Is the monotony of the corporate sector sucking the life out of you? Do you want to escape the clutches of the concrete jungle and embrace nature for a while? You should go trekking in Nepal! Nepal is widely recognized as one of the best trekking destinations in the world. The scenic mountains, the serene atmosphere, the pristine rivers; Nepal is blessed with the sort of natural beauty that makes one want to just lie down, forget everything and go “Ahhhh..”, …or go bungee jumping! Yeah!
So, say you decide to go trekking in Nepal; you’re hyper-excited, punching walls and random people alike (seriously, you’ve got to stop doing that). Then, you get on a plane and set foot in Kathmandu only to realize you have no idea where to go! Thoroughly disheartened and the tiniest bit suicidal, you search for “Top 10 Trekking destinations in Nepal” and that lands you here! Fear not, dear reader, you’ve come to the right place. Here we list out the top 10 trekking routes in Nepal, with awesome pictures of each. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
10. The Langtang Region:
If you want beauty and diversity, but shun difficulty, this is the trek for you. Lying to the north of Kathmandu, the Langtang valley borders Tibet. From some high vantage points you might even catch a glimpse of some village in Tibet. The most breathtakingly beautiful parts of this region are Gosainkunda and other high mountain lakes, and the beautiful mountains themselves, especially at sunrise and sunset. The duration of this trek is 7 to 21 days.
9. Makalu base camp:
This is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal. This is because of the sheer remoteness of the area and the days of walking required. However, the reward is also great. The trekker will get to experience pristine Himalayas and a panoramic view of the Lhotse, Mount Everest and many other peaks from the Makalu base camp at a height of 5000 m above sea level. There are very few villages along this trek. Hence, trekkers need to be self-sufficient and well-equipped. It is highly recommended to hire porters.
8. Poonhill trek:
Poonhill is a relatively short trek which can be completed in just a week. However, the amount of diversity, culture and sheer natural beauty one gets to experience make this trek worthwhile. From the magnificent vantage point of Poonhill at a height of 3210 m, one gets to truly experience the great beauty of Dhaulagiri(8167 m), Annapurna(8091 m), and many other mountain peaks in the Nepalese Himalayas.
7. Rara lake:
Situated in Mugu district in western Nepal, Rara is a very beautiful lake surrounded by high mountain peaks. Covering an area of 10.8 sq.meters, it is also the biggest lake in Nepal. It lies within the Rara National Park which emcompasses a variety of flora and fauna. The Rara lake is at a height of 2990 m from sea level. This is a very difficult trek, and is not for the faint of heart. The extreme remoteness of the area combined with the 11000 feet passes that one has to cross to get there makes this trek suitable for experienced and fit trekkers only. Trekkers are encouraged to carry their own supplies and a good first aid kit because of the lack of health facilities in the area.
6. Dhaulagiri circuit:
This is also an extremely tough trek. If you desire to truly experience trekking in the Nepali Himalayas, this is the trek for you. The remoteness of the area is aggravated by the terrain. However, for the dedicated trekker, the rewards are pretty superb. You will get a view of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna mountains that other trekkers can only dream of. You will get to experience culture that has remained almost the same for a thousand years. Trekking through the challenging terrain, it will take 8 days of walking to reach the Dhaulagiri basecamp. Now comes the most difficult part of the trek — crossing the French Pass. It lies at an altitude of 5360 m, and is fairly challenging even to the most seasoned trekkers. The picturesque villages, the scenic mountains and the sheer thrill of of trekking in the slopes of the Dhaulagiri makes this trek an unforgettable one.
5. Inner Dolpo:
If you desire to be in remote places in the Himalayas, you won’t get any place more remote than inner Dolpo. Until fairly recently, there were no roads connecting this magnificent Himalayan civilization to the rest of Nepal. Lying in the Karnali zone in western Nepal, this has been an area full of mystery and ancient Buddhist culture, which is largely Tibetan. The spiritual center of this place is the Shey Gompa — where hundreds of devout pilgrims come every year. Dolpo was only opened to trekker in 1991, and was closed again in 1999 for political reasons. It is now open again, and many trekkers come here every year to experience the pristine beauty and culture that this region has to offer. This region has been portrayed in many western as well as Nepali movies.
4. Manasalu circuit:
This trek takes the determined trekker around the lower slopes of Mount Manasalu (8163 m) through the Larke pass. This is a trek of medium difficulty. Tea houses have been built all around the Manasalu circuit, so that trekkers can now rest frequently and enjoy the trek at their own pace. This has increased the number of people trekking around this route. However, the number is still less than that for the established major trekking routes. The Larke pass (5135 m) is the most exhausting and challenging part of the trek. The duration of this trek is around 15 days.
3. Kanchanjunga circuit:
This is one of the most exciting treks in the Nepali Himalayas. Trekking around the slopes of Mount Kanchanjunga(8586 m), the circuit takes the trekker on a long and challenging walk while visiting both the North and South base camps. It is a popular yet challenging trek, which contains many beautiful views of the Himalayas and Tamang villages.
2. Annapurna Base Camp:
This is one of the most popular treks in Nepal. This is because the trek offers a direct experience of the Himalayas combined with a variety of terrain. The trek can be done in around 10 days. It is not a very difficult trek. In fact, the most difficult part is over in the first few days. The Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) lies at a height of 4230 m above sea level. From here, one can get a splendid view of the Annapurna I mountain (8091 m). From beautiful glaciers to rice terraces; from rocky steps to paths covered in snow, this trek has it all. Besides going to the Annapurna Base Camp, one can also go for Annapurna circuit trek, which offers a walk around the Annapurna slopes. There are many guest houses along the trek for the convenience of the trekkers.
1. Everest Base Camp:
This is also a very popular trek which brings the trekker face to face with the tallest mountain peak in the world — Mount Everest(8848 m). One can’t help but feel a sense of awe and inspiration when one realizes that every great mountaineer who ever climbed the Everest started here. The unique Sherpa culture mixed with the beauty of the Himalayas makes this trek one of the most preferred destinations for trekkers in Nepal. Because of its popularity, it is not a very difficult trek. There are many guest houses and hotels full of basic amenities for travelers. However, since the Everest base camp lies at an altitude of 5364 m, careful acclimatization is necessary in order to avoid altitude sickness.
Containing 8 out of the 10 highest mountain peaks on Earth, Nepal has trekking routes of every level of difficulty imaginable. There are trekking routes for old ladies and little children. Then, there are the normal routes. And, if you’re not into the watered down version of trekking, there are the super-difficult cougar-infested, bone-shattering, ego-destroying routes with fire breathing dragons on the mountain tops. We’re kidding, of course; there are no cougars in Nepal.
If you’re thinking of trekking in the Himalayas this year, here’s an up-and-coming online trekking portal