Trekking and hiking are physical activities that require more than normal level of exertion. Nepal is a country with abundant hiking and trekking trails, all carrying different grades; from novice and beginner to extremely tough routes. In this context, there are plenty of treks designated “for beginners”.
So, what are local guides and experts talking about when they say a beginner’s trek? What makes a trek “for beginners”? It has to do with the duration of the trek, the elevation gradient, the topography, climate and so on. Here are the best “for beginners” trekking routes in Nepal.
Balthali Village Trek
This 3-day trek occus on the south-east rim of Kathmandu Valley, and has been rated one of Nepal’s most iconic short treks. The Balthai route is low in altitude, and just takes just three days of moderate walking along forest trails with a slight gradient. It also features amazing himalayan views out to the north, and the trailhead is just an hour’s drive from downtown Kathmandu.
At 3-4 days’ duration, Ghandruk Trek is one of the shorter treks you can embark on in the lower Annapurna region. You will enjoy fantastic views and visit pretty mountain villages full of tea houses on your way and back from Ghandruk village, with is also one of the largest villages in the area.
The trek starts in Phedi village, less than an hour’s drive from Pokhara city, passes along jungle trails, rivers and suspension bridges, and after 4-5 hours, arrives in Ghandruk village.
Pikey Peak Trek
For trekkers who want to see Everest up close but dont have the time or werewithal for the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Pikey Peak Trek is right up their alleys. Trekkers can spend a leisurely seven days to go from Dhap to Phaplu villages. This trek is for the relatively fit, as you’ll be doing between four and nine hours of hiking every day. Apart from seeing Everest and the impressive Numbur Himal range in the distance, you’ll also be visiting important Buddhist monasteries, gompas, and stupas on your trek.
Taking about four days, the iconic Panchase Trek is a great fit for families and travelers who don’t have enough time for a longer trek, but also prefer a shorter and more engaging trek. Starting from Pokhara, every day of this trek involves 3-4 hours of trekking through a dense forest environment filled with over a hundred kinds of orchids and other unique flora and fauna. Trekkers can enjoy magnificent views of epic peaks like Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Ghorepani Poonhill Trek is one of Nepal’s most popular short treks for a good reason. Over five days of moderate trekking, you’ll get to experience the iconic viewpoint at Poon Hill and the cultural village of Ghandruk—known for its secluded location and viewing platform for Annapurna South and Fishtail—as you hike through local villages and picturesque rhododendron forest through the lower Annapurna region.
This is a comparatively easy trek to do compared to Nepal’s other higher-altitude options. Having said that, trekkers should be in a good shape to really enjoy this adventure. The second day of the trek involves climbing a steep stone staircase made up of 3,381 steps, which, due to the topography and rapidly gaining altitude can be grueling for beginners.
The excellent Solu trek takes you into the lower Everest region; Solukhumbu district of Eastern Nepal. This iconic trek takes around six days to complete, and it covers a relatively low elevation, meaning that trekkers don’t have to be at peak fitness for this adventure. Along the way, you’ll spot a variety of monasteries, and take in incredible views of Mt. Everest.