Mardi Himal trek is part of Annapurna Sanctuary known for hosting many famous treks. This trek route is not as popular as other trekking routes offered by this region. However, it has been steadily gaining its name in the trekking world.
Ghandruk to Mardi Himal is a side trek that most trekkers combine with their other trek itinerary hosted by this sanctuary. Such as Annapurna Circuit Trek, Annapurna Base Camp, Poon Hill Trek, and many more.
If you have spare time to add in your trekking vacation while visiting the Annapurna region. Then trek to Mardi Himal is an awesome choice. You can complete this trek within a few days period that begins from Ghandruk, a beautiful village.
Ghandruk is a famous Gurung village that lies about 32 km on the north-west side of Pokhara. And is a visited place when trekking in the Annapurna range. You can begin your Mardi Himal Trek from this place while returning from your Annapurna trek.
Mardi Himal is located in the Gandaki Zone in Kaski District. This trek lies on the east side of Annapurna Base Camp just below the magnificent Mount Machhapuchhre.
The Trek route for Mardi Himal was opened for trekkers only in the year 2012. So, the routes are not very crowded making the journey quite exciting.
You will be trekking through rocky terrain and beautiful forest paths viewing the stunning mountain peaks. This trail is one of the hidden gems of this region which is a moderate level climb.
Most of the people living in this area belong to the Gurung community. You also encounter other ethnic groups such as Magar, Thakali, etc. Exploring the unique culture and traditions of these communities will be a great experience.
On this trek, you will be walking past many villages that have houses built up of stones. And dense forests filled with vegetation of colorful Rhododendron, pines, birches, and many more.
Also, you get to view many magnificent snowy mountains such as Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, and many more.
Throughout the trek, you will be traveling sighting many beautiful scenic views and exploring the beautiful unspoiled routes of the region. Reaching Mardi Base Camp the highest point of this trek situated at an altitude of 4500 m above sea level.
Don’t think twice you won’t be disappointed by choosing to add this side trek in your list. You get to learn more about the traditional villages and feel their warm hospitality first-hand.
Thus the Ghandruk to Mardi Himal route takes you close to Mount Machhapuchhre through off beaten paths viewing beautiful landscapes.
Highlights of Ghandruk to Mardi Himal
- Begin your journey from Ghandruk
- View magnificent mountain peak such as Annapurna, Machhapuchhre, etc
- Traveling through forest paths filled with unique vegetation
- Reach an altitude of 4500 m
- Explore traditional villages
- Warm welcome and hospitality from diverse communities
- Walk unspoiled paths
- Less crowded routes
Summary of Ghandruk to Mardi Himal Route
While returning from your Annapurna range trek you will be visiting Ghandruk. Most of the people trekking to Mardi Himal from Ghandruk either come from Poon Hill Trek or Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
You begin your trek by heading towards Forest Camp from Ghandruk. This day you will be passing Kyuni and Landruk while making steep ascend and descend in the trail.
From Forest Camp, you head towards High Camp passing the Low and Middle Camp. You will be walking through beautiful dense forests viewing the mesmerizing peaks.
Then you will be trekking to the main attraction of this trek Mardi Himal Base Camp. You will reach there early to view the beautiful sunrise and return back to High Camp.
Then from High Camp, you head towards Siding which will be your last trekking destination as you will drive back to Pokhara from there. Reaching Pokhara you stay there for the night and return back to Kathmandu from there.
Ghandruk To Mardi Himal Itinerary
Mardi Himal Trek leads you through the unspoiled and exotic part of this region. This is a few days Ghandruk to Mardi Himal itinerary that begins from the beautiful settlements of Gurung community.
Ghandruk to Forest Camp
Trek Duration: 4 to 5 hours
Trek Distance: 9.5 km
Maximum Altitude: 2459 m above sea level
You begin your journey from Ghandruk to Mardi Himal by heading towards Forest Camp for the first day. Today’s walk will be long and have steep climbs before you reach your destination.
Firstly you head out the traditional Gurung village and head down the hill till you reach a river. From here you follow the trails that lead to Kyuni where you can have your lunch.
Then having lunch you take a steep ascend in the trails till you reach Landruk. You rest for a bit and again following the trails take a long and sharp climb. There are no shops on your way from Landruk to Forest Camp. So it is better to refill or buy water at your last stop.
The trek till forest camp will be quite tiring but the view of beautiful landscape along the way will make up for it. Reaching forest camp you will stay in one of the lodges. The lodges are limited here as there are no local inhabitants.
Forest Camp to High Camp
Trek Duration: 3 to 4 hours
Trek Distance: 8.5 km
Maximum Altitude: 3550 m above sea level
Today you will be heading towards High Camp which is going to be a long walk ascending in the trails. But it is not as steep and tiring as the day before.
You begin your journey by making an uphill climb towards Low Camp. As you arrive at Low Camp you get the glimpse of various mountain peaks. On your way, here you will see many tea houses on the way.
Resting there for a bit you head towards High Camp passing through Middle Camp. The walk between Low Camp to High Camp is more Challenging as you will be ascending in altitude above 3000 m.
Drink plenty of water and if you feel headache, nausea, etc rest for a bit and inform your guide. As you arrive at Middle Camp the astounding view of mountains and Canyons will be breathtaking.
From there, you head towards High Camp which is your destination for today. You will be walking through beautiful dense forests viewing flora and fauna throughout the paths.
You will be staying in one of the lodges for tonight.
High Camp to Base Camp and Return Back
Trek Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Trek Distance: 9 km
Maximum Altitude (Mardi Base Camp): 4500 m above sea level
Today you will be hiking towards Mardi Himal Base Camp which is the highest point of this trek. You begin by climbing in the trails and walking along the ridge before you reach your destination.
Reaching the base camp you get to see the magnificent peaks such as Machhapuchhre South, Annapurna I, Dhaulagiri, Ganesh Himal, and many more. Spending some time there you again head back to High Camp retracing your steps.
Reaching High Camp you stay there for the night.
High Camp to Siding
Trek Duration: 4 to 5 hours
Trek Distance: 8.5 km
Maximum Altitude: 1885 m above sea level
Today you will be heading towards Siding which is going to be a long walk descending in the paths.
You begin your walk by making a downhill descend then enter a lush green forest. You again make a steep walk down the trails till you reach Low camp. From where you head towards Siding and stay there for the night.
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High Camp to Landruk
Trek Duration: 6 to 7 hours
Trek Distance: 12.7 km
Maximum Altitude: 1673 m above sea level
If you are planning to stay a little longer in this trek then you can longer it by heading towards Landruk. Along the way you will be entering beautiful forests and viewing mesmerizing snowy peaks.
The walk from High camp to Landruk is steep descend. So walk slowly and don’t hurry. If you can’t reach Landruk then you can stay the night in Forest Camp head towards your destination the next day.
Mardi Base Camp to Siding
Trek Duration: 8 to 9 hours
After spending some time in Mardi Base Camp you have another option to directly trek till Siding. It is a long walk down but it shortens your trek by a day.
You begin your walk by making a steep descend in the trails for about 3 to 4 hours. Then from there trails are rough till you reach Siding where you will be staying for the night.
Other Mardi Himal Routes
The above route is a connection route for trekkers that are already in the Annapurna region and wanted to combine their trek with Mardi Himal.
However, there are other starting points as well if you want to visit Mardi Himal. Some of them are mentioned below:
Kande- Deurali- Low Camp- High Camp- Mardi Base Camp- Sidding- Pokhara
This is the standard route that usually starts from Kathmandu or Pokhara.
If you are traveling from Kathmandu you can either drive or fly till Pokhara and head towards Kande from here.
But if you are already in Pokhara then you can begin your Mardi Himal journey. By driving till Kande which takes about 1 to 1.5 hours via the Baglung Highway.
Reaching Kande you trek till Deurali where you stay for the night. And head towards Low Camp from there. It is about 6 to 7 hours walk to reach Low Camp. Walking between these routes, you will pass many forests viewing beautiful scenic views.
From Low Camp, you head towards High Camp passing through the Middle Camp. It is about 4 to 5 hours walk from here. If you are lucky you might see Danphe, the national bird of Nepal in these trails.
Then you head towards Mardi Base Camp which is about 4 hours walk from High Camp. Then exploring and taking a snap you head back to sidding from there. You will have walked a total of 8 to 9 hours this day.
After your night in Sidding, you drive back Pokhara from there which takes about 2 to 3 hours from there.
Landruk- Forest Camp- High Camp- Base Camp- High Camp- Siding
This is the short route to Mardi Himal that begins from Landruk. You can drive all the way to Landruk. Or trek from Kande to Landruk which is a better option.
Reaching Landruk you head towards Forest Camp from there which is about 1 to 2 hours ascend in the trails. From there you head towards High camp where you stay for the night.
Then the next day, you head towards Mardi Base Camp and explore the area head back to High Camp. Then head towards Siding from there. Where you stay the night in one of the lodges.
Best Time to Visit Mardi Himal
In countries like Nepal, you have four seasons to choose from to go trekking in Mardi Himal. Many trekkers considered the season of Spring and Autumn to be the best time to visit Mardi Himal.
If you like you can trek during the season of Winter and Monsoon too. But these seasons are usually considered the least preferred time for the Mardi Himal trek.
But you should know that you can trek these routes any time of the year. As each season shows a different version of the routes. A short explanation for each season is given below:
Do you love trekking while viewing the beauty of nature? Then the spring season is the best time to visit Mardi Himal. This is the season for nature lovers who love traveling through forests filled with buds of flowers about to bloom. And Also view the valley gain its lost greenery back.
Spring season begins from the months of March and ends in May. During these months the skies are clear giving the unobstructed view of mountain tops. Also the days are sunny while nights are a bit chilly.
However, the paths can be covered in snow during the early month of March as winter will have just finished. So before traveling it is better to read the weather forecast. Also, this season is the crowded time of the year when routes are filled with various trekkers.
If you are the kind of person that loves to walk in peace handling rain showers along the way. Then Monsoon season is the best time to visit Mardi Himal.
Monsoon season begins from the month of June and ends in August. This is the season for continuous rainfall so the paths can be slippery and muddy. Thus most of the trekkers don’t prefer trekking during this season
Due to continuous rainfall you can view new species of vegetation blooming through the paths. So the majority of people visiting during this time are botanists or researchers.
The dark rain cloud hides the beautiful mountain behind them which can be a bore. So, if you plan on traveling during these months then be well prepared.
Autumn Season is the peak season of the year when trekkers from all around the world visit Nepal. This is the best time to visit Mardi Himal. Everything is at its best weather, nature, etc.
While trekking you will be astounded by the paths filled with colorful flowers and plants of different species. Also the view of the mountains in the crystal clear sky. The weather is also at its peak neither too hot nor too cold.
Autumn begins from the months of September and ends in November. During these months there are no chances of rain or snowfall. But the crowded routes can be disappointing as you won’t get any privacy.
Are you more of a cold person that prefers trekking during cold weather? Then Winter is the best time to visit Mardi Himal. As the valley covered in blankets of snow looks mesmerizing.
Winter season begins from the month of December and ends in the months of February. These are the coldest months of the year when the paths are filled with snow. Due to which there are high chances of your trek getting canceled or delayed.
Also, walking in snow during cold weather is quite challenging. But the snow-covered mountain will be a view not to be missed. Walking during the day will be warm but it gets very cold during early morning and night time.
Don’t forget to carry extra warm clothes just in case.
Mardi Himal Trek Difficulties
For Mardi Himal trek you will be trekking on the eastern part of the Annapurna region. This trek route is both enjoyable and challenging as you climb in elevation above 3000 m.
Some of the Mardi Himal Trek difficulties is given below:
Mardi Himal Trek Route Difficulty
The Mardi Himal Trek difficulty is considered a moderate level. That is easy for experienced trekkers while a bit harsh for novice trekkers. If this is your first trek then it will be quite rough.
As you will be making many steep ascends and descend in the trails. So it is better to be prepared physically and mentally. You can do a few exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, short hike, etc.
To complete this trek, you need high stamina and a calm mind. So you can do meditation and exercises two to three weeks prior to your treks.
On this trek you will be heading up to an altitude of 4500 m above sea level. So there are high chances you might suffer from Altitude Sickness. This has always been a major problem for trekkers while trekking in high altitude.
The air starts to get thinner as you climb in higher altitude which is the main reason for Altitude sickness. When suffering from altitude sickness you may see symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, difficulty in breathing, sleepless nights, many more.
To prevent this acclimatization is held to let your body adjust to the climate in higher elevation. Also it is recommended to drink plenty of water and keep your body hydrated.
As you will be making steep climbs your body will sweat a lot and get tired soon. So walk slowly while resting in places along the way and keep drinking water.
The weather during Winter and Monsoon seasons are thrilling and challenging. So these seasons are the least preferred time for trekking.
Winter is the coldest time of the year and there are chances that snow can block your trek way. Due to blockage many areas can be closed so you won’t be able to visit those places. Also the temperature drops below freezing point. Thus while traveling during this time pack extra warm clothes.
Whereas, Monsoon is the season when due to continuous rainfall landslide and flood can be an obstruction for your trek. You might have to delay your trip due this season.
So before traveling it is better to view the weather forecast. But an advantage would be the privacy you get during these seasons due to less crowded routes.
Spring and Autumn is the peak season for trekking so the routes are crowded with trekkers from around the world. You won’t get privacy in these routes as you meet fellow companions throughout the trek.
Also, the hotels are packed so you will have to share your room with other trekkers. And you might not get a room of your choice plus there are no attached bathrooms in high regions. So you will have to wait in a long queue and share public toilets.
Permits required for Mardi Himal
Mardi Himal Trek also lies inside the Annapurna Sanctuary so you will be needing Annapurna Conservation Area Permit and TIMS card. You can get these permits from the Tourism Information Center that is located in Kathmandu and Pokhara. To get this card you need to submit your passport details, itinerary of your trek and 2 pp size picture taken recently.
For SAARC countries: 200 NPR (US $2)
Other countries: 3000 NPR ( US $30)
For Nepali: 100 NPR (US $1)
TIMS card Cost
For SAARC countries: 1000 NPR (US $10)
For other countries: 300 NPR (US $3)