Winter Trekking in Nepal
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Winter Trekking in Nepal

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Trekking is a wonderful adventure, especially if the destination boasts of beauty like that of Nepal. Nepal provides travelers with an astounding variation of choices; each with unique attributes of their own. One of the major factors that play a huge role in your trekking experience is the season. For most trekkers, spring and autumn seasons are the ideal choices. But many adventurers seek trekking experience in the winter season. For those adventurers, Nepal presents the perfect opportunity for winter trekking. 

Winters in Nepal start from early December and last till mid to late February. During winter, the lower regions of the Himalayas have moderate temperatures during the day which can drop to around 0 degrees Celsius at night. Similarly, the higher regions experience warm days which may be obstructed with snowfall and the nights are freezing below 0 degree Celsius. Winter brings in snowfall in the higher region whereas the lower regions experience chilly winds. However, trekking is still possible and, arguably, even more, attractive in winter. To start, winter has its unique beauty where the snow-clad mountains cover the horizon. As winter is not so popular for trekking, you can expect the trails to be empty. 

With proper gears, equipment, and preparation, one can easily complete their treks and gain an amazing experience of trekking in Nepal. Some of the most popular winter treks of Nepal are; Khopra Ridge Trek, Annapurna Panorama View Trek, Pikey Peak Trek, Everest Foothill Trek, Helambu Heritage Circuit Trek, Tamang Heritage Trail trek, etc. Here are some more details on each trek and what to expect from them:

Khopra Ridge Trek (South of Annapurnas)
Khopra Ridge Trek is easily one of the most popular and exciting treks in the Annapurna region. Providing stunning views of the snow-clad peaks of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, this trek takes you to the heart of the region. On this trek, you get an opportunity to get close to the local Gurung and Magar communities of the villages you will pass. Yet to be touched by modernization, the off-beaten trails and the tranquil nature is also one of the major attractions of this trek. 

Mount Dhaulagiri Range seen from Khopra RidgePhoto: Mount Dhaulagiri range seen from Khopra Ridge in Annapurna region

The Khopra Ridge Trek is a 14-day trek which starts from Pokhara. Next, you drive up to Kimche from where, you trekking goes along the route: Ghandruk, Tadapani, Dobato, and Chistibung to Khopra Ridge. Here, you spend an additional day exploring Khayer Lake and then resume your trek through Swanta, Mohare Danda, Nangi, Galeshwar and back to Pokhara. Some notable mountains to see are, Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Annapurna (8,091m), and Machhapuchhre (6,997m) among others. The highest point on this trek is at Khayer Lake which is a high altitude lake at 4,600 meters of altitude. Atop here, you are rewarded with remarkable views of the peaks in the horizon. 

Annapurna Panorama View Trek
One of the shortest yet the most rewarding treks in the Annapurna region is the Annapurna Panorama View Trek. As it takes you to the quaint villages of Ghorepani to the famous viewpoint of Poon Hill, this trek is also known as the Ghorepani Poon Hill trek. Poon Hill is known as a vantage viewpoint for providing arguably the best views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. As an easy grade trek, this trek is suitable for all types of trekkers. 

Annapurna South and Hiun Chuli peak seen from Ghandruk villagePhoto: Amazing mountain view of Annapurna South from Ghandruk village

The 10-day Annapurna Panorama View Trek begins from the lively city of Pokhara. From here, you drive to Phedi where the trek commences. From Phedi, you take the route along Dhampus, Landruk, Ghandruk, and Tadapani to Ghorepani. While at Ghorepani, you hike up to Poon Hill from where, you rejoice immensely beautiful views of the mountains such as Annapurna (8,091m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Machhapuchhre (6,997m), Patal Hiunchuli (6,441m), etc. and resume your trekking as you come back to Ghorepani through the route: Tikhedhunga, Nayapul, and back to Pokhara. The Annapurna panorama View trek is all about witnessing the Nepalese beauty. Picturesque villages, cultural and religious exposure, diverse landscapes and the glorious massifs up close; are some of the major highlights of this trek. 

Pikey Peak Trek
The Pikey Peak Trek is a newly opened trekking route at the heart of Solukhumbu. The trek takes you on a journey to explore the lower Everest and Rolwaling region. Trekking through off-beaten trails and quaint Sherpa villages, you can witness the world's most esteemed mountains such as the Mount Everest (8,848m), Makalu (8,463m), Lhotse (8,516m) and many more. The vantage point at Pikey Peak was acclaimed to be the most beautiful viewpoint to witness the Mt. Everest (8848m) by Sir Edmund Hillary himself. With an easy trek as such, exploring the Khumbu has never been better! 

Himalayan Range including mount Everest seen from Pikey PeakPhoto: Panoramic view of Mount Everest range seen from Pikey Peak

The short 9-day Pikey Peak Trek begins as you drive through a scenic bundle of diverse landscapes from Kathmandu to Dhap Bazaar. Your trek commences here forth through the route Sigane, Jhapre, and on to Pikey Base Camp. From here, you ascend the peak to its top at 4,068 meters of altitude. Atop, you get views of mountains such as the Mt. Everest (8848m), Thamserku (6623m), Kangtega (6782m), Lhotse (8516m), etc. You descend your way to Junbesi and head towards Phaplu. From here, you fly back to Kathmandu as your journey ends. 

Everest Foothill Trek
To trek beneath the world's tallest mountain is surely the greatest adventure one can imagine. The beautiful region of Khumbu where the Everest- the tallest mountain resides; provides an ideal location for adventure traveling. Everest Foothill Trek is a journey amidst the laps of the Everest by which you can explore a bundle of diverse landscapes. As you walk along the trails, you come across the locals of this region, who are mainly of Sherpa background. This can be an opportunity for you to learn about their lifestyle and culture. 

Namche BazzarPhoto: Namche Bazzar and view of mount Thamserku

The 10-day Everest Foothill Trek begins with a scenic flight to Lukla. Grab the essence of the diverse landscapes from this flight as you witness the terrain below changes gradually. From here, you start trekking through the route; Phakding and Namche Bazaar to Tengboche. The Tengboche Monastery in Tengboche village is the ultimate destination on the trek and offers views of the mountains like the Mount Everest (8,848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Nuptse (7,861m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), and many more. After relishing the views, you begin the return trek through the Sagarmatha National Park and cross Sanasa, Namche, and Phakding to return to Lukla.

Helambu Heritage Circuit Trek
Helambu Heritage Circuit trek is one of the short and easy treks of Nepal that is suitable for all types of trekkers. The major highlights of this circuit trek include exposure to Nepalese villages, diverse set of landscapes, glorious Himalayas, glacial rivers and many more such natural phenomenon. Some notable peaks to witness during this trip are; Langtang Lirung (7,227m), Gauri Shankar (7134m), Manaslu (8,156m), and Ganesh (7422m). Another major attraction of this trek is the unique flora and fauna. The dense forests in the Shivapuri National Park on the trail are home many species of animals and birds. 

View from TharepatiPhoto: Spectacular views of Langtang Himalayan Range from Tharepati

The 11-day Helambu Heritage Circuit Trek begins with a drive to Sundarijal which is located to the northeast of the Kathmandu Valley. From here, you commence the trek along the route; Chisapani, Kutumsang, Mangengoth, Melamchi Gaun, Tarke Ghyang, Ghangyul, and Kakani to Melamchi from where you drive back to Kathmandu. En route to Ghangyul, you also visit the Yangri peak, which is the highest point of the trek at 3,770 meters. 

Tamang Heritage Trail Trek
Nepal is a country rich with natural as well as cultural diversity. To witness the beauty together is an opportunity one will not want to miss. One of the best ways to explore what this land flaunts is the Tamang Heritage Trail trek. Taking you to the heart of the Langtang region, the Tamang Heritage Trail Trek is all about exploring the diverse landscapes, the dense forests, and the local communities of the Tamang people who reside in the Langtang region. Also, the unique flora and fauna of this region also stand out as a major highlight for this trip. 

View of Himalayan rangePhoto: Himalayan Range seen Nagthali View Point in Langtang region

The 11-day Tamang Heritage Trail Trek starts with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Sybrubensi. From here, the trek begins and follows the route along Gatlang village, Tatopani, Nagthali, Timure, Rasuwagadhi, Briddhim, and back to Sybrubensi from where you drive back to Kathmandu. The highest point of this trek is 3,165 meters at Nagthali viewpoint. From here you can witness mountains such as Langtang Lirung (7,227m), Ganesh Himal (7,118m), Shishapangma (8,013m) and many more. Likewise, villages like Briddhim and Gatlang are also known to provide a unique take into the lives of the local Tamang community.

Useful Information 
Trekking during the winter season to all the above-mentioned destinations in Nepal is quite an exciting affair. You may want to add additional equipment and gears to fight the cold. Also, it is wise to know the details about the terrain and the region beforehand. Many lodges and even the local people may be closing down and leaving for warmer places during winter; so, you must prepare your lodging beforehand. With ample information and preparations, trekking in winter can be adventurous, thrilling, and memorable in equal measures.

In Conclusion 
Trekking is one of the most popular and adventurous activities in Nepal. With the glorious Himalayas, a set of diverse natural landscapes, and unique assortment of culture, there are numerous possibilities of travel in Nepal. Winter trekking brings a new activity onto the table; with adventure and challenge, one can find immense pleasure doing this activity and will surely return with memories that will last a lifetime! Here is form for QUICK INQUIRY

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