Annapurna Circuit Trek has been alluring hikers for much of Nepal’s trekking history. It has the best classic trek trail which unfolds some of the magnificent scenery along with Annapurna massif.
A few of these well-marked routes even connect with the old traditional villages in the Himalayas. And to explore it would mean to be acquainted with the culture and lifestyle of people.
Annapurna Circuit Trek isn’t as difficult as it looks. Hundreds of trekkers every year make it to Thorong La Pass (5413m) with ease. Provided that, it can be challenging, depending on which time of the year you’re embarking it.
When to go Annapurna Circuit Trek is one question that has bothered a lot of hikers over the years. To the answer which, you can travel the region at any time of the year and be bestowed with spectacular scenery.
From vibrant landscapes of spring to winter’s snowy trail or tinted leaves of autumn, Annapurna Circuit offers the finest collection of scenery from every other season. So, no matter when you’re trekking the region, the adventure will for sure be unlimited.
However, places at high altitudes like Pisang and Thorong La Pass can be difficult to ascend in winter. Monsoon isn’t good either for the places as it witnesses heavy rainfall with slippery trails. Therefore, most people consider spring and autumn as the best time to go to Annapurna Circuit Trek.
When to go to Annapurna Circuit Trek?
Annapurna Circuit Trek is so real and marvelous that any day would make a great day for its exploration. The offerings come as spectacular as always with no disparity except for a visual display which only alters with time.
While the background remains unchanged, the show in the frame may differ with the changing season. It can be more lively and colorful during spring while monsoon puts a dull and boring picture of all.
For more subtlety and charm, you can put on with the Annapurna Circuit Trek during Autumn which also happens to be one of the best times for trekking in Nepal. Apart from it, we’ve also found you the best time for when to go to Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn (September, October, and November)
Autumn is the season of otherworldly seasons and the perfect time for a trek to Annapurna Circuit. The astonishing valleys and enclaves of Annapurna Circuit host most crowds in the season as it proffers lovely weather.
Autumn in Nepal normally starts from mid-September and lasts until December giving more of a bitterly cold whisper in the air. The season’s end may leave people sad but it’s arrival soon recompense it with all of them thrilled and joyous.
The weather very seldom worsens in autumn as most of the time it tends to be mild and pleasant. Still, making an exception, the weather until late September can be bland and unpleasant with monsoon surviving somehow.
Nevertheless, after the end of September, everything falls into place along with the weather which gets nice and appealing once again. The skies are clearer than ever in October with valleys shining bright as if preparing to welcome all the festivals.
Autumn makes everything look grand and vivid in the Himalayas, be it those gleaming mountains, diverse landscapes, or forests. Talking about the forest, fall leaves are probably the best thing to happen during autumn in Annapurna Circuit Trek.
The gusting wind of autumn often encourages these colorful leaves to abandon their trees and causes them to wrap the classic trail of Annapurna Circuit. Eventually, it makes the route of Annapurna even more endearing and lovable than any other time.
The climate is more refreshing and vibrant in Autumn with Monsoon washing all the dust and dark clouds. There is green foliage everywhere and mostly in the woods which unfortunately by the end of December will have lost all its leaves.
Surprisingly, all three months of autumn sees different temperatures at different altitudes of Annapurna Circuit Trek. As for September, the average temperature varies from 8-12 Degree Celsius unless it’s Thorong La Pass which has the lowest temperature of -4 Degree Celsius.
Coming to November and October, the average temperature remains to be 15 Degree Celsius in the daytime. Meanwhile, the morning and nights experience a drop in temperature with almost 8 Degree Celsius.
Make sure to keep an eye on the dates since the temperature falls dramatically by the end of December. Bringing the autumn to end in December, Annapurna Circuit welcomes winter from the start of January. So, autumn definitely is the best time to go Annapurna Circuit Trek since winter starts soon after the end of the season..
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek in Autumn
- Breathtaking view of shimmering mountains such as Annapurna and Dhaulagiri
- Sweeping valleys and landscape vistas
- Pleasant atmosphere with tender climate
- Season of the festival hosting Dashain and Tihar
- Unique vegetation and wildlife to explore in a lush green forest
- Cultural display and interaction with people of different ethnic groups
- The tranquil sight of waterfall and streams fill to the brim with monsoon rainfall
Tips for Trek to Annapurna Circuit in Autumn
- If only you’re trekking early September, carry a waterproof jacket
- Carry warm but lightweight clothes
- Carry medicines which help prevent altitude sickness
- Accommodation is to be pre-booked as it’s on-season for hiking
Annapurna Circuit Trek in Spring (March, April, May)
Trekking in autumn is fantastic but that doesn’t mean spring is no fun. Frankly, they are close together when it comes to the best time to go to Annapurna Circuit Trek. Both the seasons have pleasant weather and they both put spectacular views.
Spring makes an ideal season for hiking with a tranquil atmosphere and mesmeric scenery. Regardless of how long-stretched the trail is to the circuit, walking it is always relaxing in spring.
That’s probably because the season displays a picturesque view of Annapurna massif, glacial lakes, and waterfall. The climate too is no less than splendid with cold mornings and nights while days remain to be warm and pleasant.
From the old classic trails to secluded corners and traditional villages, each and everything aspires to travel to Annapurna Circuit in spring. The valleys, as usual, keep embracing the visitors by putting picturesque views in every month of spring.
The season may kick off from mid-march but its effect can be sensed from the very early month. The weather starts to crisp after March with the temperature rising to as high as 20 Degree Celsius.
Correspondingly, there isn’t enough moisture in the air by early April as the humidity goes high. In the meantime, the night and morning hours are relatively chilly till late March. The change in the weather during the month is firmly the out-turn of post-winter.
The skies are more often blue and clear during spring putting on a magnificent display. The wild and grandest show happens in the forest though, with flowers blooming all over. In the dense forest on the way to the Annapurna circuit, you can see spectacular Rhododendron blooming to its fullest.
Since it’s the peak season for trekking in Nepal, you’ll always be in the company of someone. The streets are more crowded than ever so it won’t be difficult finding help just in case you get in trouble.
This only flaw spring brings with it is the stress to find proper accommodation. Because it’s the peak season for trekking in Nepal, most hotels and lodges will be running over with guests. In such a situation, you might not be able to get a room at the last minute so I would suggest you to book the room in advance.
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek in Spring
- Picturesque view of glistening Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu
- Cultural spectacle with interconnection of trekkers from all over the world
- Exploring fine spots that lie in the most isolated part of the region
- Unveils lush-green forest filled with wildflowers and rhododendron
- Connection with nature and wild species inhabited in the Himalayas
- Vibrant valleys and landscapes to watch
Tips for Annapurna Circuit Trek in Spring
- Carry all the essentials including trekking poles and quality hiking boots
- If you’re trekking in early March, make sure to bring lightweight warm clothes
- Insulated jacket and fleece vest is must to have
- A beanie, hat or cap will work more than good to avoid the heat
- Advance booking of room in hotel and lodge
- Carry a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the trek
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- Annapurna Circuit Difficulty – Season Wise Difficulty Guide
Off-season Trek for Annapurna Circuit
Not necessarily but Monsoon and Winter are the least favored seasons of all time. They’re never appreciated as much as spring and autumn by the trekkers of Annapurna Circuit.
That doesn’t mean they completely keep away from traveling to the region but rather prefer hiking as seldom as possible. With the proper preparations and precautions, anyone can make it to Thorong La Pass and enjoy the dazzling view of snow-capped mountains.
Winter Season (December, January, February)
Winters are normally cold but when it’s at the height of 5416m, it’s not just cold, it’s freezing. And that’s the reason trekkers don’t show much interest in Annapurna Circuit Trek during winter.
The season falls from December to February but it’s January that’s more frosty than any other month. The weather is severe throughout the season with some places witnessing heavy snowfall.
In the lower altitude, the average temperature ranges from 5-10 Degree Celsius which is still okay for trekking. But as you reach as high altitude as Thorong La Pass, the temperature drops below -20 Degree Celsius.
The weather is extreme at these places while the trails are covered in thick snow. Since mornings and nights are frosty, trekking is only possible during the daytime.
The only best part about trekking Annapurna Circuit in winter is the mesmeric view of snow-covered mountains. To watch the rooftops of the villages tucked with thick snow below Thorong La Pass is incredible.
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek in Winter
- Enjoy heavy snowfall at and below Thorong La Pass
- Scenic view of snow-covered mountains
- No distraction and interference from crowd
- Good possibilities for getting discounts on accommodation and food
Tips for hiking Annapurna Circuit in Winter
- Carry as much warm and woolen clothes of lightweight
- Pick thermal pants and tops to stock in the bag pack
- Quality trekking boots is must to have
- Stay updated with the weather forecast
Monsoon Season (June, July, August)
There isn’t much to expect from the monsoon in Annapurna Circuit Trek except heavy rainfall and muddy trails. Monsoon otherwise known as summer season experiences seasonal rainfall anytime from 3 to 4 hours and sometimes even more.
But after it stops raining, you can get an unobstructed view of mountains and valleys as the rain washes all the dirt. The climate post the rainfall is relatively cold than before which is seemingly hot.
The temperature at lower elevation varies from 15-25 Degree Celsius but drops considerably at higher altitudes. The main cause behind the drastic change in the weather is the sweeping windblown from the Bay of Bengal which brings rain and storm with it.
After knowing the climatic condition and weather in monsoon, people by now might have found the answer for when to go Annapurna Circuit Trek.
Highlights of Annapurna Circuit Trek in Monsoon
- Stunning view of the mountains and landscapes after monsoon rainfall
- Less flow of people and uncrowded trails
- Chances of getting discounts and offers at the guesthouse
- No restriction to interact with the locals despite the rainfall
Tips for Annapurna Circuit Trek in Monsoon
- Stay protected with the waterproof jacket and trousers
- Get your own first-aid kit with ibuprofen in it
- Must have hiking boots and socks
- Warm clothes to prevent cold weather in night and morning
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