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Best Hiking Trails in Nepal

Overview

Nepal is the premier destination for Himalaya trekking in South Asia. There are many multi-day treks that take you through stunning mountain scenery, including Everest Base Camp Trek, Annapurna Circuit, Langtang Valley, Gokyo Lakes and many more.  There are also day hikes to embark upon as well as treks in the lower altitude Mahabharat Range.  The best months for trekking in the Himalayas are typically in the spring and autumn whereas in other areas, October to April are the ideal months.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Nepal. 

Capital: Kathmandu

When To Hike in Nepal?

Year Round: For most of the trekking routes in the north (Himalaya), the ideal months are March – April and October – November (with the fall months being the preferred time).  Some of these routes are in the rain shadow so might not be affected by summer monsoon.  October – April are the ideal months for the Mahabharat range.
May – September: Monsoon rains affect many routes in the north
Climate: Cold high altitude climate in the north, subtropical in the lowlands. 

 

Nepal Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy: Trekking has been established here for a long time.  Teahouse trekking (going from village to village) is popular and  can usually be done independently.  For more remote areas, there are many guiding companies who can take you and are familiar with the areas.  

Note: As of April 2023, the Nepalese government has banned solo trekking for most regions of the country – Nepal Trekking Permits

Where to stay in Nepal for hiking: (Many people who come to Nepal come for multi-day treks but if you’re doing day hikes, some of these would make good bases) :

  • Nagarkot
  • Kathmandu
  • Pokhara

Top Places to Hike in Nepal

The whole northern part of this small country has some of the highest peaks in the world, and there are many established trekking routes. There is also the Mahabharat range that divides the plains from the Himalaya where one can hike but there is much less information on hiking here. Highest Mountain: Mt Everest (8884 m) in the Himalaya.

Filter out hiking places of Nepal by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Mahabharat Range

  • Oct – Apr
  • Mountains that run the length of the country, dividing the plains from higher Himalayas
  • Kathmandu Valley
  • Shivapuri Nagarjan National Park – treks, day hikes here
  • Valley Fringe Hiking Circuit (2-3 day trek)
  • Hiking around Nagarkot

Sagarmatha National Park

  • Apr – May; Oct – Nov
  • Everest Base Camp trek
  • Gokyo Lakes trek

Gaurishankar Conservation Area

Langtang National Park

  • Apr – May; Oct – Nov
  • Langtang Valley Trek is one of the most popular treks in Nepal

Annapurna

  • Apr – May; Oct – Nov
  • Annapurna Circuit is one of the most popular treks in Nepal
  • Nar Phu Valley Trek

Shey Phoksundo National Park

  • Apr – May; Oct – Nov
  • Known for Phoksundo Lake, which is a beautiful turquoise colour and surrounded by mountains

Khaptad National Park

  • Apr – May; Oct – Nov
  • Not as well known or visited as some of the other regions of Nepal

Nepal's Long Distance Trails

Much of the hiking in Nepal is in the form of multi-day treks, a short listing below but many others:

  • Annapurna Circuit – one of the most popular, lots of resources and organized tours of this – Annapurna Circuit
  • Everest Base Camp – one of the most popular, lots of resources and organized tours of this – Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Langtang Valley
  • Great Himalaya Trail – Great Himalaya Trail
  • Annapurna North Base Camp – 16 km trail that takes you to foot of Annapurna I

Nepal's Walking & Hiking Resources

Nepal Hiking Books:

  • Trekking In Nepal: Nepal’s best treks and hikes, by Stuart Butler, ‎David Ways, 2019, Horizon Guides
  • Nepal Trekking and the Great Himalaya Trail: A Route and Planning Guide, by Robin Boustead, 2020, Trailblazer Publications
  • Lonely Planet Trekking in Nepal Himalaya, by Bradley Mayhew and Lindsay Brown, 2016, Lonely Planet Publications
  • Trekking Nepal: A Traveller’s Guide, by Stephen Bezruchka and Alonzo Lyons, 2011, Mountaineers Books
  • Annapurna: 14 Treks including the Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary, a Cicerone Guide, by Siân Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons, 2017,  Cicerone Press
  • Everest: A Trekker’s Guide: Base Camp, Kala Patthar, and other trekking routes in Nepal and Tibet, a Cicerone Guide, by Kev Reynolds and Radek Kucharski, 2017, Cicerone Press
  • A Trekking Guide to the Nepal Himalaya: Everest, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Langtang, Ganesh, Manaslu and Tsum, Rolwaling, Kangchengjunga, Mustang, Makalu, Dolpo, West Nepal, by Bob Gibbons, Himalaya House and Siân Pritchard-Jones, 2020, Independently published
  • Trekking in the Himalaya, by Kev Reynolds, 2013, Cicerone Press

 

Nepal Hiking Associations/Clubs: 

 

Best Hiking Trails in Nepal:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Everest Base Camp
  • Annapurna Circuit
  • Gokyo Lakes Trek
  • Langtang Valley Trek
  • Manaslu Circuit
  • Annapurna Sanctuary
  • Khumbu Valley
  • Nagarkot to Dhulikhel

 Easy Hiking Trails in Nepal:

  • Royal Trek
  • Poon Hill Trek

 

Nepal Hiking Websites:

 

Nepal Weather Website: 

 

Nepal Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Nepal Hiking Apps:

 

Nepal Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Visit stupas and temples
  • Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park (wildlife viewing)
  • Mountain biking

Other Important Points

  • Different names used for mountains (ie. Kangchengjunga/Kangchengdzonga)
  • Many treks go to high altitude so ensure you are prepared for altitude sickness
  • As of April 2023, Nepal has banned solo trekking for most of the regions of the country (you have to go with a registered guide)