What are the best short treks in Nepal?
We do appreciate the fact that very few people have the luxury to travel for multiple weeks. While we highly recommend at least two weeks for travel to Nepal, there are some treks that will allow you to experience our Himalayas on a shorter holiday. Listed below are 5 of the best short treks in Nepal:
1) Annapurna Skyline Trek:
This trek is a short circuit along the foothills of the Annapurna range. The trek starts in Dhampus which is about a one-hour drive from Pokhara. Trekking through Ghandruk and Tadapani, the final objective of this trek is Pun Hill (3,210 m/10,600 ft.) – a vantage point for panoramic views of Dhaulagiri (I, II, IV, V and VI), Tukche Peak, Dhampus Peak, Nilgiri, Tilicho Peak, Annapurna South, Annapurna (I, II and III), Hiunchuli, Machhapuchare etc. The trek ends with a three-hour drive back from Ulleri to Pokhara. Our standard itinerary begins in Dhampus which makes it a longer circuit – total trek of 6 days, total trip in Nepal of 12 days. But it is possible to shorten the trek by starting in Ghandruk – total trek of 3 days and total trip duration in Nepal of 7/8 days.
2) Khopra Ridge Trek:
Khopra Ridge (3,660m/12,331 ft.) is a vantage point East of Pun hill which allows for up-close views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri and the Annapurna range. On our standard itinerary, the trek begins at Ghandruk. A day later, from Tadapani, head East through rhododendron and oak forests towards the Khopra ridge. These forests are teeming with rhododendrons in the Spring and is quite spectacular. You can either descend to Ghorepani (and Pun Hill) or to Tatopani where you can soak in the natural hot-springs before driving back to Pokhara.
3) Tengboche Trek:
The Tengboche Trek goes up to the Tengboche monastery (3,931m/12,900 ft.) along the Everest Base Camp Trek route. Trekkers will be able to get views of Mt. Everest and Mt. Amadablam among other mountains on the trail past Namche. Also visit the National Park Museum at Namche and the famous Tengboche monastery where climbers come to get blessed before embarking on their summit quest. Our standard itinerary is 14 days including four nights in Kathmandu and 10 days of trekking. It is possible to shave off two days of trekking making it a 12-day program. The trek begins with a flight to Lukla and ends with a flight out of Lukla. If you are pressed for time, you can helicopter out of Tengboche or Namche.
4) Pikey Peak Trek:
The Pikey Peak trek goes up to Pikey Peak (4,065m/13,400 ft.) – a vantage point for panoramic views of Gauri Shankar, Numbur, Everest and even Kanchenjunga on a clear day. The Pikey Peak region is Sherpa country of the lower Everest region. The trek begins with a long 8-9 hour drive from Kathmandu to Jhyaprey. Over the next two days hike up to the summit of Pikey Peak and descend to Junbesi from where we will day-hike to Thuktencholing monastery – one of the most impressive monasteries in Nepal. The trek ends with a short flight out of Phaplu. Our standard itinerary is 10 days long.
5) Langtang or Gosaikunda Trek:
Our standard itinerary combines both the Langtang and the Gosaikunda treks and is 15 days long. So if you are short on time, you could do either the Langtang trek or the Gosaikunda trek and reduce total time in Nepal to 8-9 days. The Langtang/Gosaikunda region are due North of Kathmandu and have easy access. The Gosaikunda trek begins at Dhunche (5 to 6 hours drive) and is a circuit trek ending at Melamchi Gaon in the Helambu region. The Gosaikunda lakes are a holy pilgrimage site for Hindus and is the abode of Lord Shiva. The Helambu region is especially significant for Buddhists as it is considered to have been frequented by Padmasabhava. On the other hand, the Langtang trek begins a little further past Dhunche at Syabru Besi (8 hours drive). You trek up to Kyanjin Gompa and hike up to a vantage point – Kyanjin Ri (4,773m/15,665 ft.) – for views of Langtang Ri, Dorje Lakpa etc. The trek ends at Syabrubesi.