Latest posts by Kanika Chopra (see all)
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Nepal houses the highest peak in the world, and this is one of the reasons Nepal is always crowded with trekkers. Nepal opened its gate to the outside world in 1949 when a British climber, Bill Tilman got permission from the king to trek in regions like Kali Gandaki, Helambu, and Everest. Colonel Jimmy Roberts was the first person to introduce trekking, the way we know it today, to the world. And within 8 years, 10 of the 14 peaks had been climbed. The first peak to be climbed was Annapurna in 1950, followed by Everest in 1953 by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Edmund Hillary, and the third was Nanga Parbat. Traditionally, Sherpas believed that some mountains were God’s abode and must not be intruded upon. And so for generations they never attempted to climb Mount Everest, until a steady stream of climbers from West made mountaineering a profitable enterprise. By now Sherpas had already established a reputation as an important part of trekking in the Nepal Himalayas.
With many peaks to climb, some of them get the reputation of being exceptionally beautiful and mystical. Everest and Annapurna Peaks have been on the top of the list of the most popular treks for many years but some other treks in Nepal are worth the effort! Not only will they mesmerise with their beauty, but also get you closer to the unique culture of Nepal. After the earthquake in April 2015, Nepal has opened its gate again for trekkers, and it has regained its tourism and now it is safe to go for a trek in the region.
It’s hard to choose a trekking destination in Nepal when you have so many to pick from. We have listed some of the most popular treks in Nepal which define the beauty of the Himalayas!
Everest Base Camp Trek
Nothing can beat this trek! What could be more intriguing than standing face to face with the Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world? More than the physical fitness, this trek demands the mental strength to get up there! Brisk walk for an hour a day and climbing stairs with ankle weights are the best training methods to start the preparation! The trek is ideal for anyone who is willing to go for it! If you reach the Base Camp on a full moon night, you will be stunned to see the sunset on the southwest face of Everest and the moon shining in the west of Everest. At 17,600 feet, the sight of Nuptse, Pumori, Lhotse, extremely beautiful Ama Dablam and the mighty Mount Everest will take your breath away! The journey that takes you to the gateway of the roof of the world, starts from Lukla and takes you through some old and traditional villages of Nepal like Namche Bazar, Tengboche and Lobuche. With a steady pace and enough time for acclimatization you will complete the Everest Base Camp Trek in 12 days. The best time to plan it is from March to May and October to November. Staying in a teahouse at such heights will really be an amazing experience!
Annapurna Circuit Trek
Annapurna was the first out of the eight – thousanders to be submitted in 1950, and perhaps the most popular trek in Nepal. French mountaineer Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were the first to climb it. The classical trek in the Annapurna region includes about a 100 mile circumnavigation of the Annapurna Range, and is also known for its range of diversity. Crossing some of the ethnic villages of the region, and Thorong La Pass, the circuit traverses the incredible mountains and glaciers of the Annapurna Conservation Area over the course of 15 to 20 days. Get amazing views of Annapurna, Machapuchare, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang Himal. From jungle to high alpine, verdant valley to the arid peaks, through the deepest gorges, you will have the best days in the Himalayas at an altitude of 17,388 feet. The ultimate trek can be done from March to May and October to November.
Gokyo Ri and Gokyo Lakes Trek
This is one of the few remote treks in Nepal, and unlike the other it is less crowded. Gokyo is one of the most picturesque regions around Everest. With enough time to acclimatize, the trek will take you to some of the raw landscapes of the Himalayas. Admire the enchanting turquoise lakes and climb Gokyo Ri to capture the panoramic view of the entire range. It’s a sight to behold; Nepal’s biggest glacier and an arc of snowy mountains will take you breath away at 17570 feet. The trek starts from Phakding, takes you through Khumbu region and ends at Lukla. March to May and September to December are the best months to go for this moderate grade trek!
Langtang Valley Trek
It’s always overlooked due to its lower altitude compared to other treks in Nepal. Langtang region is nearest to Kathmandu Valley and extremely beautiful. The trek will not only treat you with its beauty but also get you closer to the unique culture of Tamangs, Newars and Sherpas. You will get to climb small peaks in this trek and get to see amazing vistas of the glaciers. Some of the oldest monasteries of Nepal still stand in this region, and exploring them will be really fascinating. The 10 days trek starts from Kathmandu Valley to Syabrubesi – walk up from here into the Langtang Valley till you reach Kyanjin Gompa and see right into Tibet! This moderate trek takes you at an elevation of 16347 feet into Langtang National Park through forests of rhododendron, bamboo, gushing waterfalls and close to the amazing snowy peaks of the Himalayas! March to May and September to December are the best months for the Langtang Valley Trek.
Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek
Dhaulagiri Trek lies to the west of Annapurna Sanctuary region. It is one of the most offbeat treks in this region that has been opened in recent years. It is a splendid and challenging trek through the foothills of Annapurna and remote Kopra region. The trail goes to Ghorepani and Poon Hill, before deviating north, and then you will be standing face to face with Dhaulagiri and Annapurna south. Stay at a teahouse and catch the stunning sunrise at an elevation of 12006 feet. On your way down you can stop at Tatopani – hot springs. The panorama of Annapurna Dhaulagiri is awe-inspiring! It will be best to plan this 10 days trek from either March to May or from September to December.
Three Passes Trek
Three Passes Trek comes as an alternative to Everest Base Camp Trek. This trek will be an ultimate adventure of your life. Crossing these remote passes- Kongma La, Chong La, and Renjo La, will be a challenge but an awesome one! Sherpa villages, glaciers, passes and highlands, you will get to admire all at once. You will trek through the untouched and unexplored Nangpa La Valley to reach the highest elevation of 18159 feet. Autumn – September to December and Spring – March to May are the best seasons to go for this 29 days trek! The days will be sunny and warm but the nights can be freezing.
Upper Mustang Valley Trek
Mustang is a hidden paradise in Nepal – one of the least explored places in remote Trans-Himalayan Mountain area, also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom. It was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government opened it for all in 1992. Upper Mustang Valley Trek is one of the best and most challenging treks for adventure lovers who want to take an offbeat trek rather than following in the footprints. The old culture and landscapes are the highlights of this trek. The carved caves, semi – arid desert, and the 16th century old monastery is something worth the challenging effort of 15 days. Best time to go for this trek is from March to May and October to November.
Rara Lake Trek
One of the classic treks in Nepal, Rara Lake trek takes you to some of the most remote areas of West Nepal. It takes 15 days of moderate trekking to reach the enchanting Rara Lake. The lake has a lot to offer, apart from its beauty you may spot wildlife of Rara National Park like musk deer, Himalayan black bear, leopard, Himalayan goral, and other exotic animals. Rara Lake is the largest lake in Nepal at an elevation of 9810 feet. If you plan to go in autumn, from March to May, you will be welcomed by the alpine flowers and meadows. Otherwise September to December is also a good time to go.
Since 2010, Manaslu Trek has been one of the most popular treks in Nepal because it was officially declared as the “teahouse trek”. The stunning, vibrant culture and the dramatic valleys with Himalayan Peaks all around will make your 18 days unforgettable. Before reaching 16847 feet through the circuit, you will pass through at least 8 climatic zones. It’s one of the most challenging treks and includes crossing some of the most high passes in the region. Best time to go for the trek is from March to May and October to November.
Annapurna Sunrise Trek/Poon Hill trek
One of the most beautiful treks in the Nepal Himalayas, Poon Hill Trek is known for its stunning sunrise view over the panorama of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges. This proves to be the best trek if you are planning to explore the culture and traditions of Nepal villages. The view of Annapurna II, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machapuchare which is also known as “Fish Tail” will be alluring. Plan in March to May, and October and November for a week.