Nepal Trekking Guide

Laura Pattara

Dreaming of a trekking expedition to Nepal? Then read on to discover the most popular hiking routes in the country

Home to no less than eight of the world’s 14 top peaks above 8,000m, and boasting the most revered one of all, Mt Everest, Nepal is regarded as the world’s premier high-altitude trekking destination. Although we’ve previously waxed lyrical about there being more to Nepal than sore feet, there’s no denying that experiencing this country, one foot in front of the other, is still the #1 wish on most people’s bucket-list. Yet contrary to popular belief, the world’s highest mountain range is not reserved for hard-core trekkers alone. Nepal also attracts hobby hikers, those who dream of immersing themselves in breathtaking Himalayan wilderness although not necessarily looking to test their supreme-athlete-like endurance levels. Happy to just enjoy a magnificent view of Mt Everest up close…but don’t need to climb to the top? Then this guide was created with you in mind.

Here is your comprehensive trekking guide to Nepal outlining the most popular routes, all of which offer spectacular Himalayan scenery framed by some of the world’s highest peaks, combined with a bevy of enticing Nepalese cultural highlights.

Everest Base Camp Trek– Medium/Challenging Grade – 14 days

The most famous trek route in Nepal and one of the world’s most coveted offers a very distinct experience, with oodles of Sherpa village culture along with some of the most recognisable vistas of all. There’s something utterly romantic about retracing the steps of some of the most accomplished mountaineers in history although you should expect have plenty of company along the way. The most prominent trek does attract the highest number of visitors, so the route doesn’t feel as remote as some of the others on our list. Still an absolute splendour and dream of many, this trek meanders past high-altitude monasteries and local villages and dishes up arresting views of the grandest Himalayan mountain of all. Your highest point on this trek is 5,600m at Kala Patthar.

How to do it? See here and, for a unique return trip, check out this amazing trek + helicopter return tour

View of Everest from Gokyo Ri with tourist on the way to Everest base camp - Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
View of Everest from Gokyo Ri with tourist on the way to Everest base camp – Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Annapurna Base Camp Trek – Medium Grade – 10/12 days

If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring sensory overload, then the Annapurna Base Camp Trek offers the most comprehensive experience of all. With an abundance of imposing seven and 8,000m peaks framing your every step and a multitude of truly picturesque valleys, you’ll kiss the base of the Annapurna range for the duration of your trek, hiking through pristine Alpine landscapes, past meadows in full bloom in Spring, stunning terraced rice fields, remote local villages and luscious bamboo and rhododendron forests. Your ‘almost there’ break at the Annapurna Base Camp, which sits at an altitude of just over 4,000m, will be your highest altitude stop. From here, you’ll tackle a hearty trek to Dhampus to enjoy sensational views over the Pokhara Valley. This loop trek has Pokhara has its base point, a short 25-minute flight from Kathmandu. Being a medium-grade trek and offering such a great diversity of scenery and plenty of wildlife-watching-options, the Annapurna Base Camp trek is immensely popular and considered one of the world’s best trekking routes.

How to do it? See here

Tibetan Flags at Annapurna Base Camp 4200m (Himalaya, Nepal). Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Tibetan Flags at Annapurna Base Camp 4200m (Himalaya, Nepal). Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Langtang Valley Trek – Medium Grade – 10 days

Revered for the diversity of scenery it offers, and close-up contact with local Tamang cultural villages, the Langtang Valley Trek serves up spellbinding views of the Annapurnas and, despite it being close to Kathmandu, still offers an off-the-beaten-trail Himalayan trekking adventure. For those who rate the nature and culture of Nepal an equal priority, this trek is ideal. With a maximum altitude of just under 5,000m, this gentler trek still dishes up plenty of startling scenery for relatively lesser efforts.

How to do it? See here

River from Langtang trek in Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
River from Langtang trek in Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Poon Hill Trek – Easy Grade – 6 days

Ideal for those big on expectations but short on time, the Poon Hill Trek is a relatively easy Himalayan hiking route which still delivers plenty of bang. Superlative scenery will be the order of the day, as the hike takes you from Pokhara past the gloriously iconic terraced fields and rhododendron forests of Nepal, and its most authentic highland villages, staying in teahouses along the way and, as always, soaking up the views of vertiginous, snow-capped peaks. If you dream of a Himalayan trekking experience but are apprehensive about testing your fitness to the max then rest assured the Poon Hill Trek ill fit the bill. You’ll hike, on average, between 4 and 6 hours per day and reach a maximum elevation of just over 3,200m.

How to do it? See here

Couple watching the Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,172m) from Poon Hill, Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Couple watching the Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,172m) from Poon Hill, Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Chisapani to Nagarkot Trek – Easy Grade – 3 days

Another short, sweet and gentle trekking option in Nepal, the Chisapani to Nagarkot trek trails through the stunning Shivapuri National Park, offering startling views of Mt Everest and Annapurna whilst maintaining its pace – and elevation – at very manageable levels. Blending the best natural and cultural highlights of the country, this condensed but immensely rewarding trek follows a beautiful forest trail with marvellous panoramic mountain views and offers the added bonus of simply sensational sunrise and sunset viewing spots. Suitable for just about all fitness levels and certainly ideal if you have no prior high-altitude trekking experience, the Chisapani to Nagarkot trek trails past local villages and towns, offering plenty of rest and local cultural insights along the way.

How to do it? See here

Chisapani, Nepal - through a moss covered frame. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Chisapani, Nepal – through a moss covered frame. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nepal Comfort Lodge Trek – Easy – 13 days

A gem of a tour we’ve concocted for all those looking for a touch of comfortable luxury and fabulous variety on their Himalayan trekking experience, a Nepal Comfort Lodge Trek steers clear of extremes and allows you to enjoy the best scenery, best trekking, best wildlife-watching and best activities, all the whilst staying in luxury lodges along the way. With inclusions like a 6-day trek in the foothills of the Annapurnas, a Grade II rafting adventure in Damauli and an unforgettable jungle safari by 4WD and canoe in the Chitwan National Park – home of rhinos, leopards, tigers, elephants and – this truly comprehensive tour is pure perfection for those who want a little of every treasure Nepal has to do offer.

How to do it? See here

Indian one horned rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Indian one horned rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nepal trekking Guide – Logistics

Nepal has recovered remarkably well after the devastating earthquake of 2015 and, although you’re bound to see signs of ongoing recovery in some of the towns and villages, your trekking and travel experience, in general, will not be inconvenienced. On the contrary, seeing how these incredibly resilient people have picked up the pieces after such a catastrophic natural disaster and rebuilt their lives (and livelihood) is one of the most heart-warming and unforgettable experience you’ll arguably have.

Pokhara is the most popular basepoint for trekking in Nepal although there are quite a few hiking options starting directly from Kathmandu. Nevertheless, flights between the two cities are frequent and short, lasting merely half an hour.

All the trekking time estimates mentioned above relate solely to the trek in question, that’s why you’ll notice a few days added to our tours, to facilitate transfers and acclimatisation. Do note that no matter how experienced a high-altitude trekker you may be, you should always include a few days of rest upon arrival, to account for the altitude and help your body adjust.

At GetAboutAsia, we create our itineraries to maximise experience and minimise hassle, offering you the chance to create some of the most incredible travel experiences you’ll hopefully ever have. We are a responsible tour operator in Nepal, employing the most professional guides and providing logistical support, from beginning to end. Our Tours of Nepal encompass the very best this incredibly unique country has to offer and, given our wide scope of support in situ, can customise itineraries to suit your wishes, your fitness levels and any other requirement you may have.

Dreaming of trekking in Nepal? Contact one of our Asia Travel Experts today and you too can start planning the Himalayan trekking adventure of a lifetime.

 


Author: Laura Pattara

“After spending years taking short vacations in Asia, Laura finally managed her dream, travelling extensively through Central Asia, China and Southeast Asia on a 3-year-long overlanding adventure that she describes as “SIMPLY EPIC”. Following in the footsteps of ancient traders, Laura meandered along the famed Silk Road through the Stans, delighted her tastebuds for 8000km across China (no mean feat) visited an insane number of temples in Southeast Asia, all the while snorkelling, diving and beach-bumming along the way. Tickled pink by history and culture, Laura loves off-the-beaten-path destinations in Asia and anything that isn’t gift-wrapped for tourists”

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