Nepal has some of the world’s highest mountain ranges. Many high passes are covered with snow, so it seems impossible to do trekking in most of the trekking trails.
Yet, trekking in Nepal in January is absolutely possible with proper preparations. You will not need any special technical skills or extra equipment to complete the trek.
During January, it is very cold in the high altitudes. Whereas, in lower altitudes, the days are sunny and warm. But, nights will be colder once you cross the 3000m mark.
So you can go for shorter and easier treks in this month. Besides, low altitude treks are suitable for trekkers of all age. Trekking in the lower altitudes is possible with standard equipment and proper clothing.
Trekking in Nepal in January offers you fantastic mountain views, especially from a high point. It is a great time to visit the Himalayas of Nepal as there are very few trekkers and the sky is often clear.
In popular trekking areas like Annapurna region, many tea houses are open in January. As the trail is less crowded, you can get the room of your choice, timely good quality services, and a peaceful environment.
Trekking in Nepal in January: Weather Conditions
January is the coldest month of the year in Kathmandu. In January, the average temperature is 15°C. The climate is fresh and it rains very little.
Generally, 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. There is no exact way to determine the weather and temperature range.
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. The climate is rather cold. It is dry as it almost never rains in this month.
Overall, the weather is clear, with blue skies and very little cloud.
Trekking in Nepal in January: Highlights
Trekking in Nepal in January will give you a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Year like never before. You can witness these celebrations the Nepali way and capture beautiful moments during your stay. After you complete your trek, you can explore local stores, restaurants, and music during these celebrations.
Even though it is cold everywhere in January, you will fall in love with the natural beauty of the country. Nepal offers you beautiful snow-capped mountain, mysterious forests and diverse flora-fauna.
Likewise, January is less crowded. So, if you are looking for isolation, then trekking during this time is a good option.
Best Trekking Trails in Nepal in January
Nepal is blessed with the magnificent Himalayas that provide you an ample opportunity to do outdoor activities. Yes, it is tough to walk on snow with freezing temperatures. But, the outstanding experience makes up for all the effort.
Not all trekking trails in the Himalayas are difficult. If you are planning to trek in Nepal in January, you can choose any treks from the ones listed below.
Everest Panorama Trekking
Everest Panorama Trekking is an easy and short trek. This trek will lead you to the highest Buddhist Monastery named Tengboche Monastery (3850m). It offers a magnificent view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Thamserku, Ama Dablam and much more.
This trek is especially recommended for trekkers who want to explore the Himalayan region in a short time. This trek will also give you an opportunity to explore the old traditions and cultures of Sherpas in the mountains.
This short trek begins with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Lukla. Lukla is a unique Sherpa town of the Khumbu region. Here you will get a close insight of the Sherpa’s lifestyle and culture.
After you reach Lukla, you will walk through Dudh Koshi river to reach Phakding. Then, you will head towards Namche Bazaar. It is one of the famous trading centers of the Khumbu region.
You will then trek along a high traversing path and head towards Tengboche. Tengboche is home to the famous Tengboche Monastery. It also offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the heart of the Everest region.
The Everest region is a restricted area controlled by Sagarmatha National Park. It is a world heritage site declared by the UNESCO. Thus, you need to obtain a special entry permit and also carry a TIMs card throughout your trip.
The Everest Panorama Trek is the perfect holiday destination during January as it is a short and classic Trek. Since it is below 4500m, the weather will be bearable with proper clothing.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is a short trek which can be completed within a week. This is a trek which covers foothills of the Annapurna to Ghorepani Poon Hill. During the trek, you will get amazing sunrise views from Poon Hill.
This short trek begins with a drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then Nayapul. The trail continues through villages and follows the bank of Modi river. After a steady walk, you will reach Hile village.
Next day, you will trek along the Modi Khola and climb to Ghorepani, a famous Gurung village. Here you can explore the lifestyle of the Gurung villagers. You can interact with them and get an insight on their culture and traditions.
Besides, you will also get a fantastic view of the Annapurna, Machhapuchhare, Hiunchuli, and Dhaulagiri.
In the early morning, you will do a short hike to Poon Hill. Poon Hill is the final destination of the trek. It lies above the village of Ghorepani.
From there, you will view the sunrise over the snow-capped Himalayas You will also get breathtaking views of different mountain ranges and glaciers.Thus, Poon Hill is the perfect trekking destination in Nepal in January.
This Trek is suitable for all age groups as it is a relatively easy trek. It only takes a few days and there is no risk of altitude sickness.
Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is another best option for trekking in Nepal in January. This trek is another one of the short and amazing treks in the Annapurna region. It is a peaceful trail with few trekkers but still an enjoyable trekking route.
The major attraction of this trek is the breathtaking snow-capped mountain. You can get fantastic views including Annapurna South, Mt. Machhapuchhre and Mt. Hiunchuli from the Mardi Himal. You will also witness beautiful valleys, mixed indigenous culture, and diverse flora and fauna.
The trekking starts from Kathmandu to Pokhara. After the short drive from Pokhara, you will reach Phedi. The trail continues through the forests and arrives at high camp. It will offer a stunning view of the entire Annapurna range.
The trail crosses rivers, valleys, rhododendron forests, and small villages to reach the Mardi Himal Base Camp.
The tea houses on Mardi Himal Trek are very basic. They offer essential items for winter such as an extra blanket and room heaters to the trekkers.
During this trek, you will encounter many interesting villages that are home to Brahmans and Ghales. This new trekking route is a good option for those trekkers who are looking for an alternative to the busy trails of Annapurna region.
Tips for Trekking in Nepal in January
- During January, you need to start your trek early in the morning and reach your trekking destinations before daylight ends.
- There are hundreds of trekking trails in Nepal. If you are looking for high altitudes treks like Everest Base Camp Trek or Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, January may not be the best month for it. Instead, you can choose mid altitude or lower altitude treks like Annapurna Panorama, Mardi Himal, or Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek.
- In January, the temperature at higher altitudes usually remains below 0°C. So, you need to pack extra layers of clothing including warm fleece, socks, gloves, head wears, footwear and sleeping bag.
- You can hire a local Sherpa guide so that you can have an authentic interaction with the locals and their culture.
Equipment List for Trekking in Nepal in January
Here is the list of the recommended equipment list for trekking in Nepal in January. Please note this is only a comprehensive list, you only need to take selective items. You should carry no more than 7kg on your back for a comfortable trekking experience.
You can buy most of your equipment in Kathmandu. You can also rent many of the items on the list at reasonable prices. Pokhara is another place where you can either buy or rent trekking equipment.
Duffel or Rucksack Bag
Sun hat or scarf
Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
Sunglasses with UV protection
Thin, lightweight inner socks
Thick, warm wool hiking socks
Hiking boots with spare laces
Camp shoes (sneakers/sandals)
Gaiters for hiking in winter
Heavyweight gloves or mittens
Waterproof shell outer
Lightweight cotton long pants
Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
Fleece or wool pants
Waterproof shell pants (preferably breathable fabric)
Light and expedition weight thermal tops
Fleece jacket or pullover
Fleece Wind-Stopper Jacket
Waterproof shell Jacket
Sleeping bag rated to zero degrees
Headlamp with spare bulbs and batteries
Trekking Bags/Duffel bag
Basic First Aid Kit
Large plastic bags- for keeping items dry inside trekking bag
Ear plugs (optional )
Toiletries and Personal Hygiene
Quick drying towel
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Multipurpose soap/ handwash
Face and Body Moisturizer
Tissue / Toilet roll
Anti bacterial hands wash
Feminine Hygiene products
Extra / Luxuries(Optional)
Trail Map/ Guide Book
Sleeping bag liner
Trekking in Nepal in January is a good option if you plan your trek with the right gears and clothing. Otherwise, you may have to face various difficulties in this cold month.
As most of the trekkers choose to trek during peak seasons in Spring and Autumn, January is relatively peaceful. This means most of the popular trekking trails during January is less crowded with few travelers only. As a result, tea houses even provide quick service with varied choices of food and accommodation.
Additionally, there is hardly any rain in January and you can enjoy the warm sun throughout the trek.
If you do not feel comfortable in the cold, then it is best not to cross the high passes. Hence, trekking in the lower altitudes is usually a good choice during January.
Weather conditions in the Himalayas can be unpredictable, even during the best trekking seasons. Sometimes bad weather conditions can affect your flight schedules, resulting in flight delays. So, to be on a safe side, you can add a few extra days in your trip’s plan.
If you have any queries, please feel free to ask and contact us at any time. To contact us you can go through https://nepalecoadventure.com/contact-us/