Hiking in Nepal

With around 40 long-distance hiking trails and eight out of ten of the world’s tallest peaks, a hiking adventure in the ‘rooftop of the world’ is calling.

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Hike from teahouse to teahouse, through remote Nepalese villages and past Hindu pagodas as you traverse the infamous and iconic Himalayan mountain range.

Second in popularity to the Everest routes are the well-established yet astonishing treks out of Pokhara through the 9 peaks of the Annapurna Himal region. The regions of Langtang, Helambu and Gosainkund lack the 8000m peaks found elsewhere, however, less busy and equally sublime ascents combined and its proximity to Kathmandu attracts 10% of Nepal’s trekkers. This leaves the remote eastern and far western regions of Nepal relatively unexplored.

Choose between the clearer skies and balmy temperatures of the peak seasons of autumn or spring, or the cooler but dramatically less busy monsoon and winter periods. Sample famous Nepalese hospitality as you trek from tea house to tea house and catch a glimpse of the country’s powerful spiritual tradition as you pass Hindu pagodas and the fluttering Buddhist prayer flags.

Here are some of our favourite hiking spots in Nepal.

Everest Base Camp

This is the one to take on if you want to experience an unrivalled close-up of the world’s tallest mountain. Explore the surrounding Sherpa villages as you walk in the footsteps of legendary explorers from days gone by.

In the spring and autumn, it’s warmer and dry, but winter is less crowded and offers potentially better views. The summer’s monsoon season makes trekking trickier. The hike takes 14 days to complete, but you should allow 4 to 5 days to travel from Kathmandu. There’s no actual climbing and therefore no need for ice axes or crampons. The paths are of a gentle gradient with a few steeper sections. The route is not as challenging as most people might imagine and is suitable if you can manage 5 hours of hiking a day with a light day-pack.

Annapurna Circuit

The Annapurna circuit is the second most popular hiking route in Nepal. You’ll visit local ethnic villages as you pass through Kali Gandaki Gorge; the deepest gorge on the planet.

The length of the route can vary between 160–230 km and the highest point, the Thorung La pass sits at 5,416m. The trek will usually take 15 to 20 days, and the route is fairly challenging. You should expect to be walking on average 6 hours a day with some days being up to 11 hours. Much like Everest, the best time of year for this route is spring and autumn, with temperatures from around 10°C upwards towards 20°C, the nearer you get to the summer’s monsoon season.

Upper Mustang Trek

The Upper Mustang Trek lies in the rain-shadow of the Himalayas, which means it stays dry when the rest of the country is being hit by monsoon season in the summer. It’s a really remote area of Nepal, which was only opened to hikers in 1992 and only sees around 700 trekkers a year, so it’s maintained its heavy Tibetan culture. This trek is less about snow-capped mountains and more about deserted landscapes, colourful rock formations and 16th-century Buddhist monasteries.

The Upper Mustang trek takes 12 to 14 days to complete and considered a relatively tough trek with an average of 6 to 7 hours of hiking a day.

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