Authored by Kritika Varma
To say that adventure is one of Nepal’s greatest attributes would not at all be an erroneous claim to make! From jungle safaris to climbing the world’s highest peak, this small Himalayan nation boasts one heck of an outdoor playground.
While there are opportunities for all kinds of adventure in Nepal, the trekking routes here are some of the most famous in the world, and those who enjoy epic experiences are spoiled for choice.
Whether you’re after the time-honored trekking routes like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp, or relatively unchartered hikes such as Langtang Valley or the Upper Dolpo Trek, there’s no shortage of adventure.
The following are adventurous treks you can take in Nepal.
Adventurous Treks You Can Take in Nepal
The Everest Base Camp Trek
A trek that needs no introduction, this is one for every bucket list. The iconic trek to Everest Base Camp takes you to the south base camp of Mt. Everest offering you spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Nuptse, Pumori, and Ama Dablam.
Taking you through the Khumbu region, the EBC trek is more than just the views, or bragging rights that you’ve climbed Everest. There are many rich cultural aspects of the region you’ll be rewarded with along the way.
This is a trek that takes you through tiny mountain villages, that remain isolated from the rest of the world high in the Himalayas, and allows you experience the Sherpa villages & their lifestyles, through rare Nepalese hamlets and a multitude of mountain monasteries.
You’ll walk through seemingly impenetrable lush forests and harsh, rocky, mountainous landscapes. While walking in the footsteps of legendary mountaineers, you pass through stunning high passes and witness the gushing Dudhkoshi River, along with renowned Namche bazaar.
EBC takes you from Lukla back to Lukla, for about 120 kms, taking up an entirety of 14 days; reaching a maximum altitude of 5545m. The ideal time to take on this trek is March, April or May.
Check this Everest Base camp trek Itinerary for a detailed overview of what you’ll experience day by day.
Image credit: Amy Blyth
The Annapurna Base Camp Trek
The ABC trek is the ideal way to experience Nepal’s colossal mountains and unique teahouse trekking culture. It is an 11 day trek that covers 95 km, and offers 360-degree views of some of the highest summits in the world.
The Annapurna circuit takes you to the base camp of Annapurna south, transiting through Machhapuchhre Base Camp and giving you sweeping views of Machhapuchhre (the Fishtail Mountain), Annapurna South, Annapurna III, Annapurna I, Gangapurna and Hiunchuli.
Right up there with EBC as one of Nepal’s most iconic treks, not only is the vast array of natural diversity and sweeping views over the Himalayas incredible, the trek also provides cultural stimulation that is quite unmatched.
Most people who take on the ABC trek choose to stay in traditional teahouses that are dotted throughout the mountains, though not only are they a convenient place to stay, and grab a meal and drink, they are also a great way to really get to know Nepalese culture.
These are family run lodges, and you’re offered the rare chance to glimpse what culture and life is really like in rural Nepal. Teahouse trekking as it has become known, is incredibly cheap, and while weary travelers used to be welcomed in for free, a bed may nowadays cost $5 – $10.
Image credit: Abhishaik Sud
The Manaslu Circuit
The Manaslu Circuit Trek is a 15-day tea-house trek which circumnavigates the 8th highest peak in the world (8,156 m), Mt. Mansulu. It takes you through Hindu as well as Tibetan influenced villages, some of which comprise of primeval Buddhist monasteries.
This trek is known its remoteness and feeling of isolation; the region sees very few visitors, making trails less trodden and the journey a serene, natural and raw experience.
You trek through varied landscapes, including deep lush valleys at lower elevations, river gorges, alpine forests, and austere and outstanding snow-scapes. You bear witness to remarkable panoramas of the peaks on the Nepal-Tibet border, reaching the highest point at Larkya Pass.
The Mansulu Circuit trek takes you from Soti Khola to Besisahar, about 175km, reaching a maximum altitude of 5106m. The ideal time to do this trek being mid-September to mid-November.
Image: Petr Meissner (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Upper Dolpo Trek
Dolpo remains a truly secluded corner of Nepal; the Upper Dolpo trek could truthfully be considered an underappreciated jewel, boasting of Tibetan villages, dramatic barren scenery, and rugged mountain peaks.
This trek is quite an arduous one; you have to cross 3 high passes, Nagdalo La (5350 m), the Shey La (5010 m) and Jeng La (5220 m), and these crossings involve long climbs and long descents. And the trails remain above 4,000m for long periods of time which results in chilly nights.
That being said, the landscapes, the views from the passes, and the rare insight into a preserved culture make the trials and tribulations well worth it.
For centuries, time has stood still here; the people of Tibet continue to live, work and operate in the same way they have been since what seems like the birth of time. The finely preserved ecosystem comprises of a wild and wonderful variety of flora and fauna, including the blue sheep and elusive snow leopard.
The Upper Dolpo trek is, by leaps and bounds, one of the great trekking experiences in Nepal! It reaches a maximum altitude of 5,250m, taking 22 days. The ideal time to do this trek is between March to May.
Image: Jean-Marie Hullot (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
The Langtang Valley Trek is a reasonably easy trek and is often far less ‘touristy’ than other popular treks in the country, it offers a great views of Langtang Ri as well as of the Annapurnas and Makalu.
Legend has it that the valley was first discovered by a lama who was tracking a runaway yak. “Lang” happens to be Tibetan for “lama” and “tang” stands for “follow.” Langtang also happens to be first Himalayan national park spread over an area of 1710 sq. km.
The area is rather unpopulated and consequently, the trail less trodden; the entire experience is relatively isolated and tranquil, amongst the scenic mountain panoramas and traditional settlements.
The trek offers you amazing vistas of mountains above 7000m, the likes of Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, and Langtang-II, as well as of snow-capped Himalayan peaks like Tserko Ri, Kyanjin RI, Ganchhenpo, Dorje Lakpa and Laure Binayak pass.
The Langtang Valley trek reaches a maximum altitude of 4,965m, taking 11 days. The ideal time to do this trek is between September to Mid December.
Nepal gives you a front and center opportunity to experience some of the world’s highest mountains, with a mind-boggling number of alternatives, some of which seem somewhat beyond the realm of possibility; and so it seems rather prejudiced to cite any one as ‘most recommended’!
Even though most trekkers make a beeline for the classics, choose one that works best for you.
Image: Christian Hüpfer (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr
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