Trekking

15 Famous Trekking Routes of Nepal

Trekking in Nepal

Nepal is situated in South Asia and has India and China as neighboring countries. Its total area is 147,181 square kilometers and has a populace of around 30 million. Kathmandu is the country’s capital and the nation’s biggest metropolitan city. The political system is the Federal Democratic Republic. Nepal is known for its natural beauty, with the famous Himalayas running over the northern border of the nation.

Nepal has various topography, rich biodiversity, cultures, and religions; hence, it has established itself as one of the exotic tourist destinations in the world. Of the 14 highest mountains over 8,000 meters on the earth, eight are situated in Nepal including Mount Everest (8,848 meters), the most elevated top in the World and other 240 mountains over 6,000 meters high.

Besides the spectacular panoramas of mountain peaks, national parks, wildlife reserves, and conservation areas are also major attractions of Nepal. The dense forest, great rivers, diverse terrain and vegetation and innumerable flora and fauna are the base for wildlife tourism in Nepal.

Furthermore, the country of historical art and architecture is equally rich in cultural heritage. The religious beliefs, norms, and values have influenced the art and culture. Despite various cultures, religions, languages, and lifestyles, Nepalese people live in harmony.

What is Trekking all about?

Trekking is a combination of walking and hiking in a remote or wilderness area with a backpack as a multi-day trip. To put it another way, trekking is making an adventure/journey by walking, particularly hiking through rugged territories for several days and along stunning mountains settlements while appreciating nature as well as being in close contact with locals, observing remote mountain villages where the way of life in some cases is unaltered since several generations.

TREKKING IS EXPLORING THE WILDERNESS ON FOOT.

Trekking is more than just walking through the routes; the trekker will feel and understand the nature and surroundings, lifestyles. Trekking is mostly done in daring mountain regions so it will be more audacious and adventurous to the trekkers. Trekking is not just about the destination; it is about the journey to reach the final destination. It is about traveling at a modest pace, observing nature, local communities and spectacular landscapes.

An individual can go for solo trekking or in a group. Trekkers set out to arrive at a destination following the trail within the scheduled time. The adventure trekking is intended to complete the predestined route safely and successfully. Some trekking takes couple days while other can take few weeks and months. Trekking includes activities like hiking, bushwalking, tramping, hill walking, fell walking and backpacking. It gives an unforgettable experience for a lifetime and it is becoming popular vacation activity.

Trekking in Nepal

Nepal is among the best destinations in the world for adventure tourism, which offers great varieties of outdoor activities like bungee jumping, white water rafting, zip flyers, paragliding, trekking and more. The geographical and natural diversity and a range of exotic culture make Nepal an ideal place for trekking. Trek to the Himalayas of Nepal provides an opportunity to observe the culture and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Trekking in Nepal is not just about walking, starting with one place then onto the next on your way to the last goal. It is an ideal approach to get to intriguing and remote mountain areas of Nepal and to appreciate perspectives of the much-admired peaks together with locals, cultures and their way of life untouched with present-day modernization.

The trekking trails follow ancient foot trails that wander through mesmerizing riverbanks, complicatedly terraced fields and ridges joining scenic homesteads and highland villages. Trekkers walk through beautiful trails in green hills, deep forests with various floras and faunas while observing majestic mountains and picturesque landscapes and meet local people with a warm smile.

Nepal offers trekking experience for all kinds of trekkers; one seeking challenge and daring adventure while other more relaxing and easy, exploring lifestyles and culture. Some trekking routes are shorter, easier and close to city areas while others are a longer duration, remote and more challenging. No matter what kind of trekking you choose, Nepal is considered safe and affordable. People can easily go on a trek of 3 days to 3 months.

Types of Trekking

Trekking in Nepal can be divided into two types:

  • Camping trek
  • Teahouse trek

Camping Trek vs Teahouse Trek in Nepal

Camping Trekking:

It is the most adventurous, fully organized and enjoyable trek for the trekkers. It is mostly for unbeaten trekking trails. In other words, it is full-service trekking. Camping trek is fully organized and supported by guides, cooks, and porters to accompany you. Trekkers should bring their personal gear and necessary belongings during the trek duration. Trekking the beaten trails usually, don’t avail the teahouse accommodation and lodges. The trekking organizers/agencies will take care of technical and logistical aspects of the trip.

These kinds of treks are away from the common trails and give more adventurous and wilderness experience. Dolpo Trekking, Kanchenjunga Trekking, Rolwaling Trek, Makalu Trek, Manaslu Trek, Manaslu Tsum Valley Trekking are mostly fully Camping Trekking in Nepal.

Teahouse Trekking:

Teahouse trekking is also known as lodge trekking because food and accommodation required during the trekking are provided in a guesthouse or lodge in the area. It is the most popular type of trekking in Nepal, trekking the trails and stopping at local guesthouse/lodge to eat and sleep. It is more budgeted and simple. You can have the options of simple meal and accommodation to varied menu and cozy room.
Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang regions are popular for teahouse trekking. The lodges in those regions offer a variety of western, continental and Nepalese meals and convenient accommodation with great facilities. Teahouse trekking is relatively cheap as compared to camping trekking for both solo trekkers and those trekking in groups. Also, it is a great way to connect with some local culture and lifestyle.

Difficulty Levels

Trekking Grade, Trip Difficulty, Trek Grades

Grade A [Easy]: Elevation around 3000 meters with 3-5 hours of walking every day. Trekking experience is not required at this level: any individual who is healthy and sufficiently fit to enjoy walking can deal with this trek. In any case, walking dependably includes some effort: trails are at times flat, and you should expect to have a sensible measure of climb and descent.

Grade B [Moderate]: Elevation around 4000 meters with 4-6 hours of walking every day. Most individuals who enjoy walking on the slopes or mountains are outfitted for undertaking a trek at this level. You should be healthy and fit, and you will probably be taking consistent exercise. A trek could be evaluated “B” either as a fairly simple medium-length walk or as a harder, shorter walk. Some walking at a higher elevation and the incidental longer or more troublesome day might be included, however, most conditions will be reasonable.

Grade C [Strenuous]: Elevation around 4500 meters with 5-7 hours of walking every day. For any trek at this level, fitness is most imperative and you may need to enhance yours before departure. Past trekking knowledge is alluring however not basic on the off chance that you are sure of your physical condition

Grade D [Tough]: Elevation around 5000 meters with 6-9 hours of walking every day. At this level, past experience of trekking is recommended, ideally at elevation, and you require complete confidence in your physical condition. You should have the capacity to trek for a long time without a break and adapt to a troublesome territory, for example, scree, snow or wearisome paths on steep mountainsides. Extremes of elevation and climate may likewise be experienced, and on a few treks, it might be important to utilize ice axe and crampons. Stamina is vital, as walking days can be from 6 to 9 hours or considerably longer on pass-crossing days.

Grade E [Very Tough]: Elevation around 6000 meters with 7-12 hours of walking every day. An “E” grade trek is probably going to include every one of the components of a “D” grade in addition to extra variables of substantial exertion – dubious river intersections, high or troublesome passes, glaciers, or trekking crests where essential climbing aptitudes might be required. Frequently some exceptional gear, for example, ice axe and crampons will be required hence, prior experience of handling such gears is essential. While typically walking for 7 to 9 hours a day, you ought to be set up for up to 11 hours, or on a few trips considerably more.

Trekking Seasons in Nepal

Trekking is possible in all seasons throughout the year in Nepal depending on where the individual wants to go. Nevertheless, spring (February – May) and autumn (September – December) are the most popular seasons. During these times, skies are clear and tolerable temperature. Trekking in the rain-shadow areas in the north of the Himalayas like Upper Mustang and Dolpo is possible even during the Monsoon (June – August). However, other trekking routes might be blocked by landslides and the weather is not clear. Trekkers should expect rain and leeches while trekking in summer monsoon season while severe cold and closed passes during the winter season.

Trekking Equipment

The required equipment for the trekking basically depends upon the trekking season, weather, and personal necessities. However, the following are the basic requirements:

Clothing

  • One light long underwear bottom
  • One medium long underwear bottom
  • A pair of climbing and pile pants
  • Two medium polypro shirts
  • One light woolen/fleece sweater
  • One pile jacket
  • One down vest
  • One down sweater/jacket
  • A pair of light wind Gore-Tex jacket and pant
  • A pair of woolen hat and sun hat
  • A pair of Gore-Tex glove shells with a liner or ski gloves
  • A pair of woolen gloves
  • Raincoat
  • Gaiters (for high altitudes)
  • Footwear
  • A pair of hiking/trekking boots
  • A pair of slippers
  • Several pairs of socks (woolen/cotton)

Gear

  • A pair of glacier glasses
  • A Swiss Army knife
  • Trekking Backpack
  • Water Bottle
  • A pair of trekking poles
  • One torch with spare batteries
  • Large and waterproof duffel bags
  • Sleeping bag

Toiletries

  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Towel
  • Washcloth
  • Lip balm
  • Personal items like toothbrush

Miscellaneous

  • Books
  • MP3 player/iPod
  • Personal medicines kit
  • Ziplock bags
  • Camera
  • Power Cords

Safety Measures during Trekking

Nepal is considered safe for trekking, however, some safety measures are still recommended.

Altitude sickness

Trekkers are drawn to high altitude trekking areas. Altitude sickness is common in higher altitude. If you or anyone in your trekking group experiences symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), stop ascending further, if the situation does not improve, then descend to lower altitude. If you are on set to high altitude trekking, it is recommended that you carry some Diamox (acetazolamide) pills. It helps in acclimatization process. If symptoms of High-Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High-Altitude Cerebral Edema (HAPE) are experienced, descend with another trekker. Avoid excessive exertion in the initial days, avoid alcohol, drink adequate water, have high carbohydrate diet and consult with a physician about the medicine.

Water & Food Contamination

While trekking you cannot always be sure about the hygiene of food and water that you consume. Carry some antibiotics for stomach infections. Bottled water is available but the disposal of plastic bottles is a severe problem in the trekking trails. The best options for the trekkers are to refill their water bottles for a small fee at safe drinking water stations or bring your own water purifiers.

Safety concerns

Always carry a torchlight, water, energy bars, personal medicines, and mobile phones. Keep your belongings secure and within sight and be careful about displaying your wealth. If you are leaving for off beaten trek, buy travel insurance policy that covers helicopter rescue cost and leave a copy of your details to your trekking agency. Choose authorized government registered trekking agencies.

Solo trekking

Even if you start your journey alone, you can always find like-minded people along the trail. It is always recommended that you trek with other people while trekking along the indistinct trails.

Famous Trekking Routes of Nepal

Nepal has some of the best trekking routes in the world. The diverse terrain of the Nepalese mountains offers various stunning trekking routes for a beginner or experienced trekker, from standard adventure treks to off the beaten treks.

The best treks for an individual always depends on the one’s preferences of the features that the trekking has to offer. The level of difficulty, the number of days, budget and trek style are the major factors to choose the best trek for one.

Here are the 15 famous trekking routes of Nepal:

1. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Source: “Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal” by Matt Zimmerman

The Annapurna Base Camp is also known as ABC or Annapurna Sanctuary and offers grandiose mountain vistas and amazing trekking experience. It is a deep glacier surrounded by majestic peaks like Annapurna South, Annapurna I and III, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Hiun Chuli and Fang. This awe-inspiring trail runs through forested hillsides, terraced fields and ethnic Gurung settlements to the ice and snow-covered base camp, the sanctuary of Gods.

The sunrise over the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri is mesmerizing from Poon Hill. Along with the ascents and descents in this trek, trekkers will encounter fascinating Nepalese culture and lifestyle with thrilling Himalayan adventure. You will cross a narrow gateway at the head of Modi Khola that runs between Hiun Chuli and Machhapuchhre, naturally dividing dense rainforest and higher mountain region.

This is the next most popular trek in Annapurna region after Annapurna Circuit Trek. It winds around different ridges towards Ghorepani with a backdrop of magnificent Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountains. The trail offers the exceptional experience of natural as well as cultural beauty.

Trek Facts:

  • Duration: 10-15 days
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 4,130m (Annapurna Base Camp)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP, TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • Mesmerizing sunrise over Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri from Poon Hill
  • Annapurna Base Camp (amphitheater)
  • Beautiful landscapes, Natural Hot Spring, Waterfalls, River (Modi Khola), verdant pasturelands and meadows
  • Ethnic culture and lifestyle in Ghandruk village, Chhurmrung village, Dhampus village

2. Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trekking
Source: “Ghyaru Village, Annapurna Circuit Trek, Nepal” by Simon Desmarais

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one the most popular and awe-inspiring treks in Nepal. This trail is considered as one the best and classic trek in the world. The trek is a complete circuit of the Annapurna range varying from sub-tropical lower Marshyangdi Valley to northern arid semi-desert Tibetan Plateau. Hence, it is also called Annapurna Round Trek and covers Lamjung. Manang, Mustang, Myagdi and Kaski districts.

The region falls in beautiful cross-section of Nepal with a glorious mountain backdrop and beautiful rhododendron forests. The trails heads north to the Himalayas following Marshyangdi valley on easy trails and suspension bridges, gain altitude crossing snow-covered Thorung La Pass at 5,416 meters, Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage Muktinath and following Kali Gandaki River and ends in Pokhara.

Trekkers in Annapurna Circuit will experience and explore natural diversity as well as local ethnic culture and lifestyle. When walking through the wonderful valley of Kali Gandaki river, trekkers will enjoy the majestic view of the entire Dhaulagiri region and Trans-Himalayan landscape including Annapurnas II, III and IV. One cannot overlook the picturesque landscape that the region offers.

The trail allows a gentler acclimatization process as it navigates the variety of landscapes from jungle to high alpine, lush valley and up to arid peaks passing through welcoming villages through the world’s deepest gorge. Hence, many trekkers go for this trek before heading over to Everest Base Camp.

Trek Facts:

  • Duration: 15-21 days
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,416m (Thorang La Pass)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP, TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • One of the highest trekking passes of Nepal, Thorang La Pass at 5,416m
  • Spectacular view of mountains above 7,000+m of Annapurna sierra
  • Hindu and Buddhist culture and lifestyle
  • Diverse terrain with Subtropical to arid desert climate

3. Annapurna Dhaulagiri Panorama Trek

Annapurna Dhaulagiri Community Trek
Source: “Whitby Lucky Duck posing by Dhaulagiri” by Andrew and Annemarie

Like other treks in Annapurna region, this Annapurna Dhaulagiri Panorama Trek is also popular. The trail is newer than other trails but offers unparalleled views of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. It follows well-stridden teahouse trek to Ghorepani and Poon Hill, before heading down north to the densely forested valley and then up a ridge called Khopra Danda at Alpine Heights, one of the best vantage points in the Himalaya.

Trekkers can observe the incredible sights of stunning Dhaulagiri plummeting to the misty depths of Kali Gandaki River, the deepest gorge in the world. The trail descends through open alpine pastures and pristine forests. Since the trail is fairly new, you will pass through rural stone villages amidst terraced fields nonetheless untouched with modern tourism.

As you pass through the settlements, you will get an introduction to the way of life and culture of people living in those regions. The hospitable nature and warm smile of locals will make your day. The trek along the pristine forest with the overwhelming lush nature in the background of wild and picturesque mountains will amaze you.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 7-14 days
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Best Season: January-May and September-December
  • Max. Elevation: 3,210m
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP, TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • Panoramic views of mountains of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges
  • Majestic view of Dhaulagiri, from base to summit, plummeting to the deepest gorge in the world
  • Rural stone villages, alpine pastures, waterfalls and culture

4. Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

 

Round Dhaulagiri Trekking
Source: Donald Macauley

This challenging trek trails around the world’s seventh highest mountain, Dhaulagiri, soaring in solitary grandeur. The valleys and villages surrounding the trekking trail are well preserved and unaffected as Dhaulagiri is rarely visited. The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is an off-the-beaten-path adventure posing challenges and adventure for the trekkers.

The Dhaulagiri trek trails through the pristine valley of Myagdi, green lush hillsides, pasture lands, serene gorges, traditional villages, stunning glaciers and high snowy passes. Trekkers will have the exquisite sights of Dhaulagiri from an abyss over the Kali Gandaki valley. Along with the majestic mountainscapes, the trail follows Myagdi Khola through fascinating ethnic villages and terraced fields, crossing French Pass (5,240m) and Dhampus Pass (5,155m).

The Trans-Himalayan journey is peaceful, serene and full of adventure and thrill. Trekking in this region is relatively strenuous as the trail goes through ice and snow. Prior mountaineering experience and trekking gears like ice axes, ropes, and crampons are recommended. The trail from base camp to the ridge is steep and strenuously long till the passes are crossed. Though remote and has certain requirements, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is cherished trekking trail.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 18-22 days
  • Difficulty level: Tough/Very Tough
  • Best Season: April-May and September-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,360m (French Pass)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek/Camping Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP

Major Attractions:

  • Amazing close-up views of more than 15 mountains above 7000m
  • High Mountain passes; French pass and Dhampus pass
  • Hidden valleys and remote ethnic villages, culture, and lifestyle of the inhabitants

5. Everest Base Camp Trek

 

EBC trek
Source: “Everest trek – 429” by Rick McCharles

Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal that offers an exclusive trekking experience. This trek is famous for spectacular mountain views climaxing at Everest Base Camp at 5,360 meters with the majestic view of the tallest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. You will be walking into the grandest Himalayas in this trek.

In this trek, you will get the opportunity to sightsee Sagarmatha National Park that is listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites exploring varieties of flora and faunas of the region. Accompanied by the great Himalayan panorama, you will pass through beautiful Everest High Passes, thunderous Dudhkoshi River, gorgeous valleys and highest Buddhist Monasteries.

Besides the magical nature, trekkers will have the opportunities to explore and experience the ethnic Sherpa culture, unique indigenous people of the mountainous region. This trek is more than just walking; it is to follow the glorious historical trail first initiated by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Everest Base Camp Trek falls on the prestigious list of Top Ten outdoor activities in the world.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 12-16 days
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,550 m (Kala Patthar)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • The view of the highest mountain, Mount Everest from its base
  • Famous vantage point at Kala Patthar for awe-inspiring views of majestic peaks
  • Tengboche Monastery
  • Rich Sherpa Villages, Culture, and hospitality

6. Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

 

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Source: “Sunrise over Annapurna South viewed from Poon Hill” by Gweltaz

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is famous trek that combines outstanding mountain scenes and the experience of ethnic village lifestyle. The trek offers the picturesque view of great Himalayan peaks like Mount Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Annapurna (8,091m), Machhapuchhre (6,998m), Nilgiri (7,041m) and more. The view of the sunrise over the Himalayan massif from Poon Hill, a hill station at an altitude of 3,210m is just breathtaking.

The trail passes through beautiful rhododendron forests, dense subtropical forests, and refreshing waterfalls while offering the pleasant panorama of the Himalayas. The trekkers will come across the world deepest gorge between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri made by Kali Gandaki River. The stunning mountains, prolific landscapes, and heavenly sunrises and sunsets are just bewitching.

Apart from the scenic mountains and beautiful landscapes, this trek comprises of amazing ethnic villages and inhabitants, their lifestyle, culture, and tradition. The monasteries, gumbas, chaityas and colorful prayer flags over them are just serene and beautiful. The Ghorepani Poon Hill trek is perfect for anyone who wants to explore the beautiful natural and cultural features of Annapurna region.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 7-11 days
  • Difficulty level: Easy/Moderate
  • Best Season: February-May and September-December
  • Max. Elevation: 3,210m (Poon Hill)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP, TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • Stunning views of Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Himchuli
  • Sunrises and sunsets over the Himalayas from Poon Hill
  • Cultural Trek in Ghandruk village

7. Gokyo Trek

 

Gokyo Lakes Trek
Source: “Gokyo, Nepal” by Rick McCharles

Gokyo valley is the largest glacier, located in the eastern part of snow-capped Everest region, offering the paramount sight of 13 snow-covered peaks with breathtaking sunrise over them. The Gokyo valley trekking is one of the most spectacular mountainous trekking routes of Nepal. The route is considered as the best alternative trekking route for the classical Everest Base Camp Trek.

The exhilarating and adventurous Gokyo Valley trek offers an unobstructed view of Mount Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Pumori, Makalu and the prime glacier of Nepal, Ngozumpa Glacier. The trail passes through the Gokyo Ri, one of the most famous and highest settlements in the world, offering the trekkers the beautiful view of Gokyo Lake, the alpine valleys, and glacial moraines. Also, the Gokyo Valley is the primary source of Dudh Koshi River.

Trekkers in this trail will not only enjoy the scenic mountains but also the striking landscapes, rich biodiversity, vibrant monasteries and Sherpa culture and lifestyle. The Gokyo Valley is the most attractive region in Khumbu with glamorous side ravines, turquoise lakes, glacier and an arc of mountains. This is the ultimate trek for those looking for exclusive adventure and picturesque opulence.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 12-15 days
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Best Season: March-May and September-December
  • Max. Elevation: 5,357 m (Gokyo Ri)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • 5 Emerald lakes together in the shadow of majestic mountains
  • Gokyo Ri – a peak and best vantage point
  • Wonderful ice ridge between Cho Oyu and Gyachung in Khumbu region
  • Ngozumpa glacier

8. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trekking
Source: “(2012-10)-Népal(trek Kanchenjunga)” by abagus2

The second highest mountain of Nepal and third highest in the world, Kanchenjunga (8,586m) stands on the border of Nepal and Sikkim, an Indian state. The Kanchenjunga region was opened for trekking in 1988 and best to visit both northern and southern sides of the mountain from Nepal side. The Kanchenjunga trek follows the incredible trail deep into remote mountain ranges surrounding Mount Kanchenjunga and passes through fantastic landscapes.

The adventurous trail takes you to the far-off parts of Eastern Himalayan region and offers pristine nature and a classic Himalayan vista. Trekkers will walk through varied terrains from terraced hills, lush temperate and sub-tropical forests, and fantastic meadows to high alpines. Since the mountain is made of five high peaks, Kanchenjunga is also called Five Treasures of Snow.

Not many people go on this trek but those who do are rewarded with exclusive natural and cultural beauty. In this trek, two high passes are crossed, Lapsang La pass and Selele pass. The enchanting Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, spreading in an area of 2,035 sq.km. holds a rich diversity of wildlife. The trekkers will experience the unique and rich culture of ethnic Rai, Limbu, and Sherpa communities. This long trekking trail to the Kanchenjunga Base Camp takes you deep into mountainous ecstasy and considered one of the best walk one can ever have.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 20-31 days
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,160 m (Lapsang Pass)
  • Type: Camping Trek
  • Required Permits: KCA, RAP

Major Attractions:

  • Kanchenjunga Base Camp and Kanchenjunga Conservation Area
  • Lapsang La Pass at 5,160 meters
  • Trail in secluded mountain ranges
  • Exotic vista of massif peaks; Mt. Everest (8,848m), Mt. Kanchenjunga (8,586m), Mt. Makalu (8,201m) and Mt. Lhotse (8,516m)

9. Langtang Valley Trek

 

Langtang Valley Trek
Source: “Upper Langtang Valley” by Scott Mattoon

The Langtang Valley Trek is relatively shorter and lower-altitude trek that stretches from a valley to a basin at the foot of Langtang Ri (7,205m), close to Tibetan border. Though the trek is short, the trail offers a great vantage point of Langtang Ri, Annapurnas, and Makalu, beautiful landscapes with diverse vegetation and rich cultural journey.

It is easily accessible from Kathmandu and is popular for the beautiful valley, glaciers, waterfalls, wildlife, and villages of ethnic Tamang inhabitants. It is easy classical hiking trail of Langtang National Park and is popular for exotic views and rich flora and fauna. Trekkers will sight the splendid mountains; Langtang Lirung, Mt. Ganesh, Mt. Lamjung, Naya-Khanga, Langtang-Ri, Langshisa and more in Langtang Himalayan range.

The trail incorporates holy and tranquil Gosaikunda Lake, Bhotekoshi and Langtang rivers, massive glaciers and sere Kyanjin Gompa. The beautiful Langtang valley is also known as ‘The Valley of Glaciers’ with azure and cyan glaciers. The climatic zones of the valley range from subtropical to alpine. The Langtang Valley Trek is an amazing journey with remarkable exposure to astonishing landscapes, rich Tamang culture, vegetation and wildlife of the region.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 10-21 days
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 4,984m (Tserko Ri)
  • Type: Teahouse/Camping Trek
  • Required Permits: TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • Ascending Tserko Peak at an altitude of 4,984m
  • The exotic view of snow-capped mountains of Langtang Himalayan range
  • Langtang National Park and Gosaikunda Lake
  • Tibetan influenced people and culture, Gompa and monasteries

10. Makalu Base Camp Trek

 

Makalu Base Camp Trekking
Source: “Looking towards Makalu and Island Peak” by Steve Hicks

Mount Makalu (8,465m) is the fifth highest mountain in the world, standing close to Mount Everest and lying in the eastern region of Nepal. The Makalu Base Camp is situated at an altitude of 5,150 meters and the picturesque beauty of the region keeps the trekkers tireless in an adventurous journey through the trail. The trail passes through dense forests and centered on Arun River Valley taking the trekkers to the most remote parts of Nepal.

The trek passes through the rugged and uninhabited terrain of Makalu-Barun National Park, which was established in 1992 as eighth national park of Nepal. The national park is home to more than 3000 species of flowering plants, 440 species of birds and 75 species of mammals including some endangered animals. The trekkers will find themselves at the foot of Mt. Makalu along with the grandeur of Mount Everest (8,848m), Mount Lhotse (8,516m), Barunste (7,220m) and Chamlang (7,319m).

The elevation during the trek varies from 4,200m, Arun river valley to 8,463m, Makalu. The trail passes via four high passes; Khongma-La (3,603m), Keke-La (4,127m), Shipton-La (4,170m) and Tutu-La (4,080m). The trek is difficult yet adventurous offering a true wilderness experience. The trekking is highly arduous, the natural beauty and adventure make it an outstanding unbeaten trek.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 19-23 days
  • Difficulty level: Tough
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,200 (Makalu Base Camp)
  • Type: Camping Trek
  • Required Permits: TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • Magnificent view of Mount Makalu and other mountains
  • Vantage point at Shersong ridge, 5,250m
  • Makalu-Barun National Park with exotic flora and fauna
  • Adventurous trekking with pristine trails and ethnic culture

11. Manaslu Circuit Trek

 

Manaslu Circuit Trekking
Source: “Yak” by Petr Meissner

The trail circles Mount Manaslu (8,156m), the eighth highest mountain in the world and reaches Larkya Pass that offers unobstructed views of Manaslu. The trail was officially opened for tourists in 1991. It was camping trek before it became teahouse trek since 2010. This is one of the best treks and also becoming popular as ‘New Annapurna Circuit’.

The trail goes through dramatic valleys, wild waterfalls and lush forests following the ancient salt-trading route with the stunning beauty of remote Manaslu mountain range. The trekkers will experience awe-inspiring high mountain pass crossing over a glacial landscape. The trail is part of The Great Himalayan Trail and considered off-the-beaten-path.

Manaslu Circuit Trek is incorporated within the Manaslu Conservation Area, which allows you to encounter lush vegetations and eccentric flora and fauna of the region. You will ascend from sub-tropical jungles to alpine woodlands. The trekkers will experience the rich blend of Tibetan and Nepalese culture through the trail. The monasteries, aesthetics and surreal mountain vistas make this adventurous journey a fabulous experience.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 15-22 days
  • Difficulty level: Tough
  • Best Season: March-May and September-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,213m (Larkya-La Pass)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP, MCAP, RAP

Major Attractions:

  • Magnificent views of Mt. Makalu along with Sringi Himal, Himlung, Cheo Peak, Gyagi Kung, Kang Koru,
  • Annapurna II and more
  • Ivory and azure glacial landscape from Larkya-La Pass
  • Manaslu Base Camp and Manaslu Conservation Area
  • Local inhabitants, Nuri; their fascinating culture and lifestyle

12. Rara Lake Trek

 

Trekking to the largest lake in Nepal: Rara Lake
Source: Rara – calm, clear, magnificent” by Sangarsha

The Rara Lake is situated in the remote area of Karnali zone in Mugu district. The trek leads to Rara Lake, biggest lake of Nepal in Rara National Park, the smallest national park of Nepal. It is one of the best trekking destinations in the western region of Nepal. The trail is known as ‘off-the-beaten-path’ and provides exotic sceneries and culture.

The trail passes through long ridges covered with temperate forest, alpine meadowlands, and high valleys. The exotic flora and fauna in Rara National Park are the bonus of the trek; more than 500 varieties of beautiful flowers and herbs, 214 species of birds and 20 different species of mammals. Along with the long mountainous trail, the scenic villages, local inhabitants, their culture, and lifestyle offer trekkers wonderful experiences.

Rara Lake is situated at an altitude of 2,990m, mirroring the surrounding mountains. Trekkers can get magnificent views of the pristine deep blue lake from Chuchemara Danda at an altitude of 4,089m. Since the region is remote, it is less traveled giving the trekkers tranquility and peace while strolling around. The Rara Lake Trek is one of the wilderness treks of Nepal that offers scenic sights of snowcapped mountains, hidden valleys, ancient villages and culture of ethnic people.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 10-17 days
  • Difficulty level: Moderate, Strenuous
  • Best Season: March-May and September-November
  • Max. Elevation: 4,039m (Chuchemara Pass)
  • Type: Camping Trek
  • Required Permits: TIMS, Rara Lake Trekking Permit

Major Attractions:

  • Majestic view of Dolpo Himalayan range
  • Wilderness and Solitude travel
  • Biggest and pristine lake of Nepal, Rara Lake
  • Rara National Park with exotic flora and fauna

13. Three Passes Trek

 

Three Passes Trek to Everest Base Camp
Source: “The point of 5550 – Kalapatthar -” by The Children of The Earth

The Everest High Passes Trek, commonly known as Three Passes trek is one of the most challenging and adventurous treks in the Everest region. The trail crosses three highest and most famous passes in the world; Renjo-La (5,446m), Cho-La (5,420m) and Kongma-La (5,535m) and spectacular valleys; Gokyo valley, Khumbu valley, and Gokyo Ri valley. The trek offers the enduring experience of natural beauty, geological splendor, and profound cultural discovery.

The trek follows the classic route to the Sagarmatha National Park passing through breath-taking landscapes and roaring Dudh Koshi River. Kalapatthar (5,545m) is the best vantage point to the magnificent view Mount Everest and sunrise. The trail offers the striking views of mountains like Nuptse, Baruntse, Ama Dablam, Makalu and Khumbu icefall near Everest Base Camp.

Trekkers in this trail will observe the unique nature and culture of Everest region as they walk through awe-inspiring remote landscapes and vibrant villages with stunning views of mountain massif. The Three Passes Trek is a long and challenging trek, however, rewarding its trekkers with pristine nature, picturesque mountain vistas and fascinating culture and lifestyle of mountainous people.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 18-22 days
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous, Tough
  • Best Season: March-May and September-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,545m (Kalapatthar)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: TIMS

Major Attractions:

  • Majestic view of Mount Everest and other surrounding mountains
  • The adventurous crossing of 3 passes
  • Everest Base Camp, Kalapatthar, and Gokyo Lake
  • Khumbu valley, Khumbu Icefall & Khumbu Glacier

14. Upper Mustang Trek

 

Upper Mustang Trek: Hiking to the Last Forbidden Kingdom in Nepal
Source: “The door to the Upper Mustang from Kagbeni” by François Bianco

Mustang is an ancient former Himalayan Kingdom in the north-central part of Nepal. Located beyond the great Himalayas, it was regarded as the forbidden kingdom of Nepal. This culturally and geopolitically sensitive area wasn’t open for trekking until 1992. A restricted permit is required there is trekking quota system in order to protect the authenticity of the region. The Upper Mustang Trek takes you away from rest of the world and to the centuries-old lifestyle.

The Upper Mustang Trek is also known as Royal Mustang trek. Trekkers will travel through the almost treeless barren landscape and steep rocky hill trails with the mind-blowing panoramic views of the Himalayas. The trek follows the old salt caravan route. Trekkers will pass through the deep gorge of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri, famous pilgrim, Muktinath, ancient and secluded villages with whitewashed houses and centuries-old monasteries. The languages, culture, and traditions are similar to that of Tibetans.

The town of Lo Manthang, which is considered as the capital of Upper Mustang region is enclosed by a giant wall, is mystical and fascinating. One can explore Namgyal Gompa, the village of Tenger, Nyamook Gompa and cave villages of Guruk and Sija. The local inhabitants of the region are Lobas and they follow Buddhism, regarding themselves as descendants to Tibet. The Upper Mustang trek is for those who want to get away from modern day civilization and explore the fascinating and mystical landscape and rich Tibetan culture.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 14-21 days
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous, Tough
  • Best Season: March-December
  • Max. Elevation: 3,840m (Lo Manthang)
  • Type: Teahouse Trek
  • Required Permits: ACAP, RAP

Major Attractions:

  • Town of Lo Manthang, capital of Mustang region
  • Tiji Festival, 3 days long ceremony in Lo Manthang
  • Hidden caves and artistic monasteries, Tibetan culture
  • Unique landscapes and grandiose views of Himalayas

15. Upper Dolpo Trek

 

Upper Dolpo Trek route: Wild West Trekking in Nepal
Source: “tourist trekking along the yak trail in Upper Dolpo” by Great Himalaya Trails

The Upper Dolpo trek is the adventurous trek to the remote and undeveloped region of Karnali region in the North Western part of Nepal. The region was opened for trekking in 1992 for the organized group with the special permit. The trek leads you to Shey Gompa, established in the eleventh century and is the spiritual core of the Upper Dolpo region. This region is firmly tied with Tibet in terms of culture and economy.

The trek trails through the mystical land of centuries-old Bon-Po religion and Buddhist tradition with Shamanistic influences. The biggest national park of Nepal, Shey Phoksundo National Park is one of the main attractions of the trekking, which offers diverse flora and fauna including Yarshagumba. The trail is accompanied by the scenic views of mountains like Mount Dhaulagiri, Sisne, Api, Kanjirowa, Saipal, and more. Three high passes; Nagdalo La (5,350m), Shey La (5,000m) and Jeng La (5,110m) are crossed in the trail with long ascends and descends.

Trekkers will traverse through the dense subtropical forest to desert-like land in the upper area, lake, river valleys, rhododendron forests, unique villages, and monasteries. They will have an exposure to high and isolated Himalayan valleys resembling Tibetan highlands and river basins with their small and large cascades. This trek offers you the experience of the wilderness of the nature and pristine culture of bucolic life.

Trek facts:

  • Duration: 20-27 days
  • Difficulty level: Moderate, Strenuous
  • Best Season: March-May and October-November
  • Max. Elevation: 5,350m (Kang La Pass)
  • Type: Camping Trek
  • Required Permits: RAP

Major Attractions:

  • Mystique hidden lands of Inner Dolpo
  • Shey Gompa, Phoksundo Lake, and Shey Phoksundo National Park
  • Three High Passes spectacular Himalayan vista
  • Fascinating culture and lifestyle of Dolpo’s inhabitants

Trekking Permit

The Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal (TAAN) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) started issuing TIMS (Trekking Information Management System) to visit normal trekking areas from January 1, 2008. Foreign trekkers are required to receive TIMS documents through any of the registered trekking agencies prior to their departure fro the trekking areas.

As per the Nepal Government’s decision, trekkers need to get TIMS before visiting the Rara National Park, Khaptad National Park, Dhaulagiri Region, Annapurna Region, Langtang National Park, Makalu Barun National Park, Sagarmatha National Park and Rolwaling Area.

A trekking permit is a must to travel to controlled areas mentioned below. Trekking groups will be issued the permit but solo trekkers will not be issued trekking permit.

The areas and required fees are as follows:

S.No.Trekking AreaPermit Fee
1.DOLPA DISTRICT
a. Areas of Upper DolpaFor the first 10 days US$ 500 per person and after 10 days US$ 50 per day person or equivalent foreign currency
b. Areas of Lower DolpoPer week per person US$ 10 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
2.MUSTANG DISTRICT
Areas of Upper MustangFor the first 10 days US$ 500 per person and after 10 days US$ 50 per day per person, or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
3.GORKHA DISTRICT
a. Manaslu RegionFrom September to November US$ 70 per week per person and after 7 days US$ 10 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency. From December to August US$ 50 per week per person and after 7 days US$ 7 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
b. Areas of Chhekampar and Chunchet VDC (Sirdibas-Lokpa-Chumling-Chhekampar -Nile-Chhule Area)From September to November, per person US$ 35 for first 8 days and from December to August per person US$ 25 for first 8 days or equivalent convertible foreign currency
4.MUGU DISTRICT
Areas of Mugu, Dolpu, Pulu and BhangriFor the first 7 days US$90 per person and after 7 days US$ 15 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
5.MANANG DISTRICT
Areas of Nar and PhuFrom September to November, US$ 90 per week per person and December to August US$ 75 per week per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
6.DOLAKHA DISTRICT
Gaurishankar and LamabagarPer week per person US$ 10 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
7.RASUWA DISTRICT
Thuman and TimurePer week per person US$ 10 Or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
8.HUMLA DISTRICT
Simikot and Yari (Areas of Limi and Muchu village Development Committee, and area way to Tibet via Tangekhola of Darma Village Development committee)For the first 7 days US$ 50 per person and after 7 days US$7 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
9. SANKHUWASABHA DISTRICT
Areas of Kimathanka, Chepuwa,Hatiya and Pawakhola VDCs)For the first four weeks, US$ 10 per person per week and After four weeks, US$20 per person per week or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
10.TAPLEJUNG DISTRICT
Kanchanjanga Region (Areas of Olangchung Gola, Lelep, Papung and Yamphudin VDCs)Per week per person US$ 10 or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
11.BAJHANG DISTRICT
Areas of Kanda, Saipal and DhuliFor the first 7 days, US$ 90 per person and After seven days US$ 15 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.
12.DARCHULA DISTRICT
Areas of Byas VDCFor the first 7 days, US$ 90 per person and after 7 days US$ 15 per day per person or equivalent convertible foreign currency.

Note:

  1. To get a group trekking permit an application form with other relevant documents should be submitted through any registered trekking agency of Nepal. Note:
  2. Trekking fee can be paid in Nepalese currency: Notwithstanding anything written in above, the Indian citizen can pay in Nepalese currency equivalent to US Dollars.

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