Trekking in Nepal is a dream of every trekking enthusiast. Trekking in the Himalayas at high-altitudes is an adventurous feat even for avid trekkers. The Himalayas of Nepal attracts thousands of visitors every year from every corner of the world just for trekking. 

Most of the people visiting Nepal choose to trek in the Himalayan region as many highest peaks of the world are situated there. Long trekking trails like Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp Trek are the most popular trekking routes in Nepal.  

However, if you can’t afford a long vacation but still want to explore the natural beauty of Nepal, the country offers many short trekking routes. You can trek to the Himalayan region and create wonderful trekking memories in as little as 4 days. 

Some of the popular 4-days treks in Nepal are Ghorepani Poonhill trek, Kalinchowk trek, and Sarangkot Dhampus trek among others. 

Usually, 4 days’ treks are short and easy ones that are suitable for everyone. If you are a novice trekker, this might be the best way to start. Most of the trekking trails begin either from Kathmandu, the Capital city of Nepal or Pokhara, the city of lakes. 

1. Ghorepani Poonhill Trek

Ghorepani Poonhill Trek

Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is the best short trek Nepal has to offer. This trek is suitable for people of all ages. Your trek begins from Pokhara. As the highest altitude, you will reach in this trek is just 3,210 meters, you do not need to worry about altitude sickness.

The best part of Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is the photogenic beauty of Himalayan Panorama. As you ascend through the trail, you will witness eye-catching glimpses of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri range, Hiunchuli, Manaslu, and Mt. Fishtail,

This trek is also known as Annapurna Panorama Trek. From Poonhill, you will witness a wide range of snow-capped peaks. Such as Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Mardi Himal, Gangapurna, Lamjung Himal, etc.

Not only you can see the close-up view of the Himalayas, but you can also enjoy the phenomenal sunrise and sunset views from Poonhill. This trek takes you through terraced farms, lush forests, colorful villages, rhododendron forests, and paddy fields, etc.

Descending through the trail, you will stop at Ghandruk Village. The village is rich in culture with Gurung and Magar settlements.  

Highlights

  • Views of white snow-capped Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri range, and other mountains.
  • Best known for phenomenal sunset and sunrise view from Poonhill.
  • You will stop by the famous village of Ghandruk  
  • Ascend and descend through the famous stone stairs of Ulleri village.

Trek facts

Difficulty  Easy
Maximum Altitude 3,210 meters
Accommodation Teahouses
Best Months February-June, September-November
Starting Point Pokhara

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from (Meter) Altitude to (Meter) Trekking Duration
1 Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul (1.5 hours) then trek to Hile 900 1,477 3 hours
2 Trek to Ghorepani 1,477 2,840 6 hours 
3 Hike to Poon hill (3,210 meters) and trek to Ghandruk  2,840 1,950 5-6 hours 
4 Trek down to Nayapul then drive to Pokhara (1.5 hours drive) 1,950 900 3 hours 

2. Kalinchowk Trek

Kalinchowk Trek

Kalinchowk Trek is a popular trekking destination near Kathmandu valley. It is a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple lies on the top hill of Kalinchowk at an altitude of 3,842 meters. You can visit Kalinchowk in any season and can experience snowfall in winter.

From the top hill of Kalinchowk, you can witness the magnificent views of the Himalayan range such as Mt. Gaurishankar, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Everest, Mt. Jugal, etc. The famous Sunkoshi and Tamakoshi rivers originate from this region. You can also explore the culture and lifestyle of Brahmin, Tamang, and Sherpa communities. 

You will trek through rhododendron forests and pass through rivers, streams, hills, mountains, etc. on your 4 hours drive from Kathmandu to Charikot. You can also stop at Kharidhunga to enjoy the cool breeze and panoramic views of the mountains.

Highlights

  • Kalinchowk Bhagwati Temple ( 3,842 meters).
  • Magnificent views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Annapurna, and many others
  • Explore a diverse culture and lifestyle
  • Rivers Sunkoshi and Tamakoshi that originate in this region

Trek facts

Difficulty  Easy
Maximum Altitude 3842 meters
Accommodation Teahouses
Best Months February-May, August-November
Starting Point Kathmandu

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from  (Meters) Altitude to (Meters) Trekking Duration
1 Drive from Kathmandu to Charikot (4 hours) 1,400 1,515
2 Trek from Charikot to Kuri 1,515 3,450  6 hours
3 Excursion to Kalinchowk Temple (3,700 meters) and Hike to Charikot  3,450  1,515 5-6 hours
4 Drive to Charikot to Kathmandu (4 hours) 1,515 1,400

3. Sarangkot-Dhampus Trek

Sarangkot-Dhampus Trek is a short and the nearest trekking trail from Pokhara valley. Your trek begins from Pokhara and takes you to 3 popular viewpoints namely Sarangkot, Dhampus, and Naudanda. 

From Dhampus, you will get to see the beautiful sunrise and the panorama of the Himalayan range including Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Lamjung, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre. Dhampus lies in the lower region of the Annapurna Sanctuary. In Dhampus, you will be greeted by the ethnic Gurungs whose warm hospitality will make you feel at home. You will also get a close insight into the culture and the lifestyle of Gurungs.

Another viewpoint Sarangkot is popular for its sunrises and spectacular closeup view of Mt. Fishtail and the entire Pokhara valley. Finally, from Naudanda hill, you can cherish the crystal clear views of the Phewa lake.

Highlights

  • Fantastic views of Sunrise from Sarangkot hill and views of Pokhara valley.
  • The spectacular scenery of Himalayas of Nepal such as Annapurna South, Dhaulagiri, and Machhapuchhre from Dhampus village.
  • Close insight into the culture and lifestyle of Gurungs.
  • 3 Popular viewpoints (Sarangkot, Dhampus, and Naudanda).

Trek facts

Difficulty  Easy
Maximum Altitude 1,770 meters
Accommodation Hotel/Lodge
Best Months All months
Starting Point Pokhara

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from (Meter) Altitude to (Meter) Trekking Duration
1 Drive to Milan Chowk and trek to Astam. 900 1,650 3-4 hours 
2 Trek to Australian Camp via Dhampus village 1,650 2,000 4-6 hours
3 Trek to Sarangkot  2,000 1,600 7-8 hours
4 Trek to Pokhara 1,600  900 2-4 hours

4. Balthali Village Trek

Balthali Village Trek

Balthali Village Trek is the nearest trekking trail from Kathmandu Valley. This trek takes you through forests with diverse vegetation such as colorful rhododendrons, magnolias, and sal trees. You will pass through green forests, terraced farmland, small farming villages, ancient temples, etc.

Balthali village trekking rewards you with astonishing views of the Himalayan range. You can view Mount Manaslu, Langtang Himal, Ganesh Himal, Dorje Lakpa, and Gaurishankar Himal from this village. The sunrise and sunset views from this village are worth your visit.

Trekking in Balthali Village is all about natural and cultural exploration. There are many sacred temples and monasteries on the trail. You can visit the famous Namo Buddha monastery and ancient temples such as Indreshwar Mahadev and Brahmayeni temple.

From a very low altitude, you can enjoy the view of the mighty Himalayan range which includes numerous peaks, from Mt. Manaslu to Mt. Everest. 

Highlights

  • Incredible views of the Himalayan range, including Manaslu, Langtang, etc.
  • Awe-inspiring sunrise and sunset views.
  • Namo Buddha monastery and ancient temples.
  • Newari culture and architecture in Panauti village.

Trek facts

Difficulty  Easy
Maximum Altitude 1,750 meters
Accommodation Teahouses
Best Months September-November, March-May
Starting Point Dhulikhel

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from (Meter) Altitude to (Meter) Trekking Duration
1 Hike from Dhulikhel to Namo Buddha and then to Balthali 1,550 1,730 6 hours
2 Explore Around Balthali Village 1,730 1,730
3 Hike from Balthali to Panauti (1,750 meters) and drive to Kathmandu (2 hours) 1,730 1,400 2-3 hours
4 Departure to Kathmandu 1,400 1,400

5. Ghandruk Village Trek

Langtang Valley Trek

Ghandruk Village Trek is one of the best short treks in the Annapurna region that is relatively easy and comfortable. Your trek begins from Pokhara with a drive to Nayapul. Ghandruk village is rich in culture, nature and known for its warm hospitality. You will encounter Gurung settlements in Ghandruk village. You can visit the traditional Gurung museum and get a close insight into their culture.

You can make your journey even more exciting and memorable by participating in local festivals and dance. You can also dress in Gurung attire and try local foods.

Ghandruk village trek is a blend of natural and cultural exploration. You will trek through rhododendron forests and evergreen paths. You can also witness magnificent views of Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Fishtail, Hiunchuli, and Gangapurna.

Highlights

  • An easy, comfortable and short trail in the Annapurna region.
  • Insights into the unique culture and traditional lifestyle of Gurungs.
  • Spectacular views of Annapurna, Fishtail, Hiunchuli, and Gangapurna Mountains.
  • Trek to rhododendron forest with an evergreen path.

Trek facts

Difficulty  Easy
Maximum Altitude 1,940 meters
Accommodation Teahouses
Best Months February-June, September-November
Starting Point Pokhara

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from (Meter) Altitude to (Meter) Trekking Duration
1 Drive to Nayapul (2 hours) from Pokhara then walk to Ghandruk  900 2,300 5 hours
2 Ghandruk to Tolka 2,300 2,446 3-4 hours 
3 Tolka to Australian camp 2,446 3,597 3-4 hours
4 Australian camp to Kande (45 min) then drive to Pokhara (1 hour) 3,597 2,743 45 min

6. Annapurna Base Camp Trek

annapurna base camp trekking in nepal

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular trekking trails in the Himalayas of Nepal. About two-thirds of trekkers visiting Nepal choose the Annapurna region for their trekking experience. 

Annapurna region has the highest mountain pass in the world, the Thorong La Pass. Usually, trekkers choose this trail for long-treks. But it is also possible to complete this trek within 4 days. 

You will have the privilege to explore two base camps in one trip (Annapurna Base Camp and Machhapuchhre Base Camp). Your trek begins from Pokhara with 3 hours drive to Siwai. 

This trek includes diverse terrain and forests filled with rhododendrons, orchids, pines, and fir trees. From ABC, you will see the panorama of the Himalayan peaks such as Annapurna (8,091 meters), Dhaulagiri (8,162 meters), Machhapuchhre (6,993 meters), Himchuli, Nilgiri, and Gangapur. After enjoying the sight of the Himalayan range, you will fly back to Pokhara through helicopter.

Highlights

  • Scenic flight from ABC to Pokhara
  • Trekking through the deepest gorge in the world, Kali Gandaki Gorge
  • Panoramic views of Annapurna range
  • Two base camp in one trip (Machhapuchhre Base Camp and Annapurna Base Camp).

Trek facts

Difficulty  Moderate
Maximum Altitude 4,130 meters
Accommodation Teahouses
Best Months February-June, September-November
Starting Point Pokhara

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from (Meter) Altitude to (Meter) Trekking Duration
1 Drive from Pokhara to Siwai (3 hours) and trek to Chhomrung 900 2,170 6/7 hours 
2 Trek to Himalaya 2,170 2,920 7 hours
3 Trek to Annapurna Base Camp via Machhapuchhre Base Camp 2,920 4,130 6-7 hours
4 Fly to Pokhara via Helicopter 4,130 900 20-25 minutes

7. Chisapani-Nagarkot-Dhulikhel Trek

Chisapani Nagarkot Trek

Chisapani-Nagarkot-Dhulikhel Trek is a famous trekking trail that lies within Kathmandu valley. It is one of the shortest trekking trails, yet it offers you amazing mountain views. Your trek starts from Sundarijal which is the gateway to Shivapuri National Park. 

You will walk through the pine and oak forests towards your first destinationChisapani where you stay overnight. You can enjoy bird watching and some other wild animals. From Chisapani, you can see the views of Dorje Lakpa, Chova, Vamre, and other peaks.

After 6-7 hours of walk from Chisapani, you will reach Nagarkot. Nagarkot is best known for its sunrise and sunset views. In a clear day, you can spot the views of  Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, Dhaulagiri in the west, Mt. Everest and Kanchenjunga in the east. 

As you reach Dhulikhel, you get to explore the cultural diversities. In Dhulikhel, you can visit Gukhureswar Mahadev temple and Bhagwati temple. You will witness pagoda temples and sacred statues at Dhulikhel. 

You can see the views of the surrounding area from these temples. Namobuddha is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site which also lies in Dhulikhel. And there are many stupas and shrines.

Highlights

  • Explore and walk through Shivapuri National Park
  • Enjoy the views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Gaurishankar, etc.
  • Popular sunrise and sunset views from the top of Nagarkot
  • The trail combines forests, waterfalls, terraced farmlands, remote villages, and lush vegetation

Trek facts

Difficulty  Easy
Maximum Altitude 2,175 meters
Accommodation Lodge/Hotel
Best Months March-May, September-November
Starting Point Kathmandu

Outline Itinerary

Day Description Altitude from (Meters) Altitude to (Meters) Trekking Duration
1 Drive from Kathmandu to Sundarijal (1 hour) and hike to Chisapani 1,400  2,115 4 hours 
2 Chisapani to Nagarkot 2,115 2,175 6-7 hours
3 Nagarkot to Dhulikhel 2,175 1,440 5-6 hours
4 Dhulikhel to Kathmandu (1 hour) 1,440 1,400

Best time to trek in Nepal

You can trek in Nepal throughout the year in all seasons. Especially the treks that are not challenging and in low altitude are doable all year round. 

Usually, people choose autumn and spring season for an enjoyable trekking experience. As the weather is quite stable during these seasons, they are more appealing and also are more crowded.

Autumn (September-November)

Autumn is the best season of the year for trekking. In this season, the weather remains stable and moderate. As monsoon has just passed by, you can spot a clear blue sky and the views of the mountains. There is less dust and pollution in this season as monsoon washes it away. 

It might be cold at night but during the day, the bright sun will keep you warm on your trail till the dusk. As it does not rain in autumn, you do not have to carry rain gear to save you from being wet. As a result, your backpack gets lighter too.  

Spring (March-May)

Spring season is also considered another best time for trekking in Nepal. The weather in spring is mild in lower elevation and moderate in higher elevation. This season also offers you crystal clear views of the sky and the best view of the Himalayas. Different flowering plants start to bloom during this season which makes the trek even more appealing.

Winter (December-February)

Trekking in Nepal in the winter season might not be as appealing as other seasons. Climbing high passes might be difficult for you as it gets way cooler. Even in low elevation, the weather remains extremely cold and the mornings are usually foggy. But if you are planning to trek in winter, make sure to bring warm clothes and appropriate gear with you.

Monsoon (June-August)

In monsoon, due to excessive rainfall, the trekking trails are not in their best conditions. The route gets slippery and muddy. You might not be fully satisfied with your trekking experience. Moreover, trekking in monsoon could be riskier than in other seasons.  

You have to pack way more gears if you choose to trek in Monsoon. From raincoat to the waterproof tent and from water filter to mosquito repellent, you have to bring it all with you. So monsoon is not a recommended season for trekking in Nepal.

The following table shows the average temperature and precipitation of some of the destinations for short treks in Nepal:

Location Average Minimum Temperature (C) Average Maximum Temperature (C) Annual Rainfall (mm) Elevation (meters)
Pokhara 13.1  25.3 3,274 900
Kathmandu 9.1 21.7 1,505 1,400
Dhampus 9.3 20.5 3,916 1,650
Ghandruk 7 18.8 2,747 2,012
Nagarkot 7.7 19.5 2,287 2,175
Chisapani 29.4 16.1 1,586 2,175

Food and Accommodation  

You do not need to worry about accommodation and food if you are planning to go for short treks in Nepal. Short treks usually cover low altitudes where you can easily find tea houses, lodges, and hotels. Most of the places provide you with good accommodation and food. 

As you go higher in the mountains, many tea houses line up on your trail. If you get lucky, you can get a private room with an en-suite bathroom. But most of the tea houses provide twin or triple sharing room. Make sure your package includes proper accommodation and food that you are going to need. 

Teahouses in Nepal offers both western and local cuisine. But as you go higher, you might not get enough options. In high altitude, you might only get Dal Bhat, Nepali staple food with rice, lentil, vegetable, and pickle. The more popular the trekking route is the more chances of getting better food options. In some places, you can also get beers, chocolates, snacks, and local drinks, etc.

Other amenities the teahouses provide include electricity to charge your phone, cameras and other devices. Hot showers are also available in tea houses, but it is not guaranteed. 

If you hire a guide, they can find you a better place where you can get all the services you want. 

Packing list for Trekking in Nepal

Whether you are planning to go for a short trek or a longer one, packing the perfect gear is a must. It usually depends on the season you are planning to trek in. 

If it is monsoon or winter, you need to pack more as you need to carry rain gear and warm clothes. In spring or autumn, you need much lesser gears. To be safe and comfortable on the trail, you need to pack wisely without missing out on any essentials. 

Here is a list of essential gears needed for trekking in Nepal. 

Wearables

  • Trekking Trousers
  • Trekking Shirt
  • Trekking Pants
  • Trekking Shoes
  • Light Fleece
  • Long-sleeved Shirt
  • Padded Jacket

Trekking Bags

  • Daypack
  • Duffle Bag
  • Backpack

Accessories

  • Trekking Poles
  • Suncap
  • Sunglasses
  • Trekking Socks
  • Woolen Cap
  • Headlamp
  • Synthetic Hand Gloves
  • Plastic Covers
  • Sleeping bags
  • Water bottles
  • Sandals

Electronics

  • Portable chargers
  • Power bank
  • Camera
  • Universal adapter
  • Extra batteries

Personal Supplies

  • Toiletries
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal medical kits

In winter, you might need warm layers, thermal layers, and padded jacket so that it will keep you insulated and warm. But in summer, these are not necessary.

In monsoon, you will need to pack a waterproof shell jacket, raincoat, plastic covers, non-cotton pants, and a full sleeve t-shirt.

Guided or Independent Trek: How to trek in Nepal?

Guided Trek

Wouldn’t it be better if you have someone who would organize your accommodation, food, permits, and all the logistics for your trek? If you think so, the guided trek is for you. Having a guide will make your trip more convenient, engaging and safe. Your guide will help you deal with all the emergencies. If you feel unsafe trekking alone in an unknown country that speaks a different language, it is better to hire a guide.

The following are the pros and cons of Guided Trek:

Pros Cons
More convenient, engaging and safe No flexibility to change your plans
A sense of safety and comfort Expensive
You will be with an expert Less adventurous

Independent Trek

If you are an experienced trekker and are well aware of the people and the culture, you might not need a guide. Independent Trek might be an ideal option for you if you are an experienced trekker and are well aware of trekking conditions. If you want to experience more freedom and take care of all the logistics such as permits, itinerary, food, accommodation by yourself, the independent trek is for you. 

The following are the pros and cons of Independent Trek:

Pros Cons
Freedom and more adventurous You will be responsible for logistics
Relatively cheaper than guided trek You might feel lonely and isolated
Flexible to change your plans Risky and Unsafe

Insurance for the Trek

As short treks seem relatively easy and comfortable than long treks, some may fail to care about travel insurance. But you should not neglect travel insurance. Otherwise, you might be accountable for expenses you may have to deal with in the future. 

Make sure your travel insurance covers trip cancellation expenses, natural disasters, accidents, hospital bills, and theft. In case you come across this problem, having travel insurance can be helpful. 

Tips for Trekking in Nepal

It is a heaven-like experience to trek in Nepal. Trekking in Nepal is all about mountains, exploring the natural beauty, engaging with the culture and living the traditional lifestyle of locals with warm hospitality. 

Here are some tips to get the most of your trekking experience

  • Do cardio exercise weeks before your trek
  • Take water purifier and trekking pole with you
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat a healthy meal.
  • Research about your trail conditions
  • Choose the right footwear
  • Be aware of the symptoms and remedies for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
  • Learning the language and culture of locals can be helpful
  • Bring a map and a guide book
  • Pack your gears wisely
  • Hire a guide or porter.
  • Take electronic devices with you

FAQS

1. Can you trek in Nepal without a guide?

You surely can trek without a guide in Nepal. But it will demand a lot of your time and energy. It might be risky and unsafe as well. If you are not familiar with the language, people and culture, we highly recommend you hire a guide. 

For short treks, it might be okay to trek without a guide. But for the long treks, hiring a guide can substantially change your experience. When trekking without a guide, you have to take care of accommodation, food, transportation, entry permits, and all other logistics by yourself. You can experience more freedom and flexibility, but if you face any emergency, you have to deal with it on your own. 

2. Is there any risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)?

Acute Mountain Sickness usually occurs above the elevation of 3,000 meters. Some of these listed short treks include places with such elevations, so there is some possibility that you may suffer from AMS. To avoid it, you should acclimatize properly and walk at your own pace. Also, make sure you drink plenty of fluids so that you stay hydrated. It’s better you learn about the symptoms and precautions of Acute Mountain Sickness before going for a trek.

3. Is drinking water safe on the trek?

Local streams and tap water might not be suitable for drinking. So make sure to bring a water bottle and water purifier so that you can purify water before drinking. 

4. How fit do I need to be to go on short treks in Nepal?

You do not have to be a fitness freak to go on short treks. But you should improve your stamina by doing some cardiovascular exercise. It will strengthen your muscles and make your body flexible. While climbing uphill, it will be a lot easier for your body. 

During your trek, while climbing uphill and descending, more impact will be on your legs. You need to strengthen your legs by doing stretching exercises which will keep your muscles loose and your body flexible. 

5. Do I need an entry permit for a short trek?

It depends on which trek you are planning to go for. If you are planning to go on a trek in the Everest region, Annapurna region, Langtang region or any other popular trails, an entry permit is necessary.  You might also have to take a National Park or Conservation Area entry permit. For short treks, you need an entry permit for most of the trail. 

Conclusion

Whether you are a novice traveler or an experienced trekker, Nepal offers a variety of trekking routes. Nepal has some of the best trekking routes in the world. Most of the trekkers prefer long treks such as Annapurna Circuit Trek and Everest Base Camp trek which are adventurous. 

But short trekking trails of Nepal are also appealing and has unique attractions.

If you are new to trekking, short trekking routes of Nepal might be an ideal option for you to start with. Whichever trek you choose, one thing that is common is the magnificent views of the Himalayas. Trekking in Nepal might be your best trekking experience.

Basu Panday

Basu Panday started his journey in tourism and hospitality as a support staff 17 years ago.

He has travelled all the Himalayan region as trekking staff and trekking guide, and have climbed 6000+ meters several trekking peaks in the Himalaya. He often leads trips in Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. He had travelled to many other countries such as Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Romania, Lithuania, Greece, Denmark Spain, Australia and the USA for promotion of Nepal’s tourism. 

After working as support staff, then tour and trek guide, he eventually fulfilled his desire to start his own company, Nepal Social Treks and Expedition, in 2006.

Basu is friendly and he is the one who answers most of your trip questions. So if you have any inquiry about our trip, don't be shy. Write to us.