Planning your next trekking trip? Wondering what are the 10 greatest treks in the Himalayan Mountains? The Himalaya’s are the world’s greatest mountain chain, home to the world’s highest mountains.Most trekkers head straight for Everest Base Camp and it’s a great option for an adventure.However, an adventure abounds among the peaks of the Himalayas of which over 100 exceed 7000m or 24000 feet. Here is a quick rundown of 10 greatest treks from Bhutan to India to Nepal.
#1: Everest Base Camp
All time favorite trek in the Himalayas. Greatest views of the Everest, a good trail, wonderful tea houses and almost continuous views of some of the tallest peaks in the world will keep your attention during a typical 11-day trek. The trail ends at Everest Base Camp, where one can look directly up the ice fall of the Khumbu Glacier towards the peak of Everest which is still an impressive 3500m above. Trekking is possible from September to June and although it’s cold in December and January it’s the time of year you can find real solitude.
#2: Poon Hill and the Annapurna Base Camp
It is really two treks that can be done either separately or together. Like the Everest Base Camp trek, this offers a great trail and fabulous tea house lodgings for those looking for a little comfort along the way. If you have just four or five days the trek to Poon Hill is one of the best short treks in the Himalayas and offers a fantastic up close views of Annapurna. If you have a little more time then make the journey to Annapurna Base Camp established in the famed Annapurna Sanctuary where you can see a breathtaking the view of the south face of Annapurna I, the 10th tallest peak in the world.
#3: Manaslu Circuit
The Manaslu Trek is a 14 to 16-day tea-house trek which encircles the world’s 8th highest peak, quite a long trek but one that you are bound to enjoy. In recent years the tea houses and trails have been improved and this trek is quickly becoming a popular alternative to the Annapurna Circuit. This is one of Nepal’s great treks and it gets you away from the crowds at the same time.
#4: Makalu Base Camp Trek
It’s a little more than 16-day trek to the base camp of Makalu the world’s 5th tallest peak. Unlike the treks mentioned so far, this is not your general tea house trek and requires organizing for camping. The trek transverses through a range of environments as it heads up the Barun Valley to the Makalu base camp. It’s a true wilderness experience with some of the last remnants of untouched forests and beautiful alpine meadows.
#5: Upper Mustang Trek
The Upper Mustang Trek offers a diverse experience, highlighting the desert beauty and ancient Tibetan cultures of Nepal. The 18-day long trek heads north from Jomsom on the far side of the Annapurna Range. A special permit is needed to enter the area and the trek needs to be arranged as a combination tea houses and camping trek. Very few tourists (maybe 1000 a year) make the journey to see this remote part of Nepal. Some of the highlights of the trek include the ancient “Forbidden City” and the ancient monasteries and caves.
#6: Goecha La Trek
The Goecha La trek is about an 8-day long trek in the eastern state of Sikkim. It is one of the wettest portions of the Himalayas due to the proximity to the Bay of Bengal as well as a direct line of influence from the seasonal Monsoon. The journey is at first up a muddy trail through thick rain forests and then gradually the replaced by beautiful Rhododendron forests which are in full bloom in early May.
#7: Gangotri Glacier Trek
This 6+ day trek takes you to the source of the most sacred river in India the Ganges River. The trek starts at the end of the road near the temple town of Gangotri and heads 18km to Gomukh which is considered the source of the Ganges at the base of the glacier. The landscape here is spectacular with views of Mount Shivling and the Bhagirathi group of mountains. This is a great trek to see beautiful peaks, one of the largest glaciers in the central Himalaya.
#8: Frozen River Trek of the Zanskar River
An ancient route along the frozen Zanskar River this 6-day trek connects the villages of the Zanskar Valley with the village of Chilling which lies on the road to Leh (Ladakh, India). It is best to take this trek in late January and early February when the conditions are coldest and the frozen river can be used as a pathway. It’s a wonderful and beautiful trek if you can brave the average -10 C temperatures in the day which fall as low as -20 to -25 C at night. The trek can be difficult in places where the river is not completely frozen over and a new path must be forged over the snow-laden banks. It is certainly a once in a lifetime experience.
#9: Markha Valley
The Markha Valley trek is about 6 to 8-day long trek and one of the most famous and easiest to organize in Ladakh, India. Trekkers also have the option of choosing to climb Stok Kangri. This is a trekking peak and since the top can be reached relatively quickly one must be careful to properly acclimatize. The trek itself involves crossing three passes – Stok La, Kongmaru La and Gandla and follows the banks of the scenic Markha River valley. Camping near the base of Kang-Yutze peak is one of the highlights and can get you a glimpse of Tibetan culture.
#10: Kolahoi Glacier Trek
Trekking in Kashmir is like nowhere else in the Himalayas with its beautiful mountain meadows and majestic pine trees it has often been compared to the Alps of Switzerland. The 3 day trek up Lidder Valley to Kolahoi Glacier is easily accessed from Srinagar and a good option for the first trek in Kashmir. The trail follows the course of the Lidder River and offers panoramic views of the surrounding snow laden peaks and meadows abound with wildflowers. During the summer the canyon is home to the Gujjars, nomadic people who have been herding sheep in the region for centuries. If you make it all the way to the head of the valley you will be rewarded with fabulous views of the Kolahoi Glacier.
So what are you waiting for, get trekking with the 100MPH app, plan your next trek and invite your friends along!