Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek | When to Go
To explore the desert-like landscapes of Annapurna region, you can choose the Spring or the Autumn season. These seasons offer the best time for Annapurna Circuit trek with the most favorable weather and bearable temperatures.
Besides these months, the trek to Annapurna Circuit is also feasible during the summer season which is also the time of Monsoon season in Nepal. As most part of Annapurna Circuit lies in the rain-shadow area, the monsoon rain has no effect on the trekking trails and the scenic views.
As you trek higher in the Annapurna region, you will notice dry and crisp surrounding. And the panoramic views of the mountain peaks like Annapurna ranges, Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, etc add highlights to the trek.
On this trek, you will reach the highest point at Thorung La pass starting from Besisahar. So, on this trek, you will experience two types of geographical condition. You will see the lush vegetation of the hilly region in lower regions of the trek. But as you go higher the route turns deserted with the least vegetation.
The Best Season for Annapurna Circuit Trek
Autumn (September, October, November)
Autumn is the most popular time to trek in Annapurna Circuit because it is the perfect time with the bluest skies and the clearest views.
This is the time of the year when the temperature remains moderate ie it is neither too hot nor too cold. So, you will have the most comfortable trekking experiences in the trails of Annapurna region.
During the autumn season the temperature averages around 15 degrees in the daytime. While in the night the temperature drops to around 7 degrees. This is a quite bearable temperature in the high altitudinal regions.
During this season, the surreal Tillicho lake shines in its best colors thus making your whole trek blissful.
Spring (March, April, May)
Spring is the second best time for Annapurna Circuit trek. It is time after the winter season when the sun starts to shine brightly thus melting the snow and making the trails clearer and drier.
The average daytime temperature in Annapurna Circuit region is around 18-22 degree Celsius in the lower altitudes. But as you go higher, the temperature decreases.
Moreover, the weather in these seasons remains quite stable than in other months. Although the weather in the mountains remains quite unpredictable it remains quite stable in Spring. The hot surrounding makes the treks in the high altitude quite easy and comfortable.
Spring is the time of rhododendron blossoms in the lower elevations of the trek. But as you go higher, the lush vegetation becomes scarce.
This is the time of the year when you will have lesser difficulty to walk across the Thorung La Pass, 5416 meters because of the bearable weather and moderate climatic conditions.
Summer/ Monsoon (June, July, August)
You may ask how is monsoon the best time for ant trek? Doesn’t the rain affect trekking?
The answer is, “Annapurna Circuit trek is absolutely possible during monsoon season”.
Unlike other geographical regions, Annapurna Circuit region higher from Chame does not receive rainfall. It is a rainshadow region with dry weather throughout the year.
So, in this season the lesser crowd and the dry weather makes your trek awesome. This is the time of summer so the weather is quite warm. This means you do not have to worry about the frost bites and snow that may add trek difficulty.
Although the lower region receives rainfall, it does not make your trek much difficult unlike in the high altitudes.
Is Annapurna Circuit Trek Not Possible in Winter?
The trek is possible throughout the year. However, winter may not be the best time for Annapurna Circuit trek because of the dense snow and excessive cold.
In winter, the average daytime temperature may remain around 2-8 degrees while the nighttime temperature falls to minus degrees.It is quite challenging to trek in such cold time. Plus, the dense snow can block most of the high passes including Thorung La Pass.
So, if you are planning to do this trek in winter then, you can rather trek in lower altitudes and postpone the idea of crossing high passes.
When to go for Cultural Tours in Annapurna Circuit?
Annapurna Circuit is a high altitude trans-Himalayan region where the living style of people is highly influenced by the Tibetan lifestyle. They practice Buddhism and partake in different celebrations throughout the year.
In this land of cultural and ethnic diversity, you will notice people celebrating Dashain and Tihar in October/ November in the lower regions of the trekking trail.
But as you go higher, you will see the Buddhist practices in the region. They have their distinct cultural practices and unique celebrations. Some of the best time to encounter the cultural celebrations in Annapurna Circuit are:
April/May for Archery Festival in Chame
This is the popular festival in the Chame village in Annapurna Circuit which is celebrated in the month of April or May. The locals celebrate this festival for 4 days where they participate in archery competition forming groups.
This festival has been celebrated in the region before Nepal was unified into a single nation.Locals celebrate this festival to wipe out the bad forces and spirits in the village and to bring peace and prosperity in their lives.
The main Lamas from the monastery are the in-charge of the festival. They look after the whole process of the festival. And, on the last day of the festival, they perform a typical ritual dance with several mimicries reflecting the war between locals and demons.
June/July for Horse Racing Festival
The Yarthung festival is one of the popular festivals celebrated before the harvest season in the region. This festival is celebrated in six villages of Upper Manang.
The festival begins with singing and dancing at Ta-Khill- Thang. There, the locals gather in special traditional dresses and start horse riding. As a part of the festival, they ride to many gompas in the village and light butter lamp for the peace and prosperity in their village. At the end of the ride, they sing and dance to wipe off the evil forces from the village.
November for Torkya festival
Torkya festival is celebrated after the harvest season in Ngawal village. This is the festival to offer food to Buddhist deities after crops are harvested.
During the festival, Buddhist Lamas perform different rituals in front of the villagers. They play different musical instruments, chant mantras, sing and dance. Many young boy and girls play games during the festival. In the end, lama blesses villagers while they present them with local wine and milk.
Which Itinerary is to Choose?
We have designed 12 days Annapurna Circuit and 18 days Annapurna Circuit trek. 18 days is the standard Annapurna Circuit package. In this 18-days package, you will have one extra day after arriving in Kathmandu for preparing your trek.
You will follow the same path in 12 days and 18 days itinerary until you reach Jomsom. In 12 days, Itinerary, you will fly to Pokhara from Jomsom. But, in 18 days, itinerary you will be trekking from Jomsom to Lete, Lete to Tatopani, Tatopani to Ghorepani. You will get the chance to view the mesmerizing sunset and sunrise from the view point of Poon Hill at Ghorepani. Then you will be trekking to Tikhedhunga, Tikhedhunga to Nayapul and drive back to Pokhara. Both these treks are equally rewarding.
You can choose any itinerary according to your available time and preferences.
Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Solo Trekker
Unlike the restricted trekking regions, Solo trekking to Annapurna Circuit is absolutely possible. Depending on your preference you can choose how you wish to explore this stunning another face of the Himalayan region.
If you have planned to trek solo, it is always a better idea to choose the peak seasons where you will meet many trekkers in the trail whom you can call for help in case of any emergencies. Plus, during the peak season, the weather remains quite stable thus posing fewer challenges in the trails.
You can trek alone or hire a guide or a porter, or hire both. You can rather hire a porter-guide, or you can join one of our group. We suggest to travel on group.
If you have previous trekking experiences in the higher altitudes then you can opt for this trek alone. But, if you are a novice trekker or if you are not exposed to high altitude trekking, then it is better to quit the idea of solo trekking in Annapurna Circuit.
Tips for Annapurna Circuit Trek
- This trek takes you to the mountainous region where bad weather can hit at any time. So, whenever you go, you need to prepare yourself. Both physically as well as mentally for the challenges that may come along.
- If you are new to trekking, plan the trek in peak seasons to remain on safe side during the trek.
- During the peak seasons, the teahouse gets crowded. So, pre-book the room and food during the trek.
- Although you trek in the best seasons, the risk of altitude sickness prevails. So, never undermine altitudes and your body signs.
- If you are trekking alone, do not try to find the shortcuts in the trail unless you are completely sure about the route.
- Do not overpack. But, pack the necessaries without missing any of them.
The trek to Annapurna Circuit is a unique adventure on its own.
You will get to interact with the locals influenced by Tibetan Buddhism. Also, the mystic caves, rugged landscapes make the most beautiful photographs during the trek. And, observing their festivals and cultural celebrations is an added pleasure of this trek
With these beautiful highlights, the best time for Annapurna Circuit trek is Autumn and Spring along with the monsoon season. You can plan the trek in any of these months for the comfortable trekking.
For more details on this trek, you can contact us.
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