Firstly Nepal with its hill and mountain terrain is the ideal country to go trekking in!
Secondly, with a long history of trekking, Nepal has well established, well documented trekking routes, with great facilities along the way. Having said that, there are still many less explored trekking areas for those who like solitude or a bit of a challenge.
Which means, thirdly, Nepal has many options to choose from in terms of routes, and grades of treks (Easy to strenuous and challenging).
This blog will provide you with details of trekking in Nepal.
But if you don’t have time to go through all the articles, and if you want a quick guide to trekking in Nepal, here are my recommendations.
Popular Treks In Nepal
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Teahouse Trekking In Nepal
In anything you read about trekking in Nepal you will come across the word TEAHOUSE. So what exactly is it? While you will get tea there, it is definitely not like a café at home!
A teahouse is a small mountain lodge, similar to the huts in the Alps. They provide accommodation and cooked meals as a reasonable cost.
While there are some more up market lodges on some of the more popular trails these days, teahouses are the original and continuing backbone of trekking in Nepal.
20 Best Treks In Nepal
Here is a quick guide, in no particular order, to the best treks in Nepal, which also all happen to be favourite of mine!
Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp Trek needs no introduction! Who doesn’t want to trek to the base of the highest mountain in the world? This trek starts with an amazing, not for the faint hearted, flight into Lukla’s Tenzing Hillary Airport. Being that you are following the footsteps of famous mountaineers and heading into incredible terrain not found elsewhere, this is also one of the busiest treks in Nepal. But what’s not to love right?
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Manaslu Circuit Trek
This is a great alternative to the very popular Annapurna Circuit Trek. The Manaslu Circuit Trek provides a perfect mix of culture and nature in the Annapurna mountains. Despite being close to the famous Annapurna Circuit, this trek sees about one third of the trekkers. So it’s definitely something to consider for those who like less busy trails.
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This trek is one of the toughest ones in the country! One of the highlights is crossing three high passes on this remote, challenging trek. Since it is a camping trek is definitely one for those who are physically fit and who are not afraid to live a little rough for a while! But with good food, campfire evenings and a sense of self achievement, it’s a wonderful experience.
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Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a medium length trek starting from Pokhara. This makes it very popular, particularly as you can trek this region throughout the year. The views of the Annapurna range, particularly from Base Camp are amazing and keep people coming back time after time! If you would like to do this trek but are not keen on busy trails, consider coming outside the main trekking periods of spring and autumn.
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Around Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek
This is a remote long and wild three week trek! You will cover both the south and north base camps and cross high passes, including Sele Le. This is snow leopard territory so there are chances you will see one! If not, there are the surrounding mountains to occupy your gaze. This strenuous, teahouse trek is great for those who love a challenge as well as changing scenery.
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Upper Mustang Trek
This is something a bit different! Upper Mustang, also known as the last forbidden Kingdom of Lo, has a landscape similar to Tibet. Dry, towering cliffs house ancient and thought provoking sky caves. Monasteries and Tibetan Buddhist culture is everywhere. In the town of Lo Manthang you can see the royal palace and during May or June can witness the Tiji Festival, a major highlight of the region. If you love unique landscapes and cultures this would be the trek for you!
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Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
This is Nepal’s best all year round short trek! Suitable for all age groups, it’s achievable with children. And if you like your treks to be more comfortable, there are a number of more upscale lodges along the route. But even if you are a hard core trekker, this trek is worthwhile doing (Perhaps as part of a longer trek) for the more than 16 mountains you can see from the top of Poon Hill. Sunrise is the most stunning time!
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Annapurna Circuit Trek
Another very popular trek in the Annapurna mountain range is the Annapurna Circuit. With landscapes that change every day, one of the highest and widest passes in the world to cross and with optional side trips, such as to Tilicho Lake, this trek is great for those who like a demanding trek, yet are also interested in different cultures (Hindu and Buddhist) and constantly changing landscapes.
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Everest Three Pass Trek
This is a great alternative to the EBC trek, and it does include an optional side trip to Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar (The Everest view point) so you won’t miss out! Fly in and out of Lukla for this 18 day trek. As the name says, there are three passes to cross, and 5 glacial lakes on display in the Gokyo Valley. Perfect for those who want to see Everest but a bit differently.
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Mardi Himal Base Camp Trek
This is a great alternative to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek and sees far less trekkers. This is a relatively short, one week, trek in a more wildness setting but with all the spectacular views of the Annapurna and Manaslu Ranges, Mt Fishtail etc. Despite being short, it is a demanding trek so be prepared!
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Nar Phu Valley Trek
If you are going to the Annapurna Circuit you should seriously consider visiting Nar Phu Valley. This can be done as a side trip off the regular Annapurna Circuit Trek. The two valleys are connected by the high Thorong La Pass. Although a demanding trek, you can shorten it by a couple of days by flying out of Jomsom into Pokhara. A great to trek which combines hiking through restricted and less trekked areas with ending on the busy Annapurna Circuit Trail with its great restaurants, accommodation and transport (If required).
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Langtang Valley Trek
The Langtang Region has the closest mountain range to Kathmandu. This moderate yet high altitude, 8 day trek is only eight hours drive from the capital. This trek introduces you to Buddhist culture, and takes you into Langtang National Park, with its great opportunity to spot wildlife. With abundant yak pastures, and yaks of course, you can learn about cheese making in the Himalayas. For those who like to be off the beaten track, and definitely away from the touristy trails, this trek is good. And it does have amazing mountain views also!
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Khopra Ridge Trek
Khopra Ridge is a great alternative to Ghorepani Poon Hill. You still get the amazing views but you also get less people! You can also go on an optional side trip to Khayer Lake on the edge of Annapurna South.
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Makalu Base Camp Trek
This trek goes through the Barun Valley and over high passes, not that far from Everest! It is quite remote so this strenuous and tough trek sees very few trekkers. Most likely you will not see anyone on the trail! And so the landscape is also untouched. It is a seasonal teahouse trek that means you will only find accommodation during spring and autumn. It’s great if you like a challenge and don’t like to bump into others on the trail!
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Gosaikunda Lake Trek
Gosaikunda is a holy lake in the heart of the Langtang Region. In fact there are 3 holy lakes! The most interesting, and busiest time to come is during the Janai Purnima Festival during the monsoon. Check the calendar as the date will vary every year. It’s an 8 day trek, Kathmandu to Kathmandu. Six days of actual trekking at a moderate level. But you will enjoy any trek in Nepal more if you are physically fit! Fabulous trek for those interested in both wildlife and culture.
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Lower Dolpo Trek
This is a less frequented area so it’s unlikely you will meet many trekkers on your trip. It’s a camping trek through a predominantly Buddhist area. Yak caravans, exquisite lakes and interesting culture are what you will see here. If you have seen the oscar nominated movie Himalaya, it was set in this region! Trekking in this region requires two flights to get there so it’s not inexpensive!
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Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo is a three week long high altitude camping trek in an area just above Lower Dolpo. Here you will experience much the same but also get an introduction to the Bon Religion (Similar to Buddhism). This area is in the rain shadow so generally dry and barren. But it does have fast flowing rivers and waterfalls too! Part of the old salt trail it also requires two flights to reach. And being that it is in a Restricted Area, it is more expensive again. Upper and Lower Dolpo are definitely regions where trekkers do not generally go, partly because of the cost involved, so if you can afford it, it is well worth the unique experience.
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Gokyo Lake Trek
You start this trek the same way as you would start out to Everest Base Camp, so you can imagine the views are something else! There are actually 5 Gokyo Lakes, situated at high altitude in the Sagarmatha National park. Sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, the scenery is simply stunning. This 11 day trek will take you into an area which is less crowded than the popular Everest Base Camp Trek, yet the views from Gokyo Ri include 4 mountains over 8,000m and the beautiful lakes. Fabulous for those who want to go to the Everest Region (Including Namche Bazaar and the high altitude airport at Lukla) but want to see something different.
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Limi Valley Trek
The Limi Valley is another area less trekked. Situated on the far western border of Nepal with Tibet, it is the gateway to Mount Kailash revered by Hindus and Buddhists alike. The route passes through interesting villages, passed monasteries and over a high pass. It also involves two flights to get there. Again on the more expensive side, but also not an area many fellow trekkers will have been to.
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Tamang Heritage Trek
This trek also goes near the Tibetan border yet is only a day’s drive from Kathmandu and less trekked than the Langtang Valley Trek. Culture of the Tamang people and views of the Langtang Range are the highlights of this moderate and not too high trek. An option if you don’t like flying or high altitudes.
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Note: Some of the treks I have listed above cannot be done independently. You can find the best trekking agency for any of the treks through my how to find the best trekking agency in Nepal post.
Trekking Permits Of Nepal
Permission is required for any trek in Nepal. This is for your own safety so there is a record of where you have gone in case of any accidents. Trekking permits vary depending on the region and the route you are going. Prices and rules also vary.
To help with any confusion I have written another article, which I will update frequently, on trekking permits of Nepal.
Trekking Maps Of Nepal
I suggest you have a map to hand when trekking. Especially if you are trekking without a guide. Even the most well trekked area might become confusing if bad weather or night sets in or you are alone.
To help you plan your trek, Travel Outset has compiled a collection of trekking maps of Nepal.