There’s no doubt about it, Nepal is opening up with new areas being explored by trekking agencies every season as the government makes more permits available to encourage tourist income into poorer regions of the country. While the busy Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit trek still feature highly on the so-called ‘bucket lists’ of unimaginative backpackers. More adventurous trekkers are finding quieter places to explore where the scenery is every bit as breathtaking.
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.
Here are a few options to bring you top 5 unexplored treks in Nepal, and into the heart of Nepal.
1. Nar Phu Valley Trek
The Nar Phu Valley trek is a real Himalayan wilderness experience that is as unforgettable as it is spectacular. Tucked between the more visited Annapurna and Manaslu regions, Nar Phu is a true hidden gem that offers trekkers a rare opportunity to explore unspoiled valleys that feature a mix of raw Himalayan nature and ancient Buddhist culture. Three or four days of exploring in this remote region are guaranteed to relax the mind, and to cap it all off you can cross the 5322m Kang La pass back onto the Annapurna Circuit, and see the entire northern sweep of the Annapurnas, arguably the finest view in the Himalayas.
From September to November, the permit costs $90 USD per week per person. From December to August, it’s $75 USD.
(Kang La Pass)
Nar Phu Valley Highlights
- Venture into a remote part of Nepal that few travelers get to see
- Stay in ancient villages that have seen little change over the centuries
- Enjoy great views of Annapurna II, Himlung Himal, Gangapurna, and Tilicho Peak
- Experience a part of the Tibetan plateau that extends down into Nepal
- Witness a Tibetan-derived culture, with unique and colorful prayer stones and monasteries
Nar Phu Valley Itinerary
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu
Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Koto (8,530 feet / 2,600 m)
Day 4: Trek from Koto to Meta (11,680 feet / 3560 m)
Day 5: Trek from Meta to Phu (13,386 feet / 4080 m)
Day 6: Acclimatization day in Phu (13,386 feet / 4080 m)
Day 7: Trek from Phu to Nar Phedi (11,450 feet / 3490 m)
Day 8: Trek from Nar Phedi to Nar (13,484 feet / 4110 m)
Day 9: Trek from Nar to Ngawal (17,192 feet / 5240 m) via the Kang La Pass (5,240m)
Day 10: Trek from Ngawal to Pisang, Drive to Besisahar (8,179 feet / 2,493 m)
Day 11: Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu
Day 12: Depart Kathmandu
Best time to do Nar Phu Valley Trek
This trek is possible in the monsoon (June-August) as well as the two peak tourist seasons (March-May and September-November). The trek is still enjoyable in the monsoon, although the road access in the mountains to and from Besisahar could be disrupted by mud and landslides. In the winter (December-February) the high pass could be impassable with snow.
2. Limi Valley Trek
Limi Valley trek is a 2nd unexplored treks in Nepal. Entering the rarely visited and mystic Limi Valley is like stepping back in time. Due to the isolated location, the villages are very untouched by modern development. Century old Buddhist traditions interwoven with shamanistic influences are still an important part of daily life here. You follow the ancient salt trading and pilgrimage route to the border of Nepal and China, crossing the Nara La pass (4620 m) with spectacular views of the Himalayas. From the border town of Hilsa you turn northeast towards the Limi Valley.
During this trek you have a chance to spot the elusive snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep, jackals, hyenas and musk deer. You sleep in authentic, small Buddhist villages and camp in amazing spots amidst the snow-capped mountains. Situated approximately at an altitude of 4,100 meters (13,500 ft), surrounded by barley fields and at western side of Limi Valley, is a Til Village. Due to its remote location, Humla is still an “off the beaten trek destination”. Especially in spring and summer you’ll see very few tourists.
Remote wilderness Limi valley trek is situated in the Karnali region of Nepal and required a special permit from the government of Nepal
Limi Valley Highlights
- Trek for 2 weeks through the spectacular and varied Limi Valley
- Follow the Karnali river as it cuts through spectacular rock formations
- Bathe in the healing Chugzur hot springs
- Cross over breathtaking 16,000 ft (4,900 m) passes
- Wander through ancient Buddhist monasteries
Limi Valley Valley Itinerary
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu
Day 3: Flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj
Day 4: Flight to Simikot
Day 5: Trek from Simikot to Dharapori
Day 6: Trek from Dharapori to Kermi
Day 7: Trek from Kermi to Yalbang
Day 8: Trek from Yalbang to Tumkot Khola
Day 9: Trek from Tumkot to Thado Dunga
Day 10: Trek from Yari to Hilsa via Nara La Pass
Day 11: Trek from Hilsa to Manipeme
Day 12: Trek from Manipeme to Til Village
Day 13: Trek from Til village to Chagzur hot springs via Halji Chagzur hot springs
Day 14: Rest day at Chagzur (Tashi Thang) hot spring
Day 15: Trek to Jade/Nyalu base camp
Day 16: Trek from Nyalu base camp to Sheng Jungma
Day 17: Trek from Sheng Jungma to Langdogd Base
Day 18: Trek from Langdogd Base to Lekh Dinga
Day 19: Trek from Lekh Dinga to Simikot
Day 20: Flight Simikot – Nepalgunj – Kathmandu
Best time to do Limi Valley Trek
The Limi Valley trek only opened to foreigners in 2002 as this area borders on Tibet in the far west of Nepal. The majority of this trek will take place above 10,000 ft (3,000 m), so you may feel the effects of elevation. The best season for this hike is from May to October, as the passes are likely to be covered in snow the rest of the year.
3. Tsum Valley Trek
The Tsum Valley is situated in trans-himalayan region of Gorkha, Nepal, a sacred himalayan pilgrimage valley. The Valley stands with majestic backdrop of the Baudha Himal, Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal and other mountain ranges. This trek offers rich culture, ancient art, religion and beautiful mountain views.
The trek start and end point is Arughat, a seven hours drive from Kathmandu. The first half of the trek ascends the Budhi Gandaki Valley on good paths through a mix of dense forest, terraced fields and hill villages. As we leave the main Manaslu Trail for the Tsum valley, suddenly we get a feeling of entering truly into the hidden valley. While on the trek, we also pass through the alpine forests, glacial rivers, and enjoy the warm hospitality of ethnic people. Pass the lower Buri Gandaki regions of Liding, Machhakhola, Jagat and Philim. We also visit the ancient Gombas of the region such as: Rachen Gompa,Mu Gompa, Dephyudonma Gompa.
Tsum Valley Highlights
- Spectacular views of Mt. Ganesh and Manaslu mountains.
- Exploration of ancient form of Buddhist dialect, art, culture and religion
- Visit ancient Rachhen Gumba and other monasteries
- Observe remote local life.
- Explore Tibetan culture and tradition
- Wilderness hike to the hidden valley
- Refreshing bath in natural hot spring
Tsum Valley Trek Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu & Transfer to Hotel (1,300m/4,264ft)
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Arughat (600m/1,968ft) 7-8 hours drive
Day 04: Arughat to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft)
Day 05: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola (870m/2,952ft): 6-7 hours
Day 06: Maccha Khola to Jagat (2340m/7676ft): 6-7 hours
Day 07: Jagat to Chisopani (1660m/5,445ft): 4-5 hours
Day 08: Chisopani to Chumling (2,386m/7,827ft): 6 – 7 hours
Day 09: Chumling to Chokhangparo (3,010m/9,903ft): 4-5 hours
Day 10: Chokhangparo to Nile (3,361m/11,058ft): 5-6 hours
Day 11: Nile to Mu Gompa (3,700m/12,174ft): 3 hours
Day 12: Mu Gompa sightseeing
Day 13: Mu Gompa to Burgi Village (3,245m/10644ft) via Milarepa cave: 5 hours
Day 14: Burgi village – Chumling (2,386/7,827ft): 5-6 hours
Day 15: Chumling to Philim (1,570m/5,103ft): 6-7 hours
Day 16: Philim to Khorlabesi(970m/3182ft: 6-7 hours
Day 17: Khorlabesi to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft): 6-7 hours
Day 18: Soti Khola to Arughat to Kathmandu (600m/1,968ft): Walk 4 hours and drive 7-8 hours
Day 19: Farewell Friends
Best time to do Tsum Valley Trek
The best time to do the Manaslu Tsum Valley Trek is between the months of October and December, as they provide the clearest skies. The next best is from March to May. It is possible to do the trek in other months, but ask us and we’ll give you advice and information regarding those times.
4. Lower Dolpo Trek
The Lower dolpo trek is a true adventure for those desiring to get off the beaten path. The Dolpo region is an area of difficult-to-access Himalayan valleys in the northern part of Nepal. This Dolpo region was also portrayed in the Oscar-nominated movie Caravan. This trek gives one the opportunity to see and experience Himalayan Mountains and gorgeous lakes including the Phoksundo with its stunning turquoise blue water. Also one will see traditional yak caravans’ carryjng on trade with nearby Tibet, and spectacular high-mountain Buddhist monasteries.
This Lower Dolpo trek offers magnificent views of great Himalayan peaks, breathtaking landscapes, a large number of ancient monasteries and different communities. Hike along the beautiful and tranquil Phoksondo Lake, cross sparkling waterfalls, and observe a unique wild life including blue sheeps, mountain goats, jackals, wolves and if you are lucky, the legendary snow leopard as well.
Lower Dolpo Trek Highlights
- You will witness the age-old Bon-Buddhist practices in different monasteries.
- You will trek to the pristine Shey Phoksundo (3611 meters) alongside with an entry to the Shey Phoksundo National Park.
- You will have amazing experience walking in the desert-like rainshadow area of the lower Dolpo region.
- You can also catch the enticing views of Yak Caravan and got to walk on the ancient salt trade route.
- You will feel enticed by the sight of diverse flora and fauna of the region.
Lower Dolpo Trek Itinerary
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu 1,350 m / 4,430 ft and transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: In Kathmandu with sightseeing tour at places of interest.
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu to Nepalgunj city and transfer to hotel. (50 mins on air)
Day 04: Fly Nepalgunj to Jhupal 2,475 m then Trek to Dunai 2,140 m – 02 hrs.
Day 05: Trek to Chhepka 2,838 m – 06 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Samdua village 2,960m -06 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Phoksumdo Lake 3,630 m – 06 hours.
Day 08: Rest day at Phoksundo Lake for local excursion.
Day 09: Cross Baga La 5,070m and to Phedi 4,470m – 07 hrs.
Day 10: Cross Numa-la 5,190 m and to walk to other Phedi – 08 hrs.
Day 11: Trek to Tokyu Gaon 4,200m via Jeng la 5,090 m – 06 hrs.
Day 12: Trek to Dhotrap 3, 944 m- 05 hrs.
Day 13: Trek to Ghymagar 3,759 m – 07 hrs.
Day 14: Trek to Tarap Khola 3,652 via Chhyugar 3,440 m – 06 hours.
Day 15: Trek to Tarakot 2,540 m – 06 hrs.
Day 16: Trek to Dunai – 05 hrs then drive to Jhupal – 02 hr jeep ride.
Day 17: Fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj and transfer to hotel.
Day 18: Free day in Kathmandu for individual activities.
Day 19: Final International departure from Nepal.
Best time to do Lower Dolpo
Lower Dolpo is magnification adventure Himalayas view of Dolpo region, its call rain shadow trekking in Nepal which is the best time to do June, July, August, Sep-Oct, Lower Dolpo Trek required the special permit from Nepal immigration office, one week Permit is U$D 10 per person for the special Permit and Phoksundo.
5. Arun Valley Trek
Arun Valley Trek route is situated in the Makalu region, Arun Valley is blessed with the vast diversity of natural wonders and indigenous culture. This valley lies between the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest (8848 m), and the fifth highest mountain, Makalu (8463m), and boasts of an abundance of nature. Due to the presence of these mighty Himalayas, the quiet trails through the Rai and Sherpa settlements of Arun Valley Trek become more gorgeous and heartwarming.
The Arun Valley Trek starts with your flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, the starting point of the trek. The trek features traversing through deep forests with mixed vegetation leading to the beautiful Rai and Sherpa villages in the Arun Valley. One of the main highlights of this trek is the holy pond named Salpa Pokhari, which holds fair during the month of October for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.
Arun Valley Trek Highlights
- The spectacular isolated trail through the remote Arun Valley
- Tent camping – sleep underneath a beautiful starry sky
- Views of Makalu (8463 meters/27,766 feet) and Everest region peaks
- A moderate trail, perfect for trekkers of all skill levels
- Spend time with the welcoming Rai, Limbu, and Sherpa locals
Arun Valley Trek Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu 1,300m. Transfer to Hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu Half day sightseeing tour
Day 03: Fly Kathmandu to Tumlingtar 950m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 04: Drive to Chinchilla 1,800m. Approx 5 – 6 hours.
Day 05: Trek to Mamakhe 1,870m. approx. 4 – 5 hrs.
Day 06: Trek to Barabise 1,200m. 4 – 5 hrs.
Day 07: Trek to Deorali 1,800m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 08: Trek to Apung 1,930m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 09: Trek to Dhap 2,600m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 10: Trek to Jaljala 3,340m. 4 – 5 hrs.
Day 11: Rest day at Jaljala.
Day 12: Trek to Milke Danda. 3,662m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 13: Rest day at Milke danda for a local hike.
Day 14: Trek to Nundhaki 1,800m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 15: Trek to Chainpur 1,400m. 5 – 6 hrs.
Day 16: Trek to Tumlingtar 4 – 5 hrs.
Day 17: Free day at leisure.
Day 18: Transfer to Airport for international departure.
Best time to do Arun Valley
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are the best months for Arun Valley Trek. Where normally days are sunny, the temperature is perfect, the sky is clear and Mountain remains crystal. This trek can be done in Monsoon (June to August ) but you should not expect the great weather and Mountain view. You can do it in Winter (December to February) if you are used to with extreme cold temperature.
Adventure Connexion Treks & Expedition, your trusted & reliable trekking agency in Nepal. They’re dedicated to giving you the very best of their travel & trekking services, with the main priority on their safety & satisfaction. Founded in 2008 by Mr. Kulendra Baral & RB Adhikari, Adventure Connexion runs & operates by a dynamic team of tourism experts & professionals.