Choosing your first trek in Nepal

How to choose a trek in Nepal

Do you want to experience something a little different this year? A trek in the Himalayas is an amazing way for you to get perspective, challenge yourself and grow as a person. But I bet you’re not sure which trek to do? Here are 8 questions that will help you choose a trek in Nepal you’ll love AND will suit your abilities!

Question 1. Do you want to see Everest?

Many people who are going to trek in Nepal are highly motivated to see the world’s tallest mountain, having see it many times myself, I can tell you it looks like most other mountains in Nepal, they are all incredibly large. The Khumbu Valley, where Everest is situated can be quite a busy valley, with many tourist trekkers, so keep in mind that if you want to see Everest, you are probably not going to be there on your own. If this is a must see for you, this narrows your choices down quite significantly. Here are some examples of treks in the Khumbu Region that will tick the Everest box:

Everest High Passes, Island Peak, Everest Base Camp, Gokyo Lakes, Mera Peak.

Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal
‘Everest’ Photo Credit: J Mardon

2. Do you want to stand on top of something?

Trekking is amazing, but climbing is a whole ‘nother story. Nepal is the home to some beautiful beginner mountaineering peaks, which are called “trekking peaks” in Nepal. Some trekking peaks range from fairly easy walk ups with minimal technical equipment necessary – to very high, multiple day climbs that require the use of mountaineering boots, cramp-ons, ice axes, harnesses and ropes. If you are willing to push in the fitness preparation, trekking peaks can give you a taste of what it’s like to conquer a mountain, or as we prefer to say #conqueryourself.

Mera Peak, Larkye Peak, Island Peak, Lobuche East

Mera Peak trek, nepal
Summit of Mera Peak, 6476m

3. How much time do you have to trek?

With 14 days or so, you can easily complete the best parts of the Annapurna Circuit and you can certainly reach Everest Base Camp and back, but more involved, harder to reach areas often take up to 3 to 4 weeks of your holiday time. Keep in mind also, the higher you climb, the more time you will need to acclimatize, so if you are wanting to reach the 6000m mark, don’t think that this is going to get done in a time frame of anything less than 3-4 weeks. I would suggest having a month available in Nepal for a trek but also some spare time to enjoy the rich culture, heritage and spirituality of this beautiful country.

4. Which season is best for you?

Best times to trek in Nepal are the Spring and Autumn Seasons. The winter is certainly doable, but can be very cold and can also produce heavy snowfalls that halt any trekking. I can certainly recommend that you do not visit Nepal during the monsoon as you simply won’t see any mountains.

Spring Season – September 1st – November 30th

Autumn Season – February 15th – April 30th

5. What level of service/luxury/comfort do you want?

This may be determined by your budget, or it may be determined by your tenacity and experience as a backpacker or traveller. The determining factors are really what level of service you expect from your guides and leaders. If you want to stay in the best lodges, have a cup of tea and breakfast waiting for you as you wake up, or perhaps you really need a native English speaking guide on your tour? These things are great but will certainly require you to increase your budget. If you’re happy to do without some of these luxuries, then your options for different treks and trekking companies are far greater!

Camping in Nepal
6.  Do you want to see the popular places or go off the beaten track?

The two most popular treks in Nepal are Annapurna Circuit/Base Camp and Everest Base Camp.

If you want something a little less crowded look at trekking in Upper Mustang , Upper Dolpo, Phu Valley, Tsum Valley or Trekking Peaks.

Everest Base Camp trek, Nepal
7. How much experience do you have?

Many people will embark on a trek in Nepal, believing it simply to be a walk, something very easy to do. This may be the case for low altitude, 3-4 day treks, but for the majority of Nepalese Treks that are 2-3 weeks long, at very high altitudes, then experience and fitness become paramount to the enjoyment of your trek. If you are the kind of person that has done some day hiking on occasion that has lasted 5-8 hours, then this is sufficient experience to start your training and building up to your trek. If on the other hand, you’ve barely hiked a day in your life, than you may want to choose an easier trek to begin with, or start your hiking career now by joining a club or befriending an experienced hiker.

Island Peak Trek, Nepal
Island Peak (Photo Credit B. Gilbert)

8. How much time are you willing to put into training?

The treks and climbs you have to choose from will be determined by your experience and your fitness. If you are willing to prepare yourself by learning about gear, altitude sickness, health and also do the hard work in the gym and on the trail to build your mountain fitness up? If so, you have come to the right place!  You can start a free trial of our online program by clicking the banner below.

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For general information on the Himalaya’s visit the’Trekking In Nepal’ website.

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