The Four Seasons of Nepal
Spring Season (March, April, May)
Spring is one of the best times to do the Manaslu trek. Spring marks the end of a long winter. The climate begins to warm up, and the high-altitude lakes like Birendra and Ponkar start to melt. Likewise, the locals who moved to villages in the lower elevation to escape the extreme cold of winter, return to their homes in the higher part of the Manaslu region, making the tea houses open to welcome trekkers.
Manaslu Glacier View on Manaslu Trekking
There can be still some snow at the start of the spring season, so the views are more dramatic than usual. As March ends and April begins, the lower part of the region sees hundreds and thousands of rhododendrons and wildflowers blossom. The weather is exceptional, with warm daytime and chilly mornings and nights. Overall, the temperature ranges from 15°C to 20°C in lower altitudes and 0°C to 5°C in the upper part of the Manaslu trail.
Pros of trekking in the Manaslu region in spring
- Spring offers the best weather conditions for trekking in Manaslu. The moderate temperatures and clear skies make for comfortable and picturesque days on the trail.
- The blooming rhododendrons add a surreal and magical touch to your trek.
- Clear skies during spring mean that you'll have excellent visibility of the stunning mountain vistas, including the majestic Manaslu itself.
- Spring's pleasant weather allows for a more enjoyable trek, with fewer weather-related obstacles to hinder your journey.
Cons of trekking in the Manaslu region in autumn
- Because of its favorable weather, spring is a popular trekking season in Manaslu. This can lead to more trekkers on the trail, busier teahouses, and a greater demand for accommodations.
- With more demand come higher prices for lodging and food in the teahouses.
Summer/Monsoon (June, July, August)
Summer and monsoon seasons come together in Nepal. The climate is hot and humid in this season. Most of the trekking routes are closed, including the Manaslu Circuit and Tsum Valley, because of unfavorable weather conditions. In the trekking world, we say summer/monsoon is an off-season for the Manaslu trek.
This season has challenging weather and climate conditions, which make Manaslu trekking much more demanding than it already is. The persistent heavy rainfall swells the rivers, makes the trail muddy, and increases the risks of landslides. Likewise, the trail is full of bugs, mosquitoes, and leeches. And not to mention, the visibility is poor.
On average, there is 460 mm of rainfall up to 1,400 meters and 30 mm above 4,000 meters. One of the advantages of trekking in summer/monsoon time is almost no crowds and low accommodation prices. In general, the temperature ranges around 25°C. The daytime temperature ranges from 20°C to 10°C. Mornings and nights are chilly.
Challenges of Manaslu trekking in summer/monsoon
- The trails become muddy and slippery due to the continuous rain. It increases the trek difficulty and risks of landslides.
- Frequent rainfall obscures the breathtaking mountain views that are a highlight of the Manaslu trek. Fog and mist often surround the higher altitudes, making it challenging to witness the grandeur of the Himalayas.
- Summer/monsoon is also the leech season in Manaslu, making the journey very uncomfortable for trekkers.
- Some tea houses along the trekking route may close during the monsoon season due to low tourist traffic, limiting accommodation options.
Alternative activities during the summer/monsoon season in Nepal
- Trek to the Upper Dolpo or Upper Mustang. These two are rain shadow areas, so once you enter the upper part of the trail, there is no rainfall. The trail is open to welcome the trekkers and offers landscapes unlike any other part of the Himalayas.
- Go on city tours. We, Outfitter Himalaya, have a wide selection of tour packages in Nepal that are perfect to do in this season.
- Visit national parks. Check out our Chitwan National Park and Bardia National Park tour packages.
Autumn (September, October, November)
Autumn is the best time to do the Manaslu trek in terms of weather, climate, and views. The stable weather, moderate climate, and clear mountain views make Manaslu trekking in autumn fantastic. The trails are bustled with trekkers from all around the world, making the evenings in the tea houses phenomenal.
Himalayan View on Manaslu Trekking
While you will come across many fellow trekkers along the way, you will also get ample time to enjoy the serenity of the region. The temperature ranges from 15°C to 20°C in the lower altitudes, whereas the upper part of the trail is chilly with crisp air. The daytime is bright and clear. In the upper part of the trail, the temperature ranges from 5°C to 7°C and gradually drops as winter gets closer.
Likewise, autumn is also the season of festivals in Nepal. Locals all around the country celebrate the biggest Nepali festivals, including Jatras, Dashain, Tihar, and Chhath. You can plan your Manaslu trek right on time to see and participate in the vibrant Nepalese festivals.
Pros of trekking in the Manaslu region in autumn
- The Autumn season promises perfect weather conditions in the Manaslu region to enjoy a high pass crossing trek. The combination of mild temperatures and clear skies ensures a comfortable, safe, and picturesque journey.
- The exceptional visibility in autumn allows trekkers to witness the majestic Manaslu and the surrounding peaks in all their glory.
- The fall vegetation provides an enchanting backdrop for photography.
- Autumn is a time when many cultural festivals are celebrated in Nepal. Travelers may have the opportunity to participate in these festivals and experience the rich local traditions.
Cons of trekking in the Manaslu region in autumn
- Many trekkers choose to do the Manaslu trek in the autumn season, making the trail quite crowded.
- The cost of accommodation and meals are the highest in this season. The demand is high, and most of the tea houses are pre-booked.
- The cost of the restricted permit is highest in the autumn season.
Winter (December, January, February)
Winter is another off time for the Manaslu trek. This season transforms the Manaslu region into a winter wonderland. The daytime is short, with long nights. Likewise, the temperature drops below -8°C as you touch the upper part of the trail. The weather is also quite unstable. You can expect snowstorms and avalanches in the surrounding mountains.
Settlements like Samdo and Dharamshala get empty as most of the locals drop to lower elevations to spend the winter, which results in no tea house facility. The trail is empty and offers true Himalayan solitude to trekkers. Winter is not an ideal time to do the Manaslu trek, but if you wish to do a winter trek in the Manaslu region, we can definitely organize it for you.
The challenges of the Manaslu trek are more in the winter season, and crossing the Larkya La pass may involve basic climbing gear. Likewise, the trail is covered with snow. With proper preparation and support, you can do the Manaslu trek safely in the winter season. Finally, the winter landscapes make the trek nothing less than a magical expedition in the Himalayas.
Winter trekking tips
- Pack warm clothing, including down jackets, thermal layers, and cold-weather accessories like gloves, hats, and insulated boots.
- While tea houses remain open during the winter, you may not get meals in settlements like Samdo and Dharmsala. Bring a sleeping bag and make sure you are self-sufficient in case meals are not available in some villages.
- The presence of snow and ice can make trekking more challenging. Ensure you have suitable footwear with good traction, such as crampons or microspikes, to navigate slippery paths.
- With shorter daylight hours, start your treks early in the morning and plan accordingly to reach your destination before dark.
Temperature and weather conditions in different months
- January is one of the coldest months, with clear skies and snowfall, especially at higher altitudes.
- The daytime is a bit warmer than freezing colds and mornings.
- Daytime temperatures range from -2°C to 8°C in lower altitudes and can drop below -6°C to -10°C at higher elevations.
- It is tough to cross the Larkya La pass because of heavy snow.
- The tea house remains open in Dharmasala, but there is limited meal service.
- February marks the beginning of the end of winter. The temperature gradually begins to warm, and the daytime also begins to elongate.
- The daytime temperatures vary from -2°C to 8°C in lower regions, while higher elevations are much colder.
- Expect clear skies and occasional snowfall, creating a serene winter landscape.
- The services are still limited, with many tea houses closed along the trails.
- March is the start of spring. The temperature starts to increase, making the daytime warmer with stale weather.
- Perfect climate to trek, and all the tea houses along the Manaslu trails are open.
- The temperature ranges from 3°C to 12°C in lower regions and can drop below -6°C at the upper part of the trail.
- The lakes begin to unfreeze, and the trail is somewhat clear of snow.
Manaslu Circuit Trekking Trail
- April welcomes thousands of wildflowers and rhododendrons bloom throughout the lower part of the trail.
- The daytime is longer, with average temperature ranging from 6°C to 16°C in lower altitudes.
- April is a transition month, with warmer weather and a more significant increase in trekkers. Snow starts melting rapidly.
- May marks the end of the spring season. The climate is warm, with stable weather and lots of sunshine.
- The temperature ranges between 12°C and 31°C in the lower elevation. The nights and mornings are cold.
- The fresh breeze, teeming forests, and excellent views make trekking phenomenal.
- June starts the summer/monsoon season. The days are bright and sunny. The humidity increases as heavy rainfall begins.
- Daytime temperatures rise further, with lower altitudes averaging 14°C to 24°C. The morning and night are chilly.
- Heavy rainfall results in slippery trails, poor visibility, bugs, and landslide risks.
- Monsoon rains continue, leading to muddy and challenging trail conditions. The trails are empty.
- Daytime temperatures remain relatively consistent, ranging from 10°C to 25°C in lower regions.
- Increase in humidity and hotness.
- August has similar weather conditions as July. Heavy rainfall makes trekking more difficult.
- Daytime temperatures continue to stay in the 15°C to 25°C range. The upper part of the trail sees temperatures ranging from 5°C to 8°C.
- The best time to begin preparing for trekking in the autumn season.
- September is the start of the autumn season. The rain falls now and then throughout this month, but the trekking season begins.
- The weather gets stable with a better climate, fresh air, and clean views.
- The daytime temperature ranges from 12°C to 22°C. Whereas, the temperature at higher altitudes ranges from 5°C to 7°C.
- You have to pack rain gear for trekking in September.
- October is one of the finest times of the year to do the Manaslu trek with stable weather and moderate climate.
- The temperature at lower altitudes ranges from 8°C and 20°C. Likewise, the temperature drops below 0°C and -2°C in the upper elevations.
- A very popular trekking time with clear skies, stunning landscapes, and comfortable trekking conditions.
- The trail gets busy.
- November is another fantastic time to do the Manalu trek. The weather remains stable, with gorgeous landscapes, a clear sky, a pleasant climate, and crisp air.
- The daytime temperature ranges from 2°C to 14°C. Likewise, in villages such as Samdo, Samagaun, and above these settlements, you can expect an average temperature of -3°C to -6°C.
- December starts the winter season. The Temperature ranges from 8°C to 12°C in the lower elevation. As the elevation increases, the temperature drops below -8°C.
- Expect clear skies and occasional snowfall, especially at higher elevations.
- By the end of December, the villagers of Samdo and Dharamshala begin to drop down to lower elevations to spend the winter.
Manaslu Trek Best Time Recommendations
Timing is crucial when it comes to trekking in the Himalayas. For the best weather and fewer challenges, consider trekking during the popular seasons of autumn (September to November) or spring (March to May). These periods offer clear skies, mild temperatures, and blooming landscapes.
Tips for a Successful Manaslu Trek
- Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Even in the best seasons, temperatures can vary, and unexpected weather patterns can occur. Layer your clothing to easily adapt to temperature changes.
- Bring appropriate clothing and gear for the season, including insulated clothing for cold weather and rain gear for wet seasons. Be prepared for varying temperatures throughout the trek.
- Stay informed about the weather conditions for the duration of your trek.
- The high altitudes and reflective snow can result in strong sun exposure. Use sunscreen, wear sunglasses with UV protection, and consider a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun.
- Start your treks early in the morning when the weather is generally more stable. Afternoon weather conditions can be less predictable, with increased chances of rain or snowfall.
- In case of adverse weather conditions, consider your safety above all else. If conditions become dangerous, be ready to alter your plans, descend to lower elevations, or seek shelter.
- Pack essential gear such as a headlamp, map, compass, and an emergency locator device. These tools can be invaluable in case of unexpected weather-related challenges.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, even in cold conditions. Dehydration can occur at high altitudes and in dry mountain air.
In this blog, we have dissected the seasons and their impact on your trekking experience, allowing you to make an informed choice. Your choice of season should align with your preferences, priorities, and willingness to handle varying weather challenges.
Tsum Valley Trekking Trail in Manaslu Region
Plan Your Manaslu Adventure with Outfitter Himalaya
While the best time to embark on the Manaslu trek may vary, one constant remains - the need for a reliable and experienced trekking company. We, Outfitter Himalaya, are a trusted partner in Nepal for this Himalayan adventure. Our expert guides, in-depth knowledge of the region, and commitment to safety make us a top choice for trekkers in any season.
Now, as you plan your Manaslu trek, consider your aspirations, the season that resonates with you, and your willingness to embrace the ever-changing weather conditions of the Himalayas. The journey you undertake, the landscapes you traverse, and the memories you create will be influenced by the season you choose.
Best Manaslu Trekking Programs
Your Himalayan dream awaits, and with our support, it's sure to be a successful and memorable experience, no matter the season!