The name Mcleodganj needs no introduction. After Shimla and Manali, it is probably among the next most visited tourist places in all of Himachal. It is one of those hill stations where the tourist season never ends. Not only the place is loved as a destination for family trips, but it is also a hot favourite among people looking forward to doing some trekking and camping. Due to the fact that it is the residence of the 14th Dalai Lama, Mcleodganj is also a very important place among Tibetan Buddhists. Be it any month or any season of the year, you will definitely find people visiting here and it will always be a mix of tourists with different interests. If you too were planning a trip in the near future and were wondering about the best time to visit Mcleodganj then the article below can hopefully help answer that question.
Not just Mcleodganj but the best time to visit any place would be different for everyone as it depends on a person’s own preference and reason to visit. With that being said, there is a certain time in the year when every destination receives the majority of its share of tourists and weather is usually the driving factor behind this. The same rule applies for Mcleodganj as well. The months of April, May, and June are when it gets crowded here the most because that is when the weather here is at its best. But will that time suit you as well? Read on to find out.
When is the Best time to visit Mcleodganj?
Mcleodganj is one of the rare few tourist destinations that are favorable for tourism throughout the year. For travelers wanting to enjoy the snow and hopefully even catch a live snowfall, the months of January and February would be the best. This is the time when the entire region is buried under a thick sheet of snow and the temperature dips down to -1°C.
If you just want to enjoy good weather and escape the scorching heat of the plains, then April to June will be the best time to go. Weather in these months is pleasantly warm when temperature reaching close to 35°C in the month of June. You do not even need to bring woolens at this time and can easily survive in your regular cotton clothes and a light jacket. Days will remain sunny and skies clear presenting an awesome view of the mountains and the valley around.
If you live in a town nearby and just want to make a short weekend trip then any weekend in the entire year will be equally good. May, June, and September are a good time for trekking and camping. For photography enthusiasts, visiting in April, September, and October would be the best. If you want to experience a touch of the Buddhist Culture then plan your trip around the Tibetan New year which is celebrated in February or March months.
Also Read: Triund Trek – How to Plan your Adventure
When not to visit Mcleodganj
Like the best time to visit, this too will entirely depend on your own preference. If cold weather bothers you then avoid a trip from November to March and visit only in April, May or June. For someone who is not too fond of the rain, July and August will be a bad time to go. If you do not like crowded places then a trip in the months of May and June should not be on your plans. For someone wanting to trek to Triund, January and February is not a good time because the trek remains closed in these months. If you wanted to experience camping, then you should not plan during monsoon season. If you want to witness lush green vistas all around then visiting in November and December will just disappoint you.
Weather of Mcleodganj
Due to its high altitude, the weather of Mcleodganj ranges from freezing cold to pleasant warm throughout the year. The temperature during winters can fall several degrees below zero at night whereas, in the months of May and June, it can go as far up as 35 to 38°C. It is also one of the wettest regions in Himachal and receives heavy snowfall during monsoon. Below is a month by month breakdown of how the weather trends here throughout the year.
Mcleodganj in January
The average temperature in January remains around 5 °C minimum and 15 °C maximum. This, however, is just an average and at times, it may very well go a couple of degrees below 0. It can snow anytime in January and the Sun may go missing for several days altogether. Triund trek mostly remains closed at this time and you must not attempt it unless you had professional help with you. It is a good time to visit for people wanting to catch a live snowfall. Heavy woolens, windproof jacket, waterproof gloves, warm socks and snow boots are a must for visiting in January.
Mcleodganj in February
As winter approaches its end, the average temperature by the end of February rises to 5 °C minimum and 18 °C maximum. It still can snow in February however the intensity and frequency decreases a little in the lower areas. You will still need to bring your woollen clothes for a trip in February. Triund will remain closed in this month as well.
Mcleodganj in March
Weather in March turns really pleasant with average temperature ranging from 10 °C minimum and 20 °C maximum. Snow is mostly all gone from the lower areas in March but can still be found at Triund top which opens up for tourists in this month. Carry some light woolens, a heavy jacket for a trip in March and that will suffice.
Also Read: Monasteries in Mcleodganj and Dharamshala
Mcleodganj in April
April is the official beginning of the tourist season in Mcleodganj. Things start to warm up with average temperature rising to 18 °C minimum and 30 °C maximum. Days will be sunny, skies clear and all tourist areas will remain open making it a perfect month for visiting Mcleodganj. April and the followings months of May and June are considered as the best time for visiting Mcleodganj for the majority of the people.
Mcleodganj in May
This is the time when it would feel hot even in Mcleodganj during the day. If you were traveling in the month of May, then just carry your regular cotton clothes and a light jacket for evenings. With summer vacations on in the schools, you will find a lot of families visiting Mcleodganj at this time and it may even feel a little crowded. The average temperature will be 20 °C minimum and 38 °C maximum.
Mcleodganj in June
Though the month of June is mostly a dry one, the region can experience some pre-monsoon showers towards the end of it. Weather will remain hot with a minimum temperature of 22 °C and maximum can even touch 40 °C at noon. This, however, is a perfect time for trekking to Triund and camping there for the night.
Mcleodganj in July
July is the month of Monsoon and Mcleodganj really takes the full brunt of it. It rains a lot in this region. Sometimes enough to keep you indoors throughout the duration of your trip and spoiling all the fun. Even trekking to Triund at this time is not advised and if you do, you definitely would not want to camp with all that water pouring down on you. The average temperature will range between 20 °C minimum and 35 °C maximum.
Mcleodganj in August
Even though monsoon brings its own set of problems, it is also one of the best times to visit if you are interested in lush green vistas. This is the time when the valleys truly come to life. No matter where you see, it is a feast for eyes. It is, in fact, the month of August when all the rains bring out the true beauty of the hills. The average temperature will range between 20 °C minimum and 35 °C maximum.
Mcleodganj in September
September, in my opinion, is the best month for visiting Mcleodganj. Monsoon will be gone but would still have left plenty of greenery behind. The scenery will still be all lush but without the risk of any rain at all. It is the best time to go for anyone with an interest in photography. The average temperature will range between 20 °C minimum and 35 °C maximum towards the beginning of the month; but will start to get even colder towards the end of it.
Mcleodganj in October
Autumn arrives in October and all that was green in September now turns Orange, giving a golden touch to the valleys. It is another great time for photographers to visit here. October is also the time that marks that beginning of winter season with the temperature dropping down to 15 °C minimum and 25 °C maximum.
Mcleodganj in November
November is really a bad month to visit Mcleodganj. The average temperature will drop further down to 8 °C minimum and 20 °C maximum; which means that it is going to be very cold but there won’t be any snow around. The scenery too in this month is all dry and dull.
Mcleodganj in December
Winter is all settled in by December; and the average temperature ranges between an average of 5 °C minimum and 15 °C maximum. By the end of the month, it can snow here anytime; which makes it a good month for anyone wanting to catch a live snowfall.
Best Season to visit Mcleodganj
Now based on the information above, I think it is safe to say that Spring and Monsoon season is the best time to visit Mcleodganj and Dharamshala.
Best Months to visit Mcleodganj
The months of April, May, June, September and October are great times for planning a trip to Mcleodganj.
When is the Best time to visit Mcleodganj and Dharamshala
Now last but not the least, and also in order to summarize the information above; let me also provide details on what can you do in Mcleodganj in different seasons.
Mcleodganj in Winter
You should visit Mcleodganj in winters to enjoy the snow and see mountains covered in white all around. If you are into trekking then you can also venture upon some winter treks as well; but please ensure that you are bringing in a professional guide along. With plenty of snow all around, the entire region turns into a visual treat at this time. If you traveled in early winter months like November or December, you can even enjoy camping at Triund. Shopping in the local market will be another activity that you can indulge yourself in at this time. It is also a great time for honeymooning couples to visit Mcleodganj.
Mcleodganj in Summer
Summer season is the tourist season in Mcleodganj; and there is a whole lot of reasons to visit here at this time. Escaping the scorching heat of the plains, to enjoy pleasant weather, spending some time away from rushed city lives, sightseeing, boat ride in Dal Lake, trekking, camping, photography, star gazing, bird watching and the list can go on and on.
Mcleodganj in Monsoon
Enjoying lush green vistas and photography will be the two main reasons for anyone to be in Mcleodganj during monsoon season. The months of July and August are also considered as off-season; so if you were traveling on a strict budget, this is the time when you should plan your trip. Since there will be not many tourists around, your chances of getting a good deal on accommodation will be high.
I hope the information above on the best time to visit Mcleodganj, Dharamshala and Triund was of help. If you have any questions; or need any other details; please feel free to ask in the comments section below; or at our Community Forum; and I will be glad to answer.