Warning: Use of undefined constant W3TC_POWERED_BY - assumed 'W3TC_POWERED_BY' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/customer/www/himalayanfootsteps.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/google-webfont-optimizer/google-webfont-optimizer.php on line 342
Beginners’ Guide to the Himalayas Pt. IV - Himalayan Footsteps

WHERE SHOULD I GO? – Reccommended regions

The Annapurna Conservation Area

The Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) is ideal for beginners and one of the most beautiful trekking regions in Nepal. ACA boasts some of the world’s highest peaks and deepest valleys including the famous Kali Gandaki Valley, Nepal’s largest conservation region. Treks through the Annapurna region start from the picturesque lake-side trading town of Pokhara and can take you up to a maximum elevation 3,939m.

Annapurna is the no.1 destination for beginners because;

–       It is the most accessible trekking region in Nepal.

–       A small airport in the mountains at Jomsom allows quick and easy access.

–       Offers friendly, comfortable and safe accommodation en route.

–       Breathtaking views of Annapurna’s snow capped  peaks throughout.

–       Wide choice of shorter, lower routes suitable for beginners.

–       One of the Himalayas richest regions for flora and fauna:

Did you know?

Annapurna is the only protected area in Nepal where all six Himalayan pheasant species live!

Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu Valley, surrounding the capital city of Nepal, affords many incredible and varied treks for all levels of enthusiasts.

If you hope to see all the major sights of the valley — Kakani, Shivapuri, Nagarkot, Dhulikhel, Namo Buddha — then a trek along the longest trail in the Kathamndu Valley is the trip for you.

The Kathmandu Valley Trek, lying around 1050 meters to 2800 meters above sea level, offers 180-degree mountain views stretching from the far western Annapurna Range to Everest in the east.

This beautiful region is also highly populated, providing many opportunities to meet local people, and learn more about their fascinating culture and lifestyles.

In spring the region is alive with blooming rhododendrons, magnolias, and a host of wild, colourful flowers. In autumn and winter the mountain views of the entire Annapurna Range, Mt. Manaslu and the Rolwaling and Everest Ranges are simply not to be missed.

The Kathmandu Valley Trek is also ideal for birdwatchers, with over 200 different species living in the region. A good pair of binoculars is a must!


The treks below should be avoided if you have never been on a Himalayan trek before. These treks are for people who have trekked at altitudes of at least 4000 – 5000 metres on more than one occasion, and have some mountaineering experience behind them. The difficulty of these treks is not only the technical challenge, but the ability to exert yourself for long periods at altitude.


o   Dolpo

o   Manaslu

o   Kanchenjunga

These three treks are only for real adventurers. A high level of preparation and conditioning is essential with altitudes often exceeding 5,000 metres. The main component is a long, high altitude, uphill trek with some rope work that requires high physical and mental stamina. All treks involve camping for relatively long periods, between 20-28 days or sometimes more. Excellent physical condition is essential and mountaineering experience is preferable.


o   Mt. Kailash

o   Namtso Trek

o   Ganden to Samye Monastery Trek,

o   Everest Advance Base Camp Trek

o   Kharta Valley Trek


Almost all of these famous routes begin at elevations of 4000m with altitudes reaching 5000m in some places, so careful preparation, experience and the right gear are a must.

Tibet is one of the world’s most extraordinary destinations with adventure lurking around almost every corner. Lhasa, the capital, lies high in the arid wilderness of the Tibetan mountains. Its name literally means the “Roof of the World” which is no idle statement. The valley bottoms of Tibet are higher than many of the highest mountains in neighbouring regions and its snow covered plateaux is the highest in the world. Apart from Everest, which Tibetans see from ‘the other side’, many mountains are over 15000 feet so the choice for beginners is more limited here.


o   Bumthang Cultural Trek

o   Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

o   Jomolhari Trek

o   Snowman Trek

Bhutan is not advisable as a destination for beginners largely due to high costs compared to Nepal or India. Furthermore, almost all trekking routes in Bhutan go above 3,000 metres – altitude sickness is a frequent problem for trekkers crossing the high mountain passes. The Snowman Trek is said to be the hardest trek in the world, taking 24 days to complete and covering 12 passes between 4500 and 5300 meters and overnight stays between 3700 and 5100 m. Definitely one to avoid if you’re a first timer!

Look forward to Pt. V of our Beginners’ Guide, which will go online in two weeks!