Everest Base Camp is one of our most popular trips and for good reason –
after all, it allows you to see the tallest mountain on planet earth in all its glory. But, when is the best time to trek to Everest Base Camp?
In this article, we explain the various pros and cons behind different times of the year, including all of our valuable experience of trekking to Base Camp over 50 times, and helping thousands of people to do the same.
Which season is for you?
The trekking season in the Himalayas is broadly broken down into two – before the monsoon, and after the monsoon.
Generally speaking, the pre-monsoon trekking season is between February and May, while post-monsoon season is from the end of September into December.
You’ll notice that January is omitted from both seasons, and the simple reason why is that it’s bl**dy freezing – you can expect -20C to -30C when you get to higher altitude.
Whilst that definitely makes it harder, January treks are possible, although if you’ve got the option, I wouldn’t recommend it – it’ll definitely be a more challenging (not to mention colder) trek!
When is Base Camp busiest?
All trekkers will have different priorities for their Base Camp trip, so you’ll need to think through exactly what you want from your trip to understand when it’s best to travel.
One of the main considerations is how busy the route, and Base Camp itself will be – some trekkers like the idea of a bustling, busy route, while others have their heart set on a quieter, more natural experience.
If you want to do Base Camp at its busiest, then April and May is the ideal time for you to trek – that’s the main trekking season, and you can expect to see tents, trekkers and porters aplenty if you travel then.
If that’s not your thing, then post-monsoon is definitely the season for you – it’s generally much quieter from September to December, so you can enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the area, without sharing it with hundreds of others.
What’s Pre-Monsoon Everest Base Camp like?
The early part of the pre-monsoon trekking season is much quieter – it’s still pretty cold, without reaching the lows you can expect in January.
If you can stand the cold, then it’s a great time to go – there are usually less trekkers around, and you generally get some clearer views along the way, as well as a beautifully crisp, wintry experience – just make sure you’ve got all the necessary kit to stay warm!
As you move into the middle of the season, it gets busier, and come April, the trail will be pretty busy.
By the time we’re into April, it’s warmed up a bit, with nice clear views, but the flipside is that you’ll be sharing the trail with lots of other trekkers, porters and animals.
May brings with it even more warmth, but by then the monsoon is well on the way, which means that you might get more cloud cover, and less clear views.
May is traditionally the warmest month to visit Everest Base Camp. However, sometimes the warmer temperatures can also bring in more clouds, and heat haze, which obstruct your views.
What about after the Monsoon?
The post-Monsoon is beautiful – there’s usually less cloud cover, less heat haze and some pretty breathtaking views.
If you’re trekking in the early part of this season, then fair warning: you might get a bit of rain, with the monsoon sometimes sticking around for a while.
If the Monsoon does linger a while into the beginning of the season, then you can expect more cloud cover, which can elongate the trip, as it makes it harder to get in and out of the mountains.
On the other hand, it’s a fantastic time to go from a visual perspective – the rain means that everything is green and lush lower down, which makes for a beautiful early part to the trek.
By the time you get into October, the trail is bustling again – the clear skies are back, but it’s still pretty warm, so it’s a lovely time to trek. As we head into November, you’ll see less trekkers, and the temperature starts to come down, which gives you back the crisp, clear views.
If you don’t mind it being a bit chillier, November’s a great time to trek, and even the first part of December can be lovely too.
Can you trek to Everest Base Camp during Monsoon Season?
In theory, yes.
In reality, we wouldn’t recommend it.
The rains make it difficult to trek, the views won’t be as good, it’s more dangerous, and you’re more likely to have delays, with less (and sometimes no) flights from Lukla.
You can check out the Weather at Base Camp HERE