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Best Treks in Tibet: 6 Unparalleled Classic Trekking Routes You Won't Find Anywhere Else

Last Update: July 1, 2023

Trekking in Tibet offers a unique and exceptional experience, distinct from neighboring regions like Nepal and Bhutan. It boasts some of the world's best high-altitude treks, accompanied by stunning landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and unparalleled mountain vistas found nowhere else on Earth.

And with the unique Tibetan culture behind it all, a trek in Tibet is more than just a hike through the mountains. With a plethora of options available, you can choose from short day hikes around Lhasa's scenic hills to challenging treks across the plateau. To ignite your passion for a memorable trek in Tibet, here are the top six routes on the Roof of the World.

Mount Kailash Kora Trek (3 Days): A Lifetime Pilgrimage around the World’s Holiest Mountain

For the intrepid adventurers seeking the ultimate test of strength and spirit, the renowned Mount Kailash Kora trek awaits. This extraordinary trek is not for the faint-hearted, but for those who are prepared to conquer the demanding terrain and embrace the profound spiritual journey that lies ahead.

Starting from the small village of Darchen (4,560m), below the southern face of Mount Kailash, this amazing trek is rated as the hardest trek in Tibet, and also one of the most spiritual. Visited by pilgrims from Tibet, Nepal, and India, the 52km hike takes you up to elevations as high as 5,630 meters, at the Dolma La Pass.

Kailash Kora TrekIt is a sacred thing to do the Kailash Kora trek.

En route, you will pass sacred Tibetan monasteries, and traverse beautiful valleys surrounding the world's most sacred mountain. You will also have the opportunity to stay at two of these monasteries, Drirapuk (5,080m) and Dzultripuk (4,790m), in their guesthouses or campsites, during the nights of your awe-inspiring journey.

Completing the trek over three challenging days, the route will lead you past the sacred Chuku Monastery (4,820m) and the ethereal beauty of the Dolma La Pass, adorned with vibrant prayer flags fluttering in the wind. Descend to witness the stunning Tuoji Lake, gracing your path with its serene presence, before immersing yourself in the lush green valley that embraces the latter part of this remarkable trek.

This expedition will push your physical limits and ignite your spiritual soul, leaving an indelible mark on your journey through Tibet's mystical landscapes. For those seeking to embark on this challenging trek, we provide a meticulously crafted Mount Kailash trek tour, ensuring a worry-free and safe journey with our exceptional services.

Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trek (4 Days): A Serene and Spiritual Journey to Mount Everest

Unlike the route in Nepal, the Everest Base Camp trekking in Tibetan side offers a unique experience that will leave you in awe of the scenic diversity, cultural immersion, and the opportunity to witness the majestic Mount Everest up close.

Starting from Tingri, this 4-day Everest Base Camp trekking lasts for 70 kilometers, and allows you to traverse the off-the-beaten-path, and to greeted by the breathtaking landscape of the Tibetan Plateau. From sweeping valleys to towering peaks of the Himalayas, each step unveils a new vista that will take your breath away.

Tingri to Everest Base Camp TrekkingTingri to Everest Base Camp trekking route allows you to traverse the off-the-beaten-path.

But this trek is not just about the natural wonders; it’s also a cultural pilgrimage. Along the way, you will have the chance to immerse yourself in the rich Tibetan Buddhist culture. Encounter small ancient monasteries, and engage with the warm-hearted locals, gaining insights into their traditions and way of life.

The highlight of the trek is undoubtedly the close witness of Mount Everest. As you approach Everest Base Camp, you will feel a surge of excitement and reverence in your heart. Witness the world's highest peak in all its grandeur, standing tall amidst the vastness of the Himalayas. It's a humbling experience that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Gama Valley Trek (10-15 Days): A Thrilling Adventure through the World’s Most Beautiful Valley

Lying below the eastern slopes of Mount Everest, the Gama Valley is one of the most stunning valley areas in the world, and is a stark contrast to the desolate flanks of the world’s highest mountain.

Stretching out for around 55 kilometers from end to end, the valley boasts a varied ecological climate, from evergreens and semi-evergreen trees at the higher altitudes to deciduous and even primeval forests at the lower end of the valley. A vast area of the valley is actually covered by a juniper forest, and trekking through this amazing valley feels like being lost in a time when technology did not exist.

Gama valley TrekDining at the scenic camping site of our Gama Valley Trek in Tibet.

One of the top ten trekking areas in the world, Gama Valley trek is an epic adventure that can last anywhere from 10-15 days, depending on where your trekking tour takes you. With altitudes ranging from 4,000 meters to as high as 5,300 meters, this is one of the highest treks in the world, hiking through dense forests, beautiful flower-dotted meadows, and following small bubbling streams that often disappear underground suddenly.

While the Gama Valley trek is not an arduous hike, it is classed as a moderate trek, suitable for hikers with an average level of fitness, and not suitable for kids under 12-13 years old. Aside from the stunning landscapes and amazing scenery, you also get a great view of some of the world’s highest mountains, including Mount Everest, Mount Lhotse (4th highest), and Mount Makalu (5th highest).

Ganden to Samye Trek (4-5 Days): the Most Popular Short Trek in Tibet

The beautiful trek from Ganden Monastery to Samye Monastery is rated as the most popular short trek in Tibet, and takes around 4-5 days, depending on how fast you want to hike the trail.

A fulfilling religious pilgrimage between two of Tibet’s most famous monasteries, this hike takes you through the beautiful plateau landscapes, with snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear blue lakes, and verdant alpine meadows, complete with herders and yaks grazing on the lush grass.

Tibet Ganden to Samye TrekExperience the popular route of Ganden to Samye trek.

Ganden Monastery, at an altitude of 4,180 meters, lies in the south of Lhasa, and is the primary monastery of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism. The trek is not particularly difficult, though it does reach altitudes of more than 5,200 meters, when crossing the Shogu La Pass. This high ascent is what makes the trek challenging, and does require some experience in high-altitude trekking.

One of the major highlights of the route is the fact that you will trek through the Gyama Valley on the way to Samye, which is the birthplace of the 33rd Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The end of the trek, Samye Monastery (3,556m), is the oldest and first Buddhist monastery in Tibet, and stands majestic on the hill overlooking the Yarlung Tsangpo River. The site also hosts the Chim-puk Hermitage close by, which is well worth visiting at the end of the hike.

Shalu to Nartang Trek (2-3 Days): Best Short Trek in Tibet Suitable for Beginners

Renowned as the best short trekking route in Tibet, the 2-day hike from Shalu Monastery to Nartang Monastery covers a distance of just 45 kilometers, and for those that want to take it easy, the trek can be extended to 3 days by reducing the amount of daily trekking. The trek starts at the Shalu Monastery, not far outside Gyantse and just to the southwest of Shigatse, at around 3,980 meters above sea level.

Shalu to Nartang TrekkingHave a rest during Shalu to Nartang Trekking tour.

The trek is not considered to be a hard hike, and is suitable for even beginners to high-altitude trekking, which makes it an ideal starter trek in Tibet. The route of the trek heads out from Shalu and moves southwest, stopping first in Upper Lungsang (4,060m), before heading on to Ngor Monastery, with its rare Sanskrit library of Buddhist scriptures. The route heads over the Char-La Pass (4,550m), and after resting the night, continues to Nartang.

Located to the west of Shigatse, Nartang Monastery sits at an altitude of around 5,000 meters, and the route to get there passes through several small local villages. While the trek is not that hard, there are a couple of tough climbs that novices may find a little more demanding.

Nyenchen Tanglha to Namtso Lake Trek (7-10 Days): the Most Scenic Trek in Northern Tibet

One of the most expansive treks in Tibet, the hike from Damxung to Lake Namtso, crossing the high Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain Range, is a long and arduous trek that covers around 160 kilometers.

The trek can take from seven to ten days, depending on how fast you want to hike, though it is often better to take longer, to get a better view of the surrounding countryside without having to rush to the next campsite.

Nyenchen Tanglha to Namtso Lake TrekTaking the arduous Nyenchen Tanglha to Namtso Lake trek.

Starting at Damxung, to the north of Lhasa, at an altitude of 4,130 meters, the trek takes you up into the Nyenchen Tanglha Mountain, through meadows and valleys, and past a small local monastery. Stopping in herder’s camps along the way, and camping in lush green meadows, the hike is one of the best ways to explore the landscape in the north of Tibet.

At the highest point of the hike, the Kyang La Pass through the mountains, you will reach an altitude of 5,330 meters, rising more than 1,200 meters from Damxung.

The trek ends at Lake Namtso, known as the Heavenly Lake, at an altitude of 4,718 meters. Lying on the edge of the vast Changtang Grasslands of northern Tibet, the lake is one of the Great Three Sacred lakes of Tibet, and the end of the trek is at the beautiful Tashi Dorje Monastery on the small peninsula that sticks out into the lake.


So have you been enticed by any of the routes mentioned above? Trekking in Tibet offers one of the most amazing trekking experiences worldwide. Regardless of the route you choose, you are guaranteed a rewarding journey. From leisurely day hikes to the most challenging and highest treks globally, Tibet's treks showcase some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet.

If you desire to tailor your tours and treks to add more excitement, we can make all the necessary arrangements to provide you with the exceptional vacation you seek, allowing you to explore the Roof of the World to the fullest.

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