Khopra ridge trek in Nepal

Once he became the first person in history to summit Mt. Everest in 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary had but one statement regarding Nepal’s grandeur: “Nepal is the only country in the world which is also one of the world’s great trekking paradises and one of the nicest countries in the world for trekking.” Today, thousands of trekkers and hikers don their extreme-outdoor wear to fulfill a lifelong dream of trekking in Nepal, one of the most widely visited countries for hiking in the world. In a sense, it is also one of the wildest places left on the planet. These “paradises” Hillary so admittedly spoke about can be experienced with a trip along any one of three base camp treks.

The most esteemed trek in Nepal is the khopra danda trek; the same route used by early climbing pioneers in the 1950s. This hike provides trekkers with various vantage points for viewing Mt. Everest while allowing them to visit the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, local Buddhist monasteries, and rustic villages. Obtaining a permit to join an Everest trek is only possible by reserving with an in-country tour operator. This not only assures safety, but means that groups will move at a pace that allows proper acclimation.

After walking through villages and mountain passes, innumerable opportunities to snap photos present themselves. A snail’s pace is best, and a pre-mapped route is not as demanding as it is oxygen depleting. Before reaching the base camp, you’ll visit the Khumbu Glacier and the southwestern quarter of Everest proper. Being fit for hiking will make the trip more enjoyable and positively everlasting.

The most popular base camp trek in Nepal is conquering the trail to the Annapurna Base Camp. The peak is just less than 9,000 meters, but the comfy camp is right over 4,000 meters. This trek can typically be completed in less than 10 days. If altitude treats you kindly, you’ll view the Annapurna Himal, Hiunchuli, Fang, Annapurna, Ganagapurna, Machhapuchhare, along with other peaks. Trekkers along this route will experience great gorges and fertile valleys that epitomize the dichotomy of Nepal’s natural landscapes. Day hikes around many of the valleys and peaks are available once you reach your encampment.

The next best trek in Nepal is the Khopra ridge trek. First climbed in 1960 by a Swiss and Austrian expedition, Dhaulagiri was once considered the highest mountain in the world. Rightfully translated to “White Mountain,” the name connotes its omnipotence over the region. Trekking in Dhaulagiri is one of the most challenging expeditions because of the varying mountain passes, namely the French Pass and Thapa Pass, both surpassing the 5,000-meter mark. You’ll not only tramp across ice- and glacier fields, but you’ll have to acclimate to the altitude and an untamed topography. With over fifteen 7,000 meter peaks along this trek, you’ll be more than pleased you brought along your camera and crampons!

Trekking

With the stunning Himalayas covering 64% of the country there are some fantastic opportunities for trekking in Nepal. In fact it is arguably the best country in the world for treks and hikes. Temples, monasteries and lakes scattered around the mountainside no matter which trek you choose there will be some great sights and experiences. Watching the sunrise and set behind the Himalayas is wonderful.

There are so many treks in Nepal it would be very hard to write about them all, however, the two most famous ones are the trek to base-camp of the world’s tallest highest mountain and the Annapurna Circuit.

It is always best to book any trek through a reputable agent where your safety is paramount. Hiking boots are advisable due to uneven terrain. Check weather conditions carefully, so that you are not trekking in monsoon season or expecting it to be hot when the weather is actually cold.