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Lesser Known Trekking Trails In Nepal

Abhishek Subedi August 8, 2020

The wild west of Nepal has earned a name for its notoriety. From tallest peaks to deepest gorges, from largest glaciers to highest lakes, Nepalese west has it all. It is safe to say that Western Nepal is the most versatile trekking region in the country, even better than Eastern Nepal that has the Everest region. However, due to the same facts, several thousand trekkers flock into the region every year to see and marvel at these beauties. That’s why, most of the trekking trails are heavily commercialized and crowded. And sometimes, the regions and trails lost their sense of remoteness and mystique. These treks are somewhat different from the regular ones and thankfully even though being a small landlocked country, Nepal offers a plethora of hiking activities around foothills of Himalayas many of which are still off the beaten path.

These lesser known treks are usually in rural areas far from major cities like Kathmandu and Pokhara. In this similar way, some are restricted to trekking which needs special permits and recently opened for foreigners. Usually these treks need to be arranged with a local trekking company which manages all logistics from food, accommodation (camping), porter, guide, transportation, events and other services. Getting all these things done and the overall adventurous experience we get is what makes these treks rewarding.

If you know what trekking means then you must have known about Everest and Annapurna treks. You are reading this article then most probably you have been there too. Yes, these are the most popular hiking adventures in Nepal for a very good reason: excellent panoramic views of snow capped Himalayas, well built trekking route with teahouses and other facilities, diversified culture and landscapes with trail routes and options suitable for any experienced or beginner hiker. 

1. Nar and Phu Trekking

Nar and Phu are two gems of the beautiful Manang in Annapurna region. Moreover, Nar Phu Valley trek is only suitable for those trekkers who are looking for complete isolation, serenity, and adventure during the trek. The region was a military-restricted zone until 2003, and this has largely contributed to keep the wilderness of the valleys intact.

Nar and Phu Trekking

Like any other trek leading to Manang, this one too starts from Besi Shahar in Lamjung. From there, trekkers will head towards Chame, the gateway to Nar and Phu. During the trek, you will have to cross two amazing passes , Kang La Pass at the elevation of 5,100m and Thorong La Pass at elevation of 5,416m. During the trek, you can have the most splendid views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Massif. Moreover, you get to witness the ancient and authentic culture of the Manangis (people of Manang), who weren’t in touch with the rest of the world for centuries. The trek is bound to be a fascinating experience in all aspects.

2. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

In the far east of Nepal, bordering the Indian state of Sikkim, lies the world’s third-highest mountain, Kanchenjunga (8586m), standing in almost complete isolation from the other major peaks of the Himalayas. The restricted area has only been open for exploration since 1988, and the Kanchenjunga trek is now considered amongst the premier routes for those seeking a rarely traveled and highly challenging adventure through one of the last unspoiled wilderness regions of Nepal. During the Kanchenjunga trek, you will notice that it’s home to elusive snow leopards, the Himalayan black bear, and the Assamese macaque, as well as an unforgettable landscape of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and verdant forests of rhododendron and bamboo. 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

About the Trek

During the Kanchenjunga trek, you will notice the sparse population scattered throughout the mountains is made up of the warm-hearted Rai and Limbu people, with a culture that traces back to Tibetan origins and a unique belief system based on an amalgamation of Buddhist, Hindu and animist principles. Starting with a flight or drive to Bhadrapur/Suketar. The trek climbs through the scenic and cultivated foothills into the great mountain stronghold of peaks. Such as Rathong, Kumbhakarna, Jannu, and of course Kanchenjunga. Offering some of the Himalaya’s most awe-inspiring and majestic scenery en route to South Base Camp (5143m). Until recently the trek was only possible through the considerable effort of carrying in all the necessities of life such as food and camping equipment, but with the advent of tea houses along the trail in response to its growing popularity, the logistics of the exercise have become considerably easier.

 The Kanchenjunga trek is a journey for the trekker with a sense of adventure. A desire to explore trails less traveled. Moreover, the determination and conditioning. To tackle the challenges of a physically demanding route through one of Nepal’s most remote regions.  

3. Tsum Valley Trek

Tsum Valley is a hidden, mysterious valley in the shadow of Mt. Manaslu. Located in the remote and distant part of Gorkha, the valley was once referred to as “Valley of Bliss” by Guru Rinpoche. This too was a military-restricted zone until 2007, thus, perfect for trekkers who don’t want to trek through the crowded trails of other mainstream Annapurna and Everest treks.

Tsum Valley Trek

Tsum Valley trek basically traverses two hidden villages called Chekampar and Chum Cheat. You will also get to cross the amazing Larke Pass at the height of 5,420m during the trek. The journey rewards you with the incredible view of Mt. Manaslu, Himchuli, Baudhha, and NgadiChuli among others. Along with that, you will also get to see incredibly long ridges and valley glaciers that will elevate your trekking experience by many folds. You will be trekking through very traditional and old villages of Tshumbas, which are inhabited by the native Gurungs. That way, this trek also offers a rare chance to immerse in authentic and rural Nepalese culture and lifestyle.

4. Khopra Ridge Trek

Khopra Ridge trek, also known as Khair Ridge trek, is one of the newest trekking trails in the Annapurna region. Thus, it is not yet commercialized and crowded like other popular trekking trails. It is an alternative trekking trail that traverses the route between the classic Annapurna Base Camp trail and Mustang district. That way, this trek offers you the best that Annapurna region has to offer.

Khopra Ridge Trek

Some of the main highlights of the trek are the incredible views of the Annapurna Massif and its equally alluring satellites. Mt. Dhalugiri diving into the depts of Kali Gandaki. Moreover, the hike to the holy glacial lake of KhairPokhari and Khopra Ridge. On top of that, the mountain views from Poon Hill. Moreover, trails that pass through lush rhododendron forests, and spending nights at beautiful villages like Ghandruk are second to none! During the trek, you will also get to witness and experience the warm hospitality of Gurungs and Magars.

 5. Dolpo Trek

The beautiful Dolpo region is situated in the Shey-Phoksundo National Park of mid-western Nepal, right behind the gigantic Dhaulagiri Massif. Cut by a series of dangerous high passes and shut down by snow most of the year. The region sees an extremely lesser number of tourists. The reason behind that is that the region is very hard to access in the first place. This remote western part of Nepal has been blessed with splendidly amazing landscapes. Without a doubt, this trek is one of the finest that Nepal has to offer. During the trek, you can pretty much have the best Himalayan views, trek through amazingly beautiful. Yet dangerous landscapes, camp near Shey Phoksundo lake. Similarly, seek blessings at ancient monasteries, and watch the inhabitants practice ancient Bon religion.

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