Skip to Content

7 Best trekking in Nepal trails

7 Best trekking in Nepal trails

Nepal is a breathtaking destination and we share the best trekking in Nepal trails for you to appreciate everything the country has to offer.

Why visit Nepal?

Whether you have been trekking in Nepal or are planning to do so, let us introduce you to 7 of the most unique, and untouched treks in the country; all great reasons to visit Nepal.

Nepal’s remote treks offer experiences that are one of a kind and a world away from the more famous trekking routes. 

These remote treks take adventurers into pristine, untouched areas, far from the crowded commercial trails.  They offer a unique insight into both Nepal’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage that does not feel tailored for international trekkers.  

In this article, we explore the top 7 remote treks – ranging from the restricted area of Upper Dolpo to the culturally rich Tamang Heritage Trail.  On these treks, you will experience a window into the life and environment of secluded regions.  Regions where traditional lifestyles remain as they always were and the wilderness, flora and fauna remain unspoiled. 

Reasons to Visit Nepal

Best trekking in Nepal trails

Trekking in Nepal

Manaslu Circuit Trek 

Some basics:

Maximum Elevation: 5,160 meters (16,929 feet) Larke Pass

Number of Days: 13 days

Best Time to Trek: March-May; September-November 

Trekking Grade: Challenging

This 13-day challenging Manalsu Circuit Trek takes you into the culture of both Nepalese and Tibetan peoples. This trek ranges from the rice and millet terraces of the somewhat steamy lowland area of Nepal to the snowbound Larkya La Pass, bordering Tibet at 5,167 meters/16,952 feet with its high winds and crampon conditions balanced out by the views of a glacial cirque, a host of glaciers and perfect views of Annapurna II.

The Manaslu Circuit Trek not only has abundant mountain views but also the possibility of Himalayan wildlife, including the elusive snow leopard. 

The adventure starts and ends with a whole day road trip out of Kathmandu and you can expect to hike for around 7 hours per day, with a couple of longer stretches. But as you pass through the Manaslu Conservation Area, along river gorges, and over suspension bridges, all the while gazing at some of the highest mountains in the world, we think the long days are well worth it.

The majority of the people in this area practice Buddhism so there are plenty of Buddhist paraphernalia such as prayer flags, stupas (similar to cairns), and gompas (monasteries).  In some areas the locals are dressed in Tibetan style while in other villages Nepalese Gurung culture dominates. 

Accommodation at higher altitudes can be quite basic, with a shared toilet.  But the hospitality is always warm, particularly in this remote area which sees very few trekkers annually.  

Best suits: Those who love snow and ice and have experienced long days on the trail. 

Nar Phu Valley Trek 

Some basics:

Maximum Elevation: 5,240 meters (17,192 feet) 

Number of Days: 16

Best Time to Trek: March-May; October-November 

Trekking Grade: Challenging 

This hidden valley to which the Nar Pu Valley Trek takes you only opened to trekkers in 2003 and remains to this day one of the least trekked areas in Nepal. This 16-day trek takes you through Manang, to remote villages inhabited by  Tibetan-like peoples, and over the famous Thorong La Pass, back onto the well-established Annapurna Circuit trail.  The amazing cultures you will witness are  Tibetan Buddhist in origin and, in the sacred pilgrimage town of Muktinath, Hindu in origin. 

The Nar Phu Valley itself lies in a restricted area filled with caves, gorges, Buddhist shrines, monasteries, the ruins of a Tibetan-styled fort, and even  Milarepa’s cave.  As for the mountains, Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal dominate.  Many of the trails go through pine forests and along canyons in this Tibetan-like landscape.  

The daily trek takes between 6 to 7 hours with a couple of longer days just to spice things up. 

Also, when considering this exciting, difficult trek, keep in mind accommodation and food is basic in this remote area.  But the rewards are well worth it and the people are genuine in their welcome. 

Best suits:  Those who want to experience something truly different and love to learn about different cultures. 

Trekking in Nepal

Kanchenjunga Circuit Trek 

Some basics:

Maximum Elevation: 5,140 meters (16,863 feet) 

Number of Days: 21

Best Time to Trek: March-May; September-November 

Trekking Grade: Challenging

The amazing Kanchenjunga  Circuit Trek takes place in the far eastern region of Nepal. Home to Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, there are a multitude of other extremely high mountains.  Four subsidiaries of Kanchenjunga over 8,000m / 26.246 ft and around 20 peaks over 7,000m / 22,965ft. Definitely a paradise for those who love tall mountains!

This area sees both Sherpa culture and Tibetan culture.  Sherpas follow ancient Tibetan culture, having crossed over from Tibet around 600 years ago, and more recently Tibetans crossed to flee the Chinese regime (around 1959). Therefore, in addition to fabulous mountains, there is plenty of Tibetan-style Buddhist culture to experience.  

The daily trekking time varies considerably on this trek – from 7 to 8 hours to 4 hours.  Keep in mind even the short days are quite a challenge when almost half the time is spent over 3,500m which is considered when we may feel the effects of the altitude.  Accommodation is in keeping with the remoteness of the area and the lifestyle of the locals.  Don’t expect anything remotely luxurious at all! 

On the plus side, on this trek, we visit two base camps – Kanchenjunga North Base Camp and Kanchenjunga South Base Camp. At both, there are glaciers to see and rough ground to cross. Other highlights include glacier lakes and the monasteries of Ramtang and Oktang where it is possible to meet monks and light prayer lamps. 

Best suits: Those who love Tibetan-style culture and high-altitude trekking. 

Makalu Base Camp Trek 

Some basics:

Maximum Elevation: 5,250 meters (17,224 feet) 

Number of Days: 19

Best Time to Trek: March-May; September-November 

Trekking Grade: Strenuous

The Makalu Base Camp Trek takes in Makalu Barun National Park, high passes, and high-altitude lakes and is ideal for nature lovers who also love high-altitude trekking.  The national park is home to 440 species of birds 75 species of mammals and over a staggering 3,000 species of flowering plants.   

For those who love mountains, there is no shortage of those.  From the Barun Glacier base camp, there is a panorama of Everest and Lhotse as well as fabulous views of Mt Makalu (8,481m / 27,824 ft).  This trek crosses Shipton’s Pass, named after Eric Shipton, a famous mountaineer from the 1930s onwards and part of the 1952 team that mapped the route over the Khumbu Glacier, that notoriously dangerous crossing when scaling Mt Everest.  History and culture await around every mountain corner in Nepal!

This trek involves arriving and departing by flight to Tumlingtar as well as some road travel, giving a different perspective to the adventure.  Once again the accommodation along this remote trail is more basic than luxurious but as always the Sherpa and Rai people who live in this region will be welcoming.  

Best suits: Those who love unique Himalayan flora and fauna. 

Trekking in Nepal

Tsho Rolpa Trek 

Some basics: 

Maximum Elevation: 4,580 meters (15,026 feet) 

Number of Days: 16 

Best Time to Trek: March-May: September-November 

Trekking Grade: Demanding 

The Tsho Rolpa Trek is a demanding trek that starts with a long day’s drive out of Kathmandu, partly along the route to Lhasa in Tibet. Tso Rolpa Lake, nestled between the Langtang and Everest mountain ranges, and situated in the hidden Rolwaling Valley, it is one of the biggest glacier lakes in the country.

Also hidden in this area, known as the seven hidden valleys, is the legendary Yeti. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee you will see this mythical creature on the trek but you will see glaciers, mountains, glacier lakes, and Tamang and Sherpa peoples who practice Tibetan Buddhism. As is common in these lands bordering on Tibet, there is plenty of evidence of the culture – with prayer walls, prayer flags, the monastery of Na Gaon, and the more unique Bigu Gompa which is home to hundreds of Buddhist nuns.  

Situated in the Gaurishankar Conservation Area, this is truly a remote area, with very few trekkers coming through.  The locals are mainly yak herders and at certain times settlements may appear empty as the herders are grazing their yaks further uphill.  If you like solitude this may be the trek for you.  With an average of 5 to 6 hours of trekking daily, at altitudes that are not considered too high (in the Himalayas!) and with plenty of time to acclimatize at the start of the trek. 

As far as mountains are concerned, the most prominent mountains are Gauri Shankar (7,145m/ 23,441 ft) and Menlungtse (7,181m/ 23.559 ft) but there are plenty of others above 6,000m / 19,685 ft to marvel at. 

Best suits: Those who love remote wilderness and seclusion. 

Trekking in Nepal

Upper Dolpo Circuit Trek 

Some basics:

Maximum Elevation: 5,350 meters (17,552 feet) 

Number of Days: 24

Best Time to Trek: All seasons except January and February

Trekking Grade: Challenging

The stunning Upper Dolpo Circuit  Trek is not for the faint of heart!  Definitely, it is for those who are up for a challenge and preferably have considerable trekking experience, as well as feel comfortable sleeping in tents for 22 nights! 

Even in terms of Nepal, Dolpo is remote.  Lying between the Tibetan Plateau and the Dhaulagiri mountain ranges this restricted area within Shey Phoksundo National Park only opened to foreign trekkers and visitors around 40 years ago.  Its location, the overall expense of trekking there and the requirement of a restricted area permit all do their part in keeping this area pristine and gorgeous. 

Even the names sound magical: Crystal Mountain made of quartz and marine fossils; Phoksundo Lake, highlighted in Eric Valli’s film ‘Himalaya’; the land of Peter Matthiessen’s book, ‘The Snow Leopard’; Buddhist and Bon Po (a similar and indigenous religion from Tibet) monasteries; ancient trans-Himalaya trails, and rare Himalayan wildlife and flora. 

Trekking days are, on average, 5 to 6 hours long and at high altitudes.  There are acclimatization days built in to combat this.  If you have the time, stamina, and fitness level, this is, to use that well-worn phrase that is definitely appropriate here,  ‘a once-in-a-lifetime trip’. 

Best suits: Those who love wilderness camping and have a lot of stamina. 

Tamang Heritage Trek 

Some basics:

Maximum Elevation: 3,870 meters (12,696 feet) 

Number of Days: 11

Best Time to Trek: March-May; September-November 

Trekking Grade: Moderate

Probably the best remote trek in terms of being relatively short and relatively less strenuous while at the same time taking you into the beautiful countryside with an equally beautiful culture of Tibetan Buddhism. 

While we call this a remote trek due to the fact it falls within Langtang National Park (and all national parks are protected areas in Nepal), and is not heavily visited by trekkers, it has straightforward access out of Kathmandu.  Days average around 6 to 7 hours of trekking but the altitude does not rise above 3,870 m / 12,696 ft. 

The Tamang Heritage Trek also has beautiful scenery ranging from terraced farmland and forests to the towering Himalayan mountains.  And, of course, there are the Tamang people.  Originally from Tibet, they have retained their Tibetan religion, links, and language. There is plenty of time on this trek to discover more about their way of life, past and present. 

With stunning scenery from alpine and rhododendron forests to meadows and cultivated farmlands, the mountains that dominate the skyline here are the Gosainkunda Range and Ganesh Himal. Another highlight of this trek is the Kanjin Gompa, home to Buddhist monks. 

Best suits: Those with less time and trekking experience but who still want a remote, wilderness experience. 

Best things to do in Nepal

Stay Creative!

Thank you for your support and love for Creative Travel Guide. If you are looking for more video tips, make sure to head over to your YouTube channel and follow us on Instagram for daily tips and chats.

Share any questions or comments below and happy creative travels!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.