Nepal sanctified with colorful culture, festivals, fascinating biodiversity, and splendid mountains. Nepal is also famous for its mystical and wilderness trekking destinations apart from the well-known Everest and endangered one-horned rhinoceros of Chitwan National Park. The off-the-beaten-path treks are away from the tourist trail that provides a perfect mixture of a wilderness experience in both natural and cultural part of Nepal. Trekkers can witness the secluded mountain villages and monasteries of Nepal surrounded by rising peaks crowned with snow. Beyond that trekkers get to know about the mountains interesting culture, people’s lifestyle in all its authenticity.
Off the beaten path, regardless of the less developed infrastructure, hold the peace, beauty, pristinely and serenity that the popular trails are lacking. Such less trodden trekking trail is incredibly beautiful and charming spots to relax and unwind. More importantly, Nepal becomes much more worthwhile when you trek the well-beaten trail and immerse yourself in the countless experiences it offers. There are also just as numerous good reasons to trek less touristic destinations in Nepal. It supports the local economy and boosts local entrepreneurs, especially women, it can involve the entire community, and it eases the burden on overly touristy areas.
Furthermore, trekking to off the beaten places provides trekkers a more authentic cultural experience and gets to know the local people and culture in proximity. The off the beaten trekking trails are perfect for those who are seeking trekking in Himalayas of Nepal individually, family or school group.
Pikey Peak Trek
A less touristic destination of Nepal Pikey Peak Trek is an awe-inspiring trek for the trekker who has limited time to explore the mountain. Pikey Peak used to be a popular trek, nevertheless from the time when the Tenzing Hillary Airport at Lukla came into the operation in 1964, the upper Khumbu region has become more accessible. Several trekkers choose Lukla to witness the Everest from the Kalapatthar and Everest Base Camp. However, now Pikey is accessible with the construction of new roads from Kathmandu to Jiri and the Solu Highway reaching Phaplu via Okhaldhunga.
This remote peak standing tall at an elevation of over 4,065 meters boasts commanding views of eight of Nepal’s eight-thousanders from one place, comprising Mt Everest. The sunrise vistas from the Pikey peak is definitely a lifetime experience. A glimpse of the rising sun over the majestic mountain, and the mist that surrounds it overwhelm the trekkers with joy. Sir Edmund Hillary’s favorite vantage point used to be Pike Peak after he scaled to see around during the walk-in on his 1953 expedition. He claimed that this point is the best location to view Everest in its full panoramic sweep.
The entire thing about the trail feels pristine and pure. The only sounds you listen to along the way are the occasional melodious sounds of birds and insects. From time to time, you will be able to encounter a herd of yaks grazing in the pasture. Places like these make you feel completely isolated in addition to entirely in tune with yourself. The trekker has plenty of stops to catch the sight of nature along the way. Throughout the whole journey, one can see the sky touching mountain ranges on clear weather.
Since Pikey Peak is a lesser-known trail, the trekker will find the trails isolated dotted with few teahouses with no proper electricity or mobile network. Lately, the local Sherpa community is trying to promote homestay and few new lodges came into the operation. Despite basic facilities, one can enjoy the warm hospitality of locals, delightful home-cooked meals made from local produce, witness the massive mountains and encounter diverse flora and fauna.
The best part about Pikey is that trekkers can make it a circuit so trekkers do not need to retrace the same trail. A recommended itinerary is to ride up the Jiri Road from Kathmandu, head on to Shivalaya, following the ancient trek route to Khumbu before Lukla airstrip constructed in 1968. From Shivalaya, we trek to places like Bhandar, Namkhili, Ngaur Gompa and eventually Pike Peak Base Camp. For the return, the trekkers can descend down Patale and drive back to Kathmandu.
Alternatively, one can take a trail down to Junbesi and onto Phaplu from where trekkers can either catch a flight back to Kathmandu or make the journey by road. For those who have limited time can fly in and out from Phaplu with a circuit to Pikey Peak via Lamjura and descend through Dhap.
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Tamang Heritage Trail
From the close vicinity of the massive Langtang to the serene quaint villages with Buddhist Monasteries, Tamang Heritage Trail trek keeps you amidst nature and culture. This sprawling region is a domain to Red Pandas, rhododendron forests and authentic Tamang culture. The region is mostly inhabited by the Tamang ethnic community who are the ancient horse traders who migrated between Nepal and Tibet. So their lifestyle is greatly influenced by Tibetan culture.
Besides, trekkers can observe houses made with wood crafted doors and windows and people adorned with beautiful jewelry and local costumes. The trail has populated with teahouse lodges and homestays that offer delicious local gastronomy. Trekkers get to stay with a family in antique stone and wood carved home with communal kitchen, dining room and sleeping areas.
The trail winds through different elevations, where you might have to trek uphill and downhill and even though some landslides areas. The effort is rewarding for the experience of the authentic village life of the Tamang, lush forests, terrace fields, river streams with abundant Himalayan flora and fauna.
During the trek, you can find the clusters of hamlets with the backdrop of the spectacular mountain ranges shrouded with snow. The Tamang Heritage trail offers unmatchable views of Langtang, Lirung, Langtang Kerung, Dorje Lakpa, Jugal Himal, Ganesh Himal, Paldor Peak, Sringi Himal, and Sanjen Himal ranges.
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Manaslu Circuit Trek
If you’re pondering to venture an off-beaten trek, Manaslu Circuit Trek is a perfect destination. It is a wonderful trip that trekkers will appreciate the natural setting and affluent culture the region has to offer. Manaslu Circuit Trek takes you to the amazingly pristine and virtually untouched route. The high elevation, fascinating monasteries, with splendid mountain vistas, charming lakes, and isolated settlements accommodating welcoming people are the key feature of Manaslu Circuit Trek.
The trek is challenging yet possess the raw beauty of the natural wilderness A trek through this region offers a unique and exceptional chance to experience some of Nepal’s most incredible natural beauty.
Manaslu Circuit Trek equipped with tea house lodges to provide the basic facilities for trekkers to take rest. The teahouse comprises a common area for meals and relaxing, which is a perfect place to stay warm around the fire at night. And at the same time, it also offers an opportunity to put something back into the local community to improve their economy.
The trek commences from a low elevation, 550 m in Arughat that follows the Budhi Gandaki Gorge. You will see the slice of Ganesh (7,429m) from Himalchuli (7,892m) then downhill to catch your first glimpse of Manaslu. However, you can also drive up to Soti Khola. Then, the altitude rises through diverse climate zones to a high pass, the Larkye La at 5160m draped with Tibetan prayer flags. Further, we descend to Marsyangdi and trek conclude at Besisahar. This 19-20 day trip would comprise acclimatizing time. The scenery provides all Nepal has to offer: trekkers will trek from the subtropical forest at lower altitudes, through the Himalayan foothills to the high, cold and challenging traversing of the Larkya La Pass.
The perfect time to visit Manaslu is autumn which is from September to November. The view of verdant rhododendron forest greets the trekkers during this season. You will experience warm temperatures at lower levels to some extent, and it gets colder as you go higher. However, this is the best period to witness the flowering plants in the region.
Since Manaslu Circuit is a restricted region of Nepal, the trekker needs to obtain special permission to access this route. In addition, a minimum group size of two people is mandatory to embark on this trek.
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Khopra Ridge Community Trek
The Khopra Danda the trek is a recently introduced trail yet off-the-beaten-path adventure in the Annapurna region. This trek takes a trail away from the well-known Ghorepani Poonhill trek and leads to the superb backdrops of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna range. Also popular as a community-based trek, this teahouse trek is best to embark on during the spring (March-May) or autumn (September-November). Beside with grand views of the Northern Himalayas, experience picturesque landscape- a combination of terraced fields, quaint villages, and lush green forest- in addition to the unspoiled local culture and warm generosity of people.
The trek commences along Ghorepani Poonhill trail but diverts onto an off-the-beaten-trail. The main stop is the Ghandruk village which is well-known for Gurung culture, and clear vistas of Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) Himal (6,997m).
Khopra Ridge trek will also take to Khayer Lake which is a glacial pool at the base of Annapurna South (7219m). The return trek is equally fascinating as you cross the Annapurna Conservation Area and trek through villages like Swanta and Ghorepani.
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Mardi Himal Trek
The off-the-beaten-track of Mardi Himal lies in the east of Annapurna Base Camp. This trek to the Mardi Himal base camp is commended for the remarkable view of Mount Machhapuchhre (6,997m). The trail winds along a path through verdant rhododendron forest and picturesque valleys taking an uphill route to the base camp of Mardi Himal (5,553m).
This trek is suitable for all age groups with moderate fitness. The trek commences from Kande with stops at Australian Camp in Deurali, Low camp, and High Camp. Alternatively, the trek can start from Pothana, Kokar, Low Camp and High Camp. The final ascent to Mardi Himal Base Camp follows subsequently. The trail heads onto settlements of Siding and Lumre before concluding trek. The trekkers can see the undulating terrain and nearby lush hills as the traverse lead from beautiful hills onto huge rocky topography of the Himalayas.
During the spring you will walk through the rhododendron blossoms. Also if you like to spend time in an authentic household and want to immerse into local culture then Mardi Himal is a perfect off the beaten destination of Nepal.