How to Choose a Trek in Nepal that’s Right for You
If you’re new to multi-day trekking, or haven’t trekked in the Himalaya before, you might be wondering how to choose a trek in Nepal. Let us help you!
It’s no secret, Nepal is one of the most popular destinations around the world for trekking. The immensity of the Nepal Himalaya will take your breath away – and we’re not just talking about the high altitude! By choosing to trek with Nepalorama, you’re not only guaranteed the adventure of a lifetime – you choose exactly what your trip package includes! But first you need to figure out how to choose a trek in Nepal!
With so many amazing options to choose from, you might be wondering where to start. Here are some things for you to consider when choosing a trek.
How to Choose a Trek in Nepal – Your Level of Fitness
Trekking Nepal is challenging. So the most important thing you need to consider when you choose a trek is your current fitness level. Even if you’re used to long, multi-day hikes at home, it is more difficult to hike at high altitude. But don’t be put off! We really think that most people with a reasonable level of fitness can do a trek in Nepal with the right training and a great guide!
There are many treks in Nepal for those with a moderate level of fitness. So, if you exercise regularly, there will almost certainly be a trek for you! We’ve met trekkers over the age of 70 on the easier trails like Ghorepani Poon Hill. We regularly see families with older children trekking too.
Every trek has some tough uphill climbs. It’s the only way you’ll see some of the beautiful mountain views on offer! So if you don’t walk very often (including uphill), we recommend that you make a plan to get trekking fit before you come to Nepal.
Longer treks, crossing high-mountain passes demand a much higher fitness level. So you’ll only want to choose one of these treks if you’re confident that you’re well prepared for the challenge.
Think about the trek you really want to do! Often, we sell ourselves short or we lack belief in what we’re truly capable of. We’ve seen many people pushing their boundaries in Nepal and having the greatest experiences of their lives. This is your chance to do something amazing and it’ll be well worth the effort to get fit and reach that summit! It could be life-changing!
Trek ‘Level of Difficulty’
Each of our most popular treks show the level of difficulty, in relation to each other.
Easiest treks are just what they say. They’re the easiest, lowest altitude treks you’ll find in the Nepal Himalaya! You can still expect to trek for 1-3 days, but not above 2,000m/6,500ft. With this level of effort, you can still enjoy some spectacular Himalayan mountain views! Ask us about organising a shorter trek for you.
Easier treks are mostly steady walking, with some moderate climbs. If you’re short of time or concerned about the physical demands of trekking in Nepal, Ghorepani Poon Hill is a great option. It’s one of our shortest and lowest altitude treks. Making it accessible to anyone with a moderate level of fitness. Poon Hill is one of the most popular vantage points in the Himalaya, providing spectacular views of the Annapurna mountains. We guarantee it will take your breath away!
Moderate treks are mostly intermediate level walking, with some challenging climbs. Our popular treks to Annapurna Base Camp, the Langtang Valley and Tengboche to see stunning views of Everest are moderate. You trek right into the heart of the Himalaya and enjoy spectacular views from around 4,000m/13,000ft. Yet you walk for less days and without climbing to the highest passes.
Challenging treks include some strenuous climbs to summit or cross high mountains and passes. They also tend to be longer treks that require a good level of stamina. Push yourself to the limit on the famous Annapurna Circuit or cross Everest Base Camp off your bucket list!
Very Challenging Treks
Very challenging treks are longer treks crossing multiple high mountain passes. You need an excellent level of fitness to partake in these treks.
If you’re still unsure, get in touch and we’ll talk you through your options. If an example itinerary doesn’t exist for the trek you’ve got in mind, ask us about the level of difficulty.
How to Choose a Trek in Nepal – Different Trekking Regions
The beautiful Annapurna region is one of the most popular and well-known trekking regions in Nepal. It’s not surprising! The diversity of this region combined with its easy access from lakeside city Pokhara, make it a great option for trekkers at all levels.
The superstar of the Annapurna Massif is Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545ft) the tenth highest mountain in the world! It stands tall among 13 peaks over 7,000m/23,000ft, and 16 peaks over 6,000m/19,700ft. There’s no question that you’re in the heart of the Nepal Himalaya here!
There are many options to choose from when trekking in the famous Annapurna. Take a look at our example itineraries for treks to Poon Hill, Annapurna Base Camp and the more strenuous Annapurna Circuit. These treks are accessed from Pokhara, the second largest city and ‘adventure capital’ in Nepal. Pokhara is the perfect place to relax and have fun! Ask us about building time in your itinerary to try one of Pokhara’s many adventure activities including paragliding and white water rafting!
Who hasn’t heard of Mount Everest (8,858m/29,062ft), the highest mountain on planet Earth? The Everest region (Khumbu region) boasts not just one, but four of the highest peaks in the world! Trek in this spectacular region and see Lhotse (8,516m/27,940ft), Makalu (8,485m/27,838ft) and Cho Oyu (8,188m/26,864ft) up close, among many other towering, snow covered peaks. The Everest region has so much to offer, including the world’s most famous trek – to Everest Base Camp.
Access to the Sagarmatha National Park, home of Mount Everest, is from Lukla. Take a stunning scenic flight right into the heart of the mountains and land at an altitude of 2,860m/9,383ft at the Tenzing-Hillary airport. Trek through some of the most dramatic scenery on Earth as you get closer and closer to the world’s highest mountains.
Around every corner, you’ll see something amazing in the Everest region. Whether you want to trek up to Base Camp and climb Kala Patthar (5,545m/18,192ft) for one of the most awe inspiring views of Everest and it’s neighbours Lhotse and Nuptse. Cross the mighty Cho La Pass and see the spectacular azure blue lakes of Gokyo. Or, make your own pilgrimage to the beautiful Buddhist monastery at Tengboche and wake up to spectacular views of Everest as the sun rises. We’ve got you covered!
The less traveled Langtang region boasts over 25 percent forest, including oak, maple and pine. Yet Langtang is famous for its numerous rhododendrons. When in bloom in spring, they’re as magnificent as any you’ll see elsewhere in the Himalaya. Definitely a good reason to trek in Langtang in Spring!
Areas of Langtang were devastated in the 2015 earthquake. The region suffered great loss. Nearly three years later, Langtang is well and truly back on the tourist trail and is gaining popularity. You can trek the stunning Langtang Valley and summit Kyanjin-Ri (4,773m/15,659ft) in as little as five days. Home to the sacred Gosaikunda Lakes, the highland villages of Helambu, and the Tamang Heritage Trail. There are many reasons to trek in Langtang.
If you prefer to avoid the tourist trail, you’ll find trekking in the Manaslu Region ticks all the boxes! Manaslu has been open to trekkers for far less time than most popular regions, Annapurna and Everest. Only recently have several teahouses been established. So now it’s much easier to trek in this incredible, well preserved wilderness. The ultimate trek, Manaslu Circuit, is well away from any road. Also, the area is protected as part of the Manaslu Conversation Area. Great news, given this region is now growing in popularity.
In this region you’ll find the eighth highest mountain in the world, magnificent Mount Manaslu (8,156m/26,759ft), meaning ‘Mountain of Spirits’. You’ll observe the beautiful Himalayan culture and Buddhist religion, as you pass monasteries and tiny villages decorated with colourful Tibetan prayer flags. The highest point, the snow covered wonderland of the Larkya La (Larke La) Pass (5,215m/17,110ft) will challenge even the most seasoned trekker. But you just know the superb, panoramic mountain views will be worth it!
A Taste of Nepal!
If you only have a few days to spend in Nepal and want a taste of everything, take a look at our One Week in Nepal package! Spend a day exploring the beautiful lakeside town Pokhara – gateway to the Annapurna region. Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites in cultural gem Kathmandu. Test your legs when you trek to spectacular Himalayan vantage point Poon Hill (3,210m/10,532ft) and rest them on the way back in the natural hot springs at Jhinu Danda. Try local delicacies including famous Nepali dal bhat and shop for bargains and wonders in Thamel. After one week in Nepal, we’re sure you’ll want to come back for more!
The very best time of year to trek Nepal is Autumn (early October to mid December) after the monsoon has well and truly cleared the air! Visibility is at its best and the mountain views are spectacular! It’s also the busiest trekking season, but for good reason! This doesn’t mean you’ll bump into other trekkers every few minutes, but you’ll definitely meet them in the teahouses in the evening. It can still be very cold at high altitudes, so make sure you’re well prepared.
The second best time of year to trek Nepal is Spring (late February to early May). It can be hazy, but you’ll enjoy warmer sunshine. If you trek in late March or early April, you’re in for a real treat! See forests of bright rhododendrons native to Nepal in full bloom. It’s amazing! Spring tends to be a bit quieter than Autumn, although April is always a very busy month.
We’re new fans of trekking in Winter! In December 2017, our Founder Krishna, reported the most incredible sunrises at Annapurna Base Camp, and sunsets at Poon Hill and Kala Patthar on the Everest Base Camp Trek. It’s colder, but we think it’s worth it for the vivid colours and of course less people on the trails!
Team Nepalorama recently trekked in Langtang late in January and we experienced the perfect climate for trekking!
It’s possible to trek some trails including Ghorepani Poon Hill all year round. However, it can be very cloudy and often wet, which makes trekking more challenging but not impossible!
It goes without saying that the weather, especially these days, is unpredictable. So it’s always best to be prepared for extreme cold, regardless of when you’re trekking.
Why not Catch a Festival When You’re in Nepal?
There’s more to consider than simply how to choose a trek in Nepal! With such rich culture and so many things to see and do besides trekking, there are many other reasons to visit Nepal, or consider the time of year you want to travel.
There are many amazing festivals each year, including Holi – the festival of colours. Read about the festivals every traveler should experience in this blog and see if you can combine your trek with a celebration you’ll never forget!