Nepal Trekking Information
Nepal is perhaps the premier trekking destination in the world and no where is the trekking industry more developed than in Nepal. While this means more trekkers it also means that Nepal is the easiest place in the Himalayas to trek independently. Anyone can do it even if you've never hiked anywhere. Good maps and trekking guidebooks are available in the many bookstores of Kathmandu and Pokhara. On the most popular routes it would be nearly impossible to get lost. Tea Houses and Lodges are spaced so frequently along the main trekking routes in the Everest, Annapurna, and Langtang regions that you can walk for as long as you like and when you are tired or hungry there is rarely a time when a lodge is not within an hour or two's walk. If you don't like the "trekking highway" feel there are numerous minor trails and side trips in these regions so that in some cases you can hike all day without seeing a soul and then arrive in the evening at a lodge to meet up with fellow trekkers for some pleasant conversation over a hot meal or cup of tea. Where else in the world can you hike for more than a month in a remote mountainous and road-less area carrying little more than a day pack on as little as $10 to $15 a day. Below are an overview of the main "tea house" trekking routes in Nepal. This is intended just to help you decide where to go I did not include detailed information since there is plenty of information out there on how to do these treks independently
Best Season: March-May and October-December (late November through December is probably the most underated time to trek in Nepal and when it comes to clear skies its one of the best times to trek)
Base Cities: Kathmandu (International flights), Pokhara (Bus and domestic flights from Kathmandu)
Tours: This site is about independent trekking but I recognize some people prefer the comfort and security of a tour. If you are looking tour operator can highly recommend my friend Kili Sherpa who is the owner and operator of High Altitude Dreams http://www.highaltitudedreams.com/. He is not the cheapest option but he is honest and delivers high quality treks and expeditions. He generally specializes in Everest and other 8000 m climbing expeditions but also can organize treks throughout Nepal, and if you are trekking to Everest Base Camp in the spring climbing season he can arrange stays at the base camp with the climbers.
Trekking Practicalities :
Nepal now requires a TIMS card to trek in Nepal. These can be obtained through a travel agent who get them for $10 a person for groups or individually for $20 from the Nepal Tourism Service Center just off of Dubar Marg a few block south of the Ratna Park (Old) Bus Park. National Park Fees can be paid at the park entrance or at the Service Center. Conservation area fees (Annapurna) must be paid ahead of time at the Nepal Toursim Service Center in Kathmandu or in the office in Pokhara.