One of the greatest adventure you can possibly have in a lifetime is trekking in the Himalayas. Walk at the feet of these majestic giants with snow covered peaks, pass by mystical temples, walk on ancient trails, experience the culture and the daily life of the hill tribes and breath in the most amazing nature and scenery that you have ever seen. For many people it remains just a dream, sadly.
When talking about the highest mountains of the world they picture snow covered paths, climbing gear and extreme physical strength and stamina they must bear with. Well, this is not the case. Or at least not for every route. Make sure to pick a suitable itinerary, have a knowledgeable guide and do not expect luxury accommodation. Apart from that? Take with you the love of nature, sense of humor and a pair of comfortable walking boots.
1. The Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Photograph taken by Andrew McDougall
The EBC trek in the Khumbu region is one of the most popular routes in the Himalayas. It starts with a mountain flight to Lukla and gives you the opportunity to explore the mountains and valleys around the highest peak on Earth, rest in Nepalese tea houses in the evenings and to learn about the traditions and cultures of the famous Sherpas.
2. Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Photograph taken by Dragan Tapshanov
The Annapurna Circuit is the second most popular trekking route in Nepal. It passes through various terrains starting from jungle to high alpine, ending in dry deserted region and gives a chance to have a closer look into Tibetan Buddhist culture and with an extension you can enter into the restricted Upper Mustang Region, which goes all the way to Tibet. The highest elevation and also the toughest part of the trek is climbing to Thorung La Pass (5416m).
3. Markha Valley, Ladakh, India
It is one of the greatest treks in North India, Ladakh. A truly beautiful and very diverse route, passing through charming valleys, picturesque villages, colorful canyons, and high alpine grasslands. The highest pass on the trail is Kongmaru La (5200m).
4. Mount Kailash, Tibet, China
Photograph taken by Raphael Bick
Mt. Kailash described as the spiritual center of the universe in ancient texts, is a sacred mountain to four religions and the greatest mountain pilgrimage on Earth. Many Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims walk the very strenuous sacred circuit around the mountain to cleanse themselves of sins of a lifetime. Given that Tibet is not available for solo travelers this trek is only accessible with tour guide lead groups.
5. Annapurna Base Camp with Poon Hill, Nepal
Photograph taken by Nathan C. Potter
This route combines many different landscapes and brings you close to the base of 7000 and 8000 meter high peaks in a short period of time. The entire trek can be completed in 7 to 11 days depending on the itinerary. The Annapurna Base Camp trek famous for it’s variety of people, rich culture, beautiful landscapes and panorama view.
6. The K2 Base Camp Trek, Karakoram Range, Pakistan
Photograph taken by Javier Camacho Gimeno
The K2 Base Camp Trek is an extremely strenuous, long and challenging walk through an isolated and craggy land. K2 is considered to have one of the world’s most magnificent scenery that can not be compared to anywhere else in the mighty mountains. Unfortunately trekking in Pakistan can be difficult or even impossible due to the unstable political situation.
7. Ganden to Samye, Tibet
Photograph taken by Carlo Marrazza
With its mysteries and legends, Tibet has long been a desired destination among trekkers. This route East of Lhasa, is one of the most beautiful trekking routes of central Tibet linking two of the most prominent monasteries together and providing access to Tibet’s first monastery of the 8th Century.
8. Valley of Flowers Trek, Uttarakhand, India
Photograph by Leonid Tit
There are many legends associated with the enchanted and magical Valley of Flowers National Park. Due to its outstanding natural beauty locals believe it is the playground of fairies and that they descend in the valley in the absence of humans. The best time to visit the valley is from the beginning of July when the plants begin to bloom. In September, the plants prepare for over eight-months of hibernation. By the end of September, the valley is again covered with snow.
9. Druk Path Trek, Bhutan
Found on Pinterest.com
Bhutan is one if the most isolated countries on this planet, also called “Land of The Thunder Dragon”. It requires previous planning and organization but it worth’s all the effort, time and money.
This trek takes normally six days to complete and it is the most popular in the country as it passes through a gorgeous natural landscape of pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes offering the opportunity to visit some ancient villages and monasteries.
10. Chadar Trek on the Frozen River of Zanskar, India
Found on Pinterest.com
This is the ultimate experience for adventure lovers. Walking on top of the frozen river of Zanskar creates the most exciting and unique experience, a very special and an extraordinary trek on shiny ice.
For the local people for centuries it has been the only possible way of accessing snow-bound villages in winter. Nowadays this is a popular route among thrill seekers for the breath-taking views of ice-peaks and hanging icicles.