Choosing the right time of the year to trek to EBC (Everest Base Camp) is an important decision. How cold and wet it plays a very important role in comfort, route, itinerary and what you pack for your EBC trek. At high altitude temperature differences between seasons are extreme.
Best months for hiking Everest Base Camp trek
There are two distinct seasons for trekking to EBC. The best months to trek to Everest base camp are in the pre-monsoon season through March, April, and May, or in the post-monsoon season from late September, October, November.
If you decide to trek on the border of the monsoon season keep in mind that sometimes the season starts earlier or finishes later and unexpected rainfalls might influence your Everest Base Camp trek itinerary.
Pre monsoon (Feb-May) the weather should be largely stable and dry, great for trekking. We have done a lot of trekking in Nepal between February and April. We loved the landscapes on the EBC trek in this period. Late February and early March is our favorite time for trekking in Nepal. We loved the clear skies, crisp air and spectacular views late February/early March. Trekking on EBC this time of the year was however freezing cold, so be prepared. Rain can start early, some years you can get a lot of rain on the trail late in April and in May. Comparing the photo above and below you can see there was a lot more snow and colder conditions in February than in April in Namche Bazaar.
If you want to hike to Gokyo Lakes just be aware that in years with a lot of snow Cho La Pass at 5420m on the way to Gokyo Ri is often closed in February and you might not be able to cross.
Post monsoon (late Sept-Nov) with less haze and clouds in this period it will normally provide better views of these spectacular mountains. This time is colder but a great time to hike to Gokyo Lakes. This is a good season for trekking, but from October it can be crazy busy with packed teahouses, combine this with frozen water pipes can make for some frustrations.
Winter (Dec-Feb) Hiking still possible but very cold, up to -30C at night! Some times a lot of snow falls on the trail, passes might be closed. Avoid the crowds but bring proper equipment!
Monsoon (June-September) – warm weather (22C), but very wet. Trails get very muddy, not good trekking conditions.
Weather per month in Pre monsoon on Everest Base Camp
February – it is still very cold on the trail, -20C not uncommon. Sunburn can happen with clear skies, high UV index and reflection from the snow. The trails and teahouses are still fairly quiet, traffic starts picking up from end of February. Be prepared for very cold weather (frost bite is possible on very cold days if you are not prepared) and sun protection (sunscreen, buff, sunglasses). Pack micro spikes to hike on icy sections. Sun sets early, so if you walk from your teahouse at Gorakshep to EBC do not attempt this too late. The sun sets early and temperatures drop rapidly!
March – spring is here, temperatures start rising, snow melts (so bit muddy on the trail sometimes). Day length starts increasing. Skies are still clear with amazing views. From middle March the trail starts to get busy with group tours starting to arrive.
April – most popular month in pre-monsoon, trail can get very crowded. Full teahouses, loads of people on Kalapatar. Very nice warm weather, can hike in shirt and rain jacket a lot of the time. Some rain storms, we got very wet around Lukla in April, still mostly nice sunny days with clear skies, but prepare for rain, snow, and UV.
May – temperatures now really pick up, not much rain yet, but definitely more wet than in April. Days usually start out nice and clear with rain and snow in the afternoon. Trail becomes a bit less crowded again.
This time of the year is great trekking conditions, but it can be very busy with many hikers. Trekking here in February/March we had dry, but cold conditions. I was wearing an hiking shirt, down jacket and trekking pants. On very cold days I wore a rain jacket as outer shell over the down jacket, so not really special cold weather clothes. Hiking to EBC in April I was warm wearing only a shirt and rain jacket most of the time.
Weather per month in Post monsoon on Everest Base Camp
September – The autumn trekking season for EBC starts with monsoon rain starting to decrease. Temperatures are moderate and nice for trekking. Early in September is usually still quite wet, weather becomes dryer towards the end of the month. Beginning of September flights to Lukla are often canceled, risk decreases as the weather improves during the month. There is often lots of snow on the high passes and Three Passes sometimes closed, especially earlier in the month. The trail gets busy towards end of the month.
October – The most popular month to trek to Everest Base Camp. Monsoon rains ended, usually quite a dry month with nice moderate temperatures. The best month to plan hiking the Three Passes for. Flights to Lukla has a very small chance of getting cancelled in October with good weather.
November – Fantastic weather for trekking, clear skies, moderate temperatures and very little snow or rain. Days getting shorter and getting colder in the evenings.
The strong half of Stingy Nomads, a nomadic aquaman that would be happy to spend all his life in the water diving, surfing and spearfishing but often has to compromise with Alya and go hiking instead. Campbell is responsible for all our marine adventures and following them with write-ups. He loves traveling, braai (BBQ in South Africa), red wine and spending the day in a wetsuit.