Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek to Nepal's Hidden Glacier

Ice lakes, remote trails, epic scenery - hike as off the beaten track as it gets on the way to Nepal's Annapurna IV glacier

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Trip Ref #9113

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Trek to Nepal's Hidden Glacier

Ice lakes, remote trails, epic scenery - hike as off the beaten track as it gets on the way to Nepal's Annapurna IV glacier

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Nepal

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

Oct—May

GROUP SIZE

Up to 10 people

MEETING POINT

Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu

ACCOMMODATION

Teahouse · Mountain hut

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

Mountainous terrain, steep slopes and plunging valleys - it was always going to test you.

Cross wooden bridges and trek remote trails to visit rarely seen mountain views that will leave you speechless, including Annapurna IV and the Madi River valley

Climb up to the spectacular Annapurna IV Glacier and swim in the mirror clear waters of Kaphucchhe Lake

Explore a picture-perfect wilderness of terraced fields and rugged valleys and bathe beneath the 60m-waterfall known as the ‘Karane’

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Brigette, March 2020

I did the hidden glacier trek with Sunil and our lovely porter Santos. It was a great trip and my guide was very attentive, always looking for ways to make the trip more enjoyable and interesting. I learned a lot about local culture and got to enjoy some fun nights of dancing in Sikles! The trek was challenging but manageable, the food (mainly Dal Baht) was delicious, and the length of the hike was just right for me (6 days). Probably don't need to pack as much stuff as is on the kit list as this trip is actually very well catered for.

Liam, November 2019

The most awe-inspiring morning mountain Views, campfire dancing, seeing wild monkeys and bees nests to eating the incredibly delicious Dahl Bhat - every moment was magical. Sunil went above and beyond to ensure every detail was attended to. His humour, knowledge and warmth really made our trip so special. Big thank you to Santosh, Hansha and Prakash for their patience, laughs and care - you guys are all ‘tremendous’. The trek was everything we hoped an authentic Nepalese experience would be and so much more, perfect for our short time frame of 2 weeks in Nepal. Thank you so much, we had the most amazing honeymoon. Would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat!

Andy, October 2019

The trekking route, scenery and my guide Prem were great.

Cynthia, September 2019

Awesome! Landscape. People. Culture. Hospitality. Welcome! Just as awesome the organisation of the trip. To provide an authentic experience, freedom and adventure with responsible friendly team - and guide and ‘back-stop’ Sunil and Benjamin.

Colin, March 2019

The professionalism of guide and team was great.

Mita, March 2019

Amazing views of Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II and IV. It was made even better with the genuine warmth and hospitality of the friendly locals and their goats! We were helped along throughout by a fantastic team: Tika the leader, Hitman the assistant and porters Jit and Santosh who were always so cheerful and ready to help, including extra servings of dhal-bhat (power!). An unforgettable experience on what is a relatively new trekking route.

Henning, March 2019

Hidden, barely used trails were great.

Included

Guides

Local, expert, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

5 nights in teahouses along the trail

Transfers

To and from Pokhara and Sabi and into the wilderness

Porterage

All your overnight luggage will be carried for you

Permits

All entrance fees and permits are taken care of

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Host's office in Pokhara on Day 1

Time confirmed prior to arrival (early morning)

Ends

Host's office in Pokhara on Day 6

Approx 17:00

Transfers

Your host will meet you at their office in Pokhara and return you to the same location at the end of your trip. As the arrival pick up may be early you should plan to stay in Pokhara the night before.

Travel options

There are regular flights to Kathmandu from major airports across the UK and Europe and from Kathmandu to Pokhara. See the travel FAQ for more information.

Day 1

Teahouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Teahouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 4

Mountain hut · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Teahouse · Twin or triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Nepal has a huge variety of different foods and 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 traditional Nepali day-to-day dish, Dal Bhat - a spiced mixture of lentils and rice that’s extremely healthy and affordable.

It is possible to eat vegan food while trekking however you should let you guide know so they can assist when ordering - the options will be limited but dhal bhat is likely going to be your go-to staple. And of course, bringing along some extra snacks is advisable.

What is the accommodation like?

On the trail

You’ll be staying in teahouses - mountain lodges with a communal dining area and basic toilets that are usually sorted by gender. Wifi, phone charging and hot showers are often available for a small cost.

Upgrades

There is no option for a single room on this trip while on the trail. If you chose to stay on in Pokhara, your host can of course book a room for you - see Optional Extras for details.

Day 1

The trek begins

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 1283m up · 120m down

Meet your host in Pokhara and then take a jeep deep into the wilderness, stopping for a delicious Nepali lunch along the way. Set off along the Madi River, checking out the spectacular terraced scenery, before trekking uphill on the stone path that leads to Sikles (2000m), one of the largest (and friendliest) Gurung villages in Nepal, where you'll spend the night in your first teahouse.

Day 2

Explore Sikles Village

Hiking

5hrs · 18km · 1150m up · 220m down

Spend the morning exploring Sikles village and chatting to some of the friendly Gurkha warriors who served in the Indian and British armies. Enjoy some authentic Gurung cuisine in a local home and then check out the water-powered mills that are still used to make the villages traditional bamboo handicrafts.

Day 3

Trek to Hugu

Hiking

7hrs · 12km · 520m up · 440m down

Fill up on breakfast ready for your longest day of hiking and head back into the wilderness. Walk across wooden bridges as you trek to the rarely visited 60m waterfall known as the ‘Karane’ – the perfect picnic stop. Bathe in the clear waters, relax on the shore and then follow the trail across rich grazing land to Hugu, where you’ll spend the night in bamboo and wooden huts made by the local herders.

Day 4

Visit a glacial ice lake

Hiking

4hrs · 8km · 560m up · 440m down

Rise early and follow the commitment-testing trail to the foot of the Annapurna IV Glacier (2400m.) As the area is prone to avalanches – sometimes seeing two or three a day – your guide will brief you on the necessary precautions to safely explore the area. Enjoy a picnic lunch, swim in the 400m-wide Kaphucchhe Lake, take in the epic views of Annapurna IV and the Madi River valley and then return to Hugu for the night.

Day 5

Last full day of hiking

Hiking

5hrs · 12km · 440m up · 520m down

Trek through the forest and past scenic waterfalls as you follow the descending trail back to Sickles in time for dinner.

Day 6

Back to Pokhara

Hiking

5hrs · 25km · 120m up · 1283m down

Enjoy a last Gurung breakfast and then hike back to Sabi, soaking in the surroundings and taking some final photographs along the way. Climb into a jeep for the drive back to Pokhara and enjoy some freetime exploring this lovely trekker getaway.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?

  • Day pack with rain cover (30 litre +)
  • Rucksack or duffle bag (for the porters to carry overnight kit)
Clothes
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight down jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Lightweight trekking trousers
  • Hiking shorts (if trekking in the summer)
  • Thermals (top and bottom, merino ideal)
  • 2/3 trekking t-shirts/shirts
  • Fleece or warm mid-layer
  • Waterproof thick gloves
  • Glove liners
  • Hiking socks and lighter walking socks
  • Wool hat
  • Sun hat
  • Spare underwear
  • Buff or similar
Shoes
  • Worn in waterproof hiking boots
  • Lightweight trainers (for the evenings)
Sleeping
  • 4 season sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pillow case (optional)
Other
  • Trekking poles
  • Travel towel
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sunglasses)
  • 2 water bottles (1 litre each)
  • Metal SIGG bottle (useful to fill with hot water to use as a hot water bottle at bedtime)
  • Headtorch
  • First aid kit and/or personal medication
  • Water purification tablets/system
  • Hand gel
  • Biodegradable wet wipes
  • Small biodegradable bags to take toilet tissue off the mountain
  • Toilet paper/tissues
  • 1 x passport photo for trek permit
  • Powerbank
  • Universal plug adaptor
  • Book/kindle/cards for downtime
Winter departures only (end Nov-March)
  • Extra warm layers (add an extra warm item to all key items above)
  • Extra set of thermals (pair to walk in, pair to sleep in)
  • Merino trekking socks
  • Merino glove liners

What's available to hire?

The below can be rented in Kathmandu:

  • Down jacket: costs approx. $1.5/day with a deposit of $50
  • Sleeping bag (3 season only available): costs approx. $2/day with a deposit of $80

(Please ask your host if this is needed so they can assist you with how to arrange the hire)

What can you buy in Pokhara?

Pokhara has many outdoor gear shops - some are real with kit that is the same price you will find it at home and some are filled with cheaper imitation gear that may not be of the same quality. You will however find a soft duffel bag easily that the porters can carry.

Please remove all unnecessary packing before you leave home and ensure you take all plastic off the mountain to be disposed of in Pokhara.

Extra night in Pokhara (Single Room)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Pokhara (Single Room)

Extra night in Pokhara (Twin/Double Room)

Payable Before Departure

Extra night in Pokhara (Twin/Double Room)

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 151kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trek will be challenging at times as you hike to the Annapurna IV Glacier averaging 5 hours a day and reaching a maximum height of 2400m. However, your guide will make sure that you have enough breaks and that you walk at a pace you feel comfortable with.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

There are 3 different seasons for trekking in Nepal:

Winter (Dec-Feb): Despite being seen as ‘off-season’ this is often the best time to trek in Nepal. The nights can be very cold (down to minus 20ºC) but the trails are quieter and the mountain views are often at their best due to the clear, sunny skies.

Pre-Monsoon / Spring (March-May): Temperatures rise significantly in Spring and flowers are in full bloom in the lower lands. Although it can still drop below freezing at night, the daytime temperatures tend to sit between 10-15ºC.

Post-Monsoon / Autumn (Sept-Nov): This is the most popular time to trek in Nepal with sunny and mild days generally. It can get cold and windy at higher altitudes, however, skies are usually clear.

It is customary in Nepal to tip guides and porters. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. You can give any tips to your lead guide at the end of your trip. This will then be shared amongst the whole team. For full transparency, the lead guide will distribute the tips to the guides and porters in your presence. A good rule of thumb is around $70pp as a tip, although the amount you give is entirely your choice. 

Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

We do not include meals on the trek as from experience we know that altitude and physical exercise can mean appetites vary hugely. The cost of food rises as you ascend as it is all carried in by porters and yaks and as you get higher up, very little food can be grown. How much you spend per day will vary according to your choice of meal but generally, people spend between $25-$35 per person per day on meals and hot drinks. Below is an approx. breakdown of some items:

  • Dal Baht: $4 to $7C
  • Chow Mein: $2 to $4
  • Eggs: $2 to $4
  • Toast: $1.50 to $3
  • Tea/Hot Chocolate: $1.00 to $3.00
  • Chocolate Bars: $2 to $4

Teahouses will provide cold water free of charge however it needs to be treated to enable you to drink it. Please read the FAQ re our advice here.

Other extra costs to be considered:

  • Shower: $2-$4
  • Wifi: $2-5
  • Electricity: $2-5

The preferred currency is the Nepalese Rupee (NPR). Whilst ATMs are available in the main cities, please do not rely on them as they are often out of order and most have a maximum withdrawal limit equivalent to about GBP300.

It's best to bring the bulk of your money with you in cash and exchange it at a bank or at one of the many money changers in Nepal - your guide will help you with this. Most major currencies are accepted, including GBP (Sterling), Euros and US Dollars, however Scottish or Irish currency cannot be changed. Keep your exchange receipts in case you want to change any unused Rupees back into hard currency when you leave Nepal (it is illegal to export Nepalese Rupees as it is a closed currency).

You will need to carry a fairly large amount of cash while trekking for the meals. We advise that you keep this in a waterproof bag and in your day bag along with your passport.

Although most teahouses have the option to buy bottled water, we advise against it to reduce the use of plastic in the mountains (this ends up being burnt or dumped in landfill out of sight). You will instead be provided with cold water that needs treating. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than traditional purification tablets - some trekkers like to use UV handheld devices such as a Steripen but other options are available (just be sure to check their performance in freezing conditions).

We work with some of the best leaders in the industry, every one of which is government licensed and very experienced. In order to ensure this high standard of performance, the host provides them with top-notch in-house training that covers advanced wilderness first aid, hyperbaric chambers, oxygen system, mountain rescue, incident management and Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to help keep the Himalayas pristine.

When you trek in the mountains, there is always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young or fit you are. Symptoms can vary from one person to the next – from breathing heavily to numbness in your fingers – and if you experience any of these, you must descend the mountain. Your guide will always be around to help and instruct you to avoid any danger, however, as you are only hiking to heights of 2400m it is unlikely that you will experience altitude sickness.

You can leave any luggage not needed on the trek at your hotel in Kathmandu.

This trip includes one porter for every two trekkers. They will carry up to 20-25kg of kit so your overnight bags and spare clothes will be transported for you (maximum 12kg per person). You will only need to carry a ‘day pack’ with essentials in (extra layer, snacks, water, suncream, camera etc).

Your host can assist you to make one of the following arrangements:

Fly: There are several daily flights to Pokhara from Kathmandu. These take around 25 minutes and are by far the easiest option. Besides saving time, the flight also allows you to witness some knock-out views of the Himalayas from above. Flights are around GBP100 one way.

Bus: A daily tourist bus to Pokhara departs from Kantipath in Kathmandu. The trip takes around 7 hours and costs around 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. Priced from GBP 55. Your host will contact before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

We’ve sourced some great optional activities for you to do in and around Kathmandu should you wish to explore the area a little bit further. Please discuss these directly with your host who will be able to book them for you.

Cook Like a Local: This short cooking workshop (approx. 3 hours) teaches you how to cook popular Nepali dishes like MoMo and Dal Bhat. You’ll meet your teacher and accompany them shopping, then head to the kitchen and learn to cook alongside them. Price: Pay what you think the workshop is worth!

Shop Local: A 2/3 hour guided exploration of the markets of Kathmandu. Learn about the vendors that line the narrow and crowded alleyways and witness everything you could ever imagine being sold, haggled or bargained for. It’s a great chance to learn about the melting pot of cultures that exist in Kathmandu. Price: $9-$50pp depending on the group size

Master of the Arts: Patan Durbar Square is popular for its handicrafts and this trip will explore the local factories where they are produced. You’ll visit 2-3 factories and learn about the traditional processes they use and see artwork being produced. Price: $14-$59pp depending on the group size.

Introduction to Shamanism: Shamanism, which is believed to heal many diseases, is not practiced widely these days, however this trip enables you to meet a practising Guru and learn all about this age-old tradition. You’ll visit a small house for an introduction, followed by lunch and then a drumming session where you’ll learn the importance of rhythm to healing. Price: $90-$150 depending on group size.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

For current advice about travelling in Nepal, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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