A Practical Guide to Picking Treks in Nepal

Dubbed the paradise of trekking, Nepal is a magnet for hundreds of thousands of trekkers, who are typically in the company of their first-met kindred spirits, reveling in the inspiration and purification amongst snow-capped mountains. Unlike other outdoor activities, trekking requires less professional training and is, therefore, more newbie-friendly, even for participants at a tender or advanced age.

Trekking Tour in NepalTrekking Tour in Nepal

Choice of treks

You could be easily disoriented when facing Nepal's nearly one hundred pleasant trails, but it doesn't have to be painful to make your best choice, which largely depends on your personal preferences like difficulty, duration, budget, and accessibility (some treks require restricted permits). You'd be well-advised to avoid Nepal's monsoon and go there during March-May or October-November. Now let us shed some light on some of Nepal's treks with guesthouses and lodges available:

1. Poon Hill Circuit / Tatopani hot spring Circuit

Difficulty1 out of 5 (Easy)
Days needed2~4
ElevationConstantly low
Restricted PermitsNo

If you only have one day or two, these two amateur treks would fit perfectly into your schedule. The elevation throughout remains low, and you could have access to a close-up of the stunning views of mountains and valleys. Besides, these trails constitute absolutely no challenge to physical stamina and are, therefore, suitable for trekkers aged from 6 to 60. An alternative to this is a sightseeing tour in Kathmandu, the religious capital where rustic people live in harmony with the local wildlife.

Stunning View while TrekkingStunning View while Trekking

2. Poon Hill Trek

Difficulty1~2 out of 5 (Easy to Moderate)
Days needed5~7
Max Elevation3,210 m, Poon Hill
Restricted PermitsNo

For those who only have a few days in Nepal, this trail is the best choice. Within the proximity of Pohkara, this easy trek boasts convenient transport service and offers stunning and versatile views at different altitudes: you can indulge in the mountainous and idyllic scenery of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Mountain Ranges. Sunrise atop Poon Hill is a must-see, and the spot provides a perfect view of the Himalayas. A dip into the local culture will make your trip even more fun: villages like Ghandruk are time-honored and culturally rich, where you can soak up the quaint atmosphere amongst farmhouses, rhododendrons, and donkeys and mules transporting goods.

Perfect View of the HimalayasPerfect View of the Himalayas

3. Hot Spring Tatopani Trek

Difficulty1~2 out of 5 (Easy to Moderate)
Days needed7~8
Max Elevation3,210 m, Poon Hill
Restricted PermitsNo

This trek stages gorgeous views of mountain ranges lying in the Annapurna conservation area and is, therefore, another wise choice for those short-distance trekkers. On the way, you'll pass enchanting ethnic villages like Gurungs, Puns, and Magars cloaked in dense rhododendron forests; a hot spring bath at the bank of Kaligandaki River would count as the climax of this trail — wallow in this world's deepest gorge whose water has been renowned for healing effect both physically and mentally, wash away a rough day's fatigue, and get reinvigorated! Another highlight en route is Poon Hill, one of the best spots to observe the breathtaking snow-clad beauties like Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Nigiri, fishtail, and the entire Annapurna range.

4. Annapurna Base Camp

Difficulty2 out of 5 (Moderate)
Days needed9~10
Max Elevation4,320 m, Annapurna Base Camp
Restricted PermitsNo

Annapurna Base Camp entitles you to up-close glimpses of the world's most challenging mountain to climb (too steep to trek); snow-crowned mountains, forests, meadows, and paddy fields constitute the fantastic scenery on your nearly vertical way up. The max elevation is only 4,320 m, so this trail is, despite a foul gradient, not so physically demanding after all. Combining scenic spots like Ghandruk and Poon Hill on your way back would spice up the trek. Around the corner of Pokahara city, this trail provides an authentic trekking experience and an opportunity to explore the local urban life.

Annapurna, NepalAnnapurna, Nepal

5. Annapurna Dhaulagiri Trek

Difficulty3 out of 5 (Medium)
Days needed13~14
Max Elevation5,416 m, Thorong La Pass
Restricted PermitsNo

This community-based teahouse trek is highly developed, boasts picturesque scenery, and offers a comfortable trekking experience. Walking along this trail, you'll enjoy the tranquil and serene and, most of all, diverse Himalayan subcultures. Many lodges are operated by the community, which has been financially supporting local society and schools. On the way, you'll pass tons of traditional villages, lush forests, and an expanse of grassland that offers a perfect view of the undulating ranges. As the world's widest pass, the Thorong La (5,415 m) is one of the highlights of this trek, and you'd also have a snapshot of the simple lifestyle of the Nepali peasants.

6. Langtang Trek

Difficulty3 out of 5 (Medium)
Days needed7~13
Max Elevation4,984 m, Tserko Ri
Restricted PermitsNo

This trail ranks among Nepal's best short treks. North of Kathmandu, the capital, Langtang conservation area is a Mecca for both nature lovers and cultural travelers. During trekking, you'll have a sneak peek at the splendid view of the Langtang Valley, 'the valley of glaciers', where Langtang Lirung (7,400 m) towers amongst mountain streams and daisy-studded meadows. The trail winds up gradually through the settlement where alpine vegetation like pine, oak, and rhododendron thrive, along with the Tamang people known for their Tibetanish traditions. For those interested in soaking up the cultural atmosphere, the Gosainkunda Lake and Kyanjin Gompa constitute the highlights of the trek. Legendarily created by Lord Shiva and perched at an altitude of 4,200 meters. The Lake is a worshiping honeypot for Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims during full moons. En route, you'll also reach atop the snowy Tserko Ri Peak at an altitude of 4,984 meters.

7. Manaslu Trek

Difficulty4 out of 5 (Hard)
Days needed15
Max Elevation5,115 m, Larke Pass
Restricted PermitsYes. It requires a minimum of 2 trekkers accompanied by a Nepali guide or porter. 

Officially open to the public in 1991, this is also one of Nepal's top cultural treks. Steeped in a no-hunting Buddhist culture, friendly and hospitable locals have been living in peace with the local fauna for centuries and upholding their time-honored traditions. Typically Tibetan and Gurung villages also await your exploration. 
In recent years this off-the-beaten-path trail has a tendency to elbow Annapurna Circuit Trek aside in terms of popularity. The awe-inspiring Mt. Manaslu (8,156 m) ranks eighth on the list of the world's highest mountains. The Larke Pass makes a challenging and adventurous day, whilst the Manaslu Base Camp and Samagaun village welcome you with coziness and comfort. Throughout the trail, you'll experience a wide range of topographies thanks to the changing altitudes (600 m to 5,135 m). The circuiting trail ensures that you'll be getting a different landscape from time to time. Please be aware that accommodation along this trek may be scarce, which is especially true during peak seasons, namely October and March-April. So, your best move is to book the lodges as far in advance as possible. 

Useful Tips for Trekking

1. Do prioritize your health.

Consult your general practitioner months before departure for advice and up-to-date vaccine information.

2. Do equip yourself with knowledge of elevation.

Insights into the dangers and precautions of high altitude may be lifesaving during emergencies. So, you'd better google thoroughly about them.

3. The pace of Nepali life

Nepalis are typically living and working at a slower pace. Pushing people here may work against your own interest. So, try to be patient and get use to their laid-back style. 

4. Understanding the local belief systems deepens your travel experience.

Most Nepalis are either Buddhists or Hindus, so a religious crash course before departure may enrich your trekking experience.

5. Wear face masks to safeguard yourself from Nepal's smog.

6. About packing 

Pack light but smart by selecting clothes made of lighter materials. One change or two would be all you need. Considering the capricious weather in Nepal, do bring along clothes to cope with rainy, cold, and warm days. 

Actually, Nepal boasts many other treks, from super easy to really challenging, and our guide can hardly include each and every one of them. If you prefer trails other than those listed above, tailor-make an itinerary with us right now!

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