Nepal is an ideal spot for anyone looking for cultural encounters, adventure, and spiritual upliftment. Especially for adventure enthusiasts, Nepal offers a lot of options to choose from hiking, rafting, trekking, mountaineering, jungle safari and whatnot. The diverse terrain of the place has attracted a lot of tourists and trekkers since time immemorial and offers the best memories to them to be cherished forever.
In the recent past, Nepal has emerged as a popular destination amongst trekkers from all corners of the globe. You can choose from short treks in Nepalto long and difficult ones. For instance, you can go on a relaxed hike to the mountains or choose to trek across the rugged terrain of the Dhaulagiri range for 12 to 21 days. In short, Nepal has treks for all levels of experience and fitness.
If you are looking for the best trekking packages in Nepal, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we have covered the 10 best treks in Nepal that are worthwhile.
1. Everest Base Camp Trek
TheEverest base camp trek isn't just a trek, it's an experience of a lifetime! For trekkers, this is one of the most thrilling and popular trekking routes that allow you to enjoy the scenic beauty of Mount Everest in Nepal to the fullest. It's a classic 16-day trekking journey, that takes you through the streets of Kathmandu to the mighty Himalayas.
Trekkers take a flight to Lukla, and land at the Tensing Hillary Airport, the starting point of the Mount Everest trek. From there, they walk through the Sagarmatha National Park.
A lot of interesting places fall route. For instance, trekkers visit the Namche Bazaar and the famous Tengboche Monastery. They also walk across suspension bridges and witness awe-inspiring viewpoints midway.
This trek not only allows trekkers to witness Mount Everest but also some of the other highest mountain peaks like Ama Dablam, Changri, Nuptse and Lhotse. These mountain peaks are like little sisters to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, standing at an altitude of 8848 meters.
Undertaking the Mount Everest trek requires a lot of perseverance and ambition. It's truly one of the most challenging treks in Nepal, but definitely worth your energy and time. Most of theHimalayan trekking packagesinclude the Mount Everest base camp trek in their list.
Once you reach the peak on the acclimatization day, you feel a sense of satisfaction, while gazing at the beauty of the Himalayas. Keeping in mind the difficulty level of this hike, elders and physically unfit people are advised not to opt for the Mount Everest trek. For the most part of the trek, trekkers will be trekking above 4000 meters, making their way to the Mount Everest base camp.
If you intend to undertake the Mount Everest base camp trek, the ideal time for trekking would be between late September and November to February and March. The place maintains fairly stable conditions during these months with good visibility.
2. Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The next popular trek in Nepal is the Annapurna base camp trek. It's been popular among trekkers for a long time and is visited by a lot of trekking enthusiasts every year. The Annapurna base camp trek takes you around the adventurous town of Pokhara, a place full of activity. The town situated just beside a pristine lake is filled with lively locals, restaurants, and guest houses. Trekkers can either take a flight or bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. If you wish to enjoy the journey, we suggest you take a five-hour bus ride to Pokhara.
The uniqueness of the Annapurna base camp trek lies in the fact that it starts in a lush green jungle and soon before you realize it, this view changes into rocky landscapes, and vertical peaks and you find yourself in front of the snowcapped mountains of the Annapurna range!
En route, trekkers cross rivers, moorlands, and glaciers, and witness the mesmerizing vistas of the Annapurna range. Trekkers also cross remote villages, interact with the local people, get a glimpse of their lifestyles and make memories of a lifetime.
This is a 14-day trek journey, with a maximum elevation of 4210 meters. Usually, trekkers stay at tea houses and enjoy the local food of the region. The best time to hike through the Annapurna range is between March to May and September to December.
3. Upper Dolpo Trek
When talking about trekking in Nepal, the Upper Dolpo trek is worth mentioning. This is another luxury trek with its elevated passes, and turquoise lakes, like the deepest lake in Nepal-Shey Phoksundo lake. This trek covers a remote area in Nepal, covering Nepal's biggest national park- She-Phoksundo National Park. The trek gifts you the majestic views of the high Annapurna range and the beauty of the 800-year-old Shey Monastery.
The Dolpo region is dry and barren in general but lined by swift-flowing rivers, lush meadows, roaring waterfalls, deep gorges and soothing valleys. Dolpo comprises multiple remote villages, each having its unique culture and lifestyle, like the Bon Po religion. Interacting with the locals, living in Tibetan-style villages, and immersing in their culture is a unique experience altogether.
Like every other trek in Nepal, the Upper Dolpo trek also has something different to offer. It takes you through varied landscapes, like forested areas, remote villages, barren plateaus close to the Tibetan border and whatnot. The icy waters of the Phoksundo Lake are a major attraction for Upper Dolpo trekkers. Since this trek covers the Shey Phoksundo National Park in Nepal, trekkers also catch a glimpse of the snow leopard, goral, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan blue sheep and thar.
The remote region of Dolpo is popular for being the location for the movie Himalayas, which even won an Oscar nomination.
4. Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu circuit trekis a gem of a trek. It includes trekking along the border of Tibet and Nepal. It takes you through offbeat areas to a land of pristine beauty. This path doesn't remain overcrowded like some of the other treks, since a lot of people are unknown to this trek.
Nevertheless, the Manaslu circuit trek is one of the best treks in Nepal. If you are looking for the best Himalaya hiking tours, you must consider the Manaslu trek. Trekkers hike around the Manaslu Conservation Area and reach the base of the eighth-highest mountain peak in the world- Manaslu.
The Manaslu circuit trek offers everything one can ever expect when trekking in Nepal, Himalayas. Trekkers get a chance to immerse in the local culture, witness the stunning views of majestic Himalayan peaks, stay at classic teahouses and a lot more. The prime attraction of the Manaslu circuit trek is Manaslu, the eighth-highest mountain peak in the world.
When you reach the endpoint, a surreal glacial cirque is in front of you. There's a huge wall created by Him lung Himal, Cheo Himal, Gyaji Kang, Kang Guru, and Nemjung. These snowcapped mountains form a stream of glaciers, with Annapurna II rising ahead. This view is unbelievable and it alone makes the trek worthwhile.
The Manaslu circuit trek is a 16-day trek journey, approximately. The maximum elevation is 5220 m. The journey starts at Arughat Bazaar. During this trek, trekkers usually stay at teahouses and lodges. Months between May to September are best suited for the Manaslu circuit trek.
5. Kanchenjunga Trek
Trekking in the Himalayas is incomplete without the Kanchenjunga trek. For trekking enthusiasts, this is a major trek journey that takes one to the third-highest mountain peak in the world. Also known as the gift of the earth, the Kanchenjunga trek covers subtropical forests, mountaintop grasslands, remote villages with captivating cultures, and obviously the snowy peaks of the Himalayas like Twin peak, Pyramid Peak and Kanchenjunga peak, most importantly.
En route, this trek gives you the pleasure to witness and feel like you are in the lap of nature. There are fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls, vibrant rhododendron, rich pine and birch forests, and green meadows. The Yalung glacier is a major attraction of the Kanchenjunga trek.
The Kanchenjunga trekking region is managed by the Kanchenjunga conservation area. Trekkers opting for this trek need a special trekking permit. The unique flora and fauna of the Kanchenjunga area are major attractions of this trek.
Besides witnessing the Kanchenjunga peak, this trek also allows you to enjoy the beauty of another mountain peak standing at an elevation of more than 8000 m, Yalung Kang. Some of the other highest mountain peaks of this region, with an elevation exceeding 7000m. Kambachen (7,903m), Janu (7,710m), Jongsong (7,483m), Kabru (7,353m), Tent Peak (7,365m) and the Twins (7,350m).
6. Langtang Valley Trek
The Langtang valley trek takes you through the Langtang valley and renders a beautiful trekking experience. This trek is quite close to Kathmandu and takes about a week to be completed. If you love to go for short treks in Nepal, you mustn't miss the Langtang valley trek. You get a chance to hike through dense bamboo forests and shrublands while admiring the beauty of the snowcapped Himalayan peaks.
The highest point of the Langtang trek is 4000 m. However, if trekkers want, they can continue to hike higher and reach the sunrise point at Tserko Ri, located at an elevation of 5000 m.
The Langtang valley trek is extremely diverse, in terms of the areas it covers. Trekkers hike through the Langtang National Park, a rich countryside filled with diverse flora and fauna and yak pastures. If lucky, you can spot the Himalayan deer, Himalayan bears, red pandas, monkeys, and other animals native to this region. If you love to interact with people from different cultures, this trek is ideal for you. The Langtang valley trek introduces trekkers to the Tamangs' and Sherpas' Buddhist culture. Trekkers also get a chance to visit the ancient Kyanjin Gompa monastery, which highlights the Buddhist culture.
The major peaks of the Langtang valley trek are Dorje Lakpa (6,990m), Langtang Ri (6,370m) and Langtang Lirung (7,245m).
The Langtang valley trek takes about 14 days to be completed. The elevation remains roughly between 3,165m – 5050 meters. However, trekkers can ascend further and cover some of the other highest peaks located at an altitude of more than 5050 metres. This trek is comparatively difficult and therefore calls for physical fitness and strength. Trekkers stay at teahouses during the night. The best time to opt for the Langtang valley trek is between March to May and between September to December.
7. Upper Mustang Trek
Also known as the "Last Forbidden Kingdom", the Upper Mustang trek is one of the best hikes in Nepal that allows you to know and immerse into the Buddhist culture. The path of this trek isn't always swarming with trekkers all year round. It allows only a handful of trekkers.
This trek begins in the upper corner of the Annapurna circuit and includes the undisturbed, remote, isolated Tibetan villages which have their Buddhist cultures and practices. If you intend to trek the Upper Mustang area, you need a special trekking permit for that.
Trekkers fly into Pokorah and spend the day in that area enjoying the beauty of the valley. The next day they come to Jomsom, the starting point of the Upper Mustang trek. Each day, trekkers have to hike for about 6 to 7 hours through ancient trails that pass through rocky deserted areas.
The trek route includes everything from the bare highlands of the Himalayan cold deserts to the snow-filled peaks of Himalayan Mountain ranges. A major attraction of the Upper Mustang trek is Lo Manthang, a quiet Himalayan village, located in a semi-desert area in Nepal. This village is popular for its whitewashed mud brick walls, Buddhist monasteries and forts, and the Royal Palace.
This remote Himalayan village shares its boundary with Tibet and gives trekkers a very authentic Tibetan vibe, both in its inhabitants and cultural practices and its rigid landscapes and high cliffs.
The trekking route of the Upper Mustang trek also covers Kagbeni, the gateway to Upper Mustang, and takes trekkers through the rain shadow region of Dhaulagiri to Lo Manthang, the royal seat of the kingdom of Lo.
The Upper Mustang treklets you explore rock paintings, caves, and monasteries, besides allowing trekkers to learn and immerse into the authentic culture of this region. Trekkers also get the opportunity to witness the panoramic beauty of the Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Annapurna, and other mountain ranges.
This is an 11-day trek journey, with the difficulty level ranging from moderate to high. Older people are therefore advised not to undertake the Upper Mustang trek. The highest point of this trek is 4210 m. There are well-maintained trekking lodges for trekkers. Months between March to December are best for the Upper Mustang trek.
8. Annapurna Circuit Trek
If you are planning to start trekking in Nepal, you must include the Annapurna circuit trek in your list. It takes you through divine waterfalls and rich pine forests as trekkers hike through the rugged terrain of the Annapurna Massif. The Annapurna circuit trek circles around the Annapurna Range. The major highlights of this range are the 13 majestic mountain peaks that are to die for. Some of the peaks are at an elevation of more than 6000 m like Mt. Nilgiri, Tilicho peak, and Annapurna south. The highest mountain peak of this region, Annapurna stands at a height of 8,091 meters.
The uniqueness of the Annapurna circuit trek lies in the fact that it offers a little bit of everything. For instance, trekkers hike through rice terraces, Nepalese mountain communities, tribal villages, forests, etc. Getting an opportunity to interact with and know the native people of the Annapurna region is an exclusive feature of this trek.
This trek takes about 12 to 21 days to be completed. When you reach the endpoint and witness the snowcapped, high-rise mountain peaks, you feel blessed. That feeling is different. Trekkers are advised to trek from March to May or September to December.
9. Dhaulagiri Trek
The Dhaulagiri trek route includes a remote area in central Nepal. The trek begins at remote villages lying in the lap of the Dhaulagiri range. While moving towards the Dhaulagiri base camp, trekkers cross French Pass at an elevation of 5,360 meters into the Hidden Valley and camp there for two nights.
The Dhaulagiri trek centers around Mount Dhaulagiri. It's the seventh-highest mountain in the world, standing at an altitude of 8,167metres.
The Dhaulagiri trek begins in Beni, a not-so-large remote town. Beni is a two to three hours’ drive from Pokhara. The road to Beni is amazing for long drives, as it winds around the mountains and is considerably well-maintained. The Dhaulagiri trek ends at Jomsom.
If you are a trekking enthusiast and eager to opt for a challenging trek in Nepal, the Dhaulagiri circuit trek is surely an ideal one. It's a 12-day trek. Trekkers hike at an altitude of more than 5000 meters on 3 days out of those 12 days.
Before you choose to opt for the Dhaulagiri Circuit trek, make sure you are physically prepared. This trek isn't an easy one and requires some prior trekking experience. It's one of the most remote and wild trekking journeys in the Himalayas. The major attractions of this trek route include the Gandaki Gorge, and the Iced French and Thapa pass. Besides these, trekkers also get an opportunity to mix with the local inhabitants of the region- the Gurung and Magyar communities and experience their way of living life in the mountains.
10. Gokyo Lakes Trek
Another popular alternative to the Mount Everest base camp trek, that trekkers may consider worthwhile is theGokyo Lake trek. This is a great alternative trekking route and remains comparatively less crowded. Similar to the Mount Everest base camp trek, the Gokyo lake trek too offers stunning views of Everest and allows trekkers to enjoy overnight stays in the iconic town of Namche Bazaar, the gateway of the Khumbu Region.
The entire route leading to the Gokyo Lakes is less crowded. It offers considerable insight into the life of the villagers, lets you gaze at the icy rivers, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains and witness the pristine turquoise waters of the Gokyo Lakes themselves. The Gokyo lakes comprise six water bodies and are located at an altitude of 4700 m to 5000 m in the Gokyo valley. The Gokyo valley is a part of the Sagarmatha National Park area.
The Gokyo lakes are among the world's highest freshwater lakes and are a popular Ramsar site. A lot of inhabitants consider it sacred to Buddhists and Hindus
Tips To Remember While Trekking in Nepal
Now that we have covered the 10 best treks in Nepal, you need to be aware of some important tips while planning your next trek journey. We have enlisted some useful tips that you must remember when trekking in Nepal the next time.
- Choose a trek that isn't overly ambitious. Not everybody has the same stamina and energy. These treks are located at extremely high altitudes and demand a lot of fitness and strength. Keeping in mind the safety of the trekker, it's advised to choose a trek that caters to your fitness level. Trekking in the Himalayas for beginners is tough. If you are about to trek for the first time, you must train yourself physically before beginning your trek journey.
- If you are opting for any Himalayan hiking tours, you must be prepared for all sorts of weather conditions. It's tough to predict climatic conditions in the mountains. Therefore, remember to carry some essential trekking gear with you all the time, for your comfort and necessity. Some of them include:
- Down jacket
- Thermals for early mornings and nights
- Woollen t-shirts for the daytime
- Rain jacket for rain and snow
- Gaiters to help prevent snow from getting into your boots
- Water-proof hiking boots
- Rain cover for your backpack
- Drink a lot of water. It's important to keep your body hydrated when you are ascending. Experiencing shortness of breath, headache and nauseous is normal. However, if your headache and nausea increase, you must stop ascending and rest.
- Trekkers are advised not to overpack. When it comes to hiking, being a true minimalist helps a lot. Take half of what you think is necessary. Instead of taking more luxury items, carry the essentials and necessary winter clothing.
- Don't forget to carry the permits and fees before you leave. It's always good to carry extra cash. Several treks require a special permit to allow trekkers inside. You must furnish the authorities with the right permissions to go ahead.
- For most treks in Nepal, trekkers will need a TIMS card. TIMS stands for Trekkers Information Management System. It costs 2000 rupees approximately. One can get it from the Nepal Tourism Board Offices in Pokhara or Kathmandu. Trekkers must carry this green card throughout the trek.
Nepal offers a complete diversity of hiking trails, starting from the mighty Himalayas to lush green meadows, valleys, glaciers and arid plateaus. When it comes to trekking, no place in this world would match what Nepal offers.
The sights and vistas of the Himalayan Mountain ranges in Nepal simply cannot be ignored. Apart from the majestic mountains, one can also witness the diversity of the cities, villages, cultures, communities and lifestyles. From dirty rivers to pristine glaciers to some of the cleanest areas, Nepal provides you with the ultimate trekking experience. The capital of Nepal, Kathmandu is the hub of all activities in Nepal and people can expect all sorts of things here.
In short, the Himalayas of Nepal offers an entirely different story to be cherished. If you love to travel and wish to explore the world, there's no better place to start your journey than Nepal. Trek through the Himalayas of Nepal and gain a lifetime of memories!