Trekking in Nepal is something else. You come across lush green landscapes, panoramic mountain views, and the wonders of nature.
Also, you get to experience the different cultures and traditions of any place you visit.
But don’t you like trekking with friends or other people? Or, are you looking for a solo adventure?
If yes, then you should consider solo trekking in Nepal! Try a thrilling walk through the varying terrains and beautiful landscapes all by yourself.
You can trek solo in Nepal. You can walk with freedom and take rests as per your desire. You can make your schedule, add side trips, and make the most out of your treks. It becomes easy for you to extend your itinerary and all such things.
Best Season for Solo Trekking in Nepal
Peak trekking seasons are during Spring and Winter. The weather in these seasons stays calm and pleasant, offering a refreshing journey. Sudden rainfall or any other climatic changes are quite rare. The sky remains clear to give crisp views of the Himalayas.
Also, most accommodation facilities run during these seasons. So, finding proper rooms and meals becomes easier. Peak-seasons mean a lot of visitors. Thus, booking rooms before your trek is a wise decision.
Off-season trekking is not the best bet for solo trekkers. The winter and monsoon are off-seasons. It means the weather isn’t by your side. The Monsoon makes the trails muddy and slippery. A high possibility of sudden weather turning bad looms large in summer. Not to forget, leeches, mosquitoes, and other bugs make it worse.
Permits for Solo Trekking in Nepal
You need individual permits for every trekking destination in Nepal. There are different types of trekking permits you need to know about before trekking solo.
The most basic permit that you require is TIMS. TIMS stands for Trekkers’ Information Management System. It focuses on the safety of trekkers and makes sure to prevent any illegal actions.
National Parks and Conservation Area Permits
To enter any national park or conservation area in Nepal, you need specific permits. As many trekking routes take you through such places, you need these permits. You can easily obtain these permits from the entry point.
Or, you can obtain them from the office of Nepal Tourism Board in Kathmandu or Pokhara. The rates for every national park or conservation area permits vary.
Special/ Restricted Area Permit
There are some restricted areas in Nepal where you need a specific permit to visit. Unfortunately, trekking to prohibited areas is not possible alone as it’s a requirement to hire an experienced guide.
So, solo trekking to a restricted area is not possible.
Advantages of Solo Trekking in Nepal
Solo trekking means you’re in control. You can make a flexible itinerary as per your desire. Adding additional trips, trekking to your own pace and taking enough rest in between, all depend on you.
Peaceful Trekking Experience
Trekking alone lets you walk in peace and solitude. You get a chance to observe the mesmerizing beauty of nature without anyone disturbing.
Make New Friends
There are many other people trekking alone or solo in Nepal. If you happen to stumble upon one of them, you might share similar interests. Sharing solo trekking adventures and becoming friends with new people makes solo trekking very special.
Confidence and Independence
Trekking alone in Nepal may sound easy, but it takes a lot of courage and confidence to do so. If you make a plan for a solo trek, really give it a try as your level of independence and self-belief increases.
You spend a lot of time with yourself and get to know yourself better in such situations.
A Break From Urban Life
Your solo trekking journey not only takes you to new places but also takes you away from the city hassles. You have an opportunity to spend some quality time enjoying the serene nature. Your body re-energizes, and your mood freshen up. It’s like the perfect getaway.
Feeling of Victory
You travel through diverse terrains all alone, observing new places and lifestyles. After you complete, you feel victorious. You learn how to tackle problems, make new experiences, and become better at something new.
It’s like the best feeling ever!
Drawbacks of Solo Trekking in Nepal
Many people speak English in most of the tourist destinations. Some people don’t speak it properly or don’t speak English at all. They speak either the local language or Nepali/Nepalese. So, you should opt to learn a few Nepali words and phrases.
There are several interlinking paths that trekkers come across. These paths are quite confusing for people who don’t have proper information about the place. Carrying a good GPS or a map is the best way to prevent from getting lost.
Likewise, if you know a bit of Nepali language, the local people are generous enough to give you proper directions.
In solo-treks, you need to carry all your stuff by yourself. Longer and challenging treks get tricky as the days pass. And the weight you take makes it even more challenging.
There are some restricted areas in Nepal. You aren’t allowed to trek alone in these areas due to the limitations. You need to hire a professional and experienced guide to explore these places.
Loneliness and Other Problems
Sometimes, you become lone during your trek. Especially in longer treks, being solitary can make you feel alone. Likewise, you may face other problems like difficulties if you fall sick or get injured.
Best Destinations for Solo Trekking in Nepal
Langtang Valley Trek
For one of the best trekking experiences in Nepal, solo trekkers should add Langtang Valley trek to their bucket list. The panoramic views of the Himalayas and lush landscapes are lovely to watch. You definitely enjoy observing the ethnic cultures of the local people here.
As Langtang is not very far from Kathmandu, you can easily begin your trek without any hassles. The trail is not very crowded, yet you may find small groups or fellow solo trekkers along the way. Walking through the dense rhododendron forests and seeing natural wonders everywhere is the best way to start your fantastic journey.
The trekking trail is secure and safe. So, you don’t necessarily need a guide or a porter. Yet, it’s better to know a few essential Nepali words or sentences. You’ll communicate better with the locals or shop-owners if you know a bit of the Nepali language.
Highlights of Langtang Valley Trek
- Stunning pine jungles, rhododendron and bamboo forests along the trail
- Panoramic views of peaks like Langtang and Ganesh Himal besides other Himalayan ranges.
- Visit the frozen Gosaikunda Lake
- Explore the Langtang National Park
- Witness amazing Tamang cultures and lifestyle
Duration: 9-10 days
Highest Elevation: Tserko Ri at 5,000 meters
Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
Shorter treks like Ghorepani Poon Hill are perfect for solo trekking. The area is rich in ethnic tribal cultures and pristine Himalayan views.
The trek takes you to the beautiful villages of Ghandruk and Ghorepani. They are very popular places to visit along the Poon Hill trek. You can find many houses and cottages here, that are home to the local Gurungs and Magars. Hundreds of people visit this trail yearly, so it’s the perfect way to begin your solo adventure. You get to immerse in the local culture while being so close to nature.
Poon Hill is the highest place during your trek from where you descend back. It lies at 3,210 meters from the sea level. And, it is the best vantage point for amazing sunrise and Himalayan views.
Highlights of Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek
- Short and easy trek for solo trekkers
- Ethnic villages of Magar and Gurung communities
- Best place to explore nature along with new cultures and traditions
- Panoramic views of the stunning Annapurna range and sunrise from Poon Hill
Duration: 4-5 days
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Accommodation: Teahouses and lodges
Highest Elevation: Poon Hill at 3,120 meters
Cost/ Expenses While Solo Trekking in Nepal
Nepal is not an expensive country. You can explore the various parts of Nepal within a limited budget and have the best time of your life.
On average, short 4-5 days treks like Poon Hill trek costs anywhere between USD 350 – 650 excluding travel insurance. These costs vary with such high margins because of various factors.
Your expenses while solo trekking in Nepal depends upon,
- Which season you plan to trek
- Duration of trek
- Transportation expenses
- Accommodation and food expenses
- Cost of all the necessary trekking clothes, gear, and packing list
- Daily necessities like drinking water, charging, etc
- VISA and trekking permits
- All other miscellaneous expenses
You can have a tight budget and spend wisely to save a lot of money in Nepal. Small things like snacks, refreshments, food choices end up increasing your expenses a lot.
Accommodation facilities are basic throughout Nepal and get costlier as you ascend to higher altitudes. But, overall they’re quite affordable.
Tips for Solo Trekking in Nepal
- Carry enough cash with you. You won’t find ATMs in the rural parts of Nepal.
- Take a GPS or a map to your trek. The trails confuse a lot of tourists.
- Bring a handy knife and a torch with you. Trekking alone is all about preparation.
- If possible, learn a few basic Nepali sentences or phrases.
- If you’re just beginning out, try the shorter and easier trekking destinations.
- When you encounter any sort of problem, inform anyone near you.
- Wear proper trekking clothes and make sure you pack everything necessary.
- Keep all your essential documents in a waterproof file.
Nepal is a land full of adventures; it has experiences both solo or group trekkers. The popularity of solo trekking in Nepal is increasing due to the safe and comfortable trekking destinations.
With proper planning and taking care of all the things that influence your solo trek, you can enjoy the best out of your adventurous journey.
So, where do you plan for trekking alone in Nepal?