Nepal, the land of the Himalayas, is known all over the world for housing eight of the fourteen 8000m mountains in the world. While the high Himalayas are popular among mountaineers from around the globe, there are several “trekking peaks” in the country which have been equally successful in inviting adventurers who want to do more than trekking but aren’t quite ready for mountain expedition.
Trekking Peak is a specific permit classification given by the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA). It is the least expensive permit available, but it also is given to peaks that generally fall between 5,800 and 6476 meters above sea level. These peaks tend to be less technical in nature, and are mostly climbed by the novice climbers or those with little mountaineering experience. These peaks are also climbed to practice for the expedition to higher peaks. If you are in a very good physical and mental shape and are planning a trek into the Himalayas of Nepal, then adding a peak climb to your adventure is an excellent way to witness the beauty of the Himalayas in a totally different way. Plus, the sense of accomplishment gained from summiting a real Himalayan peak is a feeling that is unmatched by anything else.
If you are wondering which the best trekking peaks in Nepal are, then we’re here to help. Here is a list of the top 10 most popular trekking peaks with brief descriptions so that you can choose the right fit for your next Himalayan holiday.
1. Mera Peak (6,476m/ 21,247ft.)
Probably one of the most well-known and popular of the trekking peaks, Mera Peak, rises to the south of Everest, but in the Makalu Region. A trek to the base camp of Mera starts in Lukla, the same place as the start of many great trekking routes in the Everest Region, including the Everest Base Camp Trek. This peak takes you to a less visited and more remote area called the Hinku Valley within the Makalu Region. The base camp is at 5,300m altitude, situated below Mera La (5415m), and then a next high camp is set up at 5,800m near a rocky outcrop on the Mera Glacier. The high camp offers incredible views of some surrounding mountains including Chamlang (7319m), Makalu (8463m), Baruntse (7152m), Ama Dablam (6856m), Lhotse (8414m), and so on. There are three main summits which are climbable but the most preferred is the Mera Central (6476m). The ascent of the peak is technically straightforward, however, the heavy snow and the maze of crevasses can make the way longer to the summit. However, Mera Peak is an excellent choice for those needing an introduction to mountaineering.
2. Island Peak or Imja Tse (6,189m/ 20,305ft.)
Island Peak, so called because it was reported to look like an “island floating in a sea of ice”, is another fine trekking peak for the less experienced climbers. Island Peak is in the Everest Region and combined often with the popular EBC Trek for an acclimatization purpose. Another combination includes an Island Peak Climb with a Mera Peak Climb via the Amphu Lapcha Pass (5845m). The Island Peak Climb would probably top anyone’s list as the most spectacular adventures of their life. Seen from the summit are the giant mountains like Nuptse (7861m), Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8414m), Makalu (8475m), Baruntse (7152m), and Ama Dablam (6856m).
3. Lobuche Peak (6,119m/ 20,070 ft.)
Also situated in the Everest region, Lobuche actually has two peaks, and quite often there is some confusion as to what the names are. Most climbers go for the Lobuche East Peak, as opposed to Lobuche West which is often confused as the east peak. Yes, it is hard to imagine a west peak being confused for an east peak, but there you go, it happens nonetheless. For anyone interested to climb this exciting peak, you will be conquering the Lobuche East Peak, which like the first two can be combined with a trek to the Everest Base Camp, or with Island Peak. This peak offers more challenges than its neighbors, Mera and Island, and has a more technical feel to it. It is a better choice for those who have had some mountaineering experience in the past. Views from the summit are as glorious as anyone can imagine and the Himalayas of the Everest region stretch out before you.
4. Pharchamo Peak (6,187m/ 20,298ft.)
The Pharchamo Peak lies in a wilder and remote region and is reached by trekking through the Rolwaling Valley up and over the Tashi Lapcha Pass (5,755m), but is still considered the Everest Region. Seen from the pass, Pharchamo Peak is attractive with a well-defined North-West ridge rising from the crevassed glacier astride the Tashi Lapcha. This peak is the perfect trekking peak for you if you want to traverse through remote landscape with little to no encounters with other trekkers, but still, want the vistas of the mountains in the Everest as well as the Rolwaling Regions, and to experience the Sherpa life that lives in the valleys of the Everest region.
5. Kyajo Ri (6,186m/ 20,295ft)
Kyajo Ri is an ideal Himalayan peak for those who want to take the technical challenge of climbing a 6000 plus peak. The climb is a mix of moderate rock climbing and steep alpine ice and snow. Basecamp is at 4,500 meters in a remote valley that situates a couple of days walk from Namche Bazaar. A high camp on a glacier at 5,300 meters is utilized after setting up the base camp. Then another camp is used for a successful attempt at around 5,700 meters. Finally, a climb to the summit along the snow of 50-55 degrees in angle with a small rock wall leads the way to the exposed summit. The summit of Kyajo Ri offers stunning views of Cho Oyu (8188m) and Everest (8848m) along with several other peaks of the Rolwaling region as well as the Everest region.
6. Yala Peak (5,700m/ 18,700 ft.)
Located closest to Kathmandu, Yala Peak is an excellent choice for physically fit beginner climbers, even if your trekking experience is as limited as your mountaineering experience. To access the peak, you go into the Langtang Valley which has a wonderful mixture of Tamang, Sherpa, and Bhote cultures. Views of the Langtang Range as well as the Tibetan giant, Shishapangma (8013m), appear extraordinary from the summit of Yala. Part of the trek to this peak also includes the holy lake of Gosainkunda and a traverse through the Helambu region which divides the Kathmandu area from Langtang National Park.
7. Pisang Peak (6,091m/ 19,978ft.)
Now we move further west into the central part of the Himalayas and into the Annapurna Region. Directly above a village with the same name, Pisang, the peak is reached through the northern edge of the Manang Valley. This peak is often combined with the Annapurna Circuit Trek and goes over the famous Thorung La Pass (5416m) that brings you to the sacred Muktinath temple. It is a beautiful and fairly symmetrical peak with a steady climb along a well-defined ridge to the summit. This peak also is best for those with climbing experience as there are technical sections to contend with. But the climber is well rewarded with views of Himlung (7126m), Manaslu (8163m), and Gangapurna (7454m) along with the snow-covered peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs.
8. Chulu West (6,419m/ 21,055ft.)
Chulu West Peak is another peak that lies just off of the Annapurna Circuit Trek, besides the Thorung La Pass, in the Manang Valley. Chulu West is a little more difficult as the trek is longer and is slightly more technical than its neighbor, Pisang Peak (6091m). However, with excellent physical fitness, some previous climbing experience, and a desire for serious adventure, this peak will reward you with the incredibly close view of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges, as well as vistas that stretch into Tibet.
9. Dhampus Peak (6,012m/ 19,719ft.)
The adventure begins as you make your way to Pokhara, then fly to Jomsom, which is also the entry point for accessing the Mustang Region. Some will follow the routes of Poon Hill Trek to reach this region and will add adventure and extra days. Dhampus Peak is in the Dhaulagiri Range and is becoming quite popular, but remember, popular doesn’t necessarily mean you will really encounter others when climbing this peak. It is a fairly non-technical peak, and more accessible for those with little mountaineering experience. The Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges spread in front of you as you stand on the top of Dhampus Peak.
10. Tent Peak (5,663m/ 18,575ft.)
Sometimes called Tharpu Chuli, Tent Peak is more central in the Annapurna Region than the last few peaks mentioned. If you want to view Annapurna up-close and personal, then this is your trekking peak. Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South (7219m), and various other peaks of the Annapurna Range are all laid out before you once you reach the top of Tent Peak. Unlike the last few, this trek is often combined with the Annapurna Base Camp trek, a slightly different trek that takes you into the Annapurna Conservation Area, which is an ecological wonder in itself. If you are ready for the transition from an ardent trekker to an amateur mountaineer, this peak is for you.
So, here is a list of top 10 trekking peaks in Nepal to get you starting in thinking about adding a peak climb to your trekking journey in Nepal. No matter which peak you choose to climb or what region you decide to trek, Nepal is a wonderland full of amazing adventures, heart-warming cultural experiences, and fantastic challenges for your mind and body.
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