Nepal Treks

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.

Indie T&T Reviews of Guidebooks & Maps

Published: 2009-03-17
$17.34
5
Indie T&T Review in Brief

Great book and gives some really good information about side trek views off the main trekking routes.  My biggest gripe is the inclusion of a Kathmandu city guide section on the more recent editions and no ebook Kindle option, which means half the weight of the book is useless on your trek.  Still the author knows the region very well and gives great info and the maps are easy to follow making route finding a snap, so I'll have to keep its five star rating but with an asterisk.

Published: 2006-04-01
4
Indie T&T Review in Brief

A good book covering the basic Annapurna Circuit and Sanctuary treks.  Not as many treks as covered in the Cicerone book and more dated. The book has the good maps and information on side trips that I like about the Trailblazer guides series, though this book does not quite live up to the standard set by Trailblazer's Everest book.

Published: 2013-04-30
$18.60
4
Indie T&T Review in Brief

Good up to date book on the Annapurna region.  It covers the classic Annapurna Circuit very well as well as the Annapurna Sanctuary (Base Camp), Mustang, Nar-Phu, and a number of trekking options around Pokhara. 

Published: 2009-08-01
$15.04
4
Indie T&T Review in Brief

If you want one book that covers all the major trekking regions of Nepal, all though more briefly than other specific options, the LP is your best bet. For the major teahouse routes its more than enough information, what you miss out are some good side trips recommend in more specific region targeted trekking guides. Treks covered include: Annapurna Region: Annapurna Panorama, Ghandruk Loop, Annapurna Sanctuary, Ghorepani to Ghandruk, Annapurna Circuit, Langtang Region: Langtang, Ganja La, Gosainkund, Helambu, Skyline Trek, Everest Region: Everest Base Camp, Gokyo, Three Passes, Shivalaya (Jiri) to Lukla, Dudh Kund-Pikey Cultural Trail, Eastern Nepal: Lukla to Tumlingtar, Makalu Base Camp, Kanchenjunga, Pathibhara & Limbu Cultural Trail, Western Nepal: Rara Lake, Julma to Dunai, Kagmara La, Phoksumdo Lak, Beni to Dolpo, Around Dhaulagiri, Mustang, Nar-Phu

Published: 2012-02-15
$19.13
3
Indie T&T Review in Brief

A good guide for the standard route to Everest Base camp and also covers the approach from the Tibetan side as well as Nepal.  Unfortunately since independent trekking is off limits at the moment the Tibet section is little more than extra weight for those not on a group organized trek.  If you are just planing to do the standard base camp or Gokyo Valley this is a good option.  It is also available in ebook Kindle format unlike the Trailblazer guide, which is great for saving weight.  Unfortunately it does not cover the region as well as the Trailblazer guide, it spends its pages giving more detail on the standard routes instead of supplying more detailed information about interesting side trek options.  But as an ebook option for someone planing to do the standard route with addition of Gokyo its a great option.  Treks covered: Nepal: Jiri to Namche, Gokyo Valley, Thame (Bhote Valley), Everest Base Camp, Tibet: Tingri to Everest Base Camp, Kharta to the Kangshung Face.