Ultimate Guide to Annapurna Circuit Trek in Winter: Tips & Highlights

UPDATED ON 10 March, 2024
Ultimate Guide to Annapurna Circuit Trek in Winter: Tips & Highlights

Trekkers who have defied the cold this winter. Their tales of tenacity, captivating experiences, and the otherworldly splendor they encountered bear evidence of the wonders that await those who choose the Annapurna Circuit trek in the winter. Nepal is the trekking hotspot of Asia perhaps of the entire planet. These hyperboles you have read or heard about everywhere are accurate. Eight of the world’s fourteen highest mountains are located in this impoverished, peculiar, and interesting nation. 

One of the Himalayan mountain ranges, the Annapurna, is situated in the northern region of Nepal, just north of the capital city of Pokhara. With numerous peaks rising above 6,000 and 7,000 meters, the 55-kilometer ridge is home to the highest peak in the world, Annapurna 1, which stands at 8,091 meters and ranks tenth in the world.

Highlights of the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Winter

  • A glistening layer of snow covers the Annapurna Circuit, creating a beautiful scene.
  • Trekking in the winter is more solitary and there are far fewer people than during the busiest seasons.
  • Trekkers can immerse themselves in the local culture during the lively local festivals and celebrations that take place in December in the region.
  • Trekkers can enjoy amazing views of the Himalayan peaks because of the clearer skies brought about by the crisp winter air.
  • Trekkers have a higher chance of seeing the area’s elusive species against the snowy backdrop when the season is quiet.
  • Frozen lakes and captivating waterfalls that turn frosty throughout the winter months are two examples of how beautiful nature is.
  • Winter trekking’s difficulties encourage a sense of togetherness among hikers, forging lifelong friendships and memories.

How to usually start the Annapurna Circuit Trek in Winter

Take a bus from Pokhara (4-5 hours) or Kathmandu (8-9 hours) to Besisahar, the little village where the Annapurna trek starts, and arrive. The ride is not easy; it is a slow trip with lots of vibrations. The Annapurna Reserve permit is obtained in this region.

‍Following the completion of the permit, you have the following choices:‍

  1. Spend the night in Besisahar and begin the hike the next day.
  2. Set out on foot to reach Bhulbhule, the trek’s first village, in two to three hours.
  3. Travel to Syange village in a jeep.
  4. chose the third option and spent the first night in Syange.

Solo Annapurna Circuit Trek 

Since the Annapurna Circuit trek is well-known, you won’t be walking the routes alone if you want to tackle it alone without a guide or porter. Along the journey, you will undoubtedly encounter people.

As previously said, The Annapurna circuit is best. Fortunately, people met companions on the first day of the climb, and we ended up being close friends who traveled across Nepal for a full month. ‍

Like other similar locations around the world, the Annapurna Reserve is striving to survive against the devastation caused by garbage, nature’s worst adversary.

Guide and Porter on Annapurna Circuit Trek in Winter

  • We offer seasoned, informed, and trustworthy guides who can effectively communicate in English to ensure that your vacation is amazing. 
  • All of the facts on the mountains, various histories, cultures, customs, and much more will be covered by the guide. For two persons, we will supply one porter. 
  • The porters are robust and helpful, and together they can lift to 25 kg. 
  • Guides and porters demand tips from you after providing the greatest services and working hard in the mountains. 
  • The tourism industry has a very widespread tipping culture.

Best Time For Annapurna Circuit Trek

One of the hiking gems in Nepal is the Annapurna Circuit Trek, which provides unique experiences in every season. Although every season has its beauty, hikers frequently look for the best mix of weather and population density. Finding the ideal time for you to go hiking might improve the experience significantly.


The Annapurna Circuit is a riot of color in the spring. Rhododendron and wildflowers are in full bloom on the mountainside as winter melts. The Himalayas may be seen majestically because the sky is usually clear. It’s one of the best seasons for hiking because of the temperate temperatures.


The monsoon brings with it a lot of rain, which makes the trails difficult and slick. But the scenery turns a verdant hue, and the waterfalls reach their peak. These months are generally chosen by individuals who want seclusion and the unadulterated beauty of nature, yet they may not be the perfect time for everyone.


Many consider autumn to be the best time of year to go trekking due to its clear blue skies, little rain, and comfortable temperatures. During the post-monsoon season, the circuit gets cleaned, providing hikers with clear vistas of the snow-capped summits.


With its lower temperatures and snow-covered routes, particularly at higher elevations, winter offers a special set of challenges. On the other hand, the wintertime Annapurna Circuit Trek is even more breathtaking, with few hikers, snow-covered scenery, and a peaceful atmosphere. For those looking for both excitement and tranquility, this is the right moment.

Is  Annapurna Circuit Trekking in Winter Possible?

Although there are unique difficulties associated with winter trekking in the Annapurna Circuit, it is certainly feasible. For those looking for adventure, it might even be one of the most fulfilling experiences. 

The area offers a distinctive backdrop that is very different from other seasons throughout the winter due to its snowy vistas, serene atmosphere, and unique attractiveness. Trekking the Annapurna Circuit during the winter can be a life-changing experience if done with the right planning, direction, and equipment.

Annapurna Circuit Weather in Winter

In the Annapurna Circuit, winter greets you with a chilly embrace. 9°C to 12°C is the typical daytime temperature; but, after the sun sets, especially at higher elevations, it can drop below freezing. Snowfall is frequent and although it enhances the enchanted beauty of the surroundings, it may also make some treks treacherous and difficult. The air is usually clear and crisp despite the cold, providing breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek’s difficulty in the winter:

Winter trekking on the Annapurna Circuit presents different difficulties from other times of the year. Though there’s no denying the charm of snow-covered mountaintop scenery, hikers must be ready for the extra challenges that winter brings. This season, completing the circuit successfully calls for a combination of mental toughness, physical stamina, and careful planning.

Snow-Covered Trails: The paths frequently accumulate a layer of snow that covers them, making them slick and occasionally invisible. This makes trekking more dangerous and necessitates continual attention to detail.

Diminished Daylight: The Himalayan winters are characterized by notably shorter days, which forces hikers to rise early and plan their days carefully to arrive at their destinations before dusk.

Altitude and Cold: The difficulties of high elevations combine with falling temperatures as one ascends. This combination can be very taxing on the body, therefore it’s crucial to acclimate properly and wear warm clothing.

Variable Snow Conditions: The snow’s texture can quickly shift from patches of soft, fluffy ice to regions of hard ice. To navigate each safely, different methods and safety measures are needed.

Fewer Operational Teahouses: Many teahouses close for the season during the winter, as it is their off-peak season. Because of this, there are fewer places to stop for relaxation and refreshment, so planning is essential.

Risk of Avalanches: Some parts of the trek may be more vulnerable to avalanches, especially after significant snowfall. Because of this, hikers should be aware of the situation and use safer routes.

Equipment Requirements: Specific gear is needed for winter trekking. Crampons to improve traction on snowy pathways and gaiters to prevent snow from getting into boots become essential equipment.

Acclimatization: The effects of altitude sickness can be exacerbated by the cold, which makes it more important to check in regularly and give your body enough time to adjust.

Limited Mobility: A trekker’s range of motion may be slightly restricted by the requirement for bulkier winter gear and layered apparel. This is especially noticeable while negotiating difficult terrain or steep climbs.

Isolation: One drawback of a less-used road may be its propensity for isolation. Fewer opportunities for social contact result from the smaller group of other trekkers, which can be mentally taxing for some.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is most enjoyable in the winter, why?

Winter trekking on the Annapurna Circuit offers unmatched benefits in addition to conquering obstacles. The Annapurna Circuit paints hues and atmospheres unique to this time of year, making winter a good time to visit. These unparalleled benefits are what a winter trekker may look forward to.

Calm Scenes: The Annapurna Circuit is transformed into a surreal world during the winter months. The mountains, trees, and paths are covered in snow, giving the surrounding area a calm, otherworldly appearance. Trekking in this serene environment with the gentle crunch of snow beneath your boots makes for a reflective experience.

Clear Skies and Unobstructed Views: The winter air offers a clear picture of the Himalayan peaks since it is free of the dust and haze that may accompany other seasons. Trekkers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Annapurna range thanks to this clarity, which creates magical sunrise and sunset experiences.

Cultural Immersion: Several regional celebrations and customs take place during the winter. Trekking in this season gives visitors a chance to experience the customs of the area, see customary celebrations, and engage with friendly locals, all of which contribute to a stronger sense of connection.

A Sense of Adventure: The voyage becomes even more adventurous when navigating the winter’s hurdles. There is a certain sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes with conquering the weather, whether it be a snow-covered path or an especially chilly night when hiking in the winter.

Animals Encounter Wintertime serenity and fewer hikers typically translate into increased opportunities to see animals. Winter brings the chance for amazing animal encounters, from the vivid Himalayan Monal to the elusive snow leopard.

Starry evenings: Starry evenings accompany beautiful winter skies. Trekkers may enjoy some Himalayan stargazing on the Annapurna Circuit, which offers a cosmic showcase away from the light pollution of cities.

Unique Photo Opportunities: Wintertime offers photographers some unusual compositions to work with. There are plenty of chances to capture the spirit of the Annapurna Circuit in the winter, with its stark contrast of white snow against dark cliffs, frozen water bodies, and people dressed for the cold.

Bonding and friendship: Trekkers develop a sense of camaraderie by tackling and overcoming the winter’s obstacles together. People forge friendships by telling stories from the heart or supporting one another through difficult times, and these friendships often endure.

Considerations for a Winter Annapurna Circuit Trek:

Even though trekking the Annapurna Circuit in the winter can be one of the most rewarding experiences, it needs careful planning and rigorous preparation. Every hiker should be aware of the unique conditions and obstacles that the winter season offers. Knowing what to expect and how to handle these unusual events ensures a memorable and safe journey.

Specialized Apparel and Equipment

Normal trekking equipment is insufficient when it’s cold outside and snowing. Purchasing or renting specialist equipment for winter trekking is essential. This entails wearing heated clothes, crampons for traction on ice areas, insulated boots, and maybe even snow goggles to prevent snow blindness. It becomes imperative to layer, with each layer acting as a barrier against the elements, an insulator, and a moisture-wicking material.

Route Modifications

Because of the possibility of avalanches or heavy snowfall, some sections of the circuit may be less accessible. Being informed about the most recent state of the path and being adaptable to your itinerary is critical. You can typically obtain the most recent information and advice on the safest routes from local tour companies or guides, such as We.

Well-being and Getting Used to It

The symptoms of altitude sickness may worsen in the winter. Trekkers need to take particular care to monitor their health, identify symptoms early, and make sure they’ve acclimated properly. It can save lives to have common illness medications on hand and to know the fundamentals of first aid.

Moment and Time

Trekkers may find that they are moving more slowly than they had anticipated because of the shorter days and maybe difficult circumstances. Adding a few additional days to the schedule will ensure that there is plenty of time for relaxation and that there is no need to rush.

Regional Expertise

A local guide might be quite helpful to have. They comprehend the nuances of winter trekking in the area in addition to being familiar with the topography and routes. Their knowledge may guarantee improved interactions with communities, offer insights into local cultures, and safely lead hikers throughout the circuit. 

The Annapurna Circuit Trek: How to Get There?

By Flight 

The sole international airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, is called Tribhuvan International Airport. Although Pokhara has its landing field, it lacks an airport. To go to Pokhara, one can take a trip to Tribhuvan airport and then another flight. It takes approximately five hours and forty minutes to travel the 200 kilometers between Pokhara and Kathmandu. This Pokhara route is served by well-known airlines like Buddha Air, Yeti Airlines, and Simrik Air.

By Bus

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara by private or public transportation. It could take up to 6 or 7 hours to travel the 200 km between these two cities. 


An experience for the soul, the winter Annapurna Circuit Trek combines unadulterated beauty with a hint of adventure. Winter has its own set of difficulties, but the benefits—such as dreamy snowscapes and unmatched tranquility—make the work worthwhile. But a hike like this necessitates planning, reverence for the natural world, and an acute awareness of surroundings. 

We make sure you experience the true spirit of the expedition rather than just helping you navigate the route. Selecting us guarantees an amazing and rewarding Annapurna experience because of our knowledge, understanding of the area, and steadfast dedication to your safety and happiness.


Which season is ideal for trekking the Annapurna Circuit?

The ideal time of year to hike the Annapurna Circuit is mostly a matter of taste.

September through November often emerge as the best months due to beautiful skies, comfortable temperatures, and little to no rainfall after the monsoon.

The pre-monsoon spring season, running from March to May, is also highly favored because of the blooming rhododendrons and generally steady weather.

 But every season brings with it special challenges and experiences of its own. 

How long does the Annapurna Circuit take?

The trekking route that circuits the Annapurna mountains is called the Annapurna Circuit, which is a popular long-distance route. It can range from 160 kilometers to 230 km and take anywhere from 12 to 22 days, depending on your route.

Is Annapurna Circuit for beginners?

Annapurna I is known as the tenth-tallest mountain in the world. 8091 meters, or 26545 feet, is its height above sea level. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is appropriate for novice hikers as well. In 1977 AD, the Annapurna Circuit Trek route became accessible to international nationals.

Can We View Mt. Everest from Annapurna Circuit?

The apparent answer is that we cannot view Everest when trekking in the Annapurna Region or from Pokhara.

What is the Annapurna Circuit’s official record for the fastest time?

In May 2017, Greek runner and philanthropist Lefteris Paraskevas reportedly beat time, completing the Ultimate Annapurna circuit route from Besisahar to Nayapul in 68 hours and 22 minutes.

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