In Nepal, trekking is like finding hidden gems in beautiful places. The Everest and Annapurna areas are super famous and attract people from all over the world. But Nepal has lots of other amazing trekking spots too. Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are the best times to go, when the weather is great. Even in winter (December-February), some daring trekkers explore new paths. But be careful in the rainy season (June-August), because the trails get wet and the mountains might hide behind clouds.

Everest Region

The Everest region, home to the world’s loftiest peaks, beckons adventurers to its snowy heights and stunning vistas. Reaching this iconic region is a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu to Lukla or a trek from Jiri, which can be reached by a 6-7 hour jeep ride from Kathmandu. This area boasts Nepal’s most established trekking trails, with well-trodden stone pathways and a range of cozy teahouses offering respite. While many begin their journeys in Lukla, embarking on a cultural journey by walking from Jiri is an enriching alternative. Additionally, shorter treks also pepper this vibrant region.

  • Pikey Peak Trek: Nestled south of Lukla, this moderate trek traverses a ridgeline leading to Pikey Peak, a vantage point revered as Sir Edmund Hillary’s cherished Everest panorama.
  • Everest Base Camp Trek: A timeless expedition, the Everest Base Camp trek is an out-and-back venture culminating at the core of Sherpa territory. Ascend Kala Patthar (18,192 ft / 5,545 m) for sunset views of Everest and Nuptse, a true zenith of this odyssey.
  • Gokyo Lakes Trek: An enticing alternative to the famed yet bustling Everest Base Camp route, this path meanders to the enchanting Gokyo Lakes. The journey unfolds to Gokyo Ri (17,575 ft / 5,357 m), gifting its own sweeping perspective.
  • Three Passes Trek: Reserved for the dauntless and time-endowed, this route encapsulates Everest’s essence. Embarking on this trek means traversing three 5,000m+ passes, an ambitious sojourn to the region’s heart.
  • Arun Valley to Everest Base Camp Trek: For those drawn to challenges and the road less taken, this demanding route to Everest Base Camp unveils cultures aplenty. Amidst the journey, diverse villages of Brahmin, Chhetri, Rai, and Sherpa origin showcase Nepal’s intricate tapestry. Few trekkers tread this path, making it a distinctive and enriching experience.

Annapurna Region

The Annapurna region, accessible through a brief 30-minute flight or a scenic 7-8 hour road journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara, stands as a gateway to a realm of breathtaking treks. This region’s allure lies in its versatility, with trails catering to every level of trekker, from gentle strolls to daring challenges.

  • Ghorepani & Ghandruk Trek: Nepal’s quintessential short trek, a captivating loop leading to Poon Hill (10,531 ft / 3,210 m). The vista from this iconic vantage point unveils the southern Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range in all its glory.
  • Khopra Danda Trek: An expanded variation incorporating Poon Hill, this trek ascends to higher ridges, providing an encompassing glimpse of the lower Annapurna realm.
  • Nar Phu Valley Trek: Diverging from the famed Annapurna Circuit, this remote valley leads you away from the crowds, immersing you in the lives of Tibetan Buddhists. Echoes of Upper Mustang resonate in this culturally rich and geographically striking landscape.
  • Mardi Himal Trek: Emerging as a hidden gem, this route follows a ridge line to the base of Mardi Himal. It offers a sublime escape from the trodden path, a journey that rewards with serenity and seclusion.
  • Annapurna Base Camp Trek: One of Nepal’s perennial classics, this out-and-back voyage escorts you into the heart of the Annapurnas. Your journey culminates at the majestic Annapurna Base Camp, a sanctuary of grandeur.
  • Annapurna Circuit Trek: A celebrated route, though slightly shortened due to road expansion, the trek still delves deep into the untouched corners of the upper realms. This voyage, an epitome of the Annapurna experience, endows trekkers with nature’s bounty and cultural diversity.

In the Annapurna region, nature’s beauty is matched only by its diversity, offering trekkers a symphony of experiences, from soaring peaks to ancient cultures.

Mustang Region

Nestled near Tibet, the Mustang region invites adventurers to uncover its secrets. Here, a desert-like landscape high up in the mountains gives you a taste of Tibet. To explore Mustang, you need a special permit. You can stay in teahouses or camp out. Because of its location, Mustang is a great place to visit during the rainy season (June to August). Mustang is divided into Lower and Upper parts, with the Lower region not having any special restrictions. The starting point for this adventure is Jomsom. You can get there by taking a long and bumpy road trip from Pokhara (around 10 hours) or a quick 30-minute flight.

  • Lower Mustang Trek: Slightly beyond the restricted zone, Lower Mustang offers a taste of the Upper Mustang experience. It’s perfect for those who have limited time, budget, or want a short trip during the rainy season.
  • Upper Mustang Trek: This journey takes you up one side of the Mustang valley and back down the other side. You’ll get to see Lo Manthang, the main town, and experience a different side of Nepal that few people get to see.

Langtang Region

Situated conveniently close to Kathmandu, the Langtang National Park emerges as a perfect destination for trekkers seeking a shorter yet immersive journey. Just a day’s travel north from Kathmandu lies this tranquil haven. While the Langtang Himalayas might not tower as high as some other peaks in Nepal (a modest 23,000 feet!), the treks here offer a unique experience, guiding you to the very base of these majestic mountains and inviting you to absorb the rich local culture.

  • Langtang Trek: This region faced considerable damage during the 2015 earthquake, impacting both villages and trails. However, the trek has been revived, and the resilient villagers have rebuilt their lives and homes. The trek leads through a broad valley, presenting expansive panoramas, and guides you to the farthest reaches of the valley before bringing you back.
  • Tamang Heritage Trail: For those intrigued by cultural encounters, Langtang offers rewarding routes such as the Tamang Heritage Trail and Ruby Valley Trek. These paths provide a glimpse into the lives and traditions of the local communities, enriching your journey with authentic experiences.

The Langtang region, while not boasting the highest peaks, compensates with its accessibility, cultural charm, and the chance to embrace nature’s beauty up close.

Gorkha District

The mountains of Gorkha district, between Kathmandu and Pokhara, are less visited than other regions given they’ve only relatively recently developed teahouses. The region offers truly spectacular mountain scenery without the crowds of Annapurna and Everest. The Manaslu Circuit Trek, in particular, is a favorite among repeat visitors to Nepal. While there isn’t the same level of development as in many other parts of the Himalaya, tourist infrastructure is increasingly being built. Despite the trek gaining in popularity it is still fairly unspoiled and feels very wild and remote.

  • Manaslu Circuit Trek: The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a well-known trekking route that takes you around Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world. The highlight of this trek is crossing the Larkya La pass, which adds a challenging element to the journey. This trek appeals to those who are seeking a more adventurous and challenging trekking experience in a relatively less visited region of the Nepal Himalaya. Despite its growing popularity, the trek still maintains an unspoiled and remote atmosphere.
  • Manaslu Circuit & Tsum Valley Trek: The Manaslu Circuit & Tsum Valley Trek is an extended version of the Manaslu Circuit Trek. It includes a remote valley extension that takes trekkers up to a monastery located at the head of the valley called the Tsum Valley. This extension offers an opportunity to explore an even more remote and less-traveled area, providing a deeper cultural and natural experience. Tsum Valley is known for its unique cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes.

Both of these trekking options provide a chance to experience the beauty and tranquility of the Gorkha District’s mountains without the heavy crowds often found in other popular trekking regions of Nepal. The increasing development of tourist infrastructure is helping to make these treks more accessible while preserving the sense of wilderness and remoteness that attracts trekkers to this area.

Far West

Nepal’s Far West is very remote and sees few visitors, but offers amazing national parks with abundant bird and wildlife. You also have pristine high-altitude lakes, such as Rara and Phoksundo. The tourist infrastructure in this region is almost non-existent, so trekking teams need to be self-sufficient. For repeat-visitors to Nepal, this region can be highly rewarding. Dolpo, Shey Phoksundo National Park, the Limi Valley, the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, and the Api Nampa Conservation Area are great trekking destinations, while white-water rafting or kayaking along the Karnali River and ending near the Bardia National Park is another option. Most treks require a flight from Pokhara to Nepalgunj, and then another flight to a smaller mountain airstrip nearer a trailhead, such as Simikot, Talcha, or Jumla.

  • Upper Dolpo Trek: Trekking in Nepal’s far-western Upper Dolpo region offers an unparalleled journey into one of the Himalaya’s most remote and captivating landscapes. Despite the challenges posed by the almost non-existent tourism infrastructure, the allure of this expedition lies in its exceptional rewards: a deep immersion in Tibetan Buddhist culture, the presence of ancient monasteries, the breathtaking expanse of Lake Phoksundo, encounters with rare wildlife, and an authentic sense of untamed wilderness. Exploring Nepal’s Dolpo region provides a chance to bask in the grandeur of the rugged and distant far west, where the border with Tibet evokes a reminiscent blend of culture and landscape. Notably, the She-Phoksundo National Park, the country’s largest, resides in the western part of this district. While Western Nepal’s underdevelopment and economic challenges are evident, the call of the region’s untamed beauty remains strong. Travelers should be prepared to camp and carry their own sustenance due to the modest tourism infrastructure, expensive permits, and the stipulation against independent trekking in Upper Dolpo. However, the allure of deep valleys, lofty passes, majestic peaks, the turquoise splendor of Lake Phoksundo, the ancient Shey Monastery with an 800-year history, and the possibility of encountering elusive snow leopards make this a truly enriching experience for daring trekkers.
  • Phoksundo Lake Trek: Embark on the captivating Phoksundo Lake Trek and uncover the splendor of Nepal’s majestic Dolpo region. This remote expanse, brought to fame by Peter Matthiessen’s literary masterpiece ‘The Snow Leopard,’ has welcomed trekkers since 1989, revealing its hidden treasures to the world. The crown jewel of this journey is the enchanting Phoksundo Lake, a revered site for both Buddhists and adherents of the Bonpo religion. Offering a moderate level of difficulty, this trek does not entail traversing high passes, instead leading you through the embrace of Himalayan forests and time-honored Tibetan villages. Experience the essence of tranquility and natural beauty as you explore this remarkable trail.
  • Dhorpatan Trek: Embark on the Dhorpatan trek, delving into a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure that offers accessibility without undue challenge. Nestled within a day’s drive west of Pokhara and set against the imposing backdrop of Mt. Dhaulagiri, the Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve awaits. This unique odyssey unveils not only rare wildlife but also unveils vistas of Nepal’s Western Himalaya that elude most travelers. Beyond its hunting allure, the region showcases captivating natural beauty, encounters with the Magar culture, and a thriving array of fauna. As roads grant access, this undiscovered gem receives a mere 100 annual explorers, fostering interactions with the curious Magar community. Amidst its moderately challenging terrain, spanning ten days, one can embrace rudimentary accommodations amidst unforgettable scenery, capturing the grandeur of Dhaulagiri and its surroundings. Wildlife flourishes in zones untouched by hunting, encompassing blue sheep and the enigmatic leopard. Traverse forests adorned with rhododendrons that frame panoramic views of iconic peaks, crafting an indelible and authentic Nepalese expedition.
  • Limi valley: Hidden deep within the Himalayas is Humla, Nepal’s highest, northernmost, and most distant district. In Humla, different types of people live: Bhotias in the highlands and Khasas (Hindus) in the valleys. As you hike, you’ll see these cultures, cross high passes over 16,000 feet, and visit old monasteries in the colorful Limi Valley. This valley is special because it’s one of the last places where Tibetan culture is still strong, thanks to the connection between Western Nepal and Tibet. You’ll follow an old path that was used for trading and going on pilgrimages to the Nepal-China border. You’ll cross the Nara La pass (15,000 feet/4,620 meters) and Nyalu La (16,000 feet/4,900 meters), and see amazing views of the Himalayas.

    On this journey, you might see rare animals like the snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, jackals, Tibetan wild ass, and musk deer. The whole trip will take 18 days, starting and ending in Kathmandu. The hiking part will be around 15 days and it will be sometimes a bit hard because you’ll walk in high places for many hours each day. Most of the trek will be above 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), so you might feel a bit different because of the height. The best time for this adventure is from May to October, as the passes usually have snow the other months.

Far East

Far Eastern Nepal is another region that is less frequently visited by travelers, though it is generally not as poor or remote as the Far West. Attractions of the Far East are the tea fields and gentle hikes with bird watching around Ilam, the challenging treks to and around Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, or the Lumba Sumba Pass Trek. Visiting in the spring and autumn is best. The nearest airport to Ilam is Bhadrapur. Far Eastern Nepal is very near to the Darjeeling and Sikkim areas of India, so is a good area for travelers on their way to Northeastern India to explore.

  • Lumba Sumba Pass | Great Himalayan Trail: the Lumba Sumba pass trek is a challenging route that connects Kanchenjunga to Makalu, offering a unique exploration of a remote Nepalese region. You can enhance your adventure by extending the trek to Kanchenjunga North and/or Makalu Base Camp.

    Beginning with a drive from Kathmandu to Taplejung, the journey leads through tropical forests before branching off from the common trail after Ghunsa. Trekking to Olangchun Gola involves a few days of remote trekking, leading to the remarkable Lumba Sumba pass at 5159 meters. This pass offers incredible views of both Kanchenjunga and Makalu. Descending to Thudam presents challenges due to an overgrown trail, leading eventually to the village of Chyamtang. The trek continues through non-tourist villages towards the Makalu region, concluding in Num. A jeep will then transport you to Tumlingtar, from where you’ll fly back to Kathmandu.

    Consider extending your experience by adding a visit to Kanchenjunga North and/or Makalu Base Camp to your trekking adventure.

  • Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek: Nepal’s Mt. Kanchenjunga trek stands as a truly rewarding adventure, resting on the eastern border and beckoning to the intrepid souls who possess both the daring spirit and ample time. Historically requiring camping, more accessible and affordable teahouse routes now wind through this terrain, treating trekkers to breathtaking Himalayan panoramas, ancient forests, thriving wildlife, and immersive encounters with traditional cultures and communities. Though its natural beauty is astonishing, Kanchenjunga’s remote location and limited infrastructure kept it under the radar for many adventurers—until recently, when teahouses emerged in villages and strategic spots along the path. This shift enables small groups to venture here more affordably while channeling direct support to local economies.

    The region unfolds as a tapestry of lush valleys, ascending through stunning forests to alpine pastures and glaciers at Kanchenjunga’s base. En route, you’ll traverse villages practicing both Hindu and Buddhist customs, representing Chhetri, Rai, Limbu, Gurung, Sherpa, and Tibetan cultures. Remember, the trails are narrow and teahouses modest, as this remote territory remains relatively untouched by the masses. While lavish meals and modern amenities are absent, you’ll gain an authentic glimpse into Nepal’s rich diversity of cultures and landscapes.

    The favored path encompasses a 24-day journey, encompassing both North and South Base Camps of Mt. Kanchenjunga. However, alternative shorter routes are also available. With essentially one principal trail that can be tackled in either direction, trekkers have the choice to visit both base camps (24 days), one base camp (18/19 days), or embark on a compact circuit (around 15 days, depending on stops). The routes outlined below commence from Taplejung and do not factor in travel time to and from Kathmandu.

Translate »