Last Updated on September 2, 2022 by asoulwindow
Pangong Lake Weather
When visiting Pangong Lake, also known as Pangong Tso, expect extremely cold winters, pleasant spring and mild summer. I have visited Pangong lake many times. Therefore, I have good knowledge of the Pangong Lake weather, temperatures and seasons.
While I feel that the best time to visit Pangong Tso can be any time, but that is just me being me. Here we will discuss each season in great detail so that you can plan your trip as per your taste and not dance to my whims and fancies!
This is a the most comprehensive travel guide to season, weather, climate and average temperature of Pangong Lake aka Pangong Tso. This month wise guide on best time to visit Pangong Tso will help you plan your travel to this part of Ladakh well. The climate of Pangong Tso is not the same in the balmy summer, harsh winter and lacklustre monsoon. Here is a detailed guide on weather conditions of Pangong Tso! I have shared deep insights on the weather of Pangong Tso in this information packed blog, which is based on my personal experiences. Such elaborate information is not found in mainstream media and guidebooks.
What is the best time to visit Pangong Lake?
So, what is the best time to visit Pangong Lake? It is a frequently asked question. From my experience, I would suggest that the best time to travel to the pristine Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh are all the summer months. Unlike other places of India, especially the great Indian plains, the Pangong lake temperatures are quite low even in the Ladakh summer season.
Pangong Lake temperature
Pangong temperature varies from month to month. Celsius and centigrade mean the same, which is why I have used them interchangeably in this complete guide to weather of Pangong Tso Lake. current temperature in Pangong Lake can be verified online or with a local source. Pangong Lake temperature today is updated on many websites.
Season wise weather of Pangong Lake
Pangong Tso lake is increasingly becoming a year-round destination. Many tourists these days enjoy visiting the pristine Pangong Lake throughout the year. However, you can choose the best season to visit Pangong Lake by using this guide on the weather of Pangong Tso.
You can select a suitable season, as per your liking from the below detailed guide to climate and weather conditions in Pangong Tso.
Below is a break up of temperatures, climate and weather in Pangong Tso Lake in a season wise manner.
Summer in Pangong Lake
Expect modest summer in Pangong Lake. What is the maximum and minimum temperature at Pangong Tso lake in summer? 40°C or forty degrees centigrade is the maximum temperature you can expect in the summer months in Pangong Lake.
However, especially during night and evening, expect the minimum temperature of Pangong Tso to be as low as 5°C or five degrees Celsius. Summer is still the best time to visit Pangong Lake.
- Festive atmosphere
- Good variety of food
- Places are open to visit
- Shopping opportunities
- Availability of shared cabs
- Good photography can be done
- Easy availability of tourist facilities
- Interaction with other Indian and foreign travellers
- Dusty roads
- Expensive cabs
- Crowd of tourists
- Expensive hotel rooms
- Maybe even rude behaviour of service providers
Monsoon in Pangong Lake
Even in the month of July, Pangong Tso lake doesn’t experience much of rains unlike the great Indian plains or even hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. So, you do not need to worry about rains when visiting Pangong Tso in rainy season. You can still experience sparse rainfall during your Pangong Lake trip. Temperature in Pangong Lake during monsoon is also mild when compared to winter.
The main monsoon months in the area surrounding the Pangong Tso Lake are July, August and September. I visited Pangong Tso in both July as well as September and didn’t experience any rain.
This is why, you can easily pay a visit to the gorgeous Pangong Tso Lake in the so-called rainy season of Ladakh as well. Since the entire region of Ladakh in North India is classified as a high-altitude cold desert, it experiences only 100 millimetres of precipitation per year.
Pros and Cons of traveling to Pangong Tso are same as summer, therefore, I am refraining from repeating it.
Soul Window Observations
I observed the same during my epic road trip to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. While I was on the holy Hindu pilgrimage in Tibet, I visited many offbeat and difficult to access places such as Kyirong, Saga, Taklakot, Mansarovar Lake, Rakshas Tal, Darchen, Yam Dwar, mysterious Kailash Parbat, Dolma La Pass, Gauri Kund, Zuthulphuk and Qomolangma National Park.
I noticed that despite visiting West Tibet for 15 days in August, I hardly noticed any rain. Neither is there much vegetation in Tibet nor are there any torrential rains like, say Mumbai or Assam. I found the landscape of Ladakh on Indian side and Tibet to be quite similar. After all, Pangong Tso, is located in both India as well as Tibet.
Winter in Pangong Lake
Can we go to Pangong Lake in winters? Yes, it is possible to visit Pangong Lake in winter, although with many difficulties.
Is Pangong lake frozen right now? It is a very frequently asked question. Due to extremely low temperatures of Pangong Lake during winters, expect a frozen lake. Yes, in winter months, the Pangong Tso lake is always frozen. Expect very cold winters in Pangong Tso.
In which month Pangong Lake is frozen? The winter months in Pangong Tso region are October, November, December, January and February.
It is not an ideal time to visit Pangong Tso because shared cabs are not easily available and the Pangong Lake remains frozen in winter. That said, if you are still adamant to appreciate a different Pangong Lake, you can visit in winter as well.
What is the temperature in Pangong Lake during winters? Expect the maximum temperature of Pangong Tso in winter to be 24°C or twenty-four degrees centigrade. The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in winter is as low as -14°C or minus fourteen degrees Celsius.
- Clean roads
- No tourists
- Cheaper hotel rooms
- Complete attention of service providers
- Dull atmosphere
- Expensive cabs
- Poor food variety
- Icy roads at places
- Less shops are open
- Places are closed for visit
- Shared cabs are not available
- Good photography is not easy
- Tourist facilities are hard to avail
- Hardly any interaction with other Indian and foreign tourists
Is it safe to travel to Pangong Tso in winter?
Although, I do not advise traveling to Pangong Tso in December, January and February with old parents and young kids but if you still want to do it then make sure you take extra care and caution.
Does it snow in Pangong lake?
Does it snow in Pangong lake? When is the Pangong Lake expected snowfall? Is Pangong Lake frozen now? These are some of the most commonly asked questions.
So, does Pangong Lake get snowfall? While I didn’t experience any snowfall in Pangong Lake in July and September, I did see snow in far distance. Also, while traveling towards Pangong lake, I did experience a very mild snowfall en-route. Many other tourists and travellers I know have also enjoyed snowfall while they were on their way to Pangong Lake.
So, while you may or may not see snowfall in Pangong Tso, expect to see it while you are on your way. When can we see snow in Pangong Lake? Winter is the best time to experience snow in Pangong Tso. Expect to see snowfall on some days in winter.
Soul Window Experiences
During my travels across the world since 2008, I experienced a real thick snow fall in few places such as during Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. The other time, I experienced heavy snow was when I was returning to Bomdila and Dirang via Sela Pass from Tawang in North East India.
There was so much snow that it was tricky to drive our vehicle on it. While I didn’t see any snowfall in Sikkim, I did see plenty of fresh snow in Yumthang Valley, Lachen and Lachung in Sikkim.
Why is Pangong Lake so cold?
Even when I visited Pangong Tso in July and September, its water was very cold, if not freezing. That is generally because, Pangong Lake is located in a very high-altitude area which remains mildly cold even in the summers.
During winters, Pangong Lake becomes so cold that its water freezes. The layer or sheet of ice on Pangong Lake is so thick that even vehicles can ply on it. That said, one should be a responsible tourist and avoid walking and driving on the frozen lake.
What is the high season in Pangong Tso?
Summer is undoubtedly the high season in Pangong Tso. Summer is when Pangong Tso lake experiences high footfall of tourists. The best time to visit the area of Pangong Tso lake is therefore summer. I have travelled to Pangong Tso and Leh Ladakh in both peak season as well as shoulder season. Peak season is also when a lot of bikers and cyclists can also be seen across Pangog Tso and Ladakh, in general.
While traveling to Pangong Tso in the peak shoulder season, expect the below mentioned:
- Open Shops
- Balmy weather
- High tourist footfall
- Welcoming terrains
- Open monuments in Leh
- Easy accessibility to places
- Easy availability of local guides
- Heritage walks in old city of Leh
- Easy availability of shared cabs and public transport
- Festivals such as Naropa Festival and Ladakh Festival
- Open Restaurants (Both Punjabi, continental and local)
What is the shoulder season in Pangong Tso?
The months of September and October comprise of shoulder season for visiting Pangong Tso Lake. That said, it is also one of my most favourite season to visit Pangong Tso and Leh Ladakh in general. I find it more pleasurable to visit Pangong Tso during the shoulder season.
While the hotels rates may come down in shoulder season, the taxi rates can be higher due to lesser availability of tourists. At times, shared taxi rides are also cancelled due to non-availability of tourists. That said, it is still a good time to visit because Pangong Lake weather is still great during shoulder season.
While traveling to Pangong Tso in shoulder season, expect the below mentioned:
- Welcoming terrains
- Mildly Cold weather
- Open monuments in Leh
- Availability of local guides
- Heritage walks in old city of Leh
- Lower tourist footfall than in peak
- Shops closing (yet many are open)
- Restaurants closing (yet many are open)
- Easy availability of shared cabs and public transport
What is the low season in Pangong Tso?
Winters are the low season for Pangong Tso. Winter is when you will see least number of tourists in Pangong Lake. This is so because Tibet faces very cold winters. Even General Zorawar Singh Ahluwalia faced harsh winters and severe hardships, as he set out to conquer this part of West Tibet. Do read my blog on General Zorawar Singh Ahluwalia. My blog A Soul Window has been ranked as No.1 travel blog of India.
While traveling to Pangong Tso in winters, expect the below mentioned:
- Frozen lakes
- Cold weather
- Closed restaurants
- Lack of local guides
- Low tourist footfall
- Closed monuments
- Inhospitable terrains
- Lower availability of shared cabs and public transport
Pangong Tso weather: Month Wise Weather of Pangong Tso
I am also including month wise weather conditions in and around the lake in this complete guide to weather of Pangong Tso. This will help you prepare your tour to Pangong Tso in a more organised manner. I am sharing below the information which I didn’t have before visiting Pangong Tso.
Here is all you wanted to know about weather of Pangong Lake in all the months of the year. Pangong Lake weather by month is as below:
January in Pangong Tso
Which is the coldest month of Pangong Lake? The weather of Pangong Tso in the month of January is freezing cold. You can also expect to see fresh snowfall in Pangong Tso in January month. The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in January is -25 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in January is -1 °C. You can easily see why it is very cold in Pangong Tso in the month of January.
It is common to see snowfall in such cold January weather of Pangong Tso Lake. It is so cold that the chances of frost bites are high. This is why it is advised to wear good quality gloves and thermal wear when visiting Pangong Tso Lake in January. Expect temperature to plunge below freezing point during January in Pangong Lake.
January is not the best time for tourism in Pangong Lake. Many tourists do not prefer visiting Pangong Tso in January because
- The path to reach the Pangong Tso region mostly remains covered in snow.
- No availability of cheaper shared cabs to Pangong Lake from Leh, the capital city of Ladakh.
- The Pangong Lake remains frozen.
Having said that, I still know many friends who love to visit Pangong Tso Lake in January because of stunning landscapes, the sense of adventure, the challenges, snowfall and less crowds.
I almost visited Pangong Tso in the month of January to do the much-celebrated Chadar Lake trek. This trek is done on a frozen lake. However, just few days before the Chadar Trek, I had a painful kidney stone attack. I was unable to make it and used the money later for Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal.
My friends who went ahead for Chadar Trek, returned soon because the ice sheet or the chadar had not formed and their office leaves were running out. They did manage to go till some of the places when they returned back. Their common complaint was about how cold Ladakh is in January.
February in Pangong Tso
Can we go to Pangong Lake in February? The answer is yes and no. Much like January and December, February is also a very cold month in the Pangong Tso Lake region of Ladakh. Expect freezing cold weather of Pangong Lake in February. The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of February is -25 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in February is 0 °C.
Thanks to the very low temperatures of Pangong Tso Lake in February, it is not advisable to visit. As per the Pangong Lake weather forecast, expect below sub-zero level average temperatures of Pangong Tso in February.
Additionally, unexpected snowfall can cause problems in covering the distance between Leh and Pangong Lake. You can do Chadar trek in February also. February is still an unusual month for visiting Pangong Lake.
March in Pangong Tso
March is also a very cold month in Pangong Tso Lake. However, March in Pangong Tso is slightly warmer than December, January and February. March is when the temperature of Pangong Tso Lake starts to show an increase. However, thanks to bone-chilling cold, it is still not possible to do several normal tourist activities here. Expect crisp weather and clear skies in Pangong Lake in March.
The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of March is -22 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in March is 8°C. Snowfall is also observed in Pangong Lake region in the month of March.
Sun is also harsh during March. Tourists should wear good sun protection to avoid severe sun burn if they are visiting Pangong in March. The month of March is not the best time to visit Pangong Lake but it is still doable. If the ice sheet is formed, then it is possible to do Chadar Trek in March.
April in Pangong Tso
April is still a very cold month in Pangong Lake region if not as freezing as in the months of December, January and February.
The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of April is -15 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in April is 10°C.
Though the temperature of Pangong Lake rises a lot in April, it is still very cold here. Expect cold winds and clear blue sky in during the day in Pangong Tso in April. However, be prepared for very cold nights when visiting Pangong Tso in the month of April. While traveling in Pangong region in winter, it is a high possibility to see much of the ground covered entirely in snow.
May in Pangong Tso
May is the month when the climate of Pangong Tso Lake begins to get moderately cold. The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of May is -8 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in May is 11°C.
The weather pattern of May in Pangong Lake is predictable. Expect cold weather during the day and very chilling weather during the night during Pangong Lake tour in May month. You might not be able to see snowfall in Pangong area in May. However, expect to see snow from last months on the ground.
Towards the end of May, summer starts to knock in Pangong Lake region of Ladakh. This is when the natural beauty of Pangong Lake is at its visual best. You should take special care if traveling across Ladakh with kids and senior citizens in May. Pangong Lake weather in May is pleasant.
June in Pangong Tso Lake
Which month is best for Pangong Lake? Pangong Lake weather in June is pleasant. The official tourist season of Pangong Lake begins in the summer month of June. It is moderately cold in Pangong Tso Lake during June. June is also when you will start seeing many tourists visiting Pangong Lake. Needless to say, June is one of the best months to visit Pangong Lake.
The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of June is -3 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in June is 13°C.
Thanks to the reopening of the Srinagar-Leh Highway and Manali-Leh Highway in the month of June, many biking enthusiasts and tourists can be seen on the roads of Ladakh in large numbers. Since the road of Ladakh starts to become motorable only June onwards, it attracts an influx of tourists from India and other foreign nations.
Due to its unusual terrain, long time heavy rainfall is not observed in Ladakh or even nearby Tibet. That said, do expect light showers around Pangong Lake in the month of June. Though, you will not see roads blocked with snow in June, but snow can still be seen in far-away mountains located on high altitude areas.
July in Pangong Lake
The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of July is -0 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in July is 13°C. This makes July a very pleasant month to visit Pangong Lake. July has the warmest month in Pangong area.
Which month is hottest in Pangong Tso? July being the warmest month in Pangong region of Ladakh, offers stunning views. July is when the ice in Pangong Lake is completely melted and the beautiful multi-hued water of this pristine lake reveals itself.
Once in a while light occasional showers can be experienced in Pangong Lake area in July. Even at the peak of rainy season in Pangong, it doesn’t rain much. Therefore, it is not much of an issue when it rains here. The rain is not heavy and it stops sooner or later.
Is there snow in Pangong Lake in July?
If the idea of holiday in Pangong Lake excites you then you should consider the month of July to make the most out of it. If you are keen to see snow in July, then you will need to go to higher altitudes. Some far away mountains may be snow-capped. You will also pass Khardung La, one of the highest motorable passes of the world. Khardung La has ample snow throughout the year. We also saw ample snow in Khardung La on the same trip in July.
My Experience of visiting Pangong Lake in July
I have visited Pangong Lake many times. One of the Pangong Lake Trip was in July. I found the weather of Pangong Lake in July to be crisp and very pleasant. During the day, I was able to move around the Pangong Lake area in only T shirts and lowers. However, I observed that the nights could get chilly even in July.
During my multi day visit to Pangong Lake in July, I didn’t experience rain even on a single day. In fact, I was rewarded with breath-taking natural views of Pangong Tso in July. Pangong Lake weather is just perfect in July!
August in Pangong Lake
The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of August is 1 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in August is 20°C. This is why August is a very good month for Pangong Lake tour. Pangong Tso weather is quite enjoyable in August, which is why it sees many tourists in this season.
This is also when snow thaws in most parts of Pangong Lake region. This is also a good time to soak in the gorgeous views of melted Pangong Lake in all its glorious natural vibrancy. After a long and harsh winter jail, the Pangong Lake teems with life again. Some small cluster of local trees, plants, shrubs and undergrowth can be seen in the mud paths surrounding the gorgeous Pangong Tso Lake.
I noticed during my visit to Pangong that the climate of the lake was moderately cold in day and chilly in night. If you want to see snow in Pangong Lake region in the month of August, then you will have to travel to slightly higher slopes and high-altitude mountains. It is unlikely that you will see any snow in Pangong Lake area in monsoon.
Soul Window Observations
During the epic Kailash Mansarovar Yatra in the adjoining Tibet, I had visited the holy Mansarovar Lake and cursed Rakshas Tal in the month of August. Both Mansarovar Lake and Rakshatal Lake are high altitude lakes. I found the weather of Tibet and the adjacent Ladakh in India to be quite similar.
While doing parikrama around Kailash Parvat in August, I did notice some rain in Yam Dwar and Deraphuk. However, since the mysterious land of Tibet also doesn’t receive any significant rain, I found the weather conditions of Tibet quite similar to monsoon in Ladakh.
Pangong Tso Lake in September
Can we visit Pangong Lake in September? Expect temperatures between -2 °C and 18°C in Pangong Lake during September. Despite being shoulder season, September is a good season to visit Pangong Lake due to low costs and less crowds of tourists and bikers.
September is when tourism goes into winter hibernation in Ladakh. Also, expect to see lovely fall colors in Pangong Lake during September. I found Pangong Lake weather in September to be one of the best. You can also enjoy the fall colors of Ladakh during autumn months of September and October.
Do read my detailed guide on Pangong Tso Lake in September. Since I spent half a month in and around Pangong Tso and other parts of Ladakh, I have a clear idea of the weather conditions and climate during this period. I found the Pangong Lake temperature in September to be moderate.
September is also a good month to attend festivals. I attended 3 festivals in September viz
- Ladakh festival in Leh
- Naropa festival near Hemis monastery
- Cham Mask dance in Chokhang Vihara of Leh Market.
Pangong Tso Lake in October
How is Pangong Tso Lake in October? The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of October is -9 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in October is 15°C.
October is one of the colder months in Panging Tso. October is the onset on winters in Pangong Lake and Ladakh. Thanks to the dipping mercury levels in October, the crowds of tourists in Pangong area start to thin. October is also the month when most of the tented accommodation on the shores of Pangong Tso are dismantled. This is why it starts to become harder to find a stay in Pangong October onwards.
During October, temperature starts to dip to sub-zero level after sun set. The nights become colder in October. Due to the low temperature of Pangong Tso Lake area in October, less tourists come to visit it.
October is also the time when the popular Manali-Leh highway is closed, thanks to incessant snowfall. This is why you will not see any motor bike enthusiasts in any of the destinations in Ladakh region in October. Though, I personally do not mind visiting Pangong Tso in October, it is for sure not the best of season to visit here.
Pangong Lake in November
Can I visit Pangong Tso Lake in November? The minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of November is -14 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in November is 5°C.
November is a very cold month in Pangong Tso. Thanks to the sub-zero temperature levels, it is not very easy to travel to Pangong Tso in November. Thanks to the regular and excessive snowfall, it is common to face road blocks while driving towards Pangong Tso from Leh via Khardung La. This is why, November is not a good time to visit Pangong Tso. You will also be denied from indulging in adventure activities in November.
Pangong Lake in December
Is it OK to visit Pangong Lake in December? Well, the minimum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in the month of December is -17 °C. The maximum temperature of Pangong Tso Lake in November is 3°C.
Most tourists do not travel to Pangong Tso in December due to freezing cold weather and incessant snowfall. Since December is one of the coldest months in Pangong Tso Lake area, most of the services here come to a halt. Pangong Lake Tourism almost stops in December. Only very discerning (and determined) travellers make it to Pangong Tso in December.
The remote border area of India and Tibet remains cut off to outside world in December due to excessive snowfall. This is why it is not advisable to travel to Pangong Tso in December.
For those who want to do Chadar Trek, December is an ideal time. You can combine your trip to Pangong Tso lake along-with the popular Chadar trek.
What should I wear in Pangong Lake?
Pangong Lake weather of winter is very harsh while the temperatures are higher during summer. This is why you should wear dresses according to the season you are traveling in.
What to wear in Pangong lake in summer and monsoon
If you are visiting in the months of May, June, July, August and September, then do carry light cotton shirts and even half pants and Bermudas for the day. However, the nights can be very cold and the weather keeps changing throughout the day. This is why always carry woollens such as jackets, inner warmers, shoes, mufflers, monkey caps, gloves and sweaters with you.
What to wear in Pangong lake in winters
Not many visit Pangong lake in winters but if you are still adamant and want to prove points, make sure you do it with proper clothing. Do wear a down jacket in winters all the time. Also, carry the above-mentioned sweaters, inner thermal wears, sturdy shoes, mufflers, thick gloves, windcheaters and many sweaters.
Soul Window Tips
Do read my complete guide on what to wear for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. You will need more or less the same packing list for Pangong Lake in winter as well.
Conclusion: Best Pangong Lake weather
So, which is the best Pangong Lake weather? Here is the bottom line. Well, it depends on what you are seeking for. While summer is balmy and monsoon is not a worry either, it is the harsh winter that is concerning. But, having said that, I do know some travellers who frequently visit Pangong lake and other places in Ladakh in the harsh winters.
Some adventurous people love to experience the frozen lake. Also, some people visit Pangong Lake in winter while they are doing the Chadar Trek in Zhanskar Valley, though both are located far from each other.
To summarise, you can visit Pangong Lake in spring, summer, monsoon, autumn or even winter, depending upon your interest. To sum up, the best Pangong Lake weather depends upon your interests. Traditionally, best time to visit Pangong Lake is summer.
The view from my Soul Window is changing colours!
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