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Namtso Lake Weather and Climate: Find the Best Time to Visit Namtso Lake

May,23 2024 BY Kham Sang 0 COMMENTS

Located around 240km north of Lhasa, Namtso Lake, with its heavenly view, is the single most popular tourist destination outside of Lhasa. Due to its high altitude (4,718m), the weather of Namtso Lake is quite different from that of Lhasa.

So, in this tutorial, we will walk you through the weather and climate of Namtso Lake and help you plan the best time to visit the sacred Namtso Lake based on different preferences and interests.

Unique Weather Pattern of Namtso Lake at a Glance

Namtso Lake is the second-largest saltwater lake in China and one of the highest-altitude lakes in the world. Its high elevation and unique topography create distinctive weather patterns not found in other parts of Tibet.

The surrounding mountains block the Indian Ocean current, so cold dominates most of the year. At times, the lake can experience extreme temperature swings during a single day, changing from well below freezing to temperatures between 10-20°c.

Visiting Lake Namtso usually takes a day trip from Lhasa. It is a five-hour drive through the beautiful Nyenchen Tonglha Mountains that passes over Nagenla Pass (5,190m). Currently, tourists are not allowed to stay overnight at the lake for eco-protection. Learn the top 10 holy Tibet lakes.

Stunning Namtso Lake viewStunning Namtso Lake view.

The Weather of Namtso Lake in Spring: April, May, Namtso Awakes from Winter Slumber

Spring arrives late at Namtso Lake. Towards the end of April, the ice slowly melts for stunning views of the thawing waters. Average lows in April and May are still below freezing, but daytime highs can hit 10°c. Spring winds can be strong, particularly in the afternoon, so some wind chill is inevitable.

May is an excellent time to visit for the Saga Dawa Festival. Travelers can participate in the Tashi Dor Kora. The 40km, one-day trek is a chance to participate in an important spiritual tradition and see highlights like gigantic Yinbin stones with prayer flags.

Given that the lake is over 1,000m higher than Lhasa, you’ll want to spend time acclimatizing there before traveling to Namtso Lake. If you’re going in spring, you need to be prepared for the temperature changes. Dress in layers, with a good thermal base, warm pants and sweater, and an outer layer for wind protection. Discover the best time to visit Tibet.

The Weather of Namtso Lake in Summer: June, July, August, September, the Best Time to View Namtso Lake

Summer at Namtso Lake is from June through September. It is one of the best times to visit. Temperatures are warmer, and the roads are completely accessible. Average lows are in the single digits but stay above 0°c, and daytime highs are from 12-15°c, with occasional days above 20°c. Rain peaks in July and August. You’ll have to check the forecast, as heavy rains can make crossing the mountain passes challenging.

In summer, you can see the full, broad expanse of water stretching to the horizon. Under the blue sky, huge Mani stones and colorful prayer flags adorn the shore and hillsides. Nomads move their herds across the grasslands, and pilgrims walk the kora route around the lake.

In late July or early August, the classic tour route to Lake Namtso via Damxung takes you through the Changtang Grasslands, where you can see the Nagqu Horse Racing Festival. The ancient festival is a display of expert horsemanship with activities and rituals that have been practiced for centuries.

Visit Namtso Lake in SummerVisit Namtso Lake in Summer.

The Weather of Namtso Lake in Autumn: October and November, Second Most Popular Time to Visit Namtso Lake

Autumn is the second most popular time to visit Namtso Lake. The weather is colder, but there is no rainfall during the season. Visibility is excellent, with great views of the mountain ranges and the lake. Temperatures in October and November range from average lows of -13°c to highs around 6°c. The winds start to pick up toward the end of the season, and mountain passes like Nagenla Pass (5,190m) can sometimes be inaccessible due to heavy snow.

Dress for cold weather and be flexible with your plans in autumn. You’ll want layers of warm clothing to adjust to the changing temperatures throughout the day. Weather conditions can change quickly in November, so double-check the forecast before starting the journey and have backup plans in case the way to the lake is blocked.

The Weather of Namtso Lake in Winter: December, January, February, and March. Expect Frozen Namtso Lake

Few visitors see the breathtaking spectacle of Namtso Lake in winter. The stunning icy landscape is a mesmerizing vision that lasts from December until March. Icy road conditions can make it difficult to reach the lake, so when you arrive, it will be a serene and tranquil experience of the frozen lake and snow-capped mountains.

Down jackets, windbreakers, sweaters, and thermal underlayers are needed for the cold of this season. Winds can be fierce, particularly in January and February. Good quality gloves, scarves, hats, and a mask are also essential. Also, check the Tibet winter tour to save tour costs.

Namtso Lake frozen in WinterNamtso Lake frozen in Winter.

Apart from Having Great Namtso Lake Weather, Great Travel Service Also Matters

Good weather will help you have a great trip, but excellent travel service is also important. As the largest and most prestigious local Tibet travel service, Tibet Vista is the best choice to ensure your trip is everything you hope for.

Our service includes the guarantee of obtaining the Tibet Travel Permit and any other required permits. With long experience of logistics in Tibet, we'll provide you with a professional driver and vehicle that will keep you safe in the harsh climate. We know what to expect when it comes to the changing weather conditions at Namtso Lake, and we will make sure your plans are fulfilled.

  Welcome to Tibet from Tibet Vista.


Visiting Namtso Lake is a chance to see one of the most unique landscapes in Tibet. The stark, piercing beauty of the holy lake changes with the seasons, offering different experiences for travelers. Summer is warm with rain, winter is a stunning frozen landscape, and spring and autumn are cold with clear skies. Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll help you put together the trip of a lifetime.

Kham Sang

About the Author - Kham Sang

With fluent English skills rivaling a native English speaker, Khamsang often impresses our travelers with her gifted language capacity and deep understanding of Tibetan culture and history.

Professional, flexible, and attentive, throughout her 10+ years of guide experience, Khamsang has received zero complaints from her guests. Besides, as a mom of two lovely sons, Khamsang is also a devoted mother and loves writing expert travel articles to help travelers longing for a Tibet adventure.

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