May is the end of spring, and you can expect the weather to be hot in the lower elevations and warm in the higher altitude during the daytime. Despite some snowfall in the higher mountains than during May, it is much warmer, and the warmth helps to melt the snow quicker, this can make the trails wet, muddy and slippery. Take precaution to trek safely. When you come across wet stones/rocks, green or black rocks/trail, muddy trail or roots of trees in the forest – assume it is slippery and tread carefully. You should be able to make most of the favorite trekking trails if you are an experienced hiker except for the less trodden treks such as Upper Dolpo Circuit or Upper Dolpo Traverse because deep snow will make it challenging to get through the passes that are above 5000 meters.
As always - it pays to invest in proper equipment such as a suitable down jacket, sleeping bag, a couple of layers of fleece, right thermal underwear, thick hiking socks, gloves, trekking pants, warm hats just to name a few essential gears to invest. It is always better to have more than less.
It is good to dress up in layers that you can ‘peel' one at a time when you start to warm/heat up as you begin trekking.
Benefits of Trekking in Nepal Himalaya during May.
May is the end of spring season and flowers are in bloom in the middle hills of Nepal. Rhododendron forests can be very colorful with white, pink and crimson red (Nepal's national flower) flowers in bloom along with Magnolias, wild orchids, to name a few. The clouds can begin to form in the later part of the day, and it can start raining in the lower altitude and snow in the higher elevations during late afternoon or evening. This is a good thing as it can clear the clouds and clear the clouds for excellent mountain views the next morning.
- The spring rain, hail or snow can drop the Rhododendron petals and make the forest floors bright and colorful.
- All the lodges and restaurants will be open during the spring season.
- Lodges are unlikely to be full
- The food might be prepared faster due to the lesser number of people staying at the lodge.
- Internet speed should be decent
- You will be warm to hot while hiking in the sunny weather – perhaps you will sweat on the uphill climbs.
- You will get to meet many other trekkers in the lodges.
- All food on the menu will be available.
- The lodges will be fully stocked.
Can I do a high altitude trek in Nepal during May?
You can certainly do a high altitude trek in Nepal during May. This is a better time to do a high altitude trek than during February or March. We do receive some precipitation for a few days every month. We receive more massive snowfalls during February and March rather than in the middle of May.
Dangers/Inconveniences of trekking in Nepal during May
- The toilet floors could be wet and dirty due to the muddy trails.
- The paths could be icy or muddy due to the spring rain/snowfall. The trail could be slippery, and dirt can camouflage the ice.
- There could be very windy conditions in the higher elevations.
- You are quite likely to face rain in the lower elevations and snow in the higher mountains during May.
- The views might not be as good in spring as it is during late autumn and May. Forest fires could worsen the views during late spring.
Nepal received record snowfall in the higher altitude locations and rainfall during most of May 2019. The intensity of precipitation lowered in towards the third week, but some areas received rain and snowfall.
May 2018 is received more rainfall than the average caused by the Western disturbances and from the Bay of Bengal. The benefits of the showers provided much clearer days for those on the trekking trails.
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