Trekking in Nepal
We offer small group and tailor-made trekking holidays in Nepal. First-timers on a trek to Nepal will enjoy walking in the Everest, Langtang, and Annapurna regions. These are teahouse treks where you stay in a comfortable lodge. Our team in Nepal works hard to support you so that you can enjoy the journey.
More experienced trekkers often return for one of our remote camping treks. Many of these treks are along the Great Himalaya Trail known as “GHT”. Other camping expeditions include the classic circuits like Dhaulagiri Circuit and Kanchenjunga Circuit.
We have organised walking holidays in Nepal since 2004. Our Managing Director, Roland Hunter, has hiked most of the trekking routes in Nepal. Our leaders have a wealth of experience and knowledge about the best treks in Nepal.
We have received positive feedback from our groups travelling with us. Take a look at our AITO Traveller Reviews, ExpedReview, and Trustpilot reviews. With this track record, we are known as one of the best trekking companies in Nepal. We look forward to welcoming you to Kathmandu in the future.
What are the highlights of a trek in Nepal?
Nepal trekking routes are the best mountain walks in the world. There are views of the majestic mountain peaks of the Himalayas. The Himalayan range is in the north of the country on the border with Tibet. Nepal is the home to Mount Everest and at an altitude of 8,848m is the world's highest mountain. There is a network of trails traversing the mountains from East to West.
People often return many times to explore Nepal. Trekking in Nepal is a diverse experience with different landscapes, cultures, and hiking trails. Treks in Nepal cross over mountain passes bedecked with prayer flags and past alpine lakes.
For most people, the best part of the trek is meeting the friendly Nepalese people. During the course of your time in Nepal, you will get to know our guides, cooks, and porters. You will also meet locals walking on the trail and shepherds in the high pastures (known as kharkas). In the foothills of the Annapurnas, we see Hindu villages with other ethnic castes such as Rais, Gurings, and Limbus. In the highlands, Sherpas live in Tibetan-style villages with Buddhist monasteries.
For inspiration take a look at our YouTube Channel.
Where are the trekking regions of Nepal?
Area: Far East Nepal/ Kanchenjunga Conservation Area (2,035 km2)
Highest altitude: 8,586m (Mount Kanchenjunga)
Other peaks: Kangbachen (7,903m), Kirat Chuli or Tent Peak (7,365m), Gimmigela Chuli, or The Twins (7,350m)
Lowest altitude: 1,200m
Trekking passes: Mirgin La (4,663m) and Lumba Sumba (5,100m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 299km by plane to Bhadrapur (1 ½ hours) and 100k by driving to Taplejung (9 hours)
Treks: Kanchenjunga Circuit, Kanchenjunga BC to Makalu BC GHT and Kanchenjunga to Tumlingtar GHT
Area: East Nepal/ Makalu Barun National Park (1,500 km2)
Highest altitude: 8,463m (Mount Makalu)
Other peaks: Chamlang (7,319m), Baruntse (7,129m) and Mera Peak (6,654m)
Lowest altitude: 350m
Trekking passes: Shipton La (4,216m) and Sherpani (6,135m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 186km by plane to Tumlingtar (1 hour)
Treks: Makalu Base Camp, Makalu to Everest GHT, Kanchenjunga BC to Makalu BC GHT and Kanchenjunga to Tumlingtar GHT
Relevant articles on our Blog:
Why is there a surprisingly low number of trekkers in the Makalu region of Nepal?
Area: East Nepal/ Sagarmatha National Park (1,148 km2)
Highest altitude: 8,848m (Mount Everest)
Other peaks: Lhotse (8,516m), Cho Oyu (8,188m), Nuptse (7,861m), Pumori (7,161m), Amadablam (6,812m) and Thamserku (6,608m).
Lowest altitude: 2,845m
Trekking passes: Cho La (5,420m), Renjo La (5,345m), and Kongma La (5,535m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 135km by plane to Tenzing-Hillary Airport in Lukla (40 minutes)
Treks: Everest Base Camp, Luxury Everest Base Camp, Ama Dablam Base Camp, Everest Luxury Lodge, and Everest High Passes
Relevant articles on our Blog:
How Busy is the Trek to Everest Base Camp?
Is there are a Road to Everest Base Camp?
7 Tips for a Successful Trek to Everest Base Camp
Everest Base Camp in Nepal v K2 Base Camp in Pakistan
Area: Central Nepal/ Langtang National Park (1,710 km2)
Highest altitude: 7,245m (Mount Langtang Lirung)
Other peaks: Dorje Lakpa (6,988m)
Lowest altitude: 1,420m
Trekking passes: Laurebina La (4,700m) and Ganja La (5,132m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 84km by vehicle to Syabru Besi (7 hours)
Treks: Langtang & Laurebina La
Area: Central Nepal Manaslu Conservation Area (1,663 km2)
Highest altitude: 8,163m (Mount Manaslu)
Other peaks: Yangra or Ganesh 1 (7,422m), Pabil or Ganesh IV (7,104m) and Salasungo Ganesh III (7,043m)
Lowest altitude: 1,400m
Trekking passes: Larkya La (5,135m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 101km by vehicle to Soti Khola (8 hours)
Treks: Manaslu Circuit, Manaslu Circuit with Tsum and Ganesh Himal
Area: Central Nepal/ Annapurna Conservation Area (7,629 km2)
Highest altitude: 8,091m (Mount Annapurna 1)
Other Peaks: Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Manaslu (8,163m), Himalchuli (7,893m), Machapuchare (6,999m) and Lamjung (6,983m)
Lowest altitude: 790m
Trekking passes: Thorung La (5,416m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 166km by vehicle to Jagat (10 hours)
Treks: Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Half Annapurna Circuit, Annapurna Luxury Lodge, Kopra Ridge & Kaire Lake, Mardi Himal, Lamjung Himal, and Dhaulagiri Circuit
Relevant articles on our Blog:
7 Best Annapurna Treks in Nepal
How to Avoid Walking along the Road on Annapurna Circuit trek in Nepal
Upper Dolpo region
Area: Mid West Nepal/ Shey Phoksundo National Park 3,555 km2)
Highest altitude: Mount Kanjiroba (6,883m)
Lowest altitude: 2,130m
Trekking passes: Kang La (5,380m), Chharka La (5,015m) and Sangda La (5,515m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 366km by plane to Nepalganj (1 ½ hours) then 148km by plane to Juphal (45 minutes)
Treks: Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT
Relevant articles on our Blog:
Is Upper Dolpo one of the most remote treks in Nepal?
Area: West Nepal/ Rara National Park (106 km2)
Highest altitude: Chuchemara Peak (4,039m)
Lowest altitude: 2,800m
Trekking passes: Danphe Lekh pass (3,720m), Gurchi Lagna pass (3,447m) and Chankheli Lagna (3,594m)
Travel from Kathmandu: 366km by plane to Nepalganj (1 ½ hours) and 140km by plane to Jumla
Treks: Nepal Far West & Limi Valley GHT
How busy are the treks in Nepal?
The main factor determining the "busyness" of a trek is where it is taking place. Take a look at our infographic below that shows the number of trekkers visiting the different trekking regions of Nepal. The source for this data is Nepal's Ministry of Tourism 2019 statistics report. As you can see very few trekkers venture away from the Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang regions. 95% of all trekkers only visit one of these three regions of Nepal.
In 2019 there were only 806 trekkers in Kanchenjunga and 578 trekkers in Upper Dolpo. By looking at the statistics in more detail there were only 40 trekkers in Upper Dolpo in May and June. Our Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT groups have trekked during these months since 2011. They have rarely seen other walkers and in practice are far more likely to see a snow leopard!
Number of trekkers visiting the regions of Nepal
What are the best treks in Nepal?
If this is your first time hiking in Nepal there is a large range of itineraries to choose from. Some people opt for Teahouse Lodge based walks. Over the last 10 years or so, Luxury Lodges have been built in the Everest and Annapurna regions. Others prefer the quieter experience of a Camping trek to explore the less busy trails in Nepal.
Teahouse trekking routes are in Everest, Manaslu, Annapurna, Makalu, and Langtang regions. Popular ones are Annapurna Base Camp trek (also known as Annapurna Sanctuary), Half Annapurna Circuit trek with Thorong La pass, and Everest Base Camp trek. There is also a short teahouse trek with lodges around Pokhara on our Pokhara Panorama.
For the best treks in Nepal, you should join a camping-style expedition. Some of these are along The Great Himalaya Trail ("GHT"). This is a route that traverses the country from end to end. It starts near Kanchenjunga in the East and continues to Humla on the Tibetan border in the West.
To help you select the trek for your requirements we have set up a Trip Search page on our website. This filters our portfolio of trips based on several factors and their main features.
How difficult is it to trek in Nepal?
There are hiking trips in Nepal suitable for any age group or experience. In the past, we have organised family treks with young children and for older trekkers too. It is key to match the right goal with your experience and fitness.
To help you choose we have given them grades for trekking difficulty. There are six grades from Gentle to Challenging. This should help you understand how hard the trek is. Our most challenging trek is Makalu to Everest GHT. We have first-hand experience of our hiking holidays and will help match the right trip for you.
When is the best time to walk in Nepal?
We have selected the best month for our fixed date departures. This is from our knowledge of operating these trips over the years. We have written a blog article When is the best time to go trekking in Nepal Himalaya? and this should help you select the best time to travel.
Take a look at our infographic below that shows the number of trekkers by the time of year in 2019. As you can see the busiest season for trekking in Nepal is Autumn with 69,199 trekkers. This is followed by the Spring season at 60,270 trekkers. Winter is the quietest season with 20,543 trekkers during the months of December to February.
The busiest month in the Spring season is April. Yet both the months of October and November in the Autumn season have more trekkers than April.
Choosing the best time depends on location, altitude, and difficulty. Some like Upper Dolpo to Jomsom GHT are only possible to do in May/ June. Winter snows block the passes until early Summer. The best month for Makalu to Everest GHT is in the Spring season during April and May. We do not organise this trip in the Autumn season as it is too cold and there is a high risk of passes blocked by snow.
One of our top tips is to consider a trek in December during the Winter season. It is not possible to walk in some places as it will be too cold. However, it is a good time to trek to places like Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp. In December, the weather is usually sunny with a high-pressure weather system settled over the Himalayas.
We do not recommend trekking during the monsoon season. In July and August, there is heavy rain that can cause landslides and rockfalls. It is an unpleasant experience to get wet on most days and to see only cloudy views with no mountain vistas.
Number of trekkers in Nepal by season
How to prepare for a hike in Nepal?
What to pack for hiking in Nepal?
We have a detailed packing list tailored for each of our trips. The lists are included on each trek web page under the Practical Information tab. This will help your preparations for the holiday.
The kit list also provides information on the range of temperatures in Celsius. This will assist you in choosing the right sleeping bag and clothes to keep you warm. The kit list will also help you in choosing the right size backpack, hiking boots, trekking poles, and other gear required.
It is important for your comfort and safety to know what to wear for a trek in Nepal. Following our kit list is mandatory to ensure a successful trek. For some trips, we do a kit check after arrival in Kathmandu.
Is it safe to go high altitude trekking?
There are risks with trekking at high altitudes in the Himalayas. Yet with effective planning, most trips are in practice problem-free. You should be aware of the risks and understand the contingency plans we have put in place for your safety.
The Mountain Company operates our trips in compliance with British Standard 8848. We follow best practices to ensure the well-being of everyone joining a trip. For each trip, we have identified the key risks. These are listed in the Practical Information tab on each trek webpage. Please do not hesitate to speak to us if you have any questions about how we organise our trips.
The key risk to consider is getting altitude sickness. We have designed our itineraries for gradual adaptation to high altitude. In practice, altitude sickness is less likely to happen with a slow ascent. We have contingency plans to treat you in the field and for evacuation back to Kathmandu if required. We send a first aid kit with our guides. Having reliable communications is essential. We provide a satellite phone to every group.
How much does a trek in Nepal cost?
A trek in Nepal can be expensive although is comparable to other long-haul holidays. The costs depend on the type of itinerary as camping treks are more costly than teahouse treks. Other factors are the number of internal flights, permits, and international leadership. For some of our trips, we offer an Early Bird Discount for the first five bookings received by us. These discounts are only available for our international led treks.
The cost of our treks is included in the Dates & Price tab on each trip webpage. This also shows What is Included and What is Not Included. We include the cost of the trekking permits and will arrange these for you in Kathmandu. Your budget should include our land-only price plus international airfare and insurance. You should bring some money for incidentals and also tip the Nepalese trekking guide and porters. We provide guidance on suggested tipping amounts in our Pre Trip information. We also provide suggestions for how much money to take with you when on the trail.
What are the best guidebooks for Nepal?
What are the best maps for trekking in Nepal?
Over the years, we have built up a large collection of trekking maps of Nepal. Roland has spent a lot of time trawling the book shops of Thamel in Kathmandu. His favourites are Pilgrims Book House, Vajra Bookshop, and The Map Shop. We have a fascination with maps, we love poring over them to dream up new trek ideas.
You should be aware that the accuracy of Nepalese maps is not as high as in UK, Europe, and North America. In the field, one does not tend to navigate directly off the map. Trekking maps in Nepal should be used more for general reference and for place names. The main publisher of maps in Kathmandu is Himalayan Map House also using the brand Nepa Maps.
We provide our clients with a complementary map of the trekking region you will be visiting. For planning purposes, before departure, we suggest you look at Google Maps. We have set these up for each of our trips and are viewable on our website. These are very accurate as we have used the location (latitude and longitude) from GPS used while on the trek.
How do I get a tourist visa to enter Nepal?
All foreigners need a tourist visa for entry into Nepal. It is your responsibility to get an entry visa. You can get your visa in three ways:
- Apply online before departure.
- On arrival at Kathmandu airport.
- From Nepalese embassy overseas.
We recommend 1) above as the easiest and fastest way of getting your Nepal visa. After booking your holiday with us we will send detailed instructions to you in our Nepal Pre Trip Information document.
TRIP STYLES FOR TREKKING IN NEPAL
Teahouse Lodges are located in the more popular trekking regions of Nepal. These areas are Everest, Manaslu, Annapurna, Makalu, and Langtang Valley. The lodges will provide your meals in a communal dining room. You sleep in a private room with a common or shared bathroom.View Teahouse lodge trips in nepal
We developed our own unique Teahouse Lodge Plus+ style as a halfway standard between Teahouse Lodge and Luxury Lodge treks. For this trip style, we include rooms at Teahouse Lodges with an attached bathroom where available. We also include a hot shower and a hot water bottle for use at night.View Teahouse Plus+ trips in nepal
Luxury Lodges have been built in the Everest and Annapurna regions that provide a more comfortable alternative to the standard Teahouse Lodges previously available. These newer lodges provide a higher level of service with landscaped gardens, good food, and attached bedrooms with hot showers and western toilets.View Luxury Lodge trips in nepal
Camping style is a fully supported trek where our cooks will cater for your meals. We provide group equipment including personal tents, mess tent, kitchen tent, and toilet tent(s). The key advantage of a camping trek is that you can access remote areas away from the busier trails with a lodging network.View Camping trips in nepal
There is a wide range of hotels in Nepal from budget guesthouses to higher-end hotels and resorts. Over the years of operating in Nepal, we have stayed at or personally inspected a large number of hotels so we can provide suggestions and advice based on first-hand experience.View Hotel based trips in nepal