10 Best Short Treks in Nepal

Nepal never ceases to be a land of wonders. Road development has only existed since 1956. Prior to that everything (including cars) was brought in by porters.

Thousands of walking tracks crisscross the whole of Nepal not just in the high Himalayas. This means that incredible treks are waiting for you to explore at low altitudes and can last from just a couple of days to several months in duration.

Here is a list of the 10 Best Short Treks in Nepal.

1. Langtang Trek

Langtang Trek
Trip duration: 10 days
Elevation:2,560 meters

Langtang means “Valley of Glaciers” and lies in the north of Nepal. Starting from Syabrubesi you follow the ancient trade route that leads to Tibet. 

Passing yak farms famous for their cheese production the trail includes classical monasteries and gompas as well as diverse flora and fauna. Passing dozens of waterfalls and glaciers you might even get a glimpse of the Red Panda that is endemic to the area. 

Tamangs and Sherpa villages inhabit the region. The trek’s main highlight is the spectacular mountain views of Langtang Himal, Langtang Lirung, Langtang Ri, and Dorje Lakpa in a clean surrounding largely free from other trekkers.

2. Poon Hill Trek

ghorepani poonhill trek
Trip duration:4-5 days
Elevation:3210 meters

One of the most popular treks in the Annapurna region of Nepal. This trek is suitable for all age groups recommended for its lower elevations and favourable temperature. The trek proceeds from Nayapul, a short drive from Pokhara.

Across the route, you walk through ethnic villages of Gurungs and Magars in Ghorepani, Ulleri, and Ghandruk.

Dense forests of rhododendron and terraced farms all around the route accompany you. The area also has some amazingly diverse flora and fauna.

Watching the sunrise over the Annapurnas at  Poon Hill is spectacular. Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Hiuchuli, and Nilgiri as well as other lesser peaks provide great photo opportunities. Equally amazing is the sunset.

You can go on this trek all year round. But you need to be extra careful during winter as dense snow may block the passes in high regions.

3. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp Trek
Trip duration:8-10 days
Elevation:4310 meters

One of the great treks of Nepal. The Annapurna base camp trek has multiple options for starting including; the the Ghorepani Poon hill route, Syuli Bazar route or the Dhampus route. Whichever way you choose, they all meet at Chhomrong to continue to base camp.

Passing through bamboo and rhododendron forests, alpine meadows, hot springs and streams the backdrop of the Annapurna’s never ceases to amaze. This well-established route has great tea houses operated by retired Ghurkas. Famous for its apple pies friendly locals and spectacular villages and mountain views.  

Reaching the base of the Annapurna range is a dream-like experience. 360- degree views of the Annapurna’s, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Machhapuchhre and others

This is a moderate trek so anyone with average fitness can trek along the rocky ridges and well-formed trails. This route is suitable all year round.

Although Spring and Autumn are the peak season, if you wish to avoid crowds, you can choose other seasons as well. You can trek during winter too, as the climate is cold at night but warmer and clear during the day.

4. Lakes of Gosaikunda

gosaikunda lake
Trip Duration: 7 days
Elevation:4380 meters

Gosaikunda lake lying at 4380 meters the abode of Shiva and Gauri in Hindu mythology lies in the Langtang National park. It is a freshwater alpine Oligotrophic lake meaning it has little or no vegetation and is very clear. 

The major source of the Trishuli river has been a RAMSAR site (internationally recognized wetland) since 2007. The best time to visit the lake is during the Monsoon and Autumn.

The trail passes through lush pine and rhododendron forests. Along the way, you can visit yak farms and local cheesemakers. The fascinating thing about the lake is that although it is frozen for 6 months of the year the average temperature of the lake water is over 7 degrees celsius making it far warmer than other lakes at this altitude.

The area is surrounded by over 100 lakes. Full of mythology, culture, mountains, and nature this is the perfect trek for those that don’t want to trek at high altitude.

5. Everest View Trek

Everest View Trekking In Nepal
Trip Duration: 5-6 days
Elevation:3860 meters

A popular trek to see Mt Everest when you do not have enough time for the Everest Base Camp Trek. The trek starts from Lukla after a direct flight from Kathmandu.

After breakfast at Lukla, we continue onto Phakding about a 4-hour walk. If you are feeling good we can continue onto Monjo which will make the next day’s trek easier.

On the second day, we arrive at Namche Bazar the gateway to Mt. Everest and the main center of Sherpa’s in the Sholu/Khumbu valley. This is a hard day as we gain 830 meters in latitude. 

At Namche, you get to learn about Sherpa culture and their lifestyle living in this fabulous region of the world. The clear views of Mt.Everest and Ama Dablam from Namche Bazar will amaze you.

A visit to the Tengboche monastery is a bonus for your trek. Seeing how the monks live and work is a great immersion into Buddhist culture. 

6. Dolakha – Kalinchowk trek

Dolakha Kalinchowk trek
Trip duration: 3-4 days
Elevation:3842 meters

Kalinchowk is a popular Hindu shrine in the eastern hills at Dolakha district of Nepal. This is a shorter trek starting from Kathmandu and suits those who do not have enough time to go on longer treks, but still, want outstanding views and a bit of a challenge.

The trek commences from Charikot the district headquarters of the Dolakha district. After visiting the Bihmsen Temple we walk 5-6 hours to Kuri village where we stay the night.

The next morning we visit Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple where we have stunning views of Mt. Gaurishankar, Jugal, Annapurna, and Everest before returning the next day to Kathmandu. 

On this trek, you pass through the Gaurishankar Conservation Area. In spring Rhododendrons burst into flowers and it is a popular trek for bird watchers. In winter there is snowfall and suburb crisp mountain views due to the clear air.

Since the altitude on this trek is high enough to get AMS we recommend you take it slow and acclimate well. We are not in a rush but here to enjoy the views, local culture, and food. To top it off the trail is easy by Nepali standards so why not try this little-known trek.

7. Kathmandu Valley Trek

kathmandu chisapani hike 1

Kathmandu Valley is surrounded by a rim of lush hills. These hills are easier to climb and are best suited for a day trek. While staying in Kathmandu you have many options to choose from.

In these treks, you get a chance to observe the entire Kathmandu valley. Walking along serpentine pathways the countryside is dotted with settlements of different ethnic groups around the entire valley. 

You can choose to go on these treks at any time of the year. In spring the hillocks bloom in Rhododendron and other wildflowers. While in the Monsoon season the roadway can become wet and slippery. In other seasons, the roads are dry and shaded by tall forests.

The Chandragiri trek takes about 6 hours to climb uphill through dense hardwood forests. Or you can go to Ranikot, a 4-hour walk from Suryabinayak temple.

From Ranikot you can continue to Lakurivangyang a2 hours stroll. Other short treks include the Champa Devi trek, Nagarjuna – Jamacho trek, and the Shivapuri trek.

8. Mardi Himal Trek

Mardi Himal Trek
Trip Duration: 9-10 days
Elevation:4,500 meters

Mardi Himal is a short and relatively new trek in the Annapurna region. Not as well known among tourists the trek starts from Phedi, a 45 minutes drive from Pokhara city.

The trek then starts passing through lush rhododendron forests at lower elevations. As you move on you the trail becomes steeper as you head into the mountains. En route, you have panoramic views of Mardi Himal, Macchapuchari, Annapurna South and Himchuli peaks.

On this trek, you get to stay with local hosts and experience their daily activities. This trek offers spectacular sunrise and sunset views of the surrounding mountains. Proceeding to Deurali, you pass many villages, terraced fields and exotic landscapes.

This trek is available to trekkers all year round. During spring the Rhododendrons and Magnolias burst into flower painting whole mountainsides in a multitude of colours. Winter offers the clearest views under blue skies, but be sure to dress warmly.

9. Chisapani- Nagarkot- Dhulikhel Trek

Trip duration:3 days
Elevation:2,175 meters

One of the popular treks around the Kathmandu valley. This trek suits those who have less time for trekking but still want to go on one. The trek starts at Sundarijal- an hour’s drive from Kathmandu.

Walking uphill along the rocky Bagmati river, you will take 4-5 hours to reach Chisapani. The trail takes you through dense hardwood forests and Tamang settlements. Watching the sunrise on Chisapani lake is a beautiful start to the day.

The next day is a walk of 8-9 hours, before reaching Nagarkot, one of Nepal’s famous hill stations. Along the way, you pass settlements of people with mixed ethnicity living peacefully together. Nagarkot offers spectacular views of the Himalayas and has outstanding accommodation choices. Dawn the next day brings breathtaking views and is worth getting up early for.

Today we walk for about 5 hours across vast forests, settlements of Tamangs, Brahmins, Chhetris, and Newars before you reach Dhulikhel. En route, you have a 360-degree view of the entire Kathmandu valley.

This trek takes in Hillside views of Charikot Bazar, cultural insights into the life of Newars in Banepa and while at Dhulikhel, you can visit Namobuddha a famous Buddhist shrine in a peaceful surrounding.

10. Sarangkot- Dhampus Trek

Trip duration:5 days
Elevation: 600 meters

One of the shortest treks from Pokhara. Beginning from Phedi a 45-minute drive from Pokhara city you pass through Sarangkot, Dhampus and Naudanda.

Sarangkot rests on the western rim of Pokhara valley and is a famous vantage point for sunrise views. Watching the Annapurnas cloaked in gold as the sun rises brings tourists here just for the photo opportunities.

Trekking from here you pass through forests of Himalayan Pine and Oak, catching views of Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, and a dozen other peaks.

This trek is available all year round and is suitable for all age groups. It is famous as an alternative to the Annapurna view trek.

Terraced fields and lush forests accompany you along your journey. Arriving at Dhampus you get to explore this Gurung village famous for its hospitality before returning to Pokhara or continuing on to Kathmandu.

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Article by Pradeep Guragain

Pradeep is the co-founder of Magical Nepal. He was born and bred in Nepal and is a seasoned hiker and rider.

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