Are you planning a trek to the Annapurna Circuit during September? Do you want to know if trekking Annapurna Circuit in September is a good idea?
In this article we address everything you need to know about trekking the Annapurna Circuit in September. We will cover the following 4 topics, which hopefully address your concerns regarding trekking the Annapurna Circuit in September.
As far as the trekking season goes, the month from September to November is the peak season of the Annapurna region. The tracks are busiest during these months compared to others. It is the autumn season in Nepal and the atmosphere is cool and breezy. The sky is clear and the views are spectacular. Trekking the Annapurna Circuit in September lands you right in the peak trekking season.
The next best months for trekking the Annapurna Circuit are March, April and May. These months are called the pre-monsoon season in Nepal. The end of February marks the end of winter so it starts getting warmer. It is the spring season at Annapurna, so the trekkers can marvel at the beautiful wild flowers and plants that sprout to life during this period.
According to the statistics published by Annapurna Area Conservation Project (AACP), 5,309 international tourists alone trekked the Annapurna Circuit from September to November in 2016. Since then, the number of tourists has increased.
According to the Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN), at the peak seasons of September to November and March to April, 5,039 foreign tourists were recorded visiting the Annapurna Circuit via Lamjung alone in 2016. The number has been increasing since then.
Despite the statistics, it is better to fully comprehend the climatic conditions during the month and weigh in on some of the pros and cons of trekking the Annapurna Circuit in September.
September is the end of the monsoon season. Previously, it used to be clear and nice throughout the month, but since the last few years or so, there has been quite a lot of rain. This has made the weather forecast for the Annapurna Circuit a bit unpredictable. Most of the time the rain continues on till the mid September.
As we can see from the monthly precipitation graph of Ghandruk, The precipitation is at 400mm. While trekking the Annapurna Circuit during September, you can expect quite a bit of rain. At higher grounds, say at the Thorong lo and Mustang, the precipitation goes down to 130mm.
Trekking the Annapurna Circuit during September, especially at the Thorong Lo, can be very chilly as the temperature there ranges from – 4 degree Celsius to 5 degree Celsius. Thorong Lo is the highest point of the entire Circuit, so the temperatures will not be this cold at other points of the trek. The temperature in the Mustang region is around 11 degree Celsius while at paths below 2500 m; the temperature is around 23 degree Celsius.
As we have come to know, that rains are more prevalent than before during the months of September. At grounds below 2000m, especially at the southern region of the trek (around Pokhara), it is quite wet, but once you make your way to the higher grounds (Mustang regions), and reach Pisang there will be a much less chance of rain. Therefore, the views from that point on are mesmerizing.
There will not be much traffic while trekking Annapurna Circuit in the early September, as compared to October, so you can enjoy the less crowded tracks. In the higher elevations, you can enjoy the picture perfect scenery of the yak pastures.
The weather in Annapurna Circuit in September has been quite unpredictable. Since the last few years, the monsoon season has dragged on through September. Even though it is clear at higher altitudes, the lower grounds are covered with mist and rain clouds. This will not provide for a good viewing of the mountains. There is also the added risk of muddy trails and slippery tracks.
It may not be as packed as in October or November, but trekking Annapurna Circuit during September can still mean coming across a huge number of trekkers. If you are aiming for a September trek, then we recommend you do the trek in mid or late September. Some of the trails during September are likely to be blocked as a result of rock fall and landslides.