The 15 Best Treks in Nepal For Every Level

The attraction of the Himalayas in Nepal is extraordinary. The chaos is likened to the one in India, but marked as a remarkably safe and easier alternative country to navigate in with the greatest concentration of the highest peaks in the world. The best treks in Nepal are not to be messed with, there’s the easy doable treks and some daunting peaks that will change the way you approach hiking and trekking in life.

Entering Nepal and you’ll be smacked with a dizzying array of shops and cafes and the chaotic workings of narrow streets thronged with travellers alongside bars and hostels in Thamel. But as you move away to the villages, the mountains become more distinct along the horizon, and the houses become mere slits with a never-ending treasure of hospitality.

You’ll find yourself trekking through tea-houses and sometimes remote stretches with a lot of stopping, only to catch your breath and to gaze at the ferocious, jagged, glistening beauty of the Himalayan ranges in Nepal with an occasional plume of cloud floating near the summits.

Here I share with you the glory of the mountains in Nepal and the top picks of the best treks in Nepal for every traveller and hiker regardless of your fitness levels breaking it down according to short easy treks, moderate treks, strenuous treks and super-challenging treks.

Also Read: What Trekking in the Himalayas Taught Me?

The Best Treks in Nepal

Short Easy Treks

#1 Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

Imagine viewing all the viewpoints in one single frame looking out over the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range. Rightly tagged as the “The Queen of Viewpoints”, the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is a great introduction to the Himalayas in Nepal. The trail is diverse and varied giving you a peak into the wonderful rhododendron forests and dainty valleys. Wake up early to see the wonderful sunrise from the Poonhill point and a panoramic view of the Annapurnas, Machapuchare (Fishtail Peak), Dhaulagiri and various 7,000 and 8,000 meters Himalayan peaks.

The trek starts at Nayapul and ends at Gandhruk, which is known to be be the second largest village in Nepal. The Gurungs inhabit this area and many of them are British ex-Gurkha soldiers, making it one of the best treks in Nepal to experience the local villages culture, history and view the massive Himalayas. This is also a great beginner-friendly hike for those who have older children and wants to give them a taste of the Himalayas minus the altitude sickness.

Quick Info
Duration: 4-5 Days
Max. elevation: 3,210 m (Poon Hill)
Start/Finish: Nayapul/Gandhruk
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Style: Teahouse

#2 Pikey Peak Trail Trek

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How about getting to the top of a mountain peak without having to face steep climbs? The Pikey Peak trail is one of best treks in Nepal that is less-touristy. From what I have read and gathered, you get to be at the lowest places to easily witness the views of Mount Everest, Mount Kanchenjunga, Mount Lhotse and Mount Makalu – exactly 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the world.

Even a slightly bold statement was made by Sir Edmund Hillary where he declared Pikey Peak Trek as one of the viewpoints to view Mt. Everest, Dhaulagiri, Kanchenjunga and over 100 mountains from the Khumbu region.

The best time to visit the Pikey Trail is in Spring when you’re able to walk through a bed of flowers consisting of the rhododendrons, magnolia, and wild orchids. It is best to take a 6-day trek where you can access a number of monasteries, gompas, and stupas. 

Quick Info
Duration: 3-6 Days
Max. elevation: 4,065m (Pikey Hill)
Start/Finish: Patale/Phaplu
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Style: Teahouse

#3 Everest View Trek

Reading reviews and forums, I found out that not many people are interested in going all the way to Everest Base Camp. Many people have dreams of coming face to face with the highest peaks in the world, but an extended hike costs a lot of money and time. There are ways to cut short your trip and still take in the views of Mount Everest and in that aspect, the Everest View Trek fits the bill.

The majority of the people in the Everest region are Sherpa people, and along the trek, you will come in close proximity to the cultures and customs of the Sherpa people, including Stupas, Chortens, Monasteries, Gumbas and places of worship.

The highlight of this trip is that you get to see Everest on multiple days and upon your arrival in Tengboche, a flat valley surrounded by peaks, there boasts the highest permanently inhabited monastery in the world. The next exciting part is that you get to take the flight from Lukla, with the smallest landing strip in the world and quite possibly one adventurous and scary ride for those entering Everest region.

Quick Info
Duration: 6 Days
Max. elevation: 3,860m (Tengboche)
Start/Finish: Lukla/Lukla
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Style: Sherpa Villages/Teahouse

Moderate Treks

#4 Annapurna Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

hiking towards the annapurna base camp

hiking towards the annapurna base camp

There are very few treks that combine a variety of drastically different landscapes that takes you to the heart of the Annapurna range, and this one was of the best treks in Nepal. In 2015, I trekked the Annapurna Base Camp also known as the Annapurna Sanctuary Trek. Looking back, it was nothing short of exhaustion and pure exhilaration.

Weather was definitely not in our favour, it rained and rained. We were surprised by the heavy snowfall but found ourselves drifting through the snow occasionally (or rather always).

The trek was splendid and varied. I climbed up mountains, through passes, skidded our way down steep paths and stone steps, crossed a variety of suspension bridges again and again to get over the next all in pursuit to reach Annapurna Base Camp. The highlight or rather the most painful moment was descending from Base Camp to Chomrong in one day (12 hours!). But meeting people along the way and their constant cheers got us through.

If you visit the Annapurna Sanctuary during the good weather months in the fall and spring, the skies are quite something with clear mornings and evenings and a glowing view of snow-capped peaks and starry skies.

Quick Info
Duration: 8 Days
Max. elevation: 4,130m (Annapurna Base Camp)
Start/Finish: Pokhara/Pokhara
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Style: Teahouse

Also Read: Cycling in India: On The Leh to Srinagar Highway

#5 Mardi Himal Trek

View from mardi himal. Pic credits: Bikram karki

View from mardi himal. Pic credits: Bikram karki

A relatively unknown trail that was introduced in 2012, the Mardi Himal trek is one of those few off-the-beaten trails in Nepal, and one of the best treks. It is situated east of the Annapurna Base Camp that takes you along some winding trails offering you unobstructed views of the Annapurna I, II, III, IV, Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre (fishtail) mountain.

On average, you’ll need to trek for about 5 to 6 hours daily however, most trekkers rate it as a relatively easy route since it is a teahouse trek. There might be some exhausting long walks and climbs, with the highest altitude gain on the base camp day. You will also get to visit Nepal’s self-sufficient Gurung Village, Lwang and see the Nepalese countryside.

Quick Info
Duration: 7 Days
Max. elevation: 4,500m (Mardi Himal Base Camp)
Start/Finish: Pokhara/Lumre
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Style: Teahouse

#6 Langtang Trek

On the way to kyangjin gompa. Pic credits: Bikram karki

On the way to kyangjin gompa. Pic credits: Bikram karki

After the 2015 earthquake, the landslides wreaked havoc in this region forcing locals to leave this village. Now that has changed, the locals are in the process of rebuilding their lives with the help of trekking tourism. The trek takes you through magnificent forests to the high alpine meadows and yak pastures around Kyangjin Gompa (a Buddhist monastery), with an optional day hike up to the top of Kyangjin Ri (peak).

What’s lovely is that you’ll get a view of the small Tibetan enclaves hidden away among the trees and peaks of the high slopes and deep valleys of Langtang.

Quick Info
Duration: 7 Days
Max. elevation: 4,773m (Kyanjin Ri)
Start/Finish: Syabru Besi/Syabru Besi
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Style: Teahouse

#7 Upper Mustang Trek

The barren landscapes of the upper mustang region. Pic credits: Bikram karki

The barren landscapes of the upper mustang region. Pic credits: Bikram karki

The strokes of brown, red and grey across the Upper Mustang region is almost a reminder that you’ve landed in Mars, drawing resemblance to the arid land in Ladakh in India. The remote barren desert-like conditions will give you a glimpse of the other side of Nepal, the Buddhist Kingdom of Nepal.

Due to its isolation from the outside world, the Upper Mustang valley has a highly preserved Tibetan culture. The barren landscape is lined with settlements of white washed houses, barley fields and chortens festooned with prayer flags which add a splash of color to the landscape.

A word of advice as well, for budget-strapped travellers: Upper Mustang is a restricted area and up till 1992 it was forbidden for foreign visitors to enter the kingdom. Trekkers are permitted to enter Upper Mustang for a permit fee of US$ 500 (which can be arranged through a trekking agency and valid for 10 days, each additional day costs hefty US$ 50).

Despite the costs, the trail is unique and follows the ancient salt caravan route through which the people of Mustang traded Tibetan salt for grain from the lowlands

Quick Info
Duration: 12 Days
Max. elevation: 3,810m (Kyanjin Ri)
Start/Finish: Jomsom/Jomsom
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Style: Teahouse

Also Read: The Chadar Trek in Ladakh: Life at -30 Degrees

Strenuous Treks

#8 Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Trek

In return you get stunning views of ebc, for that extra 2 hours. Pic credits: Bikram karki

In return you get stunning views of ebc, for that extra 2 hours. Pic credits: Bikram karki

It would be a shame to visit Everest Base Camp (EBC) without seeing Mount Everest, and this is why a trek to Kala Patthar (Black Rock) is needed for you to witness the mighty Mount Everest upfront. Most trekkers choose to ascend the peak, which sits just west of Gorak Shep, for either sunrise or sunset, and it takes about 2 hours from EBC to make that ascent depending on your speed, adaptability and fitness.

The constant switchbacks and steep ascent is often a deterrent factor for many Mount Everest hikers. Claiming arrival on Mount Everest Base Camp is a huge feat but getting close-up views requires quite the work for those sore muscles. Nevertheless, the Everest Base Camp is an experience on its whole and the slower you go for strenuous to challenging treks, the better it is for your body.

Think of it as a trek that comes with unforgettable scenery, a chance for you to scale the best mountains in the world, occasional encounters with other like-minded souls, a great sense of personal achievement and a reason to be in the presence of locals who demonstrate resilience and grit for the work that they do.

Quick Info
Duration: 17 Days
Max. elevation: 5,664m (Kala Patthar)
Start/Finish: Lukla/Lukla
Difficulty: Challenging
Trail Style: Teahouse

#9 Gokyo Ri Lake Trek

There’s no better way to take in the views the bright turquoise high-altitude lakes and stand at the edge of six turquoise, glacial-fed lakes with a direct view of Ngozumpa glacier, essentially the largest glacier in the Himalayas. You get an onslaught of views from Everest as well as 8,000 meter-plus mountains from the top of Gokyo Ri (Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu).

The Gokyo Lakes comprises the highest freshwater lake system in the world, at around 5,000 meters. The trek is ideal for people who want to trek in the Everest region, in particular, one that has a variety of views with a sight of the emerald green lake waters at a high altitude.

As with all treks in Nepal, there’s uneven rocky paths with never-ending steep inclines. You get to return via Renjo La pass (5,340 m), over one of Nepal's most beautiful passes and even trek through the Sherpa town of Khumjung, which is home to a ‘real’ yeti skull.

Quick Info
Duration: 16 Days
Max. elevation: 5,357m (Kala Patthar)
Start/Finish: Lukla/Lukla
Difficulty: Challenging
Trail Style: Teahouse

#10 Annapurna Circuit Trek

The edge of the tibetan plateau, thorong la pass. Pic credits:: Bimal karki

The edge of the tibetan plateau, thorong la pass. Pic credits:: Bimal karki

A once classic trek known among trekkers and many hikers, the Annapurna Circuit trek has unfortunately lost its appeal due to the ever increasing demand of tourists. Roads have been built at the beginning and end of the hike, which is why the number of days have been limited to 12 days of hiking.

These roads may eventually cover the entire route. The road is most noticeable after crossing the Thorong La pass, in Jomsom town. It is sad that a once famous route known for its jaw-dropping landscapes has now been reduced to roads filled with honking jeeps ferrying tourists all the way to the end of the circuit.

However, if you still want to experience trekking the long Annapurna circuit and touch the edge of the Tibetan plateau, the Thorong La pass, then this hike could still be worth a try.

Quick Info
Duration: 12 Days
Max. elevation: 5,416m (Thorong La pass)
Start/Finish: Bhulbule/Jomsom
Difficulty: Challenging
Trail Style: Teahouse

#11 Nar Phu Valley Trek

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If the Annapurna Circuit trek and the idea of a road spoils your idea of trekking, Nar Phu Valley trek may just hit the sweet spot in being equal parts rugged and wild taking you to the exotic valley of Nar Phu.

The route is dotted with untouched religious sites and Tibetan heritage villages seeped with traditions of yak herding, trading and harvesting indigenous herbs for medicine. It is also becoming increasingly accessible to ordinary independent trekkers. A article on Lonely Planet states that it is possible, with a guide and the right permits, to string together simple village lodgings into an inexpensive 7 to 9 days teahouse-style trek, visiting a string of stone-walled villages dotted across the Annapurna range.

You’ll also get to access the Kang La Pass (5315m) where you will be able to spot top peaks included Annapurna II (7937m), Gangapura (7455m) and Tilicho Peak (7134m). In short, this treks marks all the tick boxes in working up a sweat while giving you rewarding views and an insight into the remote communities and their way of life.

Quick Info
Duration: 9 Days
Max. elevation: 5,130m (Kang La pass)
Start/Finish: Koto/Pisang
Difficulty: Challenging
Trail Style: Remote rustic villages

Also Read: 10 Essentials of Hiking: The No-Fuss Outdoor Gear List

Super-Challenging Treks

#12 Everest Three Passes Trek

The everest three passes trek offers a spectacular view of all the major giants. Pic credits:: Bikram karki

The everest three passes trek offers a spectacular view of all the major giants. Pic credits:: Bikram karki

The Everest Three Passes Trek is one of the most challenging tea-house treks in Nepal, and is also now one of the best teks in Nepal which covers the Everest region on a circular route. The trek takes you to over three 5,000m passes with a spectacular view of all the major giants as you cross the Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La peak.

Leaving the crowds behind and far from the beaten route of EBC, new trails like the Everest Three Passes trek mirrors the same satisfaction of climbing far ranging peaks to catch a glimpse of the Everest region and learn about the Sherpa culture.

Quick Info
Duration: 22 Days
Max. elevation: 5,545m (Kala Patthar)
Start/Finish: Lukla/Lukla
Difficulty: Super Challenging
Trail Style: Teahouse

#13 Mera Peak

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Perhaps one of the most physically exhausting treks in the Everest region is the Mera Peak. A non-technical but high-altitude trek, the Mera Peak is situated on the East of the main Khumbu, near Everest Base camp area.

Whilst the mountain poses little technical difficulty, at 6,476m, it is an intense climb with many short, steeper sections of 35° snow. It is mandatory to have an Ice axe and crampons with some previous experience of their use. For a trip to Mera Peak, the longer the duration, the more comfortable and less challenging the journey.

The terrain is wide and consists a variety of green valleys, farmlands, and blooming rhododendrons (in Spring) and pine forests.

Quick Info
Duration: 23 Days
Max. elevation: 6,476m (Mera Peak)
Start/Finish: Lukla/Lukla
Difficulty: Super Challenging
Trail Style: Camping

#14 Manaslu Circuit Trek

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While people are familiar of this high-altitude, remote and off-the-beaten-path trek in Nepal, there are only a handful of trekkers you’ll find on this trail. Being the 8th tallest mountain in the world, the trek takes you around Manaslu and covers a variety of terrain from subtropical jungle at lower elevations to the frigid cold and challenging crossing of the Larkya La at 5,100 meters.

In 2010, the locals started building teahouses making it easier to carry your supplies on a long two-week expedition. Once again, you’re in the company of the locals during long, bitterly cold nights and are able meet the inhabitants in the highlands of trek, especially in Tsum Valley, a hidden valley where they maintain the practices of ancient Buddhism.

Quick Info
Duration: 15 Days
Max. elevation: 5,106m (Larkya La pass)
Start/Finish: Soti Khola/Besisahar
Difficulty: Super Challenging
Trail Style: Teahouse

#15 Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek

Dhaulagiri circuit trek for the adventurous and experienced hikers. Pic credits:: Bikram karki

Dhaulagiri circuit trek for the adventurous and experienced hikers. Pic credits:: Bikram karki

The Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek has all the features of being a downright challenging Himalayan peak waiting to be conquered by mountain buffs. Similar to the Annapurna Circuit, the trek starts as low as 1,200 metres with gradual climbs up to the valley, passing teahouse villages, and finally reaches different climate zones into an increasingly desolate landscape.

With several days and nights spent above 5,000 meters, you will pass two massive mountain passes, French Col, 5200 metres, the high point of the circuit itself and Dhampus Peak which is just 60 meters over 6,000m (usually reserved for experienced climbers), making it of the most challenging treks and one of the best treks in Nepal, but worthwhile for experienced trekkers.

This hike can be particularly cold as your only comfort is the glaciers and snow, with no cozy teahouses. Nonetheless, the trek calls for a real adventure for experienced trekkers who are looking for an expedition-like trip,

Quick Info
Duration: 17 Days
Max. elevation: 6,060m (Dhampus Peak)
Start/Finish: Kathmandu/Jomsom
Difficulty: Super Challenging
Trail Style: Camping

The mountains always have a way of taking you to places beyond imagination that is impossible to explain to people who ask ‘Why climb them?’. The unending peaks of Nepal has a way of pulling you closer to the simplicity of life. Somehow the everyday concerns of bills, social standing and troubles all fall away before the vast and overwhelming absolute of the mountain. It is simply an experience you will want to treasure for the rest of your life, and for that reason, any climb in the Himalayas is worth it.

Before you decide to climb, the mountains in Nepal have very few months in the year where you can make your climb. Here is a guide on when is the best time to hike in Nepal.

The Best Time to Trek in Nepal

Spring (March - April): My first trek in Nepal was in Spring and this was the one of the most popular time of the year to trek in Nepal. The air is crisp and the temperatures are mild, with blooming rhododendron trees. To avoid the crowds, it is the advisable to book your trip towards end of March when it is slightly less crowded.

Fall (October - November): The most popular trekking time in Nepal is in fall between October to November. The skies are clear and the mountains are breathtakingly beautiful, which means you can even capture some of the best star trails at night with zero light pollution, if you’re into astro photography. The only downside is that you’ll be sharing the trail with many intrepid hikers and teahouses which may be packed to the brim.

Leave No Trace Behind

Just like every outdoor adventure, I am a strong believer of the ‘Leave No Trace behind’ principles when you’re on a hiking trail. The air is thin, the area is remote and waste is always in abundance. The best way is to dispose waste properly and ensure you’re trekking with a responsible organisation. The least you could do is to leave the area in a better shape than it was.

During my Annapurna Base Camp trek, I chose Apex Himalaya and both Bimal and Bikram went above and beyond to sort everything out responsibly at an affordable budget. I can’t rate them highly enough.

Now that you know the basics of leave no trace behind principles, you’ll be able to enjoy the wilderness and the solitude of the mountains.

Have you trekked any of these mountains in Nepal or are you planning to? Share with me in the comments below!

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The best treks in Nepal are not to be messed with, there’s the easy doable treks and some daunting peaks that will change the way you approach hiking and trekking in life. #Nepal #hiking #trekking #traveldestinations #Mountains #asia #himalayas
The best treks in Nepal are not to be messed with, there’s the easy doable treks and some daunting peaks that will change the way you approach hiking and trekking in life. #Nepal #hiking #trekking #traveldestinations #Mountains #asia #himalayas