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6 Epic & Inspiring Winter Treks in Nepal

Treks in Nepal are globally renowned, for, 7 of top 10 world's tallest peaks belong to Nepal region. This region boasts of sceneries that not many mountain regions can offer. Picturesque views, vast mountain ranges and epic climbs are a part of these treks in Nepal. Read ON!
A time for sleep ins, hot chocolates and donning those comfortable pajamas that have seen much better days, the depths of winter is not usually when you’d opt for trekking in Nepal. But opt you should. With fewer crowds, clearer views and striking frosty scenery, Nepal in winter is well worth getting out of bed for. Here’s the six winter treks that should be at the top of your Nepal bucket list this season.


1. Poon Hill Trek

We’re all for discovering the lesser-known gems on our travels, but some experiences are classic for a reason, and the Poon Hill Trek is one of them. Providing stellar views of some of the Himalayas’ highest peaks including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs, the Poon Hill Trek is regarded as one of the most breathtaking in the region.

However, with great travel status comes even greater hordes of tourists. In the warmer seasons, trekkers often have to scramble elbow-to-elbow to the top of Poon Hill. In the winter months, it’s another story. Lesser crowds mean trekkers are able to pass through the forests and the villages of Ghorepani and Ghandruk without even a whiff of another tour group. Plus, with Poon Hill reaching just 3210 meters high, this trek is easily doable and stays warm enough for first-timers.

2. Langtang Valley Trek

6-epic-inspiring-winter-treks-in-nepal Dubbed ‘the Valley of Glaciers’, we could think of no better winter trek to take in Nepal than that of the Langtang Valley. Around 30 kilometres outside of Kathmandu, the valley’s wild and rocky terrains, snow-clad mountain surrounds and Himalayan glaciers have long drawn trekking admirers.

It’s not just the impressive landscape turning heads though, the local Tamang people – who are descended from Tibetans – offer a unique cultural experience for passers-by. Locals have a distinct form of dress, practice Tibetan Buddhism, and dwell in traditionally-built stone teahouses with unusual carved wooden porches – many of which will accommodate travellers. Beyond culture and customs, wildlife abounds. Meander along the Langtang Valley trail and you’ll see wild monkeys, musk deer, Pika (like a rabbit, but without the long ears) and Nepal’s national bird, the vibrant Danphe.

3. Chitwan Hills Trail

Better known for its elephant safaris, Chitwan makes an unexpected appearance on our Nepal hitlist for good reason. Often missed on other treks, the Chitwan Hills Trail gives visitors a look-in on the wild jungles and safari animals in south-central Nepal. This trail is also low altitude, meaning it won’t get too chilly for the average punter. On the Chitwan Hills Trail, trekkers will ascend 1945 metres to the Siraichuli Hill. At the top awaits striking views, beautiful scenery and iconic Himalayan peaks.

4. Kathmandu Valley Trek

Has the winter weather got you even less motivated than usual? We hear you. A short, low-altitude trek through the Kathmandu Valley is the perfect choice for those happy to be at one with the elements for a short time only.

One of the best 2-3 day treks from Kathmandu takes hikers to the charming old Newari towns of Nagarkot and Dhulikhel, and finally on to the historic ‘City of Devotees’, Bhaktapur – famed for its ancient landmarks, terracotta carved monuments and religious shrines.
Thanks to the clear winter skies, views of the Himalayas throughout the trek are spectacular. To make your trek even more idyllic, luxury resorts and guesthouses are dotted throughout the region, and lack of footfall in winter sees the prices of overnight stays fall considerably.

5. Everest Panorama Trek

If you’re not quite ready to take on the bone-chillingly high altitudes of the Everest Base Camp Trek in the depths of winter, you’re not alone. A world-famous hallmark of the region, it would be a shame to skip out on Everest altogether though. This is where the Everest Panorama Trek comes in.

A ‘best-of’ tour of the Khumba region, the Everest Panorama Trek starts from Lukla (the town that is home to that death-defying airport landing strip), and proceeds to Namche Bazaar – the cultural core of the Sherpa people. From the base at Namche, many make the hike up to the renowned Tengboche monastery, the oldest Sherpa celibate monastery in the world. Here you’ll get a chance to understand the faith and the lives of the world’s best climbers, and take in astounding close-up views of the Ama Dablam mountain. Another popular trek from Namche Bazaar, the day trip to the world’s highest altitude hotel, the Everest View Hotel, is another sight to tick off the bucket list.

6-epic-inspiring-winter-treks-in-nepal 6. Annapurna Circuit

Favoured for its diverse landscapes of terraced rice fields, glacial rivers, towering mountain peaks and deep valleys, the Annapurna Circuit in winter is incredibly beautiful, and not for the faint of heart. Taking around two to three weeks to complete, trekkers here will face altitudes of 5416 metres and have just over 200 kilometres of trail ahead of them. To find out if your cut out for this mammoth trekking adventure, read about Judith Robertson’s experience and this in-depth guide to trekking Nepal and the Himalayas. Have you been on treks in Nepal? If yes, share your experiences in comments below and let's inspire a world of adventure treks together.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 19th December 2017.

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