The Great Himalaya Trail in Nepal has been split into 10 sections to reflect the diversity of landscapes and cultures as you move from East to West through Nepal. It also offers a manageable way to approach walking the Great Himalaya Trail as individual treks. Nepa Maps have produced a series of 10 corresponding, weatherproof maps.
The Far West is one of the least explored areas of Nepal. Its area is bounded to the east by mighty, turquoise Karnali river which flows from Tibet’s sacred Mount Kailash. Myth and superstition remain part of the fabric of life here. One Nepali visitor described his visit as “fascinating, like travelling back to the 18th century.” Humla, the Hidden Himalaya, is also known as the Gateway to Mt. Kailash and many pilgrims make their way along the turquoise Karnali river, ‘the pulse of the earth’, to the border with Tibet. A detour north into Limi Valley makes for a special experience: “Here in Limi, I felt as if I’d dropped through a trap door into another time, into a place where the world of Tibetan myth, of Shangri-La was still alive,” says BBC historian Michael Wood. Rara lies on an important ancient trade route between the Indian plains and Zhang Zhung, the ancient cultural kingdom of Tibet. Inscribed standing standing stones mark the quiet trails to this day. Says one trekker, “...few if any other trekkers, incomparable natural splendor, “untouched” villages, blissful quiet...the rewards are legion.” Dolpa was made famous worldwide through the film Himalaya with its timeless story set among stunning Trans-Himalayan landscapes, including the awe inspiring turquoise jewel of Phoksumdo lake. Annapurna and Mustang Here you have one of the most popular treks in the world with peaks and glaciers abound, contrasting with an ancient, arid and beautiful land with a king reigning from a palace in walled city. Ganesh, Himal & Manaslu. This section is full of wonderful trekking options within easy reach from Kathmandu. The Tamang Heritage Trail is a colourful, cultural experience, the Tiru Danda ridge is a walk in the sky - and the Manaslu circuit and Tsum Valley give some of the best all-round trekking in Nepal. Langtang and Helambu On a clear day in Kathmandu, bright white peaks rise over the forested ridges of the Shivapuri National Park as if curious to see what is going on in the bustling city. You can literally walk out of the Kathmandu valley towards these mountains and into the Helambu and Langtang trekking areas. Helambu, quiet, green and pleasant, is a beyul, one of 108 sacred Himalayan valleys, places of peace and refuge revered by Tibetan Buddhists. Everest & Rolwaling Famous for being home to the world’s tallest mountain, the upper Solukhumbu is also becoming well known for it’s peak-season crowds. Still you can enjoy its grandeur out of season, or better still, look to the quiet and beautiful walk in from Jiri or Rolwaling. Makalu, Barun The region is named after Mt Makalu, which at 8463m is the world’s 5th highest mountain. It’s home to more than 3000 species of flowering plants, including 25 species of rhododendron and hundreds of varieties of orchids. “It was so rich. The rhododendron forests had the most vibrant colours I’ve ever seen - from scarlet and fuchsia to the purest white. It is prettiest hike I’ve done in a long time,” says Robbie Klimek from the USA Kanchenjunga. “I love the Kanchenjunga region because there is still so much exploring to do. Even the main route feels un-trekked,” says trekking guide Jamie McGuinness. In Tibetan the name Kanchenjunga means ‘five great treasure houses of snow’ which hints at the mountain spectacle that awaits