Best Time For Annapurna Circuit Trek

Best Time For Annapurna Circuit Trek

The best time for Annapurna Circuit Trek is spring and autumn. Due to its stunning scenery, diversified terrain, and cultural features, it is one of Nepal’s top treks. Although you can trek in all four seasons, certain months provide the best hiking conditions and breathtaking vistas. 

If you’re planning to trek the Annapurna Circuit, you’ll want to consider going during the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). These seasons offer the best weather conditions for your adventure. You can expect pleasant weather with moderate temperatures, clear skies, and minimal rainfall during these seasons. Snowfall is also unlikely during this time. The Annapurna Circuit Trek covers a vast region with diverse climatic variations, ranging from tropical to alpine zones.

The trek begins in Besisahar and travels through subtropical meadows before ascending to Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters), the trek’s peak. After the pass, the climate changes again as the paths descend into the drier Mustang area, where the terrain becomes semi-arid. As a result of the diverse landscapes, the Annapurna Circuit weather conditions vary significantly from those in other trekking destinations of Nepal. So, before starting your journey, you must consider various factors such as weather, route, crowd, and trekking conditions. 

Best Time For Annapurna Circuit Trek

Spring Season (March-May)

Trekking in the spring season is Nepal’s most incredible hiking season. The mild environment, lengthy trekking days, sunny and pleasant temperatures, and breathtaking mountain vistas make this the perfect time to hike the Annapurna Circuit. The landscape is lush and green, the trees blossom, and the woodland pathways are filled with lively rhododendrons. The flawless, high-altitude Ice Lake is frozen and nestled within the steep peaks in early spring. Furthermore, traversing the Thorong La Pass may be difficult due to significant snowfall in the season’s early months. 

best time for annapurna circuit

This renowned trip is the greatest right now, not only because of the beautiful weather but also because of the distinctive festivals and events that are important to the culture of this trekking area. This season’s highlight is the well-known Tiji festival in Lo-Manthang; if you trek in May, you can participate in this age-old lively custom.

Autumn Season (September-November)

Another best time to trek the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal is autumn. The weather is often ideal for hiking. Autumn brings pleasant temperatures, minimal humidity, and plenty of sunlight. The days are warmer, and the daylight hours are extended. Following the rain, the paths are clean and fresh. Furthermore, the autumn is a bit cooler, and forest paths are breathtaking as the leaves on the trees change color to vivid red, orange, and yellow. 

Days at higher elevations are not too chilly, so you may easily cross Thorong La Pass this time of the year. The peak gives a clear view of Nepal’s Manang and Mustang region’s skies, mountains, and distinctive landscapes. 

Annapurna Circuit Weather 

Discussing the weather conditions of the Annapurna Circuit can be challenging. The trail passes over a large area where the landscape changes dramatically. The multi-week Annapurna Circuit route starts in the subtropical zone. Trekkers take a few days to ascend into temperate valleys and the mountains. After ascending to Thorung La, the trek’s highest point, 5,416 meters above sea level, hikers descend back to temperate and eventually subtropical areas. 

The Annapurna Circuit has always been about diversity, changing landscapes, and climate. Most people don’t hike the entire route. One primary reason for this is the area’s expanding infrastructure over the last few decades, making all but the most remote part of the trek route accessible by road. As a result, the earlier and later stages of the trek route have lost some of their attraction. 

How high does the circuit go?

No level of typical city trekking preparation can help you at altitude. Once you reach an altitude of around 2,500 meters, you may begin to notice the effects of reduced oxygen levels. This is essential to remember when planning your daily activities for the trek. Give yourself a day or two to adjust to the high altitude during your trek. It has a different impact on each individual. The highest point on the Annapurna trail (Thorong La Pass, 5416 meters) has only half of the oxygen you breathe at sea level. 

Trained and experienced guides are essential for this trek. They can pace you up the mountain and safely return you if necessary. Acclimatization is also crucial for this trek. There’s no reason to avoid the Annapurna Circuit because of fitness. If you’re fit and mentally strong, you can manage without experience. If you plan and pace your trek correctly, you’ll find that the terrain is not particularly technical, allowing you to take your time and enjoy the experience. 

Climates of the Annapurna Circuit 

The Annapurna trek route covers subtropical, temperate, and alpine climates. When you begin trekking in the temperate zone, you can see monkeys, banana trees, and rice fields in the low-lying subtropical region on your drive before and after the trip. 

High-altitude hiking requires more planning and preparation than low-altitude trekking because mountain weather may be unpredictable and unsafe. The most crucial weather considerations for a high-altitude climb are temperature and rainfall. 

Rain in Annapurna Range

The Annapurna Circuit’s higher elevation is in a rain shadow, a region isolated from the rain systems due to a natural barrier. It also means that the highest portion of the Annapurna Circuit is undisturbed primarily by the summer monsoon that impacts the rest of Nepal. The upper part of the Annapurna trail is trekable all year round due to its location in a rain shadow. However, you must go through the temperate zone, which experiences intense monsoon rains, to reach this place. July and August, in particular, are quite rainy months. March, June, and September also experience a lot of rain.

How Cold is the Annapurna Circuit?

Annapurna’s temperature and mountain areas can be pretty chilly during the year’s colder months. The temperatures on the trail you hike often dip below freezing. The altitude and the winter monsoon from northern Asia contribute to these conditions. In places like Manang, you must take two days to adjust to the altitude; the winter nights are consistently below freezing. Even in daytime temperatures slightly exceeding the freezing point, the wind chill can quickly make it feel below freezing. 

The Annapurna region experiences extremely cold temperatures during the winter months. December to February are typically the coldest months, with November and March also bringing chilly weather. During the day, temperatures may slightly exceed freezing, but the wind chill can make it feel much colder. You must also go to even colder places like Ice Lakes and Thorung La Pass. The average daytime temperature is 5-10°C, but it can go as low as -20°C in higher altitudes and even lower at night.

The Cheapest Time to Hike the Circuit 

If you plan to trek the Annapurna Circuit, find the most budget-friendly time. Since spring and autumn are popular trekking seasons, you may wonder whether trekking during one of these months makes the trip cheaper or more costly. 

Cost of flight

Flights prices to Nepal may vary depending on factors such as your departure location and the timing of your booking. You’ll have to research to figure out the most affordable times of the year to fly to Nepal from your location. One crucial factor in securing budget-friendly flights to Nepal is to book in advance. It is advisable to purchase your tickets at least three weeks in advance of your planned travel date. 

Cost of trekking permits 

The Annapurna Circuit trekking permit is the Annapurna Conservation Area Entry Permit, which costs NPR 3,000 and remains the same throughout the year. Another trekking permit is the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS) card, which costs NPR 2000.

Alternative Trekking Routes In Annapurna

Trek to the Ice Lake at the Annapurna IV Glacier

If you want to explore the Nepalese nature far away from the crowd of the Annapurna Circuit, consider the trip to the Ice Lake at the foot of the Annapurna IV Glacier. This hike in the Himalayas is incredible. It spans five days and offers breathtaking views of the Dhaulagiri, Lamjunh Himal, and Fish Tail along the way.

annapurna circuit

Hike to Annapurna Sanctuary

The Annapurna Sanctuary, also known as Annapurna Base Camp, is a must-do if you are looking for a fantastic adventure in Nepal. This 10-day hike will take you through breathtaking landscapes, from snow-capped mountain faces to vibrant rhododendron forests and charming Gurung settlements. If you’re not quite ready for the full Annapurna Circuit or short on time, this Himalayan hike is perfect. It offers a refreshing and pleasant change from the bustling Annapurna Circuit.

Trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp

If you’re looking for a different trekking experience in Nepal, the Mardi Himal trail might be just what you need. This trail opened in 2011 and provides an alternative to the famous Annapurna trekking route. During your Himalayan hike, you’ll experience all four seasons in a single day. Along the way, you’ll see the breathtaking views of the 5,587 meters of Mardi Himal and Macchapuchhre, Annapurna I, and Hiunchuli. The hike begins just east of the Annapurna Base Camp trek and ends at the spectacular base of the 5,587 meters Mardi Himal and 6,993 meters Macchapuchhre.

The Poon Hill-Ghorepani Trek

The Poon Hill-Ghrepani Trek is a popular short Annapurna trek that offers steep ascents and stunning sunrise views. Despite being considered an ‘easy’ option, it provides a unique experience for those who do not want to go on a long journey. The trek takes you through diverse Magar villages and thick wooded trails, finishing in an early morning hike to the top of Poon Hill (3,210 meters). The trek provides breathtaking views of Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang, Machhapuchhare (Fishtail), Annapurna II, the Lamjung Himal Range, Dhaulagiri, Tukuche Peak and Dhampus Peak. 

poon hill

Lake Tilicho

The hike to Lake Tilicho is a side trip from the Annapurna Circuit route. Starting from the village of Manang, you can go to Tilicho Base Camp at an elevation of 3,734 meters and then continue your journey to the breathtaking Tilichho Lake, which sits at an impressive elevation of 4,919 meters. Tilicho Lake is often considered Nepal’s most beautiful lake, making the side trip worth it. With snowcapped peaks all around, it is the world’s highest lake. Continue on the Annapurna Circuit from the lake, crossing the Thorung La and descending into Lower Mustang.

Lower Mustang

In Nepal, Lower Mustang is a distinctive geological and topographic region situated in the rainshadow of the Himalayas. It is accessible from Pokhara by bus or flight and stands out by its dry, barren terrain, harsh sun, and strong winds. The towns worth visiting are Johnson, Marpha, and Kagbeni. From Kagbeni, you can drive or trek to Muktinath temple. You can also explore the rocky side valleys adorned with fossilized sea creatures and peaceful meditation caves. Lubra is a unique village, one of the last remaining homes of the Bon religion. 

Nar Phu Valley

The Nar Phu Valley is nestled between the Annapurna and Manaslu regions. This is a great place to start a 9-day trek that will make your trip more exciting if you take it after the Annapurna Circuit. It is ideal for trekkers who have completed some of Nepal’s more mainstream treks. High peaks and passes, isolated towns, narrow canyons, spectacular rock formations, and unspoiled Tibetan Buddhist culture exist. The trails are pretty rugged and sometimes cut high into the sides of cliffs.

Packing List


  • Hiking shirt
  • Hiking pants
  • Wool socks
  • Fleece jacket
  • Down jacket
  • Rainproof/windproof jackey
  • Beanie
  • Gloves


  • Backpack
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trail running shoes
  • Hiking poles
  • Thermal shirt
  • Thermal pants
  • Headlight
  • Water bottle
  • Towel
  • Dry bag
  • Sunglasses
  • First aid kit

Toiletries & Hygiene

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Tissues
  • Nail chippers
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm

You can check the Annapurna Circuit Packing List


The Annapurna Circuit is one of the best circuit treks in Nepal. During the trek, you can see breathtaking mountains, panoramas, highland settlements, unique cultures, and beautiful trials. This high-altitude trek needs more preparation and attention than low-altitude treks. This is due to the unpredictable and dangerously changing weather in the mountains. So, consider spring and autumn the best times to travel to Annapurna Circuit. These seasons are ideal because they provide clear skies,

Which is better Annapurna Circuit or base camp?

If you have less time, base camp is better. Due to the longer route, the Annapurna Circuit trek typically takes 18-22 days and covers Thorong-La Pass, Tilicho Lake, remote villages, and alpine meadows.

Do you need to train for Annapurna Circuit?

You must train for Annapurna Circuit, like multi-day hikes and training. You have to hike for several hours with 3 liters of water.

Do you need a sleeping bag for the Annapurna trek?

Although the teahouses and lodges offer comfortable and warm beds, it is best to carry your sleeping bags. This ensures proper hygiene during your trek.

How cold is Annapurna Circuit in October?

During October, the upper part of the Annapurna Circuit is close to the freezing level. The temperature at night reaches 7°C to 8°C. The coldest place is Thorong La Pass.

Can you do Annapurna Circuit in September?

You can do the Annapurna Circuit trek all year round, but the best trekking times are spring, March to May, and autumn, September to November.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *