Nepal is a unique destination for people who love the mountains. Not only does it offer the most spectacular views and daunting treks that please even the most seasoned trekkers, it also gives you a perspective you cannot gain elsewhere. That’s why we thought we should compile this beginner’s guide to trekking in Nepal, in order to help you put this destination on your travel list soon.
The Himalayan treks in Nepal will just show you just how vast the world outside is, and how you can explore every inch of it, in your own way!
Best Time to Trek in Nepal
Nepal has something unique to offer right through the year.
However, if your main focus while visiting Nepal is a trek, you must make sure that you plan your journeys accordingly.
October-November is easily the best time to visit Nepal. The monsoons season is finally over, and the heat seems to have receded as well. You get to enjoy the perfect temperature for a trek, and the receding cloud cover ensures crystal clear views from the trails.
The next best option is to visit Nepal between the months of March-April. These months are not as wet, and the summer heat hasn’t engulfed the land yet. Moreover, the spring flowers are just beginning their annual dance, and that will be an amazing sight on your trek!
The Top 3 Treks in Nepal
Nepal is the home of the Himalayas, which means there are hundreds of different peaks and trails for you to explore.
However, out of all these great treks in Nepal, there are three that are incredibly unique, in their own way. Let’s take a closer look at these!
Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek will introduce you to a number of unique Himalayan peaks within a very short time. On this trek, you will get to see majestic mountains, dense forests, rice paddies, Rhododendron fields, and so much more.
It’s definitely one of the best high-altitude treks in the world, and you should definitely visit.
- Duration: 7-12 days
- Altitude: 4130 m
- Best Season: Round the year
- Starting Point: Nayapul
- Highlights: On the Annapurna Base Camp Trek, you will be able to spot the Annapurna, Macahapuchhre, and Hiunchuli peaks. If you choose to do the Nayapul- Ghorepani route, you will also be able to take your children along, as this is not a high-intensity trek. The second option is to choose the Nayapul-Poon Hill- Ghorepani- Chomrong- Modi Kala Valley itinerary. Here’s more info on the Poon Hill trek.
Annapurna Base Camp is located in the rain shadow region, so you can enjoy this trek throughout the year. Keep in mind- you will need a permit!
Everest Base Camp Trek
The highest peak in the world is quite difficult to mount. However, it is far easier for you to trek to the Everest Base Camp.
Keep in mind, this is still an incredibly intense trek, but this trek will show you wonders you never thought your mind and body were capable of!
- Duration: 2 weeks
- Altitude: 5550 m
- Best Season: March-May, September- November
- Starting Point: Lukla
- Highlights: A trek to the Everest Base Camp is a dream come true for the most avid trekker. The most common trek route starts from Lukla. In this circuit, you will be able to see unparalleled views of the Everest Base Camp, Khumbu Glacier, and Nuptse. You should definitely not miss the stunning vistas of the Gokyo lakes, right before you reach the Khumbu Valley, where the base camp awaits you. This trek will allow you to enjoy traditional Sherpa culture as well!
Manaslu is an up-and-coming trek that is becoming more popular among tourists who want to tread the road less taken.
This trek is a bucket list destination for people who want to experience the rich and diverse Nepali culture, while soaking in the majesty of the Himalayas at the same time.
- Duration: 13 days
- Altitude: 5125 m
- Best season to visit: October- November
- Starting Point: Soti Khola
- Highlights: The Manaslu circuit trek, starting from Soti Khola, offers some of the best views that the country has to offer, including Mount Manaslu (8th tallest peak in the world), Ganesh Himal Range, and many 7000m mountain ranges. Plan this trek right, and you can walk through the Larkya Pass and Marsyangdi Valley, where rhododendrons will be in full bloom! End your journey at Tsum Valley, a quaint place where you can enjoy the best Tibetan food and traditions
Getting Ready For A Trek In Nepal
When preparing for the high altitude Himalayan treks, there are two main things you will have to keep in mind: altitude sickness, and packing.
Let’s tackle both these matters now!
Controlling Altitude Sickness
Altitude sickness is caused when a person spends time at an elevation over 2500m. Some of the symptoms include headaches, fatigue, and nausea (when altitude sickness is mild). In extreme cases, a person may also experience breathlessness, fluid in the lungs or brain, etc. There are a few ways to address altitude sickness. A quick descent is a must. Medication such as acetazolamide or dexamethasone can also help in this process.
In order to prevent altitude sickness, you should make sure you’re trekking slowly, without rushing to the higher altitudes. This will give your body time to acclimatize to the air.
This is why treks that usually offer a respite before making you climb those high passes boast of a higher success rate!
What to Pack For Trekking In Nepal?
When trekking in the Himalayas, it would be a wise idea for you to avoid heavy baggage. You will have to carry your bags with you all the time, and you will tire yourself out easily if you carry more than 10-15 kg.
You should pack enough layers, including thermal underwear, to protect you from the cold. It would be a wise idea for you to pack synthetic t-shirts, instead of cotton ones.
Do not pack brand new trekking shoes while climbing the Himalayas- they will definitely hurt you. Some other essentials you might need include sunglasses, mosquito and insect repellent, sunglasses, woolen socks and gloves, sunscreen, travel size toiletries and basic emergency medication.
Now that you’ve packed your bags, and have printed out the maps of the trails you’ve chosen, you are ready to go! Hope you find true peace in these beautiful places.