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Seven Best Trekking Routes in Nepal

Each year thousands of travelers journey to Nepal in search of adventure and discovery. From trekking the breathtaking Himalayas, traversing historic trails, to picnicking through lush forests filled with wildlife – there’s something for everyone. Take your pick from Mt. Everest Base Camp trek, Annapurna Base Camp Terk, Langtang Valley Trek, Upper Dolpo Trek, Upper Mustang Trek, and Manaslu region treks for a truly memorable experience!

Trekkers walking in Mt. Everest region
Landscape view of mountains in Nepal
Picture of Mt. Everest peak
On the way to Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

What trek could be rewarding and once-in-a-lifetime adventure than a trek to the foot of the world’s highest mountain? This trek is an average of 14 days on the trek and 20 days from arrival in Kathmandu. The number of trekking days may vary depending on how fast or slow you want to proceed and your time constraints. However, we suggest you keep some extra days at hand for any trek – as adventure travel can present some degree of the unexpected, though we will be there to fix anything.

A person walking at Everest Base Camp

After you arrive in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. You will spend a day in Kathmandu either making some last-minute preparations or visiting the ancient sites of Kathmandu. Patan, Basantapur, and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares ( old Palaces ), the famous Hindu pilgrimage site of Pashupatinath, and the Buddhist stupas of Swayambhu ( monkey temple ) and Boudha.

Airstrip of Lukla airport

You will then take a short STOL flight to Lukla, a mountain airstrip, which is an adrenaline rush. You will trek from Lukla to Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital; here, you will get to grips with the altitude and acclimate. Further on, you will head to Gorakshep. As you traverse the Dudh Koshi Valley in the Khumbu region, you will be treated to panoramic and spectacular views of Himalayan giants like Lhotse, Nuptse, and Ama Dablam. The highest point on your trek will be Kala Pathar ( 5550 m / 18, 204 feet ). The altitude at the base is 5364 m or 17,598 feet.

En route to base camp from Namche, you will also visit the ancient Tengboche monastery and have a chance to receive some blessings from the monks.

Annapurna Base Camp

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a rigorous 7-11 day trek. Once again, there are various options depending on your requirements, which areas you may choose to trek through, and whether you would like to make it a more gentle and easy one, in which case you may have to opt for a 14-day itinerary.

A trekking embarrassing a view of Mt. Annapurna

After you arrive in Kathmandu and have seen the prominent cultural and historical sights of Kathmandu, you may take the short 20-plus minute flight or the seven-hour minivan/bus drive to the Lakeside capital of Nepal. Pokhara, which will serve as your staging post for the trek. Pokhara is a scenic town that gives you an insight into what to expect on your hike in the Annapurna region. Machhapuchare ( Mt. Fishtail 6993 m ) seems to jut out from the valley and stands towering over the lake and town of Pokhara.

View from Sarangkot Pokhara, paragliding above Fewa Lake

You will take a 1 ½ drive from Pokhara to Nayapool and then to Ghorepani. Your trek will allow you to stand atop Poon Hill. Poon Hill is one of the best vantage points in the country to get one of the most breathtaking views of the Annapurna Massif and is particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset. From Ghorepani, you trek eastwards to Chomjong. You will also encounter the Modi Khola Valley until you finally reach Annapurna Base Camp ( 4130 m ).

View from Ghorepani Poonhill Trek

On your trek in the Annapurna Valley, you will be treated to spectacular scenery, farmlands, and enchanting Gurung community settlements and hamlets. The Gurung people are predominantly a business community; most services are in the British and Indian armies. Ghandruk and Landruk are typical Gurung villages. The trek will also take you past hot springs, waterfalls, and rhododendron forests.

Fewa Lake Pohkara

After your trek, You will return to Pokhara for a well-deserved bottle of chilled beer and vibrant nightlife with its wide selection of restaurants and pubs. The next day will be your flight back to Kathmandu.

Upper Mustang Trek

Though this very ancient kingdom was closed to outsiders, it finally opened its doors to visitors in 1988. The landscape and scenery in Mustang are unlike anywhere else in Nepal; you will trek through desert-like landscapes with organ-like cliffs.

Chorten on the way to Upper Mustang Trek

A short flight to Pokhara from Kathmandu and then onto Jomsom by another short flight will take you to the starting point of your trek. This is a 13 trek and will also allow you to visit the pilgrimage site of Muktinath, where Hindu Hindus and Buddhists revere the ancient cave monastery at Luri equally revere. This mystical trek will take you back to a magical and spiritual world. The maximum altitude on tour is 4200 m / 13,514 feet.

Annapurna Circuit & Annapurna Round ( Thorong La Pass )

The Annapurna region only opened its doors to trekkers in the early 1980s and has been one of the most popular treks ranging from gentle to rigorous grades. The Annapurna Circuit is a 19-day adventure through some of the most diverse scenery, landscape, cultures, flora, and fauna. As usual with the Annapurna region, you will fly from Kathmandu to the lakeside tourist town of Pokhara, your staging outpost.

This trek will take you to places like the Kaligandaki Gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, flanked by the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The hike also follows the Marshyangdi River to the east and Kaligandaki to the west. It traverses the Thorong La Pass ( 5416 m ), which is acclaimed as the most comprehensive pass. Apart from offering scenic trails through Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Thakali, Brahmin, and Chhetri hamlets and settlements, one may also encounter leopards, jackals, mountain thair ( goats ), Himalayan Pheasants, and many more. Flora also abounds in all its splendor and diversity.

The highlight of the trek is the panoramic clusters of giants that take your breath away. Some noteworthy ones are Dhaulagiri ( 8167 m ), Annapurna I ( 8091 m ), Manaslu ( 8163 m ), Annapurna II ( 7937 m ), Annapurna III ( 7555 m ), Annapurna IV ( 7525 m ), Annapurna South ( 7219 m ), Nilgiri ( 7041 m ), Machhapuchare ( 6998 m ), Hiunchuli ( 6441 m ), Lamjung Himal ( 6986 m ), Tukuche Peak ( 6920 m ), Tilicho Peak ( 7134 m ).

Langtang Trek ( Options to combine with Gosaikund and Helambu )

This region is easily accessible from Kathmandu and is situated 19 miles north of the capital. It is an 8-hour drive to the starting point of the trek at Syabru Bensi. This is a lushly forested valley close to the Tibetan border. However, despite its easy accessibility, it is a less trekked area. Depending on your itinerary and combination, this trek allows you to visit the sacred Gosaikund Lake, highly revered by Hindus, and an opportunity to take a peek across the border to Tibet. The walk involves 7 to 20 days of vigorous to strenuous walking and trekking.

The Langtang trek is known as the ‘Valley of Glaciers Trek’ and gives astounding views of glaciers and peaks like the dominating Langtang Lirung ( 7246 m ). It takes you through pine forests, swift mountain streams, rugged rocks, and panoramic 360-degree views of peaks. It will also allow you to sample and interact with Tibetan culture and people and look into well-preserved Buddhist practices. Your maximum altitude on this trek is 4984 m or 16,352 feet.

Manaslu Trek

The Manaslu Trek is an excellent alternative to the Annapurna Circuit and can be trekked in 12-14 days, depending on a moderate to rigorous choice of adventure. This trek follows the trek over the Larkye la Pass ( 5160 m ). This is a relatively new version and sees fewer trekkers compared to the more established routes and regions,

The trek starts at either Arughat or Gorkha Bazaar and ends at Besisahar, the starting point of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The hike will take you through enchanting and scenic Hindu and Tibetan villages. It offers magnificent views of Manaslu ( 8163 m ). The trek initially passes through Hindu villages in the lush green lowlands of the countryside. As you head north, the valley opens up to alpine meadows and rustic Tibetan villages, which cluster beneath the north face of the Manaslu peak. The trail then reaches Samagaon, the region’s largest and most important town. From this point on, you will cross the Larkye La Pass ( 5160 m ), followed by a classic and demanding route linking Buri Gandaki and Marshyangdi Valley. You will then descend through alpine meadows at Bimthang to finally make it to Besisahar to join up, which joins up with the Annapurna Circuit route.

Upper Dolpo Trek

Leaving Kathmandu for a vigorous to strenuous 21-day trek takes you to the once restricted area of Upper Dolpo, which still practices an ancient form of Buddhism and Bonpo traditions – shamanistic; the villages and gompas reflect this lifestyle as it is part of their everyday lives. This area is more desolate than the Dolpo circuit and, therefore, purer and isolated from the rest of the country. The number of visitors is also regulated and requires special permits ( arranged for you by us ).

The trek takes you to Shey Gompa, the spiritual heart of Upper Dolpo. The magical Crystal Mountain is a revered destination for pilgrims and can be considered Dolpo’s version of Mt. Kailash. This strenuous hike traverses three high passes – Nagdalo La 5350, Shey La 5000 m, and Jeng La 5110 m – and involves many ascending and descending. Most of the trek will be above 4000 m and be prepared for cold nights. However, the stunning views, incredible landscapes, and ancient cultures you experience are worth this effort.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Nepal is a paradise for trekkers, with a wide range of options. Nepal’s seven most popular trekkings are Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, Langtang Valley Trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Makalu Base Camp, Upper Mustang Trek, and Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek. Each of these treks offers a unique experience, with breathtaking views of the Himalayas, cultural interactions with local communities, and a chance to challenge oneself physically and mentally. You will have an unforgettable Nepal adventure regardless of which trek you choose.

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Keshab Karki
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