Trekking in Nepal: How to get started!
Always wanted to walk along the ridges of Mother Nature and feel the magic of the great Himalayas? You’ve come to the right place! Read our blog below to find out basic things you need to know about trekking in Nepal.
Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia located mainly in the Himalayas and the best destination for trekking involving the most exquisite vistas. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a trekking fanatic! From popular Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit Trek to off the beaten path treks like Upper Dolpo, Rolwaling Tashi Laptcha; Trekking in Nepal offers all ranges that you can choose from!
One of the most sought out types is the Teahouse Trekking. Teahouse refers to the local hotels in the village areas that offer lodging and food. The quality of the teahouses depends upon the popularity of the trek route. With the Everest Base Camp, Poon Hill and Annapurna Base Camp being the top three locations for trekking, finding the widest variety of teahouses are easy. Another way to see the Nepal is by doing the Camping treks. Camping treks will be ideal for people looking to take the off the beaten path and less crowded areas.
Best Seasons for Trekking in Nepal
December to February (Winter) brings snow which sprinkles over the mountains making it great for viewing the snowcapped peaks. However, the harsh weather makes it more difficult to reach destinations.
March to May (Spring) offers the spectacular range of faunas along the trekking paths, especially in the lower altitude hills. The temperature remains moderate throughout the day.
June to August (Monsoon) blesses areas north of the Himalaya like Dolpo as out of range of the rain clouds. The hills are covered with stunning flowers which can capture the viewer’s heart at a glance.
September to November (Autumn) is the ideal time to enjoy trekking. Due to the onset of autumn, during this time the mountains look much livelier with the sky clear and with the ‘just right’ temperature; one can enjoy trekking at any time of the day.
Level of Difficulty (Trip Grade)
The difficulty of the treks can be differentiated into three categories roughly:
Duration: Max 1 week
Physical Rating: 1-2
The duration of the trips on this grade takes a week. The trails generally do not go above 3000 meters. You can expect to walk approximately for 4 – 6 hours daily. This is a perfect introduction to trekking in Nepal. The activity level/physical rating is fairly easy but do expect some ups and downs as there will be some big hills to climb as well and the well-known ‘Nepali flat’ – a little bit up and a little bit down.
Duration: 1-2 Weeks
Physical Rating: 3-4
Duration for treks of this grade stretches up to two (2) weeks. Trails generally go above 4000 meters and on a daily basis, you can expect to be walking for about 5 – 7 hours. Perfect setting of introduction to moderate & challenging trekking in Nepal. Activity level/physical rating is slightly harder than leisure and involves occasional difficult days. Expect ups and downs as well for there will be hills to climb as well and the well-known ‘Nepali flat’ – a little bit up and a little bit down.
Duration: 2-3 Weeks
Physical Rating: 5-6
Longer treks reaching up to an elevation of 5500m where some of the famous mountaineering Base Camps are located and you need to sleep at an elevation of 5000m for few days. Physically strenuous, involving daily trekking of approximately 6 – 8 hours. No previous trekking experience is required but you should be moderately fit and must enjoy walking and adaptable to high altitude conditions.
Safety and Travel Insurance
Although trekking is for everyone there are a few safety measures to be aware of:
- It is highly recommended that you do not trek on your own especially it it goes above 3000m elevation. Go on a trek through a government registered company as it will be much safer than travelling on your own. The cost of your travel will increase but you will be accompanied by the people who knows the region and can be life saver in the case of any unforeseen circumstances.
- Getting an insurance before embarking on adventures in high altitudes is mandatory. Make sure your insurance covers your level of activity, emergency evacuation if needed and medical expenses. No matter how prepared you are, accidents may happen. During these times, health insurances are necessary. If you are going to the higher altitudes, purchasing insurance that will cover a helicopter deportation if AMS or any injury occurs would be needed.
- The most important thing is to stay hydrated throughout the journey. It not only keeps you fresh but also prevents (AMS) Acute Mountain Sickness (sickness occurring with the increase of altitude).
- AMS can also be prevented with the gradual increase in the altitude.
- Light bag packs with absolute essentials and necessary clothing allow you to roam without breaking a sweat.
- Working out a few weeks before the actual trek can help you develop stamina.
- It is advised for you to take someone with you usually due to the uncertainty of circumstances. A guide can be hired to navigate new places or a porter to carry your extra load.
Trekking Permits and Restricted Area Permits
Trekking permits are required before you undertake any Himalayan journeys. Tourist Information Management Card (TIMS Card), National Park Permits and Conservation Area Permits are required depending on the region you are going for trek. Permits can be obtained at Nepal Tourism Board office if you are traveling on your own or If you are going through a company then your trekking company will arrange those for you. Permits for Everest Region will cost USD 55 and USD 40 for Annapurna Region. Be mindful when you’re traveling alone since some treks in Nepal have Restricted Permits and requires a minimum of two people and a Nepali guide or porter.
Restricted areas are controlled areas to keep the natural environment and culture intact. Trekking permits are compulsory to travel into controlled areas and can only be gained by group trekkers. Tourists are required to submit necessary documents with an application to a registered trekking agency of Nepal in order to receive a group trekking permit. The permit cost structure varies from place to place. For example, for the first 10 days in Upper Dolpo and Upper Mustang, US$ 500 per person is charged and after 10 days is US$ 50 per day person.
Nepal is definitely the best choice to have the finest trekking experience. With the wide range of trekking to choose from, you’ll definitely find the one best suited for you! So, don’t miss out on this enthralling opportunity!
Have a look at our trekking packages ranging from popular to off the beaten trails. Please feel free to contact us for any questions regarding trekking in nepal and it would be our genuine pleasure to be of assistance in planning of your trip.