The Best Treks in Nepal - 12 epic hikes in the Himalayas!

escapehimalayaMay 20th 2024

Nepal is one of the top hiking destinations for the world's best treks. It is home to many of the highest Himalayas and a multicultural ethos amid amazing, unique terrains. Nepal's trapezoidal land is approximately 800 km long (East to West) and 200 km wide (North to South). Nepal's distinct topographical features embed a beautiful Himalayan ambiance with cultural riches.

Trekking in Nepal lets trekkers enjoy every aspect of fantastic destinations. Indeed, there are various adventure choices, whether challenging journeys or beginner-friendly trips. However, Nepal has a lot to offer trekking to the Himalayas. In this article, we shall discuss the best treks in Nepal.

September to November is the autumn season in Nepal. During this time, the sky is clear, and days are warm. Thousands of trekkers opt for trekking in Nepal during this time of the year due to the most favorable weather conditions.

In the same way, the spring season, which falls from March to May, is another peak season for trekking in Nepal. The weather is warm as it invites the summer season simultaneously. In this season, flowers fully bloom, and trails are green. In general, it offers spectacular weather to view the mountains.

The winter season in Nepal lasts from December to February. During winter, most high-altitude trekking is impossible due to freezing weather and heavy snow covering the trail. meanwhile, some trekkers hike in winter to accessible destinations, as the views are most beautiful when snow covers the trail. Enough preparation is the key to any winter hike in Nepal.

From June to August, we experience the monsoon season in Nepal. The monsoon rain brings landslides, which increase the chances of blocking roads and trails. Also, the clouds obscure mountain views, and nobody wants to walk for long periods while it's raining. Even though monsoon seems to be the worst trek season, certain rain-shadowed areas of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Himalayas in the north of Nepal let travelers explore the magical semi-arid regions.

Everest Base Camp Trek, the world's best trek

Trekkers near Pheriche on the way to Everest base camp.

The trail to Everest base camp is the most popular trekking route in Nepal. It takes trekkers to the beautiful Khumbu region, home to the mighty Mount Everest. Hiking at Everest's base camp is a great way to experience Sherpa culture and see the breathtaking Everest Peak. The trekking journey meanders through the Dudh Koshi and Imja River Valleys.

In contrast, it includes many popular destinations like Namche Bazaar, Tengboche, Dingboche, and Gorakshep. The Kalapatthar's magisterial beauty shows the panoramic beauty of the majestic Mt. Everest. A journey to the base camp takes travelers hiking through Sagarmatha National Park- a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Likewise, the trail follows the Dudh Koshi River and alpine forests to the glacial valley of Gorakshep, which holds incredible sights of the Everest Himalayas. There are skylining peaks like beautiful Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Nuptse, Khumbutse, Kongdi Ri, Kusum Kanguru, Thamserku, and many more.

Furthermore, the terrain consists of alpine woodlands and emerald pastures that trekkers go through. Along the way, trekkers can see rich Sherpa Buddhist cultural practices. Their culture weaves its threads into the landscape in the form of monasteries, Gumbas, and Mani stone walls. They are all carved with Buddhist prayers mounted with prayer flags. Many more distinctive attributes make the EBC Trek one of the best treks in Nepal.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna South (left) and Annapurna I (right) welcome you as you arrive at the breathtaking Annapurna Base Camp.

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is amongst Nepal's most visited trekking adventures. It is a journey that is both naturally uplifting and culturally diverse. The trek lets trekkers go through many ethnic Rai and Limbu villages of the Annapurna region. Annapurna Massif ( I, II, III), Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, and Gangapurna majestically tower over the trail for the company throughout the trip. Moreover, one particular highlight of the Annapurna base camp trek is its natural features.

The journey goes through the most diverse region of Nepal. It presents trekkers with mesmerizing acreages of thick chartreuse woodlands and forests. Trekkers catch rare glimpses of wildlife like Himalayan Monal and Musk Deer as they hike ahead. Another unique hallmark of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek is Pokhara City- the tourist hub of Nepal. Pokhara is where the trekking journey starts. Pokhara is a lovely city near the Annapurna Himalayas with pristine Phewa Lake. Trekkers can hike to Poon Hill to view Mt. Annapurna and Dhaulagiri in full bloom.

Everest Base Camp Trek with Cho La Pass

Hikers spotted an ideal location for shooting while crossing Cho La Pass.

The Everest Base Camp Trek with Cho La Pass is one of Nepal's most challenging journeys. This hike stands out among the best treks in Nepal as it crosses the renowned mountain pass. The adventure's initial journeys are quite similar to the typical EBC Trek. Still, the latter half of the trip includes a steep climb toward Cho La Pass.

One requires good agility as it involves a strenuous hike up and down the mountain terrains. Prior trekking experience will be a great help while doing this trek. However, the extra effort is worth the trouble. The panoramic views of the Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola valleys from the top of these passes are mesmerizing. The Chola Pass seems to lie above the clouds, feeling like heaven with incredibly hypnotic views. The cloud-laden acreage with views of Everest peaks rises like ivory serrations in the skies. There is nothing quite like it in the world!

Gokyo Lake Trek

Holy Gokyo Lake - Pilgrim's site

The Gokyo Lake Trek is among Nepal's best treks because it involves visiting the Everest region's sapphire Himalayan lake, Gokyo. Pilgrims from all over the country come here to celebrate the Janai Poornima festival at the holy lakes. The trekking journey traverses the Khumbu's river valleys to the Himalayan Lake. The hike to Gokyo Ri represents some of the best mountain views and the azure lakes of Gokyo Valley.

The Gokyo Lakes also hold religious significance to the Hindu people. According to Hindu mythology, they were the abode of the Nagas—the snake Gods—who used to live in the Himalayan turquoise water. It is best to visit during the autumn and spring as the lake tends to freeze over during the winter. Moreover, the trek also involves visiting the vantage point of Gokyo Ri, which presents a fantastic view of Everest and its flanking Himalayan peaks.

Annapurna Circuit Trek, the best of classic treks in Nepal

Annapurna Circuit Trekking - One of the best treks in Nepal!

The Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the best classic treks of Nepal. The journey lets trekkers circumambulate the Annapurna range and important Kali Gandaki River Valley destinations. The journey is an exemplary adventure, including crossing Thorong La Pass (5,416m), the highest mountain pass in the world.

Further, phenomenal peaks like the Annapurna (I, II, III), Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu provide impressive company along the trail. Trekkers make their way through the beautiful Marshyangdi Valley, experiencing the ethnic Limbu and Chhetri cultures of the local people. The trek is stunning, with beautiful paddy fields, subtropical frets, waterfalls, and gigantic cliffs flanking the gorges and villages. That is why it is almost always mentioned while discussing Nepal's best scenic treks.

The Annapurna Circuit presents a cornucopia of climatic variations and diverse terrains with distinct cultural ethos. Hindu villages lie in the lower Himalayan foothills, while Tibetan culture dominates in the Manang and Mustang valleys. The trek also crosses the Annapurna Sanctuary, which presents some of Nepal's most magical natural terrains.

Langtang Valley Trek with Gosainkunda

Langtang region is the nearest trekking route. 

The Langtang Valley Trek with Gosainkunda is one of the relatively obscure trekking adventures in the country. The Langtang Valley trekking trail is 20km from Kathmandu, near the Tibetan border. The journey is an unforgettable hike in one of the most captivating landscapes ever, Langtang - a glacier valley.

The Langtang Valley presents trekkers with thrilling views of the Langtang Himalayas alongside the alpine villages of Rasuwa. The valley's many glacial lakes have made it one of the best regions for flourishing wildlife. Likewise, visitors can enjoy hiking through the landscape ornamented with jade-green woods, vast open pastures, and Himalayan meadows. Besides, the trek includes visiting Kyanjin Gompa and the local cheese factory that produces yak milk cheese. 

The trekking journey also includes visiting the revered Gosainkunda Lake, which holds a special place in Hindu and Buddhist mythos. The hike goes via Langtang National Park to the country's ethereal freshwater lake, which has a distinct lake-side natural biosphere.

According to Hindu legend, Lord Shiva struck his trident into a Himalayan side, which caused lake formation. He drank water to quench his thirst by swallowing a poison that threatened to destroy the world. Travelers get company by dazzling Langtang and Ganesh Himal views throughout their journey.

Manaslu Circuit Trek

Bhimthang village, after Larkya La Pass.

One of the spell-bounding off-beaten-path journeys, the trek to Manaslu, is a perfect option for trekkers looking for an isolated journey with fewer crowds. The trail passes through the Manaslu Conservation Area, the natural habitat for many endangered Himalayan flora and fauna species.

The journey to Manaslu involves visiting the hidden gem of Nepal—Manaslu. Indeed, trekkers can experience the region's distinct cultural features, which are unique to others. The people have their customs and speak a dialect that is not found anywhere else. Trekking in the Manaslu region started just in 2008. The area fosters striking Manaslu Range, Ganesh Himal, Shringi Himal, and the Baudha Himal Range.

However, the Manaslu Circuit expedition presents rich natural beauty and cultural penchant. Having a long history of Buddhism, the Manaslu Circuit Trek offers trekkers culturally distinct remnants of an ancient kingdom whose attributes are still alive today. People believe that the Buddhist Saint Milarepa meditated in the caves of Mt. Manaslu, which gives the trekking journey a serene spiritual ambiance.

Makalu Base Camp Trek

Magnificent Mt. Makalu at its glory!

The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a coruscating journey through the enchanting Makalu Barun Valley of Nepal's Sankhuwasabha district to the base camp of the Makalu Peak- the 5th highest mountain peak. It is among the best Nepal treks because of its unparalleled natural beauty and pulchritude.

The trekking journey also prinvolves traversing one of the seven Beyuls of the Himalayas. According to Buddhist legends, "Beyuls" are mystical, evergreen places where people do not age. Life is said to only prevail in those seven places times of global destruction. One of them is mentioned to be somewhere in the Makalu Barun region. The valley's biodiversity offers visitors tremendously varied flora and fauna while trekking.

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the best off-beaten-path treks in a remote area of the Nepal-India border. The trip presents majestic Kanchenjunga (8,586m), the third-highest peak. Indeed, the Kanchenjunga Valley is a daring area that has not yet seen modernization changes.

Regardless, the trek perfectly combines natural wonders and a rustic cultural tenor. It is an authentic trekking experience through the Tamur River Valley in Nepal's Taplejung District. The peak also holds a special place in Buddhist legends as per their scriptures. Kanchenjunga, meaning 'The Five Treasures of The High Snow,' is derived from the Tibetan word. The treasures comprise salt, gold, turquoise, precious stones, sacred scriptures, invincible armor or ammunition, grain, and medicine. Trekkers pass through perplexing natural terrains of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area.

Mardi Himal Trek

Upper Viewpoint at Mardi Himal Trek

Steadily gaining popularity and mass appeal in recent years, the Mardi Himal Trek is one of the unknown trekking journeys in the Annapurna region. Limited trekkers access it in a short time. The trek presents homely villages with traditional houses flaunting the Annapurna Peaks and the Mardi Himal as their backdrop.

Trek to Mardi Himal is a diverse hike with quaint cultural features and alpine woodlands. The local people still follow the old way of life. In summer, they take their cattle to graze in Himalayan pastures and do terrace wheat and barley farms.

The journey starts from Pokhara City, Nepal's tourist hub. It then follows the path toward prominent destinations like the region's High and Low campgrounds.

Upper Mustang Trek

Lo Manthang, Upper Mustang - alpine desert of Nepal

Upper Mustang Trek allows you to enjoy trekking even during the monsoon season. The Upper Mustang region lies in the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri peaks' rain-shadow zone, which experiences significantly less rainfall.

Generally, the geography has an arid desert-like environment that presents some incredible rock formations. It is among the best treks in Nepal because it has a lot to offer its visitors. It is a journey to the Kingdom of Lo, practicing Tibetan-Buddhist culture unique from other parts of Nepal. Upper Mustang is one of the last places on Earth to experience intricate layers of Tibetan Buddhism that have been unchanged for centuries.

Moreover, the trek presents spellbinding hallmarks like the Lo Manthang settlement—the capital of Upper Mustang. The prominent monasteries hold secret scriptures, statues of Buddhist deities, and priceless Thanka paintings. Archeologists discovered many mysterious sky caves over the terrain with decadent high cliffs in National Geographic.

Annapurna Panorama Trek

Poon Hill Viewpoint - Spot for glorious sunrise amidst mighty Annapurna & Dhaulagiri ranges

The Annapurna Panorama Trek is one of the best options for people looking to trek in the lowlands of the Annapurna region. It is best for people who do not necessarily want to undergo an extensive trekking journey to experience the Himalayas.

Furthermore, the Annapurna Panorama Trek presents panoramic views of the magnificent Annapurna Mountains from the vantage point of Poon Hill. Usually, the trek to Poon Hill from Ghorepani is done early in the morning. The hike before dawn offers a magical moment of the rising sun amidst the striking Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.

Indeed, the glorious sunrise and sunset from Poonhill are phenomenal.

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escapehimalayaMay 20th 2024

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