The Hiking Guide: Team Up for Your Next Holiday In Nepal

Nepal is a forever blessed country with its unique and diverse geographic locations, thus, making it a classic spot for hikes and treks. From the top of the Himalayas and high alpine valleys to lower lands in Terai, you can experience it all in one package. For any adventure-seeking travelers (whether domestic or international), hiking in Nepal is a must-experience.

Nepal is the cherry on top of the delicious cake, from the serenity of the nation’s landscape to the welcoming and friendly locals. It is the number one destination for thrills, adventures, and pleasures. Not to mention, hiking is just a step closer to getting a clear view of Nepal’s serene beauty, culture, and traditions.

The hiking trails here follow several routes, and some of the top valleys for such paths are Kathmandu, Pokhara, Manang, Mustang, Humla, and many more. One added benefit of hiking trails is that the end always provides satisfaction with a spectacular panoramic view.

Top Hiking Destinations In Nepal

Along with the adventure of hiking, you can also enjoy the beauty of sightseeing at the exact moment. There are multiple trails all over Nepal, each with its characteristics. You can choose which hiking experience to go through from routes ranging from complex to manageable level.

Nagarkot – Changu Narayan Hiking

View of Changu Narayan Temple
View of Changu Narayan Temple (Source – Wikimedia Commons)
  • Starting Point: Nagarkot
  • Ending Point: UNESCO world heritage site in Kathmandu valley “Changu Narayan Temple.”
  • Hiking Distance: 14-15 km
  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 21,95 meters
  • Best Time: September to May
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Highlights: Sunrise viewpoint, ancient temples, view of Mt. Everest & Langtang range, agriculture fields of mustard and wheat

Godawari – Phulchowki Hike

  • Starting Point: Godawari Bus Stop
  • Ending Point: Phulchowki
  • Hiking Distance: 26.1 km
  • Duration: 8-11 hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 2700 meters
  • Best Time: March and April
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Highlights: Forests, colorful flowers, bird watching, view of the Annapurna range

Nagarkot – Dhulikhel Hiking

  • Starting Point: Shanku
  • Hiking Distance: 16 km
  • Duration: 5-6 hours
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,300 meters
  • Best Time: September to November, March to May
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Highlights: Historical and religious World Heritage site, old villages in Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, view from East Mt. Everest to west Dhaulagiri.

Kakani Day Hike

  • Starting point: Kathmandu
  • Ending point: Kakani
  • Hiking Distance: 25 kilometers
  • Duration: Minimum 5 hours
  • Altitude: 2000 m/6560 ft
  • Highlights: Sub-alpine forests, views of Kathmandu valley, views of Langtang Mountain Range, Shisha Pangma Range, Annapurna Range, and Mt Manaslu

Shivapuri Hike

River at Shivapuri - Nagarjun Hike trail
River at Shivapuri – Nagarjun Hike trail (Source – Wikimedia Commons)
  • Starting point: Kathmandu
  • Ending point: Shivapuri
  • Hiking Distance: 10 kilometers
  • Duration: Minimum 5 hours
  • Altitude: 2560 m/8400 ft
  • Highlights: Shivapuri National Park and conservation area, Budhanilkantha temple, and Nagi Gompa

Sarangkot Hill Hike

  • Hiking Distance: 11 km
  • Duration: 3-5 hours
  • Max. Elevation: 1550 meters
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Highlights: Sunrise and sunset, paragliding destination, view of Pokhara valley and mountain range

Dhampus Sarangkot Hike

  • Starting Point: Pokhara
  • Ending Point: Phedi or Ghattekulo
  • Max. Elevation: 1592 meters
  • Duration: 6-7 hours per day
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Highlights: Semi-modern life of villagers, accessible viewpoint Dhampus and Sarangkot

Ghorepani and Poon Hike

  • Starting Point: Pokhara
  • Ending Point: Nayapul
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Max. elevation: 3,210 meters (Poon Hill)
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Highlights: View of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and Annapurna, experience teahouse, views of alpine lakes and fields

Annapurna Base Camp Hike

Annapurna Base Camp Hike, Deurali
Annapurna Base Camp Hike, Deurali (Source – Flickr)
  • Starting Point: Nayapul
  • Ending Point: Annapurna Base Camp
  • Distance: 80 km
  • Duration: 6-7 days
  • Max. Elevation: 4975 meters
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Best Time: Spring (March, April, and May) and Autumn (September, October, November)
  • Highlights: Gurung villages, forests of Rhododendrons and oaks, perennial rivers and suspension bridges, view of Mt. Machhapuchhre and Mt. Annapurna

Everest Base Camp Hike

  • Starting Point: Lukla
  • Ending Point: Base Camp
  • Hiking Distance: 65 km
  • Max. Elevation: 12,000 feet or 3,658 meters
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Best Time: Autumn (October and November) and Spring (April and May)
  • Highlights: World’s highest peak, Mt. Everest, Kalapathar majestic viewpoint, Tengboche monastery, Khumbu glacier, and Ngozumpa glacier, Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo RI, Kongma La, Cho La & Renjo La pass, Hillary Museum, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park

Hiking Vacation In Nepal

Nepal is the ideal destination for hiking and trekking routes ranging from a short one-day excursion to multiple days. You can experience the most epic of alpine environments, cultural diversity, various ethnic groups, and incredible biodiversity with the hiking trails here.

Not to mention, Nepal is much more than its natural scenery. You will be immersed in rich traditions, primarily Hindu and Buddhist. Nepal is a colorful country with monks, monasteries, sadhus, and stupas.

Independent Or Company Hikes

As you come to Nepal, you can decide whether to hike solo or go with the hiking and trekking company. Often solo hike is recommended only for those travelers who have backpacking experience. However, it is always best to go with the companies or guides if you are a beginner traveler.

One reason for traveling solo is that you can schedule your activities anytime. Hence, if you are thinking of going solo, make sure you have packed everything you need. Permits, GPS, maps, good travel insurance, and needed gear prepare you for the adventure. Yet again, it is asked for you not to travel alone to high altitudes.

While traveling with the company, you will not need to worry much. They will handle all logistical and cultural complexities, such as permits, food purchasing, reservations, etc. Likewise, they put extra care and caution on your safety and travel needs.

Best Season To Visit Nepal For Hikes

The best seasons to visit Nepal depend upon the nature of hiking you choose or the trails and routes. But it is during early September and May if you are searching for a good time. This is because the temperature here will be moderate, and most importantly, you will find fewer people than usual.

However, you can also opt for other seasons if you like the challenges. Usually, from December through early February, the weather gets chilly. During those times, the mountainous region is covered with heavy snow.

Similarly, if you are looking at late June through early September, it is the monsoon season. In addition, you can expect heavy rainfalls on the way with muddy areas, floods, and occasional landslides.

Hiking Safety

Even though hiking is a low-lying activity with much lesser accidents, still, mishaps can occur at any time.

Safety Measure Before Hiking
Safety Measure Before Hiking (Source – Free SVG)

Similarly, if you are in a remote area, these mishaps can result in more significant consequences; hence, always be prepared with caution.

  • Do not hike alone! If you are trying the high altitude treks, always have a guide or friend.
  • Travel insurance does work wonderfully, and it is one of the best ideas to do before you start your adventure.
  • Do check the weather before you start your journey. Especially in a mountainous region, you should be aware of your surroundings.
  • It is best to keep an emergency first-aid kit with yourself.
  • Make sure to keep yourself hydrated when you hike. There are several chances that you may pass out if you are dehydrated.
  • If you are entering a National Park or Conservation area, get your permission first.
  • It is always worth carrying a map or a guidebook when you travel. You can also use GPS to track your location.
  • Keep an eye out for pickpocketers. Ensure to keep all your valuable items, passports, phone, and receipts in a secure place.
  • Watch your every step while you hike to ensure you do not trip and fall over.

Prepare Before You Hike

Instead of starting your journey and remembering your necessities, ensuring you have everything you need to travel is better. Always double-check your package and travel bags. Likewise, it wouldn’t hurt if you were up-to-date with all the travel news. Some of your checklists can include the ones below.

  • Double-check your travel documents as valid visas and passports. In Nepal, unless you are an Indian citizen, every other foreigner must have a valid passport for a minimum time of six months after the expected travel date. Also, carry a photocopy of your identification card and airline ticket.
  • Since all the country has their own set of rules and regulations, you might as well learn a few significant rules of Nepal before traveling.
  • If there are any vaccination protocols, follow them thoroughly before you make your trip.
  • Always carry cash with you, and in Nepal, it’s rupees. You can bring a modest amount of money and exchange it here. If you travel to remote areas, do not rely on ATMs as you can hardly get them there.
  • Here, the emergency contact number for a local Police officer is 100. You can also dial 1144 for tourist Police.

How Your Journey Might Look Like?

Unless you are an Indian citizen or unless you travel through the India-Nepal border, your journey will most likely start from an airplane flight to the capital city, Kathmandu. As you travel, getting as much rest as you need during your flight is best.

This is because as soon as you hit the airport and are out of it, you will hit the bustling noise of the city. Additionally, it is also the best option to book your lodgings before you travel; hence, you will not need to search for a place to stay as soon as you arrive here.

If you stay in a luxury hotel, they will even arrive at the airport to pick you up. However, there are multiple lodging facilities you can choose from, such as hostels, homestays, Airbnbs, and five-star resorts. Yet again, if you are just searching for a place to stay, do not forget that Thamel is the hub for tourists.

Now, for transportation facilities, you can either ride through taxis (cabs) or even opt for local buses. You can also use transportation apps like Pathao, InDriver, and Tootle inside the valley. As for the transportation outside the valley, you can either have a domestic flight or use tourist buses.

Some Ethical Rules As A Traveler

Hikes are all about being in the lap of nature, and since they provide us with adventure, it is our job as travelers to respect them. Below are some unspoken rules to know as you travel in Nepal.

  • Always dispose of all your waste in designated areas rather than litter around.
  • Do not throw away your plastic items along the trails, as recycling services in remote areas are little to none.
  • If you have a porter, always be kind to them.
  • Ask permission before clicking any pictures, whether in heritage sites or the locals.
  • Do not write or engrave any words or letters in artificial or natural structures.
Should a beginner go straight for trekking?

As a traveler myself, I suggest all beginners first at least try hiking before approaching higher altitudes. Many people might face difficulties breathing at higher altitudes so better take hiking as a test subject.

Are there other hiking destinations besides the ones included above?

Yes, as Nepal is rich in diversity there my many infamous hiking trails. These are only some of the many included above.

How often do people hike in Nepal?

After Covid people have been very enthusiastic to travel for adventures. The number of trekkers and hikers in the country itself has risen up.

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