Annapurna Circuit trek is the most popular trekking destination in Nepal full of adventures and amusement to the trekkers.
Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the most diverse trekking routes of Nepal. With good physical strength and proper packing you can go on this trek any time of the year. Yet, Spring and the Autumn season marks the best time for Annapurna Circuit trek.
To give you a better knowledge about the best time you should do the trek, here is a breakdown on its weather conditions and highlights in different seasons of Nepal.
Annapurna Circuit Trek
The Annapurna Circuit (APC) is the name given to the popular trek within the Annapurna region in Nepal. In short, it is a trek that circles around the Annapurna Massif.
The trek offers one of the most diverse and stimulating trails. It takes you from lush-green pastures and hills to snowy landscapes. It also offers magnificent views of beautiful gorges, rivers, caves, mountain peaks.
Along with these, you also get a closer look at the diversity of culture, lifestyle, ethnicity of Nepal.
The total length and duration of the trek can vary depending on a number of factors.
- The starting point of your trek
- Use of different medium of transportation
- The number of villages you wish to explore along the trails
- The number of acclimatization days
The classic route of this trail takes anywhere between 15-25 days. The number of days vary per need.
Annapurna Circuit Trek- Best season
The Annapurna region along with the rest of Nepal has 4 different seasons- Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Each season offers trekkers a unique flavor and adventure.
March, April and May marks spring in Nepal.
The weather in the Annapurna Circuit in spring is warm and clear. And offer a high visibility of peaks and landscapes. It is also the best time to visit to cross high passes. It is the second most recommended season to do this trek with its warmer temperatures, and long clear days.
You get to witness the full blossom of the red, pink and yellow rhododendrons in the lower regions of this trek.
The clear weather conditions also make for great panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.
May is the time of the Tiji Festival at Lo-Manthang. This 3 days’ festival takes place on the premises of the King’s palace in Upper Mustang.
You can witness the local culture to its full glory. The local people come in their finest clothes and jewelry. They celebrate the festivals with songs, prayers, drama, and dance.
Nepal experiences wet summers with torrential rainfalls, increased temperatures. Late May or early June marks the beginning of Summer. While August marks the end of Summer in Nepal.
The weather throughout the Annapurna Circuit gets quite hot during this season. But, it gets cooler as you trek to the higher regions with less rainfall.
Most parts of the trail experiences torrential downpour and mudslides. Mosquitoes and leeches making it one of the least desirable months to do this trek.
However, some parts of the trail like Manang, Upper Mustang, Muktinath lies in the rain-shadow area of the Annapurna mastiff. These areas experiences very little to no rain making it the perfect time to visit these areas, any time of the year.
With less number of trekkers, you can continue with your trek at your own pace and not rush to your next destination.
The rainfall brings the best out of nature. You may get lucky and have the opportunity to view the surrounding forests, rivers, gorges, waterfalls in their full glory.
You also get to witness the blossoms of beautiful wildflowers that adorn the surrounding hills and mountains.
Attend the local Yarlung mela or the horse festival that takes place during the full moon in August. This popular, 3 day festival sees horse race, archery, songs, dances and merrymaking in the Mustang.
The perfect time for trekking in Nepal is between the months of September and November. These are the months of Autumn season.
The perfect season mean huge numbers of trekkers in the region. The trails, tea houses, cafes and restaurants are busy and fill very fast. Please book your trek and flights in advance.
It is also the most expensive time to do this trek.
After the monsoon, Nepal welcomes clear and fresh air and skies. The comfortable and pleasant temperature makes for great trekking conditions. This is the ideal season to do the Annapurna Circuit trek.
September still sees light rainfalls and humid weather in the lower regions of the trek. Late November sees slightly colder weather with chilly mornings and nights. It is refreshing and often considered the best months to trek in Nepal.
This season experiences slightly more predictable weather conditions with great visibility of mountain peaks and the surrounding landscapes. You will not require any special gears and equipment to trek during these months.
This season has great visibility making for the most refreshing views of the snow-capped mountains. The Annapurna I, II, III, IV and Dhaulagiri are some range you don’t want to miss.
You also can see the surrounding landscapes, hills, rivers and gorges in their full glory. As monsoon passes it clears the dust and fills the rivers.
Autumn is the season of festivals in Nepal. Majority of Hindus in the lower regions of Nepal celebrate the biggest festivals of the year- Dashain, Tihar during this season.
You have the unique opportunity to see the locals of these regions in their full glory and joy.
December to February marks the winter months in Nepal. The temperature starts to drop during the months of January and February. The mornings, late evenings, and night are colder.
However, you will enjoy the superb panoramas. And a quieter trekking trails with less number of trekkers.
This season is not recommended for trekking in higher altitudes. The weather in the upper regions of this trek is freezing cold.
Some of the high passes and upper regions like Upper Mustang remains closed due to the cold and snow.
But, winter is an adventurous season. You can experience the stunning sunshine and the Himalayan way of life.
Many of the tea houses and lodges in most parts of the trails are still open. They offer fireplaces, hot water, extra blankets to keep you warm. You also get to compare and have your pick of the tea houses, rooms, meals.
You can also enjoy the views of the mountains, remote Himalayan life at your pace.
You can get beautiful snowy scenery of white, snow covered peaks and surrounding hills in the upper regions of the trek.
You have the opportunity to enjoy a truly, snowy Christmas and new year in some of the remotest regions in Nepal.
The locals also celebrate Tamu Loshar, Gyalpo Losar, Christmas and Mageshangrati in the highlands of Nepal. Losar means New year in the local dialect.
The local Gurung community celebrates Tamu Loshar in different parts of Nepal. And, the upper regions of the trek like Jomsom, Mustang, Manang celebrate Gyalpo Losar.
You can witness the locals decked in their cultural dresses visiting monasteries and making merry at their homes, community places.
Major Highlights of the Mustang Trek
- Views of some of the highest mountains in the world- Mt. Annapurna I, II, III, IV and South along with Mt. Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Hiuchuli, Mt. Machapuchare.
- Explore some of the most well-preserved and rustic villages in Nepal- Mustang, Manang.
- Some of the parts of trails is also popular for mountain cycling, rock climbing, pilgrimage and cultural tours.
- Explore the diverse landscapes of Nepal from green, luscious forests in the lower regions to the dry, barren landscapes.
- This trek takes you through the traditional trade routes used by people from the 15th century.
- Explore the different natural and cultural beauty of the local regions- many rivers, waterfalls, caves, rocky cliffs, rock paintings, culture, and people.
Additional things to consider
Weather in Pokhara and Kathmandu
Every journey in Nepal begins in the capital city of Kathmandu. From here, you will most probably be travelling to your trek’s starting point- Pokhara.
Both these beautiful cities give you a glimpse into the culture and lifestyle of Nepal with their fascinating temples, landmarks and natural beauty.
The weather in Pokhara and Kathmandu gets affected by monsoon with heavy and constant rainfall. If travelling in summer season of Nepal, make sure to leave a day or two for flight delays or cancellations.
Festivals in Nepal
If you are after witnessing the festivals in Nepal, do check in with your agency about the dates of the festivals.
Nepal follows the lunar calendar and hence the dates of the festivals vary from year to year.
The weather conditions in any high altitude region is less predictable than the lower regions. Sudden, powerful blizzards can and do happen on high Himalayan trekking routes like these.
Hence, it is important to prepare for extreme weather regardless of the season you travel in.
The Annapurna Circuit trek is among a demanding trek and takes you to altitudes above 5000m. Hence, a good level of fitness will help you to complete this trek comfortably.
The Annapurna Circuit trek follows the classic trails around the Annapurna mastiff.
You get the opportunity to explore some of the most exotic and remote locations of Nepal like Mustang, Manang.
The Annapurna Circuit trek is doable throughout the year. All you need to do is prepare with the right equipment and supplies.
The best season to do this trek is Spring and Autumn season.
If you have any queries about the Annapurna circuit trek or any other treks and tours within Nepal, feel free to contact us.