These 10 short treks in Nepal are ideal for travellers with limited time and want to experience trekking.

Short hike in Kathmandu Nepal

Many people would love to come to Nepal and go trekking. Thousands come every year. 

Who would not love to trek in the Himalayas? But we realise that not everyone gets away for long breaks from their work. 

The majority of the world gets 2 or 3 weeks of annual leave. Within that short window of time, there are airports to negotiate, and a bit of cultural sightseeing to do before getting out into the mountains for a combination of trekking through the magnificent scenery and learning something about mountain people.

Treks Days
Helambu Trek7 days
Balthali Village via Namo Buddha and Panauti Village 5 days
Everest View Trek9 days
Gosaikunda Lake Trek 8 days
Langtang Trek8 days
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek 7 days ( can be shorten to 3 days)
Sarangkot Dhampus Trek 3 days
Nagarkot ChisoPani Trek 3 days
Annapurna Base Camp Trek10 days
Mardi Himal Trek10 days

So here I have brought you several treks you can complete in around a week. Giving you plenty of time to explore the World Heritage of Kathmandu, and/or relax in the lake city of Pokhara as well as a hike in the hills and mountains.

 Okay, so yes there are a couple of treks here which run to 10 days. Classics that we couldn’t leave out! But note, these can be reduced by a couple of days by using domestic flights. Read on!  

Below please find detail information on the following short treks in Nepal:

Helambu – 7 days

Highlights 

  • Trek starts a short drive from Kathmandu
  • Begin at Shivapuri National Park
  • See beautiful flora and fauna
  • Low altitude trek with one pass at 3,650m 
  • Stunning mountain views
  • Hike through Sherpa and Tamang villages
  • See Buddhist monasteries and prayer flags fluttering against the sky

Introduction 

This amazing short trek starts from Kathmandu with a 4-hour drive to Shivapuri National Park. 

This is a relatively low altitude trek which takes you through green valleys, rhododendron forests, and meadows and passed raging rivers and interesting villages.

The snow-capped mountains on display include Langtang, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Rolwaling, and Gauri Shankar. As you go over the Tharepati Pass (3,650m) Dorje Lakpa, Langsisa and others are also on view. 

This trek is perfect for those who don’t want to trek high but who do want to see many different mountains in the Himalaya ranges. Average hours of walking per day is 4 to 6. 

Balthali Village covering Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, and Panauti Village Trek xx days

Balthali Village covering Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, and Panauti Village Trek 1 – 2 days

Highlights

  • Only 2 hours by car from Kathmandu
  • Can be done in a shorter length of time to suit locals and ex-pats
  • Perfect family walk
  • Interesting culture to see on the way
  • See both Buddhist and Hindu culture in one trek
  • Stroll around the old town and ghats at Panauti village
  • Optional stop at Bhaktapur at the start or end of the trek
  • Walk over a suspension bridge near Balthali village.

Introduction 

This low altitude trek can be done in 2, 3, or 4 days depending on your itinerary. It starts just a short drive from Kathmandu and can be combined (first or last day) with a visit to the World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur.

Pass through forests of oak and pine and visit the old parts of Dhulikhel and Panauti to discover ancient shrines and monuments.

Watch the sunrise over 8 out of 13 Himalayan mountain ranges at Nagarkot – such an amazing way to start the day! 

This is the perfect get-away for people on a busy schedule. Or the perfect short trek with plenty of time to relax in the hotel of your choice for those with a little more time.

Great trek for families with children or couples on a romantic holiday! Ramp up the luxury with the option of 5-star hotels in Dhulikhel or Nagarkot, or go more budget. The choice is yours. 

Everest View Point 9 Day Short Trek

Highlights 

  • Get close to Mt Everest in a short period of time
  • Overnight in the famous Namche Bazaar, the traditional starting point for countless Everest climbing expeditions
  • Meet Sherpa people
  • Fly into the high altitude airport of Lukla
  • Visit Tengboche monastery, the highest altitude monastery in the region.
  • Stare in awe at not only Everest but at other mountains including Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and Thamserku
  • Walkthrough forests, over raging rivers and through the rocky ground all on this short trek

Introduction 

A short trek to fulfil your Everest dream.This trek is around 5 hours walking a day and never rises above 4,000m.

So while not the easiest hiking option in the Himalayas it is suitable for most people of good fitness. As you can imagine, the views are amazing – a panoramic view from Tengboche of Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and Thamserku.

The other scenery is amazing too: trek through alpine forests, Sherpa villages, along the glacier-fed Dudh Koshi and Bhote Koshi rivers and into Sagarmatha National Park.

This is snow leopard and red panda country and part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape initiatives of WWF.

It would be rare for you to see these endangered creatures, more likely you will meet expeditions on their way to the top of Everest!

You will also notice the atmosphere of Buddhist culture and belief that permeates the air and come to understand why the Sherpa people call Mt Everest Chomolungma or Mother Goddess. 

Gosaikunda Lake 8 Day Short Trek

Highlights

  • Hike through Langtang National Park
  • Visit Gosikunda Lake, holy to both Hindus and Buddhists 
  • Mythical home to God Shiva and Gauri
  • Cross suspension bridges strung over high ravines
  • Hike through pine, oak and rhododendron forests
  • Be dwarfed by the Manaslu and Ganesh Himal mountain ranges, plus more

Introduction 

A day’s drive from Kathmandu brings you to the starting point of this trek. With three lakes to visit, including one dedicated to Lord Shiva which sees thousands of pilgrims visiting at the full moon festival of Janai Purnima (August), and stunning mountains to see, this is a trek through mythology.

Here at Gosaikunda Shiva formed the lake when he plunged his holy trident into the mountainside to get water to drink.

It is also a Ramsar Site – that is a wetland of international importance and falls within the Langtang National Park. Both facts might satisfy the more practical trekkers!

But whatever the reason for your trek, your time here will provide you with fascinating insights into the local peoples, the mountains and nature.

The trails take you across rivers, through forests and beneath the stunning mountains. This is a low altitude trek with days of 4-6 hours walking. 

Langtang 8 Day Short Trek

Highlights

  • The trek is only a day’s drive from Kathmandu
  • Low altitude trek with an optional 5,000m sunrise hike
  • Trek through Langtang National Park
  • Spot native wildlife including the Himalayan bear, red panda, monkeys and Himalayan deer
  • Spectacular mountains on display
  • Visit the ancient monastery of Kyanjin Gompa 
  • Meet Tamang and Sherpa Buddhist people
  • Walkthrough yak pastures and visit a cheese factory where yak cheese is made

Introduction

Despite being so close to Kathmandu, this area doesn’t see so many trekkers. This plus that fact the trek is within the Langtang National Park ensures this area is pristine in terms of flora and fauna and is one of the few areas where the red panda can be found.

As well as bamboo and rhododendron forests, hike through yak pastures. Interestingly, this area was the first to introduce cheese making in Nepal, thanks to a Swiss cheesemaker.

The mountains you can see on this trek include Dorje Lakpa (6,990m), Langtang Ri (6,370m) and Langtang Lirung (7,245m). Being low altitude with hiking hours of around 6-7 per day this is a moderate trek with plenty to see and discover.

With fewer trekkers around, and being so close to Kathmandu this is a great trek for those who want to see what trekking in Nepal is all about!

Ghorepani Poon Hill 4 to 7 Day Short Hike 

Highlights

  • Start and end your trek in the lakeside town of Pokhara
  • A short trek with some of the best views in the country
  • Watch the sunrise over the mountains from the top of Poon Hill
  • Fantastic panoramic views of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri range, Machhapuchhre Himal, Hiunchuli, Nilgiri, and Mardi Himal
  • Walkthrough forests, up long stone steps and through interesting villages. 
  • A great trek for families with children
  • Can be made longer or shorter to suit your timeframe – all with the same stunning views

Introduction

This trek is great for everyone, from experienced trekkers to those who haven’t trekked before; for newbie’s to Nepal to old hands, and from families to hiking buddies.

This is the ultimate in terms of Himalayan views, comfort and ease of walking. Trek through rhododendron forests and interesting villages, all the time with the amazing views of the Annapurna range.

Climbing up Poon Hill (3,210m) in the dark to watch the sunrise over Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Tukuche, Varaha Shikhar, Lamjung Himal and the Annapurnas is the highlight of this trek.

Nothing can compare to sipping hot tea in the cold morning air with Mother Nature to awe and inspire you.  

With days of around 4-6 hours of walking and with the option of a variety of routes and number of days on the trail, this is a great trek for families.

Being this is on an old established trekking route, the level of accommodation here is high, so at the end of the day, there is a comfortable bed and great food waiting for you.

Nagarkot Chisopani 3 Day Short Trek

Highlights

  • The perfect ‘get-away’ weekend
  • Combine hiking and relaxing in comfortable accommodation
  • Forest bathe in Shivapuri National Park to reduce stress
  • Stay in the hill station of Nagarkot to watch sunset and sunrise over the Himalayas
  • See 8 out of the 13 Himalaya ranges while sipping morning coffee
  • Visit Changunarayan Temple

Introduction

It doesn’t take long to drive from the heart of Kathmandu to Sundarijal, the starting point for this hike.  Point of interest is that Sundarijal is the origin of the water supply for Kathmandu. From here you hike to Chisopani, which will take approximately 4 to 5 hours.

Day 2 takes you to Nagarkot through cool forests.  Expect to spend 7 hours hiking but know that spectacular views are waiting to greet you!  

Nagarkot is famous for the panoramic views it affords of the Himalaya ranges. With both budget and luxury accommodation on offer, the choice is yours.  

On Day 3, after watching the sunrise over the peaks while you sip tea and tuck into a hearty breakfast, set off to Changunaryan Temple (reportedly the oldest temple in Nepal), which should take you around 4 to 5 hours.  

There is time to explore the under-renovation Krishna Mandir in the same complex.  Fortunately, the 2015 earthquake did not damage Changunaryan as it did the Krishna Mandir and the living museum. 

From here you can catch a bus or hike down to Bhaktapur from where you can get a bus or taxi back to Kathmandu. 

Sarangkot Dhampus 3 Day Short Trek

Highlights 

  • Start and end in beautiful Pokhara, home to Fewa Lake
  • Can be done clockwise or anti-clockwise
  • Stunning close-up views of the Annapurnas, including Fishtail
  • Fantastic sunrise and sunset views
  • Meet interesting Gurung peoples
  • Experience trekking in the Himalayas
  • Good for families

Introduction 

This is a perfect short hike for those with children, or with less time for trekking. A short(ish) trek (4 hours) takes you from Pokhara to the viewpoint hill station of Sarangkot.

From here witness sunset before dinner. Early next morning wake up to witness an amazing sunrise over the Annapurnas – all before breakfast! Then walk slowly to another hilltop called Dhampus (approx 4 hours), a village of Gurung peoples.

These strong and loyal people make up the Gurkha Regiment in the British Army. Tonight witness sunset from a viewpoint.

Again rise early again for another stunning sunrise over the Annapurnas seen from Dhampus before hiking back down to Pokhara through forests and cultivated fields in time for lunch by the lake! 

Annapurna Base Camp Trek 10 Days

Highlights 

  • One of the iconic treks in Nepal 
  • Visit two base camps – Annapurna and Machhapuchhre
  • Amazing panorama of mountains from Annapurna Base Camp
  • The trail goes through forests and rough tracks, bringing you the best of the Annapurnas
  • From day one you are in the heart of the Annapurna mountains
  • Suitable for families with older children

Introduction 

Along with Everest Base Camp, trekking to Annapurna Base Camp is one of the most well-loved and iconic treks through the Nepal Himalayas.

And it’s obvious why. The trail makes its way through rhododendron forests, alongside and over glacier rivers and waterfalls, passes by sheer cliff faces and of course, there are the mountains!

From both base camps the views of Machhapuchhre (better known as Fish Tail), Mount Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Annapurna I, and Annapurna III are amazing.

What’s more, at Annapurna Sanctuary, a 360-degree panorama of the mountains will take your breath away. Towering above is also a near-vertical view of the south face of Annapurna.

Aside from the mountains, waterfalls, raging rivers and forests, you will meet interesting locals at work on their terraced farmlands. 

This low altitude trek has only one day over 4,000m – that being at Annapurna Base Camp at 4,130m – and has an average walking day of 5-6 hours. 

Mardi Himal Trek 10 Days

Highlights 

  • Trek starts and ends in Pokhara
  • This is a less trekked route
  • Nature is at its best with lush forests of pine, oak and the national flower of Nepal, rhododendron
  • Explore ethnic villages and see terraced farmlands
  • Reach Mardi Himal Base Camp, not long open for trekkers

This is perhaps the ideal trek for those who like to go places a little different from the crowd. Attracting fewer trekkers only because it is situated next to many iconic treks around the Annapurnas, this route has not been open for very long to hikers.

This trek has all the same stunning views – Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre and Manaslu – as its neighbouring treks but also has more wilderness and solitude.

Trek through forests, along ridges and through deep valleys to the High Camp (4,100m). The biodiversity of the mountains is perhaps more obviously given there are fewer trekkers to distract us. The villages the trail passes through are mainly of Magar and Gurung people. 

Conclusion

Whether you have less time, or are adding a short trek onto a longer adventure or simply want a quick get-away, these ten short treks are perfect for you. 

In fact, they are mainly gentle or moderate walking trails and with the choice of starting in Kathmandu or Pokhara, only makes them more attractive.

Pretty much all of the treks are suitable for children. Some of the treks offer deluxe or even luxury spa type accommodation, should you wish. 

All offer stunning views of the Himalaya ranges and the opportunity to get out into the mountains. Amazing sunrises and sunsets are complimentary!

For further information on these short treks, or any other treks and adventures in Nepal, please contact me. 

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