Challenging Treks in Nepal
Nepal is a very suitable place for adventure tourism. The Great Himalayan trails and the world-famous mountain peaks, moderate climate, geographical diversity, etc. are the main attractions of Nepal. There are various challenging treks in Nepal. The region from Mount Kanchenjunga in the east to Mount Saipal in the west has many classic trekking trails which offer world-class adventure in the world.
Nepal has the most diverse and unbelievable variations in its geographic composure. The elevation of Nepal ranges from 59 m above sea level to 8,848 m above sea level. Such a tremendous variation within a small area is a mere surprise as well. Therefore, Nepal has the most trekking regions with a variety of trekking packages along with some challenging treks in Nepal.
Trekking in Nepal is full of surprises and wherever you go, you will have a big reward from Mother Nature. The more difficult the trekking trail is, the more is the reward.
Many trekkers love to go for challenging treks in Nepal because the they are comparatively more rewarding. Like people say ‘No pain, No gain’. The more challenging it is, the more rewarding it gets. If you are a true nature lover, you should be ready to go to some extreme lengths and have perseverance until the last moment. Some days, you might even have to eat little or sleep in fewer comforts.
Life itself is a big adventure. Adventure has to be tested and done to know the real value of life. The challenging treks in Nepal is also an opportunity to test your ability of endurance. Have you ever had such kind of experience in life? If you haven’t, then this sort of adventure is for you. However, most of these treks can be completed with fewer troubles if we go entirely prepared. Lots of preparations and training is sure to make you overcome all sorts of challenges in the mighty Himalayas.
Nepal is a galaxy of fascination and experience and best of all a living ethnographic museum for sociologists and anthropologists. And the biggest of all is the dreamland of the naturalists, explorers, and adventure junkies.
In this article we are going to provide you with a complete insight into some of the most challenging treks in Nepal for trekkers or nature lovers or adventure seekers who want to take their adventurous life to the next level:
Table of Contents
- 1 Everest Three High Passes Trek
- 2 Kanchenjunga Trek
- 3 Rolwaling Tashi Lapcha Pass
- 4 Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
- 5 Ganja La Pass Trekking
Everest Three High Passes Trek
Everest Three High Passes Trek is one of the most challenging treks in Nepal. This trek is one of the best treks for those who are ready to accept plenty of challenges. The Everest Three High passes trek surely provides the thrill of a lifetime.
The main attraction of the Everest Three High Passes Trek are the three high passes namely Kongma La, Chola pass, and Renjo La. These passes are ultimately the best adventures in Nepal. The Everest Three High Passes Trek provides you with the experience of all these passes in a single journey.
As the trek unfolds, you discover the real beauty of the Khumbu region. The trek follows trails along the icy trails of high passes and rocky terrain. Not everyone can travel the trails here. Thus, most of the area remains untouched and unexplored. But as you move along the way, you can uncover mind-blowing views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse, and Mt. Thamserku, Mt. Ama Dablam, and many more. This trek also allows you to enjoy the Himalayan biodiversity of the Sagarmatha National Park.
Moreover, as you walk through remote villages, you meet the mountainous people and discover their culture and communities. The Everest Three High Passes Trek encompasses trails of both the Everest Base Camp Trek and the Gokyo Ri Trek. In conclusion, this trek gives you a round trip to the Khumbu by which you get a holistic experience of the region’s real beauty.
Highlights of the Trek
- Conquer all three high passes of the Everest region: Kongma La (5,535m), Cho La (5420m), and Renjo La (5340m).
- Explore the lesser-travelled remote vibrant valleys of the Everest region and get acquainted with the culture and lifestyle of the local people.
- Stop by the Everest Base Camp and Kalapatthar to enjoy part of the Everest Base Camp Trek.
- Witness the famous Khumbu Icefall.
- Get amazing views of the iconic mountains of the Everest region such as Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, etc.
Best Season for Everest Three High Passes Trek
The best time to do the Everest Three High passes trek is during spring and autumn. These seasons occur from March to May and September to November. As it is among the challenging treks in Nepal so you must choose the favorable weather. During these months, the weather is dry, and there is a lesser chance of rain or snowfall. The temperatures are also moderate and bearable even around the high altitude.
During these seasons, you can enjoy a safer journey with clear weather as the trails remain dry as well as unobstructed views with clear blue sky. However, if you wish to travel during winter, you must be ready to accept the challenges along the way. During the winter season, the weather will be unpredictable and there will be continuous snowfall. The trails will be covered with snow, and most areas, including the passes, will be restricted from access. The temperature drops below 0º C. During winter, the trails are wet and cloudy. Therefore, it is not a wise idea to go trekking to Everest Region during the winter season.
Similarly, summer is also not suitable for this trek. Although the atmospheric conditions are not that worse as in winter, trekking in summer can be problematic. Summer coincides with the monsoon. The muddy and slippery trails make your journey difficult and unsafe.
Everest Three High Passes Trek Difficulty
Everest Three High Passes Trek is the most difficult/challenging teahouse trek in Nepal. It is a very serious adventure because of its high pass crossings. It is more challenging than its sibling treks Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes, but not quite as challenging as trekking peaks such as Island Peak and Mera Peak. Moreover, the glacial fields, steep and rugged terrain, high altitude, snowdrift etc. make this trek a little more challenging.
Everest Three High Passes Trek Cost
The cost of a standard Everest Three High Passes Trek ranges between USD 1,500 to USD 2,000 per person depending upon the length of your itinerary. The cost covers various services such as accommodation, meals, flight and transportation charges, guides, permits, porters, etc.
Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586 m) is the third highest peak in the world. This is one of the beautiful peaks located in Far East Nepal. Though it is one of the known peaks of the world, it is standing in almost complete isolation from the other major peaks of the Himalayas. The trekking to this peak was restricted until 1988 but now the Kanchenjunga Trek is considered amongst the premier routes for those seeking a rarely travelled and highly challenging treks in Nepal.
Kanchenjunga is one of the last unspoiled wilderness regions of Nepal. During the Kanchenjunga trek, you will notice that it’s home to elusive snow leopards, the Himalayan black bear, and the Assamese macaque, as well as an unforgettable landscape of towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and verdant forests of rhododendron and bamboo. During the Kanchenjunga trek, you will also notice the scattered villages and the indigenous people settling in the locale. The warm-hearted Rai and Limbu people with a culture that traces back to Tibetan origins and their distinct lifestyles make this trek of a unique pattern.
The Kanchenjunga Trek offers some of the Himalaya’s most awe-inspiring and majestic scenery en route to South Base Camp (5,143 m). Until recently the trek was only possible through the considerable effort of carrying in all the necessities of life such as food and camping equipment, but with the advent of tea houses along the trail in response to its growing popularity, the logistics of the exercise have become considerably easier.
The Kanchenjunga Trek is a journey for the trekker with a sense of adventure, a desire to explore less travelled trails, and the determination and conditioning to tackle the challenges of a physically demanding route through one of Nepal’s most remote regions.
Highlights of Kanchenjunga Trek
- Stunning views of the Himalayas including Mt. Everest
- Abundant wildlife species such as blue sheep, musk deer, snow leopard, and black bear
- Amazing panoramas of Kanchenjunga, Jannu and other nearby Himalayan giants, as well as distant views of the eastern faces of Makalu and Everest
- Walking on Yalung Glacier
- Terraced fields and pristine rhododendron, pine, and bamboo forests
- The warmth and hospitality of the Rai & Limbu people
- The option to explore both base camps at Kanchenjunga
Best Season for Kanchenjunga Trek
March to Late May is the best season for Kanchenjunga Trek in Nepal. The weather during these months is good and so are the views. The spectacular blooming rhododendron flower along the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trail makes the trek more romantic and enjoyable. Skies are usually clear with stunning views around.
The difficulty of Kanchenjunga Trek
Kanchenjunga Trek is one of the physically demanding and challenging treks in Nepal. The remote location and high altitude make this trek a difficult one. This trek goes through several difficult ascends and descends. As the altitude increases, the difficulty level of the trek also increases. Moreover, the 6 to 7 hours every day walk, unpredictable weather, no availability of the teahouses etc. also make this trek challenging.
Kanchenjunga Trek Cost
Kanchenjunga Trek in general costs USD 3,000 to USD 3,500 per person. Kanchenjunga Trek is comparatively more expensive than other treks in Nepal because of its remoteness, transportation cost, and restricted area permit. However, the cost covers various services such as accommodation, meals, flight and transportation charges, guides, permits, porters, etc.
Rolwaling Tashi Lapcha Pass
The Rolwaling Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek is also one of the latest and most popular treks in Nepal. It also falls under the challenging treks in Nepal. The treks cover Gauri Shankar Conservation Area and the Sagarmatha National Park. The Rolwaling Valley also extends up to the Everest region. Thus, this trek provides the experience of both the Rolwaling and Everest Region.
This trek features the beautiful Tso Rolpa Lake (4,183 m), summit the Tashi Lapcha Pass (5,682 m), Namche Bazaar etc. This trek offers superb breathtaking views of Gauri Shankar and Everest and many other mountains. The Tashi Lapcha Pass is perhaps the most difficult in this region. So, a high level of fitness and stamina is required.
This is reportedly one of the possible routes that people from Kham in Tibet used during the mid1800’s. These people subsequently settled in this area and the Everest region and are now known as Sherpa. Therefore, this trek also has historical and cultural significance. After crossing the pass and coming into the Everest region, there are glorious views of Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Kusum Kangaru. And once reaching the bustling market town of Namche Bazaar there is an opportunity to interact with other trekking and climbing groups as well as the Sherpa.
Highlights of the Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek
- Stunning views Gauri Shankar, Everest, Lhotse, etc.
- Least visited trekking region, explore the Glacier lake of Tso Rolpa.
- Diverse and admirable landscapes
- Crossing over 5700 meters Tashi Lapcha Pass, hidden Rolwaling Valley and Monasteries.
- The Buddhist culture in the Khumbu
Best Season for Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek
The most suitable time to go for Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek is the spring season (March-May) and Autumn Season (September-November). As we have stated earlier, these are the two peak seasons for trekking in Nepal. You will have the perfect views, plenty of sunshine, and no disturbance due to rain during these seasons. Even at a high altitude, you must not worry about the extreme cold.
Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek Difficulty
Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek is technically very difficult. The presence of some blue ice and craves make this trek technical. Besides that high altitude, remote setting, unpredictable weather, steep terrain etc. also mark the level of difficulty of this trek. This trek demands a high level of physical fitness and previous climbing experience.
Cost of Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek
The cost of a standard Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek ranges between USD 3,000 to USD 3,500 per person depending upon the length of your itinerary. The cost covers various services such as accommodation, meals, flight and transportation charges, guides, permits, porters, etc.
Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
The Annapurna region surely is a land of wonders. Possessing numerous natural beauties, there is a wide array of locations to visit in this region. One such outstanding choice here is the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek.
The name “Dhaulagiri” was derived from the Sanskrit word “Dhawla” and “Giri,” Dhaulagiri means dazzling White Mountain. True to its name, th
Dhaulagiri is a dazzling beautiful snow-clad peak.
Unlike many other popular treks of the Annapurna, the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is somewhat isolated. If you wish to travel in a less crowded place and admire solitude, the Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is the best option for you in the Annapurna region.
Dhaulagiri (8,167m) is the seventh-highest mountain in the world. The Annapurna region is the royal trekking region in the northwestern flank of Nepal. And the Dhaulagiri peak is a precious gem of the region. It is one of the challenging treks in Nepal and the trek is very much popular for the spectacular views. Besides, Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek is popular for ethnic and ethnocultural experiences. The traditional settlement of Gurung, Magar, Thakali, etc. provides an opportunity to experience the real Nepal.
Highlights of the Trek
- Cross two extreme passes: the French Pass (5,240m) and Thapa Pass (5,155m).
- Traverse through rural settlements of the Annapurna region and meet ethnic people of mostly; Gurung, Magar, and Thakali tribes.
- Witness the world’s deepest gorge, the Kali Gandaki gorge.
- Get spectacular views of mountains such as the Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, and Thorong Peak.
- Visit some of the most iconic villages of the Annapurna region.
- Venture on one of the most challenging treks of Nepal.
Best Season for Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
The best time to do this trek is from March to May and October to December. During these months, the weather is good at moderate temperatures. The skies are clear, offering great views of the landscapes. Minimal chances of rain and snow also make the trip safer.
Months besides those mentioned above have unpredictable and dangerous weather conditions. The trails of this trek are intricate and pass through treacherous lands. During summer, especially, there is a high risk of avalanches and landslides due to heavy rain. Trails are muddy and slippery, which can give trekkers a tough time.
Dhaulagiri Round Trek Difficulty
The Dhaulagiri round trek is also known to be one of the most challenging treks of Nepal. It is indeed a strenuous trek for various reasons. It is also labelled as an “extreme trek.” This is because you must have technical knowledge of climbing with ropes, ice-axes, and crampons.
Also, you will have to walk very long distances during the trek. The trek covers some extreme high altitudes. Thus, you should only attempt this trek during the snow-free months. The path follows glaciers and high snowcapped passes. Therefore, this is only suitable for fit and experienced individuals who can go on demanding treks.
Dhaulagiri Round Trek Cost
The Dhaulagiri Round trek costs about USD 2,500 to USD 3,000 per person. The package includes various services such as accommodation, meals, flight and transportation charges, guides, and porters.
Ganja La Pass Trekking
Ganja La Pass Trek is the latest opened and famous trek in Nepal. It is one of the neatest treks from Kathmandu valley. This is also the least trekked and adventurous trekking trail of the Langtang region because of its challenging path.
So, this trek has become the most popular choice of adventure motivated trekkers.
Ganja La Pass Trek requires previous trekking experience, technical skills, climbing equipment and assist of a guide as it is one of the most challenging treks in Nepal. Langtang Ganja La Pass Trek offers the exploration of Tibetan style Tamang Villages in combination with panoramic Himalayan views of Mountains like Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, Yala Peak, Gauri Shanker and many more. Wilderness adventure experience along with Ganja La Pass Trek at an elevation of 5,122 m are the main highlights of this tour.
The adventure to Ganja La Pass Trek of Langtang Region starts with a day’s bus ride from Kathmandu to Sybrubesi, Rasuwa. From Sybrubensi you have to follow the Langtang River to the east until you get to Kyanching Gompa where you can view the mountains like Naya Kanga and Ponggen Dopku. Kyanching Gompa is surrounded by Mt Langtang Lirung on the west, Yala peak on the north, Dorje Lakpa, Urkeinmang, Loenpo Gang and Kangchenpo on the north-east. Kyanjing Gompa consists of a small Buddhist monastery and a cheese factory started in 1955 where you can taste the local cheese of Nepal.
The main challenging task of this trek is to reach the highest point of this trek Ganja La Pass at an altitude of 5,122 m. The last few 100 m trails to the pass are insecure so you must use rope for the safety purpose and also about 1 km is a steep slope while coming down which may require better care. The group must be well equipped with enough food and shelter as we may not find any lodges for settlement for about 3 days along the route.
The individuals living in Langtang are mostly of Tibetan origin and they present themselves as Tamang or Gurung or Sherpa. People here worship the Buddhist religion so you can uncover numerous old Buddhist monasteries in the villages. At the closure of the excursion after passing the Ganja La Pass, you will additionally trek through some wonderful rice terraces and various astonishing Buddhist monasteries around the delightful villages of Tarke Gyang, Malemchigaon and Sermathang and finally head back to Kathmandu Valley.
Additionally, the combination of green rhododendron and bamboo forests, majestic waterfalls, beautiful landscape and the snow-capped Himalayas make the trek one of the most diverse treks near Kathmandu.
Highlights of Ganja La Pass Trek
- Visit Tibetan village at Langtang
- Amazing views of Langtang Ri, Ganesh Himal, Lang Sisa
- Ascent of Chorkari Ri (5,050 m)
- Panoramic views of 10 peaks over 6,000 m
- Spectacular views of the Ice fluted Gyanghempo
- Crossing the Ganjala pass 5,122 m.
Best Season for Ganja La Pass Trek
The best time for Ganja La Pass Trek is spring and the autumn seasons. It is practically very difficult to trek this region during the winter and summer seasons.
The Autumn season is the perfect season for the Langtang Valley Ganja La Pass Trek. This season is the peak of tourism activities due to the favourable weather. As the monsoon slowly ends, a perfect trekking climate sets itself. The temperature goes up to 20º C in the daytime and falls to 5º C during the nighttime. Trekkers can enjoy the best vistas with a clear sky. Autumn is also the time of celebration in Nepal as two of the greatest festivals Dashain and Tihar are celebrated during autumn.
The Spring season is also ideal for this trek. But the winter and summer seasons may ruin the wonderful trekking experiences.
The difficulty of Ganja La Pass Trek
Langtang Valley Ganja La Pass is a challenging trek. The hiking will be about 6 to 8 hours a day taking regular breaks where we admire the mountain views. The trek routes involve long climbs, steep descents and a straightforward following a good trial. This trek is suitable for experienced ones. This trek is not recommended to those who suffer from sensitive medical conditions such as heart or lungs disease.
Ganja La Pass Trek Cost
Ganja La Pass Trek cost ranges from USD 1,300 to USD 1,500 per person depending upon the length of your itinerary. The cost covers various services such as accommodation, meals, flight and transportation charges, guides, and porters. If you don’t mind the extreme cold and are ready to encounter adversities, you may travel in the offseason and get off seasonal discounts.