5 Uncommon Treks in Nepal

5 Uncommon Treks in Nepal
Trekkers have long been drawn to Nepal, enticed by the Himalayas. But with a plethora of adventure enthusiasts flocking to Everest and Annapurna more than often, these trails and routes (while magnificent) have become too frequent and familiar. That’s why the country’s uncommon trekking trails are so embraced by a few trekkers as they afford glimpses of landscapes that command serenity and seclusion in the absolute sense. These routes have attracted a new wave of visitors to be freshly charmed and to be enthralled by Nepal’s dramatic mountains, deep forests, and the stunning rivers that remain unexplored. These trails take you to alpine settings at the highest points, and primeval forests and glacial lakes of Nepal’s enchanting rustic regions, the crown jewels of Himalayas’ ultimate serene settings and sun-splashed meadows that have rarely seen any population. From the highest points in the country and the soaring peaks of the Nepal Himalayas, these treks offer a phenomenal range of environments and thrilling adventures; all but accessible only on foot.

1. Nar Phu Trek

Narphu Valley Trek - 12 Days
Trip Season: May through Oct
Max. Altitude: 5416m/17769ft

This is a trip to the intensely beautiful villages of Nar and Phu, otherwise ignored by mainstream routes. Diverting off from the classic Annapurna Circuit, you begin from Koto, a small village at 2600m right up to the seductive, intimate entrance to the valleys of Nar and Phu This trail from Koto takes you off the beaten track through dense conifer forests while the Nar Khola (River) meanders with great force below. You take the trail built upon a ridge along rock walls to teach Meta at 3530m. An uphill climb from here will take you to Phu village at 4070m. Many trekkers prefer to rest at Phu for a day to either acclimatize or explore the Himlung base camp which is not far from the village. From Phu village, you need to retrace your steps back for a while and then head north to Nar Phedi and then make a 4 hour trek up to the village of Nar at 4180m. This trek is intricately jammed together with sights and sounds that only nature can provide. Almost all trekkers go to Nepal for its classic trails. What astonishes many on this trek is the beautiful amalgamation of cultures, landscapes and the tranquillity of unadulterated portion of the Himalayas that only a few have witnessed before.

2. Everest Three Passes Trek

Namche Bazar

Up in this far-flung corner of Everest lie magnificent passes, some of the highest on earth that are rarely traversed at any point of the year. Starting at Lukla to Namche Bazar, this trek takes you across three passes - the Renjo La (5357m), Cho La (5420m) and Kongma La (5535m). The Renjo La pass is considered to have the best view point in the Everest region. This is not an easy trek but the sights wait with snow dotted peaks and glaciers adorned with a display of warm and cool hues. You will have panoramic views of Cho Oyo, Mount Everest and a host of other mountains of the Nepal Himalayas. This trek will also give you an opportunity to visit Kalapathar at 5550m, for a close view of Everest and the famous Khumbu icefall. Kongma- La pass at 5535m, is highest among the three passes. The views are excellent from Kongma La. It’s a journey with stops at exceptional places and at acclaimed mountain ridges, charming villages perched between mountains. These are Nepal’s best preserved ancient hamlets; perfect if you're seeking a road less travelled in the Himalayas.

3. Helambu Circuit Trek

Helambu Trek

Of the fifty odd trekking trails in Nepal, very few are as stunning as what we relish on the Helambu Circuit trek, where the Himalayas protrude upward to become one of the world’s most fabulous mountain clusters. This is a short trek with Helambu being in the surrounding area of Kathmandu Valley. Starting from Sundarijal, to the north of Kathmandu city, this trek is better with a small group as you hike amidst dense forests or Bamboo and Rhododendrons, pass paddy fields, brooks and waterfalls while revelling in the sight of the iconic peaks of the Eastern Himalayas. There are absolutely stunning views of Langtang (7245m), Dorje Lakpa (6990m), Ganesh Himal (7405m) among other mountains. You might also be able to spot wild animals along with a plethora of bird species. This trekking trail falls within the Langtang National Park and gives you a glimpse of the water project at Melamchi. You will also be able to see quiet villages along the way, a glimpse of the rural culture of Nepal that may be close to the capital but remains untouched by anything modern.

4. Limi Valley Trek

Limi Valley Trek
Limi Valley Trekking- 19 Days
Trip Season: April to October
Trip Grade: Streneous
Max. Altitude: 4940m

Limi valley has remained off the radar of many active trekkers in the Himalayas because it is situated in the far west remote region of Nepal which was restricted to foreigners for a long time. One must first reach Nepalgunj and fly to Simikot from where the trek actually begins. This trail was originally a salt trade route that ran across the Himalayas into Tibet. This trek requires you to cross to high mountain passes-Nara La at 4580m and Nyalu La at 4990m. You will encounter beautiful villages, among which Til, Halji and Jhang are the most prominent ones. These villages are isolated and completely cut off from all trails during the winter season and not much of a trace of modern society can be found here. All along, there are astounding views of the western Himalayas of Nepal. The objective is to reach Hilsa, a border town between Tibet and Nepal and return back to Simikot using another trail. The track bends northeast towards the amazing Limi Valley. This trek takes you to the unexplored upper valleys of Humla. Apart from unruffled serene settings and intact Tibetan culture, Limi valley trek offers you serenity, which is sometimes elusive on mainstream trails.

5. Ganja La Pass and Langtang Trek

Langtang Valley Treks - 8 Days
Trip Season: Mid February to mid June and September to early December
Trip Grade: Medium
Max. Altitude: 3049m

This one is an exploration of the beautiful Ganja La pass situated at 5130m, while you are trekking around the Langtang region. Ganja La is famous for the overwhelming Himalayan views in the Langtang range. The upper regions of the Langtang valley are still not trekked by many which means that it basically has to be a camping trek and you will find only a few lodges on the way. This trek begins at Syabru Besi as the trail moves towards Kyanjin Monastery from where it becomes challenging. The Ganja La pass considered challenging because it is covered with snow almost throughout the year. This trek packs a well rounded combination of experiences, both adventurous and cultural, offering sights and insights into a long conserved and diverse land that is now opening up to the world. Ganja La commands breathtaking views of peaks such as the Langtang Ri, Ganesh Himal, Lang Sisa, Chorkor Ri and a multitude of others. With many challenges, you can become one of the few who will discover just how beautiful, exciting, and tranquil this trek is- much like the Himalayas itself.

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