Nepal is the land of the Himalayas where eight of the world’s highest peaks which are over eight thousand meters including Mt. Everest is inside Nepal. Due to this setting trekking in Nepal is the most sought out activity where people from around the world hikes it’s high mountain trails. The most popular trekking routes in Nepal are Everest, Annapurna, Langtang where crowds in thousands flock each trekking season. But there also exist several off-the-beaten trails in Nepal where few people have only discovered. They are located in the isolated and remote corners of Nepal. Because of this, they are still untouched by modernity and where time has stood still for centuries. For those who wish to discover such serene beauty and experience the traditional way of life then off the beaten track treks Nepal is certainly a good choice. Below is the list of some remote area treks in Nepal.
Upper Dolpo Trek
Upper Dolpo Trek is the most noteworthy remote trek in Nepal which takes you to the very heart of the Dolpo region. Highlights of Dolpo trek are Phoksundo Lake, the Shay Gompa, high mountain passes, and Tibetan culture. Upper Dolpo located in western Nepal’s Dolpo district is a culturally Tibetan village. The region is heavily influenced by Buddhist culture and traditions. Geographically, it is a part of the Tibetan-Tethys Zone where the landscape is barren land and arid hills. The region is surrounded by the Himalayas including Mt. Dhaulagiri. Due to the high Himalayas blocking the clouds, Dolpo region atmosphere is semi-arid with little rainfall. Four valleys divide Dolpo region which are the Tsharka (“good growing-place”), the Tarap (“auspicious excellent”), the Panzang (“monk’s abode”), and the Nangkhong (“good growing-place”) (“innermost place”). People here migrate between villages and high-lying summer pastures, in a lifestyle referred to as samadrok (“farming nomads”). Shay Gompa is the spiritual center of the Dolpo region where travelers visit receiving a blessing from the monks for a successful journey. Shay Gompa lies at the Crystal Mountain base. Upper Dolpo trek is an astonishing off-the-beaten-path trek in Nepal rich in religious culture and incredible landscapes due to its remoteness.
Makalu Base Camp Trek
Trek to Makalu Base Camp is a largely unknown trekking journey in Nepal. It’s great off the beaten treks which goes to the base camp of Mt. Makalu, the world’s fifth-highest peak. Mount Makalu has two subsidiary hills which are part of the stunning Makalu-Barun valley known for its dazzling natural scenery. The hiking is past Makalu Brun National Park with plenty of flora and faunas. Trekking in the Makalu region is never flat and always goes ascending or descending. The park was established in 1992 to protect the Makalu region’s fragile environment and is an eastern extension of the Sagarmatha National Park. Makalu national park is the only protected area in the world with an elevation gain of more than 8,000 meters. Thus, Makalu Base Camp Trek is a beautiful journey into this secluded land. The Arun valley is breathtaking with beautiful landscapes and rhododendron flowers which add more charm to the trekking. The park is home to many wildlife like the Red Panda, Snow Leopards, Himalayan Wolves, Himalayan Black Bears, and various bird species.
Kanchenjunga Trek is popular off the beaten treks which goes to the north base camp of Kanchenjunga Mountain. You get to see rich culture and traditions during the Kanchenjunga trek since it passes to many rural mountain villages like Ghunsa, Kampuchean, and Sele le. The ethnic communities living in this region are Rai and Limbu. One important highlight of the Kanchenjunga region is the Yulong Glacier which adds an extra dimension to the trek including blossoming rhododendron flowers and lush woodlands and forests. Mount Kanchenjunga is located in Nepal and Sikkim, India. The mountain is bordered by the Teesta River in the east, the Tamur River in the west, and the Lhonak Chu in the north. Mt. Kanchenjunga is the third highest peak in the world where it’s name depicts the Five Treasures of the Snow” for its five peaks.
Rara Lake Trek
Journey to Rara Lake is amazing to Nepal’s western region. The highlights of Rara lake trek are the Rara National Park, Rara lake itself and the rich culture of the region. You will pass many villages, temples, gompas and monasteries during the trek including terraced farmlands and lush hills and the sapphire lake of Rara. Rara Lake is Nepal’s largest and deepest freshwater lake in the Himalayas. Rara lake trek includes visiting this amazing lake and hiking past Rara National Park located in Nepal’s Jumla and Mugu districts. It’s the smallest national park in Nepal which biodiversity includes 1074 animals, and the animal life includes 51 species of mammals and 214 species of birds. Trekking to Rara is a popular trek and a challenging trek in western Nepal. The lake is truly majestic and surrounded by fir, spruce, and juniper trees. Giant white peaks surround the lake and the lake is also known as “the blue gem of the mountains.”
Nar Phu Valley Trek
Trekking into Nar Phu takes you to the secluded and exotic Nar valley in Nepal’s Annapurna region. The Nar Phu Valley is rich in Tibetan culture, incredible alpine scenery and tranquil environments that have not been disturbed. Nar Phu is a relatively newly opened trek region in Nepal where many trekkers haven’t seen or visited. Trekking highlights of Nar Phu Valley Trek are high peaks and high passes and woodlands, spectacular rock formations, and wide-open pasturelands. You will trek past Chorten gates and thin Himalayan pine forest to coming across age-old Tibetan villages. The stone houses layered on top of others are one of the attractions of the trek. Panoramic views of the Annapurna Himalayan ranges are the other highlights of the trek. Nar Phu is in fact two villages Nar and Phu. Trekking to Nar Phu follows the same route as Annapurna Circuit trek but it diverges at the settlement of Koto. Then it again merges of the circuit trail passing along Manang, Yak Kharka and crossing over the Thorung-la pass.
Upper Mustang Trek
Mustang is the ancient Tibetan Kingdom but now is a part of Nepal. It is hidden in the lap of the Himalayas and a protected/restricted area. For centuries the only way in and out of Mustang has been horseback but not until today. The land is still untouched by modernity and Mustang has been standing alone in it’s harsh mountain scenery where a way of life survives that is rapidly vanishing in Tibet. The region of Mustang was once off-limits to visitors and was only for explorers like David Snellgrove, Guiseppi Tucci, and Michel Piessel. It was a land with myths and stories, monks and monasteries, of an ancient civilization but without a mile of the paved path. Visit to Mustang was a dream of all adventure enthusiasts visiting Nepal. But this Shangri-la was closed to all foreigners, welcoming only the occasional scholar. Until in 1992 it all changed with relaxing it’s restriction and Nepal opened a visit to Mustang to all tourists. With an expensive entrance permit, visitors nowadays can wander around Mustang across the windswept, treeless mountain country inhabited by the Lo people or Lobas (Lo-pas). Upper Mustang Trek just gives you that opportunity and exploring this exotic land with a visit to it’s kingdom Lo-Manthang, a walled ancient city and the capital of Mustang. If anyone has short travel-duration and wish to cut the trekking section of Upper Mustang trek then there’s an option of Upper Mustang helicopter tour It is a day tour that flies straight into the walled city of Lo-Manthang. The tour starts/ends in Kathmandu.