The 10 Best Short Treks in Nepal

The best treks for beginners and family group
  • Rajesh Neupane
  • Last Updated on Sep 15, 2023

Thankfully, some things remain constant during these often strange and confusing times, and we are pleased to announce that the Himalayas are alive and kicking like an expectant mother earth waiting for the patter of tiny feet.

From our postbag, it is clear there are a lot of people who are also just aching to return once again to lose themselves in Nepal’s wild nature and wonderful people. Of course, the towering Himalayas are Nepal's gift to nature; their dizzying heights of towering 8000-meter peaks lapped by the pristine forested foothills spread below provide a vast array of trekking options.

When considering a trek, many things spring to mind, but two in particular stand out: the level of fitness and the time people have available. Today we focus on ten fabulous short treks for folks who are either on a tight schedule or who want to spend some time in the hills but also want to discover all the other minor miracles Nepal offers. Here we cover treks within the three major trekking regions in Nepal: Annapurna, Everest, and Langtang, plus one special one within the Kathmandu valley.

The Most Demanding Short Treks in Nepal

Table of Contents

The Solu Khumbu (Everest Region)

View from Kalapatthar
View From Kalapatthar

The Everest National Park is of course famous for being home to the highest mountain on earth. It is situated 120 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu. The region was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1979. It covers an area of 1148 square kilometers.
The region's landscape varies greatly, from alpine-like in the south (Solu) to a much harsher and rugged setting dissected by deep river gorges in the north (Khumbu). Elevations range from around 2000 m in the south to 8848 m and the summit of Everest in the north, on the border with Tibet. Silver fir, birch, and rhododendron forests can be found at lower elevations, with juniper scrub found around 4500 m above the tree line. Important mammals found in the park include the Himalayan black bear, Red Panda, Musk Deer, and Thar. The region is divided into two parts Solu lies south in the middle hills, and Khumbu occupies the higher reaches from Lukla to Everest.

Everest View Trek

Everest View from Namche
Everest View from Syangboche
  • Max. Elevation: 3780 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 8 Days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: September to May

The Everest View Trek is also called the Everest Panorama Trek. The thrills begin from Kathmandu with a dramatic flight along the Himalayas to the tiny mountain airstrip of Lukla. This trek has it all when it comes to short treks; apart from the majestic mountain views and the rich biodiversity of the region, there is also a wonderful opportunity to spend time witnessing the unique history, culture, and traditions of the oh-so-friendly and gracious Sherpa people. Gentle mountain warriors are weathered and hardened by the harsh climate they live in.

The Panorama Trek is a mountain lover's dream, with Mount Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, and Ama Dablam towering over you as you make your way up to the enchanting Tengboche Monastery. The trail is particularly diverse, running along deep river gorges, through lush pine and rhododendron forests, and up to high ridges, always with a constant reminder of the deeply rooted Buddhist tradition of the region you are hiking in. Prayer walls, chortens, and prayer flags guide you on your way to the famous monastery. Draped within a splendid backdrop, Tengboche sits serenely, safely guarded by the beautiful peak of Ama Dablam. The trail back traverses the same route to Lukla, where normally one night is spent before the flight back to Kathmandu.

Pikey Peak Trek

Pikey Peak Trek

  • Max. elevation: 4065 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: September to May

Pikey Peak Trek is another great option in Solu, south of the main Everest region. The trail is relatively new and untouched. It is a trail with dramatically changing landscapes, authentic Sherpa villages, and ancient monasteries to savor far away from the crowds. Some people say the view of Mount Everest from Pikey Peak is the best to be had, a statement also claimed to be true by none other than Sir Edmund Hillary himself.

Pikey Peak lies south of the main Khumbu Everest trekking region. The trek can be as little as three long days, but that would be missing the beauty of being there. A more leisurely five or six days allows you to relax and enjoy the unmatched scenery along with the unique Buddhist culture found here. This trek benefits if you are not in a rush, with more time to visit several Buddhist monasteries on the trail and enough space to interact with the wonderful Sherpa people. Several different trekking routes in the lower Everest region include a climb of Pikey Peak. One is to start and end the trek at Phaplu; here you have two options: either a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu or a seven-hour drive. Another popular choice is to begin the trek from Dhap (seven hours by road), then either fly or drive out of Phaplu.

Short Treks in the Annapurna Region

The lower Annapurna region is perfect for short treks. With just a few days in the mountains, you’ll experience what makes this part of Nepal special. The following Annapurna short treks begin and finish in Pokhara, a perfect setting to prepare for your trek and equally unwind and reflect at the end of it.

Set within a verdant valley and surrounded by forested hills, Pokhara has arguably the most dramatic mountain backdrop anywhere in the world. The town has also become Nepal’s favorite destination for adventure activities, with paragliding, zip lining, and cannoning all popular along with the more traditional boating and swimming.

Pokhara is accessible from Kathmandu either by a short 25-minute flight or a six-hour car drive. The treks mentioned entail a car ride of around an hour from Pokhara to the trailhead.

Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek

View from Poon Hill
View From Poon Hill 3210 m.
  • Max. elevation: 3210 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • The Best Time: September to May

If the Everest Base Camp Trek is the classic when it comes to the longer trails, the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, also known as the Annapurna Panorama Trek, has become a real favorite among short, relatively easy treks in the Himalayas. Perhaps not surprisingly, as it provides some of the best mountain views to be found anywhere in Nepal. This trek is ideal for families and for people who do not have a lot of time.

The facilities on the trail are excellent, with well-established lodges and tea houses. Many of these offer home comforts you would not expect in the mountains. Wi-Fi is available in most lodges and, if you want to spend a little more, in en suite double rooms. While it is Nepal's most developed trail, local culture remains intact, and there are numerous opportunities to interact with and learn about the region's two major ethnic groups: Gurungs and Magars.

One highlight of many is the journey up before dawn to Poon Hill to witness the sunrise. The view is amazing as the dawn sun slowly melts its colors over the towering Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.

Ghandruk is notable for its magnificent high mountain views and well-preserved culture. Spend a day wandering around the ancient houses and witnessing a mountain lifestyle that hasn't changed much over the centuries.

Khopra Danda Trek

View from Khayar Lake
View from Khayar Lake
  • Max. elevation: 3660 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 9–14 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: March to May and September to November

Khopra Danda Trek is another trek worth considering in the Annapurna region if you are limited by time. The trail is nicely concealed away from the busier routes. It is a very rewarding and insightful journey via ancient indigenous mountain settlements, lush forests, and verdant green valleys. The final destination is the remote glacial lake of Khayar, perched high in the Annapurna Himalayas. There are only a handful of hikers in the upper reaches of a trail, so there are some tranquil times, just you and the spectacular views of majestic peaks. Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Machhapuchhre, Mt. Annapurna, and Mt. Nilgiri, among many others.

The Khayar Lake is sacred for local people, especially on the occasion of sacred-thread replacement day (full moon in August). People believe that all their wishes will be fulfilled after praying at the lake, and if they touch the water, they will be granted salvation after death. Married women who have yet to conceive visit the lake to pray for a child. On the way back to Pokhara, it is highly recommended that you stop off at Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise over two ranges of the Himalayas. The trail is circular, depending on your itinerary. Poon Hill can be found either near the beginning of your trek or near the end.

Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Annapurna Base Camp
At Annapurna Base Camp
  • Max. elevation: 4130 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: March to May and September to November

The Short Annapurna Base Camp Trek is a great option to consider if time is short and you are looking for a more challenging mountain experience in Nepal. With more roads being cut into the foothills of the Himalayas, it is now possible to savor one of Nepal’s ultimate experiences in a relatively short period. Make no mistake, this is one epic journey into one of Nepal’s most sacred sanctuaries. more demanding than the previous two treks mentioned, but worth every step.

Base Camp defies adequate description; people find themselves in one huge, ice-clad amphitheater at around 4130 m. Here, you are forced to submit to these fearless giants towering vertically above you. absolutely stunning views of Annapurna I (8091 m), Annapurna III (7937 m), Annapurna IV (7 525 m), Gangapurna (7455 m), and Machhapuchhre (6993 m). On the way back, spend a night at the hot springs of Tatopani to chill out and soothe any lingering aching muscles.

Mardi Himal Trek

View from Mardi Himal
View from Mardi Himal Trek
  • Max. elevation: 4500 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House/Home Satisfaction
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: March to May and September to November

Mardi Himal Trek, located near the Annapurna region, is still one of Nepal's best-kept secrets. The area was only opened to trekkers in 2012, and it is still largely unknown outside of Nepal. The journey starts with a 30-minute car drive from Pokhara to begin on one of the more popular Annapurna trails. On leaving the main trail near Pothana after a day, the route branches off through dense rhododendron forests (alive with color in springtime) up to the aptly named forest camp. Once above the tree line, the next few days provide some spectacular uninterrupted views in almost peaceful isolation. As you move up the trail, the mountains continue to grow. Finally, at Base Camp, the views are equal, if not better, than many of the views on the main Annapurna trail. The holy mountain of Machhapuchhre is particularly stunning along the way. The trek is again basically a small loop; on your return to Pokhara, stay in untouched traditional villages for a more laid-back insight into the lives and culture of local mountain people.

Mohare Danda Trek

View from Mohare Danda Trek
View form Mohare Danda
  • Max. elevation: 3660 m.
  • Accommodation: Eco Community Lodge
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: March to May and September to November

Less commercial, less touristy, and less explored The newly discovered Mohare Danda Trek is short and the most beautiful of the only eco-community lodge trekking routes in the lower Annapurna region of Nepal. Moreover, off the beaten path, Mohare Danda Trek is the best alternative to the overcrowded Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, which takes you higher than the famous Poon Hill viewpoint. Mohare Danda is situated on a hillock 3313 meters above sea level and offers an incredibly imposing close-up view of the Annapurna Himalaya. Furthermore, choosing Mohare Danda Trek means your hard-earned money goes to the local community—schools, hospitals, etc.—and you can have a lifetime experience.

Langtang Region Treks

Langtang is the third most popular trekking region in Nepal and lies 122 kilometers to the north of Kathmandu. It lies within the Langtang National Park, which borders Tibet. The Langtang National Park has a wide range of climatic zones, from tropical to alpine. Because of its varied climates and elevations, the Langtang region is rich in valuable flora and fauna. Langtang Valley Trek, Tamang Heritage Trek, and Chisapani Nagarkot Trek are just a few of the short trekking routes available.

Langtang Valley Trek

Langtang Village

  • Max. elevation: 4984 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 11 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • The Best Time: September to May

The Langtang Valley is a rich alpine valley full of birds, animals, and rare plants. The valley forms part of the Central Nepal Himalaya, north of Kathmandu. This trek is considered by many people to be one of the most rewarding short treks in Nepal. A 7- to 8-hour car ride takes you to the trailhead.

Langtang Village was particularly badly affected by the earthquake of April 2015, and since then considerable efforts have been made to reconstruct and renovate the village. The area reopened for trekking in 2018, owing largely to the efforts of the local Tamang people, whose culture dates back to their origins in Tibet. An extremely welcoming ethnic group, their craftsmanship, costumes, traditionally built stone houses, and beautifully carved wooden porches reflect just how unique their rich heritage is to Nepal.

The Langtang Valley Trek is ideal if you want a relatively short itinerary coupled with all the excitement of getting up close to the majestic Himalayas. Hike up to Kyanjin Gumpa to enjoy intimate, superb, close-up views of the Langtang range. While there, spend a day or two exploring the upper reaches of the valley. A hike to the top of Kyanjin Ri is recommended for a sweeping view of the Langtang massif, its glacier, and the other great peaks, which include some of Nepal’s popular trekking peaks. Further up the valley from Kyanjin, there is an extensive glacial system in the upper reaches, which makes for a great day hike. The trail back to the road follows the route.

Tamang Heritage Trek


  • Max. elevation: 3165 m.
  • Accommodation: Tea House
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • The Best Time: September to May

Another short trek nestled on the Tibetan border adjacent to the Langtang Valley that stands out is the Tamang Heritage Trek. If you are someone who enjoys interacting with people, this trek provides a wonderful opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the local culture of one of Nepal’s few authentic hill tribes. The route is fairly recently established and opened to benefit all locals, not just a few lodge owners. Don’t expect the same facilities found on the more popular trails; they are clean, cozy, and more than adequate. Any lack of comfort is more than compensated by your intimate experience of a very different way of life.

The Tamang people are embedded in the environment they live in. Originally horse traders from Tibet several hundred years ago, they settled in the hilly parts of Nepal within close proximity of the Kathmandu Valley as it was a good market for them at the time. Their culture has changed little over the years; they retain their own distinct identity with strong Tibetan roots as well as their own language.

You stay in traditional Tamang villages set within some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. A varied trail leads through terraced farmland, up into thick forests, and onto ridges to marvel at the commanding peaks of the Langtang Himalayas. Stay in local homes and lodges where lodging and food are provided on a rotational basis, meaning the whole community benefits. This is a great way to experience just how unique and diverse Nepal is. The route is a loop; on your return to the trailhead.

Three Days Chisapani Nagarkot Trek

Ganesh Himal View

  • Max. elevation: 2175 m.
  • Accommodation: tea house/hotel as a place to stay
  • Duration: 3 days
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • The Best Time: September to May

People do not have to travel far from Kathmandu to experience the pleasures of trekking in Nepal. An hour by car after leaving your hotel in Kathmandu, rural Nepal is on your doorstep, with some wonderful treks in the valley. The 3-day Chisapani trek takes in a lot in a few days, providing some fantastic views of a large part of the Himalayas as you go. The appeal of this trek, apart from its accessibility, is that people get to experience authentic village culture while also having the opportunity to visit some very important heritage sites around the valley.

Beginning in Shivapuri National Park, the trail follows cascading rivers through dense forest on the way to the old settlement of Chisapani, where you overnight. The next morning, get up early for spectacular sunrise views from Chisapani across much of the Himalayas. This day is filled with a forested hike to Nagarkot, a beautifully situated hill station with spectacular sunset and sunrise views. People can choose to finish the trek at Nagarkot and perhaps return by car to Kathmandu. If this is your choice, we recommend making a stop at Changu Narayan (the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley and a World Heritage site), then taking a short drive for lunch in the medieval town of Bhaktapur before returning to Kathmandu. A great three-day extension to this trek is to trek from Nagarkot to Dhulikhel for more stunning mountain vistas. Here you have the opportunity to experience old Newari culture at its best in a very old and well-organized setting. From Dhulikhel, a day hike up and back from your hotel to Namo Buddha really adds to the experience. Namo Buddha is set within a lush forest; it is an extremely important destination for Buddhists. From Dhulikhel, the option is either to take a two-hour ride back to Kathmandu or to continue with a hike through a particularly beautiful valley to visit the medieval town of Panauti. The town has a wealth of temples and ancient alleyways to discover. From Panauti, you can board a bus or car back to Kathmandu for the evening. You might think that because it is so close to Kathmandu, the area would be overrun with trekkers, but in fact, very few tourists trek the valley, so you are usually alone.

Rajesh Neupane

Rajesh Neupane

Rajesh, known as Raj, is the founder and owner of Nepal Trekking Experts, as well as the company's main guide. He was born and raised in the mountain region of Manaslu and has a deep and abiding connection with the culture and nature of the Himalayan mountains. With more than 20 years in the trekking industry, from working as a porter and guide right through to his present role as the head of the company, Raj has the knowledge base and wealth of experience to customize and organize treks that fulfill each and every requirement for a successful journey,  including permits, equipment, clothing, medical supplies, and safety, as well as a familiarity with the fitness levels and experience required for each of the treks on offer in our portfolio. Having traveled most of the trails available in Nepal he has a deep affinity and connection to the broad spectrum of people and their cultures, as well as a deep appreciation for the various religions, history, flora and fauna of the mountain regions and their scattered valleys. 

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