KAILASH AND MANASAROVAR REGION

Weather and the best time to travel

Every year travelers from all over the world visit Mount Kailash and Manasarovar Lake in Western Tibet to complete a 52 km / 32 mile trek taking you around the Mountain sacred in 4 religions. The average altitude on this trek is 4,500 meters / 14,755 ft at its highest point reaching 5,640 m/18,500 ft.

The high altitude of this region creates conditions that are different from lower altitude areas, with colder temperatures, high winds, and strong sunshine. Make sure to bring warm clothes and sun protection. To ensure that you are well prepared to enjoy your trip, read detailed information about the weather and our packing suggestions.

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THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KAILASH AND MANSAROVAR REGION IN TIBET

Each season is different in the Kailash region, and planning the ideal time of visit depends on your interests.

  • Winter is very cold in the Western areas of Tibet. During winter guesthouses are closed, there might be a lot of snow on the mountain passes, and trekking is either unpredictable and hard or not possible. You can visit Manasarovar Lake and Darchen on the South side of Kailash to get a nice view. Planning trekking is not recommended.
  • Spring is the beginning of tourist season, travelers typically start coming in April and guesthouses are opening too. One of the main Buddhist festivals Saga Dawa usually falls on May and it’s one of the best times to travel to Mount Kailash.
  • Summer is one of the most popular times to travel to Kailash because of the warmer temperatures.
  • Fall is great for photographers. The weather in September and early October is still warm, with mostly clear skies it is a great time for trekking. In the middle of October, guesthouses start closing and you might see more snow on the mountain passes.

KAILASH REGION SEASONS

Everest with the snow covered valley
WINTER

Winter is the coldest time of the year with freezing temperatures and often lots of snow covering mountain passes. Guesthouses are closed in winter and trekking is often not possible. You can travel to Manasarovar Lake and visit Darchen to get a view of the Southern face of Kailash.

Mount Everest and Rongbuk monastery in Tibet
SPRING

Spring brings back warmer temperatures and tourists start coming to the region. With lots of sunshine, calmer winds and very low chance of rain, the second half of spring is a popular time to visit. Traveling during May is a better option, when you can get advantages of warmer temperatures and clear sky.

Everest Peak seen from Northern side
SUMMER

Summer offers the most comfortable temperatures and is the most popular time to visit this area. It can be cloudy and even rain or snow on some days (although, it mostly rains during nighttime). Still, because of the warm temperatures, summer is the popular choice.

Mount Everest North Face in Tibet
FALL

Fall is also a great time to travel, especially in September and early October. The weather remains warm and the sky is mostly clear. It is especially a food time to take beautiful photographs of mountain peaks and stunning landscapes.

KAILASH REGION CLIMATE

Group tour at Everest, Tibet

TEMPERATURES

Summer in Tibet has the most comfortable temperatures, but even in the middle of summer on some days in the Kailash region temperatures can dip to freezing and you can even see some snow, especially on the high mountain passes. On the hottest summer days temperatures in Kailash region can rise to 18°C / 64°F.

In winter, the temperature rarely goes above freezing. Even in December, the warmest month, the average daytime temperature is -1 °C / 30 °F. On the coldest winter nights, it can be as cold as -34°C / -29°F, with the averages being around -2 -5 °C / 23 – 28°F during daytime and -15 -20°C / 5 -4°F at night.

It is essential to be prepared and wear plenty of warm clothes and dress in layers all year round.

Tourists visit Mount Everest with a group tour in Tibet

CLOUDS AND RAINFALL

November, December, and January have the most clear days, with clear blue sky on 27-28 days of the month, with the remaining 2-3 days having some clouds. There is very little rainfall and it is very rare to see any snow during that time.

July and August see the most clouds and have the most rain during the year. In Tibet, if it rains, it usually happens at night. That’s why despite the wet season, July and August are the most popular months to visit Tibet.

We took this photo in August, when you can often see clouds on the sky.

Visiting Everest Base Camp in Tibet

WIND

While the Everest region is often windy, July, August, and September have less strong wind, typically ranging from 7- 12 mp/h.

From December through March, the winds are the strongest, typically ranging from 12 to 17 mp/h, and even going above 20 mp/h on some days.

On most days we see wind directed toward North and North-West, with noticeably fewer days when it is blowing in South and Southeast direction.

Strong winds coupled with low temperatures in winter make it feel even colder. If you are planning to visit in winter and enjoy the sites without crowds of tourists, be prepared for low temperatures and dress in layers.

Sunrise at mount Everest, Northern side in Tibet

SUNRISE, SUNSET, AND DAYLIGHT

The shortest day of the year in the Kailash region is in December when daylight lasts for about 8 hours and 30 minutes. The sun rises at about 8 am and sets at 7 pm. The longest days are in June and July with the daylight close to 12 hours, with the sunrise at 7 am and sunset at 9 pm.

The sunset is more beautiful on the Northern side of Everest, try not to miss it!

WEATHER AT THE KAILASH REGION BY MONTH

MARCH

Temperatures

Average high: -7°C / 19°F
Average low: -23°C / -9°F

Sunshine

Daylight: about 11h 30m
Sunrise: 8:21 – 7:48 am
Sunset: 7:57 – 8:14 pm

Rainfall

4mm / 0.2″

Wind speed

11-27 km/h / 7-17 mph

Taking photo with yak by the Yamdrok lake
View on Mount Kailash

Advantages: Milder daytime temperatures compared to winter months, clear sky, and winds are less strong than in winter.

Considerations: Tibet is usually closed for almost the entire month, opening again for travelers at the end of March.

Weather is finally warming up after the winter in March while remaining mostly clear with very few clouds and a very low chance of rain or snow.

Daytime temperatures remain low only going as high as -4°C / 24°F on the warmest days, averaging at -7°C / 19°F. At night, the coldest temperature can be -32°C / -25°F, while the average is -23°C / -9°F. Unfortunately, Tibet is usually closed for most of March, usually reopening only on the final week of March.

APRIL

Temperatures

Average high: -2°C / 28°F
Average low: -16°C / 3°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 11h 30m
Sunrise: 7:47 – 7:17 am
Sunset: 8:15 – 8:31 pm

Rainfall

11mm / 0.4″

Wind speed

11-24 km/h / 7-15 mph

Peach blossom - spring views in Eastern Tibet
Gauri Kund lake seen on the ritual kora (trek) around Mount Kailash

Advantages: Springtime brings warmer daytime temperatures, and the landscape starts to come to life with the first signs of spring, especially when you are traveling through Central Tibet. The sky is still mostly clear with a low chance of rain.

Considerations: It is still quite cold, especially at nighttime.

April is a transitional month, with average daytime temperatures finally rising above freezing on some days. On the warmest days, temperature can go up to +3°C / 26°F, averaging – 2°C / 28°F. At night, you can expect temperatures around -16°C / 3°F on average and as low as -24°C / -11°F on the coldest nights.

April remains a very clear month with few clouds and a low chance of rain. More tourists start visiting in April and guesthouses are reopening usually in the middle of April.

MAY

Temperatures

Average high: 4°C / 25°F
Average low: -8°C / 18°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 11h 10m
Sunrise: 7:17 – 7:01 am
Sunset: 8:31 – 8:48 pm

Rainfall

28mm / 1.1″

Wind speed

11-22 km/h / 7-14 mph

Camp of climbers in May ,preparing for Everest summit in Tibet
Tibetans celebrating Saga Dawa festival by Kailash

Advantages: Pleasant mostly clear weather, daytime temperatures are rising, traveling to Kailash region offers beautiful views with trees becoming green and nature looking fresh and lush.

One of the most popular Tibetan festivals Saga Dawa is usually celebrated in May according to the Lunar calendar. The main festival activities take place in the Kailash region attracting many pilgrims and tourists.

Considerations: It starts getting more crowded in Central Tibet with tourists, especially in the first week of May during a week-long national holiday in China.

May is one of the best times to travel to Kailash. The weather is finally warming up, winds are becoming weaker, and there is still plenty of sunshine with a very low chance of rain.

The average daytime temperature is +4 °C / 25 °F, with the highest temperature rising up to +10°C / 50°F. At night, average temperatures are still below freezing at -8°C / 18°F, going as low as -13°C / 9°F only on the coldest nights.

The first week of May is a very busy time, as there is a week-long holiday in China when many tourists flock to Tibet. If you plan to visit during this week, plan your trip in advance, because flights and train tickets can sell out quickly during that time.

If you are planning to visit during Saga Dawa festival, we also recommend planning it in advance, because we need to reserve our stays in the Kailash region.

JUNE

Temperatures

Average high: 11°C / 52°F
Average low: -3°C / 27°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 11h 50m
Sunrise: 7:01 – 7:04 am
Sunset: 8:49 – 8:57 pm

Rainfall

40mm / 1.6″

Wind speed

11-19 km/h / 7-12 mph

Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Central Tibet
Crossing the mountain pass on Kailash trek

Advantages: The pre-monsoon period with lush, green landscapes and is still less touristy than July and August.

Along with May, June is a fantastic time to travel to Kailash, especially the first half of June. Weather is warming up with daytime temperatures well above freezing at 11°C / 52°F on average and reaching 17°C / 63°F on the warmest days. At night, temperatures stay around-3°C / 27°F and go down to -8°C / 18°F only on the coldest nights.

The days are long with sunrise at 7 am and sunset at 8:50 pm allowing you to enjoy the view of Kailash for almost 12 hours. There are more tourists coming to the Western Tibet region, but it is still less crowded than in July or August. It starts getting more cloudy towards the end of the month, but still with a low chance of rain.

JULY

Temperatures

Average high: 15°C / 59°F
Average low: 2°C / 37°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 11h 50m
Sunrise: 7:04- 7:19 am
Sunset: 8:57 – 8:47 pm

Rainfall

121mm / 4.8″

Wind speed

11-16 km/h / 7-10 mph

Horses grazing on the field with Gyantse dzong in the background
Horses grazing in a valley with Kailash on the background

Advantages: July is one of the warmest months. It is the middle of summer with beautiful landscapes and comfortable temperatures.

Considerations: Increased chance of cloudy sky, possible rains during nighttime. It is also a peak season with more tourists and higher prices.

July is the warmest month of the year, but at the same time, it is the beginning of monsoon season in the Himalayas. In Tibet, it usually rains at night and can be cloudy during the daytime. Still, because of the most comfortable temperatures July and August are the most popular months to trek around Mount Kailash.

Daytime temperatures are reaching + 15°C / 59°F on average and can go up to 18°C / 64°F on the hottest days. Even at nighttime temperatures are finally above freezing, with + 3°C / 37°F on average. going down to -4 °C / 25°F only on the coldest nights.

AUGUST

Temperatures

Average high: 14°C / 57°F
Average low: 1°C / 34°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 11h 20m
Sunrise: 7:20 – 7:35 am
Sunset: 8:46 – 8:19 pm

Rainfall

135mm / 5.3″

Wind speed

11-16 km/h / 7-10 mph

Riding horse on the way around Mount Kailash in Western Tibet
Riding horse on the way around Mount Kailash in August

Advantages: Similar to July, temperatures remain pleasant, and the scenery as you travel is green and lush.

Considerations: Following July, the chance of a cloudy sky is still high, and there are possible rains during nighttime. It is another month with a peak touristy season with more visitors and higher prices.

Similar to July, August is very warm and still wet with rains typically at night and clouds during the day. It can snow on the mountain passes when temperatures drop. The landscapes in Central Tibet are at their peak with lush fields, blooming flowers, and green scenery thanks to abundant water.

Daytime temperatures average 14°C / 57°F, reaching 17°C / 63°F on the hottest days. At night, you can expect 1°C / 34°F on average and -3°C / 27°F on the coldest nights.

SEPTEMBER

Temperatures

Average high: 9°C / 48°F
Average low: -3°C / 27°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 10h 40m
Sunrise: 7:35 – 7:49 am
Sunset: 8:18 – 7:44 pm

Rainfall

63mm / 2.5″

Wind speed

11-14 km/h / 7-9 mph

Bharals near Mount Everest base camp in Tibet
Yaks helping carry load on the Kailash trek

Advantages: The post-monsoon season means more clear skies and stunning views of the peaks. Fewer tourists than in summertime.

September is one of the best months to visit Mount Kailash region. The weather is still very warm, the sky is clearing with a lot less clouds and a much lower chance of rain compared to August.

Daytime temperatures are rising to about 9°C / 53°F on average, reaching 14°C / 57°F on the warmest days. At night, temperatures are cooling down to – 3°C / 27°F and -8°C / 18°F on the coldest nights.

As we travel through Tibet, you can see that the landscapes are still beautiful only starting to turn into the fall colors towards the end of the month.

OCTOBER

Temperatures

Average high: 2°C / 36°F
Average low: -11°C / 12°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 9h 50m
Sunrise: 7:50 – 8:07 am
Sunset: 7:43 – 7:13 pm

Rainfall

6mm / 0.2″

Wind speed

11-22 km/h / 7-14 mph

Potala Palace in the fall
Snow on the Kailash trek route

Advantages: Still warm weather, especially in the beginning of the month with clear skies, making it a good time for photography.

Considerations: The first week of October is a long holiday in China and there are many tourists visiting Tibet, making all popular sites very crowded.

The first half of October is a very popular time to travel in Tibet. Surprisingly, the weather still remains quite warm with daytime average temperatures in the Kailash region at about +2°C / 36°F. On the warmest days, you can enjoy temperatures rising to 8°C / 46°F. At nighttime, temperatures drop to -11°C / 12°F on average, and to -17°C / 1°F on the coldest nights.

The weather is usually clear with stunning views of the mountain peaks. If you are traveling at the beginning of October, remember to book your tour in advance. The first week of October is a holiday in China and many domestic tourists are taking advantage of it to visit Tibet.

NOVEMBER

Temperatures

Average high: -1°C / 31°F
Average low: -17°C / 1°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 9h 5m
Sunrise: 8:08 – 8:30 am
Sunset: 7:13 – 7:01 pm

Rainfall

2mm / 0.08″

Wind speed

11-25 km/h / 7-16 mph

Black-necked crane in Tibet
Dira Puk Monastery overlooking the North side of Mount Kailash

Advantages: Clear skies, less crowded, lower prices.

Considerations: Have to be prepared for lower temperatures, especially at night. Guesthouses are closing for the season and heavy snow on mountain passes can make it impossible to trek around Mount Kailash.

November is a cold and dry month in Western Tibet, with even daytime temperatures mostly below freezing. The highest daytime temperature can reach 2°C / 36°F, while the average daytime temperature is about -1°C / 31°F. The coldest temperature at night can be as low as -22°C / -8°F with an average nighttime temperature is about -17°C / 1°F.

With unpredictable and cold weather and guesthouses closed for the winter, it is possible to visit Darchen and see the South face of Kailash, but it is not advisable to plan trekking.

DECEMBER

Temperatures

Average high: -7°C / 19°F
Average low: -21°C / -6°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 8h 30m
Sunrise: 8:30 – 8:48 am
Sunset: 7:01 – 7:11 pm

Rainfall

2mm / 0.08″

Wind speed

11-32 km/h / 7-20 mph

Tibetans walking along the road
On the trek around Kailash covered with snow

Advantages: Very clear skies, very few tourists.

Considerations: Very low temperatures, especially at night. Trekking is usually not possible, guesthouses in the region are closed for the winter.

The weather becomes even colder in December with average daytime temperatures of about -7°C / 19°F and only on some days warming up to -1 °C / 30°F. Nighttime temperatures can be as low as -21 °C / -6 °F on average and as low as -27°C / -17°F on the coldest nights. On the bright side, the weather is very clear and crisp with very little chance of clouds or rain. If you are prepared for colder weather, it can be a great time to travel to experience the beauty of the Himalayan region without crowds of tourists and take stunning photographs.

JANUARY

Temperatures

Average high: -11°C / 12°F
Average low: -27°C / -17°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 10 h 20 m
Sunrise: 8:48 – 8:45 am
Sunset: 7:12 – 7:36 pm

Rainfall

4mm / 0.2″

Wind speed

16-32 km/h / 10-20 mph

Icy cap of Karola glaciers in Tiber
View on frozen lake from Drolma La pass on trek around Kailash

Advantages: Clear skies and crisp, dry air provide excellent visibility of the stunning Himalayan landscapes.

Considerations: Extremely cold temperatures can be challenging, so visitors should be well-prepared for subzero conditions. Trekking is not possible, mountain passes are covered with snow and ice, and guesthouses are closed.

January is one of the coldest months of the year. Temperatures are low and wind is usually strong. If you are visiting during January, on some days you might have the views all for yourself. Even daytime temperatures are typically around -11°C / 12°F, peaking at -5°C / 23°F on the warmest days, while nighttime temperatures average at -27°C / -17°F, and can be as low as -34°C / -29°F.

FEBRUARY

Temperatures

Average high: -11°C / 12°F
Average low: -27°C / -17°F

Sunshine

Daylight: 10h 50m
Sunrise: 8:44 – 8:22 am
Sunset: 7:36 – 7:57 pm

Rainfall

6mm / 0.24″

Wind speed

19-32 km/h / 12-20 mph

Tibetan celebrating Losar Tibetan New Year
Celebrating New Year in Tibet

Advantages: Similar to January, with clearer skies and very few tourists even in Central Tibet.

Considerations: Similar to January, it remains extremely cold, visitors should be well-prepared for subzero conditions. Trekking is not possible, mountain passes are covered with snow and ice, and guesthouses are closed.

February along with January is the coldest month of the year with the strongest winds on average. The average daytime temperature in Kailash region is about -11°C / 12°F, while the highest daytime temperature only rises up to -6°C / 21°F. The nighttime temperatures stay way below freezing at -27°C / -17°F on average and as low as -34°C / -29°F on the coldest nights.

Tibetan New Year is celebrated according to the Lunar calendar and it often falls on February. While there are no large public celebrations and most Tibetans spend this holiday with their family and friends, some people like visiting during the New Year time to experience Tibetan culture.

PACKING FOR KAILASH TOUR AND WHAT TO WEAR

Hikers on the road towards Mount Everest

Most travelers start their journey to Mount Kailash in Tibet in Lhasa. Although Lhasa is located at a high altitude of 3,650 meters / 12,000 ft, the climate in Lhasa is a lot milder than in Western Tibet. In fact, the weather in Lhasa is quite warm even in winter, and strong sunshine makes it feel even warmer. That’s why there is always a big difference in temperatures when traveling from Lhasa to Kailash and you need to be prepared for it.

WHAT TO WEAR ON YOUR KAILASH TREKKING TOUR

When trekking around Mount Kailash, we are trekking during the daytime and stay in guesthouses overnight. The guesthouses are very simple but have enough blankets to keep you warm. Not to pack too much, we recommend bringing clothes that you can layer to be comfortable in any temperature during your tour. Some essentials include:

  • Comfortable hiking boots, ideally, waterproof, especially if you are traveling during the rainy season.
  • Clothes that can be layered: t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, or base layer, sweater or fleece jacket, puffer jacket
  • Hiking pants
  • Rain poncho or waterproof jacket for traveling in summer
  • Hat and a baseball hat for warmer days to protect you from the sun
  • Gloves and a scarf to keep you warm
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Day backpack to carry the items you need during the trek. If you wish to hire a porter or yak to help with other items, bring a duffel bag or a larger backpack.
  • Water bottle, thermos, or a camelbak
  • Flashlight or headlamp

You don’t need to bring a sleeping bag, since all guesthouses have enough warm blankets. However, these blankets are not washed often, that’s why we recommend bringing a thin liner or a sheet for personal comfort to use with these blankets.

More details on what to wear and pack, including your medical kit in our article here:

COMPLETE GUIDE: PREPARE FOR THE MOUNT KAILASH TOUR

All you need to know to get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. Information about required documents, ways to travel, the best season, what to wear and pack, how to prepare physically, and what to expect on your journey.

POPULAR TOURS TO KAILASH IN TIBET

Stupas of The Dira Puk Monastery by the Kailash Mountain in Tibet

15 DAYS MOUNT KAILASH PILGRIMAGE TOUR

One of our most popular group tours starts in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and goes to Mount Kailash for three-days trekking around this sacred mountain. During this tour, we visit Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Yamdrok Lake, Gyantse monastery and Kumbum stupa, Mount Everest, Lake Manasarovar, Mount Kailash, and much more.

Celebration of Saga Dawa near Mount Kailash

MOUNT KAILASH TOUR DURING SAGA DAWA FESTIVAL

This special tour takes you to the sacred Mount Kailash during the biggest festival of the year. Saga Dawa Festival celebrated the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from all around Tibet, India, and the world. You will see the greatest diversity of Tibetan national dress as people wear their best clothes for the festival.

Canyon of Sutlej river in Ngari, Western Tibet

17 DAYS WESTERN TIBET: KAILASH AND GUGE KINGDOM

A private tour takes you from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet to the most Western part of the country. This tour includes 3 days of trekking around Mount Kailash and visiting the Western part of Tibet. Ngari, the distant Western province is famous for its clay forest geopark, Tibetan Buddhism studies centers – Thorling, Tsaparang, and meditation caves in the mountains.

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