Trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp

Trek the hidden alternative to the ABC trek that boasts first class views of Mt. Machhapuchhre. 7 days.

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REF: 08932

Trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp

Trek the hidden alternative to the ABC trek that boasts first class views of Mt. Machhapuchhre. 7 days.

  • Nepal
  • March—May
  • Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu (KTM)

The Mardi Himal trek is definitely considered a hidden gem as the trail is only officially opened to trekkers in 2011. The trek winds through enchanting rhododendron and maple forests before emerging abruptly into the rugged mountain landscape. Here, the views of Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna I and Hiunchuli are so spectacular, words cannot do them justice. So with that said, your adventure includes:

  • 7 days of trekking
  • 7 nights of accommodation on trek
  • Local, professional English-speaking guides
  • Assistant leader on 4:1 basis
  • Porter on 2:1 basis
  • All meals during the trek
  • Farewell dinner in Pokhara
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • Transfers from/to Pokhara to trek start/end points

Perfect for: Experienced hikers looking for jaw-dropping views off the beaten track.

What to Expect

Day 1: Trek to Pothana

Once you have arrived early in Pokhara, your guide will pick you up and drive you to the drop off point for your trek.

You will set off on foot to Suikhet which will be your lunch pitstop. From here, there is a steep climb from Phedi up to the main trail along the ridge to Dhampus. Your first night will be spent at tea house facing Mount Machhapuchare, giving you a taster of some of the views you have to come.

6 hours of hiking

Day 2: Pothana to Kokar Forest Camp

You’ll be woken at dawn with a magnificent sunrise over Fishtail. Today the ‘secret trail’ starts, taking you away from tourists, trekkers, and even other villagers.

This intimate trail will lead you into an enchanted forest of birch, rhododendrons, maples, and more, and you will camp in a small clearing in the middle of the forest.

6 hours of hiking

Day 3: Kokar Forest Camp to Low Camp

After breakfast in the Kokar Forest Camp (2520m), you will begin your ascent towards Low Camp (2970m).

As you climb out of the forest, you’ll be able to look through natural windows in the woods that show the breathtaking panoramas that surround you. The trek today will finish at lunch, which will give you enough time to acclimatise to the altitude and enjoy the views towards Fishtail.

4 hours of hiking

Day 4: Low Camp to High Camp

Just a short, steep climb to start the day and take you out of the forest!

Traverse along the ridge which leads up to High Camp (3700m), where you will stop for lunch. The afternoon will be spent acclimatising and admiring the views of Annapurna South and Machapuchare.

4 hours of hiking

Day 5: High Camp to Base Camp (and back to High Camp)

You will have our breakfast earlier than usual today in order to set off to reach Base Camp (4500m). If the conditions are in your favour, then you could reach up to 5000m.

Views from base camp are the bread and butter of what this trek is about: you can see the south face of Machapuchare, the ice fields of the Sanctuary Wall and surrounding us are Dhaulagiri, Ganesh Himal and Annapurna I.

Take it all in – you’ve earned it.

4-5 hours of hiking

Day 6: High Camp to Siding Village

After breakfast at High Camp, you’ll begin your descent through the forest and out onto the terraced fields. In total, you will descend 1600m.

The day will be spent trekking through friendly villages and along the banks of the Mardi Khola. This route is about as idyllic Nepali countryside as you can get.

6 hours of hiking

Day 7: Drive to Pokhara

Your final day will be spent trekking through pastures and Gurung villages until you reach the road, where the transfer vehicle will be waiting to take you back to Pokhara.

You will have one last night in Pokhara, so be sure to sit back with a beer and enjoy yourself!

4 – 5 hours of hiking

Note: The actual itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, weather conditions and forecasts, special events, etc.

Accommodation

Generally, most adventures to Nepal are based in remote areas where the accommodation will be basic. We have different star hotels available in the city area but during the trek we will be staying at tea houses. They have dorm rooms, shared toilets and common areas. There’s no heating, so you need a sleeping bag. Wifi is often available for a small cost, and many places offer hot showers.

Dates & Prices

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

1 Night Accommodation in Pokhara Payable Before Departure
1 Night Accommodation in Pokhara £30.00
Transfer Kathmandu - Pokhara Payable Before Departure
Flight ( 35min, incredibly scenic) £100.00
Private Vehicle (offers most flexibility) £55.00

Trip Photos

Location

View map

Pokhara is a gateway for many trekkers and mountaineers to the Annapurna range. Not only does it offer spectacular scenery along the tranquil river, but a plethora of adventure activities, cultural trips and amazing restaurants.

The Mardi Himal trek is located just East of the Annapurna Base Camp trek. It is spectacularly situated at the base of Mardi Himal (5587m) and Machhapuchhre (6993m). The trail winds through the pine and rhododendron forests until you reach the rocky landscape at about 3330m. From here, you’ll be able to see breathtaking views of Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South and Hiunchul.

Start point?
You’ll arrive in Pokhara, where your guide will pick you up early on the first day, so you should plan to stay the night before. Your host can help you arrange the accommodation.

Finish point?
Your trip ends on the lakeside at Pokhara from where you can either take a transfer back to Kathmandu or you keep exploring the Annapurna region.

Getting there and away?
Fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. Book whichever flight suits you best.

From Kathmandu, you’ll need to make your way to Pokhara. Your host can assist you to make one of the following arrangements:

Fly: There are several daily flights to Pokhara from KTM. Flights only take 25 minutes and are by far the easiest option. Besides saving time, the flight allows you to witness the spectacular views over the Himalayas from above.

Bus: A daily tourist bus for Pokhara departs from Kantipath in Kathmandu. The trip takes around 7 hours and costs GBP 7–10 each way. This is the cheapest option.

Private car: You can hire a private car to take you from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The drive time is a little shorter than the bus, and you can do some sightseeing along the way. This option gives you the most freedom.

Your host will contact before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • International airport tax
  • Drinks
  • Snacks
  • Visa Fee
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for guides (optional)
  • Late check out in hotels
  • Airport transfer
  • Transfer to Pokhara

This trip will run with a minimum of 1 person and a maximum of 12.

Nepal has a huge variety of different foods. Your guide will help you experience the vast array of foods available but ultimately you can pick what you like at a variety of prices. We recommend trying the Dal Bhat - a spiced mixture of lentils and rice - as it is the traditional Nepali day-to-day dish (not to mention it’s extremely healthy and affordable!)

Absolutely, just make a request when booking.

You’ll hike from 3 to 6 hours a day, averaging around 8km per day and gradually ascend from 1400m to 4500m. While the trail is generally good, there are some more challenging uphill sections of the journey.

The Mardi Himal trek is challenging at times, but you do not need to be particularly fit to start with! Whatever exercise you do beforehand will help, as you will be carrying your rucksacks for on average 8km per day but your guide will help you and make sure you go at a pace that suits you.

Yes, of course. Just send any enquiries to the host and they will create a bespoke itinerary that suits your needs. Alternatively, have a look at our shorter itineraries.

When you trek in the mountains, there always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. The symptoms can vary from one person to the next – from a headache to breathing heavily or numbness in your fingers – and if you find any of these symptoms, you must descend the mountain. Your guide will always be around to help and instruct you to avoid any danger.

Yes, of course. We work with some of the best leaders in the industry. Every single one of them is government licensed.

In order to ensure guides’ high standard of performance, the host provides them with top-notch in-house training that covers, Leave No Trace (LNT) principles, advanced wilderness first aid, hyperbaric chambers, oxygen system, mountain rescue and incident management.

Sure can! A lot of people do, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

This trek runs all year, so it really depends on your preference!

September to November and March to May are the best seasons for the Mardi Himal Trek as the weather is (usually) sunny, warm and clear to make the most of the view! On the other hand, If you want to avoid crowds then taking this trip during Winter (December to February) could be right for you. However, the temperatures are considerably colder and can be quite harsh. Trekking in the Monsoon season - June to August - is generally not recommended as it will be affected by rain, but could provide an oasis for a keen botanist!

Your host recommends you pack the following:

  • 1 pair rucksack/backpacks
  • 2 pair lightweight trousers
  • Sunglasses
  • 1 small daypack (20-30l)
  • Trainers
  • Money belt
  • Sunhat / warm hat
  • Mosquito repellent
  • 1 Torch / flashlight
  • 1 Swiss army knife
  • 1 Swimming costume
  • 1 pair shorts
  • Underwear (including thermals)
  • Personal medication / first aid kit
  • 1 Washing kit
  • 1 pair of strong mountain boots
  • 1 four-season sleeping bag (comfortable to -15c)
  • 1 down jacket / All-weather anorak
  • 1 water bottles (1 ltr.)
  • 1 pair waterproof gaiters / over trousers
  • 1 Inner sleeping sheet
  • 1 Medium sized towel
  • 1 Fleece/warm sweater
  • 1 Sweatshirt/light sweater
  • 2 Long sleeve cotton or (polypropylene) shirts
  • Warm waterproof gloves
  • 3 Pair heavy wool sock, 2 pairs light socks
  • Cotton headscarf/bandana
  • Waterproof pack cover
  • Sunblock / lotions
  • Water purify tablets (if you don’t want to buy bottled water)

Start point?
You’ll arrive in Pokhara, where your guide will pick you up early on the first day, so you should plan to stay the night before. Your host can help you arrange the accommodation.

Finish point?
Your trip ends on the lakeside at Pokhara from where you can either take a transfer back to Kathmandu or you keep exploring the Annapurna region.

Getting there and away?
Fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. Book whichever flight suits you best.

From Kathmandu, you’ll need to make your way to Pokhara. Your host can assist you to make one of the following arrangements:

Fly: There are several daily flights to Pokhara from KTM. Flights only take 25 minutes and are by far the easiest option. Besides saving time, the flight allows you to witness the spectacular views over the Himalayas from above.

Bus: A daily tourist bus for Pokhara departs from Kantipath in Kathmandu. The trip takes around 7 hours and costs GBP 7–10 each way. This is the cheapest option.

Private car: You can hire a private car to take you from Kathmandu to Pokhara. The drive time is a little shorter than the bus, and you can do some sightseeing along the way. This option gives you the most freedom.

Your host will contact before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

For extra financial protection against unforeseen circumstances such as erupting Icelandic volcanoes, we recommend you book your flights using a credit card.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

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