5 Best Himalaya Treks in Nepal

  • 2020-10-15
  • by Amrit Chhetri

As one of the world’s best destination for trekking and mountaineering, the number of different type of treks can get overwhelming for newcomers in Nepal. So to make your choice and experience easier it is recommended to start with one of these five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal. The most popular one is, of course, the Everest Base Camp Trek, followed by the astonishing Treks in the Annapurna region, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, the shorter Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek and the longer Annapurna Circuit Trek. Lastly in the lost kingdom of Lo, west of the Annapurna’s is the Upper Mustang Trek. These 5 Best Himalayan Treks in Nepal come with different durations, views and difficulties as every trek is unique in its own way. Furthermore, all of these treks are also perfectly customizable, for example, some can be made shorter or longer, while others have the option of taking a helicopter ride in or out.

Table of Contents

Before we review these amazing five treks in Nepal, we thought it was useful for some general trekking advice for when you decide to go on one of these amazing treks.

What to expect, bring and look out for 5 Best Himalayas Treks in Nepal

While every trek in Nepal is unique, some of the things might be similar to other treks, and that is the same for the five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal. With the views, different, accommodations during a Trek in Nepal are all similar and in local guesthouses also called teahouses. These accommodations are anything but luxurious as one might expect of a village located remotely high in the mountains. This does not mean that the accommodation is not comfortable, but just not luxurious like your high end and modern hotel in the bigger cities. Accommodation in the Himalayas is more of a safe haven that offers a place to rest, sleep, warm beverages and delicious meals. Every room is fitted with two single beds and sometimes even three. Bathrooms are mostly communal and offer warm water. When you decide to go Trekking in Nepal during the high season, chances are that the best guesthouses are fully packed; this can be overcome by trekking with a trekking agency that can make reservations for you and your group before arrival at the local village. Another thing to expect during your Trek in Nepal besides the incredible Himalayan views is interaction with local communities and getting to see their values and traditions, which in itself is a unique and revealing experience.
Things to look out for while trekking in Nepal are more safety guidelines than anything else. As you trek up hills, past cliffs and ravines the trails are usually well maintained but humans are not the only creatures following these paths. Everyday goods are being transported from and to villages by using yak or donkey caravans and these animals don’t stop for anybody. That is why it’s crucial to always be ready to step aside in a safe zone of the path so these caravans can come through. Ascending in high altitudes can be tricky but the real challenge lies in descending, a slippery slope or lose rock can always swipe you off your feet so always listen to the safety instructions of your trekking team guide.
Trekking is all about your determination to head onwards but there are some tools and equipment that can make your journey a hell of a lot comfortable. Don’t dismiss trekking poles as these are very useful when you’re trekking in the Himalayas for a few days. Bring your own sleeping bag, this gives more warmth during your night at the guesthouse and provides an extra layer of hygiene. Make use of water filtering tablets or a Life Straw and refrain from buying everyday plastic bottles; there are enough drinkable water spots along the trails and at local villages where you can refill your canteen.
Keeping these tips in mind, you are sure to get the best experience possible during one of these five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal.
A short overview of the five best Himalayan treks in Nepal
With five different choices spread out over 3 trekking regions in Nepal, it’s always useful to research a bit before you make a decision into which trek will best for you!

5 Best Himalaya Treks in Nepal

1. The Everest Base Camp Trek
2. The Annapurna Base Camp Trek
3. The Annapurna Circuit Trek
4. The Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek
5. The Upper Mustang Ttrek

The Everest Base Camp Trekking

Travelling to the north of the Khumbu Valley in Nepal is the trek to one of the most famous base camps in the world, the Everest Base Camp Trek. Incredible Sherpa cultures and landscapes varying from lush forests to barren rocks and a trail that leads up high towards the highest mountain in the world Mt Everest. The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the treks you should do to fulfill that lifelong dream of trekking through remote areas to the Khumbu Glacier and view some of the highest peaks in the world. Mountains of note during this amazing trek are Lhotse (8,516m), Ama Dablam (6,812m), Makalu (8,485m), Nuptse (7,861m), Cho Oyu (8,201m), Pumori (7,161m) and of course Everest (8,848m).
The Trek to Everest Base Camp starting from Kathmandu consists usually of 14 days packages, which can be made shorter or longer depending on your own preferences, travel time and budget. As for the trek itself it's straight forward, trekkers fly to Lukla airport and start their first half day trek towards Pangboche. Interesting to notice is that up to Namche Bazaar the next destination on the trek, the entire area consists of amazing forested hills filled with creeks and rivers. Trekking to Everest Base Camp is going high fast, thankfully at Namche Bazar; there are enough activities to spend an extra day to get acclimatized. This Sherpa town has many places to visit and the nearby Everest View hotel makes for an excellent hike to keep in condition. From Namche Bazaar it's 2 days of upwards trekking to Dingboche where another day is planned for acclimatization. On the next day, a shorter trek takes you to Lobuche and the last stretch takes you to the final village just before Everest Base Camp called Gorakshep. After checking in at the guesthouse a 2 hours hike is all it takes to reach the world-famous Everest Base Camp just at the Khumbu Glacier and at the foot of Mt Everest. Despite the actual views of Mt Everest not optimal from Base Camp, the next early morning a short hike up Kala Pathar hill remedies this quite spectacularly with a sunrise over Mt Everest!
The route back can be done via Periche and back to Namche Bazaar or even via helicopter back to Lukla for an epic ending.

Standard Itinerary of the Everest Base Camp Trek:

Day 01: Kathmandu arrival
Day 02: Fly to Lukla Airport and trek to Phakding (2,652m)
Day 03: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,443m)
Day 04: Rest day at Namche Bazaar
Day 05: Trek to Tengboche (3,860m)
Day 06: Trek to Dingboche (4,410m)
Day 07: Acclimatization hike to Nangkartseng Hill (4,900m)
Day 08: Trek to Lobuche (4,910m)
Day 09: Exploring Everest Base Camp and back to Gorekshep (5,181m)
Day 10: Sunrise hike to Kala Pathar (5,545m) and trek down to Pheriche (4,371m)
Day 11: Trek back to Namche Bazaar
Day 12: Trek back to Lukla
Day 13: Early flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
Day 14: End of Everest Base Camp Trek
At the top of our five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal, the Everest Base Camp Trek. This trek can also be done by young or old and has a moderate difficulty for novice trekkers. Just make sure to book some additional days as flights from and to Lukla airport are frequently delayed due to weather conditions.

The Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Second on the list of five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal is considered as one of the most beautiful and scenic Treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. This 11 or 12 days trek in the southern part of the Annapurna Himalayas is absolutely amazing! With indescribable picturesque views of snowy topped Himalayas and green valleys. Amazingly the Trek to Annapurna Base Camp offers different terrain experience as trekkers head from jungles over rivers, and from cliff paths to the inner sanctuary of Annapurna. A fun fact is also that on the way back from Annapurna Base Camp it’s common to stop at Jhinu Danda where natural hot springs await weary travellers! Both spring and fall have their unique charms for the Annapurna Base Camp Trek as the views change per season here. The local communities are very hospitable and most guesthouses on this trek are developed and give great comfort during the night. Notable mountains during this trek are; Mt Annapurna I (8,901m), Mt Annapurna II (7,937m), Annapurna III (7,555m), Mt Annapurna South (7,219m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061m), Mt. Dhaulagiri I (8,167m) and the iconic fishtail mountain Mt. Machhapuchhre (6,993m).
The Trek to Annapurna Base Camp is straight forward and heads from Ghandruk a famous and big Gurung settlement northwards all the way to Machhapuchhre Base Camp until reaching into the Annapurna Sanctuary and Base Camp. Trekking packages to Annapurna Base Camp are easy to come by and can be customized in different ways. Helicopter rides to and from Annapurna Base Camp fly daily from Pokhara and can make your trip that more special, or perhaps a few days extra to visit the famous hillside of Poon Hill for a beautiful sunrise view over Mt Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Machhapuchhre. There are many variations that you can do with the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Starting from Kathmandu, a flight or bus ride can take you to Pokhara, a lakeside city southeast of the Annapurna Massif. As the ride is long an extra night needs to be spent in Pokhara while flying can save you a day but ads on your budget. From Pokhara, a short drive to Nayapul also known as New Bridge and the trek starts to Ghandruk. From here its Chhomrong, Dovan, Deurali and ultimately Annapurna Base Camp. On the way to the trail is adventurous and best experienced during either spring or fall and late fall. This trek is easy for novice trekkers and very popular amongst photographers due to its astonishing views! Definitely worth second place as one of the five best Himalayan treks in Nepal.

The standard itinerary of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek:

Day 01: Kathmandu arrival
Day 02: Drive to Pokhara
Day 03: Drive to Nayapul (2,070m) and trek to Ghandruk (2,012m)
Day 04: Trek to Chhomrong (2,600m)
Day 05: Trek to Dovan (2,500m)
Day 06: Trek to Deurali (3,210m)
Day 07: Trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m) and back to Deurali
Day 08: Trek back down to Bamboo (2,310m)
Day 09: Trek to Jhinu Danda’s natural hot springs (1,800m)
Day 10: Trek back down to Nayapul and drive back to Pokhara
Day 11: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu
Day 12: Departure Day
 
It is highly recommended to plan some additional days in Pokhara to enjoy the best of your holiday! In this incredible city, you can paraglide, bungee jump and do boating on Phewa Lake. Visit the Gupteshwur cave or go shopping in the shopping district of New Road. Be sure to bring battery adapters during the trek to make sure that your cameras are always fully charged and enjoy one of the most beautiful treks in Nepal the Annapurna Base Camp trek.

The Annapurna Circuit Trek

As third of the five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit Trek is quite rewarding with over 100 different mountain views. This 16 day Annapurna Circuit Trek heads in a circuit from east to west over the northern Annapurna Himalayas. A bit harder than the other two treks due to it having more trekking days and the crossing of the Thorang La Mountain Pass (5,416m). During the Annapurna Circuit Trek 3 mountains over 8,000m come in view; the Annapurna I (8,901m), Dhaulagiri (8,167m), and Manaslu (8,163m) and some other notable mountains are; Tilichio Peak (7,134m), Mt Lamjung Himal (6,983m), Mt Annapurna II (7,937m), Mt Annapurna III (7,555m), Mt Annapurna IV (7,525m), Pisang Peak (6,091m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061m), Chulu East Peak (6,584m), and the Chulu West Peak (6,419m). Interesting about the Annapurna Circuit is that this trek is also overlapping with at least 3 other treks, as a continuation of the Manaslu Trek, with a visit to Tilicho Lake (Annapurna Circuit Tilicho Lake Trek)or as entry and exit point for the Nar Phu Valley.
The route of the Annapurna Circuit Trek has been developed over many years and while most villages are made accessible by road, there are still of trail paths that take you deeper in the Himalayas. It all starts with a long drive from Kathmandu to Besishar and a jeep transfer to Bhulbhule. From here the circuit trek around Annapurna begins following the trail north towards Chame. Now the trail heads west wards towards the big Himalayan settlement of Manang north of the Annapurna Massif. From Manang an excursion can be made to Tilicho Lake but adds a few days on your itinerary. The standard route goes from Manang towards the Thorang La Pass. This mountain pass is the highest point of the trek and leads you to the western side of the Annapurna Mountains to the pilgrimage site of Muktinath. On the last day of trekking following the Kali Gandaki River to Jomsom a small city at the foot of Mt. Nilgiri. Jomsom has a domestic airport and to finish the Annapurna Circuit Trek a short flight takes you to Pokhara and ultimately back to Kathmandu. In order to fully enjoy and experience this amazing Annapurna Circuit Trek it is advices to be mentally and physically prepared. Adventure, culture and some of the best Himalayan views make the Annapurna Circuit Trek a good choice as one of the five best Himalayan Treks in Nepal!

The standard itinerary of the Annapurna Circuit Trek

Day 01: Kathmandu arrival
Day 02: Drive to Besisahar and transfer to Bhulbhule (845m)
Day 03: Trek to Syange (1,120m)
Day 04: Trek to Tal (1,825m)
Day 05: Trek to Teman (2,143m)
Day 06: Trek to Chame (2,610m)
Day 07: Trek to Pisang (3,115m)
Day 08: Trek to Manang (3,540m)
Day 09: Acclimatization day at Manang
Day 10: Trek to Chauri Latter (4,120m)
Day 11: Trek to Throng High Camp (4,680m)
Day 12: Cross the Thorang La Pass (5,416m) and Trek to Muktinath (3,900m)
Day 13: Trek to Jomson (2,750m)
Day 14: Fly to Pokhara
Day 15: Drive back to Kathmandu
Day 16: End of Annapurna Circuit Trek.
 
Similar as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek it is recommended to spend a few additional days in Pokhara to enjoy Phewa Lake and all the activities in this beautiful town! As one of the 5 best Himalayan Treks in Nepal, the Annapurna Circuit Trek can be the ideal trek for you and is best done during spring or fall.

The Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek

Probably one of the shortest and most rewarding treks in Nepal, the Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek takes place just west of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. With main highlight a visit to Poon Hill, this Short Trek in Nepal is not for nothing called the Holy Grail for landscape photographers and gets a spot as one of the five best Himalayan treks in Nepal! The trek itself is easy and relatively short with the only difficult part climbing the stone steps from Ulleri to Ghorepani. Perfect for any type of age the Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek is a great way to introduce you to trekking in Nepal. Besides foreign trekkers many locals head to Poon Hill to enjoy the views of Mt Dhaulagiri (8,167m) to left, Annapurna South (7,219m) in the middle and Mt Machhapuchhre (6,993m) to the right. Poon Hill itself is located just above the village of Ghorepani at a height of 3,210m and its custom to head early in the morning out from Ghorepani up the hill to see one of the most scenic sunrise views in the world! The second part of this short trek in the Annapurna is a visited to the Gurung village of Ghandruk where culture plays a great role, and visitors can visit the Gurung mountain museum.
The route of the Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek is easy going and starts officially from Nayapul after a short drive from Pokhara. From there the trek takes you the villages of Tikhedhunga and Ulleri. Now the challenging part comes by heading up the stone stairs through the jungle up to Ghorepani village. After visiting Poon Hill we follow the trail east to Tadapani and ultimately Gandruk village. To finish the trek a good 5 hours of descending leads back to Nayapul from where you can drive back to Pokhara. Short, easy and incredible rewarding the Ghorepani Ghandruk trek is highly recommended for first time trekkers in Nepal!

The standard itinerary of the Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek:

Day 01: Arrival Kathmandu.
Day 02: Drive to Pokhara
Day 03: Drive to Nayapul and trek to Tikhedhunga (1,540m)
Day 04: Trek to Ghorepani (2,860m)
Day 05: Sunrise hike to Poon Hill (3,210m) and trek to Tadapani (2,590m)
Day 06: Trek to Ghandruk (1,940m)
Day 07: Trek back to Nayapul (1,070m) and drive back to Pokhara
Day 08: Drive back to Kathmandu
Day 09: End of the Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek
 
In order to make this trek even shorter, it is possible to fly to Pokhara and start your trek the same day from Nayapul. Furthermore, it is also possible to combine the Ghorepani Ghandruk Trek with the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or the Mardi Himal Trek.

The Upper Mustang Trek

West of the Annapurna Himalayas across the Kali Gandaki River lays the forbidden kingdom of Lo in the Mustang region. Last on the list of the five best Himalayan treks in Nepal is the Upper Mustang Trek, an extraordinary trekking experience through the barren mountain desert lands that resemble the prairies of the Wild-West. The Mustang region is barren with a few patches of fertile soil where an ancient civilization thrived for many years and with its stone-walled capital of Lo-Magthang this area is surely worth the visit! The Upper Mustang Trek itself can be challenging and is usually done in 15 days starting and ending in Kathmandu.
The culture in the Mustang area is quite unique and a once a year festival that happens in May called Tiji is the best time to do the Upper Mustang Trek. While this trek does not focus much on Himalayan peaks reaching above the clouds, it’s more a cultural trek visiting old settlements and ancient monasteries. A perfect example is a visit to the cave systems where old civilizations used to build villages in. The Upper Mustang Trek can be done by young and old and even by mountain bike or motorcycle. With its unique landscape and culture, the Upper Mustang Trek is considered as one of the most restricted trekking areas recently opened to foreigners.

The standard itinerary of the Upper Mustang Trek:

Day 01: Arrival Kathmandu.
Day 02: Drive to Pokhara
Day 03: Fly to Jomsom (2,720m) and Trek to Kagbeni (2,800m)
Day 04: Trek to Chele (3,050m)
Day 05: Trek to Gheling (3,570m)
Day 06: Trek to Charang (3,560m) via Ghami
Day 07: Trek to Lo-Mangthang (3,800m)
Day 08: Visit the Namgyal Gompa and Tingkhar, explore around Lo-Mangthang
Day 09: Trek to Dhakmar (3,820 m)
Day 10: Trek back to Gheling (3,570m)
Day 11: Trek to Chhuksang (2,980m)
Day 12: Trek back to Jomsom (2,720m)
Day 13: Fly back to Pokhara
Day 14: Drive back to Kathmandu
Day 15: End of the Upper Mustang Trek
 
As one of the five best Himalayan treks in Nepal, the Upper Mustang Trek is highly recommended for those who are looking for a special Himalayan adventure! See how the mountain people survive in some of the hardest places on earth and discover the forbidden kingdom of Lo during your Trek in Nepal.

Best Himalayan Treks in Nepal in Conclusion

With these five choices of the best Himalayan treks in Nepal it won’t take long to make up your mind and go on an adventure. The Everest Base Camp trek, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Annapurna Circuit trek, the Ghorepani Ghandruk trek and the Upper Mustang trek are five excellent treks in Nepal to make your journey worth it with each their highlights and incredible views!

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