-capped peaks and green hills. Along with terraced fields, pasturelands, and beautiful cultural villages.

You can also witness the various ethnic groups of people living in harmony in this region. Such as Magar, Tamang, Rai, Brahmins, and other ethnic groups. You will have an amazing experience interacting with them.

You can see the spectacular view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Mt.Annapurna South, and other peaks. It also features a stunning view of sunrise over the mountains from Khopra Ridge.

Highlights of the Trek

  • Panoramic and closeup view of Annapurna massif.
  • Picturesque villages, experiencing the lifestyle and culture of different ethnicities.
  • Walking in the narrow and stone-paved trail, ancient Monastery, and waterfalls.

Sundarijal – Chisapani Trek

Sundarijal - Chisapani Trek

Maximum Elevation: 2300 meters

Trek Duration: 3 to 4 days

Sundarijal Chisapani Trek is the shortest trek and only 25 km away from Kathmandu. The trek commences from Sundarijal. Sundarijal falls inside the boundaries of Shivapuri National Park. This is a place of cool shades, tall trees, beautiful streams, and serene atmosphere.

Leaving aside a few settlements on the way, the trail passes through forest to Chisapani. You can see mixed settlements of Brahmins, Gurungs, Sherpas. This trek offers a beautiful view of Mount Jugal, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Range, and many other peaks.

During January, the climate is a bit cold and humid so the walk will be chilling. But adventurous inside the dense forest of Shivapuri National Park.

Highlights of the Trek

  • Beautiful view of the large section of the Himalayan range.
  • Ethereal sunrise and captivating sunset from Chisapani.
  • Diverse flora and fauna.
  • Clean and cool surroundings.

Pros and Cons of Trekking in Nepal in January

Pros

Peaceful and Quieter Trekking Trails

If you are looking for quiet trails without the buzz of conversation of people, then trekking in January gives you exactly what you need. The trail is all yours – you can explore the area at your own pace and enjoy your snowy excursion in solitude.

Sometimes, you have to avoid visiting some places due to huge crowds of tourists invading that area. But, now you can visit all the cool places you’ve always wanted to visit because of the silent trail.

Easier to go off trail and explore

Walking on steady packed snow is much more sparing for your feet. In addition to that, the winter trek is more enjoyable than summer walking in the vast wilderness. You can easily walk across snowy roads and frozen lakes without worrying about uneven, rough or difficult terrain. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about heat and humidity.

As a general rule dealing with problems and injuries during winter is a result of careful planning, and preparation.

Spectacular views

The reasons why January attracts many trekkers is snowy winter landscapes. And also snow-capped peaks, bizarre ice formations, beautiful frozen lakes, etc.

It will reward you with incredible views of mountains, dramatic landscapes, and beautiful sights.

Even if the trek is somewhat tough, the reward is more than enough to offset the effort. With the beautiful and pristine view of the surroundings, you feel blissful in the whole trek.

Wildlife

Another benefit of this time is the different and often more abundant wildlife that you may be able to encounter. Overcrowded trails and your chances to see wild animals are shrinking considerably. Actually, January is a great opportunity to see all those animal tracks that normally get missed.

No bugs

Winter trekking is mostly preferred by many trekkers as there will be no problem of bugs. As during this time of the year buzzing, biting, and annoying insects and other bugs literally disappear.

Cons

Freezing cold

It’s obvious that January is the freezing cold month, especially in the Himalayan region. Too cold weather means that you need boots and clothing suited to cold weather.

You need the layers of your hiking clothing for cold weather protection. More layers of clothing may affect your walking pace.

Less daylight

Sunlight lasts for roughly 7-10 hours in the winter. Thus you need to start your trek as early as possible during this time. And sometimes you’ll have to hike by headlamp because daylight hours are very limited in the winter.

To make your walk safe and enjoyable, don’t ever go backpacking without a reliable source of light.

Heavier pack weight

Cold weather protection requires more layers of clothing and more gear, in general. Moreover, adequate nutrition and hydration are essential for trekking. Especially while trekking to the higher altitudes. All this packing makes your load heavier and difficult to trek.

Water sources may be frozen

Another thing that you have to take into account is that winter can limit the availability to a water source on the trail. Due to the extreme cold, the water sources remain frozen.

So, make sure that you plan your winter trekking trip properly. Moreover, keep a stove and some fuel for melting snow in case you don’t have direct access to drinking water.

Tips for Trekking in Nepal in January

Tips for Trekking in Nepal in January

  • Keep in mind that solo trekking is extremely dangerous especially in the higher elevation and in the winter season. Thus, it is not suggested unless you’re well prepared for all types of winter weather. But, it is strongly recommended to hire a guide or porter.
  • Natural forces are difficult to predict or control. Don’t panic and always be well prepared for the unexpected.
  • Take all the necessary equipment corresponding to the particular trail conditions. Such as warm hiking boots, snowshoes, trekking poles, crampons, etc.
  • Always begin your day well hydrated for better physical performance. And bring plenty of tea, water to stay hydrated throughout the trekking day.
  • Have regular meals and eat well to make sure you have enough energy for trekking in the cold. High caloric intake will also help you recover faster from long and exhausting winter treks. Keep this in mind when planning your winter trip.
  • The days are quite shorter. It is better to start early and reach your trekking destinations before dark.
  • Since, dense snow clusters high altitude treks, it is better to choose low altitude treks.
  • During January the night temperature falls below 0 degrees in the high hill. So, you need to carry extra clothing to prevent cold.

Final Say,

Trekking in Nepal in January has its own pros and cons. But the most important one is that it will give a real insight into the beautiful Himalayas of Nepal.

There is so much more to explore during January like white landscapes and panoramic views.

Moreover, walking in nature in a quiet trail makes your trip much more enjoyable and relaxing.

On the other side, January has some downsides too. Nevertheless, if you are well prepared for the challenges of trekking in January, you’ll have a wonderful journey.

For any information or queries, please feel free to contact us.

Do you have any question about trip to Nepal?

Tell us about your trip to Nepal and what you expect from it. We will answer your questions in 24 hours and help you design a trip with a comfortable itinerary to best meet your needs.
1 Group Size
2 Travel Dates
3 Trip Details
4 Contact Details

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