You don’t have much time but you still want to do a trek in Nepal? So where can you go hiking in Nepal from 1 to 7 days?
If you are basing yourself in Kathmandu (maybe you came for work or just have a short time to explore the country), there are some interesting short treks around Kathmandu. If you are venturing further afield to relax in the lakeside town of Pokhara there are also short treks around Pokhara.
Please note, the number of days shown here reflects the number of days on the trail and do not include pre/post days in Kathmandu or Pokhara which maybe include in your trek package.
Short Treks around Kathmandu
Shivapuri Hike / 1–2 days
This hike can be done in one day or stay overnight in one of a handful of lodges to make the most from your trip. Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is just outside of Kathmandu yet from here you get great views of the mountains as well as being in Rhododendron forests. The perfect getaway which gets you out of the city, and gives you a taste of trekking in Nepal.
Sundarijal - Chisapani – Nagarkot Hike / 3-4 days
This is another short hike, and suitable as a family tour in Nepal for teenagers and fit older folks too. A short drive to Sundarijal followed by a 5-hour hike to Chisapani where you overnight. From here it’s a bit of a long hike (7 hours) to Nagarkot. On both days you will be forest-bathing so there is plenty of opportunities to take short breaks to soak in the atmosphere. Nagarkot is a small village on a breathtaking hilltop with a panoramic view of the Langtang Range. Way off in the distance you can also spot Mount Everest! Perhaps dream of your next trek to Everest Base Camp! You can end your hike in Nagarkot or extend it another day and explore the village and spend another night in one of the many first-class hotels there. Don’t forget to stop in at Bhaktapur on your return journey to Kathmandu, with its world-renowned vehicle-free Durbar Square and heritage. Allow at least 5 or 6 hours to explore this exquisite town.
Dhulikhel-Balthali Hike 2 plus days
Another short hike from Kathmandu is the Dhulikhel-Balthali Hike. Drive to Dhulikhel, (approx 2 hours from Kathmandu depending on traffic). After lunch in Dhulikhel overlooking the mountain range, and perhaps a little exploring of the old town, hike to Balthali village via Namo Buddha Monastery. This interesting trek can be extended by an over-night in Dhulikhel, spending more time exploring Dhulikhel old town, or perhaps stopping off at Panauti, with its old town, ghats and temples. Please ask about tailoring this hike, perhaps combining with Nagarkot and Bhaktapur also! Small group tours in Nepal can often be tailor-made to your specifications.
Chitlang Hike / 4 days
Only 22km away from Kathmandu, this is a less visiting short trek with beautiful scenery which takes you to the village of Daman, home to a lovely botanical garden and stunning mountain views. The first part of the journey is a noisy drive out of the city to Thankot where the hike starts. About 3 hours of walking gets us to the Newar town of Chitlang. The walking time the following day is much the same, around 3 hours. Again passing through interesting villages of mainly Newar people. The second night is spent in Markuh from where the trail takes us up to Daman. Crossing over the Kulekhani Damn first. From Daman, the mountains open up before us! The final day we drive back to Kathmandu from Daman. This is also the perfect choice if you have those in your group who do not want to trek. They can drive to Daman and meet you there! I would also recommend you spend another night in Daman, if your time allows, to enjoy the atmosphere, explore the area and take in the mountain views.
Short Treks from Pokhara
Pokhara is definitely on most visitors’ itinerary! Whether you are doing a luxury tour in Nepal, a Nepal yoga retreat, or looking for homestay treks in Nepal, Pokhara and the surrounding area have it all.
All the treks mentioned below can be extended to the more standard lengths, but if you don’t have much time, then they are available as described. Just ask us.
Please note the number of days given for these treks is from Pokhara to Pokhara.
It all starts at Pokhara of course, but if you are not able to go further afield, why don’t you do someday hikes around the area. Boat across Fewa Lake and hike up to the Peace Pagoda for example. Or drive to Begnas Lake and explore the surrounding forests. Don’t forget to take a sail on that lake also. Hike up to Sarangkot to watch the sunrise. Or better still, watch the sunrise after an overnight in one of the hotels on top of Sarangkot and hike back down (or both ways) at your own pace.
Royal Trek / 5 days
This is a fantastic low altitude trek through Gurung villages which provides you with fabulous views of the Annapurna and Lamjung mountains. But is often forgotten as a trek as those harden trekkers head off up to higher elevations. You will be walking around 6 hours a day, so a good level of fitness is a must. But since it is at low altitude, most people will not find this too strenuous. Aside from the mountains, the best part is staying the last night at Begnas Lake – a much quieter environment to its big sister, Fewa Lake.
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek / 5-7 days
This is one of the iconic short treks from Pokhara. Poon Hill at 3,210m is a viewpoint like no other! Setting off by vehicle from Pokhara, the first day sees you walking for around 4 hours to reach the village of Ulleri. This name you will never forget. Why? Because over 4,000 stone steps await you! If you fancy a challenge, please follow this route. If you are less enthusiastic about the steps, ask us about the alternative route! Meantime, At Ghundruk village you can visit the Gurung Museum. Educational as well as fun, particularly if you have kids with you. Poon Hill is obviously the highlight of this trek with its astounding sunrise and sunsets over the Annapurnas. It’s an all-year trek that sees plenty of trekkers but the views are worth it!
Lower Mustang / 3 days upwards
Basically, you are in Lower Mustang the moment you get on the trail out of Pokhara. Poon Hill for example falls into Lower Mustang. But if you have don’t have the time to trek longer, you might want to fly into Jomson from Pokhara and explore Lower Mustang from there. You could base yourself out of Jomson – hiking down to the cobblestone village of Marpha – famous for its apples. Then you can hike again out of Jomson uphill towards the incredibly unique village of Kagbeni, on to Jajarkot and the famous Hindu shrine at Muktinath with its eternal flame. This is also an ideal way to experience the mountains and trekking life in Nepal if you cannot walk far because out of Jomson jeeps are available to take you Muktinath. Around Jomson there are fewer trees; it’s more a stark landscape (which gets starker if you venture into Upper Mustang – your next trip perhaps!) And it is very windy as the wind rushes up the gorge! Of course, you can extend your hike and enjoy the Jomson and Muktinath trek then fly or trek out. Or extend it further and head to the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. Ask us.
The Millennium Homestay Trek / 5-6 days
An even more unique trek in the Annapurnas is the Millennium Homestay Trek. A low altitude trek, this hike enables you to stay in people’s home and experience village life first- hand. No need to worry about the best season to visit Nepal for this trek can be done all year round. Perhaps not the monsoon though (July and August) as the trails will be slippery and it may well be raining.
Mardi Himal Trek / 6 days
This is another trek for those who like something a bit different, with fewer crowds and not too strenuous. Well, it is still classed as a moderate trek because it is the Himalayas! This trek is full of diversity of flora and fauna and wonderful mountain ranges – the Annapurnas, Mardi Himal, Manaslu, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) etc.
This trek starts at the Australian Base Camp – a short drive from Pokhara. High Camp is at 3,900m and is the highest sleeping altitude. Mardi Himal Base Camp is itself at 4,500m but we will only be at that altitude for a short time, returning to sleep at High Camp.
Short Treks in the Everest Region
So you have come all the way to Nepal and really want to go to Mount Everest. But you don’t have much time. And the Everest flight doesn’t seem adventurous enough for you. Are there any treks you can do that get you into the Everest Region but won’t take up too much time? Yes!
Everest Base Camp Route Trek / 6-7 days
It will be extremely unlikely unless you are a superhuman, born-in-the-mountains type, you could reach Everest Base Camp on foot within a week. Of course, there are heli tours in Nepal which allow you to fly into Everest Base Camp, land for a few minutes and take some iconic pictures. But that’s another trip…
Most treks into this region start with a hair-raising flight into Lukla on day 1. By the evening of Day 2, you have reached Namche Bazaar. Unfortunately for those on a tight time schedule who are not high altitude mountain goats, everyone needs to acclimatize for an extra day in Namche. At this point, you can head off to Khumjung village to visit the school Sir Edmund Hillary set up as a thank you to the Sherpa’s for helping him be one of the first two men on Everest. The other being Tenzing Norgay. The next day, once you have acclimatized, you can trek up to Tengboche Monastery. From here the views are amazing – fitting for the highest monastery in the region. If you have time you can trek further on to Dingboche before returning to Namche and onwards to Lukla where you overnight before your early morning flight. I need to warn you that flights out of Lukla are often delayed because of the weather. So please leave a few days between departing Everest and your international flight home.
Pikey Peak Trek / 7 days minimum
So this might be pushing things a bit to complete within 7 days but it’s such an interesting trek I wanted to include it here. In fact, Sir Edmund said his favourite view in the whole of Nepal was from Pikey Peak! If that’s not enough reason to include here, I don’t know what is. From here a number of mountains can be seen – including Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga, Gauri Shanker, Lhotse Shar, Numbe, Khatang, Karyalung, Annapurna, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Shisapangma, Thamserku and Mera Peak. This trek starts with a flight to Phaplu followed by a 5-hour hike to the first overnight at Salleri. The days on this trek are long 6 to 8 hours but the yak pastures and grazing yaks, the ethnic villages, and monasteries you can visit make up for this. If you are around at the right time of year, you might witness an annual mountain biking race in this area. Something to aim for participating in in the future perhaps? You will also pass the old trail from Jiri to Everest Base Camp. Before the days of flights, anyone attempting to scale Everest had long, several weeks to trek in from Kathmandu. Exhausting – before climbing even started!
Other Short Treks
What I suggest you do is select your trek – to help you please see my earlier blog Which Trek Should I do in Nepal? – then get in touch with one of the best travel companies in Nepal, Swotah Travel and Adventure, for example, and ask them if it’s possible to tailor your chosen trek to your available timeframe.