Trekking in Nepal: The Ultimate Guide To the Best Hiking Experience
Trekking in Nepal

Nepal, the ultimate adventure destination, provides an endless supply of hiking and trekking trails for the intrepid traveler. Trekking in Nepal is hugely diverse; it ranges from a few days in rural areas to a few months (think Everest Base Camp). For its picturesque mountains, Nepal is known all over the world.

The mighty Mount Everest is especially well-known, and many people travel from all over to see the highest peak in the world. However, Mount Everest, with some of the unique tea houses, monasteries, and friendly locals, is just a small part of what to discover in Nepal. The best way to see this country is for those who enjoy their adventure by trekking in Nepal.

Short treks are the perfect choice for busy trekkers to Nepal interested in exploring the splendid Himalayas. But those people who do not have much time or experience with treks as a whole. Perhaps you want a little teaser to return in the future.

To make your deliberation on which trekking in Nepal might be perfect for you, I compiled a list of the best — with a detailed, ultimate trekking guide in Nepal to get you to something great!

Nepal has to offer epic short treks from 3 to 5 days, medium treks for up to 2 weeks, and long treks for the adventurous type, whereas you can spend up to 3 weeks or more in the wilderness.

TREKKING IN NEPAL: WHEN TO GO!

It is an excellent question, and there is no definitive answer to that question. The trekking season in Nepal varies from year to year by day or even week. The weather in the Himalayas and Nepal can change very quickly, and use it for guidance in every month listed.

  • Everest Base Camp: (Autumn season from October to December and Spring Season from February to May)
  • Three Passes Trek: (Autumn season from October to November and Spring Season from March to May)
  • Gokyo Trek: (Autumn season from October to December and Spring Season from February to May
  • Annapurna Sanctuary Trek: (Autumn -winter and Spring season from October – May)
  • Annapurna Circuit Trek: Autumn season (October – November) and Spring season (March – April).
  • Mardi Himal Trek: October to November and March to April.
  • Upper Mustang Trek: Ideal for the rainy season (May – October)
  • Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek: Very weather dependent all year round due to avalanche danger.
  • Manaslu Circuit Trek: Mid-March to May and October to Mid-December
  • Lower & Upper Dolpo Trek: May to October
  • Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek: October to November and March to May
  • Great Himalayan Trails: Starting time generally October

HOW TO TREK IN NEPAL – GUIDED OR INDEPENDENT

Because of the restricted areas, the guides and porters require many treks in Nepal, such as Lower and Upper Dolpo, Kanchenjunga, and Upper Mustang. But there are no guides to locations such as the Annapurna Conservation Area and the Everest Base Camp.

If a specific trek needs a guide, there is no way around it; to pursue the trek, you must use a guide and a porter. Before you reach Nepal, to save time and avoid confusion by finding a trekking company in Kathmandu or Pokhara, the best thing to do is organize a tour through Nepal. Guides are perfect for trekking and are full of experience; although it may cost you a little more, it’s worthwhile. I think it’s worth going on a guided trip while trekking in Nepal.

It’s also important to remember that it’s no matter what trek you’re doing, you’re probably going to have to get a Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). Permits.

THE BEST TREKKING IN NEPAL FOR 2022/2023

Nepal offers a wide range of different regions, including many trekking routes in Nepal, and I have placed a list of the best hikes in each of these regions. For your reference, I have grouped each of the treks from the respective areas.

These are some of the most popular treks of the Khumbu valley, including the famous Everest Base Camp Trek.

EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK

Duration16 Days
DifficultyModerate to Strenuous
Maz. Elevation5545 Meters
Start/FinishLukla to Lukla
AccommodationTeahouses
PermitsTIMS Card, National Park Fee

The pinnacle of trekking in Nepal is the Everest Base Camp Trek, a prerequisite for the most dedicated wanderers. The question always raised is, what makes Everest Base Camp Trek so good, and why do so many trips for this hike to the Khumbu Valley?

As you might know, it is the highest peak in the world. In 1953, when Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary were the first to do so, there are numerous expeditions to Everest.

Mount Everest is one of the most beautiful natural sights that you can see anywhere in the world. And trek to Everest Base Camp is becoming much more accessible, attracting more visitors than ever before.

Getting to Everest Base Camp (EBC) all begins with a hair-raising flight from Kathmandu to Lukla to which you fly to the side of a mountain. There are a few choices from Lukla as acclimatization becomes a necessity due to Lukla’s altitude, so choose to stay in town for 1 or 2 days before starting the trek.

The Everest Base Camp Trek: Overview

When you fly in a short period from Kathmandu’s altitude of 1,400 meters to Lukla’s elevation of 2,860 meters, the risk of altitude sickness may occur, but you must take all precautions. As you’ll notice along the trails, there are many tea-houses and guesthouses, but they can get swamped during peak periods. Also, make sure to register your TIMS card before you leave Lukla!

Things get more enjoyable when you deep into the Khumbu valley. You can spend a day for acclimatization at Namche Bazaar so that you can take advantage of side trips. Due to altitude changes, spend at least one day in Tengboche, a 4-hour hike from Namche Bazaar. The scenery starts to get pretty unbelievable once you leave Tengboche with Ama Dablam Peak and Imja Tse (Island Peak) peeking their heads out of the clouds to the right of the trail.

At the same time, Cholatse towers up from the west. To get amazing views of the Himalayas, choose the arduous trip to Ama Dablam Base Camp, which will add another five hours to your day. As its unique form, Ama Dablam, one of Khumbu’s most picturesque peaks, is one of the most iconic in the world.

Kala Pattar provides you with a great view of Mount Everest. EBC will not deliver anything similar to Kala Pattar.

EVEREST THREE PASS TREK

Duration20 Days
DifficultyStrenuous
Maz. Elevation5545 Meters
Start/FinishLukla to Lukla
AccommodationTeahouses
PermitsTIMS Card, National Park Fee

Once you reach the trekking peaks, Three Passes Trek is considered one of the toughest treks in Nepal. You follow the same path starting in Lukla as if you were on the way to the Everest Base Camp. The Three Passes Trek involves three mountain passes of 5000 meters, which are over 5000 meters, so make sure to dedicate yourself to 100% before taking them.

Trekking in the Himalayas gets no better than this!

It is the highest elevation, Kongma La, at 5,535 meters above sea level. Except when you decide to be adventurous, adding Kala Pattar, another 10 m over Kongma La. Once you have reached the junction village of Lobuche, the first is to Everest Base Camp. The second continues towards the following pass of Cho La. Cho La is 5 420 meters above sea level before heading off into a lush meadow before reaching Thangnag village.

The last big climb on the Three Passes Trek is Renjo La at 5,345 meters, and the views are guaranteed in seeing Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu all in the top 5 highest mountains in the world! For the rest of the trek, the altitude continues to decrease, making things much more comfortable as you get Lukla to where the trek ends.

GOKYO LAKES TREK

Duration12 – 14 Days
DifficultyModerate
Maz. Elevation5360 Meters
Start/FinishLukla via Phortse Thanka
AccommodationTeahouses
PermitsTIMS Card, National Park Fee

Gokyo Ri Trek aka Gokyo Lakes Trek is an alternative to the Everest Base Camp and has only hikers on the Three Passes Trail. Gokyo is a trek back, which means you come back the way you came, but don’t worry, as you walk in the opposite direction, everything looks different.

There are several lakes, first Longponga Tsho, and Tarujung Tsho and Dudh Pokhari, situated in Gokyo, throughout the region.

When you arrive in Gokyo, allow at least two to three days of rest before you return to Lukla.

There are some great opportunities to see some of the world’s most majestic mountains, such as the Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Makalu mountain range, located within the top five highest mountains on earth. The Scoundrels Lookout is also an alternative way back five hours, bringing you to the Dudh Kosi River, which is exceptionally sacred.

On your return trip to Lukla, you can go via Phortse to the Khumbu Climbing Center operated by the legendary Conrad Anker. Here the locals are trained in mountaineering and alpinism, making work and mountain activity easier for them — taking the Namche Bazar 2 days from Phortse to Lukla.

GHOREPANI TREK (POON HILL TREK)

Duration6 Days
DifficultyEasy
Maz. Elevation3210 Meters
Start/FinishNayapul to Phedi via Poon Hill
AccommodationTeahouses
PermitsTIMS Card, and ACAP permit

The Annapurna Ghorepani Trek is a classic teahouse-to-teahouse trek with a magnificent view of the Annapurna, Machhapuchhare, and Dhaulagiri range. While the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is considered one of the easier treks in Nepal, it is stunning. It is surrounded by lush Rhododendron forests, which, in their full bloom, are rare in the region, and walking among these trees is a beautiful feeling.

Poon Hill presents an impressive panorama, and the best way to see Annapurna is to get up at 3:30 am in the early morning. It can take about 30 minutes to 1 hour to reach Poon Hill in the distance to allow adequate time to climb the summit (3,210 meters).

You are ready to enjoy it when the weather is clear!

Ghandruk is a place that you want to visit for at least two days because WOW is it! It was awesome, but Ghandruk is a lot of the next level. I thought about the views from Poon Hill.

Annapurna South surrounds the village, Hiunchuli, and Machhapuchhare, followed by a direct view of the Modi Khola to Annapurna Base Camp.

Moving out of Gandruk is not particularly enjoyable because your knees are likely to do a good job (take it slowly) and an ascent to Landruk immediately.

ANNAPURNA SANCTUARY TREK (ABC TREK)

Nepal’s second most popular trekking area is the Annapurna Area. Home to some spectacular treks, such as the Annapurna Circuit and Poon Hill, you’ll have plenty of hiking adventure opportunities.

Duration10 Days
DifficultyModerate
Maz. Elevation4130 Meters
Start/FinishNayapul ABC via Poon Hill/Nayapul
AccommodationTeahouses
PermitsTIMS Card, and ACAP permit

This exhausting trek encapsulates you in the midst of some of the finest mountains in Nepal. A 10-day walk from the Rhododendron forest of Pothana and Ghandruk in contrast to the Annapurna base camp alpine climates, the Annapurna shrine trek gives you an excellent view of the place.

Along the Annapurna Trail, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek also provides a relatively easy view of Nepal’s mountains and villages compared to some of the most challenging routes, including the Annapurna Circuit and the Everest Base Camp.

Before you arrive at the Annapurna Base Camp, you will find the Machhapuchhare Base Camp, which is only a small town in reality, and it doesn’t mean that you can climb Machhapuchhare because the mountain is sacred.

ANNAPURNA CIRCUIT TREK

Duration12 – 18 Days
DifficultyModerate to Strenuous
Maz. Elevation5416 Meters
Start/FinishBensi Shahar/Jomsom or Nayapul
AccommodationTeahouses
PermitsTIMS Card, and ACAP permit

It is no wonder, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is the jewel of Nepal. This trek, which everyone with passion and enthusiasm for walking and outdoor activities has come to place themselves among the most elegant environments in the world, and, yes, the Annapurna circuit is truly a world to walk on.

As It is only once more special to go from Subtropical Forests to Thorung La’s high alpine pass and then to Nepal’s rain-shadowed Kali Gandaki valley.

MARDI HIMAL TREK

Duration5 days
DifficultyEasy
Max. Elevation4200 Meters
Start / Finish Phedi/Australian Camp to Siding
PermitsAnnapurna Conservation Area/TIMSCard
AccommodationLodges/Tea-houses

Mardi Himal is a challenge to test you and your fitness for Nepal as much as possible. Mardi Himal takes you to an incredible altitude of 5,587 meters to the upper foothills of Machhapuchhare.

Please note that Mardi Himal Trek is not a popular tourist route, and the track can be overgrown or impacted by natural elements at some places. Most of this trek is steeply up until you get to Mardi Himal and have to go down again. Kumai is an excellent place to pitch a tent about halfway along the ridge to the Mardi Himal and rest before continuing the trek.

Halfway views along the ridge are spectacular with excellent views of Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, and the Annapurna. Opt for two days of steep trekking from Kumai to Basecamp. Once you push up on Mardi Himal, ensure that you find the right path that leads up to the pass. If required, a tent at 4.650 meters can be constructed from here, as steep paths of snow and ice lead to the Mardi Himal summit so that the tight spots are essential.

If you intend on the Mardi Himal summit, please have an eye on the conditions before reaching the mountain with the local guides. Trekking paths in Nepal include Mardi Himal and the Summit.

TREKKING IN NEPAL: UPPER MUSTANG TREK

Duration10 days
DifficultyEasy to Moderate
Max. Elevation4230 Meters
Start / Finish Jomsom to Jomsom
PermitsACAP/TIMSCard/Special Permit
AccommodationLodges/Tea-houses

Do not skip hiking in Nepal’s Mustang region, home to one of Nepal’s best treks! It is perhaps the most unique of all treks in Nepal, with its rugged and dry mountains, covered with fresh snow on top, commonly known as the moo-stang.

Upper Mustang Trek takes you through some of Nepal’s ancient villages in Tibetan style, where you will encounter some of Nepal’s friendliest people.

Hiking in Nepal is no better than this! The Mustang Trek is one of Nepal’s, if not the best trek.

UPPER MUSTANG TREKKING

Technically is the start of the trek in Kagbeni as it remains the official control point where your permits must be reviewed before you head to the Mustang.

But we’re just going to start back at Jomsom because it’s such an awful place. Jomsom is surrounded by a Nilgiri massive of 7,061 meters, which is only astounding. The first part of a trek leads to the Kagbeni River, the entrance to Lo Manthang.

Lo Manthang is probably Nepal’s most unique city due to its massive walls around the city. The Chode Gompa, Choprang Gompa, and the spectacular Thubchen Gompa are in the center of town inside the walls.

Finally, the Upper Mustang trek ends at Jomsom, encircling the many tiny Tibetan villages such as Chele, Ghami, Tsarang, Yara, and Chhuksang.

The Mustang Region Trek requires a restricted area permit of USD 500 for the first ten days, followed by an additional USD 50 per day.

DHAULAGIRI CIRCUIT TREK – AROUND DHAULAGIRI TREK

Duration16 days
DifficultyStrenuous
Max. Elevation5250 Meters
Start / Finish Jomsom to Jomsom
PermitsACAP/TIMSCard
AccommodationCamping (Tea-houses are available in the lower area)

This trek is not for the heartless and should only be attempted if you have advanced trekking skills.
In the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek, you will test your skills in various sections, such as the French Pass and the Dhampus Pass, for 16 days.

Around Dhaulagiri, there are some of Nepal’s most exceptional trekking opportunities with spectacular views of the Dhaulagiri peak as the 7th highest mountain on earth. Although it is challenging, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is one of the best treks in the Himalayas.

Ensure that your porters and your guides are appropriate for walking under situations in which avalanches can be observed over 4500 meters before undertaking this trek.

In icy conditions, camping at high altitudes will also be required around Dhaulagiri, and it will be freezing conditions so your gear will have to be of high quality.

UPPER DOLPO TREK VIA SHEY GOMPA

A trek to Upper Dolpo Trek via Shey Gompa is one of the most challenging places to travel in Nepal, even the far-west of the Mustang Valley.

Duration18 -22 days
DifficultyStrenuous
Max. Elevation5350 Meters
Start / Finish Juphal/Juphal or Jomsom
PermitsNational Park Fee/TIMS Card/RAP
AccommodationCamping

This region has only been open to visitors since 1992, and with Shey Gompa and the Crystal mountain, it has proven to be one of the most spectacular treks in Nepal. Revealed the hidden secret of Upper Dolpo that no one is talking about reading on our blog about Upper Dolpo.

The trek includes an average height of about 5 160 meters at Kang – La, and Tsakang Gompa sits cautiously along the trail on the edge of the cliff. When you get into Shey Gompa at 4390 meters lower altitude, there are no significant artifacts inside, but the building’s age is why people come. Shey Gompa is eight hundred years old.

More like the Mustang Trek, Upper Dolpo requires a restricted area permit of USD 500 for the first ten days and a further USD 50 a day afterward. It is possible to get to Upper Dolpo to Jomsom trekking via Niwar pass and then join a portion of the trail that links Mustang with Dolpo.

LOWER DOLPO TREK

Duration14 Days
Difficulty Moderate to Strenuous
Max Elevation5116 meters
Start/FinishJuphal
PermitsRAP permit, Shey Phoksumdo National Park permit
Accommodation Tents

Lower Dolpo Trek is a challenging and rewarding trek that brings you to the mountains’ stunning views as you go up to 5,115 meters above sea level. Dare to wonder about the hidden trails and daring itineraries of the Dolpo region, which are the next big things in Nepal’s trekking.

One of the reasons that trekkers come to Lower Dolpo Trek is to see the elusive snow leopard while waterfalls and blue sheep appear the closer you get to Tarap valley and Numa – La Phedi.

It is possible to get to Lower Dolpo to Jumla Trek by traveling to Jumla via Kagmara – La and then join a portion of the trail that links Jumla with Dunai.

KANCHENJUNGA NORTH BASE CAMP TREK

There are certainly more epic trekking options in Eastern Nepal. Kanchenjunga is the world’s 3rd highest mountain at a gigantic 8,586 meters above sea level, and what better way to discover this mountain than to travel around it.

Duration17 – 21 Days
Difficulty Moderate to Strenuous
Max Elevation5140 meters
Start/FinishTaplejung/Tharpu
PermitsRAP permit, KCAP permit
Accommodation Teahouses (Basic)

As Kanchenjunga is situated far to the East of Kathmandu, only a company with experience in this area can venture here. However, without the hassle of going through a larger company, it is possible to hire a guide and porter.

Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Trek demands a reasonable skill level due to the continuous high climbs and steep descents that will take you through the forests of Rhododendron, along narrow ridges with stunning mountain views, including the eastern side of the distant Everest Range.

It is the spectacular sights of the gigantic mountains, but it allows us to discover the beautiful alpine pastures and local culture. The whole circuit is called Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek, which includes both North and South Base Camp.

Likewise, the Kanchenjunga South Base Camp is a short version of the Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek. Here is everything you need to know about Kanchenjunga South Base Camp Trek for your rejuvenating holiday experience.

LANGTANG – HELAMBU TREK

The area of Langtang is a popular tourist destination. Langtang district is situated north of the valley of Kathmandu and is neighboring Tibet. The Langtang Valley Trek is a popular destination due to its unmatched geographical structure and bio-diversity while it lies within the Langtang National Park. It consists of several itineraries depending on the physical condition and the holiday duration. A trek up to Kyanjing Gompa makes it possible to explore the entire Langtang Valley. Another attraction is the people and their vibrant culture, and it is easy to average grade.

Check out these treks if you want to get more off the beaten track in Nepal.

LANGTANG VALLEY TREK

Duration5 -7 Days
Difficulty Easy to Moderate
Max Elevation5140 meters
Start/FinishShyabru Besi/Dunche
PermitsTIMS Card, Langtang National Park Fee
Accommodation Teahouses

The Langtang Valley has once been the sweetest spot in Nepal for trekking enthusiasts to find beautiful landscapes and authentic culture together with warm hospitality in charming lodges— all easily accessible in Kathmandu. So Langtang trek is a real lovely trek.

HELAMBU CIRCUIT TREK

Duration 5 to 6 days
DifficultyEasy
Max. Elevation3665 Meters
PermitsLangtang National Park/TIMS Card
Start/FinishSundarijal/Melamchpul Bazaar`
AccommodationLodges/Tea-houses

Helambu is only a 2-hour drive from Kathmandu by jeep or bus and promises lush Rhododendron forests, crystal clear waterfalls, and beautiful views of the Himalayas. Helambu circuit trek is a pocket of greenery and what better way to explore than a 6-day trek that is bound to give you a healthy dose of nature.

It is mostly known as the place where Guru Rinpoche visited, especially south of Melamchi Ghyang, which is a lake. However, Helambu was hit by quakes in 2015, so consult with guides before starting this trek.

GOSAIKUNDA LAKE TREK

Duration 5 to 9 days
DifficultyEasy
Max. Elevation3665 Meters
PermitsLangtang National Park/TIMS Card
Start/FinishDunche/Sundarijal/Melamchpul Bazaar`
AccommodationLodges/Tea-houses

The Gosainkunda Lake Trek is a relatively easy trek and one of the shortest in Nepal. Though less of a risk than on other significant treks in the region such as the Langtang Valley trek, altitudinal sickness remains a problem.
Trekking along the Gosainkunda Lake leads to one of the most scenic and beautiful lakes in Nepal, 4380 meters above sea level.

Legend has it that it originated when the Hindu god, Shiva, pierced the Trishul glacier, his trident, and after he swallowed up the poison, he could get water that turned his throat blue and sting.

People have often said that they can see Shiva lying in the mud. If so, it’s one of the few places where the lake exists. This lake is oligotrophic, low in nutrients. It makes the waters very clean and eminently drinkable.

MANASLU CIRCUIT TREK: AROUND MANASLU TREK

Duration 14 to 18 days
DifficultyModerate
Max. Elevation5218 Meters
PermitsRAP/MCAP/TIMS Card
Start/FinishArughat/Bensi Shahar`
AccommodationLodges/Tea-houses

The Manaslu Circuit Trek offers what you’d like from a classic trek in Nepal: beautiful scenery, casual experiences with locals and their vibrant culture, and a 5120 meters pass of the Himalayas.

Himalayan Exploration Treks is organizing group departures during the spring and fall trekking seasons, as well as private treks at any dates that can take place from February to June and September to November.

Experts consider the Manaslu Circuit Trek among the best treks in Nepal. The Manaslu Trek remains remote and off the beaten track compared to Nepal’s best-known tea house treks, although it has been increasingly popular in recent years. The Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world which takes you around Manaslu.

THE GREAT HIMALAYAN TRAIL (GHT TRAIL)

Duration 120 to 150 days
DifficultyDemanding
Max. Elevation6018 Meters
PermitsCheck with a local company that operates frequently
Start/FinishKanchenjunga to Dharchula`
AccommodationLodges/Tea-houses

Would you like to do all of it? The Great Himalayan Trail recognizes as the Greater Himalayan Trail, which passes five different nations such as Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bhutan, and Tibet. The GHT trail divides into a few sections to facilitate the trekkers as making it a shorter GHT trail or completing it later.

It helps to choose among the trekkers to make the GHT trail as their interest. The Great Himalayan Trail expands from the east to the west as the above-listed trail. It is considered one of the longest trekking trails on the planet.

See https://www.himalayanexploration.com/ for more information, travel tips to Nepal, and sign up for one of the best treks in Nepal!

About Author

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Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.

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