Nepal- A country shrouded in mystery, ancient culture and natural beauty. This tiny nation holds a stunning location in the midst of the Himalayas mountain range and is home to eight out of ten of the world’s tallest mountains. It is no wonder that Nepal is a haven for trekking and attracts hundreds of thousands of trekkers annually from all over the world. Whether an experienced trekker, or a beginner, if you are interested in trekking in Nepal, read on for essential information as well as the highlights of ten of our favourite Himalayan treks.

 

Our key to Himalayan trekking difficulty:

Low


Trekking at altitudes that don’t usually require acclimatisation periods. Usually a well paved trail with comforts along the way such as restaurants, guest houses and lodges. Requires an average level of fitness to complete. Usually comfortable trekking times of 2-6 hours per day.

Moderate


Trekking at altitudes that reach over 10,000 feet (3,048m). Possibility of tackling difficult terrains or conditions along the way.  Requires an average to above average fitness level to complete. Could involve trekking times of up to 10 hours on some days.

Hard


High- Altitude trekking, with altitudes exceeding 15, 000 feet (4,572m). Strong possibility of tackling difficult terrain or conditions during the trek. Requires a high level of physical fitness, endurance and stamina to complete. Could involve trekking times of 10 hours+. on some days. Usually requires camping, and trekking through very remote areas.

1) Everest Base Camp Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficultyModerate.

  • Length of Trek– 12/13 days.
  • Popularity– +25,000 trekkers per year.
  • Cost– Expect to spend in the region of USD $1,400- $1,700 if using a trekking company. If trekking alone, the Sagamartha National Park permit costs 3000 Nepalese rupees ($27), and a required TIMS card is $20, but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete– March- May or late September to early December.
  • Restricted Permits– Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation– 5,600m.
  • Accommodation type: Guesthouses and lodges.
  • Starting Point- Lukla- Short flight from Kathmandu, although a long bus journey is possible.

The Everest Base Camp Trek is an extremely popular Himalayan trek in the Khumbu region of Nepal, and rightly so! This trek is by no means an easy trek to complete, you will certainly need to take the time to acclimatise (normally three acclimatisation days are recommended during the trek) as well as sufficient training. But you will have the comfort of trekking a well- worn trail. There are man-made steps and bridges throughout the trek as well as guest houses and lodges, and you will never be too far from other people (especially if trekking during peak season). You will experience incredible mountain vistas, hike past glaciers, meet the local inhabitants- the Sherpas, famed as some of the world’s friendliest people, and of course feel the accomplishment of hiking to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain- Mt Everest (8,848m). The trek descends down the same route as the ascent.

Highlight: Experience the once in a lifetime view at Kala Patthar (5,600m) that spans incredible views of Lhotse, Nuptse, and Everest.

 2) Annapurna Circuit Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficultyModerate

  • Length of Trek– 13/14 days
  • Popularity– +100,000 trekkers per year
  • Cost– With a trekking company expect to spend in the region of $800- $1000. If trekking independently, permit price= $20 but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete– March- May and Oct- Nov
  • Restricted Permits– Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation– 5,416m.
  • Accommodation type– Guesthouses and Lodges.
  • Starting Point– Pokhara.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a 128 mile horseshoe shaped trek that circles the jaw- dropping Annapurna range, offering breathtaking views around every corner. The great part about this Himalayan trek is that the views constantly change, and as the route follows a horseshoe shape, you won’t walk the same path twice unlike the Everest Base Camp Trek. This trek is certainly not a secret, be prepared to walk the trail with perhaps more company than is desirable during peak season, but don’t be put off too quickly- many who walk the trail report of fond memories and friendships made with fellow trekkers from all over the world. It is a well- developed trek with a good degree of comfort, however at least one day is needed to acclimatise during the trek, as well as sufficient training.

Highlight: Cross the world’s widest pass – the Thorong La Pass, at 5,416m.

3) Annapurna Base Camp Trek

 

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficultyModerate

  • Length of Trek– 9/10 days
  • Popularity– +100,000 trekkers per year
  • Cost-With a trekking company expect to pay in the region of $500-700 USD. If trekking independently, permit price=$20 but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete– March-May and October- November.
  • Restricted Permits– Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation– 4,320m
  • Accommodation Type– Guesthouses and Lodges
  • Starting Point– Pokhara.

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the perfect trek if you wish to accomplish a high- altitude himalayan trek, and experience stunning views of the Annapurna range but don’t have enough time to complete one of the longer treks. This Himalayan trek can be completed in only nine days and is basically a trek up to the base camp of the world’s tenth highest mountain- Annapurna. It is comparatively easier than some of the other high- altitude treks in Nepal, although sufficient training is certainly needed. The trek also passes by the Machhapuchre base camp so you will have the chance to visit two base camps in one trek!

Highlight: Experience outstanding panoramic views of Machhapuchre, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Himchili, and many other snow-capped Himalayan peaks.

4) LangTang Valley Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Moderate.

  • Length of Trek- 7/13 days
  • Popularity- 13,000 trekkers per year.
  • Cost- Expect to spend in the region of $500- $800 if travelling with a trekking company. If trekking independently, permit price = $20 but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and October- November.
  • Restricted Permits- Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation- 4,984m.
  • Accommodation Type- Guesthouses and Lodges.
  • Starting Point– Syarubesi- 7 hour bus journey from Kathmandu.

The LangTang valley trek is also known as the ‘valley of glaciers’ trek. During this Himalayan trek you will experience a huge variety of different terrains; grassy meadows, pine forest, rhododendron forest, rugged rock, and snow capped peaks. It is a fairly well- worn trail- you will be able to stay at guest houses and lodges along the route, however it is a much less popular and expensive trek than some of the other high- altitude Himalayan treks. If you want to experience some more remote trekking but still maintain a level of comfort then this could be a great option for you. This trek is situated in the north of Nepal, close to Tibet and as a result you will have the opportunity to experience some Tibetan culture and traditions along the way. You will need to complete sufficient training in preparation for this trek.

Highlight: Reach the top of Tserko peak, at 4,984m. Fantastic panoramic views of Mt Langtag-ri, Langtang Himal, Langsisa and Ganjala Peak.

5) Ghorepani Poonhill Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Low to moderate.

  • Length of Trek- 4/6 days.
  • Popularity- +100,000 trekkers per year.
  • Cost- Around $400 with a trekking company. If trekking independently permit price= $20 but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and October- November.
  • Restricted Permits- Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation- 3,210m
  • Accommodation Type- Guesthouses and Lodges.
  • Starting Point– Nayapul- A short taxi ride from Pokhara.

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, is one of the easier options for trekking in Nepal. This Himalayan trek doesn’t usually require an acclimatisation period, and anyone with a good level of physical fitness prior to the trek should be able to complete it without specific training. The trek offers great views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, and you can complete the trek with a good level of comfort; staying at guest houses along the way.

Highlight: Experience a famous and unforgettable sunrise from the top of Poon Hill, with panoramic views of the Himalayas.

6) Gokyo- Ri Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Moderate

  • Length of Trek- Approximately 12 days
  • Popularity- + 36,000 trekkers per year.
  • Cost- Expect to pay in the region of $800- $1300 with a trekking company. If trekking independently, permit price =$20 but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and Oct- Nov.
  • Restricted Permits- Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation- 5,357m.
  • Accommodation Type- Guesthouses and Lodges.
  • Starting Point- Lukla- Usually requires a short flight from Kathmandu although a long bus journey is possible.

The Gokyo- Ri Trek is a much lesser known trek than the Everest Base Camp trek, and yet is a fantastic alternative to it. The elevation reached on this Himalayan trek is almost that of the Everest Base Camp, and the trek provides wonderful views of Mt Everest. It is a challenging trek, and requires acclimatisation time and sufficient training to complete. If you are looking for a challenging Himalayan trek, with brilliant views of Mt Everest but a more remote trekking experience, then this could be the perfect trek for you. During this Trek, you will also view the spectacular five emerald green lakes of the Gokyo region as well as the beautiful Gokyo village.

Highlight: Experience a variety of outstanding views; from the Gokyo emerald green lakes, to the picture perfect view of Mt Everest, this trek is rumoured by many to provide the best panoramic view of the Himalayas range (as compared with other treks in Nepal).

7) Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Hard.

  • Length of Trek- Approximately 20 days 
  • Popularity- 650 trekkers per year
  • Cost- Can cost up to $3,000 USD with a trekking company. Permit pricing below, other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and Oct- Nov.
  • Restricted Permits- Yes – have to be a minimum of two trekkers and must hire a local guide or porter. The Restricted Permit for this trek costs approximately US$ 10 per person per week.
  • Max Elevation- 5,160m.
  • Accomodation Type- Camping.
  • Starting Point– Tablejung- usually requires a short flight to Bhadrapur (India) from Kathmandu followed by a 5 hour road journey to Tablejung.

The Kanchenjunga trek is not for the faint- hearted; this is a challenging trek, and should only be attempted if you have a good level of physical fitness and have completed sufficient training as well as previous mountaineering experience. The Kanchenjunga Trek visits one of the most rural areas of Nepal, near the borders of Sikkim (India) and Tibet. During this trek, you will experience fantastic views of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third tallest mountain, at 8,586m. The area that you will trek through is rich in wildlife and home to iconic species such as the snow leopard, Tibetan wolf and red panda as well exotic bamboo jungle and pine forest. You will find yourself immersed in a range of nepalese culture and lifestyle in this region, from Rai and Limbus to Tibetan Buddhist villages.

Highlight: Trek in a very remote area of Nepal and experience the culture of these rural communities as well as some great wildlife. Also enjoy outstanding views of Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Makalu.

8) Makalu Base Camp Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Hard.

  • Length of Trek- Approximately 17 days.
  • Popularity- 1,500 trekkers per year.
  • Cost- If trekking with a trekking company- prices are commonly around $3000 USD. If trekking independently, permit pricing below, other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and Oct- Nov.
  • Restricted Permits- Yes – minimum of 2 trekkers per party and you must hire a local guide or porter. The restricted permit for Makalu Base Camp costs US$ 10 per person for the first four weeks. After four weeks the price rises to approximately US$ 20 per person.
  • Max Elevation- 5,250m.
  • Accommodation Type- Camping.
  • Starting point– Chichira- requires a short flight from Kathmandu to Tumlintar and then a 3-4 hour road journey to Chichira.

The Makalu Base Camp Trek is another challenging trek that should only be attempted if you have prior mountaineering experience. The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a brilliant choice if you are experienced and want a trek that avoids the crowds, and provides a sense of solace and tranquility in breathtaking surroundings. During this trek, you will experience a variety of terrains; from lush meadows and verdant rhododendron forests on the lower reaches of the trail to hanging glaciers, snow-capped peaks and overflowing waterfalls on the upper reaches. You will experience brilliant views of Mt. Makalu along the way (the world’s fifth tallest mountain).

Highlight: Feel a true sense of accomplishment when you reach Mt. Makalu Base Camp. Enjoy the spectacular vista from Shersong ridge at 5,250m.

9) Everest view Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Low to Moderate

  • Length of Trek- 6/12 days.
  • Popularity- 12, 000 trekkers per year
  • Cost- With a trekking company expect to spend anywhere in the region of $800-$2000. Permit price =$20 but other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, accommodation, and transport to and from the start of the trek
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and Oct- Nov, possible any time of the year apart from the monsoon months (Jul, Aug).
  • Restricted Permits- Not currently but always check for the latest information.
  • Max Elevation- 3,870m
  • Accommodation Type- Guesthouses and lodges
  • Starting Point– Lukla, usually a short flight from Kathmandu although there is a long bus journey alternative.

The Everest View Trek is a fantastic option for those seeking an easier Himalayan trek, whilst still enjoying spectacular scenery, an awe-inspiring view of Mt. Everest, and the chance to experience rural Nepali culture. This Himalayan Trek can be completed in just a few days or over a longer period of time, if you would like to immerse yourself in some fascinating Nepali mountain communities.

Highlight: Experience a breathtaking view of Mt Everest from Tengboche.

10) Manaslu Trek

Length of Trek (Days)

Popularity (Approx Visitors/ Year)

Max Elevation (meters)

Trekking difficulty- Hard.

  • Length of Trek- 15 days
  • Popularity- 6,500 trekkers per year.
  • Cost- Very few opportunities to complete with a trekking company. Permit pricing below, other costs to be considered include porter/guide hire, and transport to and from the start of the trek.
  • Best time of year to complete- March- May and Oct- Nov.
  • Restricted Permits- Yes, minimum of two trekkers per party and you must hire a local guide or porter. Permit costs $35 for the first 8 days plus $70 for the restricted area.
  • Max Elevation- 5,115m.
  • Accommodation Type- Guesthouses and Lodges. The 2015 earthquake had a devastating impact on the Manaslu region of Nepal and many of the trails lodges were destroyed however reconstruction is moving forward rapidly to bring tourism back to the area, and finding lodging shouldn’t be a problem by early 2017.
  • Starting Point- Arughat- 6 hour road journey from Kathmandu.

The Manaslu Trek is in our eyes, the ‘up and coming’ trek in Nepal, and is set to replace the ‘Annapurna Circuit Trek’ in coming years. It is certainly a strenuous Himalayan trek and one that requires acclimatisation and sufficient training, however the natural beauty of this area plus the variety of terrains that you will trek through are well worth the training. This trek, like the Annapurna Circuit trek, takes the form of a horse shoe shape, meaning that you will not walk the same path twice, and will experience new views around every corner. During the trek you will experience stunning views of Mt Manaslu and the Ganesh Himal range.

Highlight: Experience spectacular views of Mt Manaslu (8163m). Enjoy this trek before the crowds flood in in future years.


There we have it- Our 10 favourite Himalayan treks in Nepal. I hope to have provided you with an insight into trekking in Nepal, and hopefully have inspired you to get training, and get out there! It really is an incredibly stunning part of the world in which to complete a trek, and after the devastating effect of its earthquake in 2015, needs tourism now more than ever! 

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