TREKKING IN NEPAL

Nepal is home to network of trails also called the Great Himalaya Trails, an extensive trail system that covers Nepal from Humla and Darchula in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east. The diversity of trekking in Nepal cannot be found in any other region of the world. In fact, the lowest point in Nepal is 59 m above sea-level in the Terai region while the highest point is Everest, 8,848 m above sea-level, the two points are, in a straight line, only 200 kilometres apart.

The majority of visitors to Nepal come in via the Tribuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. It is in Kathmandu that trekkers need to acquire their permits and other documentation, either from a trekking agent or from the appropriate offices. These documents will be checked along the trekking route. For those with little time to spend in Nepal there are half-day hikes from Kathmandu to witness breathtaking Himalayan views otherwise trek for weeks over stunning challenging mountain passes.

Up to the mid 1960s only a few trekkers had generally visited Nepal and back then as part of groups of expedition followers. Many of the big expeditions of the day encouraged trekkers to sign up in an attempt to help balance the funding.

Trekking in Nepal today is completely different to that of the 1960s. In all the main trekking areas, the National Parks and Conservation Areas lodges have been established where trekkers can find accommodation, food and meet other trekkers and locals along the way. The majority of the trails are well maintained and in many cases are sign-posted.

The lodges are well appointed and have facilities for charging batteries and the larger villages often have email facilities. The length, the difficulty and timing of the treks vary greatly and to add to that once outside of the main trekking areas transport becomes more problematic and often involves at least two journeys made on domestic scheduled flights.

The three main trekking areas and therefore the most easily accessible are the EverestLangtang and the Annapurna regions. Annapurna and Langtang have a slight advantage in so much that they can be reached via road connections. Trekkers are of course rewarded when they venture further afield as well! Great Himalaya Trails has extensive information on other trekking regions, which are accessible by domestic flights, such as Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Dolpo, and the Far West. Several days of trekking is required to reach the higher mountain areas from the local centers of population and administration.

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