Best Off-The-Beaten-Path Treks in Nepal
Best off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal are unique and underrated places in Nepal. Nepal is all about the rural beauty comprising remote and raw paths. Off-the-beaten paths are somewhat less explored that takes you along the tranquil and less crowded trails which will surprise you more.
There are many trekking destinations in Nepal that are less highlighted because they don’t have towering peaks or shimmering range of Himalayas. But, nature doesn’t paint beauty in just mountains. Let us find out some of the best off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal with virgin beauty.
UPPER DOLPO TREK
Located in the Dolpa district of western Nepal, Upper Dolpo is an unexplored paradise. The region is located between the Tibetan plateau and Dhaulagiri range, and some part of it lies within Shey Phuksundo National Park. As remote as its location is, Upper Dolpo has preserved and brewed its natural beauty in this isolation.
It is the least developed, yet the most beautiful part of Nepal, where travelers have rarely set their foot because of high passes trail. The journey will take you through the lush green forest of rhododendron, oaks, pines and wide greenery of indefinite vegetations. Remote and hidden valleys, extreme settlements and their quaint lifestyle comprising distinctive culture and tradition is another charm of this off-the-beaten-path trek.
Tibetan-influenced lifestyle is what entices the trekkers most, and the centuries-old monasteries like Shey Gompa are made them eager to explore. Not to forget the turquoise blue lake of Shey Phuksundo, which is also the deepest lake in Nepal with 145-meter depth. Crystal Mountain, which is also considered sacred and holy adds more essence to your journey.
Upper Dolpo is a long trek that takes around 20 days, and it can be accomplished in monsoon too as it lies in the rain shadow region.
KANCHENJUNGA BASE CAMP TREK
When it comes to off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal, there is no way Kanchenjunga couldn’t be one of them. The remote location and difficulty to access have left its larger parts unexplored, thus retaining its pristine beauty.
The trek takes you to the eastern part of Nepal, the least sought-after region by trekkers; through the Arun Valley; to Kanchenjunga Conservation Area that homes various wildlife and vegetation; mountain villages of mixed ethnicity like Rai, Limbu, Sherpa and Gurung; the mesmerizing panorama of Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse among others and ultimately towards the base camp of Kanchenjunga, the third tallest peak in the world at 8,586 meters. The dramatic change of landscape form alpine grasslands to the sub-tropical forest, low river valley, glacial moraine, and rocky scree slopes let you have an adventure at a different level.
Kanchenjunga Base Camp is a long journey that easily takes over 20 days, and the difficulty is quite extreme. It is best for adrenaline junkies with trekking experience.
TAMANG HERITAGE TRAIL
Tamang Heritage Trail is another awesome off-the-beaten trail lying in the north of Kathmandu valley. Although it is located in the proximity of famous Langtang Valley, only a few trekkers make their way towards Tamang Heritage Trail. It is an exciting short trek that is less demanding offering a sneak peek into the life in the Himalayan region.
It is not long since Tamang Heritage Trial has opened its route that is between Langtang Himal and Ganesh Himal. This off-the-beaten trail of Nepal is known for the verdant forest of rhododendron and bamboos, Tibetan monasteries, cascading waterfalls, a stunning range of Himalayas, glaring lakes, remote settlement and of course the solitude and serenity.
The staggering range of mountains like Langtang Himal, Lirung, Ganesh Himal, Shringri Himal, Manaslu, Sajen Himal, Jugal Himal, Paldor peak and other peaks let you immerse on the grand beauty of nature and its solitude.
The history of Tamangs are are another intriguing part of Tamang Heritage Trial, who are originally forming Tibet and later got settled on the Hilly region with the closet proximity of the Valley. Originally, the trail was set up as a community-based project for improving local agricultural life through tourism and till this day, the plan has helped to some extent.
Don’t let the name of this trek confuse you in any way as it was named because it was traversed by a royal dignitary, Prince Charles of England. The trek is surprisingly short that takes place in Annapurna region starting from Pokhara.
It is short yet a sweet trek through the diverse land of Himalaya that ends at the beautiful lake of Begnas Lake. The trek is an endearing off-the-beaten trail of Nepal, which takes you towards the less visited side of Annapurna. Although the trek is short, you will have every bit of fun while walking in the remote foothills and viewing Annapurna I, Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Machhapuchare, Langtang Himal, Dhaulagiri, and other peaks.
As the trek isn’t so popular, there is no availability of hotels or lodges, so the only option is camping.
TSUM VALLEY TREK
On the many destinations of the off-the-beaten trails of Nepal, Tsum valley secures its place without any doubt as the place was restricted up until 2008. It is a sacred and remote region of Nepal against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas that includes Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal and Boudha ranges.
The trails are all charming strewn with artistic chortens and lined with mani walls made of thousands of stone slans caved with attractive drawings of deities and inscribed with prayers. In addition to that, the valley is also rich in wildlife especially the Himalayan Thar and Blue Sheep. Overall, the trek lets you dive in the pool of Tibetan art and culture, taking you along the verdant forest, terraced fields, and hilly settlement.
The trek starts from Arughat and takes around 20 days to complete. Also, it is not a very demanding trek, which means even beginners can embark.
NAR PHU VALLEY TREK
Just like Tsum Valley, Nar Phu Valley too opened its gates recently on 2002 to trekkers. The trek comprises relatively less traffic and has remained untouched of modern amenities showcasing the rural lifestyle of Nepal.
Visited by very less number of trekkers, this off-the-beaten trail in Nepal offers a picturesque of medieval villages, narrow gorges, Tibetan culture and gasping cliffside trail. We will further explore, the parts of Annapurna region joining Annapurna Circuit trail.
Nar Phu Valley trek is a moderate level of the trek that requires some trekking skills as you have to cross Thorong La pass if 5,416 meters. The trek comprises parts of Annapurna Circuit as well, which easily stretches the days; however, that is just an option, you can make return journey form Nar Valley too.
RARA LAKE TREK
Rara Lake, one of the most popular lakes in Nepal at an altitude of 2,990 meters and a protected property of Rara National Park. The off-the-beaten trail of Rara Lake trek is known for the pristine beauty of lush forest comprising blue pine, black juniper, oaks, Himalayan spruce, and others; also the wilderness inhabited by the park, wild boar, leopard, goral and musk deer among others is another highlight of this trek.
The trek showcases every bit of nature form snowcapped Himalayas, a wide array of flora and fauna, a traditional settlement on lower regions, and finally, the Rara Lake that is also referred as the blue jewel of the mountain because of the glittering blue lake amid the giant mountains. Also, the spectacular reflection of white mountain peaks in the clear water of Rara Lake is admired by every trekker.
The trek isn’t so extreme as the highest altitude 3,190 meters in Ghorasain near the. However, best to embark if you are physically fit enough.
RUKUM WESTERN NEPAL
Nestled amidst the rugged terrain and lush valleys of western Nepal, Rukum stands as an unspoiled jewel, calling intrepid travelers seeking an off the beaten path adventure. Far from the bustling tourist hubs, this remote region offers a glimpse into authentic Nepalese culture and pristine natural beauty that has remained untouched by mass tourism.
The region is a haven for trekkers and explorers looking to escape the crowds and delve into the heart of Nepal’s untamed wilderness.
Beyond its natural wonders, Rukum is a living tapestry of indigenous culture and traditions. The region is home to various ethnic groups, each with their own distinct way of life. Villages adorned with traditional thatched-roof houses dot the landscape, and friendly locals offer a warm welcome to visitors. Engaging with these communities provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in their daily routines, share stories, and partake in ancient rituals that have been passed down through generations.
Rukum’s offbeat nature has allowed its traditional practices and heritage to endure. Festivals, dances, and rituals offer a vivid window into the soul of the region. The Tihar festival, celebrated with illuminated oil lamps and vibrant decorations, and the resounding beat of traditional drums during the Maghe Sankranti festival are just a few examples of the rich cultural experiences awaiting those who venture here.
While Rukum’s remoteness may present challenges, it is this sense of discovery that draws adventurers seeking a genuine and unfiltered experience. You might need to be prepared for lack of modern amenities but the rewards far outweigh the inconveniences. Rukum offers a chance to disconnect from the chaos of the modern world and reconnect with nature and humanity in its purest forms.
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