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How to plan trekking tours in Nepal – 5 great trekking itineraries




Trekking in Nepal is a perfect adventure journey for many of us willing to walk over wild Himalayan Trails at least once in our lifetime. The incredibly majestic Himalayas and countless trekking trails available for trekking in Nepal. This makes it one of the best destinations for trekking tours in the whole world. In recent years after 2016-19 A.D trekking in natural trails are considered equally beneficial from personal and environmental health point of view.

This small south Asian country saw over a million tourist arrivals in 2019. Among them trekking in Nepal is considered one of the top activities as per the data of tourism Ministry of Nepal. The present flow of tourists in Nepal is record high, which is motivating remaining world to visit this beautiful country. However, when planning a trekking tour in Nepal, it’s important to understand a few things. First we have to learn things such as when to trek, where to go and what to pack. Here is a breakdown of those 3 important planning factors as well as 5 great trekking itineraries to consider for your trip to Nepal.

When to go Trekking in Nepal

Nepal has two main trekking seasons during the year, with the most predictable and appropriate conditions for being in the mountains.

Average-temperature-of-NepalAverage temperature of Nepal throughout the year in degree celsius

Spring

The first main trekking season is from March to May, during Spring. At this time of year, the days are slowly warming up after the long winter. Eventually incredibly beautiful wild flora blossoms, creating a blanket of color across the Himalayan slopes. In particular, the brilliant rhododendrons are abundant across the lower Annapurna area.

Depending on the year, the snow that accumulated over the freezing winter melts by April, opening up the high passes over 16, 400 feet. However, early in Spring, trails can still be visibly covered in ice until consecutive warm days.

Autumn/Fall

The second trekking season Fall and certainly the most popular time for trekking tours in Nepal is from September – November. These months see the clearest skies after the monsoon has ended and moderate temperatures throughout the trekking areas. However, this also means that the trails are more crowded, and teahouses are busier during this time.

Where to go on trekking tours in Nepal

The two main trekking routes in Himalayan trails of Nepal are Sagarmatha National Park and the Annapurna Conservation Area.

Sagarmatha National Park

The Sagarmatha National Park is most famous for being the home of the world’s highest mountain, Mt Everest. Also the Everest region has some of the Himalayas’ most challenging high passes and epic viewpoints of countless peaks over 26,246 feet.

Sagarmatha-National-Park

                            Sagarmatha National Park Namche point.

The parks most popular trek is, of course, Everest Base Camp which sees up to 40, 000 trekkers tackling the journey each year. During the climbing season in Spring, it’s also possible to feel the buzz and see the ocean of tents at the Base Camp area as teams are making summit attempts into May.

Annapurna Conservation Area

The Annapurna Conservation Area is the most popular destination in Nepal for trekking. There are countless trails and treks available across different maximum heights and lengths of time.

annapurna-conservation-area

               Map of Annapurna Conservation Area

The most famous of these trails is the Annapurna Circuit trek which completes a loop around the National Park edge incorporating Manang, Jomsom, Muktinath and the lower Mustang Region all linked by the Thorong La pass at 17, 769 feet. It’s regularly considered as one of the top hikes in the world.

However, there are a number of treks in the lower Annapurna Region that incorporate magnificent views of the Annapurna Massif.

What to pack for trekking tours

Perhaps your most important companion on a trek in Nepal is good quality and well broken in hiking boots. Your footwear can make or break your trekking experience. So, ensure that you’ve invested in a good pair of shoes that are weatherproof, sturdy and comfortable over hours of walking every day.

It’s best not to overpack on clothing for trekking tours, as you will likely wear the same items repeatedly. However, it is important to bring the right kind of clothing and garments that will keep you warm in the cool mountain air. Equally it is vital to keep you cool while you’re sweating in the high-altitude sun.

everest-trek-packing

               Things to pack for trekking

A down jacket, fleece and thermal base layers are essentials for staying warm. Ensure that you’ve invested in a good quality down jacket, it is also possible to rent in Kathmandu or Pokhara. A down sleeping bag will also be an essential for the cold nights, particularly as you ascend higher. If you don’t own a sub-zero sleeping bag, you can rent one from a store in Kathmandu or Pokhara at a per day rate.

For warm trekking days you can wear t-shirts. However moisture wicking, long sleeve shirts are better to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays at high elevation.

Other important protective gear includes polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow. It is wise to have a hat or cap to protect your head and sunscreen for any exposed skin. The sun is strong at high elevations and you’ll likely burn, even if you don’t realise.

Tips for trekking in Nepal

  • Make sure you’re well prepared for trekking in the Himalayas. Having done some form of training or long-distance walking in the lead up to your tour
  • It’s important to include acclimatisation days into your trekking itineraries. Slower you ascend the less likely it is that you will succumb to symptoms of altitude sickness
  • Familiarize yourself with Acute Mountain Sickness and the severe symptoms that can lead to more serious conditions. Pay attention to how you are reacting to altitude listening to your body along the way to know your limits
  • Bring along a water filter like LifeStraw. To ensure that you are drinking clean water without buying any plastic bottles along the way
  • Book your trekking tour with an authorised and quality adventure company. They can handle any logistical arrangements, permits and guides and porters for you in a stress-free manner
  • Allow contingency days at the end of your trek as flight schedules and weather patterns in the Himalayas can change from day to day, meaning delays are not uncommon
  • Kindly refer to our important training tips for Everest Trek in Nepal with this link

5 great trekking itineraries in Himalayan trails by Extollo Adventures

1. Everest Base Camp and Kalapathar Trek 15 Days

This is the ultimate bucket list trekking tour in Nepal. Hiking to Everest Base Camp has become one of Nepal’s top attractions and a truly classic trek.

The trek begins in the slopes around Lukla after a scenic mountain flight from Kathmandu. You’ll spend at least one full day acclimatizing in Namche Bazaar, the Khumbu Region’s biggest town, before heading through Sherpa villages and ancient Buddhist monasteries deeper into the mountains.

view-from-kalapathar

            View of Himalayan Range from Kalapathar

The picturesque AmaDablam and Lhotse will come into view, before the mighty Everest pokes out from behind the range in front of you. You’ll triumphantly reach Everest Base Camp and stay in the village of GorakShep.

A highlight of the trek is getting up to Kalapatthar at 18, 514 feet. This is one of the best viewpoints in all of Nepal, which has sweeping views over Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse.

2. Short Everest Trek with Helicopter Flights 11 Days

If you’re short on time or just after a more comfortable trek with the ability to get a closer glimpse of the peaks from the air, then this trek combines a shorter version of the Everest Base Camp trek with two helicopter flights.

everest-helicopter-flight

                Flying near the Himalayas

After taking a chopper to Lukla to begin your trek, you’ll follow the Everest Base Camp trail up to GorakShep passing Buddhist monasteries and Sherpa villages. Once you arrive in GorakShep after eight days of trekking you can visit the famous Base Camp. In the early morning, climb up to Kala Patthar for an epic sunrise vista, before taking a helicopter back to Kathmandu with a bird’s eye view over the Himalayas.

3. Annapurna Base Camp Trek 11 Days

The trek to Annapurna Base Camp is considered one of the best in the Annapurna Conservation Area and one of the most popular trekking tours in Nepal.

From the city of Pokhara, you’re driven to the starting point from where you begin trekking through Gurung villages in the lower Annapurna region. As you climb higher, following well-worn trails through rhododendron fields, you’ll begin to feel closer to the Himalayas.

Annapurna-Base-Camp-(4,130-m)

            View from Annapurna Base Camp

You’ll eventually emerge at an amphitheatre of mountains, completely enclosed by imposing snow-capped peaks. As you reach Annapurna Base Camp at 13, 545 feet, you’ll have a panorama of peaks. You will get a chance to admire closeup view of Annapurna South to Machhapucchre (or fishtail) and Himchuli.

4. Three Passes Trek in Everest Region 20 Days

The Three Passes Trek is the ultimate Himalayan adventure in Nepal’s Everest Region. This trail follows a circuit through the Sagarmatha National Park, crossing three high passes to connect valleys in the region. It covers all the main highlights and important Sherpa villages and monasteries in an impressive 20-day adventure.

The views on this trek are unsurpassed as it spends a number of days over 16, 400 feet. It’s important to be well acclimated for this trek. But with a 20-day itinerary, serious trekkers should be able to accomplish the circuit.

View-from-renjola-pass

              Majestic view of Himalayan ranges from Renjola pass

The trek begins by following the Everest Base Camp trek up to Gorakshep crossing the KongmaLa pass at 18, 159 feet. Then you have the option to climb to Kala Patthar at 18, 514 feet for a viewpoint over Everest and Lhotse, before continuing on to the Gokyo Valley by crossing the Cho La pass at 17, 611 feet. From Gokyo, you can visit the sacred blue lakes and climb to the viewpoint at Gokyo Ri (17, 575 ft) for a panorama over Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. The long ascents are not over yet. As you leave Gokyo for the final pass, Renjo La at 17, 585 feet, that will take you back down to Namche bazaar.

5. Annapurna Circuit Trek 14 Days

The Annapurna Circuit is one of the worlds classic treks. It passes through an incredibly varied landscape and terrain with unrivalled Himalayan views to match. The trail completes a circuit from outside of Pokhara around the Annapurna Conservation Area, taking in many of the areas highlights along the way.

thorong-la-pass

                 At Thorong La Pass 5,416 m

As you tackle the circuit, you begin in the lower Pisang region before arriving in Manang. Here the landscape noticeably becomes dry and more arid. You continue to climb towards the Annapurna Massif by crossing the Thorong La pass at 17, 769 feet. Then you start descending rapidly to the spiritual pilgrimage site of Muktinath. As you continue down to Jomsom in the lower Mustang region, the desert-like landscape stretches into the Tibetan plateau with just the peaks showing snow. From Jomom, you can take a scenic flight back to Pokhara to end this incredible circuit.

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