The best time to visit Everest Base Camp is during spring and autumn. Except for the rainy season, when the trails are muddy and less walkable, you can visit the base camp any time, even in winter. The empty trails of winter also draw many trekkers and climbers alike. As long as you’re prepared for cold temperatures, you can embark on a journey to Everest Base Camp in winter as well.
Trekkers are suggested to undertake the world’s popular Everest Base Camp trek in Pre-monsoon (February, March, April, and May) and post-monsoon (late September, October, November, and December). In other words, you should plan the trek either before or after the monsoon.
As far as trekking is concerned, spring and autumn are the best time of the year to explore Everest Base Camp. More than 40,000 trekkers flock to Everest Base Camp from March to May and September to November. It is the busiest time of the year.
The personal favorite of many trekkers is March and November. If we have to be specific, October and November are the two best months for the EBC trek. That said, March and April are also considered the best time to travel to Everest Base Camp.
So, in short, if you’re a trekker on a mission to visit Everest Base Camp, you may undertake this journey in spring and autumn. If you are someone who hates crowded trails but can endure the harsh coldness and sleep with cold feet, you can do the trek even in winter. And if you’re someone who hates to trek for days on end or, say, who is time-constrained, you can hop on a helicopter and fly to the base camp within a couple of hours.
Spring and autumn are considered the best time for many reasons. The unpredictable weather of the Everest region is the main determining factor. In this regard, spring and autumn welcome thousands of trekkers who wish to embrace the incredible views of the mountains, including Everest and several other 8000m peaks under the clear sky.
Are you thinking about when to visit Everest Base Camp? Want to know which season is best? Worry not, we will be discussing every season for the world’s classic trek:
Winter (December, January, and February)
The winter season (December, January, and February) is considered off-season, mainly due to coldness. The temperature can drop to -30 degrees Celsius at night, and during the daytime, the temperature is still cold enough to make you walk clumsily and beset you every second.
The days are shorter, and the routes at the higher section are filled with snow.
The apparent downsides are the cold weather, shorter days, and your bags are generally heavy, crammed with warm pairs of clothes. On the flip side, the trails are less crowded, and the price of flight and accommodations are comparatively lower. You don’t have to jostle and rush for rooms. The clear sky brings on stunning views of the mountains, which are breathtaking.
Very few people choose to trek in winter, bracing themselves to fight the harsh coldness. They have to bundle themselves in layers of clothes, carrying yet another pair in their bag. And sometimes, trekkers have to return without admiring the sight of Everest and surrounding peaks. It’s tough, you know.
If you are pondering whether you can trek in winter or not, the answer is simple: Yes. In winter, you can trek to Everest Base Camp, but we do not suggest you do it unless it’s your ultimate dream. It is suggested only when you are prepared for coldness, as we said earlier.
The weather condition can be challenging in winter. The flights can get canceled for days due to bad weather conditions. You may not be able to walk or sleep in extreme cold. There is a high chance that the trail is snow-covered. Considering all these, it is not recommended to trek during winter.
Spring (March to May)
March to May is popular months to do the Everest Base Camp trek. The weather is warmer, with clear days and favorable situations to trek throughout the day. Colorful rhododendrons paint the trails, clear sky flaunts the magical mountains and beautiful days overwhelm every trekker. Thousands of trekkers choose spring to trek to the base camp of Everest.
The only pitfall of trekking in spring is the overcrowded trails. You’ll have to prepare in advance, from booking a flight to reserving a room in the mountains. There is little to no chance of rain or snowfall, making it ideal weather for trekkers to enjoy the day.
Needless to, every trekker chooses to trek in spring and autumn to score the best trekking experience. This is the busiest season, and for a good reason. Plan in advance if you want to trek in the spring season, or else schedule the trek in the autumn season, which is another best time of the year to trek to Everest Base Camp.
Autumn (September to November)
Another favorite season to explore Everest Base Camp is autumn. The balmy weather, clear sky, and favorable circumstances all contribute to the best trekking experience in the autumn season. As monsoon dissipates, trekkers in thousand flock to the base camp to check off the world’s best trek from their bucket list. From September to November, trekkers from around the world make their way to the world’s highest base camp.
As you can guess, you’ll have to trade off ideal weather conditions with the busiest trail. But good perks weigh more than the downside. As trekkers, you’ll get to share camaraderie with fellow trekkers, and that hits differently unless you’re an introvert. The good weather window bestows mesmerizing views of the mountains from early morning.
The moderate temperatures and clear sky are two main highlights of the autumn season. It is neither too hot nor too cold during the autumn season but expect to face colder nights at higher altitudes (above 4,000m). October and November are specially considered the best month to trek to Everest Base Camp. Many trekkers schedule their trek in October to witness and enjoy Mani Ramdu, a 19-day festival.
Monsoon (June – August)
The least favorite season to trek in the Himalayas is the monsoon. It is not recommended to trek to Everest Base Camp in the monsoon. The wet weather, muddy trail, and rainclouds can welcome awful predicaments. Trekkers dodge June to early September as it is off-season for trekking and adventure.
There’s a high chance of rain every day, but the temperature is warm enough to trek. If you don’t mind muddy trails or getting wet, and if the downpour doesn’t agitate you, you can trek. But still, we don’t recommend it. Imagine the discomfort that looms with the wet shoes or the fear of slipping down and getting injured; it’s horrible to even think.
So, it is, without a doubt, an unfavorable time of the year to travel to Everest Base Camp. There may not be flights to Lukla for days on end. Adding to this, there is also the risk of landslides. If possible, always avoid trekking or traveling during monsoon. By the way, we have never received any booking for the rainy season.
Alternative Route for High Season Crowds
Spring and autumn draw thousands of trekkers in the Everest region. This means the trails are overcrowded, and the hotels are fully-booked (most of the time). If you do not book early during these seasons, my friend, you will probably have to sleep outside or maybe return back to the previous resting ground.
And this is the very reason some trekkers attempt to trek to the base camp in winter as well. But you do not have to do that. There are many popular treks in this region that you can try. We mean, there are alternative routes that offer equally stunning views of Everest and other highest peaks.
You can trek from Jiri to Lukla as an alternative to the Lukla flight. Similarly, you can fly from Kathmandu to Phaplu and trek through the Solukhumbu region. The trek adds 4-5 more days to your itinerary. The Gokyo Lake trek is yet another popular trek in Nepal. This trek is definitely for you if you want to avoid the crowd.
If you’re looking for a challenging trek, go for Three Passes Trek. You can do this trek in spring and autumn but not in winter.