Trekking the Annapurna Base Camp located in the picturesque Annapurna region is one of the most beautiful trekking experiences in the world. You will be trekking in the lush landscapes of the mountains and exploring the rare flora and fauna of the Annapurna sanctuary. Many trekkers think that the Annapurna Base Camp trek in February is not possible.
However, let me assure you that trekking in February is not only doable, but it is not as harsh as you might think it would be. Moreover, the snow deposits on the mountains make the region look like a winter paradise.
There is nothing more beautiful than the snow-covered mountains glistening in the clear blue sky. While one can’t deny that the temperatures are on the colder side during the night and the morning, the day temperatures are moderate, which makes for a great trekking experience.
If you trek the region in late February, the conditions improve quite a lot, and you get mild to warm weather during the trek. Furthermore, you can trek the region peacefully on a quiet trail. With proper packing and arrangements, the Annapurna Base Camp trek in February can be an experience of a lifetime! So what are you waiting for? Book your trip now!
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Significant Highlights of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek In February
- Clear and unobstructed views of the snow-capped mountains including Annapurna South, Machhapuchhare, Dhaulagiri, Himchhuli, Annapurna I, Manaslu and other peaks
- Walking the foothills of the majestic Mt. Annapurna and Machhapuchhre
- Panoramic sunrise overlooking the entire Annapurna mountain range
- Breathtaking views of the mountains snow-capped due to the snowfall around the time of the year
- Observe the beauty of the virgin landscapes and spotting of wild flora and fauna during the trek
- Explore the culture and heritage of the Magar and Gurung community
- Incredible hospitality of the local people
- Massive discounts and offers in the off-season
Outline Itinerary of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February
Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu (1400m)
Day 02: Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara (900m)
Day 03: Drive to Nayapul and Trek Tikhedhunga (1570m)
Day 04: Trek to Ghorepani (2870m)
Day 05: Hike up to Poonhill (3210m) and trek to Tadapani (2630m)
Day 06: Trek to chhomrong (2170m)
Day 07: Trek to Himalaya Hotel (2950m)
Day 08: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m) via Machhapuchhre base camp (3700m)
Day 09: Trek to Bamboo (2345m)
Day 10: Trek to Jhinu Dada (1780) and relax at a hot spring
Day 11: Trek to Nayapul and Drive back to Pokhara
Day 12: Drive to Charaudi, Rafting, and overnight at the River fun Beach resort
Day 13: Drive to Chitwan and canoe in the Rapti river
Day 14: Jungle safari and drive back to Kathmandu
Day 15: Departure from Kathmandu
The Trekking Route
The trek of this particular trail ranges from the high-altitude regions of the Annapurna massif to the lush jungles of the terai. We start our journey with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara, followed by a drive to Nayapul from Pokhara the next day.
The trek journey starts with a trek to Tikhedhunga from where we trek to Ghorepani and Poon Hill, which is a spectacular viewpoint. After acclimatizing for a day, we travel to Tadapani and Chomrong the next morning. We finally reach the surreal Annapurna Base Camp on day eight via Machhapuchhre base camp.
We then descend to Bamboo and then to Jhinu danda where we relax at the hot springs. We trek the same route back to Nayapul and then drive to Pokhara on the following day. Our adventure is not over as we drive to Charaudi, where we take part in a rafting adventure in the Trishuli river and spend the night at the River Fun Beach Resort.
We then drive to Chitwan the following day to canoe in the Rapti river and take part in the jungle safari adventure. After an adventurous 15 days, we drive back to Kathmandu as our trek journey comes to an official end.
What is the Weather Around the Annapurna Region in February?
Trekking around the Annapurna Region in February is quite challenging, mainly due to the weather conditions. The weather, as you would expect, is on the colder side although the weather gets considerably warmer during late February.
Since you will be trekking in the winter season, you need to be prepared at all times. Generally, the winters in Nepal are short, and the conditions improve by the end of February. So, you can experience mild to warm temperatures, if you trek in late February.
There are fewer chances of precipitation in February. The temperatures range from 4°C-19°C in Kathmandu valley whereas the temperatures of Pokhara valley might range from 9°C-12°C. Likewise, the temperatures of the Jomsom valley dip further and range around 1°C-13°C.
After reaching an altitude of 4000 m or above the temperatures go below -5°C. Many local people migrate to the cities of Terai to cope with the harsh winters. The perfect trekking conditions during the day and the clear, unobstructed views of the snow-capped mountains make February a good time to trek the Annapurna Base Camp.
The temperatures around the Annapurna region during February
|Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)||9.3||-14||-2||5|
How Difficult is the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February?
Trekkers will be walking 5-8 hours a day on average. The trail moves along the altitude of 3000m or above at all times. The oxygen levels and air pressure dips to a bare minimum.
Proper acclimatization and hydration at regular intervals are a must to cope with altitude sickness. You should descend to lower altitudes or even quit the trek if the problem persists. It is advisable not to attempt more than 600m in a single trekking day.
The heavy snowfall in the early parts of February can form thick layers of ice along the trail. It can get quite challenging to trek uphill under these conditions. Trekkers need to use trekking poles and practise extreme caution every step of their way.
To face the harsh, frigid conditions during the morning and night, proper clothing and gear are a must. Overall, the Annapurna Base Camp trek in February is quite challenging but with proper packing and preparation, it is possible.
Food and Accommodation in Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February
Annapurna Base Camp region is almost empty with very few trekkers and hence finding excellent accommodation is very easy. February is not the most popular month for trekking. The tea houses, lodges, and guest houses offer you maximum facilities at a low cost. The trekking in February is most suited for budget travellers.
You don’t even need to book early but you might as well book early to be safe. The rooms offered along the trail have basic facilities like two separate beds, a warm blanket, and a common bathroom. At lower elevations, you might find facilities like hot water and Wi-Fi as well. As you move up the trail, the facilities get scarce, and you will have to compromise with the luxurious amenities.
You need to carry a sleeping bag in case the blankets offered during your stay is not enough. The food provided throughout the trek is the staple diet of “Dal-Bhat.” It typically includes rice, pulses, lentils, spinach, meat and pickles. The balanced diet of “dal bhat” twice a day keeps you charged throughout the trek!
You can also find some high-end lodges that provide you with western, continental, and mainland cuisines along with the conventional Nepali food. You could also take some protein bars, and snickers along with you to munch during the trek that gives you instant energy.
White River Rafting in Trishuli During February
The waters of Trishuli have a grade three rating during February, which means the waters are calm. This means that the rafting is ideal for individuals looking for a more pleasant and less challenging rafting experience. We start our rafting experience with Charaudi.
Rafting in the shimmering waters of Trishuli is a crazy experience. We also stop at various checkpoints, including the famous “Ladies Night” checkpoint where we have our lunch. After lunch, we continue our rafting to the River Fun Beach Resort while stopping at a few checkpoints.
You will enjoy a warm buffet and late-night campfire with singing and dancing activities along with fellow rafters on the private beach of River Fun Beach Resort in the evening.
Jungle Safari at Chitwan National Park During February
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal is Chitwan, where you can spend time with the endangered wildlife species of Chitwan National Park. The sanctuary of endangered species like the one-horned rhino and the Royal Bengal tiger is a must-visit place for any animal lover.
Chitwan has lush flora and fauna which will enthral you. We start our day by canoeing in the serene Rapti river. The pristine waters of the Rapti river are perfect for canoeing. We can relax on the banks of the Rapti river basking in the warm winter sun. In the evening, we can observe the Tharu cultural dance performed by the locals and taste the delicious Tharu cuisines.
After early morning breakfast, we start our jungle safari witnessing the rare wildlife of Chitwan National Park. You could either take the Elephant Safari or a Jeep safari. A jeep safari covers more distance of the National Park and that too at a fast pace. After completing the great jungle safari, we head back to Kathmandu.
Jungle Safari in February is pleasant, and we can spot more wildlife as well. The temperature of Chitwan is favourable as you get to bask in the warm winter sun. The villagers cut the grass during this time of the year which makes for an impressive sight. Overall, the jungle safari adventure in February is pleasant and adventurous.
Why Trek Annapurna Base Camp Trek In February?
Crystal clear view of the mountains
The significant aspect of any trekking adventure is the beautiful views of the mountains. Experiencing the gorgeous beauty of the mountainside is our primary concern. The Annapurna Base Camp trek in February offers you crystal clear and unobstructed views of the mountains.
You might experience some overcast conditions in early February but the conditions improve a lot if you trek in the latter parts of February. You can observe the gorgeous snow-capped mountains of the Annapurna region in all their glory during February.
The winters bring occasional snowfalls to the region which adds to the beauty of the extraordinary landscapes. The Annapurna region looks like a paradise of winter wilderness in February.
Empty trails and accommodation
The month of February is the off-season for tourism in Nepal. The paths of the Annapurna region are empty, and you can enjoy your trek at your own pace in a peaceful environment. You can observe the beautiful snow-capped mountains without any crowds or noise along the trail.
There are no hassles related to accommodation that you might face during the peak season. Tea houses and lodges are practically empty, and you can have the room and the bathroom all by yourself. You can enjoy your stay provided by the tea houses at a reduced cost.
The trek of Annapurna Base Camp during February is a budget travellers paradise. The prices of various items drop significantly, including accommodation, flights, meals, and others, and there are various off-season offers as well.
So, if you want to trek the Annapurna Base Camp on a budget, then the month of February is ideal for you.
Permits for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek
There are two permits required to trek the Annapurna region. The cost of these permits remains the same throughout the year. They are:
Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS Card): USD 10
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP): USD 20
You will have your permits checked at various aca checkpoints throughout the trek in the Annapurna region.
What to Pack for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February?
Since you will be travelling in the winters, you must pack heavy. Pack warm, insulating clothes and gears to combat the cold weather. Some of the most important items you need to pack are as follows:
- Waterproof trekking pants/trousers
- Short-sleeved trekking shirts
- Fleece sweaters
- Outer-layer jacket and pants (windproof, waterproof)
- Down jacket
- Trekking boots
- Warm woollen cap
- Woollen gloves
- Liner socks
- Woollen trekking socks
- Ski goggles
- Foot powder (for stinky feet)
- Toilet paper
- Quick-dry towel
- Toothbrush, toothpaste
- Diamox tablets
- Water purifier
- Anti-nauseant medication
- Rehydration salts
- Mosquito and insect repellent
Six Essential Tips for Annapurna Base Camp Trek in February
You will be travelling during the winter hence Proper packing with sufficient protective gear and clothing is a must. Dress in layers as you can customize your clothing by adding or removing layers depending on the weather requirements.
You should carry extra down jackets and comfortable sleeping bags to protect yourself from the freezing conditions in the mornings and at night. A trekking pole will come of use if the trails get covered in snow.
Besides that stuff like trekking shoes, trekking clothes, thermals, ski goggles, gloves, emergency lights, sunscreen, and others are also necessary.
Acclimatize and hydrate regularly
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a high-altitude trek. As you move above 4000m, the oxygen levels and air pressure decrease rapidly, which might lead to altitude sickness. You need to acclimatize and hydrate regularly to cope with altitude sickness.
Acclimatization includes maintaining a steady trekking pace to make you adapt to the high-altitude environment. The process of acclimatization is a must for any trekker. You also get an opportunity to relax and cope with altitude sickness.
Hydrating regularly along with trekking uphill and downhill is the next step in the process. This step increases the oxygen levels in your body and helps you recover from any mountain sickness.
Get Proper training
You must get a good training regime set for yourself before trekking the Annapurna Base Camp. Physical fitness plays a significant role in the successful completion of the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Besides that, you also need to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet and regular water intake.
Your training regime should include cardiovascular activities like cycling, swimming, and others. These activities will build your stamina and helps you cope with the harsh terrains of the Annapurna region.
Start your trek early
Starting early on your daily trek is a must as the days are shorter and it gets dark soon. You have to trek long distances within 7-8 hours of trek. There will also be some occasional snowfalls, and you might have to stop your trek. Hence, you should always start your trek early, to reach your destination before it gets dark.
Hire a guide and a porter
Sure, you can travel without a local guide, but there are many risk factors involved. A guide helps you with the trail and makes you understand the local culture and tradition. The occasional snowfall may cover the trail, and you might find it hard to locate the right path.
This is where a guide comes to play. Besides that, there might be some emergencies where you might need the help of a guide. A porter, on the other hand, carries your heavy luggage and takes the weight off your back.
Get a Travel insurance
Get yourself travel insurance before you commence the trek. Accidents can happen, and you need to stay protected at all times. The travel insurance covers injuries, helicopter evaluation, flight cancellations and others. The helicopter evacuation might cost around $5000 to $10000.
So, don’t forget to get yourself travel insurance. Most insurance packages only cover up to an altitude of 4000m, hence, you should confirm that the package covers 4000m or above as well.
The Final Say
I hope all your doubts about trekking the Annapurna Base Camp in February have cleared by now. To summarize, the Annapurna Base Camp trek in February is doable. Late February is the period the weather transitions from winter to spring, providing perfect trekking conditions.
The early parts of February are colder in comparison. But with sufficient warm clothing and gear, the trek is possible. Furthermore, the snow deposits on the mountains of the Annapurna range, and the clear, blue sky makes the Annapurna region more beautiful than ever.