Ever considered hiking in Nepal? Nepal is far more than Buddhism and spirituality, although no-one can deny that physical and spiritual do relate.
Nepal is known for several reasons, but the most outstanding one is that it is home to virtually all the towering Himalaya peaks.
This makes Nepal the home for high-altitude hiking, with some of the most challenging hiking trails in the world being found in this Asian nation.
But before looking into these hiking trails, it is necessary to know the precautionary measures you need to observe.
Hiking in Nepal Preparedness
As indicated, most of Nepal sits on high-altitude, and acute mountain sickness is a major concern when hiking on most of the treks.
It is, therefore, crucial to have a relatively high degree of physical fitness before attempting to go on any of the high-altitude hikes.
Another important factor you need to consider is the weather when organizing your hiking trip to Nepal.
The hiking trails found north of the Himalayas are considerably dryer that those found south of the mountains due to the rain shadow effect of the Himalayas.
March-June and September-November represent the warm seasons in the country and are the prime time for hiking.
Some hiking trails are situated in restricted regions of the country where permits are a compulsory requirement.
Most roads have police checkpoints where visitors are required to exhibit their necessary permits.
The law on these permits is strictly enforced, and so you should not downplay its seriousness.
With these tips out of the way, it is time to check out some awesome hiking destinations in Nepal.
These travel resources can help you plan your trip better.
Great Himalaya Trail (150 Days)
Spanning over 1,700 km in length, the Great Himalaya Trail is one the longest of its kind in the world.
There are sections of the trail that feature high passes that exceed 5,000 meters in altitude.
Nonetheless, the Great Himalaya makes an exciting hiking destination as it allows you to traverse the country from west to east, going through varied ecoregions that range from freezing alpine ecosystems to dense tropical jungles.
You better have enough supplies before taking on the Great Himalaya Trail since the journey through the entire trail is estimated to take over 150 days.
Upper Dolpo Trek (8-24 Days)
The Upper Dolpo trek is situated in the remotest parts of Nepal, making it a notoriously challenging hiking circuit.
However, hikers who are able to brave the tough conditions are awarded with amazing views of western Nepal which include the eight-century-old Shey Monastery.
This circuit is among the most exclusive in Nepal since authorities only allow a maximum of 250 foreigners to enter each year. It, therefore, goes without saying that a permit is a strict requirement before partaking in any hiking activity in the circuit.
The Kanchenjunga Circuit (21 Days)
As its name suggests, the Kanchenjunga Circuit involves traveling around the base of the world’s third highest peak; Kanchenjunga.
The circuit is among the best-hiking destinations in Nepal since it goes through a variety of scenery including oak and chestnut forests, tropical jungles, and snowy alpine zones.
It should take about 21 days to cover the circuit. Talking about a lot of days hiking in Nepal.
The Annapurna Circuit (21 Days)
Central Nepal is home to the Annapurna Circuit; a trek that circles the Annapurna Mountains.
Saying that the views in this trek are spectacular would be underselling the Annapurna Circuit that goes through cascading waterfalls, lush subtropical forests, traditional villages, paddy fields, and towering cliffs.
The circuit is estimated to be between 160 and 230 kilometers in length, with hikers taking about 21 days to complete it.
The Manaslu Circuit (19 Days)
Manaslu is the world’s eighth highest peak and surrounding it is a challenging but picturesque hiking circuit, the Manaslu Circuit.
Unlike the more popular hiking destinations in Nepal, this circuit is less crowded and therefore offers an intimate hiking experience.
Among the highlights of the circuit is passing the Larkya La Pass, the highest point of the trek at 5,106 meters in altitude.
The trek is situated in a restricted area of the country and so you required to procure a hiking permit.
The Upper Mustang Trek (14 Days)
North of the Annapurna Circuit is another hiking destination; the Upper Mustang Trek. The circuit is named after the river valley on which it is situated.
With an altitude of 3,820 feet, La Manthang represents the highest point of the trek. The old Kingdom of Lo Manthang sits on the circuit and you can learn the intriguing culture of this ancient kingdom while hiking.
Hikers usually spend between 12 and 14 days to complete the entire stretch of the Upper Mustang Trek.
The Everest Base Camp Trek (12 Days)
The Everest Base Camp Trek is the most popular of all hiking in Nepal trails, attracting thousands of hiking enthusiasts from around the globe each year.
The reason behind its popularity among hikers is simple; it is situated at the base of the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest.
Despite being a relatively easy hiking trail, it takes hikers about 12 days to complete the trek that stretches 130 km in length.
Hiking on this trek might not take you to the top of Mount Everest, but will have you 5,500 m above sea level at Kala Pathar; the trek’s highest point.
The Nar Phu Valley Trek (9 Days)
The Nar Phu Valley sits between the towering Manaslu and Annapurna mountainous regions. It is on this valley that the Nar Phu Valley Trek is discretely hidden, offering a quiet and raw experience of the Himalaya valleys.
This hiking trail is excellently hidden and provides a glimpse of one of Nepal’s remotest regions. It takes about 9 days to traverse the whole span of the circuit.
Dozens of cultural and historic sites are found along the trek, which include ancient monasteries and prayer stones.
If you are fortunate, you can also spot a snow leopard in its natural habitat.
The Mt. Kailash Trek (3 Days)
Despite being partly situated in Tibet, the Mt. Kailash Trek deserves mention in our list of fantastic hiking destinations in Nepal primarily due to its religious significance.
The trek involves going around Mt. Kailash, a mountain that is sacred to four local religions.
Like all other hiking destinations in Nepal, the trek is situated on a high-altitude area with an average altitude of 5,000 meters making it the ideal challenge not only for your body, but also mind and spirit.
Hiking in Nepal Conclusions
For many hiking in Nepal is not only a biological challenge but a spiritual one along that. Nepal is related to a few of the most sacred locations for many people.
Hiking in Nepal can be your walking meditation trip. Do check some magnificent ideas for hiking in Peru.