Thousands of Himalayan peaks and as many trekking trails, Nepal is truly the biggest trekking hub in the world. Solely housing 8 out of 14 8000m+ peaks including world’s highest peak Everest, Nepal caters many world class trekking adventures to the Base Camps of these mighty Himalayan Peaks. Based on trekkers interest, the number of trekkers trekking along the particular trail and highlights of the trek, here we have 10 most popular treks in Nepal.
Round Annapurna Trek or Annapurna Circuit Trek
The most popular trek in Nepal, Round Annapurna Trek (RAT) is a stretch of 100+ kilometers circumnavigation around Annapurna Range. The trek that offers diverse beauty from mid-hill jungles to striking alpine landscapes, Round Annapurna Trek is also pleasures with cultural encounter at several ethnic villages nestling in the highlands. The trek also known as Annapurna Circuit Trek caters magnificent views of the Annapurna, Fishtail, Dhaulagiri, Manaslu and Langtang Himal. Although the construction of roadways deeper into the circuit has reduced the real essence of the trek, still almost 100km of stretch of the fascinating route makes Round Annapurna Trek, Nepal’s number one trekking trail.
Everest Base Camp Trek
The classic trek that brings trekkers to the proximity of world’s highest mountain, Everest- Everest Base Camp Trek is itself an achievement. Everest Base Camp, which is higher than almost every mountain in Europe, Australia, Africa and America, is the place where every mountaineer who has conquered this beautiful white Goddess began here. The trail full of amenities in scores of teahouses is interesting for two particular reasons- the thriving Sherpa culture and the alpine beauty that even open eyes in the broad daylight cannot capture wholly.
Langtang Valley Trek
Avoiding difficulty sighting supreme beauty in diversity- Langtang Valley Trek is the best-opted trek in the category. The shortest approach from Kathmandu, Langtang Valley Trek offers 3600 view of snowcapped Himalayas dominated by Langtang Lirung. Authentic Tibetan culture in frequent Tamang villages, sacred highland monasteries like Kyangjin Gompa and sacred alpine lakes like Gosainkunda are prime highlights of Langtang Valley Trek. Langtang is so close to Tibet that from some high vantage points, the glimpses of villages in Tibet can be viewed.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
One of the most popular easy treks in Nepal is Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The trek caters the alpine experience blended with diverse terrains. From beautiful glaciers to terraced fields, from rock-strewn trails to snowy paths- the trail of ABC Trek has it all. The Gurung culture at its best traditional form and their indelible hospitality are recreating factors during Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The view of Annapurna from the Annapurna Base Camp, the widespread Himalayan view from Poonhill and the view of Mt. Fishtail from Machhapuchhre Base Camp are striking views of the trek.
Manaslu Cicuit Trek
Ever since in 2010 Manaslu became teahouse trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek is emerging as one of the most popular trekking trails in Nepal. Few trekkers also have acknowledged this trek as replica of Round Annapurna Trek. However, Manaslu Circuit Trek is by far untouched and raw compared to Annapurna Circuit Trek. The trail during Manaslu Circuit Trek winds through the lower slope of Mt. Manaslu (eighth highest mountain in the world) through Larkya La Pass. The views of Himalayas are excellent and the cultural experience is more authentic.
North of Jomsom up on Kali Gandaki basin, the deserted kingdom of Mustang nestles where the Tibetan culture till date spills over. A restricted trekking region in Nepal demands heavy permit fee of US Dollars 500 for 10 days. The windswept landscapes, colorful barren hills and the caves carved in vertical cliffs are geographical delights whereas; the culture in Mustang is exclusive unique in whole Nepal. Preserved centuries world monasteries, the remains of historic palace in Lo-manthang and celebration of Tiji festival are major sights trekker to Upper Mustang crave to watch. In brief Upper Mustang is a true Tibet outside Tibet.
Gokyo- Everest Base Camp Trek
Getting to Everest Base Camp via more isolated and remote trails makes Gokyo Everest Base Camp Trek intriguing trek in the Everest Region. In addition to the highlights of EBC Trek, Gokyo Everest Base Camp Trek caters the beauty of five emerald lakes together with Himalayas. The trek along the challenging Cho La Pass to get into Khumbu Valley from Gokyo Valley is also the major highlight of this trek. Gokyo Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the few trekking route in Nepal, which offers remote experience, rich local culture, and the supreme beauty of Himalayas.
Upper Dolpo Trek
Crystal Mountain, snow leopards, sacred monasteries and the endless isolation- Upper Dolpo Trek is truly a lifetime experience. Every place trekkers reach and every people they meet leave an indelible impression. Upper Dolpo Trek is truly fascinating. The trek rewards in very early stage with the magnificence of Phoksundo Lake. Trekking further, trekkers cross three high passes, Nagdalo La (5350m), Shey La (5000m) and Jeng La (5110m) to Shey Gompa, which is a spiritual heart of Upper Dolpo. Hundreds of pilgrims visit Shey Gompa that lies dramatically at the base of Crystal Mountain each year to circumambulate the mountain in act of prayer. Upper Dolpo is a restricted area which demands 10-day permit for $500.
The trekking to the Himalayas in the extreme east of Nepal, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is probably the most popular offbeat trekking in Nepal. Trekking along the foothills of world’s third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga is a wonderful adventure. To experience the treks based on tented camps, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is suitable option. Snow Leopard can be sighted during the treks in the region. The Kanchenjunga Base Camps Trek is a long and challenging walk while visiting both the North and South base camps. The authentic culture of Rai and Limbu tribes can be well observed during the trek to this part of nation.
Makalu Base Camp Trek
This is an outstanding trek in the eastern region of Nepal, which offers a combination of rich cultural heritage, unsurpassed beauty and biological diversity. The trail takes you from the steamy lowlands of Tumlingtar on the Arun River, through one of the least frequented areas of Nepal, to the base camp of Makalu [8475m]. The trail follows the beautiful Barun river valley in the Makalu Barun National Park, crossing Shipton pass at 4127 meters before arriving at Makalu Base Camp [5000m]. From here, views of the south face of Makalu, as well as Everest and Lhotse are truly regal and fantastic.
Rara Lake Trek
This trek through the remote wilderness of western Nepal offers a superb experience of nature and a visit to Rara Lake, Nepal’s Largest Lake at 3062 meters. During this easy trek, the trail passes through green countryside, which provides unusual glimpses of a culture, and scenery quite different from that found elsewhere in Nepal and which eventually culminates to the Rara Lake National Park. Alpine meadows and forests of pine, juniper and spruce surround this beautiful high altitude lake, whilst in the background trekkers can view the magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. The entire route is ‘off the beaten track’, which involves the crossing of Ghurchi Lagna Pass 3450m and a few ridges at around 3000 meters.
Lonely planet describes, “The sunrise view at Kanchenjunga 8586m is a kind of view that inspires religion.” Truly, trekking to the Base Camp of Mt. Kanchenjunga, which is world’s third highest peak, is fascinating experience. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek best suits to enthusiastic trekkers who strive to experience something pleasantly odd out of offbeat trek in Nepal. Trekkers have a choice; either to visit south Base Camp at Ramche 4360m or to cross over Mirgin La Pass 4663m to explore both South Base Camp at Ramche and North Base Camp at Pang Pema 5140m. Located in extreme northeast region of Nepal, Kanchenjunga borders Indian State, Sikkim to the East and China to the north.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek- gaining elevation as high as 5140m
Cutting edge ridges of Chang Peak aka Wedge Peak 6800m
Here we have a brief travel guide on Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, which would really help all those trekkers planning to Trek to this part of Nepal.
Getting to the starting point
By road– Board a bus at Kathmandu and drive to the major Eastern city of Nepal, Biratnagar. Ten to twelve hours of road journey could be intriguing but often it is exhausting. Overnight stay at Biratnagar and next morning drive 3-4 hours to reach the trek starting point, Phidim (a beautiful small town in the eastern mid-hills)
By air: Skipping a roadway saves your time but could be little more expensive. Instead, take a short flight to Biratnagar and drive on a same day to Phidim to begin the trek next day.
A typical Limbu house- an ethnical tribe in the region
Freezing Himalayan breeze floating above Mt. Kanchenjunga
Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp these days could be arranged in teahouse basis. However, we do not recommend you for such treks. Limited resources for accommodation and food may ruin the pleasure of entire trek. So, we encourage Fully organized treks. Though expensive, comfortable sleep in tents every night and 3 meals of hygienic food every day, cooked by professional Sherpa cooks is highly recommended.
Guides and porters:
Depending on a group size, one or two Sherpa guides lead the trek. One Sherpa cook with one or two kitchen boy, 2-3 porters per guest trekkers to carry necessary logistics accompany the group of trekkers to Kanchenjunga Base Camp.
Alpine wilderness of Kanchenjunga
Although, the entire trekking trail to Kanchenjunga Base Camp offers high degree of adventurous thrill, many of these highlights imprints permanently in the memories of trekkers.The Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp highlights extreme wilderness in nature, adventurous trekking thrills and traditional authentic culture of Eastern Nepal.
The jaw dropping views of the Kanchenjunga from the North Base Camp at Pang Pema (5140 M), the exceptional beauty of Kanchenjunga Glacier, sharp ridges of Chang Himal (Wedge Peak) 6800m soaring above Kanchenjunga Glacier, the magnificence of Taple Shikhar, The Twin Mountains, Pyramid Peak and Tent Peak are fascinating highlights of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. Similarly, Mt. Kumbhakarna, an extreme vertical white mass towering above Mt. Khabur and Mt. Phole is one of the rarest views during any trek in Nepal. Picturesque backdrop of Chijma Peak against stunning Lhonak Glacier, the appealing beauty of Rathong and Kabru Dome Peaks and the excellence of Yalung Glacier are also major highlights of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.
The panorama of Eastern Himalayas perfectly blends with culture of the region
The trail offers a pleasant trek through the dense alpine woodlands that include bamboo, bright red rhododendron, oak, chestnut, pine and juniper trees. Trekking along the deep valleys formed by Baby Rivers that emerge from Himalayas and witnessing unstoppable vertical flow of these Rivers while crossing them over narrow suspension bridges is a sheer adventure. Crossing over high passes of Dhupi Bhanjyang 2540m, Lamite Bhanjyang 3410m, Deurali Bhanjyang 3800m and Mirgin La 4663m from one valley to another is wonderful experience on offbeat trekking trail in Nepal. Since Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the least frequented trekking regions in Nepal, trekkers rarely encounter with human. Sometimes walking for days even do not bring a single human into the sight. So, the trek creates enough opportunities to witness alpine wildlife that include musk deer, blue sheep and elusive snow leopard. World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) working region to protect snow leopard Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, has GPS collared snow leopards roaming in the region. Also, walk through sparsely populated pleasant villages in the highland makes the trial uniquely awesome.
Amazing culture in the Highland regions of Kanchenjunga
The biggest achievement is to complete four-week long strenuous trek in the most remote corner of Nepal. An opportunity to live few days with highland Nepali communities such as Rai, Limbu, Sherpa and Gurung and have an insightful peep into the culture of these people are experiences larger than life. Exploration of highland monasteries and experience of the hospitality of highland folks, electrifying walk over Yalung Glacier and challenges to overcome of high mountain passes are also the biggest experiences of Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek.
Walking can hilariously adventurous