Escape the popular trails around Everest and the Annapurnas and see the remotest parts of the Nepalese Himalayas that few visitors get to experience. These include the regions of Dolpo, Manaslu, Lantang, the Tamang Heritage Trail and Rara National Park. Some of these trails have only recently been opened up to hikers and travelling off the beaten path offers pristine, unspoilt natural beauty as well as cultural experiences amongst the diverse peoples of Nepal.
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Travel to Other Nepal Trekking Circuits
Organised group tours: The following tours for Other Nepal Trekking Circuits are available:
Amongst the peaks and high valleys of the Nepal Himalaya there are many long and demanding trekking routes and one of the best and most challenging of these is the circuit of Dhaulagiri via French Pass and the Hidden Valley. This is a classic adventure trekking holiday for those with previous high altitude trekking experience, which includes a taste of all of the trekking environments that Nepal has to offer. Beginning at Beni on the Kali Gandaki River, this superb trekking route ascends the lovely and unspoiled valley of the Myagdi Khola which flows southwards from the heart of the Dhaulagiri Himal. After 8 days of walking, through an ever-changing landscape, with numerous picturesque villages, we reach Dhaulagiri Basecamp and prepare ourselves for the crux of our route - the crossing of the ‘French Pass' (5360m). This tough, but technically straightforward pass lies close beneath the northern slopes of Dhaulagiri (8167m) and the mountain views on our ascent and descent are simply sensational. We have a day to explore the remarkable ‘Hidden Valley' before crossing the Dhampus Pass and making the long descent to Marpha in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Flying back to Pokhara from the airstrip at Jomsom, we have time to enjoy this lakeside town, before returning to Kathmandu. This is adventure travel at its best - a brilliant trek in a rarely-visited part of Nepal.
Eastern Nepal is characterised by greater diversity on many accounts; ethnic groups such as the Rai and Limbu people, a prolific range of flora due to the higher summer rainfall in the region, and some of the most outstanding mountain vistas anywhere in the Himalaya. By following the glacial torrent of the Tamur and Ghunsa Rivers to their source on the north west side of the Kanchenjunga Himal, we emerge to another world. Dwarfed by an alpine grandeur in almost every direction, peaks such as Pyramid Peak, Jannu, the Twins and of course Kanchenjunga (8586m) dominate the setting. It is no less dramatic on our southern traverse of the mountain on the return journey by way of the Mirgin La Pass (4500m). This is a challenging traverse through a region seldom visited in recent years.
To the east of Everest, the area between Kangchenjunga and Makalu contains the two most important conservation areas in the Nepal Himalya, home to an amazing variety of birds and to the endangered red panda and snow leopard. Very few trekkers visit this area which is also populated by several of Nepal's ethnic groups including Limbu, Sherpa, Rai, Gurung, Magar, Newar and Thamang peoples. In 2016 we are offering a simply superb trek through this region from Kangchenjunga to Makalu, following part of the Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) and crossing several high and remote passes. Throughout the trek there is a tremendous variety of spectacular scenery. After a short flight to the plains of the Terai we drive through Himalayan foothills to Surke. Here, we begin trekking through a landscape of deep folded river valleys containing sub tropical forests and hillsides dotted with small villages and emerald lines of rice terracing. Gaining height, we progress through zones of barley and forests of rhododendron, juniper and pines to enter an alpine world of rough yak pastures where we are surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Himalaya. Crossing the Lumba Sumba Himal, the watershed between the major river valleys of the Tamor and Arun, we have sensational mountain views from the several high passes which we must negotiate. We end the trek with a gradual descent of the Arun Valley, returning to warmer climes and an agricultural landscape. Finally, from Tumlingtar, we fly back to Kathmandu. This is an uplifting trek, perfect for those who wonder what trekking in Nepal was like 30 years ago.
A fully supported camping based trek to the sacred lakes of Gosainkund in the Helambu region. Although only a days drive from Kathmandu, this region is relatively isolated and predominantly inhabited by the Tamangs and Helambu Sherpas who originated in Tibet just to the north. A highlight of our trek is a visit to Kyanjing Gompa before we cross to Gosainkund. A trek in this region offers the opportunity to view traditional village life amid a picturesque alpine wilderness and affords brilliant views of the mighty peaks of Langtang (7234m) and Ganesh (7446m) as well as a sprawl of endless 6000m+ summits. Although not a well known region of the Himalaya, a trek in the Langtang offers stunning views as well as cultural interaction, and is a good option for those short on time.
This is a remarkable journey from Gorkha, crossing to the Buri Gandakhi, passing through a huge and spectacular valley and crossing the famed Larkya La to the contrasting region of Sama, before we return via the Marsyandi. The regions through which we trek are predominantly Buddhist and there are few large villages. This is a remote trek into one of Nepal's most beautiful areas. We're permitted access to a restricted region granted only to a limited number trekkers each year, which simply adds to the appeal of this trek. We travel to the borderlands with Tibet, with its Tibetan style culture, great mountain views and extensive forests to complete a memorable trek.
Hidden behind high passes, Inner Dolpo is one of the least accessible and yet most alluring corners of Nepal. Few travellers have penetrated to the heart of Dolpo, a region beautifully portrayed in Eric Valli's excellent film - 'Himalaya'. This is very much the land that time forgot, with a mix of ancient Tibetan religions and a hardy people who make their living through farming and through trade with both Tibet and Nepal. Even the Nepalese regard Inner Dolpo as a mysterious, inaccessible land where ancient shamanistic versions of Buddhism still hold sway. The spiritual heart of Inner Dolpo is ‘Shey' - literally the crystal mountain - so called because of its unusual mineral stratifications. At the base of the mountain sits the 11th century Shey Gompa, said to have been constructed by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who arrived here on the back of a flying snow lion. Whatever its origins, Shey Gompa is widely revered and every year hundreds of pilgrims come here to visit the gompa and make a ‘kora' or circuit of the ‘Crystal Peak', Dolpo's own version of Mount Kailas. The region was visited in 1973 by Peter Matthiessen accompanying George Schaller, who had been given special permission to visit Shey during his study of the rare Himalayan blue sheep and the even rarer snow leopard. Matthiessen's subsequent book detailing both his trek and his personal spiritual journey has become a classic of its genre. Dolpo was first opened to trekkers in 1990 and Inner Dolpo only in 1992 but political troubles in and around the southern access towns led to Dolpo being effectively closed from 1999. The historic resignation of the King of Nepal in 2008 and the subsequent accord with the insurgents has seen the return of peace in the lower valleys, and treks into this very special place are once again possible. Flying to Dolpo's only airstrip at Juphal, we trek north along the steep sided Suli Gaad Valley to the lush green fields of Ringmo. Nearby is the stunning blue lake of Phoksumdo which featured so dramatically in Eric Valli's masterful film ‘Himalaya' about the lives of the Dolpopa. We spend a day acclimatising in this beautiful spot before tackling the Kang La to reach Inner Dolpo and Shey Gompa. Beyond Shey our route heads east crossing the Shey La to the major Dolpo settlement of Saldang where we turn south. We cross another high pass, the Jeng La to reach the village of Dho Tarap and descend the impressive rocky gorge of the Tarap Valley to Tarakot. We end the trip with two relatively easy days trekking through the villages of Lower Dolpo back to our starting point at Juphal. For the connoisseur of Himalayan trekking and for anyone who wishes to visit an unspoilt region of near mythical status, this trek is an absolute must.
The 'Tamang Heritage Trail' is a cultural trekking route located between Langtang and the Ganesh Himal. Steeped in Tibetan tradition, the local Tamang people are some of the warmest and most welcoming people in Nepal, which is why we recommend this trail as one of our best family adventures. A day's easy access by road from Kathmandu, the region offers relatively gentle trekking through picturesque villages, terraced fields and peaceful valleys. There are panoramic mountain views of the nearby peaks along much of the trail, and the kids will love the natural hot springs at Tatopani. Some of the highlights include visits to a local fort, monastery and the exquisite local architecture of the Tamang homes. As we near the end of the trek we enjoy a homestay experience in Briddim, which offers an insight into the day to day life of the local village people.
The 'Tamang Heritage Trail' is an exciting new trekking route located between Langtang and the Ganesh Himal. A culturally rich region steeped in Tibetan tradition, the local Tamang people are some of the warmest and most welcoming people in Nepal. Within easy access of Kathmandu we ascend the road north towards the Tibetan borderlands and enjoy a relatively gentle circuit trek through picturesque villages, terraced fields, and peaceful valleys where only the most discerning trekkers go. Enroute, we enjoy panoramic mountain views of the nearby peaks and soak in the natural hot springs at Tatopani. Continuing north towards Tibet we soak up the heritage and appreciate a local fort, monastery and exquisite local architecture of the Tamang homes. As we near the end of the trek we enjoy a homestay experience in Briddim and have a full day to relax and discover more about the local traditions of this wonderful region.
Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya
Aug 2009 (9th ed.), 436 pages
Shangri-La: A Travel Guide to the Himalayan Dream
Oct 2008 (1st ed.), 200 pages
Nepal Trekking and the Great Himalaya Trail
Nov 2014 (2nd ed.)