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trekking nepal 2020

Our Top 10 picks for trekking Nepal in 2020 – backed by statistics!

Published On: July 9, 2019

Nepal is undoubtedly the best trekking destination – more than a million tourists that visited in 2018 testify to this statement. Eighty three percent of the country is mountains and hills, and eight out of ten world’s highest peaks decorate the country’s north. As Nepal’s long awaiting Visit Nepal 2020 Campaign draws closer, let’s look at 10 of the trekking routes that tops every chart of adventure and experience.

Before we jump into the chart toppers of trekking adventure and pick one, there are some things that we need to take into consideration.

There are significant number of trekking trails, and this is actually where our confusion takes hold. More trails mean more options, and selecting the one is intimidating.

So before choosing the actual trek, it is wise to ask yourself a few questions. This will help you pick that one route that best fits your time, expectation and interests. The interesting thing is that, even the same trekking route can provide different experience based on seasons.
For instance, John loves snow. So the same trek that he would have loved right after winter won’t meet up his expectations in summer.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before trekking in Nepal, and choosing the right destination.
1. What is the length of your stay/trek?
Except the hardcore Base Camp and Circuit Trek, several treks are customizable and can be done in a few days, or a full week.
2. What time of the year are your planning your trip?
There are four seasons in Nepal. Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn are the four main seasons in Nepal. It is possible to trek in all the seasons but the options vary. For example, accessing Thorong La in winter is difficult.
3. What is the level of challenge and difficulty you are seeking in your adventure?
Trek to the mountain foothills (basecamps) are strenuous and challenging. On the other hand, short hiking treks are easy.
4. What are you seeking? Solitude or a fun-filled group adventure?
If you are a loner, try solo treks or small group treks. On the other hand, big groups can have a beautiful shared memory in the journey. It depends on what you want from your experience. We generally do not recommend solo trips due to the remoteness of Nepali mountains.
5. Do you want to camp or stay in tea-houses in between destinations?
If you love camping, treks to the base camp and remote region are great options to go. On the other side, tea-house trekking provides easy traveling with warm accommodation and meal on demand!
With these questions in mind, let’s have a look at our top 10 picks for trekking Nepal in 2020. Hope you enjoy reading it.

1. Everest Base Camp Trek – Everest Region [15 Days]


Everest Base Camp Trek group photo

Brace yourself as we take the exhilarating flight to challenging Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla, and start trekking towards the Base Camp of World’s Tallest Peak Mount Everest (8848m).

We journey through the famous Namche Bazaar, Everest View Hotel and clusters of Sherpa settlement as we ascend to the base camp with stunning view of Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse and other famous peaks in the region. Everest Base Camp Trek is unbeatable and tops any trekking list ever made. Even that’s an understatement. What are you waiting for?


Highlights of Everest Base Camp Trek

45-minute exhilarating flight to Lukla Airport.
Trekking in the Everest Region.
Understanding Sherpa Culture and Life.


Restricted Permits: No Max Elevation: 5545 meters (Kalapatthar)
Best Time: Oct-Nov and Mar-May Winter Access: Yes
Difficulty: Moderate Total Trip Duration: 15 Days


Learn more about Everest Base Camp Trek.


2. Mardi Himal Trek – Annapurna Region [10 Days]


At number 2 is the recently opened trekking route in the Annapurna Region, the Mardi Himal Trek.


This trekking route has immensely reduced the flock of trekkers in the Annapurna Circuit and the Annapurna Base Camp trails. A 2-hours west drive from Pokhara will bring you to the start point of this trek.

During January/February, the trek mixes sand and grass with snow. The view-point Badal Danda (Cloudy Hill) provides a face-to-face encounter with the twin-peak Machhapuchhre along with views of Annapurna South, Ganesh and other mountains.

Go on and have the best trekking experience of your life in the Annapurna Region. Spend the spare days in beautiful Pokhara.


Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek

Newly explored trekking region in the Annapurna.

Best winter and early spring trek.
Understanding local life in the hills.
The glimpse of Pokhara Valley.


Restricted Permits: No Maximum Elevation: 3550 meters at High Camp
Best Time: Sep-Nov, Dec-Feb and May-June Winter Access: Yes
Trek Duration: 10 Days Difficulty: Moderate


Learn more about Mardi Himal Trek


3. Ghorepani / Poonhill Trek – Annapurna Region [6 Days]


Annapurna Sunrise Trek
Trek upwards to the most photogenic spot on the top of Ghorepani / Poonhill (3,200 meters) for stunning Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain views.

Starting from Nayapul, the trek requires climbing several stairs for a short trek, and passes through the homestays of famous Ghandruk Village of the Gurungs. With start and end point at Pokhara, this trek lets you explore the majestic city of Pokhara to relax. The views are majestic.


Highlights of Ghorepani Poonhill Trek

Sunrise view from Poonhill.
Hospitable and culturally rich Ghandrunk Village.
Short trek with majestic Himalayan view.
Trekking in the Annapurna Region.
Stays in Pokhara.


Restricted Permits: No Maximum Elevation: 3200 meters at Poon Hill
Best Time: Oct-Nov and Mar-May Winter Access: Yes
Trek Duration: 6 Day Difficulty: Easy


Learn more about Ghorepani Poonhill Trek


4. Langtang Valley Trek – Langtang Region [10 Days]


Ganesh Himal Trek
Langtang Valley is as unique as it is easily accessible from Kathmandu.


A 6 hour drive to Syarbu Besi will bring you to the start of trekking across the Langtang National Park, Sherpa Villages, guest houses, ruins, wildlife sights and to the top of Kyanjin-Ri with the spectacular view of Langtang, Ganesh and other peaks.

Taste the yak cheese and visit the oldest monasteries in the region. The top view is panoramic.


Highlights of the trip

Trekking in the Langtang region – home of the snow leopards.
Encounter with ancient Tamang natives and culture.
Yaks, donkeys and single line trails.
Kathmandu valley exploration.

Restricted Permits: No Maximum Elevation: 4850 meters at Kyanjin Ri
Best Time: Spring and Autumn Winter Access: Yes
Trek Duration: 6 Days Difficulty: Easy

Learn more about Langtang Valley Trek.


5. Annapurna Circuit Trek – Annapurna Regions [13 Days]


Embark upon a journey that takes you to the deepest gorge of the world, Kali Gandaki, and reach over the height of 5,400 meters across the widest pass of the world, Thorong La.

What’s more? Take a side trip to Tilicho Lake (4,919m). It’s again at the world’s highest altitude. There is so much to experience in this trip as you wander into the wilderness around the great Annapurna Massif.

Highlights of the trip

Hardcore Trekking in the remoteness of Annapurna Region
Crossing the Thorong La Pass
Traveling to the country beyond mountains (Manang and Mustang)
The area between Muktinath and Jomsom
World’s highest Tilicho Lake


Restricted Permits: No Maximum Elevation: 5400 meters at Thorong La Pass
Best Time: Oct-Nov and Mar-May Winter Access: Yes
Trek Duration: 13 Days Difficulty: Moderate to Fairly Hard

Learn more about Annapurna Circuit Trek


6. Manaslu Circuit Trek – Restricted Trekking Region [18 Days]


Manaslu Circuit Trek
Looming over 8,163 meters, Manaslu is world’s 8th highest mountain.


Trekking around the mountain of Manaslu is one of the best experiences there is as trekkers ascend to 5,153 meters at Larke La pass. You will need a special permit to trek in this area along with following some protocols set by the government as it falls under Restricted Trekking Area. This circuit is your ultimate adventure of a lifetime.


Highlights of Manaslu Circuit Trek

Peaceful Samagaon Village.
Trekking in Restricted area of Nepal.
Challenging circuit with several ascends and descends.
Crossing the famous and challenging Larke Pass.


Restricted Permits: Yes Maximum Elevation: 5115 meters at Larke La Pass
Best Time: Mar-May and Oct-Nov Winter Access: Yes
Trek Duration:13 Days Difficulty: Moderate to Fairly Hard

Learn more about Manaslu Circuit Trek


7. Upper Mustang Trek – Beyond the mountains [17 Days]


Upper Mustang trek
Upper Mustang Trek is famously known as the kingdom beyond the mountains, due to it’s geo-location.

So, there are a lot of spectacular views of the mountains on both sides on parts of the journey. A flight to Jomsom will take us to the starting point. Trek through ancient villages and way of life in the barren hillsides, rocky terrain and chilly region of Mustang.

The region used to have a separate King and the people still follow the traditional lifestyle. It’s a highly recommended trek from Pokhara.


Highlights of Upper Mustang Trek

One of the eight most powerful scared shrines.
Tibetan traditions and way of life.
Spectacular views of mountains and rocky barren lands.
Spiritual salvation bath at 108 Water Spouts in Muktinath Temple.
Very rare cases of Altitude sickness.


Restricted Permits: Yes Maximum Elevation: 3810 meters at Dhakmar
Best Time: Mar-May and Oct-Nov Winter Access: No
Trek Duration: 17 Days Difficulty: Moderate to Fairly Hard

Learn more about Upper-Mustang Trek


8. Upper Dolpo Trek – Wild West [24 Days]


Trek the restricted-access regions of Nepal in the west –traditional life and wilderness in this spectacular Upper Dolpo Trek.

This trip will take you across the most remote region of Nepal where people live simply. Trekking the Upper Dolpo Region will be costlier than central and eastern regions of Nepal, but will be worth the journey as you basically trek back in time. Highly Recommended.

Highlights of Upper Dolpo Trek

Spectacular Phoksundo Lake.
Native Bon tribal culture and life.
Observing life of the nomads.
Off-the-beaten-track experience.
Resemblance of Ancient Tibet.


Restricted Permits: Yes Maximum Elevation: 5250 meters at Kang La Pass
Best Time: Mar-May and Oct-Nov Winter Access: No
Trek Duration: 20 Days Difficulty: Moderate

Learn more about Upper-Dolpo Trek


9. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek [20 Days]


Kanchenjunga trekking
Travel to the most eastern region of Nepal in this Base Camp Trek to Kanchenjunga (8,586m), the 3rd tallest mountain in Nepal.

This less crowded route offers stunning views of landscapes & mountains, and experience of rural lifestyle, traditions & culture of the people. A very remote region surrounded by pristine nature and mountains.

Highlights of Kanchenjunga Trek

Restricted Access Trekking / Remote Trekking.
Crossing Lapsang La Pass (5,160m)
Upfront view of Mount Kanchenjunga and Mount Makalu, 3rd and 5th tallest peaks in the world respectively.
Walk along low flats high alpine valleys, dense rhododendron and pine forests in the isolation.


Restricted Permits: Yes Maximum Elevation: 5160 meters at Lapsang La Pass
Best Time: Mar-May and Oct-Nov Winter Access: No
Trek Duration: 16 Days Difficulty: Strenuous

Learn more about Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek


10. Gokyo Lake Trek – Everest Region [12 Days]


Enter the Everest Region with view of shimmering Gokyo Lake painted in turquoise against the clear blue sky, barren hills and snowy peaks.

Gokyo Lake trek provides spectacular views as you travel across Namche Bazaar and other villages across the Everest Region. Bonus: Combine this with a trek to the Everest Base Camp.


Highlights of Gokyo Lake Trek

Trekking in the spectacular Everest Region.
Views of pristine lakes from Gokyo Ri.
Exciting Mountain flight from Kathmandu to Lukla.
View of Mt Everest, Mt Lhotse, Mt Makalu, Mt Cho Oyu and other mountains.
Views of Ngozumpa, the world’s biggest glacier.

Restricted Permits: No Maximum Elevation: 5357 meters at Gokyo Ri
Best Time: Mar-May and Oct-Nov Winter Access: Yes
Trek Duration: 16 Days Difficulty: Moderate

Learn more about Gokyo Cho la Pass Trek


So, there you go. Do you think any other mountains should be in this list? Or do you have your own list of choices for 2020? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Thank you for reading.

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