Trekking in Nepal during May
Trekking in Nepal in May
May is the end of spring, and you can expect the weather to be hot in the lower elevations and warm at a higher altitude during the daytime. Despite some snowfall in the higher mountains than during May, it is much warmer, and the warmth helps to melt the snow quicker; this can make the trails wet, muddy, and slippery. Therefore, take precautions to hike safely. When you come across wet stones/rocks, green or black rocks/trail, muddy trail, or roots of trees in the forest – assume it is slippery and tread carefully. You should make most of the favourite trekking trails if you are an experienced hiker except for the less trodden treks such as Upper Dolpo Circuit or Upper Dolpo Traverse because deep snow will make it challenging to get through the passes that are above 5000 meters.
As always – it pays to invest in proper equipment such as a suitable down jacket, sleeping bag, a couple of layers of fleece, right thermal underwear, thick hiking socks, gloves, trekking pants, warm hats, to name a few essential gears to invest. It is always better to have more than less.
It is good to dress up in layers that you can ‘peel’ one at a time when you start to warm/heat up as you begin trekking.
Benefits of Trekking in Nepal Himalaya during May.
May is the end of the spring season, and flowers are blooming in Nepal’s middle hills. Rhododendron forests can be very colourful with white, pink, and crimson red (Nepal’s national flower) flowers in bloom along with Magnolias, wild orchids, to name a few. However, the clouds can begin to form in the latter part of the day, and it can start raining at the lower altitude and snow in the higher elevations during the late afternoon or evening. This is a good thing as it can clear the clouds and clear the clouds for excellent mountain views the next morning.
- The spring rain, hail, or snow can drop the Rhododendron petals and make the forest floors bright and colourful.
- All the lodges and restaurants will be open during the spring season.
- Lodges are unlikely to be full.
- The food might be prepared faster due to the lesser number of people staying at the lodge.
- Internet speed should be decent.
- You will be warm to hot while hiking in the sunny weather – perhaps you will sweat on the uphill climbs.
- You will get to meet many other trekkers in the lodges.
- All food on the menu will be available.
- The lodges will be fully stocked.
Can I do a high altitude trek in Nepal during May?
You can certainly do a high altitude trek in Nepal during May. This is a better time to do a high altitude trek than during February or March. We do receive some precipitation for a few days every month. We receive more massive snowfalls during February and March rather than in the middle of May.
Dangers/Inconveniences of trekking in Nepal during May
- The toilet floors could be wet and dirty due to the muddy trails.
- The paths could be icy or muddy due to the spring rain/snowfall. The trail could be slippery, and dirt can camouflage the ice.
- There could be very windy conditions in the higher elevations.
- You are quite likely to face rain in the lower elevations and snow in the higher mountains during May.
- The views might not be as good in spring as it is during late autumn and May. In addition, forest fires could worsen the views during late spring.
Trekking during May of 2021 (2nd wave in Nepal) and 2020 was disrupted due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
May 2021: Nepal is experiencing good pre-monsoon thunderstorms for the first 10 days.
May 2020: Nepal experienced more substantial than usual precipitation during the first week. There was lots of wind, thunder, lightning, hail, and rainstorms at the beginning of the month. The cyclone Amphan brought rain during the last week of Nepal and neighbouring countries. The visibility and environment were much cleaner and clearer due to the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown.
Nepal received record snowfall in the higher altitude locations and rainfall during most of May 2019. The intensity of precipitation lowered towards the third week, but some areas received rain and snowfall.
May 2018 is received more rainfall than the average caused by the Western disturbances and from the Bay of Bengal. The benefits of the showers provided much clearer days for those on the trekking trails.