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great himalaya trail

The Great Himalayan Trail – Mapping World’s Longest Trekking Route

Published On: May 18, 2020

The Great Himalayan Trail is the longest and tallest footpath in the world. The area from Taplejung district in the far east of Nepal to Darchula district in the far west is covered with huge snow peaks. This footpath touches the mountainous districts of Nepal. One of the two routes of this footpath is from Taplejung in the east to Humla in the west and Darchula in the other. Similarly, this footpath has spread to Tibet, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. 

This guide, even though not a great himalaya trail guide book, will provide you with information regarding each region in detail and how you can map it. 

great himalayan trail map

What is meant by the Great Himalaya Trail or GHT?

The development of this footpath gives a new experience to the tourists and also reflects the tourism including poverty alleviation and development. The footpath is divided into 10 sections under which The Great Himalaya Trail Development Program working in five himalaya districts contributes to the growth of tourism. Another purpose of this footpath construction is to develop underdeveloped districts, create employment and provide opportunities for the communities in the Himalaya region.

Himalayan walk is something every trekkers crave. Walking through the GHT is an understatement when we say that dream would come true. Because it’s basically a cross country trip as we move from the very east towards the western edge of the himalayan country.

There are 14 mountains in the world above 8,000 meters in the Himalaya range, extending from Pakistan’s ‘Nanga mountain range’ in the west (via Kashmir) to ‘Namche Barwa’ in Tibet.

The trek of the Great Himalaya Trail starts from Kanchenjunga in the eastern part of Nepal and ends at Hilsa in the far west of Humla district (some even go to Tinker Bhanjyang in Darchula district).

Thus, the trekking route from Kanchenjunga (see Kanchenjunga Trek) in the eastern part of Nepal to Darchula in the far west through the high mountainous region is known as the ‘Great himalaya Trail’. The Great himalaya Trail is now known in English as the trekking route in the Nepal section, which is about 1,700 kilometers long. 

This route is also divided into 10 main branch routes. There are two routes for hikers in the area, namely ‘High Altitude Route’ and ‘Low Altitude Route’.

Similarly, some hikers who want to hike on this route are involved from start to finish, while others add and subtract in between and in places, or leave the trek in the middle and return home. For example, some tourists who can’t travel the entire Great himalaya Trail from Taplejung’s Kanchenjunga to Sankhuwasabha’s Makalu, some to Solukhumbu’s Thame, some to Dolakha’s Gaurishankar, some to Sindhupalchowk’s Helambu, some to Rasuwa’s Langtang or Tamang Heritage Trail, some to Manasling, some to Ganesh Himal. As far as Vega, some as far as Dolpa If you come to visit Rara Correspondent, tourists will be added to the Makalu, holding, Gauri, Langtang, Manaslu, Manang, Mustang, Dolpa, etc. go location.END_SPAN great feeling.

When did trekkers start trekking on this route? Can’t say exactly. Did you say ‘Great himalaya Trail’ at that time? You have to search. However, the first trek from Sikkim to Ladakh was made in 1980 by Peter Hillary of New Zealand (Sir Edmund Hillary’s son), Graeme Dingle and Chhewangtashi Bhotia of India.

Even then, at different times, different hikers seem to have trekked to different areas along the Great himalaya Trail. This trend continued till 1090. Similarly, from 2000 to 2008-009, various trekkers trekked the Great himalaya Trail for various purposes. One of them was that very few trekking agencies in Nepal have been organizing treks for the ‘Great Himalaya Trail’.

On the occasion of next year’s ‘Nepal Tourism Year-2020’ announced by Nepal, the ‘Great himalaya Trail’ should be given more attention and publicity to attract more adventurous hikers from all over the world. Doing so would go a long way in establishing the trademark of the adventurous trekking route that we have been doing since Nepali tradition.

Upper Route for Great Himalaya Trail

While walking on the upper route of the Great himalaya Footpath, one can see a very pleasant and captivating view. For many, the trek is a memorable one for a lifetime. This upper route starts from the southern part of the Kanchenjunga West Camp in Nepal and ends in the hills of Humla district on the border of Nepal and Tibet. The upper route covers a distance of 1700 km and has an elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 meters. It usually takes 150 days to hike the upper route.

Walking along the upper route under the Greater himalaya Footpath, one can see the high himalaya range of our country’s himalaya region as well as the most remote villages in the world where life is still centuries older than today. Mountaineering experience, skills and knowledge are required for trekking the upper route as well as mountaineering materials should be brought along. It is advisable to take a person with experience in local trekking for trekking on this trail.

This upper route goes through a very backward part of our country, so there is no good food and accommodation. You have to carry your own food, cooking utensils, tents to stay and other necessities during the journey.

Great Himalayan Trail’s Low Route

larkya la pass

In the lower route under the Greater Himalaya Footpath, one can observe the life and culture of the central hilly part of our country, Nepal. Therefore, this route is also known as a cultural route. The lower trail is spread over 1500 km and the average elevation of this route is 2000 m. However, there is also a higher elevation in one or two places, in which the Jangla Pass between Dhorpatan and Dolpa in western Nepal is 4519 meters. It usually takes 95 days to walk the lower route.

During the trek along the lower route under the Greater himalaya Footpath, you can see the dense forests of our country, green fields, paddy fields as well as the customs, religion and culture of our country. There is also an opportunity to observe the villages that reflect the cultural diversity of Nepal.

There are small lodges, hotels and homestays in some places to stay on this lower route, but it is better to carry your tent for your complete safety. There are also many local food stalls on this lower route.


Great Himalaya Trail brings you Face to Face with Various Mountainous Regions of Nepal

The Greater Himalaya Footpath is divided into 10 sections on the basis of tourism and terrain. In this way, when it is divided into 10 parts, it will be easier to work and tourism will be developed in all areas. These potential tourist destinations range from Kanchenjunga in eastern Nepal to Far West Darchula in the west. The 10 parts cover the Kanchenjunga region, Makalu-Barun, Everest-Rolling, Helambu-Lamtang, Ganesh Himal-Manaslu, Annapurna and Mustang, Dolpa, Jumla, Humla and Far West Nepal. One part can be hiked in all these parts you can travel one after the other or you can travel separately as well.


1 Kanchanjunga

Kanchenjunga trek

The Kanchenjunga region lies to the east of Nepal. The region has the Kanchenjunga Mountains which is 8586 m high and is the third highest mountain in the world. Kanchenjunga Himal lies in the Eastern side of Nepal at Taplejung District. Although the eastern region of Nepal is developed by other regions, the footpath of the Great himalaya Footpath passes through very remote and inaccessible places of this region. The Kanchenjunga region is an important destination for adventure trekking. [6] Rich in natural diversity, the region is also important for biodiversity, while the northern region is also an important destination for Sherpa culture. In this region where Sherpa, Limbu, Rai and Lohmi castes predominate, there is no shortage of hospitality.

This region has religious, cultural, archeological and historical significance. Also, this region is an exemplary place with unique geo-natural structure and biodiversity. The area is home to some of the world’s rarest snow leopards and herds, as well as endangered and endangered species such as mountain black bears, musk deer, watch monkeys, and plants such as Kutki Jatamasi, Sugandha Wall Lauth Salla V, and Talispatra. Apart from this, there are forests, 24 species of Gurans, 48 ​​species of Sungabha, as well as many invaluable herbs spread over the remarkable area of ​​Thingre Pine.

The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is the best way to experience this part of the gigantic Himalaya Trail.

2. Makalu Barun Region

Arun valley trek

mountain in the world. Hiking in this area is a bit difficult so foreign tourists rarely go hiking in this area. The road is small and awkward, making it difficult for tourists to walk. It is very difficult to walk on the rivers without bridges. Despite its ample potential, the Makalu-Barun region has not been able to attract the attention of many tourists due to lack of infrastructure development. [8] The region receives heavy rainfall, snowfall, and beautiful glaciers. The best time to go hiking here is Sep- October. At this time the weather is good and the water is very low.

There is Makalu-Barun National Park in this area. Establishment of Makalu-Barun National Park b. No. It happened in the year 2049 (1992), which is also named after Makalu Himal. There are about 440 species of birds, 150 species of butterflies, 25 species of Gurans, 47 species of Orchids (Sunakhari), 67 species of medicinal herbs (Yarsa Gumba, Panchaule, Kudki, Chiraito, etc.) and more than 75 species of mammals. Animals like Red Panda, Musk, Mountain Bear, Snow Leopard, Ghoral, Bundel, Thar are found.

3. Everest & Rolwaling

Everest Base Camp Trek

Everest is called Mount Everest in Nepal and Chomolungma in Tibet, and the entire Everest region is called Khumbu. The Khumbu region has three of the highest peaks in the world. In which Everest 8848 min. (World’s tallest), Lhotse 8516 m (the world’s tallest middle 4) and Choyu 8201 m. (Top 6 of the world’s tallest). In addition, Ama Dablam (6812 m) is considered as the jewel of Khumbu region. As soon as Mount Everest is mentioned, the pride of Nepalis is high. Its beauty captivates everyone’s mind so Mount Everest is considered as one of the 7 wonders of the world.

People of Tamang, Sherpa, Gurung and Thami castes live mostly around Rolling Mountain. Although there is no protected area in the Rolling Mountains, there are many plants and herbs, birds, and red pandas, bears, and snow leopards around the mountain.

While trekking in this Everest-Rolwaling area, you can see very high mountains that touch the sky, as well as the welcome and culture of the Sherpa race. The area offers tourists a beautiful view of the mountains and the customs, religion and culture of the region.

There are variety of trekking options in the Everest Region. Explore the link to uncover much known routes like the Everest Base Camp Trek and so and so.

4. Helambu &  Langtang

langtang Trek

Helmu falls in the Langtang Region under the northern part of Nepal. There are various famous mountains in this region like Langtang Lirung (7246 m), Gang Chenpo (6388 m), Naya Kangri (5846 m), Dorje Lakpa (6966 m). There is also a holy shrine Gosainkunda (4000 m) in the area. Helambu is a beautiful tourist village located in the middle of Langtang National Park. It is famous for hiking. The first week of August to December is the main season for the Helambu trek. After the end of winter, the presence of tourists remains high till March-May. The ever popular Langtang Valley Trek takes you all the way upto the top of Kyangin Ri from the very bottom of the valley.

Langtang enters from the Tilman Pass at 5308 m of the Greater Himalaya Footpath, from where Tibet can be seen. From here you can see various glaciers, rivers, lush green fields and cheese factories. Although the Tamangs predominate in much of this part of Helambu-Lamtang, the Sherpas and Newars are also present. The region is made up of people of different castes, religions, customs and sects.

Explore the Langtang Region Treks in Nepal.

5. Ganesh Himal &  Manaslu

Tsum Valley trek

Ganesh Himal is spread in three districts of Nepal including Nuwakot, Dhading and Gorkha. It is also the natural border between Nepal and Tibet. Ganesh Himal (7406 m) is named after the Hindu god Ganesh. Similarly, Manaslu Himal (8156 m) is one of the eighth highest mountains in the world and its name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Manasa’. Mount Manaslu was first climbed in May 1956. Both the mountains in the region create a beautiful environment that attracts tourists.

One of the main destinations in this region is Tsum Valley . During the trek in this region, one can see the culture of different castes, religions and sects. In addition, snow leopards and red pandas can be seen on many endangered trees and wild animals during the trek.

6. Annapurna & Mustang

Abc  Trek

The Annapurna region is a popular trekking destination in Nepal. Here you can enjoy the panoramic views and atmosphere of the mountains. There are Dhaulagiri Himal (8168 m) and Annapurna Himal-1 (8091 m) in this area. With an area of ​​about 7,629 square kilometers, Ogate’s Annapurna Conservation Area is one of the best trekking destinations in the world. There are 1,200 plants, 100 mammals and 488 species of birds found in the conservation area records. Birds like Danphe, Munal, Kalij, Chir, Koklas can be seen in the forest within the conservation area.

The Greater Himalaya Footpath passes through the Annapurna Conservation Area and reaches Muktinath. Muktinath is considered to be the third most famous religious site in Nepal. Kali Gandaki in this region is the deepest gorge in the world which is located between the two highest peaks of the world. Ghandrak, Ghorepani, Annapurna base camp, Jomsom, Muktinath and Manang are the main tourist destinations here. In Tilicho Lake, Narafu village and Upper Mustang, which are difficult to reach, only a small number of pedestrians go there.

Explore the beautiful Annapurna Region in Nepal

7. Dolpa

Dolpa Trek

Dolpa is a remote and inaccessible mountainous district in midwestern Nepal. The Dolpa area was opened to foreign tourists only in 1989. At its center is the Shey-Phoksundo National Park, and to the east and south is the Dhaulagiri Range. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the beautiful Dolpa is famous for trekking. The Dolpa area is a place full of natural beauty. The highest mountain in Dolpa is Churen Himal (7381 m).

The culture of the Tibetans is preserved in this Dolpa region behind the Dhaulagiri Himal. According to legend, Guru Rimpoche created it as a sacred religious site for Buddhists in Dolpa. Most of the people here believe in Buddhism because of its connection to Tibet’s history. The tourist destination here is She Gumba. Attractive, unique, delightful, beautiful and charming mountain villages are the specialty of Upper Dolpo Trekking.

8. Rara & Jumla

Rara lake trek

Rara Lake is the largest lake in Nepal and is located at an altitude of 2972 ​​meters above sea level. The lake is 5 km long, 3 km wide and 167 m deep. The area of ​​the lake is about 11 kilometers. Another feature of Raratal is the presence of Asala (himalaya) fish which is not found anywhere else in the world. The area also includes the expanded Rara National Park, which covers an area of ​​106 square kilometers.

This park was established in 1976. The park is located at an altitude of 1800 meters to 4048 meters. Along with the beautiful green scenery, there is an opportunity to observe animals like musk deer, rhinoceros, national bird scarecrow and other birds of prey. Medicinal herbs and especially Yarsagumba are found in this region which is in great demand in Nepal and other countries.

The Khas (Nepali) language is believed to have originated in the Sinja Valley of Jumla. [9] Here grows red rice called “Kala Mercy” which is famous for its distinctive taste. [10] The two routes under the Greater himalaya Footpath, the Upper Trail and the Lower Trail, touch Rara Lake. Due to the different customs, culture, environment and beautiful scenery of this region, the trekking of this region will always be a sweet memory.

9. Humla

humla limi valley trek

Although Humla is very rich in terms of natural beauty, it is a remote place in Nepal and is promoting tourism. This area is also covered during trekking but due to lack of physical facilities and development, instead of staying here, tourists cross the border and reach Mount Kailash in Tibet. The highest mountains in the region are Mount Api (7132 m) and Mount Saipal (7031 m).

The route of the Greater Himalaya Footpath leads to Simikot, the district headquarters of Humla, and the old salt trading route. During this trek, Karnali, the longest river in Nepal, also falls on this route. In addition, houses reflecting Nepal’s art and culture can experience a new environment. There is a place called Hilsa on the northern border of Humla from where you can get rid of Hillame road and continue your journey easily. From there, you can also return to the southeast, which ends in the Limi Valley.

Humla is made up of a mixture of people of different castes, religions and sects. Hindus make up 80% of the 56,000 population, while other Buddhists, Thakurs and Rajputs are in the majority.

10. Far west Nepal  

khaptad trekking

Nepal’s Far Western Development Region is surrounded by the Karnali River, which flows through Mount Kailash in Tibet to the east. This area is considered as the backward development area of ​​modern Nepal. Although the central and far western regions cover about 42 percent of the country’s total area, it is still lagging behind in development. Only 2 % of the tourists visiting Nepal reach this region.

The inhabitants of this region are considered to be rich in their native language, dress and food. Khaptad National Park is an important place in the Far West Development Region. The park is named after Khaptad Swami. Khaptad Swami had been living in the park for 110 years before today. This national park is home to a variety of wildlife. There is a cave in this park which is known as Khaptad Swami.

Read about Major Trekking Routes in Nepal and How to Get There.

The Best time to doing GHT

In order to make the journey of successful and simple, one should travel by choosing the right time. The right environment and weather also play a big role in the journey. According to Nepal’s weather, there are six seasons in a year. These are spring (Feb, Mar), summer (April,May), (June, july ), autumn (august ,sep ), winter (October, November, December  & January )

  • Spring is neither hot nor cold. As the national flower of Nepal, Laligurans, blooms in this season, it is very fun and enjoyable to travel through the forest to see the natural beauty. This weather is great for travel.
  • Although it is advisable to travel in summer, it can be a little hot. In the Himalayan region of Mustang, Humla and Dolpa, summer is suitable for trekking.
  • It can be difficult to travel due to heavy rains in the rainy season, but the weather is very pleasant in this season, the high hills are covered with greenery and a very beautiful view can be seen.
  • Autumn is the perfect time to travel. This is the beginning of the cold season, the sky is clear and the snow chains are easily visible. This season is considered to be very good for trekking.
  • It is very easy to walk as the weather is cold in winter. The environment is clean as there is no mud, dust and smoke during this season.
  • The winters are very cold, so the upper mountains are covered with snow. Although it is a little difficult to travel, many tourists come to enjoy the snow and to capture the scenery of the beautiful snow range.

Although there is some difficulty in some seasons, all six seasons are suitable for hiking because of the unique characteristics of each season.

Read about the Trekking Seasons in Nepal – for amazing experiences

AMS, Health and Safety while Trekking

Moments of Himalayan trekking are unforgettable. Traveling to a new place is as much fun and enjoyable as it is difficult and it is very important to take care of your health condition to make this difficult journey comfortable. In the event of a change in the environment or an accident during the journey, treatment may not be readily available. So before going for a walk, it is important to keep the following things in mind:

  • You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
  • You should only travel with clothes suitable for the environment and weather.
  • You have to carry the essentials you need during the journey.
  • First aid kits should be kept with you, they may be needed for emergencies.
  • Traveling with a mobile phone is easy.
  • Whenever possible you should have a friend or guide with you on such a journey.
  • You should travel by choosing the easy way with the advance notice of the journey.
  • There is also the problem of leaking during such a trip and this problem can be easily remedied if it is well known.

Leaks are a common problem that can occur at altitudes of 10,000 feet or more. Symptoms of this problem include headache, loss of appetite, and vomiting. In this case, you should fall as low as you can.

What is Acute Mountain Sickness? High Altitude Trekking in Nepal

Explore the Great Himalayan Trail with Hiking Adventure Treks

Since our inception, trekking in Nepal has been synonymous to our organization’s principles and work ethics. With us, you can experience the great himalaya trail, or parts of it, in a professional and responsible manner.  Learn more about how you can travel with Hiking Adventure Treks and be a part of a changing travel etiquette in Nepal. Responsible travel is in the core ethics of our policy.

Read about Nepal Travel Information – 10 things you need to Know

Read 31 exciting things to do in Nepal

Nepal Trekking FAQ’s

The Great Himalaya Trail is a longest pilgrimage a trekker can take in the mountains of the world. In fact, there are only a few who have completed the whole trek from start to finish. But with the challenges and a strenuous journey, a great sense of accomplishment follows.

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