Whether you’ve trekked before or not but any time you hear about Nepal, hiking is what comes first to your mind. With a breathtaking backdrop, nothing gives as much pleasure and wildness as trekking here does. Mardi Himal trek is one of the most popular short treks in Nepal.
Unique wildlife, unspoiled landscapes, and dramatic geographical features has been a highlight of Nepal’s trek. Moreover, it appears that there are always more exotic and remote places to explore here.
Yet, in recent years, Nepal has drawn more travelers with its classic multi-day hiking trails rather than the new one. In no reasoning, Mardi Himal is one of few that has persuaded hikers to travel the region over and again.
Mardi Himal Trek often gets overlooked for its quintessential natural beauty with spectacular snow peaks and wildlife. But it’s typical trek routes which display history and good old days of past trekkers is what worth exploring.
It hasn’t been long since trek to Mardi Himal was first allowed to trek. Despite being just underneath Machhapuchre, the trekking spot has scored a great reputation in no time.
Trekkers from world-wide fly to the region only to conquer the summit. No wonder, Mardi Himal Trek is emerging as one of the best hiking routes in Nepal. It lies at an elevation of 5587m and on the east side of Annapurna Base Camp Trek.
Like most Himalayan hikes, Mardi Himal Trek too starts from Pokhara after flying from Kathmandu. The very next day, your trek to Mardi Himal officially begins and you’re to hike up to Pothana.
Starting from Pokhara, it’s a 1 hour drive to Kande and 4 hours walk on the trail later. From Pothana to High Camp, you’ll cover nearly 23 km distance trekking via dense forest with flowers.
After high camp, you’ll ascend the hills for about 6 hours to reach the upper viewpoint and return back to the camp. You’ll have a far easy trail to walk from here as they descend the hill from High Camp to Kalimati Village.
Your next stoppage will be Lumre where you’ll reach walking downhill for almost 3 hours. Since you’ll also be returning to Pokhara the same day, it’s wise to take a ride that only takes 2-3 hours.
On the last day of Mardi Himal Trek, you’ll catch a flight to Kathmandu Valley from Pokhara airport. On your way back, there are plenty of scenic views to rejoice including the beautiful landscapes and mountains such as Machhapuchre and Dhaulagiri.
Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek
- Off-the-beaten-path that walks old-style remote villages
- Cultural inclusivity and active participation during festivals and event
- Picturesque view of snow-capped mountains like Annapurna and Machhapuchhre
- Scenic trekking route with oak forest and blossoming Rhododendrons in spring
- Reasonable trek cost and easy access to many isolated destinations
- Famed Tibetan monasteries and glacial lakes
- Interaction with the local people and see through their history and art
Day 01: Kathmandu to Pokhara
Day 02: Pokhara to Pothana via Phedi
Day 03: Pothana to Forest Camp
Day 04: Forest Camp to High Camp
Day 06: High Camp to Kalimati Village
Day 07: Kalimati to Lumre and drive to Pokhara
Day 08: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Flight Distance: 146 km
Flight Duration: 25 minutes
Maximum Altitude: 1740 meters
It’s the first day of your Mardi Himal Trek and you definitely don’t want to be late today. So make sure to wake up early in the morning.
Though it won’t take too much time to reach Pokhara, it’s better you have breakfast at the hotel. This will help you stay in good health at least till the plane lands at Pokhara.
The entire flight lasts about 25 minutes, taking you over the breathtaking landscapes and snow-covered mountains. Once touched down the wondrous city, you can take a short trip to Phewa Lake and even the vibrant local shops around.
Overnight stay at a lodge in Pokhara and the trek to Mardi Himal will just begin from the later day.
Trek Distance: 16.6 km
Trek Duration: 4 hours
Drive Duration: 1 hour
Maximum Altitude: 1700 meters
It’s the second day of your trek to Mardi Himal and there are ample ways to relish it. How about you start the day with a delicious breakfast alongside a mesmeric view of Annapurna.
As Pothana is the start point for Mardi Himal trek, you’ll wind up the day only after reaching the village. So, beginning from Pokhara, you’ll take an hour drive to Kande on a short distance route.
The driveway takes you to the remote villages and ancient monasteries of the region. Your trek officially starts from here, walking to Dhampus followed by Australian Camp.
You can expect to get a break upon reaching here and continue hiking only after having lunch. It’s all about climbing down the hill from the point onwards until arriving at the village.
In any corners and place, you would’ve been while traveling to Pothana, there is a splendid sight to catch. The classic trail will be taking you to the magnificent gompas as well as the fertile terrace field. Stay the night at Pothana and you can be heading to Forest Camp the later day.
Trek Distance: 14.5 km
Trek Duration: 5 hours
Maximum Altitude: 2500 meters
If you’re looking for a definite reason to make a trek today, Forest Camp is perhaps the best excuse to be made. It’s obvious you’ll start the day with breakfast at Pothana and thereupon head towards Forest Camp.
For the first time since embarking the trip, you’ll be walking through a dense forest today covered with oak trees and maple. Walking ahead, there’s more to explore and catch the sight of Hemlock, Birch and even Rhododendron.
The whole forest will lay a best floral display, allowing you to refresh the mind and ease off. After scrambling for almost an hour through a well-defined route and passing a pine forest, you’ll arrive at Kokar.
On your stay here, you’ll be offered a night sky full of stars to watch and even constellations. If that doesn’t fill your heart with joy, then why not take a look around the forest and take a moment to cherish nature.
You have a tea house to spend the night at Forest camp so call it a day now and have dinner.
Trek Distance: 8.5 km
Trek Duration: 5-6 hours
Maximum Altitude: 3700 meters
Every other day you’ll find a new reason to trek to Mardi Himal. And today in the form of a strong motive, you have High Camp to conquer by far the end of the day.
So, without any delay, have your breakfast at the teahouse and start tracing the route. Find your way through the forest with orchids and fern after ascending the hill.
Going ahead, you get access to the natural splendor with a dense forest full of lichen and mosses. Coming back to the trail, you’ll be overlooking a splendid view of Annapurna South to the left.
Its best offering would still be Machhapuchre and Hiunchuli that appear atop the valley.
Underneath the hill, you can spot gushing Modi Khola losing its side and flowing hastly.
From here it’s just a matter of hours before reaching Annapurna Sanctuary, walking alongside the river. Stopping by the base camp, you’ll have your lunch and only thereafter, start exploring the region.
Spend the night at one of the three lodges in High Camp where there is a green meadow. The day time is still more fun here as you can simply spot yaks feeding on the pastures.
Trek Distance: 9 km
Trek Duration: 6 hours
Maximum Altitude: 4500 meters
Trekking perhaps is in itself the best way to alleviate ownself. But as soon as it connects to nature, there is a new sense of pleasure and tranquility.
So to get a lead in the trip and prevent weariness, it’s best you begin walking early in the morning. The dramatic far off trail from High Camp will have you ascend a steep hill and a green pasture before leaving it behind.
There is still a lot you’d be enjoying on your way with the astounding view of Annapurna. The unique vegetation with astonishing floras and faunas will once again capture your heart.
It’s time for you to walk along a ridge now that goes through pastures and hills. The indulging pathway with mesmeric scenes may still have you lose the time.
Wheezing and groaning, you’ll arrive at Upper Viewpoint which alone offers a grand view. For instance, you can spot giant Annapurna and even majestic Machhapuchre from the hilltop.
It will take you about an hour to reach here all the way down from High Camp.
You’ll take a complete tour of the base camp and even its topography before descending the hill.
Since there is no hotel or lodge available here, you’ll have a quick trip to the base camp. By noon, you’ll retrace your steps back to high camp and be there before lunch. Stay the night at high camp and you can travel to Kalimai Village the next day.
Trek Distance: 7 km
Trek Duration: 2 hours
Maximum Altitude: 1800 meters
It’s a day 6 of Mardi Himal Trek and somewhat it seems like the hike is about to end. Still, you’ve an excursion to make and Kalimati Village is where you’ll be heading today.
This small village is in Salyan district at western-central Nepal with a minor population. The walkway to the village is still fortifying even so with classic trails and magnificent views.
The route starts descending from the High Camp and down the hill after you start trekking. It has you walking along the ridge and a narrow forest with Rhododendron before reaching Low Camp.
From here, you’ll keep tracking the trail that leads nowhere but beautiful Kalimati Village. The place offers you so much to explore on the day including the history and tradition.
It gives you a little taste of every culture and value followed by different ethnic groups. Kalimati Village also has an awe-inspiring view of Annapurna and terrace farm to proffer you.
Trek Distance: 10 km
Trek Duration: 3 hours
Drive Duration: 2-3 hours
Maximum Altitude: 1400 meters
After an overwhelming time spent at Kalimati Village, it’s time for your next stop, Lumre. It’s best you make an early move by leaving for the trail shortly after having breakfast.
It’s usually downhill to Lumre commencing from Kalimati so the trek will be less challenging for you. The highlight of this idyllic trip would be the hypnotic view of picturesque mountains and vibrant valleys.
The path drawn along the valley passes through a grass field and remote villages of Nepal. It takes no longer from here to arrive at Lumre and you can catch your ride then.
The drive will last no more than 2 hours and you’ll be glaring at breathtaking Pokhara yet again. Stay the night at Pokhara as it’s more convenient to fly to Kathmandu from the city.
Flight Distance: 146 km
Flight Duration: 25 minutes
Maximum Altitude: 1350 meters
It’s the last day of Mardi Himal Trek as you’re just minutes away from winding it up. So, the best way you can celebrate a few hours in Pokhara is by sightseeing at its lake.
Walking miles-distance in the early morning, you can take a glimpse of the beautiful sunrise from Sarangkot. Don’t make it too long though as you have a flight to catch to Kathmandu. It’s about a 25 minutes flight from Pokhara that eventually ends at the valley.
Even after then, we’ll keep assisting you and also drive you safely to your hotel. Worn out from the flight, you can relax as long as you wish or else take a trip to Kathmandu.
The city has so much to provide the guest including cultural shows and events.