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Nepal Trekking Guides

 
Nepal Travel Guides

The best way to experience Nepal’s wealth of scenery, bio-diversity and mix culture is to walk through them, which is possible through trekking. One can walk along the beaten trails or virgin tracts. It can range in difficulty from an easy trek or hike around the Kathmandu or Pokhara valley to a strenuous multi day expedition to the secluded remotes of the country.
The trekking scenario of Nepal has been changing due to the development of infrastructures as far as in the remote areas. The emergence of teahouses, communication booth ( sometimes cyber cafes ), and heath posts have contributed a lot to the trekking.

Weather: The usual trekking season lasts from October to May. However, October and November are the best months to trek. During the months the skies are generally clear and good views are possible. Above 3000 m the temperature often goes below freezing.

December and January are the coldest months. Temperature constantly plunges below freezing at night above 3000 m. There is also little snowfall in high altitude. February and March bring warm weather. Birds and flowers, especially the rhododendrons are in full bloom at the lower altitudes. April and May are less suitable for trekking because of heat. Likewise, trekking in the monsoon ( June till the end of September ) is little difficult due to the rain. Leeches abound. However, the flora are at their most colorful.

Maps: Generally, there is little problem finding your way in the main trekking trails. You may refer to the maps provided in this guide book.

Accommodation
Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses in major towns and cities are considerably good enough for your comfort. But while in trekking we provide the best trekking equipment, which can accommodate two people with their duffel or kit bags. These tents are perfect to save you from extreme temperature.

Transportation
We provide comfortable vehicles to transport clients to and from various destinations. We use reputed and reliable airlines to ensure safety and punctuality while making travel arrangement within country.

Food
Food is important while trekking therefore our food is carefully supervised by our trekking-cook. Don’t expect the food as you find in Kathmandu or Pokhara. But our food is good enough to satisfy your taste and appetite.

  1. Medical & Mountain Rescues

 

Our trekking guides are thoroughly trained on First Aid and Wilderness Survival Medical Practice. A medical kitbag is always with them to help you whenever you need their assistance.

If you have or develop serious problem during the trek, we will arrange rescue operation by helicopter or by other means of transport.

  1. General Information

 

Health & Hygiene

Hygiene plays an important part in ensuring everyone's good health so we have given high priority to it. We take every possible way to maintain hygienic conditions while camping and cooking meals in remote areas. Drinking water is always boiled.
We take extra precautions to keep you healthy during the entire time you spend with us.

A Typical Trekking Day

 

In the trekking bed tea means the wake up call for trekkers which are followed by a bowl of water for washing. The cooks prepare breakfast when you are packing to get moving. The first part of your walk takes about 3 or 4 hours before stopping for lunch. You don’t need to worry about walking so keep your own pace while you stroll through villages or stop to admire some beautiful landscape. The walk after lunch is equally short and camp is reached by about 4 p.m. Evening is for relax, chat and look around. The last meal of the day is served in around 6:30pm. Usually by 9 or 10 p.m., everybody is having sound sleep.

Equipment & Clothing: On a normal trek & tour, you can carry your normal casual clothing. Down Jacket, Fleece or sweaters, Wind or Rain Gear, Sun Hat, Woolen Hat, Gloves, Scarf, Good Sun Glasses etc can be required depending on the climate and altitude.

 

Trekking boots for walking and runners or Sports Shoes and slippers or sandals are good at the camp. We will send you a complete clothing list after you confirm the trip with us.

What to Carry: For a Day Pack, necessary things to carry are Camera, Water Bottle, Reading Materials, Towel and Toiletries. Beside this, warm & rain gear should be carried in your day pack. Rest will be carried by porters.

Temperature: Depending upon the altitude and the season, the temperature varies from minimum of 0 to 5 degree Celsius to maximum 10 – 15 degree Celsius. On normal mid-hill treks, temperature will be about 15 degree Celsius.

Medical: Although our guides carry a complete medical kit, you should carry personal medication as prescribed by your doctor. General medication needed are – Asprin, Para-Cetamol, Brufen, Anti-diarrhea pills, metronidozole (Fasign) to cure bugs, Anti Acid Tabs and Antiseptic Creams, Band Aids and some Cotton Wool & Bandages including Elastic Bandage. But consult your team leader before taking any pills. Do not take sleeping Pills as it is dangerous to use on high altitudes. Clients are recommended to go thorough medical check up prior to their trek departure.

Cosmetics: Chap Sticks, Vaseline, Sun Screen, Mouth Wash, Cold or Wind Cream (depending upon the area of trekking).

Toiletry: Shaving Kits for men, Tissue Paper, Sanitary nakpin for females if required. Apart from this we will also provide toilet rolls on the trek while camping.

Trek Bags & Baggage Allowance: Our domestic airlines allow only 15kg as luggage. So try to adjust everything within this limit while travelling outside Kathmandu by air.

 

Equipment Hire: We will provide most of the camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, foam mattress and duffel bags. People who wish to hire climbing or snow gear, down jackets etc. can do so from us at extra cost.

 

Annapurna Region:

The area around the Annapurna massif is the most popular trek in Nepal. The central piece of this part of Nepal is the range of mountains encompassing Annapurna I along with another giant Dhaulagiri, which is located west of Annapurna I. Between two giants, runs the valley of Kali Gandaki river, the deepest gorge on the earth.
Subtropical to alpine vegetation and climates are found changing with the elevation. Trekking in the region allows to explore through rhododendron forests over the foothills of these mountains while Thakali, Gurung, Magar people are predominant in the region.

Annapurna Circuit: The classic trek in the Annapurna region is the Annapurna Circuit. The trek encircles the famous Annapurna massif passing through sub-tropical plains in the Himalayan foothills, trans-Himalayan Manang and then entering Mustang Valley crossing the highest elevation Thorang – La pass ( 5416m ). The trail then joins the Kali Gandaki river that flows through the deepest gorge on earth.

The trek may take 15 to 22 days starting in Kathmandu and finishing in Pokhara. An entry permit for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project ( ACAP ) is needed for the trek. Most trekkers start the trek by taking bus to Besisahar that takes about 6-8 hours from Kathmandu.

The trek from Besisahar follows the partly constructed road as far as small market town of Kudhi. The first few days of the trek follow the Marshyangdi river. The feature of this section of the trek is the lush green valley inhabited by Gurungs along with sizeable number of other ethnic groups. The trekkers may be enthralled by countless high water falls that cascade into main river while the skyline is dominated by the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges.

From Manang the trail goes uphill through high alpine pastures until the small teahouses at Thorang Phedi. The following day trip is towards Thorang La pass the highest elevation en route. From Thorang pass starts the long descent up to Muktinath for night stay. There are good number of teahouses at Muktinath as the place being a very popular pilgrimage for both Hindu and Buddhist. From Muktinath you can see the skyline to the west dominated by Dhaulagiri range while to the north can be seen arid hills of Upper Mustang. The trail leads down through the villages of Jharkot and Eklebhati inhabited by the people of Tibetan stock and finally reaches the banks of Kali Gandaki river. The Kali Gandaki banks are inhabited by Thakali people.

 

Annapurna Sanctuary ( Annapurna Base Camp ): This is another classic trek in the Annapurna region. The trail leads to the Base Camp of Annapurna I and Machhapuchhre. It is relatively short trek that can be completed in as little as 8 days starting and ending in Pokhara. However, the trek may also be made as a part of Annapurna Circuit or the Jomsom trek by trekking from Tatopani through Ghorepani and Tadapani and joining the main Sanctuary trail at Chomrong. An entry permit for ACAP is needed for this trek.

The most convenient point to start the trek is Naudanda Phedi which can be reached by 1-2 hours drive from Pokhara. From Naudanda the trail linking Dhampus should be followed. The route passes through Dhampus, Pothana and Landrung, the Gurung villages. At Landrung the choice is to cross to Ghandrung, perhaps the popular Gurung settlement in the region or to continue on up the Modi Khola through Naya Pul. However, both the trails join at Chomrong at the foot of the gorge lead to the Sanctuary. For the acclimatization reason two nights should be spent between Chomrong and the Sanctuary. The trail up the Modi Khola passes through dense forest of rhododendron and bamboo for the first day. By the time the large rock overhang, known as Hinku Cave, is reached and entering to the Sanctuary you find yourself in a huge amphitheater enclosed by a solid wall of snow capped peaks which include Annapurna I, II, III, IV and Machhapuchhre ( the fish tailed mountain ). There are good number of teahouses at Machhapuchhre Base Camp as well as Annapurna Base Camp that is two hours away.
You may either return by the same route to Chomrong where you can choose to retract the same route or deviate through either Ghandrung or Ghorepani.
Itinerary

Jomsom-Muktinath Trek: Muktinath situated at a height of 3660 meter, is an important pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The most prominent shrine is the three storey temple fashioned in pagoda style of Lord Muktinath or the god of great salvation. For Hindus, it is one of the 106th sacred Muktichhetra (assured of salvation )of 108 sacred place of Vaishnavas, where Lord Vishnu got free from the curse of Sati. Likewise, for Buddhist it is the holy shrine of Chumig Gyatse. According to the Buddhist legend Muktinath was consecrated in the first ( good ) age by Padmasabhav and then again in the intermediate age by 84 great magicians. These magicians sanctified the water of Muktinath spring by sprinkling on to it by the water carried from the holy lake of Manasarovar. Thus, it is believed that drinking and taking bath in the 108 spouts in the premises of the temple washes away all the sins.
Next to Muktinath temple, there is also a Buddhist gompa ( monastery ), and a pagoda styled temple dedicated to Jwala Mayi ( goddess of fire ). Inside the temple there are outlets for the natural gas that keep the temple flame alight. . .
Muktinath could be accessed either by 20 minutes flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, the district headquarters of Mustang. This day long trek begins from Jomsom, passes through Eklebhatti from where the trail takes uphill. If you have time, its worth making side trip to the village of Kagbeni, a Tibetan influenced settlement close to Lo Monthang.
There are good number of teahouses at Muktinath.

 

Upper Mustang: The trek to upper Mustang is similar to trekking in Tibet. It is a geographic extension of the Tibetan plateau, a windswept land of mountains preserving the last authentic remains of Tibetan culture. The district of Mustang was, until 1950, a separate kingdom within the boundaries of Nepal. There is a palace of Mustangi King built centuries ago in Lo Manthang under the possession of Mustangi Raja.

The Upper Mustang trek is not as difficult as the other treks in the remote part of Nepal as the highest elevation reached is only 3800 meters.

The Upper Mustang trek requires a minimum of nine days starting and ending in Jomsom. The trail follows the Kali Gandaki Valley but at times climbs high above the valley. A special permit is needed to enter the place that costs US$ 700 per person for ten days.
The best season to be at the Upper Mustang is summer monsoon since the place being in the Himalayan rain shadow. Winter trek is avoided since the trek is arduous. Many of the inhabitants even migrate to southern warm areas to avoid hardship.

 

Royal Trek
This trek has been named as Royal Trek(1800m) after Prince Charles of Wales sauntered through the small hills in early eighties along with 90 entourage. Mick Jagger of Rolling Stone Fame also trekked this trail after Prince Charles. The Royal trek is highly recommended for beginners. It is a litmus test for those who want to try trekking but are unsure about the physical demands. As the route does not ascend to high altitude, the climate is warmer and you will have the opportunity to stroll through the rice terraced fields. This lower hill short circuit can be fitted into any travel itinerary and offers great views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu and Lamjung. It gives an opportunity to explore the villages of the middle hills mingling with Gurungs known for bravery and mountain tribes.

The Everest Region:

Under the shadow of Mount Everest, the Khumbu region is one of the best-known treks in the lifetime. It is a home to world’s highest peaks and the legendary Sherpas. From the well-developed trail to Everest Base Camp to treks in remote wilderness this region offers a wide range of trekking experiences.

Jiri to Lukla: This is an alternative to taking the flight to Lukla where the trek starts from Jiri, an idyllic hill station east of Kathmandu. Jiri can be reached by local bus from Kathmandu in 8-10 hours.

The trek from Jiri to Lukla takes an average of seven days and gives good preparation to make an start for the Everest Base Camp trek. The highest elevation reached before Lukla is Lamjura pass ( 3530 m. ). The trek passes through parts of Solukhumbu district that enables trekkers to be familiar with traditions and customs of the Himalayan region. The trail is well served with good teahouses and campsites. The stopovers in the trail are most likely be at the villages of Deurali, Kenja, Sete, Lamjura, Junbesi, Tragsindho, Khari Khola and Surkhe.

 

Everest Base Camp: It is one of the classic treks in Nepal. The Everest Base Camp trek is most commonly visited as a two week trek starting and finishing at Lukla, an airstrip at the south of the region considered as the gateway to Everest.

The trek begins from Lukla followed by a gentle two day trek up the Dudh Koshi valley to Namche Bazar. There are good number of tea houses along the way. Phakding and Monjo are the popular stopover for the first day. Just beyond Monjo trekkers enter the Everest National Park at Jorsale check point. This is the place where the permit is checked. The trail that has been following Dudh Koshi river starts the uphill from the suspension bridge few minutes from Jorsale. One can reach Namche in 3 hours from this point.

Namche Bazar, the Sherpa dominated trade centre is a well known stopover for tourists. Here one can find good number of hotels and restaurants, equipment shops and even pubs and cyber cafes. For acclimatization reasons, trekkers are advised to spend couple of days in or around Namche. Some of the options for passing the acclimatization day can be found by visiting Sangboche or some Sherpa villages such as Thame, Khumjung and Khunde which are just few hours walk from Namche.

Moving from Namche Bazar the trail follows the valley of the Imja Khola overlooking the spectacular Thamserku, Kangterga and Ama Dablam mountains, dominating the skyline ahead, Lhotse and Mount Everest. The most common night stop after Namche is at the top of a steep climb from the Imja Khola at Thyangboche. This is place where one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries is situated. The tours of the monastery are conducted every afternoon. Following the Imja Khola from Thyangboche the trail ascends through Pangboche reaching the next days stopover either at Pheriche or Dingboche. Here another acclimatization day should be taken with a fascinating trip to Chhukung about three hours walk from Dingboche.

From Dingboche or Pheriche it takes another six hours to reach Lobuche situated on the lateral moraine of the Khumbu glacier. About three hours from Lobuche is the last settlement on the trail known as Gorak Shep. The few tea houses at this place provide shelter for the night before ubdertaking the final leg of the glacier to Everest Base Camp. Above Gorak Shep rises the well known landmark of Kala Patter, where the trekkers may be enthralled with the spectacular view of the top of the world.
The trek along the glacier to base camp can take up to five hours. Care should be taken while traveling this area, as route finding can be a bit problem and there is always the risk of falls on the ice.

Helambu, Gosaikunda and Langtang

These regions are perhaps the most convenient to Kathmandu. Just above Kathmandu is Helambu and the basic trek through the Helambu region makes a circuit from Pati Bhanjyang. Trekkers can begin their trek to Gosaikunda and Langtang, beginning at Syabrubesi in Rasuwa to the northwest of Kathmandu and via routes linking them with Helambu. Langtang, Gosaikunda and the northern part of Helambu come under the territory of Langtang National Park with headquarters at Dhunche.

Langtang ValleyThis is perhaps the most fascinating short trek available in the Himalayan region. The east west running valley is the land of spectacular alpine scenery as well as the place of unique culture and tradition. A minimum of one week is required but the trekkers are advised to add few more days for the acclimatization and some side trips in the region.
There are regular bus services to Syabrubesi from Kathmandu that takes about 6-8 hours depending up on the road condition. The trek starts from the following morning after reaching Syabrubesi. There are two possibilities from Syabrubesi, the best follows the north bank of the Langtang Khola through the villages of Khangjung and Syarpa Gaon after which the trail from Dhunche joins. The trail passes through cultivated field that ultimately gives way higher altitude vegetation that leads to Langtang Village. Above Langtang, the only habitation is at Kyangjin Gompa, a very popular monastery that was built centuries ago. Above Kyangjin, the viewpoint of Tsergo Ri gives splendid views across the valley to Ganja La. Likewise, Langtang Lirung and Dorge Lakpa can also be viewed.

To return from Langtang there are couple of options, either to cross the Ganja La pass, an adventurous undertaking or to backtrack down the valley.

Gosaikunda: Gosaikunda is one of the most popular pilgrimage for Hindu. It is the biggest lake in the region. Legend has it that the lake was formed when Lord Shiva plunged his Trishul ( trident ) in order to obtain water. The river originated from this lake is called Trishuli. The lake can either be taken as part of the Langtang to Helambu trek or it can be made sole destination starting and ending at Dhunche. The trail that starts from Dhunche climbs steeply through the forest of rhododendron, oak and conifer to the minastery of Shin Gompa and Chandanbari few minutes away from the Gompa. There are few teahouses at Chandanbari along with a cheese factory that manufacture yak cheese. The other trail that originates from Syabru joins main trail just an hour from Chandanbari. You can have a spectacular view of Manaslu, Ganesh and Langtang ranges while walking through this trail. In fours hours you reach Gosaikunda.

 

The Helambu Circuit: It is a low altitude yet perhaps the most fascinating as well as convenient of short treks close to Kathmandu. It can be completed in seven days and the trail is well supplied with teahouses. Unlike other trekking areas no special permits are required for Helambu circuit, however, an entry fee should be paid at the check post at Shivapuri National Park. The Helambu area is predominantly populated by the Tamangs with Sherpas in the villages in higher altitudes such as Melamchi Gaon, Tarkeghayang and Shermathang.

There are various routes to make Helambu circuit but the circuit starting at Melamchi Pul and ending at Sundarijal is the most common. There are regular bus services to Melamchi Pul that takes about 3-4 hours. From Melamchi Pul the trail ascends up to Palchok Danda and passes though the villages of Palchok, Sharmanthang and Tarkeghayang. Beyond the Melamchi Khola is popular Sherpa village known as Melamchi Gaon. The trail now climbs up onto the highest elevation of the circuit, the Tharepati pass ( 3600m ). From here the more spectacular mountain views are possible. The trail now heads south through the villages of Kutumsang, Chipling and Pati Bhanjyang where the trail leading to Kathmandu should be taken. From these villages the trail passes through Chisapani and Sundarijal. From Sundarijal local transport is available that takes an hour to reach Kathmandu.

The Dolpo Trek:
Dolpo lies in the north-west region of Nepal (situated behind the Dhaulagiri ) which is most remote and least expose areas of Nepal. These high mythical valleys are not open until 1989. Naturally isolated by the difficult topography, it offers an opportunity to meet the people and their lifestyle in very authentic form, almost untouched and unexplored. The people of Tibetan origin with the Tibetan culture inhabit it where you will come across the people and monasteries adopting original Tibetan religion since it is linked so closely with frontier of Tibet. The trails are popular for yak caravan. The populations have a style of primitive life with own dialect and culture. During the wonderful trekking with an every reaches of the area there is a chance to visit several unique
Monasteries (Gompas) like Shey Gompa (The Crystal Monastery) which offers an important pilgrimage for the many Tibetans. To trek in this area a special permit is required and trekkers should be physically fit while the trek takes long and strenuous.

The Lower Dolpo: It is perhaps the most popular trek in the western Nepal. The trail passes through Shey-Phoksundo National Park for which an entry fee should be paid in addition to the trekking permit.

The convenient access is by air to Juphal airstrip, which is at 4 hours away from Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpa. There are regular flights to Dunai from Nepalgunj. For those who prefer to trek throughout may start from Dhorpatan which in turn can be reached from Pokhara or Tansen.

The trek can be completed between 8-12 days depending upon the weather and side walks. The Lower Dolpo Circuit can be completed either clockwise or anti-clockwise, depending on preference. However, the main attractions of the trek are Phosundo Lake and Tarap valley.

For an anti-clockwise trek the starts from Juphal and follows the valley of Barbung Khola through Dunai and Tarakot. The trail now heads towards the north to the Tarap valley. The two days trek up the Tarap valley to Dho Tarap is relatively difficult as you come across 4000 meters. From Dho Tarap , two highest are traversed to reach Ringmo and Phoksundo lake.
From Ringmo it takes another two or three days to retract the trail back to Juphal passing through the villages of Sumduwa, Sepla and Hanke.

The Upper Dolpo: In comparison to Lower Dolpo, few trekkers enter this upper section of Shy-Phoksundo National Park. A special permit must be obtained to enter this region. The main attraction of this area is wild and virgin landscape. Geographically, it is a part of Tibetan plateau and is dry, cold and sparsely vegetated. The park, and particularly the northern part, is home to some rare and endangered animal such as musk deer, snow leopard, and blue sheep. Likewise, the region is well known for rare Himalayan herbs.

 

Manaslu Circuit: East of the Annapurna region lies Mt. Manaslu, (8156m) the eighth highest mountain in the world. This is one of the best remote area treks in the country. Pristine mountain views, rich culture and a genuine adventure sum up the trek experience around Manaslu. Starting from the former kingdom of Gorkha, civilization soon fades away as we pass through ancient villages. There are several Buddhist monasteries on the way us to the Larkya La pass, 5198m. The trek follows upstream of the Buri-Gandaki river from the sub-tropical forest to the dry Tibetan zone, offering outstanding views of Mt. Manaslu along with the panorama of the surrounding magnificent peaks that straddle the border with Tibet. This place is within 15 km of the Tibetan border where monks inhabit sacred monastries making this a truly spiritual place. The trek continues over the highest point of the journey at Larkay la 5,340m. After the pass, it is almost down-hill through the serene alpine forests and meadows till we come to the main trail of the Annapurna circuit.
After Bimtang the trail follows the Dudh Khola valley adorned with pine and rhododendron forests and joins the main Annapurna Circuit trail at Dharapani. The shortest way to complete the trek is to follow the trail to Beshisahar.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp ( North and South ): Kanchenjunga ( 8586m ), the third highest peak in the world lies on the eastern border of Nepal with India. Trekking to the third highest mountain in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga, "the five jewels of the great snow range" is relatively more interesting than any other areas because of its remoteness, great mountain views, diverse flora and fauna, and rich local culture. A short flight from Biratnagar takes you to the foothills of Mt. Kanchenjunga at Sukhetar. This route which begins from Tajlejung hiking through villages untouched by the modern world enclosed by pristine rhododendron, oak and pine forests goes to Ramje(4580m) first for visit to monastry. Coming down to Tseram again, this exciting trek ends at Pangpema close, North side base camp which stands on 4940m just to descend down. You can see the majestic view of northern face of Kanchanjunga above the Kumbakarna Glacier. Visiting the South and the North Base Camp gives you the best views of the area.
The area is splashed with colours every spring with wild displays of rhododendrons, orchids, lilies, primula and other flowers. Wildlife includes endangered snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, red panda, blue sheep and rhesus macaw. About 202 species of different birds including Impheyan pheasant, red-billed blue magpie, shy drongo are found n the area.

 
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