Are you planning on visiting the Annapurna region during winter? Wondering whether Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January is possible or not? Then your answer is YES, it is possible and will be quite a memorable one too.
January is the mid-month of the winter season when the weather is very cold. The winter season begins in December and ends in February. Winter is the season for heavy snowfall in upper regions.
The month of January is colder compared to other months. So, people usually think trekking is impossible during this time which is a misconception. By far this is one of the best months if you can handle cold.
This is the off-season month so the routes are not packed with trekkers giving you all the privacy. Walking in silence while viewing the beauty of nature is quite exciting and peaceful.
The routes of Annapurna Base Camp are not very harsh. With proper training and preparation, you can complete it with ease. So, you should prepare in advance for this trek.
The snow covering the peaks looks quite astounding from the trails. Also, the hills covered in blankets of snow is another beauty not to miss. The clear blue sky with the sharp view of snowy peaks and beautiful landscapes is what Annapurna Base camp Trek in January offers.
Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
- Less crowded routes with enough privacy
- Drop-in prices of various items such as flights, accommodation, meals, etc
- Due to moderate to heavy snowfall, the snowy peaks look mesmerizing
- Clear skies giving the perfect view of the beautiful nature
- Picturesque view of various peaks like Mount Annapurna, Mount Manaslu, Mount Machhapuchhre, and many more
- The whole area of Annapurna Base camp covered in snow
- Reach the base of Mount Annapurna
- Walk during foggy early mornings are quite exciting
- Walking through lush green forests
- No bugs or insects problem
- Visit the Gurung settlements and experience their culture and tradition
- No chances of rainfall
- Beautiful view of sunrise from Poonhill
Outline Itinerary of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
Day 1: Arrival at Kathmandu
Day 2: Sightseeing around the Kathmandu valley
3rd Day: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (850 m) – 8 to 9 hours
4th Day: Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul (1070 m) – 2 hours then Trek to Tikhedhunga (1570 m) – 4 to 5 hours
Day 5: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani (2870 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 6: Hike to Poonhill then Trek to Tadapani (2630 m) – 5 to 6 hours
7th Day: Trek from Tadapani to Chhomrong (2170 m) – 7 to 8 hours
Day 8: Trek from Chhomrong to Himalaya Hotel (2950 m) – 8 hours
Day 9: Trek from Himalaya Hotel to Annapurna Base Camp (4130 m) via Machhapuchhre Base Camp (3700 m) – 5 to 6 hours
10th Day: Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Bamboo (2345 m) – 8 to 9 hours
Day 11: Trek from Bamboo to Jhinu Danda (1780 m) – 6 to 7 hours
Day 12: Trek from Jhinu Danda to Nayapul (1070 m) – 5 to 6 hours then drive back to Pokhara (850 m) – 2 hours
13th Day: Drive back to Kathmandu
Day 14: Departure
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Annapurna Base Camp Trek Route
For the first two days of your trip, you will arrive at Kathmandu and roam around this beautiful city. The capital city hosts many attraction sites among them the UNESCO Heritage sites are the most popular ones.
Roaming around and visiting places you return to your hotel and rest for the night. On the third day of this trip, your Annapurna Base Camp Trek journey begins. You will be driving out of the capital towards Pokhara via Prithivi Highway.
Driving alongside the Trishuli river while viewing green hills and small settlements is quite exciting. As you enter the Kaski District, you get a glimpse of mountain peaks.
After a long and tiring drive, you finally arrive at Pokhara, where you stay for the night. Waking up early you head towards Nayapul the next day and trek towards Tikhedhunga from there.
The following day making an ascend in the trails you head to Ghorepani. This place is a viewpoint popular for sighting mountain peaks and sunrise. You stay here for the night.
You wake up early and hike to poon hill to view the beautiful sunrise. Then from there, you trek down to Tadapani viewing a picturesque view of mesmerizing peaks and landscapes.
After that, you trek towards Chhomrong, the gateway to the Annapurna Base Camp. Crossing several bridges and small traditional villages you arrive at your destination.
Spending a night here, you head to your next destination Himalaya Hotel. Passing through the dense forest of rhododendron and oaks viewing breathtaking scenarios, you reach this hotel.
Your wait is finally over, as the day has arrived when you reach the Base of Mount Annapurna. The route to ABC is full of up, down, twist, and turns. First, you reach Machhapuchhre base camp then Annapurna Base Camp.
Arriving at the Annapurna Base Camp will fill you with overwhelming feelings. You can explore and take pictures as you stay the night here. After a splendid time, you now descend in the track to Bamboo, a place popular for its bamboo forests.
Then you head towards Jhinu Danda that offers a natural hot spring. You can bath and relax here releasing all your trekking stress. After a relaxing night, you now trek to Nayapul and catch the vehicle back to Pokhara.
Arriving at the city of lakes, you roam around and visit the attraction sites. Like Phewa lake, David’s fall, Bat Cave, Mahendra Gufa, and many more. Then having your dinner call it a night.
On the thirteenth day, you drive back to Kathmandu viewing the wonderful scenarios. The rest of the day is off so you can hit the local markets for shopping or roaming. Your Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February ends as our representative drops you off at the airport.
Reasons To Visit Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
You might find various reasons why not to do Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January. But other than those disadvantages there are many other benefits that are available in January only.
We have mentioned some of the best reasons to visit Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January:
First of all, the less crowded routes are one of the advantages that will pull your attention. Usually, the routes of Annapurna Base Camp are swarming with trekkers. But not during January, due to which you get privacy in these routes.
There are no noises and disturbances in your way. You get to enjoy the beautiful scenarios without any hindrance. Walking in a silent and peaceful environment is something you can look forward to during this month.
Annapurna Base Camp trek in January is suitable for peace lovers. If you love hiking alongside nature in silence then you will be satisfied.
Scenic view of Mountains and Landscapes
If you love spending time viewing beautiful scenarios of peaks, landscapes, and nature. Then well, yes January is the month for you. Though it is one of the coldest months, the views are clear and unobstructed.
There are no rain clouds blocking your view during this season. The breathtaking scenarios will make up for the tiring walks. You get to see the various magnificent peaks of Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, etc.
If you have ever traveled during peak season. Then you will know how hard it is to find proper accommodation at that time. So, another one of the benefits is accommodation.
As January is the off-season the routes are less crowded so most of the rooms are unoccupied. During this month, you get to choose a room of your preference. You do not need to share a room with anyone and there are no long queues in front of the bathroom.
Also, the services are fast and great due to less no. of people. You will be able to enjoy their hospitality at its fullest.
Discounts and Bargain
As less no. of people travel to Annapurna Base Camp in January. The price of various items dropped remarkably. Like the price of flights is low during this time than in peak months.
Also, if you are a great bargainer then it will turn out to be handy when booking accommodation. With proper words and bargaining skills, you can get nice rooms at a very cheap price. You don’t have to be shy when bargaining in Nepal.
The price of meals is also cheap which saves a lot of your expenses. This season is like a heaven for budget travelers. So, if you are traveling on a limited budget then Annapurna Base Camp in January is quite a great choice.
Weather during Annapurna Base Camp in January
Before beginning your trek in the Himalayas, it is quite necessary to know about the weather condition. The weather is unpredictable and changes throughout the day. It can be sunny one second while windy in another.
If you are traveling in the month of January, knowing about the weather condition is very important. During this month, the routes are covered with snow in high altitude which can block your trekking paths.
Also, the weather will be cold and chilly most of the time. It will be foggy and chilly during the early mornings while sunny and warm during the day. And as night falls it gets colder by the hour.
However, the skies are clear giving you the best possible view of the scenarios during this time. Thus, the unobstructed scenes of nature will make up for the cold weather.
The temperature of Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
The temperature is mild cold in the Annapurna region during the day. So, you can trek with ease and comfort without feeling a burning sensation on your fingers. However, as the night falls it gets harsh by the passing time as the temperature drops abruptly.
As you climb higher in the elevation the temperature tends to drop below negative point. As you cross the 3500 m altitude, you get to experience light snowfall.
The temperature ranges from 5 to 10 degrees during the day. While it tends to reach below zero during the night. As you reach higher altitudes, the temperature ranges up to -10 degrees.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January Difficulties
Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January is possible. But there are various difficulties that you have to face on these routes. This trek is also known as trekkers paradise.
Like other treks, it is also demanding and challenging in various ways. So, patience and perseverance are necessary to complete it with ease. Mentioned below are some of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January Difficulties:
Altitude Sickness is the mild form of acute mountain sickness. It has a negative effect on one’s health due to rapid exposure in places with low oxygen levels. People usually suffer from this when traveling at high altitudes.
You will be trekking above 3500 m so you might suffer from altitude sickness. It is one of the common difficulties that trekkers face but not everyone suffers from it. So, don’t panic and just keep yourself healthy and fit.
If you suffer from altitude sickness some of the common symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, difficulty in sleeping, and many more.
If any of the above-mentioned symptoms are seen immediately inform your guide. They will give you instructions on what should be done next. If the case worsens you might have to trek down to lower altitudes.
The walking duration can be a difficulty according to each individual. If you have any previous experience in walking for long hours then it might be easy for you. But if you have no experience it can be harsh and tiring.
Normally, it is recommended to walk for about 5 to 6 hours per day. But the duration varies according to your traveling days. If your itinerary is short then your walking hours will be long and visa versa.
If you are a beginner, then it is better to select a long days itinerary. As the walks will be short and less tiring. You will be walking for about 5 to 6 hours each day. But if you select a short itinerary, you will be walking 8 to 9 hours each day.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek has a total distance of 115 km. Each day you will be covering about 10 to 15 km distance. But if your walking days are short you might travel about 20 km per day.
The trekking trails of Annapurna Base Camp are not very harsh. But walking in rocky terrains and rugged paths in the mountain can be demanding and challenging.
Also, as you are traveling in January the snowy paths will be quite difficult to walk on. So, be careful and walk slowly.
This is a moderate level trek suitable for both novice and professional trekker’s. If you are a beginner then you might find the routes harsher than the experienced trekkers.
Walking uphill and downhill will be more difficult for a first timer. You might find it hard to cover a normal distance as well. The walks can be uncomfortable and very exhausting.
But it will be less exhausting and difficult for prose. As they have a habit of trekking in high mountains. They will find the routes less demanding and challenging.
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Useful Tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January
You need to be physically and mentally fit to complete this trek. So, doing physical exercises is one of the best ways to increase your stamina. You can do these exercises at home or on your own as well.
Some of these exercises are running, hiking, swimming, long hour walks, meditation, and many more.
Carry Personal Water Bottle
Carrying a personal water bottle is a must when trekking in high altitudes. As there is a limited no. of shops available in the long duration. Also, the price of water bottles is expensive in high regions.
So, if you have your own bottle you can refill them in the lodges. But they might charge you an extra price for it.
Drink Plenty of Water
Walking up and downhill will be tiring, sweaty, and exhausting. So, you need to keep your body hydrated. It is recommended to drink about 4 to 5 liter water each day while trekking in the Himalayas.
Staying hydrated prevents altitude sickness as well. So, drink plenty of water during your trek. And don’t let it dehydrate.
Even though you can walk more than the recommended hours don’t. It is better to walk slow and steady. It is not a competition on who reaches first or how far. So, enjoy the view and make memories along the way.
Acclimatization is done to prevent Altitude sickness. As walking rapidly in high altitudes causes AMS. So, rest days are done in a few of the destinations to help your body adjust to the current environment.
During your acclimatization, you can roam and explore the areas or hike up to the viewpoint. You can also call it a day and give your body some rest.
Carry Extra Cash
There are no ATMs or banks in higher elevations. So, it is recommended to carry extra cash. Instead of ATMs and e-banking carrying cash is compulsory. The prices are significantly high in the upper regions. So, you can’t be sure that the cash you are carrying is enough for the trek.
Overall Annapurna Base Camp Trek in January is full of exciting adventures. Don’t let your worries be the reason for missing out on this wonderful experience. With proper preparation and planning, you can complete this trek with ease.