For any travel enthusiast, the word trekking and Nepal go hand in hand. Filled with awesome hills and magnificent mountains, Nepal offers a trekking experience that you are not likely to find anywhere else in the world.
Nepal provides a great range of trekking opportunities. You can either go for trekking in low altitude regions, high altitude regions, mountains, hills, lakeside, religious or cultural sites. Further, you can come for trekking in Nepal for a month or for a few days.
Another beautiful notion about trekking in Nepal is the fact that you can come to trek all year round. Most trekking trails are open for trekkers all year round except when heavy snow makes trekking in certain trails extremely difficult.
With so many wonderful places to go to and things to see, let us take a look at some of the best places for trekking in Nepal.
Everest Base Camp
Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. This fact attracts tens of thousands of trekkers to the Everest Base Camp annually.
Everest Base Camp has other exciting attractions besides being the tallest mountain in the world. One of the first thing that gets people talking about EBC is the flight to Lukla. This thrill that you will get on this flight is not likely to be matched in any other airport in the world.
After you reach Lukla, you will go to Namche Bazar during your trek. Namche Bazaar, the town of Sherpas, is a fun place to be. It has facilities of trade, internet, as well as cell phone tower. It also houses many wonderful restaurants, pubs and luxurious hotels.
Tengboche Monastery is another place of tremendous importance in the Everest region. It is the largest monastery of Khumbu region and visited by people from around the Everest region who practice Buddhism. The monastery is located at the junction of Dukh Koshi river and Imja Khola. The background view of Tengboche Monastery includes the panoramic views of peaks like Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Tawache.
During your trek, you will also go to Kala Patthar, which offers the best view of the Everest region. Gorak Shep, Pheriche, Lobuche, Dingboche and Duglha are some other notable places along the trek.
There are a variety other trekking trails in the Everest region besides the classic EBC trek. You can go to Island Peak trekking, Gokyo Valley treks, Everest Panorama trekking, Renjo-La Pass with Gokyo trekking, and Jiri to Everest Base Camp trekking. You can look at the details of these treks to know which of these treks are the most suitable for you.
Annapurna Circuit trek
Annapurna Circuit trek is the second most popular trek in Nepal. Lying in the base of the Annapurna massif, Annapurna Circuit trek is popular for its rich cultural and natural diversity. During this trek, you will get amazing view of the Annapurnas, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang Himal.
The total length of the Annapurna Circuit trek is 160-230 kilometers. You’ll be trekking for a smaller distance if you choose motor transportation in certain areas. The Annapurna Circuit trek begins at Besisahar or Bhulbhule in the Marshyangdi river valley and concludes in the Kali Gandaki Gorge.
The highest point during the Annapurna Circuit trek is Thorong La pass, which is located at an altitude of 5416 meters. The Annapurna Circuit trek will also take you to Muktinath- a holy temple that is worshipped by Hindus as well as Buddhists alike.
During this trek, you will also go to classic Nepali villages like Ghorepani, Tadapani, and Landruk. If you customize your treks, you can also get a chance to go to Tilicho lake. Tilicho is the lake which is often referred to as the lake which is of the highest lake for its size.
Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit trek is a classic trek along the wonderful Himalayan ranges and remoteness as well as the beauty of nature. Manaslu Circuit trek was open for visitors only in 1992. Therefore, it is not usually crowded like EBC or ABC trek which means that this trek is suitable for anyone who wishes to trek in peace and solitude.
Manaslu Circuit trek will take you along the border of India and Nepal. The villages of these regions are quaint and have a great range of ethnic as well as scenic range. You will have breathtaking views of mountains like Himalchuli, Ganesh Himal and Manaslu itself. Eight peaks which are over 6500 meters tall are visible during this trek.
Another major attraction of the Manaslu Circuit trek is the visit of the Manaslu Conservation Area that is full of lush green vegetation and a variety of animals. The highest point along this trek is Larkya La Pass which is located at an altitude of 5213 meters.
Poon Hill trek
Poon Hill trek is for anyone who is looking for a short, low-altitude trek that can be completed within a week. You can complete this trek even with a moderate amount of fitness and has a maximum elevation of just 3210 meters. Thus, there is no threat of altitude sickness during this trek.
Culturally, the Poon Hill region is a mixture of the Magars, Gurung, and Thakali people. This creates a fine cultural diversity and blend in this region. Tibetan Buddhism is the religion that is dominant in this region.
This trek takes you through lush rhododendron forests and wonderful scenic views of mountains of the Annapurna regions in the background. Poon Hill region is extremely renowned for the majestic views of sunrise and sunset you are likely to encounter.
Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang valley is located merely 19 miles from Kathmandu valley. It is renowned for its wonderful natural vegetation and culturally diverse villages. If you take a 9 hours ride from Kathmandu, you will get to the starting point of your trek.
The Langtang Valley trek will take you through ancient Tamang villages of this region, dense green forests which are upstream of the Bhote Koshi river. You will be walking through the Langtang National Park, which has a great range of vegetation, different types of forests and ecosystems.
The biggest attraction of this trek is reaching Tsergo-Ri, which is located at an altitude of 5000 meters. Other beautiful peaks like Langtang Lirung, Pemthang Ri, Langshisha Ri, Dorje Lakpa, and Kangchenpo, & Tillman will be visible during this trek.
The Langtang Valley trek is a relatively short trek. It can be completed in merely 12 days. If you are looking for a longer trek, you also an try out the Langtang Gosaikunda Trekking and Langtang Helambu trekking.
Upper Mustang Trek
Geographically, Upper Mustang lies in the Tibetan plateau. Historically, Upper Mustang used to be a part of the Tibetan empire and therefore has close historical as well as cultural ties with Tibet.
Trekking to Upper Mustang was open for Non-Nepalese only in 1992 as it still remains a geo-politically sensitive area. The isolation of Upper Mustang from the world has meant that the geography of this region has remained practically untouched with modern technology. So if you come to trek in this region, you’ll have a feel of the century-old culture and tradition. The landscape of this region varies drastically while trekking as there are semi-arid deserts, deep gorges, shelves of rocks and snowy peaks.
The highest point during this trek is only 3800 meters making it comfortable for trekking enthusiasts. One of the best things about trekking in Mustang is the fact that trekking here is not affected even in the monsoon as the Himalayas that surround it block the monsoon clouds.
Upper Dolpo Trek
Situated between the Tibetan Plateau and Dhaulagiri ranges, Upper Dolpo is one of the most remote trekking destinations in Nepal. The entire Dolpo region was open to trekkers only in 1989.
Like many other trekking destinations in Nepal, Upper Dolpo is a region where the cultural, as well as the religious influence, of Tibetans is high. The villages in this region are stylish, the mountains are beautiful, and quite often, the barren landscapes are stunning.
In order to begin your trek, you will have to take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj. From Nepalgunj, you will take a connecting flight to Jhupal, which is the starting point of your trek. From Jhupal, you will travel through quaint villages, dense green forests, terraced farms and the stunning beauty of nature.
During your trek, you will also go to Shey-Phoksundo National Park and visit Nepal’s deepest lake Shey Phoksundo. Shey Phoksundo National Park is the largest national park of Nepal and encompasses an area of more than 3500 km2. It houses many species of plants, birds, mammals, and other animals. During the trek, you will also trek to Shey Gompa monastery.
Upper Dolpo trek is a long trek that lasts 24 days and will take you to the maximum altitude of 4500 meters. If you are looking to trek for less number of days, you can try out the Lower Dolpo trek that lasts only 18 days.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek
Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is perhaps the longest trekking destination in Nepal. This trek which is located on the Eastern border of Nepal will take you approximately one month to complete. Kanchenjunga mountain lies partly in Nepal and partly in India due to which this mountain is visible from India, Nepal, Bhutan, as well as Tibet.
One of the major attractions of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek is the walk through the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. This conservation area is home to various flora as well as fauna including red panda, snow leopard, wild boar, and musk deer.
One of the most important religious sites to visit during the Kanchenjunga Base Camp is the Pathibhara temple- an important site for Hindus from Nepal and India. The highest point along the Kanchenjunga trek is the Kanchenjunga Base Camp which is located at an altitude of 5143 meters.
In addition to Kanchenjunga Base Camp, you will also go to Yalung Base Camp and Sela Camp which are 4500 meters and 4290 meters respectively. During the trip, you will also cross two mountain passes.
Rara Lake Trekking
Trekkers who have trekked to Rara Lake consider it to be an earthly paradise. In the Rara Lake trek, you will encounter the blue turquoise Rara Lake surrounded by lush green forests on a backdrop of quaint snow-clad mountains.
Rara Lake trekking can be completed in merely 15 days. The trek starts after a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Jumla. From Jumla you will walk along various places like Chelchaur, Chalachaur, Sinja Valley and finally reach Rara Lake.
Rara Lake is located at an altitude of merely 3010 meters making this trek a relatively safe from the worries of altitude sickness. Rara lake is Nepal’s largest lake and this lake is surrounded by people of different ethnicities making Rara trek a culturally satisfying trek.
Rara National Park is another region of great importance during this trek. The national park falls in two districts- Mugu and Jumla. The national park is home to more than one thousand species of plants including rhododendron, oak and birch forests. Snow leopard, red panda, and Himalayan black bear are the most popular animal species in this national park.
Other Notable Treks
Besides these treks, you also have a variety of other trekking routes in Nepal. Some of these treks are long ones while some of them are shorter.
Chisapani Nagarkot trek is a small trek that can be completed within a week. This trek takes you to the surrounding hills of Kathmandu. You will go to places like Nagarkot, Sundarijal, and Shivapuri National Park where you can have wonderful sunrise views as well as panoramic views of mountains.
Dhampus Sarangkot trek is another popular short trek in Nepal in the Pokhara region of Nepal. Sarangkot is a major attraction for all trekkers as it provides wonderful sunrise view. You will also trek to Ghandruk, which is a picturesque multi-ethnic village popular for a panoramic view of the mountains.
Tsum Valley Trek, trekking in Indigenous People Trail, Ganesh Himal trek, and Tamang Heritage Trail are some less renowned but equally satisfying treks that you can be a part of when you are in Nepal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of accommodations are there while trekking in Nepal?
There is no definite answer to what kind of accommodation you are likely to encounter while trekking in Nepal. Along the lower regions of the trek, you can find various types of accommodation. You can choose to stay in tea houses, lodges or luxurious hotels depending upon your budget. But as you trek higher up, the accommodation might be more basic.
You are unlikely to find facilities of WiFi and automatic flush bathrooms in high altitude regions. Furthermore, despite having basic facilities only, the prices are likely to be greater than that of the places along the lower regions as transporting goods to higher altitudes is tough.
Which is the best season to trek in Nepal?
You can trek in Nepal all year round. Almost all trekking trails are open all year round. In exceptional cases like heavy snowfall or rainfall, some trekking trails might not be open. So as long as you pack well and adjust your gear depending upon the weather you are likely to encounter in your treks, your trekking will be awesome.
In terms of popularity, autumn and spring are two of the most popular trekking seasons. Spring and autumn seasons have a mild amount of sunshine, considerably lower precipitation, and low wind speed. All of these factors make spring and autumn two very popular trekking seasons in Nepal.
In terms of the scenic beauty, winter treks are the best. Winter has the lowest precipitation among all seasons and the chances of cloud covering the views of mountains are practically nil. However, the temperatures during winter are quite low. So you have to pack well.
What is the packing list for trekking in Nepal?
The packing list is dependent upon the places you are traveling to and the season you are planning to come to Nepal. If you are coming or low altitude treks or during the summer season, you can pack lightly. However, high altitude or winter treks require you to pack heavier than you normally would.
Sturdy trekking boots are necessary to trek in Nepal. You will need good down jackets to keep the cold away. During high altitude trekking, layered clothing is a must. Spacious, high-quality backpacks will also be necessary to store all your belongings. The volume of the backpack will be dependent upon the length of the trek. If you are coming to longer treks in Nepal like Upper Dolpo or Kanchenjunga trek, you will need a larger bag to store all your belongings.
Other items to pack include t-shirts, rain-cover, sunscreen, toiletries, basic first aid, mosquito repellent and basic medication.
What is the cost of trekking in Nepal?
The price of trekking to different places in Nepal is different. Therefore, you cannot pinpoint the prices for trekking in Nepal. However, as a simple rule, the higher up you go, the higher the prices for trekking are.
The number of trekking days is another factor that determines the cost of trekking. If you are planning to trek in high altitude regions for a longer period of time, the trekking cost increases.
Another factor that determines the cost is whether you use air transportation or road transport to get to the starting points of your trek. The cost of airfare in Nepal is quite high. If you cut down on the use of air transport, your trekking costs are likely to be reduced.
Do I have to hire a guide while trekking in Nepal?
Hiring a guide while trekking in Nepal is optional. However, in order to have a wholesome experience, a guide will be necessary.
Some trekking trails might be dangerous during off-seasons. A guide will help you avoid such paths. In addition, no trek is ever complete without an appreciation of the culture of the region. Guides will help you know the cultural as well as the historical significance of the places during your trek making your trip all the more enriching.
In addition to guides, we encourage you to hire porters as well. Even if you are physically fit, hiring a porter is important. Porters will carry your bags helping you preserve energy during your treks and thus reducing chances of altitude sickness. They will also be your companions during your treks.
Do I need to get a travel insurance for trekking in Nepal?
Trekking is fairly easy. But, there might be certain problems you might encounter while trekking. Petty thefts, bruises, cuts, altitude sickness, flight cancellation etc. are some of the problems you might encounter during unfortunate circumstances.
In order to avoid such inconveniences, we strongly advise you to get an insurance for trekking in Nepal. You can check the various plans, policies and what things are covered while getting a travel insurance.
Should I contact a travel company while trekking in Nepal?
Travel companies in Nepal are present in a large quantity. As long as you have figured out if the travel company is trustworthy, we highly recommend you to travel only after contacting a travel company.
The guides that travel companies assign you are highly experienced and registered. They will also lay out a lot of plans for you and help you customize your trip. They will also assist you in case you happen to encounter medical problems while trekking.
Trekking in Nepal will be a wholesome experience as long as you have the appropriate planning and preparation. Take a look at the various possibilities of trekking and decide which places and for what length you want to trek in Nepal for. As long as you have followed our guidelines, trekking in Nepal will be nothing less than a dream come true.