Best Treks in Nepal

Best Treks in Nepal

The terrain of the Nepalese Himalayas offers a number of stunning trekking routes. It is rather unfair to name just one trek in Nepal as the best. In fact, the perception of “the best” is actually  very subjective and depends on person to person.

The best treks in Nepal for the one can be found by looking at the one’s preferences over the features offered by the trekking.

The best trek for one can depend on his/her choice of difficulty, number of days for trekking, budget and trek style, etc. Here we have listed down the ten best treks in Nepal  based on popularity, scenery, culture, and price.

Everest Base Camp Trek

Reaching the summit of the world ‘s highest Mountain, Mount Everest may be the pinnacle of all the adventures, but reaching the base camp of Mount Everest is also considered the adventure of the highest sorts.

Everest Base Camp Trekking
Everest Base Camp Trekking

Experience the glory of walking on the trail traversed by legendary mountaineers as  you pass through beautiful Everest High Passes, roaring Dudhkoshi River, renowned Namche bazaar, serene Imjatse valley and several Buddhist Monasteries on the trail accompanied by the beautiful Himalayan vista.

The Everest Base camp trek is the best option for the one looking to explore the Sherpa villages and to relish the spectacular close up views of the world highest mountains. This is one of the best treks in Nepal and offers an exclusive trekking experience.

Trip Facts of Everest Base Camp Trek

Max Elevation   Kala Patthar (5,600 m)
No of days   Moderate
Trekiing Grade   Medium
Remoteness   Not Remote  (High number of trekkers per year)
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Tea House / Camping / Some routes have comfortable Lodge
Restricted Permits   No
Required Permits   TIMS/Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

There are few treks that combine so many different landscapes and bring you so close to the base of 7,000 and 8,000 meter peaks in a such a short period of time as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek.

The Annapurna Base Camp trek is one of the most popular treks in the Annapurna region. The trail goes alongside terraced rice paddies, lush rhododendron forests and high altitude landscapes with the Annapurna Range in view most of the times.

The setting of Annapurna Base Camp at 4130 m is unique and incredibly spectacular, set amidst the majestic peaks of Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna South (7219 m), Machapuchhre (6993 m) and Hiunchuli (6441 m).

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes 7 to 12 days, depending on your itinerary and length of walking days. The itinerary presented here takes 12 days, starting from Nayapul (a 1 1/2 hour drive from Pokhara) and going north up to Ghorepani and the famous viewpoint at Poon Hill. From Ghorepani you go eastward to Chomrong and then north again entering the Modi Kola Valley which leads up to the Base Camp.

Many people trek the circuit Nayapul-Ghorepani-Ghandruk-Nayapul, which is very rewarding in itself. This trek can easily be done with children as well.

You can return via Jhinu Danda and give your tired muscles a well deserved rest in the delightful hot springs. Upon your return it is worthwhile visiting one of the Gurung villages of Ghandruk or Landruk.

The lodges in the Annapurna Trekking Region are well equipped with extensive menus ranging from the typical Nepali dahl bath (rice with lentils) to pizza and chau  mein. Hot showers are readily available as well. If you are planning to trek in the winter months please check with a travel agency to confirm which lodges are open.

The Annapurna trekking region is easily accessible with different trailheads starting just an hour or two away from Pokhara.

Between Himalayan Hotel and Machapucchre Base Camp there is a risk of avalanches so make sure you have the latest information on trail conditions before setting off or hire a knowledgeable guide.

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek can easily be done independently. It is possible to do this trek in all seasons, however, in the winter the Base Camp can sometimes be closed due to the snow level. In spring time the huge rhododendron forests are in full bloom which gives the trek an extra appeal.

Trip facts of Annapurna Base Camp

Max Elevation   Annapurna Base Camp (4,320 m)
No of days   9-12
Trekiing Grade Medium
Remoteness Not Remote  (High number of trekkers per year)
Best Season January, February, March, April, May, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec
Accommodation Tea House / Camping / Some routes have comfortable Lodge
Restricted Permits No
Required Permits TIMS/ACAP

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most famous trekking routes in Nepal. The trail traverses a variety of terrain and explore the rich cultural and natural diversity of the Annapurna region. The trek offers an amazing view  of the Annapurnas, Macchupucchre, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang Himal.

Despite the controversy over continuing road construction, Annapurna Circuit Trek  is still one of Nepal’s greatest treks. The trek offers ample of cultural and natural beauty to awe-inspire any visitors in the region.

The trail allows a gentler acclimatization process as it traverses the variety of landscapes from jungle to high alpine, lush valley and up to arid peaks passing through hospitable villages through the world’s deepest gorge.

Trip Facts pf Annapurna Circuit Trek

Max Elevation   Thorong La Pass (5,416 m)
No of days   12-18
Trekiing Grade   Moderate
Remoteness   Not Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Tea House / Camping
Restricted Permits   No
Required Permits   TIMS/ACAP

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

One of the most popular short treks in Nepal, this trek gives you access to one of Nepal’s classic view points in Poon Hill, before passing through the heritage village of Ghandruk.

The Ghorepani Trek (also known as the “Ghorepani / Poon Hill” trek) is one of Nepal’s most classic short treks. In a short amount of time, you pass through beautiful local villages, rhododendron forest, and, of course, get access to panoramic views of Nepal’s most famous peaks from Poon Hill – Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna I and Annapurna South.

Trip Fact of Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Max Elevation   Poonhill (3,210 m)
No of days   3-5
Trekiing Grade   Easy to Moderate
Remoteness   Not Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Tea House
Restricted Permits   No
Required Permits   TIMS/ACAP

Upper Mustang

The Upper Mustang trek brings you into the hidden world of the old Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, also called Lo. Lo used to be part of the Tibetan empire and is therefore closely tied to Tibet in culture, language and geography. The regions isolation from the outside world has contributed to a highly preserved Tibetan culture and unspoiled nature. Mustang lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri massif creating a ruggedly arid land surrounded by rocks in all kind of colors and impressive formations. This barren landscape is dotted with settlements of white washed houses, barley fields and chortens festooned with prayer flags which add a splash of color to the landscape. The trail follows the ancient salt caravan route through which the people of Mustang traded Tibetan salt for grain from the lowlands.

The goal of the Upper Mustang trek is the capital of Upper Mustang, Lo Manthang. From the pass Lo La (3950 m) you can see the walled medieval capital in the distance, the white-washed 6-meter tall wall sticking out in sharp contrast to the barren landscape. Entering Lo Manthang through the town gate is like stepping into a different world. A world of narrow alley ways, hidden chortens, long walls of beautiful prayer wheels and herds of farming animals sauntering in from the fields in the afternoon to adjourn to their sheds inside the city. Points of interest in Lo Manthang are the royal palace, a few beautiful monasteries like the Thugchen Gompa built in the 15th century. Or visit the amchi museum and amchi school. An amchi is a traditional Tibetan doctor. There are 2 amchis living in Lo Mangtang, which are also the official doctors of the king. They founded a school to preserve this ancient wisdom. For an excursion outside the city you can hire Tibetan ponies for a ride to Chhoser where you can visit a small monastery and a century old cave dwelling situated high in the rocks. The most convenient way to get to Upper Mustang is to fly from Pokhara to Jomsom and start the trek from there. The flight is an adventure in itself flying through the deepest gorge in the world, the Kali Gandaki, which runs between the Dhaulagiri and the Nilgiri mountains.

You follow the famous Kali Gandaki River upstream, partly walking in the river bed itself, to Kagbeni. From Kagbeni the restricted area of Upper Mustang starts. However, it is worthwhile to pay a visit to the famous pilgrim destination of Muktinath before heading north into Upper Mustang. From Kagbeni the trek goes norhtwards and leads to Lo Manthang in 4 to 5 days. You cross pass after pass, which are all between 3,500 and 4,000 m. You can return partly by a different way via Dhakmar, crossing 2 passes of around 4,200 m. Close to Dhakmar you can find the oldest Tibetan monastery in the world, the Lo Gekar Monastery. Lo Gekar Monastery was built in the 8th century by the famous Tibetan magician Guru Rinpoche. It is said that he killed a powerful demon and the blood of the demon has painted the rocks around Dhakmar bright red. Upper Mustang is a restricted area and up till 1992 it was forbidden for foreign visitors to enter the kingdom.

Nowadays foreigners are welcome to Upper Mustang for a permit fee of US$ 500 (to be arranged through a trekking agency and valid for 10 days, each additional day costs US$ 50). These days accommodation in guesthouses is possible along the whole trek. While staying there you are welcome to sit with the owners in the kitchen. In Tibetan culture the kitchen is the center of the house and built like a kind of living room. So there is no better way to learn a bit about the daily life than spending time in the kitchen! Trekking in Mustang is a great option during the monsoon months (June-August) as the region is in the rain shadow. However, it is best to add a day or two on each side of your itinerary for travel interruptions due to bad weather in the lowlands. While November is still a nice time to trek in Mustang keep in mind that seasonal migration takes place at this time and many residents from Lo Manthang and surrounding areas will move down to lower altitudes for the winter months. This may cause an inconvenience in restaurants and accommodation availability.

Restrictions:

A minimum of two trekkers accompanied by a Nepali guide or Porter is required for a permit to trek the Upper Mustang, so make sure you have a Trekking Partner or a trekking agency for the trek.

Trip facts of Upper Mustang

Max Elevation   Dhakmar (3,810 m)
No of days   14
Trekiing Grade   Moderate to Hard
Remoteness   Remote
Best Season   March, April, May, June, July, August, September, Oct & Nov
Accommodation   Tea House /Lodge/Camping
Restricted Permits   Yes
Required Permits   TIMS/ACAP/ RAP

Langtang Valley Trek

Trekking in the spectacular Langtang Valley is the closest approach to get to the massive snow capped mountains from Kathmandu valley- Langtang trek

Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley is located only 19 miles north of Kathmandu, close to the border of Tibet. The valley is dominated by Langtang Lirung [7246m], the highest peak in the area. This is a superb introduction to trekking in Nepal among some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole country.

This Langtang trek towards the base of Langtang Himal, north of Kathmandu valley, offers the shortest approach to snowy mountains from Kathmandu. The Langtang trek starts from Syabru Besi after a 9 hrs drive from Kathmandu. Following a trail upstream Bhote Kosi river through ethnic Tamang villages, lush green forests and the wide spread Kyangin valley surrounded by snowy peaks from all fours sides, takes you up to Kyangin at 3800 meter, where you get an opportunity to ascend Kyangjin Ri [4350m.], from where the 360 degree mountain views are truly panoramic. After an ascent of Kyangjin Ri, we retrace our route back down the valley to Syabru Besi and then drive back to Kathmandu.

Due to gradual ascent along the river valley this Langtang trek is not considered strenuous, but yet, it remains challenging as it reaches an altitude of 3800 meter at Kyangjin. The Langtang trek can be done any time of the year except during monsoons [July & August].

Trip Fact of Langtang Valley Trek

Max Elevation   Tserko Ri (4,984 m)
No of days   7-10
Trekiing Grade   Moderate
Remoteness   Not Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Tea House
Restricted Permits   No
Required Permits   TIMS/Langtang National Park Fee

 Manaslu Circuit Trek

The Manaslu Circuit Trek is an extremely remarkable trek flaunting remarkable panoramas of the peaks on the Nepal-Tibet border. The trek goes around the stunning Mount Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, and reaches its highest at Larkya Pass which offers magnificent views of Manaslu.The trail traverses fabulous mountain panorama, Hindu and Tibetan-style villages, culturally fascinating vicinity of ancient Buddhist monasteries and irrefutably challenging Mountain Passes.

Manaslu Circuit trekking route is diverse, remote, secluded and enriched topography, offering a fabulous experience for the one looking to take an adventurous journey to explore the scenic beauty of the Himalayan region. No wonder the trail is considered to be one of the best treks in Nepal.

Restrictions:

A minimum of two trekkers accompanied by a Nepali guide or Porter is required for a permit to trek the Manaslu Circuit, so make sure you have a Trekking Partner or a trekking agency for the trek.

Trip Facts of Manaslu Trek

Max Elevation   Larkya Pass (5,115 m)
No of days   15
Trekiing Grade   Strenues
Remoteness   Not Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Tea House / Camping
Restricted Permits   Yes
Required Permits   ACAP, MCAP, RAP

Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek

Circling the Kathmandu Valley on the descent to the capital, you may well catch a sight of Everest. Cast your eyes yet further to the east, and on a clear day you will see the hazy outline of a hulking white massif, an entire range unto itself. That is Kanchenjunga.

In Tibetan, ‘Kanchenjunga’ means ‘the five treasure houses of snow’, which gives you some idea of what to expect should you visit this area. At 8586 m, massive Kanchenjunga is the world’s third highest mountain, and marks the eastern border of Nepal with the Indian state of Sikkim. The conservation area that surrounds it extends into protected areas in Sikkim and Tibet, and comprises a beautiful, unspoilt wilderness. This is Snow Leopard territory, but the reclusive predator shares the unbounded forests with the Himalayan Black Bear and the Assamese Macaque, among others. Cascading waterfalls, lush vegetation and thousands of species of plants await those who take the long trail to Kanchenjunga Base Camp, the main route which has been described as ‘untrekked’.

Unabashedly wild, Kanchenjunga is for the true adventurer within you. The east of Nepal is more developed than the west, but the remoteness of this terrain, its rugged trails, scattered human habitation, and monsoonal downpours make for a perfectly challenging beginning to the Great Himalaya Trail. Wending slowly up through Ghunsa for views of Kanchenjunga’s massive north face, you will reach base camp at Pangpema, then push on to Jhinsing La, the starting point of the Great Himalaya Trail.

Along the way, you will walk along paths used mostly by locals, as very few trekkers make their way to the wild east of Nepal. For those who do, the reward lies in more than just the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga and its companions. Like neighbouring Makalu Barun, the region endures the full force of the monsoon and is consequently bursting with life. Over 2000 different flowering plants have been recorded here, and you’ll see some of the richest rhododendron forests in Nepal. New species are still being discovered in the pristine forests!

The east of Nepal also provides a fascinating introduction to its cultural diversity. The villages tend to be more prosperous than elsewhere in Nepal, but the further you go the more isolated the communities. An easy way to make friends is to join the locals for a heart-warming drink of hot tongba, the fermented millet drink of the east.

If you ever wanted to test your mettle, wild Kanchenjunga is the place to begin. The rest will be history.

Restrictions:

A minimum of two trekkers accompanied by a Nepali guide or Porter is required for a permit to trek the Kanchanjunga Base Camp, so make sure you have a Trekking Partner or a trekking agency for the trek.

Trip Facts of Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek

Max Elevation   Lapsang Pass (5,160 m)
No of days   20
Trekiing Grade   Hard
Remoteness   Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Camping
Restricted Permits   Yes
Required Permits   KCA, RAP

Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek

Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is a beautiful journey to the enticing Gokyo lakes and Gokyo Ri which is one of the most amazing viewpoints for great views of Everest and other Himalayas. The 14-day trip begins in Kathmandu where we visit several heritage sites. The Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek is an alternative to classical treks in the Everest region. Instead, it takes us to the turquoise Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri which provides exceptional views of Everest and the Himalayas. We also get to marvel at the massive Ngozumpa Glacier and the Gokyo valley from Gokyo Ri.

Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri trek is for those who like to walk in the Everest region without the physical stress of reaching the base camp of Everest or crossing high passes in the vicinity. It is instead for travelers who wish to try something new in the Everest region.  However, for trekkers who want to reach the base camp of the world’s tallest mountain then Everest Base Camp Trek

Trip Facts of Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek

Max Elevation   Gokyo Ri (5,357 m)
No of days   12
Trekiing Grade   Moderate
Remoteness   Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Teahouse/Camping
Restricted Permits   No
Required Permits   TIMS/Sagarmatha National Park Entry Permit

Upper Dolpo Trek

Until recently, what little the outside world knew of Dolpa was gleaned from artistic and spiritual accounts from early visitors. Peter Matthiessen’s meditative book ‘The Snow Leopard’ and Eric Valli’s stunning movie ‘Himalaya (Caravan)’ only added to the allure of this unknown land. The region was only opened to foreigners in 1989, and receives a fraction of the visitors thronging other parts of Nepal. With more trekking agencies venturing into Inner Dolpo – allowing access beyond Phoksundo Lake to the 800-year-old Shey Gompa – a truly remarkable natural and cultural experience is there for the taking (even in the monsoon!). Look out for views of mighty Dhaulagiri (8167m), once thought to be the highest mountain in the world.

Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek

The greener, southern fringes of Dolpa, the largest district in Nepal, are distinctly Hindu. But venture north past the ring of high passes intoarid Inner Dolpo, and you will encounter not only Tibetan Buddhists, but also practitioners of the ancient Bön religion, extant in just two villages. The spirituality of Dolpa is visible everywhere – legend says Dolpa is a Beyul, one of the “hidden valleys” created by Guru Rinpoche as a refuge for those of exceptionally pure mind. Today, its northern reaches are settled by Rokpa farmers and Drokpa nomads from Tibet, who are cut off from the rest of Nepal by snow for most of the year. They live in some of the highest inhabited villages on Earth, nestling amongst mountains of stark, ascetic beauty.

In such barren terrain, the spectacle of Nepal’s deepest lake, Phoksundo, is almost beyond describing. Locals believe Phoksundo was formed when a spiteful demonness flooded a village for revealing her whereabouts to the saint Padmasambhava. The surreal sight of the lake, which hosts no aquatic life and appears to fluctuate between a turquoise and ultramarine hue – appears to substantiate the legend. If you follow in the footsteps of generations of nomads, look out for the remains of the ill-fated village below the lake’s surface.

Upper Dolpo is truly a hidden gem of Nepal with its Tibetan style villages, stunning barren landscapes, and picturesque mountain peaks. The region holds a centuries old culture untouched by the modern world. The trail requires crossing of the three high passes  Nagdalo La (5350m), Shey La (5000m) and Jeng La (5110m)involve long climbs and long descents. The trekking in this region is very challenging, but it is highly rewarded with the most stunning landscapes, spectacular mountain views and an insightful cultural exposure.

Restrictions:

A minimum of two trekkers accompanied by a Nepali guide or Porter is required for a permit to trek Upper Dolpo region, so make sure you have a Trekking Partner or a trekking agency for the trek.

Trip facts of Upper Dolpo Trek

Max Elevation   Kang La Pass (5,250 m)
No of days   22
Trekiing Grade   Moderate
Remoteness   Remote
Best Season   March to May and October to November.
Accommodation   Teahouse/Camping
Restricted Permits   Yes
Required Permits   RAP

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s