The Nepalese Himalayans are the ultimate destination for any mountain lover. With the rugged trails to the Everest, Annapurna and beyond, the country offers some of the Himalaya’s most accessible and incredible treks. Thousands of trekkers come in troops to experience the ‘journey of a lifetime’ in this Trekker’s Paradise. That is because nowhere in the world can you trek for days on end in incredible mountain vicinity, safe in the knowledge that a warm meal, bed, and a shower is awaiting you at your designated hotel. If that entices you, here is our pick of 5 best low-altitude treks in the Himalayans.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Poon Hill is a natural amphitheatre-like viewpoint from where you can have closeup views of more than 20 peaks from the Annapurna and the Dhaulagiri massifs. Sounds like a dream, right? Ghorepani Poon Hill trek, also known as the Annapurna Panorama trek, is the most popular and relatively easier trekking trip in western Nepal.
The trek duration can last anywhere between 4 to 7 days, depending on your time constraint. It begins from an hour-long drive from Pokhara to Nayapul, from where we will trek through the dirt trail that will take us to Ghorepani, a picturesque village. Poon Hill is a three-hour hike from Ghorepani, which is generally undertaken at crack of dawn to watch the sunrise. Since you will trek through several Gurung and Magar settlements, the trek offers a great and unique cultural exposure.
Everest View Trek/Tengboche Monastery Trek
Fret not if you don’t have time, energy, or enthusiasm to trek all the way to the base camp to have great views of the Everest. Everest View trekking or Tengboche Monastery Trekking will grant you all that privilege for lesser time and money. It is one of the most popular treks in the entire Khumbu region, courtesy of its perfect natural setting and cultural beauty.
Lasting anywhere between 5 to 10 days, the trek begins from a flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. The rugged trail will take you through the dense forests, dwindling suspension bridges over Dudh Koshi, and numerous traditional Sherpa villages. It traverses through historic destinations like Namche Bazaar and Khumjung. However, the main attraction of the trek is the panoramic view of peaks including Everest, Cho Oyu, Amadablam, Thamserku, Island Peak, and Nuptse.
Langtang Valley Trek
Also known as the ‘Himalayan’s best-kept secret’, Langtang Valley Trek is just 19 miles north of Kathmandu Valley, but it seems like they’re a world apart. It is also the closest Himalayan region from the capital. Although lesser-known and lesser-trekked, the region quickly sprung quickly out of the devastating debris that the 2015 earthquake was.
Spanning from 8 to 10 days, the trek commences from Syabrubesi in Rasuwa and climbs towards the villages of Chilime and Tato Pani. The route passes through green pasturelands, yak farms, and cheese factories that add even more elements to the trek. However, the highlight is the epic view of surrounding peaks like Dorje Lakpa, Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Massif, and Langtang Ri.
Lower Mustang Trek
Also known as the ‘Land beyond the Himalayans’, Mustang is the most popular trekking destination in Nepal. The region was a forbidden kingdom up until the 1990s and even had an officially recognized king. Thus, in addition to the spectacular natural setting, the region boasts of great historical and religious significance.
Spanning between 5 to 10 days, Annapurna Jomsom Trek commences from either Jomsom and ends at Nayapul, Pokhara with visit to Muktinath, Kagbeni and Poonhill. Since the region falls under the rain shadow area, it receives late to no rainfall, making it even trekkable in monsoon. Also, due to a moderately lower altitude, it is trekkable in early winter. Throughout the trek, you can have jaw-dropping views of peaks including Nilgiri, Annapurna Massif, and Dhaulagiri Massif.
Dolakha Kalinchowk Trek
It is a fairly new trek and the shortest from our list. Dolakha Kalinchowk trek incorporates the revered Hindu shrine of Kalinchowk Bhagwati in eastern hills of Dolakha. If you don’t have the time to head to the extreme corners for the trek, it is a perfect choice for you – short, enjoyable, and adventurous.
The trailhead of the Kalinchowk trek, Charikot, can be reached in less than a half-day from the Nepalese capital. It goes through a high ridgeline which offers pretty amazing views of the Annapurna range. After trekking through two small villages, you’ll reach Kuri before ascending the hilltop of Kalinchowk shrine. From here, albeit far, you can relish in the views of Mt. Jugal, Gauri Shankar, and so on.