Nepal is one of the few heavenly places on Earth, blessed with geographic locations. When in Nepal, there are multiple adventures not to miss, and hence, it is a paradise home for thrill seekers. All the experience you seek here can go from easy with beginner-friendly notes to the highest level of its extremities.
Among such lands of thrilling adventures, Nepal provides one of the most extreme trekking tours. Yes, rich with the abundance of trails, Nepal ensures to gather all the trekking tours to form The Great Himalayan Trail. It is a single trek trail that rules over all of the others.
Singlehandedly, this trekking tour covers the spanning length of the Himalayas, ancient kingdoms, inspiring wilderness, engaging communities, welcoming culture, and rich traditions. For anyone daring to take the risk, you should explore the Great Himalayas trails, immerse in the challenges it enforces, and transform your definition of adventure.
Adventure With The Great Himalayan Trail
Spanning the trekking tour from the east of Nepal, this trekking tour ends in the far west of Nepal. Here, the starting point is Kanchenjunga, while it ends in Darchula.
Altogether, the Great Himalayan trail covers sixteen districts with a mix of lesser-known areas and widely popularized sites. In addition, with this trail, you will come across from sub-tropical jungle to fragile high-altitude ecosystems.
Unlike any trekking tours you have experienced to date, the Great Himalayan trail leaves you wealthy with tales to share. It is all about the epic times that will be hard to believe.
Routes Of The Great Himalayan Trail
If you look forward to ascending this trail, you should know that the Great Himalayan trail is divided into two routes. Trekkers can choose whether to go for the high route (extreme route) or the low route (cultural route).
As this trek route stretches from the east of Nepal to the west, you can also stretch it more. Well, you can extend the Himalayan range to Pakistan. Likewise, once you have reached the Ladakh region of India, you can extend it to the Karakoram Range of Pakistan.
While accomplishing the Great Himalayan trail, you should understand that the trek might last from a couple of weeks to months. Therefore, you should trek at your own pace at your own time.
High / Extreme Route
Here, the high route is all about the mountainous range. This trail starts North of the Kanchenjunga Base Camp. Moving along, it ends its track in Hilsa at Nepal’s Tibetan border in the Western district of Humla.
The high route of the Great Himalayan trail is all about the high altitudes, steep and dangerous mountains, and remote village areas. Since this trek is about mountain ranges, trekkers should be prepared with mountaineering gear and equipment. Not to mention, ensure you are physically fit to take up this challenging route.
The high route stretches across 1,700 km while the maximum altitude is 6,146 meters. Additionally, it takes you about an average of 150 days of the trek. Also, if you are taking this route, having a local guide with you is best recommended.
Low / Cultural Route
Compared to the high route, this low route is far less challenging and is also shorter. Anyways, this route passes through the mid-hills and passes to pasture lands. You can enjoy the trail’s lush green forests, fertile agricultural lands, and rice terraces.
Moreover, the low route is more culturally inspired, and you will look closely at Nepal’s rich culture and civilization. You can also accomplish this route as a solo traveler or in a group.
The cultural route stretches 1500 km, and you can accomplish this trail in around 100 days. Also, the average altitude of this trek is 2,000 meters (6,600 feet), while the highest elevation is 4,519 meters (14,826 feet). This max elevation lies in Jang La, the area between Dhorpatan and Dolpa in West Nepal.
The Expeditions Lying In The Great Himalayas
The trekking tour of this Great Himalayan trail is the amalgamation of multiple clustered trails in the Himalayas. It is a series of routes covered in a single tour. This tour consists of eight mountain peaks standing above 8000 meters.
Below are some top destinations you will come across in this month-long journey.
- Kanchenjunga circuit
- Makalu route
- Everest Route
- Tilman pass
- Langtang valley Route
- Ruby valley Route
- Manaslu circuit Route
- Dolpo Route
- Rara and Annapurna area
- Mustang area
- Simikot Humla Route
It is the first section of the Great Himalayan trek, which takes about 26 to 28 days. This trek starts at the Kanchenjunga Base camp near the border of Sikkim. Initially, the trail passes from Lumba Sumba at 5,160 meters to Tumlingtar.
Here, you will see Mount Kanchenjunga with a closer look, which is also the world’s third highest mountain at 8,586 meters (28,169 feet). This eastern part of Nepal has a much more developed and favorable climate with higher rainfall. Soon, you will move across the remote section of GHT and reach Yangma valley.
You will cross the Nango La at 4,820 meters to reach Olangchungola village. Then, the trail follows Lumba Sumba Pass at 5,160 meters and then out to Hong. A three days trek following the trail, and you will reach the Makalu Base Camp.
- Rai and Limbu culture
- Stunning North facing views of Mount Kanchanjunga.
While reaching Makalu, trekkers can opt for any option, whether to go over the high passes or take a southerly route along the Arun-Salpa Trail. Here, you can go around Makalu Barun National Park. This trail leads you across the high passes to the Solu-Khumbu (Everest region) via the Amphu Labsta.
You can also descend to the Honku Khola or Isuwa Khola. Whichever of these two routes you take will eventually lead you to Lukla. From here on, you can continue your journey from Jiri.
With the Makalu Barun, you will come across several cliffs, hanging glaciers, and Rhododendron forests. This region depicts Mount Makalu’s fifth-highest mountain, at 8,463 meters (27,766 feet). Here, the land portrays 25 species of rhododendron and hundreds of varieties of orchids.
- Rhododendron forests, alpine lakes, and craggy peaks.
- Arun-Salpa Trek
- Apsua Khola and Isuwa Khola
Everest and Rolwaling
The third section of the Great Himalayan trek, Everest and Rolwaling, is a combination of a challenging trek. This path will cross Cho La, Renjo La, and Tashi Labsta. Everest is also known as Solukhumbu in Nepal and stands for “head at the top of the peak.”
Likewise, Rolwaling is all about the high passes, mountains, glaciers, and charming villages amid old-growth forests. Here, its route comes to an abrupt stop at the Gaurishankar Himal as the Tama Kosi cuts through the mountains. The western side of Rolwaling is the home to Tamang, Gurung, and Sherpa ethnic groups.
- Three of the highest peaks in the world: Everest, 8,848 meters (29,029 feet); Lhotse, at 8,516 meters (27,940 feet); and Cho Oyu, at 8,201 meters (26,906 feet).
- High chance of spotting Musk Deer and Red Panda.
- The trail route to Everest Base Camp (EBC) and the viewpoint of Kala Patthar.
- View of Hillary Himalayan Trust that Sir Edmund Hillary started.
- Trading and Drolambu glaciers.
Rara And Jumla
The last section of the Great Himalayan trek starts from the Jumla Bazar and heads to the Mugu district. It is one of the remote areas in far-western Nepal. Most of its trekking path is off the track, the high alpine meadows, the rocky cliffs, and the thick forests.
Here, the climb gets more challenging, and you can roughly climb 200 meters in Daphe Lekh. From the rough terrain, you will move downhill to Nauri Ghat, which is 2 hours away from the Mugu District.
This is then followed by a 7 hours walk to reach Bhulbhele. As before, you will also get two routes here to choose from. You can either choose to go to Rara Lake or walk to Gamgadi. Both of these routes take a total of four hours to accomplish.
- Rara Lake and Rara National Park.
- Visit Sinja Valley of Jumla district.
- Bird watching on your trek to Rara.
- Stunning views of Kanjiroba, Saipal, and ten other mountains over 6000 meters.
Basic Ethical Rules To Follow During Your Trekking Tour
During your GHT, you will spend most of your time trekking, while the other half will be mostly spent with the locals of the respective places. Hence, instead of getting awkward with them, enjoying as much time as possible with them is best.
During your time with the locals, follow the way as your guide, and if you are unaware of what to do, always ask questions. Also, do not forget to indulge with them to learn about their daily lifestyle. Below are some of the tips that might help you.
- If you want to talk to any locals or wish to greet them, do not directly go for a handshake or hug. Join your palms together to say “Namaste.”
- Always ask permission before clicking pictures of the conservation area, cultural heritage, or the locals themselves.
- Do not get too physical in public, as the locals do not like any open display of affection.
- If you are bathing in public, make sure not to show your genitalia and behave modestly.
- Also, always limit your drinking habit if you are indulged in any. Do not drink excessively and get into public arguments or fights.
- Always open your shoes before entering the house or heritage sites if invited.
- While eating or passing any things, do not use your left hand. It is usually taken as unclean and disrespectful.
- Avoid littering as you travel. Do not leave plastic bags or trash along the trails; instead, dispose of them in their designated area.
General Safety Tips
With the general fun of trekking, taking care of your health and well-being is vital. Below are some of the listed safety tips to follow while trekking.
- Since you will be traveling at high altitudes, beware of altitude sickness. Inform your trekking partner if you suffer from sickness symptoms, such as dizziness or uneasy stuffed feeling.
- Always stay hydrated during your walks; you might get heatstroke. Also, never rush with your pace and style as it might cause you to over-stress and might even cause any physical harm.
- Be careful if you are in high altitudes and come before the yaks or other cattle herds. They might get dangerous at times.
- Make sure to carry yourself small first aid kits in case of emergency.
- Only eat fresh food and avoid the food that was prepared a long time ago.
- If you wear contact lenses, carry plenty of sterilizing/disinfecting solutions
- . As the roads are dusty, you might have a high chance of catching an eye infection.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Great Himalayan Trail also known famously as the GHT Trek passes through the Kanchenjunga circuit, Makalu route, Everest Route, Rollwaling, Tilman pass Langtang valley Route, Ruby valley Route, Manaslu circuit Route, Dolpo Route, and Rara, Annapurna area, Mustang area, Simikot Humla Route.
The route to Kanchenjunga Base Camp passes through the Arun valley which is considered one of the most beautiful regions for trekking in Nepal, and one of the highlights is the Kanchenjunga Conservation area which covers an area of 2035 square kilometers.