Off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal is a primary option for trekkers who want to experience trekking at places that are relatively less known. As opposed to the more famous trekking destinations, for example- like the Everest Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the off-the-beaten-paths trekking in Nepal offers a more subdued version of trekking journeys. Nepal certainly is not lacking in any form when it comes to destinations for trekking. The entire expanse of the country each offers their own unique prospective on the natural and cultural riches for amazing trekking journeys. However, some are more famous than others and some are more pursued. Regardless of the popularity of the trekking journeys, trekking in Nepal offers options for people of all preferences.
There are many off-the-beaten-paths trekking journeys to do in the country. Here, we will discuss the top 5 best off-the-beaten-paths trekking in Nepal-
The Rara Lake Trek is one of the most beautiful and famous off-the beaten-paths trekking in Nepal. Lying at the far-western region of Nepal- Rara Lake is the biggest and the deepest freshwater Lake in the Himalayas of Nepal. It is a declared Ramsar site. Rara Lake is also famous and religiously significant as well where it is visited by hundred of pilgrims every year during festivals. Rara Lake Trek takes you through off-the-beaten-paths of the Annapurna region and presents the amazing wetlands of the lake while trekking. It is a great way to get yourself acquainted with the local people of the lake’s residents as well. The combination of natural beauty, the sapphire lake and the cultural and traditional diversity presents a great experience for trekking journeys. Considering its location amidst the White Mountain Peaks of the Annapurna, Rara Lake looks like a shimmering blue topaz surrounded by a ring of Himalayan peaks. Rara Lake Trek is a perfect trekking journey for people who want to experience an alternate trekking route in the Annapurna. The journey presents new and far-flung destinations and sites to explore and see.
The trekking trail goes through the beautiful Rara National Park where you can experience the park’s diverse natural flora and fauna in close proximity. The park harbors a wide variety of biodiversity and wild life. Because of Rara National Park’s protection of many rare and vulnerable species of plants and animals, trekking through the park is a pure delight. The avifaunal life and diversity of many water birds all around the lake is something that presents a fascinating sight for the eyes as well. The fertility of the lacustrine soil around the lake is also famous for the growth of many medicinal herbs and medicines. As such, the journey presents sights of many terrace farms and wetland farms while trekking. The natural beauty of the lake is unprecedented and the journey’s encompassment of the people’s traditions and culture makes it even more enchanting and appealing.
Rara Lake Trek is filled with lush woodlands of pine and cedar forests that are mesmerizing to go through. The forests are a home to animals like the Musk deer, Himalayan Black bears, Ghorals, Leopards, Red Pandas and the Impeyan Pheasants- the national birds of Nepal. Rara Lake is also home to many species of fishes and aquatic like forms. Due to its off-the-beaten-paths location, it is seldom visited by trekkers and is perfect for alternate trekking options in the Annapurna region. The solidarity of the trek, along with the beautiful natural ambiance makes it a perfect trekking journey. The sight of the mountain encircling the lake provides a pretty picturesque sight.
(Image Source: Caravan Outdoors)
The Makalu Base Camp Trek lets you experience the grandeur of trekking close to the fifth tallest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu, with its elevation of 8485 meters. The Makalu Base Camp Trek is one of the off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal. All throughout the journey, magnificent views of colossal mountains like Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8,516m), Chamlang (7,319m), Baruntse (7,220m) and many more are present. The chartreuse land topography of the trekking journey, adorned with beguiling lush forests and silver jovial rivers flowing ebulliently across the emerald terrain is a sight straight out of a picturesque postcard. It provides a surreal sense of adventure to its travelers. You would be coming across the beautiful River-Valleys of Barun and the Arun Khola while trekking to the base camp of the Makalu Mountain Peak.
(Image Description: Leopard in the Makalu Barun National Park. Image Source: The Nomadic Guy – WordPress.com )
The Makalu Base Camp, lying in the elevation of 5000 meters, falls under the perimeters of the Makalu Barun National Park which is a home to many of the region’s unique and amazing flora and fauna. Many endangered animals like the Red Panda, the Himalayan Black Bear, Clouded Leopards, Musk Deer and Snow Leopards have made the National Park their habitat. Along with these wonderful animals, you can also have encounters with varieties of orchids blooming fluorescently in the park, 15 different types of oaks and many other variances of fodder trees and jaded foliages in the trekking trails.
(Image Description: The Arun River valley. Image Source: ai.stanford.edu)
Beginning your trekking journey, you would be flying to the village of Tumlingtar, the fight filled with beautiful sights of the emerald terrains below. Driving to the settlement of Num, you would be subjected to beautiful views of the surrounding area with its vibrancy of terraced farmlands brimming with plantations of rice and mustards and many small rivers and streams flowing their course in the amethyst terrain. Traversing across the mirthful Arun River via a suspension bridge, you would be walking across fields of golden corns and buckwheat until you reach the village of Sedua. You will also be coming across dainty villages of Kike La (4,127m) and Tutu La (4,075m).
(Image description: The Aama Bhujung, translated as “Pregnant Mother” in the local dialect in the Barun Valley. Image Source: TheWallpaper.co )
As you will travel the ravishing trekking trail of the Makalu Base Camp Trek, you would be presented with magnificent views of Peak 4 (6720 m) and the Pyramid Peak (7168 m) among many others along the journey. The views of the mountain peaks are simply the most beautiful sights as they are accompanied by the green of the terra firma below them. From the Makalu Base Camp (5000m), the awe-inspiring scenes of the south face of Makalu and the views of the Baruntse Peak, Peak 6 and 7 along with the majestic view of Mount Everest is entirely enthralling and amazing to witness. The trekking trail also lets you hike along cerulean glaciers, cyan lakes and verdant mystical forests. You would also be walking across many passes including Shipton La (4229m) set at the southern side of Makalu where you can witness stunning views of ivory Himalayan Ranges and will get to experience the remote areas of the country.
The Pikey Peak Trek is one of the most amazing and secluded off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal. It takes place in the Solu sub-region of the Solukhumbu district. It is a perfect experience for trekkers who are looking for an alternate route for trekking in the Everest region with little to no crowd. The fascinating remote routes to Pikey Peak are filled with relatively undisturbed and pristine natural mountainous environments. This alternate route through the Everest region has only recently been opened for trekking, and as such generally gets far less trekking crowds than other destination in the same region. It is a relatively less preferred option among travelers because of its obscurity. The trekking trails offer some of the most outstanding views of the mountains in eastern and central Nepal pertaining to the Mahalangur Himalayan ranges. Mesmerizing sights of Mountains like Everest, Kanchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Makalu, the Gauri Shanker, Mount Annapurna, Mount Lhotse, Mount Thamserku, the Mera Peak and many more can be seen along the trekking trail. The prominent presence of Sherpa culture also makes the trekking journey quite fascinating in a cultural and traditional sense. The beautiful sceneries of the Himals along the route are also spectacular and the snowy peaks form a stunning backdrop against the terrain.
(Image Description: Junbesi, Solukhumbu. Image Source: Mr. Smith Goes to Kathmandu – blogger)
Flying to the village of Phaplu and trekking along pristine and serene trekking trails through settlements and villages that lie at the foothills of the Himalayas, it is certainly an off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal that captures the beauty of the place very well. At the Pikey Peak Base Camp, you can endeavor the snowy vast openness of the terrain that is a literal alpinist heaven. The pine and cedar woodlands at Junbesi along the trek also add a more mystical and forestry nuance to the trekking journey. The tranquil environment of the lush forests with paths that serpentine through verdant alpine vegetation is a scenario that is most aesthetically pleasing.
(Image Description: Settlement along the Pikey trail. Image Source: IMAGE NEPAL | Travel Magazine)
You can also experience the sunrise and the sunset views from the top of Pikey Hill. The sight of the rising and the setting sun amidst the Kanchenjunga and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges is absolutely stunning. Many stupas and Gompas can be observed that line the trekking trail and the serenity of the colorful prayer flags that decorate the chortens along the way can be felt to its extreme. Florescent beauties of magnolias, wild orchids and rhododendron blossoms mark the trail in the spring and the burning ember colors of autumn enhance the region’s pulchritude during the Fall. The Pikey Peak Trek is truly quite a beautiful off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal. The alluring charm of the experience is sure to be with travelers for their whole life.
The Upper Dolpo Trek is a beautiful off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal that takes you to the very heart of the Dolpo region. A highly saturated culturally Tibetan region- Upper Dolpo lies in western Nepal bordered in the north by the Shey Phoksundo National Park. The sparse agro-pastoral region of Upper Dolpo is perfect for an isolated trekking experience because of its beautiful trekking terrain and its alienated location. Generally adherent to the Bön religion, the trek is a journey that presents exotic cultural diversity that makes for a wonderfully splendid trekking experience. The remoteness of the region of Upper Dolpo has resulted in the culture being preserved in its finest form. You would be exploring the mystical hidden caves of Inner Dolpo while observing the culture and customs of the people in close proximity. The untouched and artistically fine culture of the people is quite fascinating to look at. Because of the religious purity and its relatively undisturbed culture, the traditional practices of the people of Upper Dolpo have been the same for centuries. Trekking in the far-reaches of Upper Dolpo is like being transported back in time.
(Image Description: The Shey Gompa)
While undergoing the Upper Dolpo Trek, you will also explore and behold the beauty of the Phoksundo Lake and of the beautiful Phoksundo Waterfall. The famous Shey Gompa is also visited, where the religious ambiance of the place is heightened. Crossing three major High Passes, the trekking trails of the Upper Dolpo Trek goes through wide open pastoral lands and isolated acreages of sparse woods and secluded villages. The views of the spectacular high mountains also make an appearance while trekking and their views are magnificent. The features of Upper Dolpo make the Trek one of the most exquisite off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal.
(Image Source: Click Here)
However, because of its difficult topography, not many people visit Upper Dolpo, thus making it an ideal off the beaten path trekking in Nepal experience. But despite its isolation, it is one of the best places to cherish the natural beauty comprising of snow-capped mountains in the north and river basins of Bheri, Suligad and Rupagad with their small and large cascades going through rocky gorges and between huge boulders. The coruscating forests and woodlands of the Dolpo region are a home to varieties of wild birds and animals that make up around 197 species of birds and 32 species of mammals. During your travel, you can also come across beautiful Himalayan animals like the Musk Deer, the Himalayan Blue Sheep and the rare and elusive Snow Leopard.
Upper Dolpo was also the location setting of the Oscar winning movie “Himalaya”. The Upper Dolpo Trek presents an opportunity to explore mystical places of the region. The relatively mysterious and unexplored lands of the region have also been responsible for Upper Dolpo to be termed as “the forbidden land”. The kingdom of Dolpo was closed to foreigners in the beginning, but you can enter this region after obtaining a restricted and expensive permit. The trek begins from Juphal and passes through various beautiful landscapes to sights of gigantic mountain ranges. You will be crossing the Numa La pass at 5,190m from where the spectacular view of the Phoksundo Lake at the Ringmo village that lies inside the Phoksundo National Park can be seen. Upper Dolpo is not just beautiful for its natural splendor and bio diversity, but also for its unique cultural and social aspects. The people living in this region are of Tibetan origin who still have the perseverance of their primitive lifestyle and tradition. The Shay Gompa, also regarded as a spiritual centre of Upper Dolpo, is a beautiful monastery that lies on the base of the Crystal Mountain. It is visited by many pilgrims each year where the ritual of Kora is performed.
Helambu- located approximately 72 kilometers from Kathmandu in the northeast, is one of the most beautiful off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal. It rewards you with a perfect picture of the ravishing beauty encompassed in a moderate climatic ambiance. The word “Helambu” is derived from the name of a caste “Helmu”, who resided in the Tarkeghyang village at the time. Today, they are known as Sherpas. The Tamang and Sherpa settlements of the Helambu region present a marvelous chance to enlighten us about their culture and way of life. A view of the magnificent Himalayas, trudging through the wonderful verdancy of the rhododendron forests and wooded acreages of pine and birch, the off the beaten paths Helambu Trek is a marvelous adventure.
(Image Description: Helambu terraces. Image Source: The Getting There)
The trek starts with a drive to Sundarijal (1350m) from Kathmandu and then trekking to Chisapani. You will also be excursing through the Shivapuri National Park which is a home to many numbers of wild lives and plant species. Passing through the settlements at Mulkharka, you can have close encounters with the Tamang people residing there and visit many monasteries that adorn the terrain. On the trails, you would be traversing through the passes of Pathi Bhanjyung and Gil Bhanjyang.
Magnificent views of the Himalayan ranges greet the eye at Yurin Danda. The Sherpa-inhabited Tarkhaghyang village is a dainty little settlement where you can enjoy alpine vegetations of oak and junipers complimented beguilingly by the blossoms of the rhododendron trees. Walking to Melamchi Gaon, you would be subjected to a beautiful natural quintessence of the woods and emerald flora.
There are much more off the beaten paths trekking in Nepal to choose from. Nepal truly is the most fascinating destination for vacations and holidays with the whole family, friends or even solo!