The Himalayas are an astounding mountain range in South Asia stretching across 4 different countries- Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Some of the tallest and the most beautiful mountains of the Himalayas lie in Nepal. This makes Nepal a perfect destination for trekking in the Himalayas.
Nepal is home to eight out of the ten tallest mountain peaks in the world. The most popular of these is Mt. Everest- the tallest peak in the world. Next to Everest in popularity is Mt. Annapurna. These two are the most popular trekking destinations in the Nepalese Himalayas where thousands of trekkers all over the world come to.
In addition to these, there are other mountains in the Nepalese Himalayas that are not as popular as Everest and Annapurna. These include the Kanchenjunga Range, Dhaulagiri Range, Langtang range as well as Mustang.
Besides the mountains, the Himalayas are also home to many glaciers, rivers, streams, and waterfalls. They add beauty to the stunning beauty of the mountains of the Himalayas. Similarly, many wonderful cultures have started and been preserved in the Himalayas. All of these are accessible to you while going for Himalaya trekking in Nepal.
In addition, the Himalayas of Nepal also have many places of religious interest you can go to. As the Himalayas is dominated by the Tibetan Buddhist culture, you can find many monasteries and gompas around the Nepalese Himalayas.
However, trekking is not the only way to experience the Nepalese Himalayas. You can also go there on bike tours, mountain flights, helicopters, or a mixture of these activities. Hence, the possibilities of the things you can do in the mountains are limitless.
This article will be a guide to the best trekking destinations, and the places along the way in the Himalayas in Nepal.
Mount Everest stands at an elevation of 8848 meters. It is known as Sagarmatha in Nepali and Chomolungma in Tibetan. It lies in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. Mt. Everest was scaled first by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953. This opened floodgates for future mountaineers and trekkers into this region.
The environment of the Everest Region
Trekkers to the Everest region climb up to the Everest Base Camp, which lies at an altitude of 5380 meters. Everest Base Camp can be extremely cold in the winters and temperatures get as low as -20 degrees in the winters. Spring (March-May) and Autumn (September- November) are two of the most popular trekking seasons in the Everest region as the temperature, rainfall, and wind speeds are mild in these seasons.
Sagarmatha National Park lies in the Everest region which has a diverse range of plants and animals in this region. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers an area of 1148 square kilometers. It has vegetation up to an altitude of 5750 meters. Many rare wild animals like snow-leopard, red panda, Himalayan black deer are found in this region. In addition, there are 118 species of birds in this region.
Important Places to See
Tengboche Monastery is the largest gompa that lies in Tengboche village in, Khumjung. It was built in 1916 and has strong ties to its mother monastery in Tibet which is known as Rongbuk Monastery. The monastery lies within the premises of Sagarmatha National Park. Tengboche Monastery is surrounded by beautiful panoramic views of the mountains in this region like Everest, Tawache, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, and Thamserku.
Namche Bazaar is the capital of Sherpas and a trading hub in the Everest region. It is a modern town that has various facilities like Cyber cafe, cell phone reception, sumptuous restaurants, and lodges. If you are looking to trek in the Everest region, you can buy all your trekking gear here. Many trekkers spend a day here for acclimatization. It is often considered to be a gateway to the Himalayas.
Everest Base Camp is the destination of many trekkers in the Everest region. It is the point from where the expedition to Mt. Everest begins. There is a South Base Camp as well as a North Base Camp in the Everest region. South Base Camp is where most of the trekkers in the region go to as a permit from the Chinese government is needed to trek to the North Base Camp.
Although the South Base Camp suffered some damage during the 2015 Nepal earthquake, the trails have been mended and are safe to trek these days. During the final part of your trek to Everest Base Camp, you will also be able to see the Khumbu glacier and possibly the icefall in the glacier.
Kala Patthar is the ultimate viewpoint for viewing Mt. Everest. Located at an altitude of 5545 meters and a tad higher than the Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar is the perfect destination for viewing Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Changtse.
How to Trek in the Everest region?
Most trekkers generally take a flight to Lukla, from where the trek generally starts. There are no roadways that connect Kathmandu and Lukla. However, there is a good old-fashioned route that starts from Jiri to Everest Base Camp. There are many trekking routes in the Everest region. Apart from the classic Everest Base Camp trek, you can also go trekking in Gokyo Valley, trek to the Island Peak in the Everest region, trek to Renjo La Pass or Cho-La pass.
Treks in the Everest region last for an average of two weeks. Trekking from Jiri can take you more than three weeks. If you want to do some light trekking, you can also trek around the Everest region in a week. You can consult a travel company that will customize your trip depending upon your preference.
In the Annapurna region of the Himalayas, there are six major peaks that are more than 7000 meters tall. Annapurna I was the first mountain in the Annapurna region that was scaled by mountaineers. A team of mountaineers climbed it first in 1950. Among all the mountains that are more than 8000 meters high, Annapurna has the highest fatality rate.
The environment of the Annapurna Region
Mt. Annapurna has an altitude of 8091 meters while Annapurna Base Camp has an altitude of 4130 meters. Needless to say, these attitudes are high and the temperature here is cold. The Annapurna region lies in the western part of Nepal where the amount of rainfall is relatively higher.
You will be walking through the Annapurna Sanctuary while you trek in the Annapurna Region. The sanctuary is the largest protected area of Nepal and has a great diversity of plants and animals. The sanctuary is home to Kali Gandaki- the world’s deepest gorge and the world’s largest rhododendron forest.
Important Places to See
Muktinath Temple is located at an altitude of 3750 meters in the Muktinath Valley. It is located at the foot of Thorong La Mountain pass and is a unique sacred place where Hindus and Buddhists alike come to. There is a semi-circular wall behind the temple where there are 108 faucets built out of stone. The temple is beautifully located at the backdrop of hills and mountains.
Poon Hill, as the name itself, suggests is a popular hill in the Annapurna region where many trekkers come for viewing the excellent sunshine and sunset you get from here. There are beautiful villages like Ghorepani, and Ghandruk while trekking to Poon Hill. Poon Hill considered being one of the most beautiful short treks in Nepal.
Khopra Danda is a hill located in the Annapurna region that is the ultimate viewpoint of Dhaulagiri Mountains. Khopra Danda is not as popular for trekking in the Annapurna region as some other destinations are. Therefore its natural beauty has been preserved and is regarded as one of the best “off-the-beaten-track” treks. On your way to Khopra Danda, you will see the magical Khayer Lake located at an altitude of 4800 meters.
How to Trek in the Annapurna Region?
You can catch a flight or take a local bus to Pokhara. From Pokhara, you can embark on the various trekking trails in the Annapurna Region. You can go to Annapurna Base Camp, Mardi Base Camp, do the Annapurna Circuit trek, Poon Hill, or go to Khopra Danda. You have a lot of trekking options in the Annapurna region.
There are small treks like Poon Hill trekking which can last from 4 days to 9 days. There are also longer treks like Khopra Danda. Trekking the Base Camp of Annapurna will take you between 10 days to two weeks.
The Himalayas of Langtang is located to the north of Kathmandu bordering Tibet. The Langtang Himal Mountain range has a lot of mountains that are over 6000 meters like Langtang Ri, Langtang Lirung, Dorje Lakpa, Changbu etc.
The environment of Langtang Region
Much of the Langtang Himalayas lies in Langtang National Park. The National Park was established in 1976 and was the first Himalayan National Park. A wide variety of climatic zones ranging from alpine to subtropical is seen in this region.
Although the Langtang village was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake, much of the affected areas have been redeveloped making it a popular destination in the Nepalese Himalayas for trekking.
Important Places to See
Gosainkunda Lake is located at an altitude of 4380 meters in the Langtang National Park. It is considered to be a sacred place by Hindus as it is considered to be a resting place of Lord Shiva and Gauri. The lake remains frozen for half a year in the winter season. During August, a large number of Hindus come to this temple to take a holy bath.
Kyanjin Gompa is an ancient Gompa in the Langtang region. The gompa is especially popular amongst Buddhists and people often come here for their pilgrimage. From Kyanjin Gompa, Swiss cheese factories, as well as amazing viewpoints of mountains like Ghangchhempo, Yala Peak, Morimoto peak, Pogen Dhopku, are easily accessible.
How to Trek in the Langtang Region?
You can take a bus to Syabru Bensi, which is the starting point of your trek. There are two types of buses- a local bus and a deluxe bus. Local buses are cheaper than the deluxe buses.
On average, it will take you two weeks to trek in the Langtang valley. But there are alternative trekking trails that you to more places which will take you more number of days to complete the trek. As with other treks, you can customize your trip By contacting a travel company.
Mustang is a unique and popular trekking destination in the Nepalese Himalayas. Tibetan plateaus and lofty mountains border Mustang on its sides. Mustang is a place that has remained in isolation for long as it was restricted area until 1992.
Environment of Mustang
As Mustang is shielded by high mountains and plateaus, it is one of the best places for off-season trekking in Nepal. It receives the unusually low amount of rainfall, even in the monsoon making it an ideal destination for a summer trek.
Mustang has a rich biodiversity where many species of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals can be found. Many medicinal plants, as well as herbs, can be found in Mustang.
Important Places to See
Lo Manthang is a small ancient village in Mustang with less than 1000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the old kingdom Lo, which was founded in the 14th century. The village also has two monasteries that are centuries old. The village is walled and also consists of a Royal Palace.
How to trek in Mustang Region?
Your trek in the Mustang region will begin in Jomsom. For that, you will need to go to Pokhara first. You can take a flight or a bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. From Pokhara, you can either take a flight or take a bus. If you want to avoid a stop in the middle, you can take a direct bus from Kathmandu to Jomsom. Trekking in the Mustang region will last two to three weeks.
The Himalayas of Nepal is wonderful. They provide you with the perfect spot to trek. There are not only mountains but wonderful lakes, temples, monasteries, ancient culture and a rich tradition that you can be a part of. Trekking here will be a truly unforgettable memory.