Autumn, arguably, the best season has touched down in our little mountainous country of Nepal. With summer gone by and winter just setting in, the weather is highly pleasant and so are the mountain views. And this is the perfect time for a good trek.
Every year hundreds of thousands of international and local tourists come to Nepal and to witness its enigmatic natural beauty. That also means every year those people are faced with the hard choice of selecting which trekking destination to explore in Nepal. Let’s face it – it is not an easy choice. It is harder for those who have a very limited time for sight-seeing.
To help you out, we have listed of what we think are the 5 best short trek routes in Nepal.
5 Best Short Trek Routes of Nepal
Kathmandu Valley Trek
Minimum Day Required: 2
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate for Beginner Hikers; Easy for Professional Hikers
For those with only a few days to spare in Nepal, this 2-day trek will give you a taste of trekking in Nepal. This route still offers great views of the mountains. The trailhead of this 2-day trek is easily reached within an hour drive from the center of Kathmandu. You can stay overnight in the village of Nagarkot and experience the famous sunrise view in the early morning.
Poon Hill Trek
Minimum Day Required: 4 – 5
Difficulty: Moderate for Beginners; Moderate to Easy for Professionals
This trek begins from the beautiful city of Pokhara and gives you magnificent views of some of Nepal’s big peaks up close. The view from Poon Hill (3210 m) takes in Annapurna South, Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. The first few days the trail makes a steady climb between the small Sherpa villages. The second night can be spent in Tadapani which offers great views of Annapurna II, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machapuchare (Fish Tail) which has been coined the “Matterhorn of Asia”. If you bring some swimwear you can make the short hike down to the river to enjoy the hot springs in Tadapani. Another day’s climb from Tadapani to Ghorepani from where the following morning you hike to Poon Hill to catch the sunrise on the Himalayas.
Annapurna Base Camp
Minimum Day Required: 8
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult for Beginners; Moderate for Professionals
The Annapurna Base Camp is the longest of the short treks listed here but it is possible to make it in as little as 7 or 8 days. Like Poon Hill Trek, the starting point is Pokhara. It offers a spectacular hike up the canyon of the Modi Khola with fantastic views of Machapuchare. Reaching the Annapurna Sanctuary you are virtually encircled by a ring of mountains. The south face of Annapurna I (8091m) the tallest of the peaks in the Sanctuary towers over base camp providing a more then impressive backdrop. Make sure to get a soak in the hot springs at Tadapani on the way back down.
Everest Trek View
Minimum Day Required: 5
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate for Beginners; Easy for Professionals
If you don’t have the time to make the complete trek to Everest Base Camp this might be the next best thing. Beginning from the capital city, Kathmandu, this trek offers breathtaking views of Mount Everest and Ama Dablam from just above Namche Bazaar. From Kathmandu, you can take a short exciting flight to the small mountain airstrip at Lukla from there you can trek to Phakding. Then you can experience a beautiful day of trekking up the canyon of the Dudh Kosi which involves crossing several suspension bridges before you make the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. This route offers a glimpse of Mount Everest in the distance making you wish you were making the complete trek to Everest Base Camp.
Lakes of Gosaikunda
Minimum Day Required: 6
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult for Beginners; Easy to Difficult for Professionals
Gosaikunda is a significant place of interest on the Dhunche–Helambu trekking route. This trek adjoins the famous Langtang Valley trek in the same district. Both treks can be combined. Basic accommodation is quite easily available. Tea houses offer a variety of food and snacks.
The trek to Gosaikunda starts in Dhunche Village or Syabru Besi in the Langtang Himal, or in Sundarijal in the Kathmandu Valley. When starting from Dhunche, the first day involves a long steady climb to reach Chandan Bari at an altitude of about 3,200 m (10,500 ft). Laurebinayak at about 3,700 m (12,100 ft) can be reached on the second day. At this point, some trekkers choose to climb ahead to Gosaikunda, though altitude sickness is a concern as the ascent is rather steep. Many trekkers choose to stay at Laurebinayak, which also provides sunset and sunrise views of the Langtang and Ganesh Himal. The descent from Gosaikunda to Sundarijal takes about four days and involves a short climb to Laurebina La at 4,610 m (15,120 ft), a rapid descent to Phedi and onwards to Ghopte. Depending on pace, there are options to stay at Thadepati, Mangengoth, Kutumsang and at many villages farther downhill. The trails are well marked, except between Ghopte and Thadepati.
With that, we concluded our list of what we think are the 5 best short trek routes in Nepal. All of these trekking routes offer great tea house accommodation so you don’t need to bring a lot of gear along. Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments section below.