Most Difficult Treks in Nepal

Updated on June 20, 2024

Most difficult treks in Nepal, Among 100s of popular Nepal Trekking destinations, there are 10s of most difficult treks in Nepal. Nepal trekking routes extends between Mount Kanchenjunga (8,586m), the third highest peak in the world to Api and Saipal Himal in the Khaptad National Park.

It has had one of the longest and highest altitude trekking routes in the world called the Great Himalayan Trek in Nepal. Due to its length and altitude, the GHT is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal.

The difficulty level of trekking in Nepal destinations have been categorized on various bases. Some of the key factors are altitude gain, high passes, itinerary, weather condition, trail condition, as well as food and accommodation services.

As soon as you gain altitude over 2,500m, there is high possibility of acute mountain sickness (AMS). However, by taking some preventive and curative measures, the risk of AMS can be minimized.

High passes of the Himalayas above 5,000m/16,404ft are challenging. It is so not only because of altitude but also the previous experience and technical skills of mountaineering in Nepal.

To cross these high passes with low risk of physical fatalities and health-related issues, you need to know mountaineering tools and how to use them.

High passes trekking in Nepal requires the following mountaineering gears depending upon route:

  • Crampons
  • Ice axes
  • Harness
  • Pulley
  • Belay/Rappel device
  • Helmet

Few of the most difficult treks in Nepal are completely teahouse trekking while some are mixture of teahouse and camping trekking. Due to the lack of transportation services and market places, you have to compromise in food and accommodation services. Obviously, trekking in Himalayas demands a huge amount of flexibility in you.

Since this blog is related with the Most Difficult Treks in Nepal, let’s discuss on each individually. We hope this blog will be of some use for you to choose the best trek in the Himalayas.

Everest Three High Passes Trek Around the Everest Region 

Everest Three High Passes Trek is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal. Although not much technical, this trek demands a huge amount of physical and mental strength.

It is nearly 3-week long trek comprising of three high passes above 5,000m. Kongma La (5,535m), Cho La (5,420m), and Renjo La (5,340m) are the challenging highlights of this trip.

Everest Three Passes Trek guides you through the Khumbu Region along the Sagarmatha National Park. Although the passes are challenging, it is rewarding trip in the Himalayas.

The 360 degree panoramas of the Great Himalayan Trails, lush valleys, and turquoise watered glacial lakes give you a lifelong experience in Nepal. Moreover, the ancient monasteries, chortens, and mani walls help you feel peace of mind. Tengboche Monastery, Pangboche Monastery, and Khumjung Monastery are the major shrines of the Sherpa people.

As a whole, trekking through Everest Three High Passes is rather a natural, cultural, and spiritual journey across the Khumbu Region. Likewise, crossing these passes over 5,000m gives you a true sense of Himalayan adventure.

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Everest-Khumbu Region
  • Itinerary: 18 days to 41 days
  • Highest altitude: 5,545m/18,192ft
  • Starting point: Lukla
  • Ending point: Lukla
  • Trekking type: teahouse, lodge, & hotel
  • Best time: Spring (March-May) & autumn (September-November)
  • Difficulty level: Very Strenuous

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek, One of the Most Difficult Trek

Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek takes you around Mount Dhaulagiri (8,167m), the 6th highest mountain in the world. It is always one of the most challenging treks in Nepalese Himalayas.

It is almost a camping trekking in Nepal which everything should be arranged by the trekkers or the local tour operator on behalf of them. Besides trekking gears, food items and camping tents should be carried. For this, a crew must be hired which increases Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek cost.

Similarly, you have to compromise in sophisticated services of food and lodging. As you have to walk above 5,000m for 3 days, altitude sickness is probably another challenge.

The routes of this trek are harsher than other trekking destinations of Nepal. Most of the sections move across remote areas and deserted villages.

However, the breath-taking vistas of the Himalayas, green hills, and lush valleys are rewarding. Additionally, your local tour operator is responsible for arranging everything required for organized trip.

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Dhaulagiri-Annapurna Region
  • Itinerary: 17 days to 21 days
  • Highest altitude: 5,360mm/17,556ft
  • Starting point: Beni
  • Ending point: Marpha
  • Trekking type: camping & lodge
  • Best time: April, March, & September-November
  • Difficulty level: Very strenuous

Ganja La Pass Trek in Langtang Region 

Ganja La Pass Trek route takes you through Langtang Valley, Kyanjin Gompa, and Helambu Valley. Although it is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal, the rewards are enough to have a lifetime experience.

The rugged trails across Langtang National Park make this trip more challenging. So, you need some technical skills of climbing and knowledge to use climbing gears.

Moreover, you will have to spend 3 days in tented camps for which you need to have camping equipment's as well. Crossing Ganja La Pass trek (5,033m) is a challenge that you will appreciate at the fullest.

Despite some technical challenges, you will be experiencing Tibetan culture, tradition, and lifestyle. You will also witness the Shamanic culture in the classic Tamang villages in the remote areas.

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Langtang –Helambu Valley Region
  • Itinerary: 14 days to 17 days
  • Highest altitude: 5,033m/16,512ft
  • Starting point: Syabrubesi
  • Ending point: Melamchi Pul
  • Trekking type: teahouse, lodge, & camping
  • Best time: Spring (March-May) & spring (September-November)
  • Difficulty level: Very strenuous

The Great Himalayan Trail Trek one of the Longest trek in the world

The Great Himalayan Trail Trek Nepal has been divided in two sections on the basis of difficulty level. The GHT High Route, also called Extreme Route is more appropriate for adventure lovers. It is 1,700km long stretching from the north to Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5,140m) to Hilsa, Humla.

The GHT Low Route, also called Cultural Route is recommended for those who are interested in cultural richness of Nepal. It is 1,500km ranging from the north of Kanchenjunga Base Camp (5,140m) to Simikot, Jumla.

The GHT Nepal Trekking trail is divided into 10 major sections from the east to the west borders. 6 sections are named after 8,000ers of Nepal, 2 after Himalayan valleys while 2 other are named after the Trans-Himalayan Regions.

10 Major Sections of the GHT Nepal:

  1. Kanchenjunga Region Trek
  2. Makalu Region Trek
  3. Everest Region Trek
  4. Rolwaling Region Trek
  5. Langtang Region Trek
  6. Manaslu Region Trek
  7. Annapurna Region Trek
  8. Dhaulagiri Region Trek
  9. Dolpo Region Trek
  10. Humla & Mugu Region Trek

All these sections have their own natural and cultural uniqueness combined with adventure that gives you a lifetime experience in Nepal. You can do either of the GHT Nepal Trek at once if you have enough vacation in Nepal. In case you have shorter time, yet want to do this trek, it can be tailor-made by breaking down into individual section.

The GHT High Route/Extreme Route (1,700km)

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Kanchenjunga to Far Western Region
  • Itinerary: 150 days
  • Highest altitude: 6,140m/20,144ft
  • Starting point: North of Kanchenjunga Base Camp
  • Ending point: Hilsa, Humla
  • Trekking type: teahouse, lodge, & camping
  • Best time: Spring (March-May) & autumn (September-November)
  • Difficulty level: Very Strenuous
  • The GHT Low Route/Cultural Route (1,500km)

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Kanchenjunga to Far Western Region
  • Itinerary: 100 days
  • Highest altitude: 4,519m/14,826ft
  • Starting point: North of Kanchenjunga Base Camp
  • Ending point: Simikot, Jumla
  • Trekking type: Teahouse, lodge, & camping
  • Best time: Spring (March-May) & autumn (September-November)
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is Popular for Camping Trek 

Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is one of the remote treks located between Nepal, India, and China respectively. It is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal because remoteness, poor trail conditions, altitude gain, plus difficult ascends and descends.

Per day average altitude gain is between 400m and 800m, so acute mountain sickness is a common phenomenon. Walking for about 6 hours per day along the rugged trail is not that easy for beginner trekkers.

Despite its difficulty, this trek has a lot of rewards for the trekkers. Some of the world’s highest mountains, flora and fauna of Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Arun Valley Trek, Makalu Barun National Park, etc. are the major highlights. The culture, tradition, and lifestyle of Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Gurung and other ethnic communities are cultural attractions.

However, your physical fitness and mental readiness with a professional guide help you do Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek easily. Book this trip with a trustworthy local tour operator in Nepal for adventure in the Himalayas.

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Kanchenjunga Region
  • Itinerary: 15 days to 26 days
  • Highest altitude: 5,143m/16,873ft
  • Starting point: Taplejung
  • Ending point: Khanidingbe
  • Trekking type: Teahouse, lodge, & camping
  • Best time: Spring (March-May) & autumn (September-November)
  • Difficulty level: Strenuous

Manaslu Circuit Trek is Emerging Popular Adventure Trek in Nepal

Manaslu Circuit Trek is one of the most off-the-beaten-path treks in Nepal. It takes through Mount Manaslu (8,163m), the 8th highest peak of the world to the Annapurna Region.

Manaslu Tsum Valley trek is recognized for a wonderful fusion of nature, culture, and adventure. The remote trails, high altitude stopovers, acute mountain sickness, and several difficult ups and downs make this one of the most difficult treks in Nepal.

Crossing Larkya La Pass (5,106m) is the major challenge of this trek. However, on you reach atop Larkya La Pass, you feel satisfied while witnessing the wonderful vistas.

Observe the Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang Himal, and Annapurna Massif from the top. The wonderful panoramas of the Budhi Gandaki River Valley and the Annapurna Valley make you forget the hardships if any.

Manaslu Trek can be done by both novice and experienced trekkers. But, if you have previous experience of trekking and technical skills of climbing, they will be added benefits.

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Manaslu-Annapurna Region
  • Itinerary: 12 days – 22 days
  • Highest altitude: 5,167m/16,752ft (Larkya La Pass)
  • Starting point: Soti Khola
  • Ending point: Dharapani
  • Trekking type: teahouse, lodge, & hotel
  • Best time: Spring (March-May) & autumn (September-November)
  • Difficulty level: Challenging

Upper Dolpo Trek Filf Caravan Shooting Spot 

Upper Dolpo Trek is one of the most difficult treks in Nepal. It is a restricted area trekking (RAT) that takes you to the Trans-Himalayan Region nearby the Tibetan Plateau.

Trekking to Upper Dolpo is more challenging than Annapurna Circuit Trek or Everest Base Camp Trek. You have to walk for 4 hours-9 hours per day and cross several high passes over 5,000m.

Similarly, you have to spend several nights above 4,000m at tented camps amidst the jungle. There is high possibility of acute mountain sickness (AMS) while traversing along this hidden gem of Nepalese tourism industry.

Inner Dolpo Trek demands good physical fitness and mental strength backed up by mountaineering training.

Since it is less frequented by national and international trekkers, you can still explore the unspoiled natural and cultural beauties. Shey Phoksundo National Park, Shey Gompa, Shey Phoksundo Lake (3,611.5m), and Crystal Mountain are the major attractions.

Trek Facts:

  • Trekking Region: Dolpo/Trans-Himalayan Region
  • Itinerary: 19 days – 27 days
  • Highest altitude: 5,350m/17,553ft (Kang La Pass)
  • Starting point: Juphal
  • Ending point: Juphal
  • Trekking type: Teahouse & camping
  • Best time: Spring (March-May), monsoon (mid June-early September)
  • Difficulty level: Challenging

Conclusion : Most Difficult Treks in Nepal

Besides the above listed treks, there are 10s of other treks recognized as the most difficult and challenging treks in Nepal. No matter how difficult these treks are, physical fitness, strong will power, training, good local tour operator, and professional trekking guide are helpful in successfully doing them.

Nevertheless, we strongly recommend you to choose the trips of trekking in Nepal as per your experience, timeframe, budget, and the best season.

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Shailesh Pokharel is young tourism entrepreneur as well as passionate traveler writer, who thrives on meeting new people and exploring the world. I love to share Captivating stories and insights from my global adventure inspiring other to embark on their own journey. Through my blog and travel service I will brings to life the diverse cultures, landscapes and experience I encounters making accessible and exiting for my reader and clients.

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