There are a couple of things you should consider before picking a route, such as what level of difficulty are you seeking, how many days are you spending in Nepal and how many days are you dedicating to trek. You should also set your budget beforehand and determine whether you are looking to trek in a touristy area or a remote location.
Seasons are also a major factor to consider while picking your route along with the number of people. Are you going solo or traveling in a group? Some treks require at least two people to get Restricted Permits as well as a Nepali guide and/or a Porter. There are plenty of good trekking destinations that you can complete in a span of 2-3 weeks and we have listed some of the best ones below.
Taking you to the Kingdom of Mustang’s hidden Buddhist world, The Upper Mustang trek also called Lo is a distant trans-Himalayan mountain area that borders Tibet and gives off an obvious Tibetan feel with its culture, people and barren landscape that is made up of huge cliffs and rocks of different colors and sizes.
The gateway to Upper Mustang which is the Kagbeni is visited first and then through the Dhaulagiri massif’s rain shadow, you make way to Lo-Manthang. Lo-Manthang is the past King of Lo’s seat. Here you have the option to do rock paintings, explore monasteries, caves, and gompa and learn about the culture of the surrounding area. You will also be able to see the panoramic views of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and many other peaks. In Lo Manthang you can visit the King’s palace and better understand the cultural aspects of the area or the Namgyal and Tingkhar, the northwest area’s last main village. You can also visit the traditional Tibetan doctor known as amchi’s museum and school and learn about ancient healing art that is being modernized to meet today’s needs.
Gyakar is situated a few hours’ walks away from Lo Manthang and is famous for its Gompa. Dedicated to Guru Rinpoche who used to travel Gyakar areas during his time, the Ghar Gompa is over 1,200 years old. The Gompa is widely popular for its rock paintings and it is believed that if you make a wish here then it will come true.
This trek is done at a comparatively high altitude between 3000m to 3800m and it is enhanced by the dry air. If people who are accustomed to trekking trek here then it is relatively easy for them to finish this trek quicker but for those who do not trek as often, it is recommended to take a leisurely pace to avoid any altitude-related complications. On average you will have to walk anywhere from 5 to 7 hours per day and some trails are dusty and breezy.
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the few treks that takes you through many different landscapes and brings you close to the base of many 7,000 and 8,000-meter peaks in a short amount of time. Known as one of the most popular trekking places in the Annapurna region, this trail takes you into lush rhododendron forests, alongside terraced rice paddies and high elevated landscapes with the view of the Annapurna range being seen most of the time. At 4130 m, the background of Annapurna Base Camp is astonishingly marvelous and one of a kind. It is enclosed by the gorgeous peaks of Machhapuchhre (6993m), Annapurna I (8091 m), Hiunchuli (6441 m) and Annapurna South (7219 m). While the amount of time it takes to complete the trek depends on your itinerary and your pace, it is usually completed within 7 to 12 days.
It takes 12 days to complete the trek with the itinerary presented here. Starting at a place called Nayapul which is an hour and a half drive away from Pokhara, this trek takes you up North to Ghorepani and Poon Hill. You go to Chomrong from there which is eastward of Ghorepani and then north again. You will then enter Modi Khola Valley which will lead you upwards towards the base camp.
The Nayapul-Ghorepani-Ghandruk-Nayapul circuit is the one most people trek through as it can be easily done by anyone, even children, and it is very rewarding. You have the option to return back through Jhinu Danda where you can relax your muscles in the hot springs. It is recommended that you visit one of the Gurung villages of Landruk or Ghandruk as it is valuable. The lodges in the Annapurna Trekking Region are well accommodated with a variety of foods in their menu which ranges from the typical Nepali Dal Bhat to Pizzas. You also have a hot water facility in case you want to take a shower.
The Annapurna trek can be done solo easily. While the trek can be done during any time of the year, it is better to not risk it during winter as it may sometimes be closed due to the snow level. There is also a risk of avalanches between Machhapuchhre base camp and Himalayan Hotel so you have to take caution.
In the Annapurna region, the Annapurna circuit is regarded as a classic trek. The trek encompasses the popular Annapurna massif, passes through trans-Himalayan Manang, sub-tropical plains in the Himalayan foothills and the rain shadow region of Mustang. Thorang La with a height of 5,416 m is the highest elevation you reach before the trail pursues the Kali Gandaki river which flows between two giant peaks through the deepest gorge on earth.
The trek often lasts anywhere from 15 to 22 days and starts with a drive to Besisahar from Kathmandu and ends in Pokhara. The ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit is a must for all trekkers who wish to trek to these parts. The ticket can be acquired in Kathmandu. It usually takes about 6-8 hours on the bus for the trekkers to get to Besisahar from Kathmandu. The small market town of Khudi is up to where the trek follows the road.
The first few days takes you to the Marsyangdi river and walking through the luscious green valleys inhabited by the mostly Gurung ethnic group. Before reaching Manang, the trail takes you through Pisang (3,200m) and Chame (2,685m). You can get gorgeous panoramic views of the Annapurna range of mountains while climbing up the Barga Hill before reaching Manang (3,535m).
Along the way, you come across an abundance of tall waterfalls that cascade into the main river, while the sky is overtaken by the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. If you follow the trail that goes uphill through high alpine pastures from Manag, you will get to the small tea houses located at Thorang Phedi. From this point, you have to be careful about high altitude sickness. It is recommended to stay a day in Manang to view a glacial lake given life by the icefall from Gangapurna.
Then the trek continues through Thorang La after which to get to Muktinath you have to travel across a desert. The summit of Dhaulagiri (8,167m) during the descent becomes visible on the southern horizon. A place that gets lots of visitors and is quite famous is Muktinath which is a pilgrimage site for Buddhists and Hindus. The hills of Upper Mustang can be seen in the North while in the West you can get a view of Dhaulagiri from Muktinath.
To get accommodations you have to travel to Ranipauwa(3710m) as there are no accommodations in Muktinath. To get to Kagbeni, you have to walk down from Ranipauwa. From there you go down through Marpha (2680m) which is widely popular for its exclusive alcoholic drinks made from apricots, peaches, and apples. Tibetan settlement can be found in Jharkot and Ekle Bhatti village. You will get to Jomsom (2713m) if you walk along the river. Tatopani which is named for the hot spring it has nearby is the next destination which you go through to get to Ghorepani. At dawn from Poonhill, you can see Annapurna I and Annapurna South and the marvelous sunrise view of Dhaulagiri if you stop at Ghorepani. By the Burundi river, you will continue this trek through Birethanti and Tikhedhunga. You can get a ride to Pokhara from Naya Pul which is a short distance away. From Pokhara, you can either take a bus or fly to Kathmandu.
Located near the Tibetan border of Nepal, the Upper Dolpo Trekking route is an unspoiled and remote area. It was opened to trekkers only in the late eighties and was closed to foreigners till then. Peter Mathesons vividly described his journey through the gorgeous land of Dolpo in his book “The Snow Leopard”. Himalaya(Caravan) which was Nepal’s first movie with English subtitles and which also managed to snag an Oscar nomination was also shot here in this region. The remoteness of the area adds to the beauty of the Upper Dolpo region and gives it a sense of adventure among trekkers. The traditions and culture followed here are quite similar to those observed in Tibet. Upper Dolpo is a restricted area for trekking and you need to acquire a special permit to trek here. The charge of the permit for ten days is USD 500 and for each day after that, you have to add an extra USD 50. You can not go on this trek solo and there need to be at least two people or more going on this trek to acquire the permit otherwise your application will be rejected. The trekking region covers an area of 3,500 square kilometers of land.
While Dolpo is one of the most beautiful districts of Nepal, it is the least developed district. To get here, you have to travel through high passes trail so there are not many trekkers who visit this area. On the way, you will see many interesting places, gigantic mountains, beautiful valleys, local settlements and forests filled with rhododendrons, pines, and oaks. The main highlights of this trek are an age-old, marvelous landscape, the dazzling Shey Phoksundo Lake, century-old monasteries and the isolated villages of Ringmo. With a depth of 145m, Shey Phoksundo lake is the deepest lake in Nepal. The survey of depth was done by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. The wildlife, towering peaks, pristine lake, centuries-old Buddhist monasteries and the way of life of the locals are the main selling point of the least developed district of Nepal. The Crystal Mountain is considered holy and every year hundreds of pilgrims travelers visit the Upper Dolpo region and make a circle around the mountain. The locals here mostly speak Tibetan languages and there are few locals who understand the Nepali language.
The best time to go to the Upper Dolpo region trek is during summer or monsoon. During winter there is heavy snowfall so it is best to avoid it. To get to the starting point of the trek, you will get a flight that will take you to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu in about 45 minutes and then the morning flights to Jhupal.
Everest Base Camp trek is quite high in the priority list for trekkers. The starting and ending point of the two-week trek is Lukla which is an airstrip located in the south of the region. To begin the trek, trekkers usually fly to Lukla.
Starting from Lukla, a two days light trek up Dudh Koshi leads us to the popular Namche Bazaar. Numerous tea houses can be found along the way. The popular stopovers on the first day are Monjo and Phakding. The entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park beyond Monjo at Jorsale checkpoint where permits are checked. You will reach Namche Bazaar in 3 hours if just a few minutes away from Jorsale you start walking uphill from the suspension bridge. To get used to the change in surroundings, it is highly recommended that you stay there for a few days.
After leaving Namche Bazaar, the trail leads to the valley of Imja Khola which gives gorgeous views of Kangtega, Thamserku and Ama Dablam mountains while the skies are hidden between the Lhotse and Everest. Tengboche is the most well-known rest stop after Namche. Until Dingboche or Pheriche is reached, the trail descends through Pangboche.
It takes approximately 6 hours to walk from Pheriche to Lobuche which sits on Khumbu glacier's lateral moraine. From Lobuche, it takes 3 hours to get to Gorak Shep settlement. There are few tea houses there that provide accommodations. To get good pictures of the mountains, you can go to Kala Patthar which is located above Gorak Shep. To reach base camp, it can take a 5-hour long trek along the glacier. The risk of falling is there as the road is slippery so it is important to be extremely cautious.
With the meaning of the name is “Five Treasures of the Great Snow” in Tibetan, the Kanchenjunga trek is regarded as one of the most beautiful trekking trails in Nepal. The name represents the five summits that make the Kanchenjunga range. Located in eastern Nepal, the trail is a restricted trekking region, hence, it is an unspoiled trekking trail. The trail is also less crowded to reach the Kanchenjunga base camp and it gives you an insight into rural part of Eastern Nepal. They must follow rules set by the Government of Nepal is that there have to be at least two trekkers and a local guide present. While on the trail, you will see the most dazzling Hiamayan scenery and get the best views of Mt, Makalu, Jahnu Himal, and Mt. Kanchenjunga.
Above a ridge on the Nepal-Sikkim border, you will see the peaks of Mt. Rohtang and Kabru. You will see many floras and faunas along the way and pass through the protected Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. You might also cross paths with several birds and wildlife like the snow leopard, red panda, pheasant, and black bear. You will pass through Himalayan coniferous forests, meadows, grasslands and alpine shrubs and encounter ethnic communities and tribes along the route.
The ideal time to go for Kanchenjunga Trekking is in Spring (March, April, May) and Autumn (September, October, November). The trek will be comfortable during this time as the temperature and weather are favorable. During the rainy season, the rain will make the trek more complex and might even hinder it and during the winter it is too cold. You can still trek during winter and rainy season but it will be harder compared to spring and autumn.
During the middle of the trek, the trekkers often feel exhausted as this trek is a long one so you have to be prepared before you go on this trek. The trail also has constant ups and downs and some of them are very steep and risky so you have to take caution. This trek is not something that can be done by beginners as sometimes you have to trek 7-8 hours per day. During the rainy seasons and winter, there is a chance of avalanches and landslides, so it is better to avoid those seasons or take extreme caution.
Regarded as one of the Best off the beaten path treks in Nepal, the Manaslu Circuit Trek is situated above the foothills of the Gorkha District. Manaslu Circuit trek offers great scenic views of the Manaslu along with other mountains including the Annapurna range. Along the trek, in the lower regions, you will encounter many ethnic groups like the Chhetris and Brahmins and in higher altitudes, you will encounter Gurung people. Tibetan Buddhism is followed by the Gurung people of the higher altitude and you will be able to see its influence along the trek. You will see plenty of monasteries along the way which will let you explore the Buddhism of this region like Chholing Gompa, Pungyen Nunnery, Kagyu Pemba, Labrang Gompa, etc.
After a scenic drive from Arughat to Kathmandu and finally, to Seti Khola, the Manaslu Circuit Trek by Mount Mania starts. The trekking trail then leads you along the flowing waters of the Budhi Gandaki river. You will pass through several rhododendrons, pine, bamboo and oak forests as well as several farmlands along the way as you trek to the Larkya La pass which is the highest point of this trek at an altitude of 5,125 meters. This point is the best place to view various mountains like Cheo Himal (6,820m), Gyaji Kung (7,030m), Pawar Peak (6,620m), Himlung pyramid (7,126m), Annapurna II (7,937m) and Kang Garu (6,981m).
The village of Samagaon is one of the best places you will see during this trek and you will need to spend a day to acclimatize to this village. The dense forests of the Manaslu Conservation Area are your next point to trek through after crossing the Larkya La pass. Before getting to Dharapani which is the ending point of this trek, you will cross charming villages along the way like Samdo and Bimthang. From Dharapani, you will either take a bus ride to Kathmandu or extend this trip to Tsum Valley.
Recognized for the famous Cho La pass and the abundance of impressive lakes it holds in the Gokyo valley, the Gokyo Cho La Pass Trek takes us through the Khumbu region and its impressive landmarks including its vibrant monasteries, splendid mountains, the Sagarmatha National Park, Namche Bazar and the base of the magnificent Everest. This trek lets you observe the Sherpa community and the way they live their lives and explore the Everest Base Camp through Sagarmatha National Park while observing various flora and fauna and ancient monasteries along the way.
There is only limited access to the valley as the Nar Phu Valley Trek is situated in the remote area of the Manang District. Hence, not many people trek through these regions making the trails fresh and a pleasure for anyone who wants to trek through here. Because of the remoteness, the area has also managed to preserve its nature’s wilderness and age-old traditions and customs. To access the Nar Phu Valley trekking trail, you will need to acquire a special permit. The trek organized by Mount Mania also takes you to cross the Thorong La Pass which lies at an astounding height and is a primary attraction of Nar Phu Valley trek. The hiking might become strenuous as you walk through the difficult trail in this region.
During this trek, you will explore unexplored parts of Northern Annapurna and follow a rugged trail to an alluring valley of Nar Phu. This a thrilling trek as only a few travelers have trekked here. There are two settlements you will see on this trek. Nar houses 300 and Phu houses 100 permanent residents. Lying at an elevation of 3,730 meters is Nar also called Chuprong which translates to “The place of Blue sheep”. Sherpas are the inhabitants of this place who traveled to Nar Phu Valley approximately around the Shang Sung Kingdom during the 8th century. Mostly traders and herders came here from Tibet to settle down.
Beginning from Jagat, the Nar Phu valley trek follows the trekking routes of Annapurna Circuit. The trail then branches off from Koto and follows the beaten trail to Nar Phu valley which passes through the Kang La pass at an elevation of 5,900 meters. The trek provides a panorama view of the Annapurna and crosses through rivers, dense forests, gompas, canyons, majestic mountains, and valleys.
Located in the Manaslu circuit, this trek takes you near the Nepal-Tibet border. Situated between the gorgeous Manaslu and Ganesh Himal, the exotic Tsum valley will enthrall you with its Tibetan culture, Buddhism and an abundance of monasteries. You will also visit the base camp of Ganesh Himal when you pass through Manaslu Conservation Area during the Tsum Valley and Manaslu trek.
Starting from Sotikhola and ending at Besisahar, this trek is regarded as one of the best trekking circuits of Nepal and takes 20 to 21 days to be completed. Only after 1999 was trekking of this circuit permitted by the government of Nepal. The length of this circuit is more than 177 km and through Budi Gandaki, it follows an old salt trading route. The trek route follows Kathmandu to Sotikhola then to Machhakhola, Jagat-Lokpa-Dumja-Nile and Mu Gumba. After reaching Mu Gumba, you will again start the trek to Chumling, Deng, Namrung, Lho and Samagaun from where another acclimatization takes place. The trails then follow to Samdo, Larke Pass, Tilije, Dharamshala, Bhimtang, Dharapani and Besisahar from where your journey ends. You will travel back to Kathmandu from Besisahar.
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