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Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is an adventurous journey into the misty trails and snow-covered terrains. In December, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy a quiet trekking experience in the Annapurna region. 

After Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp is Nepal’s most popular trekking destination. It is ideal for all trekkers, nature enthusiasts, and adventure seekers. Hence, the route is quite crowded during peak seasons, i.e., autumn and spring. Accommodations are also mostly fully booked at these times. 

December offers the ideal time to enjoy this usually crowded route in a tranquil atmosphere. There are fewer trekkers at this time of the year. The daytime weather remains moderate, and the trails are in dry conditions. However, the nighttime and mornings can be a little chilly. 

Similarly, it is also an excellent time to enjoy the snow-capped mountains in their full glory. You can enjoy magnificent panoramic views of Mt. Annapurna, Machhapuchre (Fishtail), Hiunchuli, and more. It begins to snow at higher elevations, but the sky is clear. Furthermore, you can enjoy diverse landscapes while on the trek. 

In December, the trek can get a little more challenging. The trails at higher elevations can get covered with snow. It makes the trails icy and slippery. Additionally, the cold weather adds further challenges to the trek. It will be physically and mentally challenging. For adventure seekers, it is an ideal time to trek at Annapurna Base Camp.   

So, if you are looking for an adventure like no other, Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is a perfect match for you. Let us explore the different factors of the trek before you embark on the journey!

Why Should You Trek Annapurna Base Camp in December?

Many trekkers may think December may not be suitable for a comfortable and scenic trekking experience. Most prefer months like March, May, or September. On the contrary, December offers beautiful scenery and enjoyable trekking conditions. Moreover, the arduous trek appeals to many adventure- and thrill-seeking trekkers. 

Take a look at these reasons why you should trek to the Annapurna Base Camp in December: 

Spectacular Views

Autumn transitions into the winter season as December begins. As a result, the weather becomes colder, and it starts to snow at higher elevations. In early December, the sky is clear and offers an excellent view. It is an ideal time to view the magical snow-capped mountains. 

Similarly, trekkers can enjoy the natural beauty of the Annapurna region in a tranquil atmosphere. The snowy scenery will leave a winter wonderland impression on trekkers.     

Quieter Trail

Trekking the Annapurna Base Camp in December is a fantastic experience. This time offers a quieter trekking experience. Since it is one of the popular trekking destinations, the route is crowded during the spring and autumn seasons. However, December falls in the shoulder season for trekking. Hence, there are fewer trekkers on the trails. 

The quieter trails allow you to trek at your own pace. The nature along the route is more serene. It offers more solitude and an intimate trekking experience. So, December is the most suitable for those looking to avoid the crowded and bustling trails. 

Accessible Accommodation

Since December is a less popular trekking month, accommodations are readily available. There are only a few trekkers so that you will have more accommodation options. There is no need for advance booking but it is better to do so.  

Moreover, the price of accommodations is lower. Some accommodations even offer discounts for the trekkers. The services are much smoother, and you can interact more with the locals. The lower price range is advantageous for backpackers and budget travelers.  

Serene Atmosphere

The serene atmosphere of the quiet trails offers you a peaceful trekking experience. You can immerse yourself in the serene surroundings. The trekking experience is more relaxing in December. 

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek goes through the Annapurna Conservation Area. But the flora and fauna are not very active at this time of the year. However, you will trek into the misty, dense sub-tropical forests and alpine meadows. Likewise, there are chances of encountering wildlife. 

Pleasant Trekking Conditions

December has pleasant trekking conditions for Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The daytime temperature is moderate, ranging between 10 to 5 degrees Celsius. It is comfortable to trek in these temperatures. The nighttime and morning temperatures can get cold. 

Throughout December, the weather is stable with clear skies. There is minimal precipitation. The rainfall in the Annapurna region measures around 25mm. There is minimum rainfall except snowfall at higher elevations, so the trails are dry and safe.  

Festivals

You can be part of different festive celebrations while trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in December. Tamu Lhosar usually falls in December. It signals the New Year of the Gurung community. The festival is celebrated with traditional dances, songs, and feasts. You can experience and be part of their celebration. 

The other festivals include Christmas and New Year. These festivals are celebrated globally, including in Nepal. So, you can celebrate these festivals with fellow trekkers and locals while trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp. 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek Difficulty

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a moderately challenging trekking destination. Trekkers, whether seasoned or beginners, can do the trek if they have good physical fitness. However, make no mistake, as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is physically demanding. It requires you to hike uphill and downhill on varied terrains. 

Similarly, the trails have some steep and narrow sections. During the trek, you will climb up and down more than 3000 stone staircases. The average trekking hours in trek is 5 to 7 hours a day. Furthermore, the trek distances range from 8 to 18 km a day. 

The Annapurna Base Camp lies at 4130 meters. Since it is higher than 3000 meters in elevation, there is a risk of altitude sickness. The risk exists despite the elevation being lower than other base camps in Nepal. Thus, acclimatization is essential.

Trekking to Annapurna Base Camp in December is tougher. The temperature begins to drop significantly at higher elevations. In addition, there is the possibility of snowfalls. The snow can cover the trails, making it harder to navigate. It also makes the trails slippery. 

The visibility is also reduced due to the weather. Likewise, the weather becomes more unpredictable as you go higher. The cold and unpredictable weather, icy trails, and cold temperatures make Annapurna Base Camp Trek more demanding.  

Proper preparation is necessary as the trail is more challenging than autumn and spring. Excellent physical and mental preparation is required for the trek. Moreover, adequate equipment and clothing preparation is crucial for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December. 

Weather and Climate During December in Annapurna Base Camp

December offers fantastic views of the snow-capped mountain peaks. However, the weather becomes cold as winter enters Nepal. Furthermore, it snows at the higher elevations. The average temperature during early December ranges between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius at daytime. It gradually drops as the month progresses. 

The weather is relatively clear in early December, so trekkers can enjoy beautiful views. However, it starts to become foggy in late December. The cold wind behind blows while the fogs obstruct the view. The temperature slowly falls to sub-zero to minus degrees Celsius. 

Similarly, the temperature at the Annapurna Base Camp ranges between 10 to -10 degrees Celsius during the daytime. It can drop below -20 degrees during nighttime. The trails also get covered with snow, making them harder to navigate. 

The days start to become shorter as December begins. Hence, there is only 9 to 10 hours of daylight. So, trekkers have to plan their itinerary accordingly. Likewise, the weather is dry at this time. There is a minimum chance of rainfall. The Annapurna region receives less than 25 mm of rainfall. 

If you are considering trekking at Annapurna Base Camp in December, we suggest early December. You can view the gorgeous mountains. Likewise, the light snow gently covers the landscapes as December progresses. Be prepared for cold weather and snow at higher elevations while trekking in December.  

Highlights of Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is Nepal’s second most popular trekking destination. You might want to know what is in store during the trek. Here are a few highlights of the trek to further pique your interest: 

  • Enjoy the scenic trail of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek route. 
  • Escape the city life by trekking through the forests of rhododendrons, oaks, bamboo, and highland pastures.
  • Walk by picturesque villages, vibrant landscapes, sparkling rivers, waterfalls, and streams. 
  • Trek into the Annapurna Conservation Area while witnessing its diverse biodiversity. 
  • Stay in charming tea houses and lodges run by locals. 
  • View the mesmerizing and panoramic views of Annapurna massif, Machhapuchre (Fishtail), Dhaulagiri, Himchuli, and more. 
  • Explore the Annapurna Base Camp (4310 meters) via Machhapuchre Base Camp (3700 meters).
  • Experience the unique culture, tradition, and warm hospitality of Gurung, Magar, and Thakali ethnic people. 

Guide and Porter For Trek

Hiring a government-registered guide is mandatory for all trekking destinations in Nepal, including the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Solo trekkers need help getting a Trekkers Management Information System card. They can only obtain it through government-registered trekking agencies. 

Guides help trekkers navigate unfamiliar trails. They also help in avoiding going off-trail or potentially having accidents. In other words, they help to ensure trekkers’ safety and security. The guides are trained professionals who can provide first-aid treatments. So, in case of emergency, they will provide valuable support. 

Another benefit of hiring a guide is filling the communication gap between foreign trekkers and locals. Guides provide valuable insights related to the region. They provide knowledge and information about the region’s culture, tradition, and history.  

Porters provide vital physical support during the trek. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is moderately difficult. Climbing uphill and downhill on varied terrain is challenging. Doing so with a heavy backpack is more physically straining. Porters relieve you of that burden. 

Porters will carry the heavy load while you trek the challenging terrain baggage-free. Most travel agencies have experienced guides and porters on their teams. Also, the trekking packages come with guide and porter services. It includes all the expenses and fees. Inquire about the guide and porter service with the trekking agency before hiring them. 

Faqs 

How cold is the weather in Annapurna Base Camp during December?

The moderate temperature ranges between 5 to 10 degrees Celsius in early December. It gradually starts to get colder. The temperature at the Annapurna Base Camp is between 10 and -10 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, the temperature during nighttime can drop below -20 degrees Celsius.

Is the Annapurna Base Camp route crowded in December? 

There are fewer trekkers at the Annapurna Base Camp route in December. So, it is less crowded. However, a fair number of trekkers are taking the base camp trek in December. The serene atmosphere and snow-capped mountains appeal to many trekkers. So, the trails are not empty but are comparatively quieter. 

How difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December?

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December is more challenging. The cold temperatures and snowfall in higher regions make the trek more difficult. The snow makes the trails icy and slippery and also reduces visibility. It makes trekking to the steep sections more difficult than usual. Also, it is harder to navigate the trail. It requires more preparation for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in December. 

What clothing and equipment should I prepare for the trek?

You must carry warm clothing for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. You should pack warm hats, scarves, down jackets, thermal tops and bottoms, fleece jackets, lightweight cotton and fleece long pants, gloves, warm socks, and undergarments. Also, you should carry a sleeping bag, trekking poles, comfortable boots, headlamps, and water bottles.

Are accommodations available along the Annapurna Base Camp route in December?

Accommodations are readily available along the Annapurna Base Camp route in December. Moreover, the cost of the accommodations is lower with more options. Since there are also fewer trekkers, some tea houses even provide discounts. However, there can be fewer food menu options. 

 

Tej Bahadur Gurung

With an experience of almost two decades, founder Mr. Tej Bahadur Gurung has established Nepal Alternative Treks as a widely recognized and reliable tourism operator. His degree in Tourism Studies and devotion to the sector has given him in-depth knowledge about trekking, climbing, cultural, and geological aspects of the country. He is a pioneer in introducing the concept of ‘off-beaten tracks’ and ‘alternative routes’ as well as treks and tour packages surrounding it.

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