For many visitors, the reason for coming to Nepal is the prospect of a high-altitude trek. The best time to trek is late September and early October when the mountain views are superb (and can continue to be so throughout crisp winter). The first quarter of the year provides perfect trekking conditions, with the one drawback that views of the peaks are often obscured by hazy conditions. With diverse landscapes, rich culture and lofty peaks, Nepal is a trekker’s paradise. Here is a detailed guide to famous trekking places in Nepal. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the famous trekking places in Nepal.
Famous Trekking Places in Nepal
There are literally hundreds of treks to choose from in the eight major trekking regions of Nepal. Your choice will depend upon the time you have and the season.
The major trekking places in Nepal are:
- Annapurna Himal
- Everest Base Camp Trek
- Dhaulagiri Himal
- Ganesh Himal
- Langtang Himal
- Khumbu Himal
- Rolwaling Himal
- Gosaikunda Lake Trek
- Dolpo Trek
- Tsum Valley Trek
- Pikey Peak Trek
- Narphu Valley Trek
- Dhampus Village Trek
- Cho Oyu
- Upper Mustang Trek
- Thang Boche
1. Annapurna Himal
The Annapurna Circuit is famous for its varied scenery, including lush forests, terraced fields, and high mountain desert. It’s a classic trek in the Annapurna region.
The most popular trekking areas are Annapurna Himal and Dhaulagiri Himal from Pokhara with dozens of high-altitude walks to choose from, including the Royal trek that follows in the footsteps of the Prince of Wales and gives you three to five days in Gurung and Gurkha country, east of the Pokhara valley.
Highlights of the six-10-day Ghandruk to Ghorapani trek are outstanding panoramas of Machha puchhre, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. The 17 to 19 day Kali Gandaki to Muktinath route is in excellent condition in the winter, although you might encounter some snow at Ghorapani.
2. Everest Base Camp Trek
The iconic Everest Base Camp trek takes you to the foot of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. It’s a challenging but rewarding journey through Sherpa villages and stunning landscapes.
3. Dhaulagiri Himal
Treks in Dhaulagiri take you through a veritable wonderland of meadows, forest and villages and among some of the happiest and most generous people in the world, allowing you to savor the simple lifestyles and delightful scenery to the full. The contrast between the stark, ice-white peaks set against the conifer and rhododendron forests, the azure sky above, verdant spring and summer fields below, can steal your breath as much as climbing these heights.
Villages straggle down the hillsides in a series of terraces, just like the paddies and grain fields and there’s always time and reason enough to rest in one of the many tea houses, simple little cafes where the refreshments helps beat the debilitating dehydration brought about by high altitudes and exercise.
In contrast to the dozens of trekking options around Dhaulagiri and Annapurana, there are few around Manaslu. This is all the more delightful because these tracks take you to the feet of such giants as 8,158m (26,766 ft) high Manaslu and its sister peaks, including sacred 7406 m (24,298 ft) high Ganesh Himal I with its seven lesser peaks and forbidding 7,893 m (25,895 ft) high Himal Chuli.
Take the Trisuli valley through Trisuli Bazaar around the north face of Himal Chuli and Manaslu and you’ll walk through hills clad with evergreen forests, thundering waterfalls and alpine flora: oaks, alders, firs and rhododendrons. Village houses are sturdy gabled, two-storied brick and thatch affairs. Among the many large and striking monasteries are some which are surprisingly small one, with a pagoda style roof and a circular top, which is like a cross between a lighthouse and a Suffolk grain store.
5. Ganesh Himal
A 14-day trek leaves Ganesh Himal in the east and takes you around the north face of Himal Chuli and Manaslu. Almost into China’s backyard, through bleak and wind swipt passes, skirting glaciers and frozen lakes up to a height of more than 4,500 m (15,000 ft).
Close to the borders is Somdu, Nepal’s most remote permanent settlement, a village of 200 souls about 40 families whose fields and paddies are covered with snow until late in the year. Nearby, there are also the twin villages of Li and Lo. All along the way the trails are lined with the inevitable prayer stone, mani, of the staunch Buddhist who inhabit the region.
6. Langtang Himal
Retracing your footsteps to Trisuli Bazaar, turn northeast and climb the trail that winds along the east bank of the Trisuli river to enter on of Nepal’s most enchanted regio0ns and another classic trekking region fabled Langtang Himal with its monasteries, stupas, prayer walls and places made sacred by the Hindu scriptures.
When Nepal opened its doors to foreigners in 1950, the first to venture into its hidden mountain sanctuaries were British climbers Eric Shipton and H.W. Tilman who “discovered” Langtan Himal’s many marvels just 75 km (47 miles) north of Kathmandu unknown then to many Nepalis. No city in the world can claim a more incredible backdrop. Tilman’s comment that it is “one of the most beautiful valleys in the world” is still considered an understatement by some.
Outside the rustic tea houses that refresh the traveler, ancient bo trees, their gnarled limbs lide rheumy fingers, spread a thick canopy of shade over Langtang’s version of the patio, old stone terraces with seats stepped into the stonework.
Dominating the valley at its north end is Nepal’s 7,245 m (23,769 ft) high Langtang Lirung, a few kilometers beyond which on the Tibetan borders, rises its sister peak, 7,238 m (23,748 ft) high Langtang Ri; both overshadowed by Shisha Pangma sacred 8,013m (26,291 ft) high Gosainthan of Hindu mythology one of the legendary abodes of Shiva. You get sudden and unexpected views of some of these peaks as you take the trail hacked out of the gorge above Trisuli Bazaar. On the more level areas, it cuts through stands of juniper and rhododendron, blue pine and cushion plants.
Langtang National Park
Langtan’s Principal purpose is as a wildlife and botanical sanctuary Langtang National Park, a haven for the endangered snow leopard, leopard, Himalayan black bear, red panda and wild dog. Outside the 20 or so alpine villages roam 30 different species of wildlife, while more than 150 different kinds of birds have nested among the region’s 1000 botanical species. It is the most popular of all Nepal’s wilderness areas a wonderland of hardy mountain people, animal, birds forests and mountains much of it preserved within the nation’s second largest national park spread across 1,243 sq km (472 sq miles).
7. Khumbu Himal
Khumbu Himal is for the serious, handy trekker a 25 to 30 day walk interspersed with Sherpa villages. Though the scenery is sensational, it’s extremely cold. If you are flying in and out, expert some delays Lukla flights are inextricably tied to the weather and if you miss your flight the staff drop you back to the bottom of the list which on one occasion, meant an extended stay of some three weeks for one unlucky person.
By plane it is only forty minutes from Kathmandu to Lukla, more than 2,700 m (9,000 ft) above sea level. Its landing strip is on an uphill gradient, one side of which drops precipitously thousands of meters to the floor of the Dudh Koshi valley.
8. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
Located in eastern Nepal, this trek takes you to the base camp of Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak. It’s a remote and less-traveled region with rich biodiversity.
9. Makalu Base Camp Trek
Makalu Base Camp offers a pristine trekking experience in the shadow of Mount Makalu, the fifth highest peak. It’s known for its challenging terrain and stunning biodiversity.
10. Rolwaling Himal trekking
Rolwaling Himal trekking offers adventurous opportunities in the Himalayan region of Nepal. It includes challenging treks like the Rolwaling Valley Trek, which is known for its toughness and optional climbing sections. This 20 to 21-day trek takes you through the scenic Rolwaling Valley, below the towering Gaurishankar peak. The region is rich in natural beauty and offers a unique off-the-beaten-path experience for trekkers.
11. Gosaikunda Lakeland
This trek takes you to the sacred Gosaikunda Lake, nestled in the Langtang National Park. It’s a pilgrimage site and offers stunning views of the Himalayas.
For centuries this trail has been a trade route between Kathmandu and Rasuwa Garhi across the border in Tibet. During July and August this rocky track becomes a mass of humanity as devout Hindu pilgrims worshippers of Shiva, head for Langtang’s Gosaikund Lakeland. These half a dozen small lakes sparkle like jewels in the midday sunshine and are said to have been formed when Shiv thrust his trident into the mountainside. From Gosaikund it’s possible to continue over the pass into the remote but eternally beautiful reaches of upper Helambu, best in springtime when the rhododendrons bloom. Here too the headwaters of Nepal’s major river, the sun Kosi, mingle together from scores of tumbling waterfalls, roaring rivers and laughing streams.
Swiss explorer, geologist, adventures Tony Hagen shared Tilman’s passion for Langtang Himal and ignited the same feelings in another Swiss a UN farm advisor Kyangjin monastery at around 3,840 m (12,500 ft) and which, whatever the quality of the cheese, provides some of the most spectacular mountain view found anywhere.
12. Dolpo Trek
Dolpo, featured in the movie “Himalaya,” is a remote and less-visited region. The trek explores traditional Tibetan villages and serene landscapes.
13. Tsum Valley Trek
Tsum Valley, known as the “Hidden Valley,” is a sacred Himalayan pilgrimage destination with unique culture and landscapes.
14. Pikey Peak Trek
Pikey Peak offers panoramic views of the Himalayas and is perfect for those seeking a shorter trek with stunning vistas.
15. Narphu Valley Trek
Narphu Valley is a hidden gem with fewer trekkers, showcasing Tibetan culture and breathtaking scenery.
16. Dhampus Village Trek
A short trek with stunning mountain views, Dhampus Village is perfect for those with limited time.
17. Cho Oyu
You can use Namche to approach Cho Oyu, either west up the Bhote Kosi valley or north of Khumbila up the Dudh Kosi valley. The westward route takes you up the Renjo Pass, coming down to Dudh Pokhari, a beautiful glacial lake in the Ngozumpa glacier. There’s a passable chance en route of seeing some of Sagarmatha National Park’s wildlife: wolf, bear, musk deer, feral goat species, even the brilliantly colored crimson horned or Impeyan pheasants of this region.
18. Upper Mustang Trek
Upper Mustang, a hidden kingdom, offers a unique trekking experience with its arid landscapes and Tibetan culture. Special permits are required for this restricted area.
19. Thang Boche
A hard four – hour slog, or a full day’s strenuous effort from Namche on the trail to Everest, you’ll come to Khumbu and the most famous of its monasteries, Thang boche, known the world over for it’s stupendous views of Everest, Lhostse, with the unmistakable 6,855 m (22,491 ft) high obelisk of Ama Dablam, in the background.