While it comes to trekking in Nepal, exploring the restricted areas in the mountains has a different but equally wonderful charm as other regular trekking regions. Restricted area trekking in Nepal is not a ‘not allowed’ region but it requires a special permit from the government of Nepal to be in the region. The government issues special permit for certain period of time for the trekkers to be in the region.
Government of Nepal had managed some of the Himalayan region as restricted to the outer world until the late 90’s. People other than locals could not go there at that time. Thus, the name restricted area came into effect. But the government has made those areas accessible to everyone in recent years. Trekkers to these areas still need to obtain special permit from the government of Nepal and carry a mandatory guide to take you along. Trekking in those areas requires travelers to pay more royalty, than to other regular trekking areas, to the government.
As the restricted areas in the mountains have been accessible in recent years for the trekkers, the most significant thing to experience in the regions is culture of the area. The mountain vistas can overwhelm any one and we find fewer people trekking there. It may feel more into the wilderness that other poplar trekking areas, you will gain an experience that no regular trekking adventure gives you.
Restricted areas in the mountains lie in various parts of the country. From the Upper Dolpo region in the west to Kanchenjunga region in the east, the restricted areas are attracting trekkers there now. These areas provide timeless villages, pristine nature and incredible cultural practices. The restricted areas have their own charm as the trekking destinations.
Upper Mustang Trek region is one of the most visited restricted regions in Nepal. The jagged mountainous landscape, ancient cultures and Himalayan view makes the area a perfect to explore place. Although the royalty to trek in this area is high, USD 500 per person for the first 10 days and USD 50 per person per day for the extra days, it is worth going there. You will admire the area and the experiences and memories you collect.
Manaslu Circuit Trek is another such trek. This trip has been able to establish itself as an alternative adventure to the Annapurna Circuit Trek. This trek takes you to explore the region of Mt. Manaslu (8,156m) – the eighth highest mountain in the world. This area charges up to USD 70 for 7 days trek in the region. The royalty varies from season to season. Any additional day charges USD 7 per person per day.
This trek is the example of wilderness at its best. It takes you to explore the western mountainous region in Nepal. Trekking through the remote mountains in Upper Dolpo Trek charges USD 500 per person for the first 10 days and any additional day adds USD 10 per person per day.
A recent addition in the Nepali adventure trekking areas, Nar Phu valley is the exploration of the remote Himalayan part of Manang district. The wilderness of the region and timelessness of the human settlement is simply awesome. You have to pay USD 90 for the royalty to trek in the area for a week.
Likewise, there are several other restricted trekking areas that are equally charming and wonderful. Those areas are Tsum Valley Trek, Lower Dolpo Trek, Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, Humla Trek, Rara Trek etc.
These regions opened for the trekkers recently or only a few years back. The remoteness of the region, timeless culture, and magnificence of nature make trekking in the region a fabulous adventure.