Nepal offers beautiful locations and destinations for trekking and many other activities. Famous for being home to the world’s tallest peak, Nepal also has much culture and custom that reflects the diversity of this beautiful country. Rich in culture, history and natural landscapes, Nepal is a perfect destination for trekking holidays. Hiking in Nepal is one of the most famous activities to do, and the wonderful appeal of the mountains attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Trekking in Nepal
Trekking in Nepal is also a very good way to get acquainted with the local lifestyle, traditions, and rituals. Nepal has many beautiful destinations that offer great trekking journeys as well as amazing experiences. Embedded with religious and spiritual sites from many religions, trekking in Nepal is a wholesome and sublime affair. Here are top ten best treks to do in Nepal.
1. Makalu Base Camp Trek
The fifth highest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu is located in the Mahalangur Himalayan Range to the southeast of Mount Everest. At more than 8,000 meters, Makalu is an isolated peak whose shape is a four-sided pyramid. The charming environment of the Arun Valley makes the Makalu Base Camp Trek a special one, as the Makalu region attracts only few travelers every year due to its remote location and off-the-beaten-track trails. The trail takes visitors through the village of Tumlingtar and the Makalu Barun National Park with uneven terrain, with a notoriety for swift ascents through villages and beautiful descents in lush forests.
The charming environment of the Arun Valley
Covering an area of 1,500 km2 in the districts of Solukhumbhu and Sankhuwasabha, the Makalu Barun National Park is the only protected area with an elevation of more than 8,000 meters, enclosing both tropical forest and snow-capped peaks. The Barun Valley trek provides stunning contrasts, where high waterfalls cascade into deep gorges, rough wind-hewn rocks rise from lush verdant forests, and colorful flowers blossom beneath the white snowy peaks. The unique landscape of the region shelters some of the last untouched mountain ecosystems on the planet.
2. Kanchenjunga Trek
An off-the-beaten-trail for trekking, the Kanchenjunga Trek has one of the most beautiful terrains for hiking. The third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga lies partly in Nepal and partly in Sikkim, India. Known locally as the “Five Treasures of the Snow” after its five high peaks, Kanchenjunga has is worshipped by the people of both Darjeeling and Sikkim.
Kanchenjunga Trek has one of the most beautiful terrains for hiking
The trek offers lush vegetation and varieties of flora and fauna that are found on the eastern edge of Nepal. Four glaciers radiate from the peak, which is one of six peaks above 8,000 meters in the basin of the Koshi River, one of the largest tributaries of the Ganges River. Throughout the trek, Rai and Limbu ethnic villages are most prominent.
3. Langtang Valley Trek
Langtang is a region in the Himalayas to the north of the Kathmandu Valley, and bordering Tibet. The Langtang Valley Trek includes some of the most spectacular natural scenery in the country. Renowned for the Kyanjing Gompa, the Langtang Valley Trek also passes through the Langtang National Park. Established in 1976, it is the first Himalayan National Park in the country, and also includes the high altitude sacred lake of Gosaikunda.
The sight of the trek along Langtang Valley
The sight of the Langtang Lirung Himal along the trek is an amazing sight to behold, and though not high by the standards of the major Himalayan peaks, Langtang Lirung is notable for its large vertical relief above the local terrain. The views of other mountain peaks, such as Ganesh Himal, Tserko Ri, Kyanjin Ri, and Dorje Lakpa also make trekking quite majestic.
4. Everest Gokyo Lake Trek
The Everest Gokyo Lake Trek diverts from the regular route taken by most of the trekkers and instead, takes you along a less travelled trail in the Everest region, allowing you to cherish the beauty that lies in the sapphire lakes of Gokyo. Oligotrophic lakes in Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park, the Gokyo Lakes are the world’s highest freshwater lake system comprising six main lakes.
The Gokyo Lakes are considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists
The Gokyo Lakes are considered sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists, and about 500 Hindus take a holy bath in the lakes during the Janai Purnima festival, which usually occurs in the month of August. The trek offers walking on beautiful Himalayan terrain, and visiting the cerulean lakes in the Himalayas is fascinating. The lake is also worshipped as the residing place of ‘Nag Devata’ (the Snake God). The Ngozumpa Glacier- the largest glacier in Nepal, and a climb to the Gokyo RI are the major highlight of this trek. As you ascend the Gokyo RI, you will be rewarded with the best views of mountains like Cho Oyu, Makalu, Everest and Lhotse.
5. Annapurna Panorama Trek
The Annapurna Panorama Trek is one of those journeys especially devised for experiencing the best panoramic views of the Annapurna Mountain massif. One of the easiest treks to do, the Annapurna Panorama Trek takes you to huge heights and lets you enjoy views of the mountains up close in the Annapurna region.
The best panoramic views of the Annapurna Mountain
The vantage point of Poon Hill is the major attraction of this trek. Trekkers often wake up early in the morning to visit Poon Hill and view the rising sun amidst the Annapurna Mountains. The whole manifestation is breathtaking, as the rays of the rising sun change the color of the ivory peaks from snowy white to a cascade of molten gold and burning embers. Views of Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Annapurna South, Nilgiri and Mount Dhaulagiri along the trek are marvelous.
6. Annapurna Circuit Trek
A trek rising to an altitude of 5,416 meters on the Thorong La Pass, and touching the edge of the Tibetan plateau, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is a classic trekking journey in the region. The mountain scenery, seen at close quarters along the Circuit, includes the Annapurna Massif (Annapurna I-IV), Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak and the Paungda Danda. Numerous other peaks of 6000-8000 meters in elevation also rise from the Annapurna range.
The classic Annapurna Circuit Trek
Beginning from Beshisahar, in the Marshyangdi River Valley, and concluding in the Kali Gandaki Gorge, the Annapurna Circuit Trek has trails passing along paddy fields and into subtropical forests, several waterfalls and gigantic cliffs, and various villages. Annapurna Circuit has been voted as the best long distance trek in the world, as it offers a wide variety of climate zones from tropics to arctic and a cultural variety from Hindu villages in the low foothills to the Tibetan culture of Manang Valley and lower Mustang.
7. Manaslu Circuit Trek
The Manaslu Circuit Trek lets you experience the glory of the Manaslu region of Nepal. Mount Manaslu is the highest peak in the Gorkha District and is located east of Annapurna. The eighth highest mountain in the world, Mount Manaslu gets its name from the Sanskrit word “manasa”, meaning “intellect” or “soul” and is also known as “the mountain of spirits”. The mountain’s long ridges and valley glaciers culminate in a peak that towers steeply above the surrounding landscape. This gives quite a dominant feature to Mount Manaslu when viewed from afar.
Experiencing the glory of the Manaslu region of Nepal
As you walk along the trail of the Manaslu Circuit Trek, you will pass the ancient salt trading route and can enjoy the white water rapids of the Budhi Gandaki River. The trail of the Manaslu Circuit also ascends to the Larkya La from where breathtaking views of the glacial terrain can be seen. The Manaslu Conservation Area has also been established there and it comprises of the sub-tropical Himalayan foothills to the arid Trans-Himalayan high pastures bordering Tibet.
8. Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang Trek offers one of the most distinguished and different trekking experiences in the country. Unlike the chartreuse terrains of other regions, Upper Mustang is known for its dry and dusty landscape that looks like the “badlands”. One of the most exotic locations in the country, Upper Mustang, formerly the Kingdom of Lo, is a remote and isolated region with one of the most well-preserved Tibetan Buddhist religious practices in the world. Due to its relative isolation from the outside world, Upper Mustang Trek is one of the best trekking experiences in the country.
The most distinguished and different Upper Mustang Trek
As the region of Upper Mustang lies on the rain-shadow zone of the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, trekking in Upper Mustang can be done at any time as there is little rain or snow. Upper Mustang is on an ancient trade route between Nepal and Tibet, exploiting the lowest pass of the Kora La through the Himalayas west of Sikkim. Once an independent kingdom, Mustang has close ties of language and culture to Tibet.
9. Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The Annapurna Base Camp is the second most famous trekking journey in the country. The region of Annapurna is famous for its mountains and other destinations, such as Pokhara, that offer amazing leisure and adventure activities besides trekking. The word Annapurna in Sanskrit means ‘full of food’, which roughly translates to ‘Goddess of Plenty’.
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The trek takes you through beautiful villages like Tadapani, Poon Hill and Deurali. The Magar and Gurung villages in the far-off locations of the region on the trek also offer good insights into the lifestyle of the village people. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a brilliant way to enjoy the culture and tradition of the local indigenous mountain people, along with the cerulean peaks of Mount Annapurna.
10. Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp Trek is the most famous trekking experience in the country. The trek provides trekkers and hikers with the wonderful scenery of the Khumbu region. With destinations like the famous Namche Bazaar - also known as the “gateway to Everest” - Tengboche and Dingboche, the Everest Base Camp Trek encompasses all the best elements and aspects of trekking in the Khumbu region and to the base camp of the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.
The most famous Everest Base Camp Trek
With trails passing through the Sagarmatha National Park, the trek offers visitors sights of beautiful mountain peaks like Nuptse, Lhotse and the Ama Dablam, among many others. With the Tengboche Monastery as its spiritual hub, the Everest Base Camp Trek also lets trekkers enjoy the beauty of the Khumbu icefall and glacier. The vantage point of Kalapatthar also presents the most amazing views of the Everest massif. It is one of the best trekking journeys in the country, with thousands of trekkers partaking of it every year.
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