Nepal is a trekker’s paradise, with thousands of trekkers visiting every year. The Himalayan country caters to the needs of every kind of trekker, offering both easy and challenging trails. The quote, ‘difficult road leads to beautiful destinations’ definitely applies to the trekking regions of Nepal! The challenging trails offer adventure to intrepid trekkers, while the easy trails provide stunning mountain views for novice trekkers.
10 Best treks in Nepal
If you know where to look, trekking in Nepal can be an incredibly rewarding experience – both for the breathtaking scenery and the lifelong friends you’ll make along the way. Nepal is famous for its treks, which often turn strangers into friends for life.
To help you plan your next big adventure, we’ve put together a blog on the 10 best treks in Nepal. Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or a multi-day challenge, this list has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Add a trek (or two!) to your bucket list today!
#1 Makalu Base Camp Trek
A trek to the base camp of Makalu, the 5th highest mountain in the world, is a both challenging and gratifying experience. The Makalu Base Camp Trek may be moderately strenuous, but it is well worth it for the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Nepal. The high-altitude trekking route is less frequented due to its remoteness. Moreover, Makalu Base Camp will reward you with the astounding views of Makalu, Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Baruntse. Also, observe the rare and unparalleled Kangshung face of Everest.
A hike through green terraced farms, dense jungle, waterfalls, and glaciers will mesmerize you. Your trail features many ascents and descents. Moreover, you will be crossing high passes like Shipton La and Keke La on your way to Makalu Base Camp. You will be trekking in Makalu Barun National Park which is rich in Himalayan flora and fauna.
Home to exotic animals like the musk deer, red panda, and snow leopard, the national park is a must-visit for animal lovers. With an elevation gain of over 8,000 meters, it is the only protected area in the world with such a unique feature. You can also learn about the mountain culture in rural Nepal, where the Sherpa ethnic group resides in the higher regions and the Rai ethnic group is predominant in the eastern hilly region.
#2 Kanchenjunga Trek
Kanchenjunga, the 3rd highest mountain in the world, is situated in eastern Nepal bordering India. In Tibetan language, Kanchenjunga means ‘Five Treasures of the Great Snow’ and refers to the five peaks of the range. Kanchenjunga Trek falls under the choice of intrepid trekkers who wish to bask in the uninterrupted natural beauty and seek adventure. It is a less trodden route in the remote area of Nepal. Also, you need a Kanchenjunga special permit to trek in this region as it falls under the restricted trekking area.
The breathtaking panoramic view of Himalayas from Kanchenjunga Base Camp is known to leave its spectator spellbound. Marvel at the stunning views of soaring mountains like Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Mera Peak, and Jahnu Himal. Traverse mountain passes include Sinion La, Mirgin La, and Sinelapche Bhanjyang. You will be walking through the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area which is rich in biodiversity. Exotic animals like snow leopards, red pandas, and Himalayan Black Bear live here. Breathtaking Himalayan views, lush green forests filled with rhododendron trees, glaciers, and charming villages will make your trek wonderful. Moreover, the trek will give a chance to experience the cultural diversity of Nepal. You will come across people from Rai, Limbu, and Sherpa ethnic groups that have their unique culture and tradition. Tibetan Buddhism is widely practiced in the region and you will find Buddhist monasteries and stupas during the trek.
#3 Langtang Valley Trek
Walk on a classic trekking route of Nepal with Langtang Valley Trek. Langtang Valley is also popular as a valley of glaciers as it possesses more than 70 glaciers of different sizes. It is a comparatively short trek and also lies close to Kathmandu. You will be trekking in Langtang National Park, which is the first Himalayan National Park of Nepal. The national park is rich in biodiversity. Some of the animals found in the region are Musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, and Himalayan black bear.
Bask in the beauty of majestic mountains including Langtang Lirung, Langtang Ri, Dorje Lakpa, and Tserko Ri. The astounding Himalayan view from Kyanjin Gompa will leave a lasting impact. Langtang Valley Trek is an adventure in Nepalese Himalaya with a unique cultural experience. You will be trekking in a region dominated by Tamang ethnic groups. Tamangs are the descendants of Tibetans who migrated to Nepal ages ago. Get a sneak peek into Tibetan Buddhism and observe their daily lifestyles. The devastating earthquake of 2015 that shook Nepal badly affected the Langtang region. The locals need support to rebuild their life post-earthquake and your trek will aid in boosting the local economy. Langtang Valley Trek will be a trek with a wonderful purpose!
#4 Mardi Himal Trek
Mardi Himal Trek is called a hidden gem of the Annapurna region and takes you deeper into the Annapurna region. Mardi Himal Trek was officially launched in the year 2012 but was already famous among self-supported groups. The popularity of Mardi Himal Trek is on the rise as you get to savor the stunning Himalayas in a short time. Did you know that Mardi Himal lies just below the famous Fishtail Peak? Fishtail Peak or Machhapuchhre which you admire from Pokhara appears closer and offers the best close-up views of the forked peak. Bask in the gorgeous views of snowy mountains like Mardi Himal, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Hiunchuli.
Walk past quaint hillside villages and terraced farms with crops swaying along with a breeze. Further, you will be walking through a dense forest that opens up to a ridge. A thrilling ridgeline walk overlooking majestic Himalayan views wakes up a photographer inside you. Enjoy the stunning sunrises and sunsets over the Himalayas where the snowy mountains shine like gold. One of the best parts of trekking in Nepal is cultural immersion. You will be passing through villages with different ethnic groups like Gurung, Ghale, and Brahmins. The trekking route is yet to touch the streak of commercialization so savor the amazing trek when you can!
#5 Annapurna Panorama Trek
Get the taste of trekking in Nepal with Annapurna Panorama Trek before heading for high-altitude treks in Nepal. It is best as a family trek with kids or for novice trekkers. A hike up to Poon Hill situated at an elevation of 3210 meters is the highlight of your trek. Savor the 360-degree view of mountains including Annapurna Massif, Fishtail Peak, Dhaulagiri, and Hiunchuli. A magical sunrise over the Himalayas from Poon Hill will remain vivid in your memory.
Hike through a trail lined with rhododendron trees; the colorful blooms of rhododendron in spring make the trail vibrant. Trek past lush green jungle, terraced farms, and charming villages. Your trekking trail takes you to the villages inhabited by Gurungs and Magars. Immerse in the local culture and experience warm local hospitality. Also, observe the daily lifestyle of hillside villages of Nepal. You can visit the Gurung museum which displays antique utensils made of brass, tools, etc. If you fancy, get dressed up in traditional Gurung attire and accessories.
#6 Annapurna Circuit Trek
Embark on a classic long trek with Annapurna Circuit Trek of two weeks. The trek will give an insight into the geographical diversity of Nepal. You will begin your trek from hillside villages and will be walking through dense jungle. The landscape will change gradually; spare hills will change into arid hills against soaring snowy mountains.
Traversing one of the highest mountain passes, Thorong La Pass will be challenging. Upon ascending on a steep slope to the top of the pass, a breathtaking view of towering mountains will greet you. Marvel at the view of mountains including Dhaulagiri, Annapurna Massif, and Manaslu will greet you. The soul-stirring panoramic views will be worth all the trouble. Further, you will see the distant Upper Mustang and Tibetan plateau. Moreover, the desert-like terrain of Manang valley gives off a feeling that you are walking in a Tibetan plateau, not Nepal. You will be hiking across Kali Gandaki Gorge which is the deepest gorge in the world. Also, hike past the revered temple of Muktinath which is of religious importance for both Hindus and Buddhists. Interact with locals and know more about the local mountain culture.
#7 Manaslu Circuit Trek
Manaslu Circuit Trek is gaining popularity as an off-the-beaten-path trek. Walk in the path less trodden and marvel at the stunning mountain views. You require a Restricted Area Permit to trek and solo trekking isn’t allowed in this region. Manaslu Circuit Trek is a strenuous trek so you need to be reasonably fit. Gear up for the challenging Larkya La Pass which rewards you with dramatic views. Walking on the steep slope of the mountain pass is hard while some portions filled with ice increase the difficulty. The breathtaking views of Manaslu, Lamjung Himal, and Annapurna II will be gratifying.
You will be trekking in Manaslu Conservation Area which features exotic Himalayan flora and fauna. In the conservation area animals including snow leopard, musk deer, and brown bear live. Your trekking route passes through one of the remote areas of Nepal, Nubri Valley. The area is untouched by modernization and their daily lives aren’t much different than olden days. People follow Tibetan Buddhism. Show respect to their culture and tradition by circumambulating monasteries and spinning prayer wheels in a clockwise direction.
#8 Upper Mustang Trek
The exotic trekking area of Nepal is Upper Mustang, previously known as the Kingdom of Lo. Upper Mustang lies in the rain shadow region which gives rise to arid desert-like landscape unique to the region. The terrain closely resembles the Tibetan plateaus. It is the best trek to do in the summer cum monsoon season of Nepal. The majestic views of mountains like Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, and Annapurna leave its spectators spellbound. Way of life in Upper Mustang is similar to their Tibetan neighbors.
Upper Mustang wasn’t open for tourists until 1992 and you need special permits to enter. The remote terrain and isolation for decades helped the region to retain its ancient culture and tradition. Immerse in the spiritual vibe of Upper Mustang. You will find the dominance of Tibetan Buddhism and can observe one of the best-preserved Tibetan Buddhism here. Visit the ancient caves, monasteries, chortens, and see rock paintings. Also, spin the prayer wheels, watch the prayer flag flutter in the wind, and hike past ancient Mani walls.
#9 Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Annapurna Base Camp Trek takes you to the classic trekking route of Nepal. Trek past hillside villages and perfectly carved terraced fields. Make your way through the dense jungles filled with rhododendron trees. Walk in the shadows of mountains and savor the stunning Himalayan views. The amphitheater of mountains will greet you at Annapurna Base Camp. A snowy wonderland with Annapurna Massif and a neighboring glacier will melt your heart. You will be trekking to Annapurna Sanctuary, a glacier bowl located below the Annapurna range. Explore the exotic flora and fauna of Annapurna Sanctuary. After a tiring trek, rejuvenate in the natural hot spring of Jhinu Danda. Visit the picturesque Ghandruk which features among Asia’s most picturesque towns.
A trek to Annapurna Base Camp is culturally significant too. You will be trekking to the villages inhabited by Magar and Gurung ethnic groups. These ethnic groups have a distinct culture and tradition. Also, walk through villages that are home to brave Gurkha soldiers. Interact with locals and exchange stories. Experience local hospitality and learn about their daily lifestyle. Also, know more about the mountain culture of Nepal.
#10 Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek attracts thousands of trekkers every year and many add it to their bucket list annually. The joy of trekking to the base camp of the highest mountain in the world is better experienced than explained. Trek in the UNESCO World Heritage Site listed Sagarmatha National Park and explore its rare flora and fauna. Savor the remarkable views of mountains including Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, and Makalu. Visit the Everest Base Camp and bask in the best views of Everest from the vantage point of Kala Patthar. A stunning view of Makalu, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam awaits you at Nagarjun Hill. Suspension bridges are an integral part of Everest trek; it’s time to conquer your fear of heights if you have any.
Walk through the quaint Sherpa villages and get firsthand experience of Sherpa culture and tradition. You will notice the influence of Tibetan Buddhism in their religious practices. See colorful prayer flags festooned on suspension bridges, main walls, and spin prayer wheels. Visit the sacred Tengboche Monastery and feel its spiritual vibe. Relax in the popular Sherpa Town of Namche Bazaar and visit the Sherpa Culture Museum to know more about their culture and tradition. The Himalayas attract tourists to Nepal and warm local hospitality wins their heart!
10 FAQ’s On Best Treks In Nepal
How To Get A Visa For Nepal?
Nepal offers ‘visa on arrival’ to nationals of many countries at the Tribhuvan International Airport and border checkpoint when entering by land. But the nationals of some countries are restricted from ‘visa on arrival’ and they need a visa before their Nepal visit from Diplomatic missions of Nepal Government. The restriction applies to the nationals of Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, and refugees.
Do I Need To Get Travel Insurance?
It is wise to get travel insurance when trekking in Nepal. Emergency rescue and medical expenses cost a significant amount of money. You will get peace of mind knowing that you have an insurance cover in the event of any sickness or injury. Also, make sure your insurance covers high altitude trekking and emergency helicopter rescue among others. Share a copy of your insurance policy with your trekking company so that they can make the necessary arrangement during an emergency.
Which Is The Best Time To Trek In Nepal?
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the best time to visit Nepal for trekking. During spring, trekking trails look exceptional with the colorful blooms of rhododendrons covering the trail. Enjoy trekking in pleasant conditions. Weather is mostly clear in spring however there is a possibility of haze interrupting the gorgeous Himalayan views. You will see a clear and crisp sky during autumn and visibility will be at its peak. The monsoon will have ceased, filling up water bodies and spreading greenery everywhere. Popular trekking season in spring and autumn attracts thousands of trekkers every year.
Should I Bring My Trekking Gear?
Bringing or not bringing your trekking gear is up to you. Does your trekking gear take up lots of space in your luggage? No worries! You can buy or rent everything that you will need for a trek in Nepal. Also, the shops of Thamel with trekking gears and suppliers cater to the needs of trekkers. However, consider investing in comfortable trekking boots and breaking in before visiting Nepal. Your trekking boots must protect your ankles and are sturdy enough to withstand a variety of conditions.
Do I Need To Carry My Gear?
You will be carrying only a daypack when trekking with a porter. In the daypack, you can keep essentials for the day like water bottles, light snacks, camera, mobile, and others. A porter will carry your luggage with extra clothes and other trekking gears like a sleeping bag and others.
How Much Luggage Can A Porter Carry?
A porter will generally carry luggage of two clients and the combined load not exceeding 30kgs. The weight limit ensures that the porter isn’t overloaded.
What Is Tea House Trekking?
Tea houses were a stop where trekkers used to take rest while trekking and locals sold tea. As trekking in Nepal gained popularity, tea houses expanded their services and started catering to the needs of trekkers. Trekking style in Nepal where you stay at locally run lodges and hotels and eat home-cooked meals is referred to as tea house trekking. Moreover, you will also get amenities like Wi-Fi connectivity, charging facility for your electronic devices, hot showers, and others. The speed of the internet could be an issue as other trekkers will be using the same network as well. Multiplug connectors will come to your rescue when charging slots get crowded. You will get better services at the popular trekking areas of Nepal like Annapurna and Everest while services are basic in remote areas. Communal hall of a tea house is the place where trekkers from different parts of the world gather and exchange stories.
What Kind Of Food Is Available On The Trek?
Dal bhat tarkari is a popular meal while trekking and most trekkers, guides and porters eat this meal. It is steamed rice served with lentil soup, fresh vegetables., green pickles, and salads. The meal is heavy in carbohydrates which is essential to walk for long hours. Popular trekking routes also serve momos or dumplings, pizza, chow mein, and pasta. You will find sandwiches, soups, pancakes, and porridges on the menu as well.
It’s better to avoid meat products while trekking in the Everest region as meat products are flown here. If you want to have meat then opt for canned meat products that are easily available. Don’t forget to try scrumptious bakery items in the bakeries and restaurants of Namche Bazaar. Also, taste local cheese. Expect the prices of food items to increase as you trek to higher regions due to remoteness and difficulty in transportation.
How To Get A Trekking Permit In Nepal?
You require a trekking permit for trekking in Nepal. Also, if you intended to trek in restricted areas then you need a special permit as well. Some of the restricted regions of Nepal are Upper Mustang, Kanchenjunga, and Tsum Valley. Your trekking company or agency will get necessary trekking permits on your behalf.
How Much Tip Should I Give My Guide And Porter?
Guide and porter will expect you to give them tips but it isn’t compulsory. Giving tips is a way of showing appreciation for their service. There isn’t a fixed amount rather it depends on how pleased you were. Tips are usually given at the end of the trip. Guides and porters do physically demanding jobs and tips are an essential aspect of their job. Be a bit generous while tipping them.