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SHORT TREKS IN NEPAL: A SELECTION OF THE VERY BEST

If you’re looking for short treks in Nepal, you’ve come to the right place. This blog features some of the very best.

But first a bit of context. You see, hiking in the Himalayas is a right of passage for most seasoned backpackers. 

Some of the most popular hikes include the Annapurna Circuit, Everest Base Camp and Mera Peak, among others. Most of these involve long treks during the day, with some climbers averaging 20km-30km a day at high altitudes!

But if you’re anything like me, you might prefer a more leisurely stroll, rather than a hardcore trek across some of the highest mountains in the Himalayas. Thankfully, there are plenty of short treks in Nepal that do not require superhuman effort!

This blog is dedicated to all of those lazy backpackers like myself who either don’t have the time or the desire to scale some of Nepal’s highest mountains.

The blog is split into 3 sections: treks that last a day or less. Some of the hikes featured in this blog are no higher than 2,000 metres, and are suitable for those with a moderate amount of fitness. I also cover treks lasting between 3 or 4 days, if you don’t have a week to spare.

Finally, if you are looking for more of a challenge, but you still don’t fancy staying on the mountains for more than a week, I have included treks  lasting 7 days or more. This may seem a little long but are short when compared to the 12-21 day treks that many climbers opt for. 

It is worth noting that Kathmandu itself sits at an altitude of 1,400 metres, so that’s worth considering when looking at the altitude of many of these treks. Many of the treks featured in this blog are relatively flat or located on easy-to-climb hills. Feel free to skip to your preferred section.

Before we get into that, you can find way more information about Nepal in this blogDiscover Nepal Effortlessly With My Top Tips.’

In it, I break down the exact steps you need to make the most of your journey. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best short treks in Nepal below.

Let's Start With The Easiest Hikes

                                         Short Treks In Nepal: One Day Tours


Some of the treks I’ve featured in this blog last several days or more. Others just a few. Not these ones. If you’re more of a leisurely hiker and you’re not after anything too serious, then the one day tours I’ve listed below will be right up your street.
 
Some of them are a day long – others just a few hours. The altitudes in these treks are some of the lowest you’ll ever find in this blog.
Nobody said that trekking in Nepal had to be time-consuming or difficult. But guess what? You can still get a taste of the culture, amazing views, and immerse yourself in the natural landscapes, without ever losing a breath.
 
If that’s your scene, then you’ll just love the treks below.

Namobuddha

day hikes in kathmandu, namobuddha

Namobuddha literally translates as ‘Homage to Buddha’. It has a beautiful Monastery named Thrangu Tashi Yangtse, which is the main attraction of this trip.

Legend has it that Buddha himself gave his life to a starving tigress and her cubs at Namobuddha.

Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the landscape.

But even the journey to the top will take your breath away. On the way up, you will make your way through the small villages where you will get a bird’s eye view of everyday life in Nepal.

You will also see many temples and natural diversity during your journey. You will cross a suspension bridge and pass through traditional villages enjoying the beautiful views of cultivated fields and forest.

This climb can easily be achieved in 4 hours.

Chandragiri Day Trek

kathmandu day hikes, Chandragiri Day trek

This is an easy that takes about 7 hours to complete and the highest point is only about  2540 metres. On this trek, you will get an astonishing view of mountains, such as Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Ranges, Gaurishankar, and Everest. 

The trek is mostly uphill although the climb is a low gradient and you’ll get plenty of opportunity to stop and rest.

You’ll see the type of scenery that you’ll fall in love with. If you fell so much in love that you wanted to extend your trek then you could perhaps consider staying overnight at Chhap Bhanjyang.

This provides you with the opportunity to trek to a big cliff which has houses a 500 meter long cave. 

Shivapuri National Park

short treks in nepal, Shivapuri National Park

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is located in the northern part of the Kathmandu Valley.

It is also one of the last areas of primary woodland left in the valley.

If you enjoy bird watching, then you will find your paradise here because it is home to 177 species of birds. Nine of these are enlisted as endangered. Additionally, there are 19 species of mammals, plus 150 rare and endemic species of butterflies.

In Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, you will also find routes to some of the other nature reservations and short treks in Nepal, such as Nagarkot,  Helambu and Langtang National Park.

Shivapuri is also home to several Buddhist and Hindu sites.

For this trek, it is recommended that you set aside between 7-8 hours to really get the most out of your journey. The park has an altitude of 2,732 metres, so it is a relatively easy trek for most travellers

Phulchowki Day Trek

short treks in nepal, day hikes in nepal

Phulchowki is a name that literally translates as ‘Hill of Flowers’. It is located in  the surrounding hills of Kathmandu valley which is located approximately 14 km in the south east of Kathmandu valley.

It’s not a strenuous hike either, with the altitude reaching no higher than 2791 metres.

Its beauty is made up of a garden of wild roses, yellow jasmine, iris and other native flowers. Here you will also find different kinds of birds such as Rufous-gorgeted, Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Yellow-browed Tit and many others.

At the top of the hill, a shrine awaits you. It is called a shrine of Phulchowki Mai which is surrounded by prayer flags and tridents. The best time to go is March or April, where you can watch the month long annual religious festival held at the shrine to Phulchoki.

If you’re moderately fit, then you can make it up the hill in little under three hours. Once you are there, you’ll also be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Intermediate Hikes

                                                Short Treks in Nepal: 3-4 days


However, if you fancy something a little longer, then these short 3-4 day treks in Nepal may be just what you are looking for. These treks are typically easier and less strenuous than the moderate treks listed later in this blog, but are a little more challenging than the ones listed above.

Balthali Village Trek (3 days)

short treks in nepal, Balthali Village Trek

This is probably one of the easiest intermediate short treks in Nepal. For example, the highest altitude on this trek is 1600 metres when you reach Balthali. This trail is also beautiful and goes through terraced fields and forested ridges.

Typically this trek starts with a tour around Kathmandu Valley, where you will see plenty of Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas.

It includes views and experiences of local villages near the valley. The trail is predominantly uncrowded, even during the busy spring season.

During the trek, you will come across lush green forests, local Buddhist communities, and friendly, hospitable people that will welcome you to their village.

This trek can be done in as little as 3 days. However, if you want to extend the trek or venture up to higher altitudes, then it is possible to book a tour that lasts up to 5-7 days.

Kathmandu Sundarijal Nagarkot Trek (3 days)

short treks in nepal, Kathmandu Sundarijal Nagarkot

The Kathmandu Sundarijal Nagarkot Trek is also known as the Shivapuri trek. With an altitude of 2175 metres, it is relatively easy too.

This is not to be confused with the Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park trek listed above. Both treks take you through the national park, but this one is just a little longer. 

Here you will find tall trees, beautiful streams and a serene atmosphere, that is in sharp contrast to the busy chaos of Kathmandu.

The park is one of the famous watershed area and is therefore the biggest resources of Kathmandu’s drinking water supply. It includes several religious and cultural heritage sites for the Hindus as well as Buddhists. You will pass through the forest to Chisapani, before passing through a mixed settlement of Brahmins, Gurungs, and Sherpas.

This tour includes highlights include peaks of Shivapuri, Manichud, Tarkeswor and the source of the Bagmati and Bishnumati Rivers.

Nagarkot- Changunarayan Trek (2 days)

nepal holiday tour, short treks in nepal

If you’re really pushed for time, the Nagarkot- Changunarayan Trek may be ideal for you. It’s located near to Kathmandu, with fantastic views of the surrounding valley.

As with many of the other treks, you’ll get a chance to visit local villages, the Nepalese countryside and terraced fields. With an altitude no higher than 2175 metres above sea level, this trek is relatively easy too.

You’ll also come across your fair share of temples and monasteries, including the Changunarayan, the oldest pagoda style Hindu temple and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Depending on the tour you book, you can also complete this trek in just one day if you have limited time available.

Challenging Hikes

                                             Short Treks in Nepal: 7 Days or Less


If the above treks are not quite challenging enough for you, then I’ve also included some slightly longer treks below. These are more suited to the physically fit climber that can handle moderate altitudes.

They are still much easier than the 12-21 day treks that are common in Nepal, but they last a bit longer and go slightly higher than some of the treks listed above.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

ghorepani trek 4 days, Ghorepani Poon Hill

The Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek is also among the most popular short treks in Nepal. It is also known as the Poon Hill Trek. This trek can last as long as you want it to – typically between 4 and 8 days. It is probably one of the easiest in the Annapurna Sanctuary and is ideal for inexperienced hikers.

The route is well-marked and you’ll find many guesthouses and restaurants along the way.

This means you don’t have to worry about getting lost and there are plenty of places to drop in and have a place to eat. Most people start this trek in Nayapul and finish in Ghandruk. It is worth noting also that this trek does not take you higher than 3000 metres.

You can either choose to take this trek independently or pay for a trained guide and porter. A trained porter can help carry your belongings, while a guide can assist you with planning your routes and maybe even tell you a bit about the local culture.

On average, it costs £15 to hire a porter for a day and £19 for a guide.

Please note the majority of guesthouses in this valley make money from food. So while accommodation is relatively cheap, if you choose not to eat at your guesthouse, the price is likely to be 3 or 4 times more expensive.

Otherwise, expect to pay between NPR 200-400 or £2-£4 for accommodation with a shared bathroom, and add on a couple of pounds if you want your own bathroom. A decent meal can set you back anywhere between £3-£4 depending upon what you order. Add another £1-£2 for drinking water, and an additional £2-£3 for local buses.

Everest View Trek

kathmandu day hikes, short treks in nepal,

Mount Everest is one of the most famous mountains in the world.

But you might still be wondering why Everest is included in a blog about the best short treks in Nepal.

Well, the truth is there are many treks that allow you to enjoy views of this famous mountain, without breaking your back to do so. Let’s be clear – I’m not talking about Everest Base Camp here (an entirely different trek).

The Everest view trek is a balanced hike that can be completed within 5-7 days. The highest Point of this trail is Tengboche at 3860 metres. This makes the trek less strenuous than the Everest base Camp Trek or the Everest Cho La Pass Trek.

It almost goes without saying that the views are exceptional. Depending on the path you take, you’ll get a chance to explore Sherpa villages, and the Dudkosi River with beautiful dazzling views of the Himalayas.

You’ll also get a chance to immerse yourself in lush forests, yak pastures and ancient monasteries. Essentially, as with many of these short treks in Nepal, you’ll get to enjoy a wonderful Himalayan hiking experience in the Everest region. However, you won’t be saddled with the physical strain that comes with a base camp trek.

Langtang Trek

short treks in nepal, Langtang Trek

This is a somewhat underrated trek in Nepal. The trek is located in the Langtang Valley, near Kathmandu Valley. It is ideal if you want to experience the beauty of the Himalayas, without falling prey to high altitudes and long walks.

The best time to hike is during Autumn and Spring. This is because it is not too hot but you still get the blue skies and pleasant, dry weather. In terms of difficulty, this is classified as a moderate trek. So it’s longer than an easy trek, with some steep ascents and descents. This is ideal for someone of average fitness.

You can do this trek in as little as 7 days, but it is also possible to extend it over a long period if required.

If you choose the Langtang Trek, you’re in for a treat. It is one of the most popular short treks in Nepal and for good reason. The scenery includes villages, breathtaking mountains, terraced farms, forests and waterfalls. During your trek, you will experience the unique culture of the local people. Langtang is close to the Tibetan border, so the culture is very similar. You will have the unique opportunity to learn about their cultures and traditions.

You will also get a chance to explore the monasteries and temples.

The Langtang Trek was one of the areas in Nepal that was affected by the 2015 earthquake. In fact, it suffered the most impact. Many of the local guest houses were destroyed and entire areas were marred by the trek. Some areas are still being rebuilt. Just know that your tourism there is contributing to the reconstruction of Langtang. This also benefits the local communities living there.

Depending on where you are, the altitude will reach no higher than 3870 metres.

Pikey Peak Trek

short treks in nepal, Pikey Peak Trek

Pikey Peak has grown in popularity over recent years. It is situated in the Everest region and located at an altitude of 4,065 metres (13,293 ft).

The trail passes through some of the most beautiful tiny Sherpa settlements of the lower Everest region.

If you go in July, you will be in time to see the local celebrations worship their clan gods, which are the eastern Chyabo Pikey, as well as Pikey Hlapchen Karbu.

You can also take part in many optional activities such as paragliding, mountain biking, bird watching, pilgrimage, and meditation.

One of the great things about this trek is it allows you to get a taste of real life in Nepal, because you will get to see how people live.

On this trek, you can view Mount Everest, Mount Makalu and Mount Rolwanlin.

Conclusion

Nepal is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries I’ve ever been to in terms of the natural scenery.

Its beauty is the reason it has become one of the great trekking capitals of the world. Here you can find many shops and stores that sell you pretty much anything you need to hike or camp in the country.

While that makes it an extremely convenient and an interesting place for many backpackers, this also has its drawbacks. For example, the very first time I went to Nepal, I missed out on many beautiful village hikes and treks. This was mainly because I did not want to hike long distances or climb high altitude mountains.

Little did I know that I didn’t have to. As we have seen, there are plenty of short treks in Nepal that are relatively easy and suited to climbers of varying abilities.

So I don’t want you to miss out like I did. Not many people have the luxury of being able to go to Nepal twice, so you may as well make the most of it while you’re there. And you can only really do that when you know what to look out for and what your alternative trekking options are.

This blog aims to fill that gap.

Now it is true that there are so many hikes that could have been included in this blog about short treks in Nepal. For this reason it was difficult to narrow down the choices. If I had included them all, this blog would have to become a novel. However, you can rest assured that the treks I have featured are some of the best and/or most popular.

short treks in nepal

The structure of this blog is designed to make it easy for you to choose a hike or trek that suits your fitness levels and requirements.

Most of the blogs you find elsewhere on the internet are about the longer 12 or 13 day treks up some of the highest mountains in the Himalayas. Those blogs certainly have their place.

The problem is that while there are many other blogs that cover the short treks in Nepal, many of of these do not give you a decent overview of the different types of hikes you can do.

This blog does however. I hope that at the very least, it gives you some great ideas to help you plan your next journey to Nepal.

If I have been successful in giving you some food for thought, then my mission is complete.

In any case, if you are lucky enough to visit Nepal, I hope you have an amazing time there!

You can also read more about my first trip to Nepal in this blogFrom Naples to Nepal: A colourful introduction to Asia’.

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