Fall Peak Season: October and November
The months of autumn months of September, October and November are favorite months on the fall trekking season in Nepal: temperatures are mild, the weather is relatively stable, and the clear air makes for superb mountain views. The high mountains are still cold, and lower elevations are still warm, but the daytime walking temperatures are the most pleasant overall. Severe weather can hit the mountains any time of year, but the fall has the most reliable conditions.
The autumn/fall season is also when Nepal receives most of the trekkers. The most popular trails, such as Langtang, Everest Base Camp, and the Annapurna Circuit, will be bustling with trekkers and this is experienced from the paths to the teahouses. The tourist district of Thamel in Kathmandu will be full of tourists. Getting rooms in guest houses or hotels can be problematic if you haven't booked in advance.
Trekkers start coming from September onwards. However, September is the tail end of the monsoon season. You can still experience the same annoyances as during the monsoon season such as landslides, blocked trails, and leeches to name a few. Click here for more details on what it is like to go trekking in Nepal during September.
Most tour operators and trekking agencies claim October is the best month for Trekking in Nepal. It was very accurate 20 or more years ago. It still is the busiest month with hotel rooms; guesthouses in the cities are overbooked. The past decade or more have shown that climatic change has brought rain during the supposed "Clearest" month of October. The weather can be affected by cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. Sometimes the storms bring in adverse weather to the high Himalaya in the form of unseasonal rain while some years it causes devastation like in October 2014 when unseasonal snowstorms killed several trekkers and their local staff. The lodges on the trail can be full, and there have been cases where some backpackers had to go further on to the next place with the hope of finding rooms in the subsequent settlement. Trekkers have slept on the dining tables, floors of the dining halls of the lodges during October.
November continues to witness the influx of autumn season trekkers. Each month there are several days of precipitation, but November is a more stable time to go trekking in Nepal. In fact, the number of trekkers starts to decline from the third week of November thinking the Himalayan regions must begin to get snow covered; this is far from the truth. The slightly colder temperatures make the clouds stay low longer, and the mountain views are much clearer for more extended periods.
Benefits of Trekking in Nepal Himalaya during the autumn/fall season.
This is the fall season; some flowers are still blooming in the middle and high hills of Nepal. The clouds can begin to form during the late afternoon, and it can start raining in the lower altitude and snow in the in the higher elevations during the late afternoons. This could be a good thing as it can clear the clouds and clear the clouds for excellent mountain views the next morning.
The trekkers will start to be seen in significant numbers on the trail and in the lodges during the autumn/fall season.
- You will be warm to hot while hiking during the daytime.
- You will meet plenty of other trekkers on the trail and lodges
- You can use the Internet (if it is not too slow) for weather forecast and temperatures
- A lot of people could be queuing for hot showers.
- You can see villages ripening crops such as rice, millet.
Can I do a high altitude trek in Nepal during the autumn season?
You can certainly do a high altitude trek in Nepal during the fall season. This is a better time to do a high altitude trek than during February or March. However, you can expect some snowfall in the higher elevations, but this should melt pretty quickly due to the warmth and humidity. We do receive some precipitation for a few days every month. We receive heavier snowfalls during February and March rather than in the middle of October.
Dangers/Inconveniences of trekking in Nepal during Autumn/Fall season.
Trekking trails can still be muddy and slippery. Be careful of wet roots while trekking through forests. Leeches might again come out when it is raining or in moist areas in Late September to mid-October or whenever it rains. For prevention, you can make a small pouch of rock salt and chewing tobacco mixture. You can dab the bag on the leeches when they get on your boots, clothes or you. You need to dip the bag in water to moisten it is more useful this way. Some people burn the leeches or use Dettol or regular salt. However, the rain can wash them off which makes rock salts and chewing tobacco mixture a preferable choice.
Landslides can be dangerous, walk briskly with utmost caution when you come across landslide areas on the trail. DO NOT stop to take photos in the middle of the landslip area. If there are two or more of you, take turns to cross the landslide area while the other person looks out for falling rocks.
- Start early in the morning to enjoy the clear views of the mountains and surroundings.
- The WIFI speed could be frustratingly slow due to the number of users.
- Lodges can be full with trekkers even sleeping in the dining tables, benches, and floors. There have been times when trekkers had to walk for two to three hours more than intended/planned, as all the lodges were full.
- The leeches start coming out in the elevations below 2400 meters when it starts to rain.
- It can be hot and humid in the lower elevation areas.
- Insects in the more moderate altitude areas can bite you – bring along good insecticide.
- September, October, and November is the autumn season; however, rains could disrupt domestic flights to or from Short take-off and landing strip (STOL) airports like Lukla, Jomsom, Juphal.
- Landslides can block roads causing delays in your holiday program.