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6 Best Treks In Nepal

©istockphoto/JohnSaboe

©istockphoto/JohnSaboe

Nepal is a land of many faces, each mysterious and diverse, covering a range of unique landscapes. While the jewels of this tiny country between India and China are in the Himalayan Ranges, Nepal shares the arid environment of the Tibetan plateau, jungles and marshlands to the south, and a lush lake country at the center. Trekking on fabled and legendary Himalayan trails is like nowhere else in the world. These are Nepal’s six classic treks.

Upper Mustang
Length: 15-20 Days
This mysterious region, set on the Tibetan Plateau feels far removed from the rest of the country. Ancient monasteries, people of Tibetan origin, and an arid desert under towering walls, sets an environment that feels intensely removed from the rest of the country. The trek begins in the town of Jomsom, a city built on ancient trade routes, sitting in a wind-swept valley of golden rock. Trekkers circle the rim of the world’s deepest gorge, passing through centuries-old villages steeped in tradition.  Under the skyline of the Annapurna and Nilgiri Ranges, the trek traverses past mani prayer stones, rock paintings, and brick towers. The return to Pokhara concludes this magnificent journey.

Manaslu Circuit
Length: 15 Days
Only permitted by the Nepalese government in 1991, the trek to the eighth highest peak in the world is still young and relatively un-tread. Following an ancient salt-trade route, the trek to Manaslu straddles the Mansiri and Annapurna Ranges, allowing ambitious trekkers to combine the two. Crossing villages set under the dramatic mountainous skyline, the trek crosses prayer-flag lined villages, temples, mani stones, and little-seen Central Nepali life. Climbing above juniper forests, the trail comes to the edge of the Tibetan border, resting on glacial plains under Manaslu’s immense north face.

Annapurna Base Camp
Length: 10 Days
Trekkers are surrounded by some of the world’s highest peaks, trekking from Pokhara to the heart of the magnificent Annapurna Range. Starting in the terraced fields of the lowlands, this strenuous trek climbs through traditional villages between wooded hills and ascends Poon Hill, offering a majestic dawn view of snowcapped peaks. The trekking is strenuous, at one point climbing over 3,000 steps cut in the rocky trails between villages. Climbing above the tree line, the trail is surrounded by the jagged skyline dominated by Annapurna and Machapuchare. Those who are looking for a complete experience in the range can opt for the Annapurna Circuit, which traverses Thorung La, the world’s highest pass.

Chepang Heritage Trail
Length: 5 Days
Encompassing the flatlands of Southern Nepal, the Chepang Heritage Trek brings visitors through the jungles in an up close look with the native Southern tribes. Travelling through the lowlands, this trek focuses more on the green rounded hills around the jungles, with the distant ranges providing a snowcapped backdrop. The air around Southern Nepal is temperate and humid, surrounded by dense green forests. There is an abundance of wildlife, including one-horned rhino, elephants, crocodiles, and tiger. The native population shares their culture through dance, song, food, and traditional craft.

Langtang Valley
Length: 7-10 Days
Just north of Kathmandu, nestled on the border of the Khumbu, the Langtang Valley combines majestic Himalyan peaks with the wild, untamed desert of the Tibetan plateau. Combining grassy plains, alpine lakes surrounded by granite walls, and dry desert-like villages, the Langtang is the shorter alternative to trekking Mustang, all while retaining a character of its own. The trek takes visitors to the Gosainkunda Lakes, sacred to Hindus as the home of Lord Shiva, and the Kyanjin Gompa Monastery. Numerous peaks surround the valley including Langtang Lirung, standing at over 7,000-meters (23,000 feet).

Everest Base Camp
Length: 14-17 Days
This is one of the world’s classic treks. This experience transcends the physical adventure, and sends visitors into the spiritual heart of the Himalaya; surrounded by several of the world’s highest peaks. Starting with a heart-pounding landing at the notorious airfield of Lukla, trekkers traverse rhododendron forests, the mysterious town of Namche Bazaar, Tengboche Monastery, and a variety of environments. In one of the more sobering moments, a ridge brings visitors face to face with memorial chortens to climbers and Sherpas lost in the mountains. The highlight of the trek is the ascent up Kala Patthar and sunrise across Everest’s face. For the more adventurous, consider going beyond Everest Base Camp and explore the Gokyo Lakes.

 

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