Off-the-beaten treks in Nepal are not necessarily the remotest destinations of the nation. Instead are less touristic zones that offer peaceful trekking trails, unspoiled nature and unique cultural practices.
Located in South Asia between two large nations-China and India, Nepal is a medium-sized vibrant country. It offers some of the most farfetched natural sceneries and uncommon cultures on the entire planet.
From the 8 of 14 tallest mountain peaks, glaciers, deep gorges, wide pastures, lustrous vegetation, glacial lakes, torrential rivers, one can witness some of the best religious, cultural, and historical shrines.
Despite being a medium-sized nation, Nepal offers endless outdoor activities for adventure seekers. Those who seeking rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation come to Mother Nature at its most magnificent.
As there are a plethora of unpolished trekking destinations, apart from the popular Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang treks. Trekkers seeking less explored destinations can choose the following destinations.
Most of the destinations listed below are camping places where extra porters, cooks, and other staff are needed. The camping equipment, porters, guides, a trekking chef, a trekking leader, will be taken from Kathmandu or the respective major cities. Along with the pristine nature, they can experience the best local food items and cultures throughout.
Trek through Shey-Phoksundo National Park and Lake, Lower Dolpo Trek is popular as one of the best off-the-beaten trekking paths of Nepal.
The journey passes leaving spectacular mountain sceneries, Buddhist religious shrines including monasteries, gompas, chortens, prayer flags and Mane walls, yak caravans, and tiny settlements.
Along the remote Himalayan peaks, you will experience centuries’ old cultures and practices of the Dolpo regions. Trekkers pass trek thru the places where the Oscar-nominated movie Himalaya, Caravan was filmed. Beyond the movie sceneries, you will witness everything in reality following the off-the-beaten tracks.
In addition to them, you will sightsee the barren landscapes that resemble the semi-Tibetan Plateau.
On the way, you will pass one of the deepest Himalayan lakes- Shey Phoksundo Lake and antique salt trading Tibetan trails that are mostly full of yak caravans.
A trip to the lost and wild valley of Nar-Phu tastes your true off-the-beaten-track experiences. Situated off the main trail of Annapurna Circuit Trek, Narphu village is surrounded by mighty Pisang Peak, Damodar Mountain, Kangru Himal, and Kangla Pass.
The settlements are scattered up to 4100m above sea level and are windy, dry, and rugged. When late Professor David Snellgrove, a popular Tibetologist visited those villages for the first time, became known to the rest of the world about these villages.
The culture and practices are deeply influenced by Tibet and people mostly speak Manangi or the Tibetan language.
Nar Phu Valley Trek was opened for foreigners in 2003 only with a special permit. It was lost for hundreds of years opened to the rest of the world since then only. Phu is situated at the upper and end of the valley whereas Nar is the lower one.
In the mid-winter people from higher elevations descend towards lower elevations as the route is blocked for months due to the heavy snowfall and there is Siberian cold. People of Nar-Phu Valley have a close relationship with Manang and connect with each other in need.
With the majestic Himalayan view including Dorje Lakpa, Jugal, Rolwaling, Gauri Shankar, Tibetan Peaks, and Langtang mountain ranges, Panch Pokhari Trek is the perfect off-the-beaten journeys of Nepal. The combination of five ponds, Panch Pokhari has great religious and cultural values as well.
As a less crowded and less touristic destination, the availability of teahouses is still rare during the trek. The unavailability of teashops and lodges on the way, demands a camping trek for Panch Pokhari. However, standing at the top, one gets panoramic views of the mountains and lustrous sceneries.
One of the best alternatives of crowded Everest Base Camp Trek, Pikey Peak was declared the best vantage point for viewing the mountains including Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary.
This trekking route offers splendid views of mighty Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, Number Himal, Kanchenjunga, and even Annapurna ranges. It is popular for magnificent sunrise and sunset views as well.
Peaky Peak is a periodic snow-white atop where Sherpas used to go for short treks to hang the prayer flags on the top in remembrance of their clan deity. The ‘Pikey’ deity is believed to the representation of the ‘sky over nature’. In the month of June/July, they worship their clan god and celebrate well.
The journey to Pikey Peak begins after a scenic drive to Dhap Bazaar from Kathmandu. Following the recently opened trails, you continue trekking to Jhapre-Pikey Base Camp- Pikey Peak-Junbesi and finally Phaplu before flying back to Kathmandu. The Sherpa settlements of the lower Khumbu region are explored throughout the journey.
A recently opened Trekking destination-Khopra Ridge and Mohare Danda Trek offers wonderful nature, traditional culture, rugged terrains, paddy fields, wildlife, jungles, magnificent mountain ranges, and a unique way of living in the Annapurna region. This trek has a central aim to sustain the living standard of the people nearby.
Following an off-the-beaten route, trekkers can stay in the local teahouses witnessing the astonishing views of mighty Dhaulagiri ranges, Nilgiri, Annapurnas, Bhahra Shikhar, and their several neighboring peaks.
As this trek is the perfect combination of nature and culture, you can explore the cultural practices and way of living of Brahmin, Kshetries, Gurung, and Magar communities. The side trips of Khayer Lake and Poon hill offer panoramic views of the Himalayas, colorful hills, and magnificent settlements.
The Rara Lake Trek is a popular journey to the western part of Nepal with awe-off-the-beaten experiences. Rich in both scenery and culture, Rara Lake passes through Rara National Park-the smallest national park of Nepal that covers only 106 km².
Extended in two districts of Nepal, this national park is home to more than 500 different kinds of flowers, 51 species of mammals, 214 species of birds, two species of reptiles & amphibians, and three species of fish.
Mostly trekkers can observe musk deer, red panda, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Indian leopard, jackal, Himalayan tahr, yellow-throated marten, otter, dhole, gray langur, and rhesus macaque during their course.
Rara Lake-the core attraction of this trek is the biggest as well as the deepest lake of Nepal that extends 10.8km2 sits at an elevation of 2,990 m (9,810 ft) above sea level.
The lake is a true masterpiece of Mother Nature bounded by fir, spruce, and juniper bushes. The view of snowcapped mountain peaks from the lake adds to the magnetism.
The trek commences after the flight to Jumla from Kathmandu via Nepalgunj. After a 2-3 days’ hike from there, you reach Rara Lake via some apple orchids, remote cultural settlements, pine forests, monasteries, and Gambas. Being back to Jumla, you take an alternative route of Dhotu, Chautha, and Danphe Langa. From here, you fly back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj.
A short, one of the nearest from Pokhara yet off the beaten trekking destination-Royal Trek is tasted you authentic village life, lively culture, and remoteness of central Nepal. It was named after Prince Charles and his team walked passing these routes in the 1980s.
In spite of being a lower elevated trek, this single trek offers the panoramic sceneries of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri massifs, lustrous backwoods, terraced fields, cultivated lands, and ethnic settlements of the Annapurna region.
The journey commences after an hour and thirty minutes drive to Bijaypur from Pokhara and ends at Begnas Lake. En-course, you will pass some important day destinations as Kalikasthan, Syaklung, and Chisapani.
One of the most popular destinations in the easternmost part of the nation-Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek is another perfect off-the-beaten trek. Kanchenjunga-the 3rd tallest peak of the planet borders the Sikkim of India is a long adventure to the remotest and stunning area of the Nepalese Himalayas.
Considered as one of the most beautiful mountain massifs of the world-Kanchenjunga means ‘Five Treasures of the Great Snow’ form of gold, silver, gem, grain and holy books in each different summit’ that is in reference to the five summits that make up entire Kanchenjunga.
The entire route is rarely crowded, trekkers will be rewarded with a unique insight into the Nepali rural lifestyle and rich culture. The panoramic mountain vistas of the entire Himalayas, lustrous backwoods and exotic wildlife of the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area add beauty to your trek.
Commonly, you will be welcomed by variations in landscapes from alpine grasslands to sub-tropical forests, low river valleys, glacial moraine, and rocky scree slopes throughout.
The trek commences after flying to Suketar from Kathmandu via Bhadrapur. Passing dozens of settlements of the Kanchenjunga region, you reach Kanchenjunga Base Camp-one is south and the rest is north. You can schedule for one or both according to your fitness level, interest, and budget.
Apart from the aforementioned treks, there are several other off-the-beaten trails as well. Api Himal Trek, Kalinchowk Trek, Rolwaling Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek, Bhairav Kunda Trek, Ganesh Himal Trek, Nar Phu Circuit Trek, Churen Himal Base Camp Trek, Gurja Himal Dhorpatan Trek, Muldai View Point Trek, Limi Valley Trek, Namun La Pass Trek, Annapurna North Base Camp Trek, Tamang Heritage Trail are some of them which are less explored and non-touristic destinations.