Nepal’s natural beauty lies in how its landscape shifts with the seasons. The geography of the tall mountains, plain terai, deep valleys between elongated uphills, the grandeur of glaciers, and swift-flowing rivers all have different enchanting faces when the temperature starts to drop to minus during January.
January is considered to be the mid-winter when the freezing cold with dry weather spreads all over Nepal. However, trekking in January has its own perks. The lower-altitude trekking trails gain more attention during the off-season but the trekking in higher altitudes is also equally preferred by the adventurous trekkers.
Moreover, the whole surrounding area of the Himalayan ranges will be covered with a natural white snow blanket, offering you a serene and calm ambiance. Additionally, the clear skies and less crowded trails will give you the chance to savor the trek by taking time and embracing all the beauty until you feel fulfilled.
However, trekking in Nepal during January demands a good level of preparation to make it more convenient.
Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill Trek is one of the popular and easiest short trails in the Annapurna Sanctuary that will lead to the panoramic view of Fishtail Mountain and other Annapurna massifs.
The temperature of Poonhill during January can easily drop below 5 degrees Celsius, adding a crisp layer of cold wind to the weather. The subtropical forest at the lower altitude and the semi-arid type of vegetation as the altitude elevates make the trekking more magical.
Making the path through Ghorepani village during January is one of the satisfying parts of Poon hill trek. The village filled with culture and vibrance will lift your mood for trekking during chilling weather. The clear skies offer romantic views of the Annapurna range, escalating you for the sunrise view of Poon Hill.
After making it to the top of a hill in the crisp and invigorating morning, you will wait for sunrise, nestling in the warmth of your cozy jackets.
Upon witnessing the sun rise above the Annapurna range, an extensive panorama of mountains shines along the sun. You can find it captivating how the color etched on the mountains change from delicate pink tones to orange. The hue becomes more dazzling as the day progresses, shifting to white and gold tones.
After staring at the sunrise till your eyes feel fulfilled, you will descend the hill and make your way towards the Ghandruk village, where the stone house represents the culture of the Gurung community. Lastly, exploring diverse cultures in the beautiful tea field surrounded by the Himalayan range, you will make it to Poon Hill in January.
Suggested Poon Hill Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2- Drive or flight to Pokhara
Day 3- Trekking Ulleri
Day 4- Trekking Ghorepani
Day 5- poon hill – Tadapani
Day 6- Trek Ghandruk – Drive Pokhara
Day 7- Drive / Flight back Kathmandu
Day 8 – Departure from Nepal
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The mirthful walk around the Lantang valley with heavily covered snow-capped mountains under the clear blue skies makes trekkers more enthusiastic to trek to Langtang in January.
As you walk on the carpeted trail of snow, you will see your big footprint leading you above the hills, passing the ridges to the beautiful forest of pine, oak, rhododendron, and juniper. Crossing the forest guides you to the alley full of chortens, prayer wheels, and mani walls.
This atmosphere of religious relic will definitely elevate your mood. You will reach the wide Lantang Valley within the Langtang National Park by passing the water mills. The valley is an inhabitant of the Tamang community. The warm hospitality of people in the residence area will reduce the coldness of winter.
As you proceed further with the Trek, the Kyanjin Valley will take all your attention with spectacular snowy peaks from all sides. Moreover, the Kyangin gompa offers splendid views of Langtang Lirung, Genjempol, and Kenga Himal ranges. The cheese of the region will make you to eat more, although your stomach is full.
After ascending the Kyangjin Ri, the highest point of Langtang Valley, the 360-degree mountain views will keep you spellbound. The layers of mountains, along with the mesmerizing landscapes, add more beauty to this place that needs to be unfolded by your Trek in January.
However, the trails usually are narrow footpaths between the rocks and boulders with steep ascents and descents, and the snow over those trails makes it more slippery and difficult to walk. Additionally, the temperature of the area drops to 6 to 10 degrees Celsius during the day and drops to minus at night. So, adequate preparation is crucial to make January Langtang trek more cozy.
Day 1 – Kathmandu
Day 2-Drive to Shybru besi
Day 3 – Trekking lama hotel
Day 4 – trekking Langtang village
Day 5- trekking kyanjin village
Day 6- climb kynjin ri sunrise back lama hotel
Day 7- Back to Shybru besi
Day 8 – Drive back Kathmandu
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Mardi Himal Trek
The Mardi Himal trek is the least explored, with the untouched beauty among all the trekking trails of the Annapurna region. Though the duration of the trek is short, making it accessible during January, it inclines to the elevation of 4500m. The average day temperature of this region ranges between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature drops significantly to minus degrees.
This trail of this trek covers the major portion of the Annapurna region, from subtropical forest to dwarf vegetation, providing an exclusive chance for you to interact with diverse floras and fauna.
Moreover, snow covers the whole region in January, as if the mother is covering her son with a warm blanket. However, you have to make your way, uncovering the snowy steep ascents and descents, from Badal Danda to base camp. On the rugged path, you will be introduced to the Seti Rivers and Lwang waterfalls.
Once you reach base camp, the clouds below you and the astounding vistas like Annapurna I (8,091m/ 26538 ft), Annapurna South (7,219m/ 23,680 ft), Machhapuchre (6,997m/ 22,950 ft), Gangapurna Himal (7,454m/ 24,450 ft), and, of course, Mardi Himal (5,587m/ 18,328 ft) will welcome you for a hug with open arms as if it is the chocolate you receive for passing your exam.
Furthermore, leisurely treks suitable for both novice and experienced trekkers, the Mardi Himal trek will widen the horizon of winter trekking.
Day 1- Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 – drive or fly Pokhara
Day 3 – Trekking Deurali
Day 4- Trekking Low camp
Day 5- Trekking High camp
Day 6- View point – Sunrise back badal danda
Day 7 – Trek siding- drive Pokhara
Pikey Peak Trek
The short itinerary Pikey Peak Trek offers you a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges from one of the best vantage points in Nepal. During the frigid January, The day temperature hovers around 4 to 7 degrees Celsius. The trails will be more secluded, offering you solidarity amid the mountain ranges. Mt. Everest and other Himalayan ranges covered with winter snow will provide you with company all along the path.
You will transverse along the dense forest of rhododendrons and move along the rugged paths frosty by the climate. As you reach Pikey Peak, you will feel the sacred energy of the tribal god of the Sherpa community. Prayer flags surround the temple at the top of the peak. Once you shift your eyes from the sacred temple to the blue sky, you can watch a breathtaking view of the Himalayan panorama dominating the sky from east Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu to the midwest and west giants of Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and Gaurishankar.
Moreover, the Thupten Choling Monastery in Junbesi village and Chiwong Monastery in Phaplu village will provide you with the essence of Buddhism. You can pray in those monasteries and even interact with the monks and nuns. Furthermore, because of the festive season, like Lhosar in January, there will be more pujas and worshipping, which may provide you with a wonderful chance to know the culture and practices of the lower Khumbu region.
Pikey Peak Itinerary
Day 1- Kathmandu
Day 2- Drive to Dhap
Day 3 – Trekking Pikey peak base camp
Day 4- Trekking to Jasmane Bhanjyang
Day 5 – Trekking Junbesi
Day 6 – Treking Phaplu
Day 7 – Drive back Kathmandu
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Everest Sunrise View Trek
The short trek of Everest sunrise view is designed to explore the galore of the cultural and natural beauty of the Everest region. The Khumbu region smiles differently during January.
After arriving at Lukla, the chilling and crisp wind welcomes you. The Lukla area may feel deserted to you as there is no any crowd during off season. Most of the people shifted to the lower region due to the winter cold. The day temperature averages around 6 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature drops to -20 degrees Celsius or more.
Walking the empty trails, you will reach the Hillary Bridge, beneath which the white Dudh Koshi River flows at its pace. Traversing the stone stairs, you will arrive at the Sherpa residence, Namche Bazaar. After a long silence on those rugged trails, once you reach Namche Bazaar where you can feel the hustle and bustle of people.
Making the way through snow-covered steep trails, you will come across the holy Tengboche monastery amidst the alpine and subtropical forest of Sagarmatha National Park. The sunset and sunrise view from the monastery is to die for. When the sun slowly spreads its orange color by splitting the dense fog and clouds, the mountain ranges from all sides gleam with glory. Moreover, when the morning prayers echo the whole Khumbu region, it will cleanse your body and soul.
Furthermore, when the Everest region is exposed to daylight, the breathtaking views of Mt. Everest (8,848m), Amadablam (6,812m), Lhotse (8,516m), Nuptse (7,861m), Thamserku (6,623m), and many more will make you mesmerize and make you wish you could stay there forever.
Day 1 – Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2- Fly to Lukla trekking to Phakding
Day 3 – Trekking Namche
Day 4 – Trekking to Khumjung vilage
Day 5 – trekking Tengboche monastery
Day 6 – Trek back Monjo
Day 7 – Trek back Lukla
Day 8 – Fly back Kathmandu
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