The Mardi Himal Trek is a relatively new and popular trekking route in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Situated to the east of the renowned Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Mardi Himal Trek offers stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, along with an opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of the region.
The trek takes you through picturesque villages, lush forests, and rugged terrains, providing a diverse and awe-inspiring landscape. The highlight of the trek is reaching the Mardi Himal Base Camp, which offers breathtaking views of the towering peaks, including Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre (Fishtail), Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli.
Unlike other popular treks in the Annapurna region, the Mardi Himal Trek provides a peaceful and off-the-beaten-path experience. The trail takes you through rhododendron forests, charming villages, and serene landscapes, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility of the Himalayas.
The trek usually starts and ends in the lakeside city of Pokhara, which serves as a gateway to the Annapurna region. The total duration of the trek is around 8-10 days, depending on the itinerary chosen. The trekking route involves easy to moderate uphill climbs, making it suitable for trekkers with a moderate level of fitness.
Take a scenic drive to Pokhara by tourist bus. The journey takes approximately 6-7 hours. Alternatively, you can opt for a 30-minute flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Upon reaching Pokhara, check into your hotel. Enjoy leisure time and explore the lakeside area. Overnight stay in Pokhara. Breakfast At Pokhara
After breakfast, drive to Kande (approx. 1 hour) from Pokhara. Begin your trek from Kande and hike to Potana. The trek takes around 4-5 hours. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Annapurna region and immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. Overnight stay in Potana. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at the teahouse.
Start your trek from Potana and head towards Forest Camp. The trek takes approximately 4-5 hours. Pass through beautiful forests, streams, and terraced fields along the trail. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and the views of the Himalayan landscapes. Overnight stay in Forest Camp. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at the teahouse.
Continue your trek from Forest Camp to High Camp. The trek duration is around 5-6 hours. Ascend to higher altitudes and witness the changing scenery. Enjoy panoramic views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) mountains. Overnight stay in High Camp. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at the teahouse.
Today's trek is challenging but rewarding. Hike to Mardi Base Camp (4500 m) or the Upper Viewpoint (4450 m) depending on the weather conditions. Take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and the Mardi Himal. Descend back to Low Camp, which takes approximately 7-8 hours. Overnight stay in Low Camp. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner at the teahouse.
Start your descent from Low Camp to Siding, which takes around 3 hours. Drive back to Pokhara from Siding, approximately 2-3 hours. Upon reaching Pokhara, check into your hotel. Rest and relax or explore the city at your leisure. Overnight stay in Pokhara. Breakfast and Lunch You Can Stay and Explore Pokhara on Your Own without Return Back to Kathmandu
Take a scenic drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus. The journey duration is approximately 6-7 hours. Alternatively, you can opt for a 30-minute flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city or shopping for souvenirs. Overnight stay in Kathmandu.
The Mardi Himal Trek is considered a moderate-level trek. It involves uphill climbs and varying terrains, but it is manageable for individuals with a reasonable level of fitness and some prior trekking experience.
The best time to do the Mardi Himal Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather conditions, clear skies, and moderate temperatures. However, trekking is possible during other times of the year as well, but it may be affected by monsoon rains and winter snowfall.
Yes, trekking permits are required for the Mardi Himal Trek. You will need to obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card. These permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
It is possible to do the Mardi Himal Trek independently. However, hiring a local guide is recommended for better navigation, cultural insights, and added safety. A guide can also assist with any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies along the way.
Along the Mardi Himal Trek, you will find teahouses and lodges for accommodation. These offer basic facilities such as a bed, blanket, and meals. The teahouses are run by local communities and provide a cozy and welcoming environment for trekkers.
Altitude sickness is a potential concern on any high-altitude trek, including the Mardi Himal Trek. It is important to acclimatize properly, ascend gradually, stay hydrated, and be aware of any symptoms of altitude sickness. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is recommended to descend to a lower altitude and seek medical assistance if necessary.
The Mardi Himal Trek requires a reasonable level of physical fitness. Regular exercise and cardiovascular training, such as hiking, jogging, or cycling, can help prepare for the trek. It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking any trekking adventure.
While there are no strict age restrictions, the Mardi Himal Trek is better suited for individuals in good health and with a reasonable level of fitness. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional and assess personal capabilities before deciding to undertake the trek.
Some essential items to pack for the Mardi Himal Trek include sturdy trekking boots, comfortable clothing layers, a waterproof jacket, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a first aid kit, toiletries, a refillable water bottle, and a good-quality sleeping bag. It is important to pack light and carry only necessary items.
Most teahouses along the Mardi Himal Trek offer charging facilities for electronic devices, but it may come at an additional cost. It is advisable to bring a portable power bank as a backup for charging, as electricity availability can vary along the trail.