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Trekking In Nepal
So…the holiday season is coming up. And for most of us, it means going back home to be with our families. But, for others, it is a break from the monotony of our workplaces. No doubt you’re tired of working at your desks all day. So, why not stretch your legs a bit? The holiday season is also one of the best times to travel. The weather is shifting to that “just right” phase, and the season brings some excitement itself. Yes, staying home with drinks and delicious cuisines is one way of enjoying your holidays. But how would you like to make a campfire at the base of Mount Everest, or drink with your friends near a lake in the mountains? Ever wanted to feel like Bear Grylls without eating nasty insects? Well, gear up. We’ve got a list of the Best Places for Trekking in Nepal.
Most of the treks in Nepal take you to the mountainous regions of the country. And many of them are vastly unexplored. But these places are highly rewarding and thrilling. After all, Nepal is one of the best places for trekking. So, here are the Best Trekking Destinations of Nepal / best places for trekking in Nepal.
Best Trekking Destinations Of Nepal / Trekking In Nepal
1) Everest Base Camp (3 Passes)
If you’ve wanted to have an adventure at Mt. Everest, but climbing the world’s highest peak is not you, this is the next best thing you can have. It will definitely prove to be an adventure of a lifetime! This is challenging, as it’s also known to be the most difficult trek of Nepal. It is long, perilous and will take you to altitudes of over 5500 meters. The trail is difficult, but it rewards you well, with stunning views – which you won’t get enough of. You will be face to face with Mt. Everest, and it is here, that you can camp at the lap of the world’s highest peak.
The Everest Base Camp Trek route is the more popular one, but this one gives you better highlights of Solukhumbu, better acclimatization, and experience of the local life there. This route also contains some parts of the EBC Trek, but as already put, offers better views of the giant panoramic mountains as you tackle the trail through Kongma La, Renjo La, and Cho La. These are the Three Passes, of which the Kongma La will prove to be the most challenging.
With a remote and secluded circuit, you might truly feel like Bear Grylls! While the whole trail is super exciting, the highlight of the circuit is crossing the Himalaya’s widest glacier, Ngozumba glacier. The trail starts and ends at Namche Bazaar, so, you can start from either direction. However, this is quite a popular trek, so, it’s a bit crowded. March-May or October – November is the best time to be here. The trek can take 17 – 21 days.
2) Ghorepani Poonhill Trek
This is also one of the most popular treks of Nepal. And the reason is that it is relatively short and easy. But it still has some of the best viewpoints and stoppages. It is a 4-5 day trek in the Annapurna mountain range. The trek route takes you to one of the classic viewpoints from Poon Hill, from where you can catch glimpses of some of the tallest mountain peaks of Nepal. And not only that, it takes you along terraced farmlands of the Gurung villages. You will get your fill of snow-capped peaks, vast paddy fields, and blooming rhododendron forests.
Now, you’ll go up to a max elevation at some 3200 meters at Poon Hill. So, there are very fewer chances of altitude sickness or such. And also, since the trails are not very difficult, it’s a good route for beginners or first timers as well. In addition, you can find plenty of comfortable places to stay in the villages at night. The majestic sunrise from the Annapurna mountain range is the one thing not to miss.
The trek begins from Pokhara. You will have to get to Nayapul, from which the official trails begins and ends. The primary route takes you to Tikhedhunga and then to Ghorepani. From then on, its onward to Poon Hill, which is the viewpoint to catch the sunrise. Then, it’s back to Ghorepani and carry onwards to Ghandruk to Deurali and finally back to Pokhara. The best time to go is from March to May, or October to November.
To get information about short, medium routes for trekking in Nepal visit the article below:
3) Annapurna Base Camp
This is one of the mainstream treks of Nepal. And if you haven’t heard about this yet, you might be living in another world entirely. This place gets over 100000 trekkers per year! Known as one of the best treks, you get to explore the most dangerous mountain to climb, Mt. Annapurna in a relatively short duration! Also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, it takes you to the deep into the lap of the Annapurna mountain range. And the scenery you get to see is quite different from other treks.
The views are more vertical than expanding. You will mostly find yourself staring up at the heights of the mountains rather than the expansive landscapes. It’ll make you will feel like a tiny creature in this vast world, which, is the best kind of feeling you get upon reaching there. The route also combines some parts of the classic Annapurna Circuit Trek. And depending on the route you follow, you might also get to visit Ghandruk village, but that depends on your itinerary. You will get to a maximum altitude of some 4300 meters, which is the Annapurna Base Camp itself.
The trail is not very difficult, as it mostly consists of villages and settlements. It combines all kinds of landscapes – from villages to rough trails and mountain ranges. The official route starts from Nayapul and ends there as well. It can take anywhere from 10 – 12 days, but it depends. Like other places too, the best time to be here is either March-May or October – November. But October attracts a lot of crowds, so plan accordingly. A perfect blend of natural and cultural diversity, this trek rewards its walkers in many ways.
4) Upper Mustang Trek
Mustang is one of the most popular destinations to visit, but few people dare to trek to the place. This one features an entirely distinct landscape than others. It is a vast desert kingdom – a rocky and barren land. Brown and crumbling sandstone cliffs stare at you from all directions while you walk the trails. Also known as the desert of the Himalayas, the place combines beautiful village sceneries with snow-capped mountains peaks. Add its historical strong Tibetan influenced culture to that, and it easily becomes one very interesting trek.
Being very close to Tibetan regions, it was considered a sensitive geopolitical area. And so, this place only opened for trekking in 1992. And as it is mostly isolated from the rest of the country, due to its terrain and distance, it maintains its centuries old culture intact. But that’s exactly why this place is on this list. Not only you get to experience the windy and breathtaking desert-like stretches, but also get to see 16th-century Buddhist monasteries and caves carved on the cliff walls.
However, the catch is that you have to get a permit to trek in the area, which isn’t cheap. A 10-day trek permit costs some $500. Maybe that’s why it doesn’t draw many people here. However, your money will be well spent – on a journey filled with Tibetan history and culture, combined with tree-less barren but majestic landscape. Also, Lo Manthang, the capital of the Mustang kingdom, is a sight to see, and if you can catch the Tiji Festival, it will be a memory of a lifetime! The trek will take you anywhere between 10 – 14 days. However, due to its remoteness, you will need to be very fit to be a part of this journey.
5) Langtang Valley Trek
The Langtang Valley trek is one that packs quite a punch in a short amount of time. It used to be one of the most popular treks but was halted for some time after the 2015 earthquake. But now, the trek route is fully functional, and so, it is back on the list. Situated towards the North near Tibet, this trek has a blend of the diverse land, vegetation, and culture. Although it is relatively nearer to Kathmandu than other treks, this place will give you a genuine Tibetan highland experience.
It will take you through gorgeous forests, alpine meadows, and all the way to breath-taking glaciers even at low altitudes. You can get acquainted with the natural landscape as well as blend within the Tamang culture of the villages. Kyangjin Gompa, the Buddhist monastery at 3800 meters and the Tserko Ri peak at 4900 meters are the highlights of the trek. However, the trek to Kyangjin Ri peak is optional, and it adds an extra day. So, choose your itinerary accordingly.
The whole trek is full of rich Tibetan influenced culture, stunning views of mountain ranges and glaciers and beautiful sight of the valley itself. You start at Syabru Besi which is only 8 hours drive from Kathmandu and end in the same place. The trail isn’t very difficult either. You can indulge yourself here for about 7-10 days. There are also many variations of this trek available, like Langtang cultural trek, Lagntang valley special tour, etc. The best time to go would be the same as others, either March-May or October to November.
6) Gokyo Lakes Trek
You’ve probably never seen water like this! The Gokyo Trek is known for its alluring waters. With sparkling emerald green and turquoise blue lakes, the Gokyo valley falls among the most attractive regions of Nepal. You get to see the country’s biggest glacier, and an arc of the snow-capped panoramic mountains, after you pass through scenic forests and breath-stopping ridges.
This trek shares many parts with the Everest Base Camp trek as well. However, your destination is to the west of Everest, or the Khumbu region. This is a secluded place, so, it’s not crowded. You can truly enjoy the tranquility of nature in the remote valley. Climb the scenic ridges with small shrines on top, see the alpine valleys and get stunned by the glacial moraines. However, the five lakes: Gokyo Cho a.k.a. Dudh Pokhari, Thonak Cho, Gyazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, and Ngozumba Cho are the main attractions along with the Gokyo Ri peak – which is a vantage point to get the best view of the panoramic mountains.
You should also spend a day at the beautiful Gokyo village if time allows. The highest elevation you’ll reach is the Gokyo Ri peak at 5357 meters. With ridges and a bit of rough valley, the trek is moderately difficult. Also, the area is located in very remote regions, so, it may not be for everyone. The starting point is Lukla, so, it’s best you take a 30-min flight to the place. In average, the trek takes some 12 days to complete. The best time is, again, March-May or Oct – Nov.
7) Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Trek is a remarkable trek along the lines of the Nepal Tibet border and is rising in popularity. The trek goes up to the base camp of the 8th highest mountain in the world, Mt. Manaslu, offering the best view of the giant at Larkya Pass at an altitude of some 5100 meters. It takes you from 600 meters to over 5000 meters with a lot of diversity in topography, and since it is mostly secluded, you get fewer crowds. But with its popularity rising, you have to consult and plan your trek accordingly.
The trek offers you diversity both in terms of topography as well as culture. You will go through a varying and challenging trail, in changing attitudes. Also, you can see Hindu and Tibetan themed villages, and get to see ancient Buddhist monasteries. The highlight of the trek is crossing of the Larkya Pass – which is very challenging yet highly rewarding. In addition, the cozy Samagaun village is a place to be.
However, with a diverse altitude, you have to be very fit to be on this journey. For those who aren’t used to acclimatization in varying altitudes, it might be a problem. You require at least two trekkers and must be accompanied by a guide. There are some variations of the trek as well. Depending on which variation you choose, this trek can take you between 12 to 21 days.
8) Upper Dolpo Trek
Peter Matthiessen, in his book “The Snow Leopard” in 1979 wrote about his travel to this hidden gem of a place. The book is quite popular to this day and manages to capture the mystiques of the Dolpo region. This region is very remote and secluded but full of natural and cultural romance. You get a blend of vast barren landscapes, mountain peaks, rice fields and Tibetan culture lifestyle in a single place. And with the very little crowd, this is another place that’ll make you feel like Bear Grylls.
The trek will take you up to Shey Gompa, the secluded 800-year old Buddhist monastery, which is also known as the spiritual heart of the Dolpo region. Another highlight of the place is the beautiful waters of the Shey Phoksundo lake, accompanied by the panoramic Kanjirowa mountain ranges. You’ll have to go through three passes: Nagdalo La, Shey La, and Jeng La. The Nagdalo La, at 5350 meters is the highest elevation of the trek.
Due to its remoteness, and lengthy trek route, it is not for the faint of heart. You must be prepared to walk endlessly for days over 4000 meters. Involving long & difficult climbs, and dangerous descents, it is a challenging route to take on. Also, you’ll need a $500 permit like the Upper Mustang trek. However, the combination of natural beauty, culture, and the people make all the trouble truly worthwhile. The trek takes over 3 weeks if you want to experience Dolpo in its entirety.
9) Kanchanjunga Base Camp Trek
This trek takes you to face to face with the world’s third highest peak, Mt. Kanchanjunga and it’s subsidiary peaks. It’s the least densely populated area of Nepal, making it one of the least explored places. You will be surrounded by pristine nature in all its glory, along with the cultural essence of Eastern Nepal. It is a great trekking trail, in very secluded parts of the Himalayas. It is easy to get lost in the serenity and tranquility of this place.
The trekking route also takes you through the mesmerizing Arun valley and Kanchanjunga conservation area, which is home to some of the most exotic wildlife of Asia. The major highlights of the trek are the crossing of the Lapsang La Pass. It is also the highest altitude you’ll get to at 5150 meters. From here, you can get splendid views of the Mt. Kanchanjunga and Mt. Makalu.
The trek, however, is long, and difficult. This is only for the physically and mentally fit. Variations of the treks are available, but on average it can take you to 3 weeks. Due to the remoteness, expenses are also quite high, and even transportation to the starting point can take days. But, this, if you can complete, will prove to be an adventure of a lifetime!
10) Makalu Base Camp Trek
Now this one also falls in the list of most difficult treks of Nepal. Due to its inaccessibility, it receives very few trekkers per year. Which is why it is also quite underrated. But the rural farming villages, with its rich flora and fauna, combined with the natural beauty makes this trek one of the best. If you’re looking to explore the isolated areas of the Himalayas, this trek is a good way to do it. Bond with the Himalayan culture and lifestyle and befriend nature itself.
The trek takes you up to the base camp of the world’s 5th highest peak, Mt. Makalu. You also get to explore the Tibetan and Sherpa villages along the way. It will take you from 400 meters altitude at Tumlingtar to highest elevation of some 5500 meters at the Shersong ridge. The ridge is a vantage point to get the best view of Mt. Makalu, with Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Chamlang and Mt. Baruntse not very far away. The ridge crossing is also the major highlight of the trek.
Due to its remoteness, however, you have to be self-equipped for the journey. Also, the long and perilous trails mean its not for everyone. The climbs are quite tough, so, fitness and experience matters in the journey. In addition, for safety purposes, you need to have a minimum of two trekkers and must be accompanied by a Nepali guide. Permits can also cost you a considerable amount of money. The trek can take over 3 weeks.
So, there you have it – the Best Trekking Destinations for trekking in Nepal. The above information is based on thorough research, travel experiences and excerpts. Some also include personal experiences. However, as much adventurous trekking is, it’s not easy. And not for everyone. So, travel safe and plan them thoroughly. There are quite a few establishments to help you do that. Most importantly, prepare yourself physically and mentally. Also, we might have missed some of your favorite trekking destinations or places for trekking in Nepal. Do let us know what they are.