‘The TRAIL of trails’, the Great Himalayan Trail Nepal is one of the world’s longest and highest altitude trekking trails. The Great Himalayan Trail extends from Kanchenjunga region in far east to Api Himal, Darchula in far west of Nepal. The proposed GHT (4,500km/2,796 miles) covers the high Himalayas from Nanga Parbat in Jammu & Kashmir to Namche, Barwa in Tibet. The proposed GHT is a bridge providing connectivity among India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet together to promote overall Himalayan Tourism. The Great Himalayan Trail Nepal has the expansion of 1,700 km in High Route and 1,500 km in Low Route.
Travelling through High Route of the Great Himalayan Trail leads you across the naturally beautiful scenery incomparable to other parts of the world. Snowcapped peaks, lush valleys, high passes and major view points of Nepalese Himalayas are the most striking features of GHT High Route. Trekking along GHT High Route, you will encounter with the centuries old lifestyle in typically rustic villages completely unaffected by modernity. As you will have to cross high passes as high as 6,146m, GHT High Route is quite challenging yet more memorable.
Although most of the GHT requires camping trekking, the adventure lovers visiting Nepal choose GHT High Route for more adventure through Himalayas. GHT High Route ends in two different places of far western Nepal: Hilsa, Humla and Api Nampa Conservation Area, Darchula. If you want to end your GHT trekking right in Hilsa, Humla, you can go back to Kathmandu from Simikot. However, if you have more time and are ready to continue the journey, you can go to Kailash Mansarobar, Tibet from Simikot.
Just in case you want to continue GHT High Route trekking, you can reach Api Nampa Conservation Area (ANCA), Darchula. Api Nampa Conservation Area where you can find a variety of wildlife and vegetation is the gateway to Kailash Mansarobar, Tibet. In ANCA, you can catch sight of mammals like musk deer, Himalayan thar, blue sheep, snow leopard, red panda, etc. Similarly, you can also collect information about Himalayan medicinal herbs like Cordyceps Sinensis, Nardostachys Grandifi Ora and Rauvolfi a Sepentine. From there you can also come back to Kathmandu by bus to wrap up the GHT High Route trekking.
GHT Low Route is especially a cultural heritage trekking as you will have to cross human settlement areas in Himalayas. GHT Low Route proceeds between 3,000ft to 5,000ft where you find a number of small villages with honest and hardworking people. You can stay in some of the villages to spend the night and feel their typical cuisines and hospitality. Unlike GHT High Route trekking, GHT Low Route trekking is mostly teahouses trekking, so, this is comparatively more convenient. The maximum elevation that you need to cross during GHT Low Route trekking is about 4,300m best suitable for the beginners. The approximately 1,500 km long GHT Low Route trekking can be completed within almost 100 days without any major mishaps.
The GHT Nepal can further be divided into ten main sub-regions starting from Kanchenjunga in the far east to the far west. The sub-regions associated with the GHT Nepal can be listed as below:
- Makalu Barun
- Rolwaling and Everest
- Langtang and Helambu
- Manaslu and Ganesh
- Annapurna and Mustang
- Rara and Jumla
- The Far West
The GHT Nepal trekking itinerary can be customized as per your need and interest including your vacation and budget. You can do the GHT Nepal trekking to full length package or simply break down the regions and arrange the trekking. The choice is yours and we are always there to provide you with the best services at the most reasonable cost. For GHT High Route trekking, you need the most appropriate trainings, trekking gears and full details about the route. Nonetheless, for GHT Low Route trekking, your physical fitness, mental strength and detailed information are sufficient. To know about the GHT High Route and Low Route, you can reach us via email, telephone and other documents.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp, located at the easternmost border with Sikkim, India is the starting point of the Great Himalayan Trail Nepal. With an altitude of 8,586m, Mount Kanchenjunga is the world’s third tallest peak and lies in Taplejung of far eastern Nepal. In the Tibetan dialect, Kanchenjunga means “Five Treasures of Snow” referring to five snowy peaks of the Kanchenjunga Massif. Kanchenjunga region has gorgeous terrain, green valleys, ancient monasteries, high Himalayan passes and diverse ethnic communities having typical culture and tradition.
Varieties of flora and fauna are found in Kanchenjunga Conservation Area which was declared a protected area in 1997. Rai and Limbu Cultural Heritage Trail to get information about their culture and tradition, is another attraction of Kanchenjunga region trekking. Lifestyle, culture and tradition of Kanchenjunga region is still untouched by modern technology that you can see in the organic form. However, due to the remoteness, the trekking trails to and from Kanchenjunga region are rugged and quite challenging.
Located between Kanchenjunga region and Everest region, Makalu Barun section of GHT Nepal gets its name after Mount Makalu (8,463m). Makalu Barun Conservation Area (MBCA) which hosts varieties of flora and fauna, is the central attraction of this region. MBCA contains tropical, sub-tropical, lower and upper temperate, sub-alpine and alpine forests having almost 3,128 species of flowering plants. 25 rhododendron species, hundreds of orchid species, aromatic and medicinal herbs including bamboo, oak and fodder trees have imbelished MBCA. Similarly, MBCA boasts arond 315 species of butterflies, 43 reptiles, 16 amphibians, 78 fish species and 88 species of mammals. Snow leopard, marmot, Himalayan thar, Asian Golden cat, musk deer, flying squirrel, barking deer, clouded leopard are the animals adorning MBCA.
Everest region is the foremost attraction of Great Himalayan Trail Nepal as it contains the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest (8,848m). Called ‘Sagarmatha’ in Nepali and ‘Qomolangma’ in Tibetan dialect, other two eight-thousanders: Mt. Lhotse and Mt. Cho Oyu accompany Mt. Everest. The ‘Gem of Everest region’ Mt. Ama Dablam stands just next to Mt. Everest calling the trekkers and climbers. Everest Base Camp Trek, Everest Three High Passes Trek, Gokyo Lakes Trek and visit Sherpa villages with typical cultures in Everest region. Everest Herlicopter Tour is best suitable for experiencing the majestic beauty of the Everest region within a limited time pressure. Peak climbing in Everest region is another adventure you can taste for your lifelong memories to narrate to your successors.
By crossing Tashi Lapcha Pass (5,755m) from Khumbu region, you will enter into the less crowded and tranquil Rolwaling Valley. Also called ‘the Grave’, you can be familiar with the unspoiled natural scenery and typical multi-ethnic lifestyle, culture and tradition. Everest Rolwaling trekking leads you to the home of Tamang, Sherpa, Eastern Gurung and Thami people (the indigenous ethnic group). The blend of Buddhism, Hinduism and Shamanism including their distinct feasts and festivals is the most fascinating factor of Rolwaling Valley. Although Rolwaling Valley doesn’t have any particular protected area, diverse flora and fauna are found here. Animals like red panda, black bear and snow leopard are the matter of interest for every traveler being here.
To enter into Langtang region, you will have to cross Tilman Pass (5,308m) from Rolwaling Valley along the GHT Nepal. On the way to Langtang region, you will walk past many lush valleys and alpine meadows with the yak herds grazing. Tasting the purely organic cheese, milk or yogurt of yaks, you will reach Helambu Valley where you can interact with the locals. If you are on GHT Nepal trekking in autumn, you can taste the local apples and other products in Helambu. You know, Langtang region is named after Langtang Lirung (7,227m) which is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Nepal. Langtang region is famous for sky diving in Nepal and peak climbing including most acclaimed Tamang Cultural Heritage Trail trekking.
The most popular Trekking peaks in Langtang region are Yala Peak, Langsisa Ri Peak, Ganja-La Chuli Peak and Poldar Peak. Langtang National Park, the first Himalayan national park of Nepal established in 1976, is the nuclear part of Langtang region. You can find a variety of flora and fauna in Langtang National Park which exposes 14 plant species in 18 ecosystems in sub-tropical to alpine forests. The plants species like sal, Himalayan birch, silver fir, rhododendron, oak, Nepalese larch and hemlock are found in the park. Similarly, animal species like Himalayan thar, musk deer, snow leopard, wild dog, red panda and ghoral are the attarctions of Langtang National Park.
After Langtang region, GHT Nepal trekking passes to Manaslu region, aka the ‘Mecca of the Himalayan trekkers’ via Ganesh Himal. Ganesh Himal lies in north central part of Nepal between Langtang region and Manaslu region and borders with Tibet. Yangra (Ganesh I) with the height 7,422m is the tallest peak accompanied by other three peaks above 7,000m. Pabil (Ganesh IV) having 7,104m height, resembles with the elephant’s trunk, so it is regarded as the Hindu deity ‘Ganesha’. Ganesh Himal (Ganesh I) was first ascended by a famous climber Raymond Lambert and his friends on 6th October, 1955.
Manaslu region is named after the world’s eighth tallest peak Mt. Manaslu (8,156m); a two-horned massif: Ganesh Himal (7,406m) and Himalchuli (7,893m). Manaslu means ‘the spirit’ in local dialect and Ganesh is the elephant-like deity worshipped by Hindus for good fortune. Manaslu region trekking is one of the most popular choices of the trekkers who prefer following off the beaten path. Manaslu reigon is less crowded but fully equipped with natural beauty and cultural diversity that every trekker is attracted. Manaslu region consists of Nupri Valley, a frequently visited place and Tsum Valley, less explored by the visitors.
Manaslu Conservation Area is the supreme attraction of Manaslu region trekking because it has maintained environmental balance protecting flora and fauna. Established in 1998 AD with the coverage of 1,663 sq. km., Manaslu Conservation Area expands between the elevation 1,400m and 8,156m. The area includes many snowy peaks, glaciers and natural waterfalls along with a variety of plants and animals in the Himalayas. Manaslu Conservation Area hosts 33 species of mammals like musk deer, snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan thar, ghoral, etc. It is a haven for nearly 110 species of birds, 3 species of reptiles and around 2,000 species of flowering plants. Snowcapped mountains, varieties of birds, animals and plants are the matters of attraction to the trekkers over there.
Manaslu Tsum Valley trekking is one among the Manaslu region trekking packages famous for Tibetan Buddhist Culture, lifestyle and simpleminded people. Manaslu Tsum Valley trekking is a classic trek that leads to a pristine valley completely unaffected by the modern invention and gadgets. Polyandry, a system in which a woman can keep more than one man as husband, is practised in Tsum Valley. You find hundreds of years old Tibetan Buddhist monasteries reflecting Buddhist art and architecture in their original version in Tsum Valley. Prayer flags, mani walls, prayer wheels and local people in their traditional cultural dress are some of the striking features.
By crossing one of the most challenging passes, Larke Pass (5,125m), you will reach Dharapani from where Annapurna region begins. Now, GHT Nepal trekking trail enters into Annapurna Circuit Trail that is the number 1 trekking region in Nepalese Himalayas. GHT Nepal trekking trail ascends to Mustang Valley that is also one of the foremost attractions to the trekkers. Annapurna region en route GHT Nepal is a world famous trekking region that comes first in every traveler’s mind visiting Nepal. You can see geographical diversity from subtropical to alpine; varieties of agricultural products from paddy to barley and potatoes in Annapurna region. Multi-ethnic communities having their unique culture and tradition associated with their life style, centuries old Tibetan Buddhist monasteries are some attraction in Annapurna region.
Annapurna Mustang section of GHT Nepal is a distinct experience one can ever get during trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas. Tilicho Lake, the highest altitude lake in the world, intact civilization of Manang valley, the snowy peaks and landscapes attract the trekkers. Major attractions of Mustang district are Kagbeni, Lo-Manthang, Marpha, Thorung La and Muktinath Temple to mention a few. Thorung La (5,416m) that lies in Mustang is one of the high passes in the world. Decorated with apple orchards, Marpha is a classical Thakali village experimenting apple farming in Nepal for the first time.
Mustang district that lies within Annapurna region, is divided into two sections: Upper Mustang and Lower Mustang with their own characteristics. Upper Mustang is a restricted area for the trekkers, however, it consists of hundreds of years old Buddhist monasteries. Upper Mustang is a must-visit place for the trekkers who prefer adventurous trekking to the trans-Himalayan climatic region of Nepal. Situated in the rain-shadow area of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, Upper Mustang indicates Tibetan Buddhist culture in Nepal. Lower Mustang is famous for the wonderful sight of cultural diversity and natural vistas with beautiful landscapes.
Following GHT Nepal trekking from Kagbeni of Mustang, you will have to walk through the unexplored region of the trans-Himalayan region. After a few days’ trekking through the nomads’ lands encountering yak and sheep herds, you reach Chharka Bhot of Dolpo region. Dolpo region welcomes you with the pristine valleys, high human settlement areas, unspoiled nature and rustic lifestyle, culture and tradition. Nearly 900-years’ old monastery, Shey Gompa that shows the Tibetan Buddhist culture is a must-see site of Upper Dolpo region. Dho and Tarap villages in Dho Tarap Valley at an elevation of 4,080m is the world’s highest human settlement area.
Filled with turquoise water, Shey Phoksundo Lake is one of the prominent attractions of Lower Dolpo region. The alpine freshwater Shey Phoksundo Lake is marvelous but supports no organism in it. Similarly, Shey Phoksundo National Park hosting varieties of flora and fauna is another reason to visit Dolpo region ‘before you die!’ Shey Phoksundo National Park is a habitat for musk deer, Himalayan thar, blue sheep, snow leopard and hundreds of plant species. The Crystal Mountain, the Buddhists’ sacred mountain and Mt. Putha,are really beautiful natural sites alluring the trekkers to this isolated valley.
After exploring Dolpo region, GHT Nepal trekking passes towards Rara Lake, the largest alpine freshwater lake in Nepal. Surrounded by Rara National Park, Rara Lake is famous for some endemic fish species like Nepalese Snowtrout, Cyprinid fish and Rara Snowtrout. Rara National Park occupied by spruce, pine and juniper forests hosts a variety of plants, butterflies, birds and animals. The snowcapped peaks around the national park add up to the total beauty of the vicinity that everyone is attracted. Camping on the bank of Rara Lake with sparkling waters and relishing the green surrounding feels completely blissful.
Neighbouring to Dolpo region, Jumla, located in the far west bordering Tibetan plateau is a heavenly corner found on Earth. Jumla has naturally beautiful landscapes, honest hardworking people and typical culture and tradition in the remote part of Nepal. Jumla is famous for apple farming and paddy production in Nepal although the district is covered with snow in winter season. Sinja Valley, the origin of Khas language (present day Nepali language) is the place of captivating culture and tradition in Jumla. The lively green meadows, gurgling rivers, grazing cattle and the alpine forests invite the trekkers to this hidden place.
From the administrative headquarters Simikot of Humla, GHT Nepal trekking follows the ancient salt trading route to Tibet. Then the Great Himalayan Trail Nepal moves ahead along the banks of the Karnali River, the longest river of Nepal. Humla is the home for Thakuri people abiding by Hindu religion leading a rustic lifestyle equipped with traditional jewels and cultural dresses. Likewise, people following Buddhism and Shamanism involved in apple growing occupation and agriculture are also found in Humla. Humla is a place to visit during GHT Nepal trekking due to the blend of culture and nature in their purest form.
Humla Limi Valley trek is a must-do trekking package in Nepal for experiencing Tibetan Buddhist culture and ancient monasteries. Humla Limi Valley trek offers you chance to see mud houses in Tibetan styles and 1,000 years old Rizing Ling Gompa. From Yak Kharka (4,900,), the picturesque outlook of Mt. Kailash in Tibet is the rarest view while Humla Limi Valley trek. Captivating sights of mountains like Saipal, Byas, Rishi, Api, Kanjirowa and Kanti are the most rewarding factor of Limi Valley trek. Additional beauty of Humla Limi Valley trek is whistling rivers, natural waterfalls, cultivated land and green yak pastures in the region.
GHT Nepal trekking on the final days reaches to the Far West around Khaptad National Park and Api Himal Base Camp. The far west is the closing section if you start GHT trekking Nepal from far east or starting section to start. Actually, the far west section of GHT Nepal is completely uninhabited as the vegetation is not supportive for livestock farming. In this section of GHT Nepal, you can experience Api Himal Base Camp trek to make your GHT Nepal trekking more memorable. Api Himal Base Camp trek leads you through Hindu and Buddhist cultural villages untouched by modernity in the far west.
Khaptad National Park gets its name from a Hindu holy man Khaptad Baba who made his penance in this region. Established in 1984 in an area of 225 sq. km, Khaptad National Park hosts a variety of flora and fauna species. The park contains around 135 species of flowers, 226 species of birds and 23 species of mammals as a whole. The alpine plants like chir, rhododendron, pine, oak, Himalayan fir and hemlock are found in Khaptad National Park. Animals like barking deer, wild boar, snow leopard, wild dog and jackal are the ornaments of Khaptad National Park.
As GHT Nepal is the collection of many trekking trails in the Nepalese Himalayas, it can be said ‘the TRAIL of trails’. There are ten major sections of GHT Nepal, briefly described in this article for your convenience. All of the GHT Nepal sections are must-visit destinations once in lifetime to experience the wreath of natural and cultural beauties. You can visit the entire GHT Nepal under a single package or break down to do it at the regular intervals. Natural scenery found in distinct topographical variation and blend of cultural diversity is really difficult to describe in words. The rewards of GHT Nepal trekking is something one must feel and realize within themselves ‘before they die!’
Note: The detailed GHT Nepal itinerary has not been included in this article because it depends upon your physical fitness, health condition, vacation you have and the section you want to trek through. We will give you the complete GHT Nepal trekking itinerary when you choose either the GHT High Route or Low Route. For this purpose, you can contact Orbit Alpine Adventure (https://www.orbitalpineadventure.com/).
1. What is the Great Himalayan Trail Nepal?
the Great Himalayan Trail Nepal is one of the world’s longest and highest altitude trekking trails. The Great Himalayan Trail extends from Kanchenjunga region in far east to Api Himal, Darchula in far west of Nepal.
2. Can I do the GHT Nepal trekking?
Yes, of course, you can undoubtedly do the GHT Nepal trekking via the right trekking agency in Nepal. The main thing is that you hire a professional guide having enough information from the trekking agency.
3. What are the best seasons for this trek?
The best seasons for GHT Nepal trekking are spring and autumn for spectacular views of the snowcapped peaks and beautiful landscapes. Nevertheless, some sections of GHT Nepal trekking can be done throughout the year.
4. What are the necessary gears for the GHT Nepal trekking?
The GHT Nepal trekking gears depend upon whether you choose the High Route or Low Route. Trekking through GHT High Route, camping trekking equipments and technical gears with climbing guides are compulsory in some sections. For GHT Lower Route, professional trekking guides and trekking gears are compulsory. For more details, don’t forget to contact Orbit Alpine Adventure (https://www.orbitalpineadventure.com/).
5. Do I need a guide and a porter for this trek?
Of course, you need a skillful and well-trained guide and a porter to make your dream of GHT Nepal trekking come true! Since GHT Nepal trekking takes more than 150 days continuously walking up and down of the rugged trails, it’s not that easy. The trained guide and a porter can be really helpful in case of any obstalces during the journey.
6. How can I find the best organizer for the GHT Nepal trekking?
There are many trekking agencies in Nepal but a very few of them can organize the GHT Nepal trekking effectively. Among them, Orbit Alpine Adventure is the best trekking agency for organizing the GHT Nepal trekking effectively. The owner, Mr. Puru is the one among very few Nepalese to have completed the GHT Nepal trekking. Thus, he knows very well about the ground handling and the best way to make the GHT Nepal trekking flawlessly.
7. Can I continuously complete the GHT Nepal trekking or shall I break it down?
You can do the GHT Nepal trekking continuously if you have enough time, good health condition and willingness for it. However, you can do it sectionwise from the far east to the far west or vice versa due to unfavorable circumstances.