10 Best Treks in Nepal: Trekking in Top 10 Best Rated Trails in Nepal
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The Great Himalayan Trail in Nepal extends 1,100 miles from east to west. The trail incorporates rural villages, high mountain passes, inspiring alpine landscapes, and mountains.
Eight of 14 world's highest mountains have made Nepal their home. Most trekking in Nepal is to the base camp of these mountains, among which the Everest Base Camp trek and Annapurna Base Camp trek are the first options. Likewise, in recent years, the extensive growth in trekking and commercialization of the trekking routes have opened numerous Nepal trekking destinations.
Mardi Himal trek, Upper Mustang Trek, Everest Three High Passes Trek, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, Panchpokhari Trek, etc., are well-known and much-liked trekking destinations.
In this article, you'll learn the top 10 best trekking in Nepal along with routes and a short itinerary, which will help you plan your trip in Autumn and Spring.
Classic Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek is undoubtedly one of the most admired, exciting, adventurous, and once-in-a-lifetime trekking destinations in Nepal. The elated joy trekkers share about having the chance to witness Everest is incomparable to any other trekking story. Not only Everest, but you'll get the opportunity to see four of the fourteen highest mountains with countless peaks. Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Pumori, Island Peak, Imja Tse River, Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, and Kongde are the elegant mountains to name a few.
Everest Base Camp, shortly known as EBC, sits at an altitude of 5,364 m. inside Sagarmatha National Park, Solukhumbu. As a trekker, you can either take the Kathmandu Lukla flight for 40 minutes to reach Lukla or start the trek from there. Or, you can drive on a classic Everest Base Camp trek route hiked by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay via Jiri-Salleri with multiple hike days. If you can't walk to the base camp, you can also enjoy the luxurious one-day Everest Base Camp helicopter tour that lands at Kala Patthar.
The classic EBC trek route starts from Lukla, following the Dudh Koshi River to Namche Bazaar. The trail stretches via Dingboche and Lobuche settlements subsequently. The final stop is to Gorak Shep, the base camp, and Kala Patthar for the best viewing. Tea houses throughout the route offer decent accommodation and meals, and the service varies based on your preference.
Sherpa settlements at Lukla, Namche, and Tengboche give the touch of preserved traditions and cultures with a little mix of contemporary. The super-friendly locals, warming hospitality, amazing landscapes, mountains, glacial lakes, and alpine vegetation all entertain the Everest Base Camp trekking experience.
Everest region, the hub of mountains and elegant terrains, offers many trekking options besides the classic 14 days Everest Base Camp trek route. Trekkers also prefer Gokyo Valley Trek with Renjo La Pass and Everest Three High Passes Trek for a wholesome Everest experience.
Everest Three High Passes Trek
Everest Three High Passes Trek, a hike in the Everest region via Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La Pass, completes the Everest Circuit Trek. These High Passes of Everest sit over 5,420 metres, 5,550 metres, and 5,360 metres. Every Autumn and Spring, hundreds of trekkers prefer Three High Passes Trek, making it one of Nepal's most daring and best trekking routes.
With a flight to Lukla from Kathmandu, trekkers hike to Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Chhukung. Trekkers then hike to Lobuche via Kongma La Pass, hike to Gorak Shep, Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar, and then Dzongla. Trekkers hike to Gokyo Lakes via Thangnak and Cho La Pass.
Gokyo Valley and Gokyo Lakes are beautiful places in the Everest region. The hike to Gokyo Ri gives the ultimate viewing of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. Further, the entire sightseeing experience becomes lovely.
The trek further stretches to Lunde and Thame via Kongma La Pass before the trekker reaches Namche Bazaar.
The true alpine wonder of the Everest region is what trekkers enjoy in Everest Three High Passes Trek. Besides, with acclimatisation, the 19 days of Three Passes Trek won't be many issues for trekkers.
It is to note that Everest Three High Passes Trek is strenuous and challenging in most parts, especially crossing snow-filled High Passes. The Three High Passes trek route is 180 km long, starting from Lukla and ending at Lukla. Hence, aspiring trekkers without few high-altitude trek experiences. But for experienced trekkers, nothing is impressive and adventurous like Three High Passes Trek.
Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang trek is one of Nepal's most sought trekking destinations. The remoteness from the contemporary has continued to maintain its Tibetan-influenced ancient traditions and cultures.
The ultimate destination in the Upper Mustang trek is the Lo Manthang, the ancient Kingdom of Lo, a once forbidden Kingdom of Himalayas on the Tibetan plateau. Lo Manthang and most regions in Mustang are best known for Buddhism's whole devotion and practice.
The major highlights of the Lo Manthang trek are you can visit 55 recently discovered cave paintings about the life of Buddha. Historians believe these caves were the meditational places for Buddhist Rinpoche while travelling to Tibet via Nepal.
Most of the population here are Gurung, Thakali, or Tibetan descendants. Upper Mustang was the last area to have a King in the Republic of Nepal until 2008. King Jigme Dorje Palbar Bista was the previous Lo Kingdom's King who died in 2016.
To reach Lo Manthang, you must first travel to Jomsom by flight. From there, the trek starts through Kagbeni, Syangboche, Ghami, Charang, and then, finally, to Lo Manthang. During your tour, you will witness high red tanned mountains and cliffs, a trek with more rocks and stones than trees and vegetation. Annapurna, Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, and other peaks are best visible in Upper Mustang Trek.
You can further travel to Dhamkar to view the Upper Mustang valley. Due to its remoteness, a trekking guide is mandatory. Also, you need a restricted area permit while travelling Upper Mustang. You will get to see the lifestyle of mountain dwellers, their way of life, and their survival method. Overall, you will have an experience you cannot have in any other world.
Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is one of the easily doable treks for people with lesser trekking experiences and can be the best start to your trekking journey. It is one of the trails inside the Annapurna Circuit. Mardi Himal, a recently discovered trekking destination in Nepal, was also known as the ‘hidden gem’ as it wasn’t a frequently hiked destination until a couple of years ago.
Mardi Himal trek offers you a magnificent view of the Mardi, Annapurna mountains (I, II, and III), and Macchapucchre. The trekking route runs through the borderline of the Annapurna Circuit. It gives you a trail with less traffic, off-route and challenging roads, and a rare view of the Annapurna Massif.
There are multiple routes you can take depending on your schedule. Kande-Siding is the standard route starting from Pokhara and travelling through the Forest Camp. The following route is Ghandruk - Siding, also connecting from Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp Trek with the Forest Camp. Mardi Himal Trek is doable within 4-5 days from either of these routes.
The shortest route to Mardi Himal is Landruk-Siding which can take 3-4 days depending on your pace. Ghandruk-Kande is the longest route on this trail. Instead of driving to Kande, you’ll go on foot from Ghandruk. This trail provides a deeper understanding of the Gurung cultures and the foothills of the Himalayas.
The hotels were few in the past, but recent hype and commercialization have prompted the development of decent tea houses. You can find great guesthouses, homestays, and camping sites to accommodate your trek.
April-May and March-November is the most convenient time for this trek. Whatever route you take, you’ll be rewarded with captivating views whether you travel in the off-season or on-season.
Kanchenjunga base Camp trek
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is the longest trekking in Nepal, extending up to 21 days. Unlike other trekking destinations in Nepal, covering only one side of the mountain, the trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp covers both the north and the south face of the hill.
The trek starts with a flight connecting Kathmandu to Biratnagar/Bhadrapur. From there, a jeep ride will take you to Taplejung District, where the mountain Kanchenjunga is situated. The trek also involves travelling through Arun valley, the deepest valley between Mt. Everest and Mt. Makalu.
First, you reach the Kanchenjunga Base Camp North by walking through Sekathum, Khambachen, and Pangpema. Then, you descend to Ghunsa and go on to Tseram through Selle. From there, you’ll ascend to the Kanchenjunga South Base camp, also known as Yalung Base Camp. The trek ends there.
The mountain "Kanchenjunga" is also known for having the Five Treasures of the Great Snow, which include 'gold, silver, grain, gems and stones, and the holy scriptures. The mountain lies at the border of Nepal and Sikkim, India.
On return, the route takes a different way through Tseram, Yamphudin, and Laikharka and ends at Taplejung.
In this trek, expect not only the immense Kanchenjunga's beauty but also the wildlife such as red panda, musk deer, snow leopard, black bear, and the wild boar. The trek also rewards you with the sight of Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Lhotse, and Mt. Cho Oyu.
The accommodation here is mild, considering this is one of the rarely travelled treks. Thus, as a part of this trek, you will get to live wildly in a mountainous way.
Annapurna Base Camp/Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek are Nepal's most hiked trekking destinations. If you ask anyone in Nepal about trekking, they'll name either of these two trekking routes of Annapurna.
The final destination is the difference between Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Annapurna Circuit Trek. However, these treks run through overlapping routes and similar landscapes with a slight difference. The main highlight of Annapurna Base Camp is the base camp of Mt. Annapurna. At the same time, the major highlights of Annapurna Circuit include Tilicho Lake, Thorong La Pass and Muktinath. Both of these treks start from Pokhara and last for about a fortnight.
Annapurna Base Camp trek provides a magnificent view of the high vertical bare mountains with mesmerising views of the Annapurna massifs, Manaslu, and Dhaulagiri, Ghorepani, Poon Hill, Kali Gandaki gorge, and an ice field.
On the contrary, you will be treated with almost 100 waterfalls, pine forests, forever changing terrains, cliffs of Marsyangdi river, Thorong La pass (one of the highest passes), Tilicho Lake, glacial lakes, and Manage culture enriched villages throughout the trail.
Elevation-wise, Annapurna Circuit Trek is 5,416 metres at Thorong La Pass, whereas the highest elevation in the Annapurna Base Camp trek route is 4,130, nearly 1000 metres lower than Thorong La Pass.
So, if you’re up for the challenge, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the best choice for you to go. On either of these two treks you choose, you’ll exit the tour with an experience you can share with your friends and families day in and out.
Rara Lake Trek
A journey that almost everyone ought to have is the Rara Lake Trek. The magnificent beauty of the Rara has earned its nickname, 'Queen of the Lakes'. Located at the heart of west Nepal in the Mugu district, the lake is considered one of the easily accessible scenic beauties compared to other trekking destinations in Nepal.
There are two options to reach Rara, by flight & drive and by foot. If you want to travel by flight, you can fly to Mugu from Nepalgunj and walk a 3 hours hike to Rara. However, you will miss the smell of the forest, birds chirping, the sound of the wind, a collection of juniper, pine, spruce trees, and many more. You may also have a chance to battle the altitude and oxygen level by this route.
On the other hand, if you choose to hike, you’ll get a sublime opportunity to drink the special Himalayan tea daily, enjoy the rhododendrons and other vibrant flowers alongside pine forests throughout the route, and wildlife such as Red Panda, Musk Deer, and so on.
Although you’ll get to see all these on the 3-hour walk after the flight, you’ll not be able to sit in and spend time with people in Mugu. The ethnicity, language, lifestyle, and values of people here attract foreign trekkers and local Nepali fancies.
The Rara Lake trek starts from Nepalgunj to Jumla flight, trekking via Sinja valley up to Rara lake and returning to Nepalgunj within 14 days. You’ll be able to see the sparkling turquoise water on the Rara Lake and wake up to this eye-overwhelming beauty of Chuchemara Peak and the hills surrounding it from the tea houses nearby. The winter trip to Rara lake trek shows the magical colours of snow, semi-frozen lake, snow-covered pine forests, and elegant outlook.
The minimalist trekking to Rara Lake on the remote landscape of West Nepal gives you insight into the culturally enriched yet economically deprived community of Mugu.
Panch Pokhari Trek
Panch Pokhari trek is another easy-to-do best trekking in Nepal. Locals and foreigners used to hike during Janai Purnima, but typical trekking started here in the recent decade. As the name suggests, Pancha Pokhari is a trekking site with a panoramic combination of 5 ponds at the base of Mt. Jugal.
The five lakes, Surya Kunda, Bhairav Kunda, Ganesh Kunda, Nag Kunda, and Saraswati Kunda, hold religious significance for Hindus and Buddhists. This pilgrim site was known to the country's spiritual practitioners and locals but has recently been promoted as a sublime trekking destination.
At an elevation of 4,100m. above sea level, nature presents you with a panoramic view of Mt Jugal range, Mt. Ganesh range, Mt. Dorje Lakpa, Mt. Gaurishankar, Mt. Langtang range, Mt. Shishapangma, and tons of wildflowers and Rhododendron forest with serene pine and oak forest.
The Panch Pokhari trekking route allows you to connect more profoundly with nature and the deities as the trekkers share their experiences. The trek is relatively short, which starts with a short drive to Bhotang village from Kathmandu and a two-day tour to the Panch Pokhari ponds. Thus, the walk will end in 5 days at an average pace. However, you can take your time according to your physique as there aren’t many stops here.
Since it is a reasonably new trekking destination in Nepal, tea houses and homestays are few. But, you'll get rooms even if you don't pre-book the tea houses. You can always camp on camping sites even if you don't get a space in a tea house for accommodation. If you are an aspiring trekker and want a short and easy trip, Panch Pokhari trek will ensure you provide the best inauguration.
Shey Phoksundo Trek
Shey Phoksundo got worldwide recognition from the movie Himalaya Caravan by Eric Valli, a French director. The film was released in 1999 and was shot on-site by Shey Phoksundo. Phoksundo is the deepest lake in Nepal and one of the highest-altitude lakes in the country. The gigantic lake sits at the base of the glacier of Mt. Kanjirowa and streams down a waterfall called Suligal waterfalls.
It is located in the Dolpo district in western Nepal, the biggest community in the country. Shey Phoksundo lake trek starts from Nepalgunj, where you can reach by bus or bus and take another flight that connects to Juphal. After a three days trek to Ringmo village, Phoksundo is only a day away. The trek takes you through the Bheri river, forests, dry lands, and different types of flowers guiding the trail.
Lodges and homestays beside the lake give you a captivating view of the lake and landscape as you wake up.
Phoksundo means the lake expands on three sides of a stone (Phok-expand, sung-three, and Do-stone). The myth behind the Shey Phoksundo is deep-rooted in the Buddhist religion. The legend says the lake resulted from a chase between a demon and a monk. The devil had a bowl of oil and water in his hands. The chase starting from Tibet ended in Dolpo, where the monster dropped the bowl of water, forming the lake and trapping the monk.
The lake is also famous for changing colour depending on the angle of the sun's rays. You will see four shades of blue in a single day. If you have some trekking experience, Phoksundo awaits you.
Tsho Rolpa Trek
Tsho Rolpa trek route is another less travelled but easy-to-each short trek in Nepal that starts from Kathmandu. Compared to other best trekking routes in Nepal, trekking to Tsho Rolpa, you don’t have to travel to any hub stations and can start directly from Kathmandu.
The Tsho Rolpa Lake trek ends at the Tsho-Rolpa glacial lake, one of the biggest glacial lakes in Nepal.
First, you must reach Chet Chet in a 10-hour-long bus drive from Kathmandu. From there on, the Tsho Rolpa trek will begin travelling through the highs and lows of the trans-Himalayan region for five days. The walk passes through multiple villages for your night stay or to make a shortstop. The trail here is unique, and most paths are well-maintained by stairs. Thus, you will quickly ascend in a short time. So, make sure to rest frequently to accommodate the altitude climb.
There are also multiple wooden and suspension bridges on river cliffs which will be a thrilling experience you won't find anywhere else. Most of the trail is guided by rivers Upper Tamakoshi and Rolwaling rivers. You can also find monasteries, animal farms, waterfalls, and Mt. Gaurishankar standing tall before you.
The last settlement you'll find before reaching Tsho Rolpa is Naa village. From there to Tsho Rolpa, you will enjoy complete solitary moments. You will reach Tsho Rolpa glacial lake by day 4.
Therefore, if you want a short trek to take a quick break from city life, the beautiful trekking of Tsho Rolpa lake awaits you.