|Max. Altitude:||4,500m / 14,763 ft.||Walking Per Day:||3 – 5 Hours|
|Nature:||Hotel + Lodge||Grade:|
|Best Season:||Spring / Autumn||Group Size:||2 – 15 People|
Mardi Himal Trek is located just east of one of the most legendary trekking destinations of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Mardi Himal trek is an unseen gem yet. Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp outstandingly positioned at the base of Mardi Himal and the Annapurna region´s most iconic mount Machapuchhre literally meaning “Fishtail”. The trail goes along small winding paths, through enchanted rhododendron forests until you climb out of the forest at an elevation of around 3,300meter. The landscape changes quite abruptly into a rugged high mountain landscape, with amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli.
From High Camp (3700m; some maps incorrectly mention 3900m) you can climb up to Mardi Himal Base Camp in about 3-4 hours, which offers spectacular close-up views of the entire Annapurna Range. There are simple guesthouses and homestays along the entire route. If you plan to do this trek in the winter months please check with an Asiana Nepal Treks & Expedition – Kathmandu-based registered adventure trekking company operated by enthusiastic trekking pioneers.
When to trek?
Mid Sept-October – November is Autumn Season: this is Nepal´s peak and best time to go trekking. March-May is the second-best season of the year to go trekking. December – January -February: the skies are clear but it can get very cold and there is a risk of passes being closed due to snowfall.
May – June: This is Nepal´s hot pre-monsoon season and it can get very warm indeed. The valleys however are starting to bloom with flowers though green leaves come up, still a good time to trek.
June – Mid September: this is Monsoon season and the least popular time to go trekking in Nepal. The risk of leeches, downpours increases greatly. Due to the early forested areas leeches at this time of year in Mardi Himal are quite active! Wear long trekking trousers tucked in at this time of year. And leech/mosquito repellent spray is recommended to carry with.
Mardi Himal Trek Itinerary will be 5 to 7 days from/to Pokhara and 1 to 2 days transportation day from/to Kathmandu depending on the time you have and the level of your physical fitness. This trek can be combined with other related treks to Annapurna; many people combine this trek with Ghandruk trek, Panchase Trek, Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, etc. Our carefully designed 8 days itinerary is standard that suits all average trekkers. Taking domestic flights to Pokhara from Kathmandu and start the trek on the same day shortens the trip as flights save your time. We also offer tailor-made Mardi Himal Trek so please send us your detail and requirements.
How fit I should be?
This trek doesn´t require super fitness but however, a moderate level of fitness is necessary though there is no direct climbing involved. You will need to trek over some rocky sections near the high camp and base camp. Asiana Nepal Treks & Expedition advises our clients going trekking to see a doctor before they go for a check-up and to talk about dealing with altitude sickness. For pure trekking along the Mardi Himal trek in Nepal, you´ll need to consider the amount of days you´ll be out trekking to get an idea of how to fit you should be. Most days include 4-7 hours of slow hiking. If you plan to do the trek in 4-5 days (which you can),
Threat and Risk
Participants should be aware trekking, mountaineering, and traveling in a developing country are activities that involve a risk of personal injury or death. As a condition of booking, you must accept these risks and be responsible for your own actions and involvement. Adventure travel requires an open and flexible attitude. You may experience extreme conditions, unpredictable weather, and last-minute changes to the itinerary beyond our control. The ability to work in a team is an important aspect of all of our trips. However, your Asiana Nepal Treks & Expedition tries best to maximize your trip is great fun and lifetime experience.
Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu airport and transfer to the hotel
Welcome to Kathmandu! A friendly representative from company staff will meet you at Tribhuvan International Airport when your flight arrives. After transferring to your hotel, you’ll have the opportunity to get checked in and discuss the arrangements for your upcoming trek. There are no other planned activities for today; depending on the time of your arrival, you can spend the afternoon or evening perusing the colorful markets of Kathmandu. The Thamel neighborhood is especially well-regarded as a shopping and dining destination, and no visit to Nepal would be complete without an exploration of its labyrinthine streets, fragrant with incense and bedecked with glowing lights. After dinner, return to your hotel room to relax and spend the night.
Day 02: Drive from to Pokhara (910m) 6-7hrs
Get an early start this morning to begin your journey to the famous lakeside city of Pokhara. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at about 6:30 AM. Together, you’ll go to a nearby bus station, where you’ll board the tourist bus to Pokhara. The bus leaves at 7:30 AM and takes approximately six or seven hours to reach Pokhara, passing through beautiful river valleys, alongside terraced fields of barley and rice, and over green hills blanketed with lush vegetation. When you arrive at your destination, you’ll check in with your hotel and have the evening free to explore. Pokhara is situated on the shores of the stunning Phewa Lake; many tourists take a boat onto its reflective waters to enjoy the view of Machapuchare rising above town. You can get an even better view from the nearby lookout of Sarangkot, where you’ll see Machapuchare joined by the peaks of Dhaulagiri and Annapurna II. When you’ve had dinner and you’re ready for a good night’s sleep, return to your hotel to spend the night. Today’s breakfast is included.
Day 03: Drive from Pokhara to Phedi and Trek to Pothana (1,925m) 4hrs
It’s time to begin your adventure on the Mardi Himal Trek! After an early breakfast in Pokhara, you’ll catch a ride to the little town of Phedi. This trip should take less than an hour—then you’ll be ready to hit the trail. Today’s hike will take you through shaded woods and small villages as you ascend along a series of stone staircases. The scenic town of Dhampus is a great spot to take a lunch break while soaking up an alluring vista of the Annapurna range. After lunch, you’ll continue hiking to reach today’s destination: Pothana. This picturesque village is constructed of traditional stone-built homes and paved paths, but you’ll also find evidence of modernization in the form of souvenirs and snacks for sale. Many trekkers continue through the forest to reach the next village of Pitam Deurali, but we’ll stop here for tonight to enjoy the friendly atmosphere and excellent mountain views. Your overnight accommodations will be in one of Pothana’s comfortable guesthouses. Today’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner are also included.
Day 04: Trek from Pothana to Forest Camp at Kokar (2,600m) 4hrs
Leaving Pothana in the early morning, your path will lead you to the village of Pitam Deurali. From here, you’ll want to snap a few photographs of Machapuchare, Annapurna South, and Mardi Himal: these summits look particularly resplendent in the morning light. When you’re ready to move on, you’ll begin ascending along a steep trail through a dense forest of lichen-draped oak, hemlock, and maple. If you happen to be trekking during the springtime, the delicate beauty of the rhododendron and magnolia blooms in this forest will take your breath away. This is also where the trail diverges from the main Annapurna Sanctuary Trek, and you can expect to share the path with fewer trekkers from this point forward. Today’s hike will come to its conclusion when you reach Forest Camp, known locally as Kokar. This small camp is situated within a forest clearing. You’ll overnight here in a basic lodge, which is more akin to a homestay than a hotel. You’ll enjoy dining communally in the lodge owners’ kitchen and getting to know this friendly family from the nearby village of Siding. Today’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.
Day 05: Trek from Kokar to High Camp (3,600m) 6-7hrs
Departing from the tranquil clearing of Kokar, you’ll continue to ascend through mossy woodlands this morning. If you’re a photography buff, you’ll be thrilled when an occasional shaft of sunlight pierces the misty atmosphere of these woods, enhancing the mysterious and evocative mood that’s so characteristic of the Himalayas. After a few hours of trekking, we’ll stop for lunch at Low Camp, where you can enjoy a good look at the distinctive fishtail-shaped summit of Machapuchare. From here, you’ll start a serious climb in the direction of High Camp. As the trail turns westward, you’ll glimpse the glaciated peaks of Annapurna South and Hiunchuli looming over the path. Keep hiking along the ridgeline as the trees begin to thin out, passing abundant rhododendron bushes. This is good wildlife habitat where the danphe, or Himalayan monal, can often be spotted. As you approach High Camp, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree panorama of snowbound canyons, soaring mountains, and steep cliffs. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better view of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machapuchare. We’ll stop here for the night; High Camp has a good selection of higher-grade guesthouses with basic facilities. Today’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.
Day 06: Rest day Walk to Upper View Point (4,200m) 4hrs
Wake up early this morning to catch the sun rising amidst the Himalayas. After a hearty breakfast, you’ll begin walking up a ridge towards a fabulous vantage point where you’ll enjoy the best sights of the entire Mardi Himal Trek. The route follows a well-established trail through grassy pastures, although the going is steep and occasionally narrow. Along the way, you’ll almost certainly get to see dzo grazing in the fields; this is a hybrid species bred from both yak and cattle. In the summer, these pastures are used as a grazing area for sheep and goats; you’ll see a number of herders’ huts as you pass by. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for the colorful danphe if you didn’t get the chance to see this pheasant yesterday. After ascending for about three hours, you’ll reach what’s known as the Upper View Point. This is a rocky outlook situated at approximately 4,200 meters. From here, you’ll be able savor gobsmacking views into the Annapurna Sanctuary. This high-altitude mountain basin is home to Mardi Himal, Annapurna I, Machapuchare, Hiunchuli, and other massive peaks. Take some time here to enjoy the scenery before returning to High Camp to spend a second night. Today’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.
Day 07: Trek from High Camp to Siding Village (1,750m) 6hrs
It’s time to turn around and leave the high Himalayas behind you—but that doesn’t mean you have to retrace your steps. To keep things interesting, we’ll follow a different route on your return hike to complete the Mardi Himal Trek. You’ll depart High Camp and trek back in the direction of Low Camp, where the track diverges to approach the village of Siding. This is a traditional Nepalese settlement that doesn’t experience a very high level of tourist traffic, but its residents have embraced an entrepreneurial spirit that has enabled them to thrive in the modern era. Your hosts at Kokar are from this village; in fact, it’s likely that your accommodations tonight will be run by a family operating guesthouses both here and at Low Camp. Siding Village is also home to some of Nepal’s most daring citizens, who are willing to risk life and limb to extract delicious honey from cliffside bees’ nests. You’ll overnight here in Siding; breakfast, lunch, and dinner today are included.
Day 08: Trek from Siding Village to Lumle and Drive to Pokhara (910m) 5hrs
After enjoying breakfast in Siding, you’ll head out to the road, walking in the direction of Lumle. While you’ve now departed from the high mountain trails of the Mardi Himal Trek, your exposure to the varied cultures of Nepal isn’t over yet. As you leave Siding behind, you’ll pass the villages of Kalimati and Ghalel. Kalimati is populated primarily by Brahmin residents; Ghalel, like Siding, is peopled by a mix of both Brahmin and Gurung ethnicities. This is a great opportunity to learn how Nepal’s diverse mountain cultures live together side-by-side. Your hike today ends when you reach the town of Lumle. We’ve prearranged a Jeep to pick you up; climb aboard and head back to Pokhara, which should only take about two hours. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy a fine dinner in the city before turning in. You’ll spend the night here in Pokhara. Today’s breakfast and lunch are included.
Day 09: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu 6-7hrs
It’s time to bid farewell to the Annapurna Mountains—you’ve finished the Mardi Himal Trek! After a final breakfast in Pokhara, it’s time to leave this City of Lakes. You’ll take the tourist bus back to Kathmandu today, which should take approximately six or seven hours. As you watch the rural countryside of Nepal zipping past your windows, take this time to reflect upon your trek. The sights you’ve seen and the people you’ve met will form the basis of memories you’ll cherish in the years to come. When your bus arrives in Kathmandu, you may have some time to do a bit of sightseeing after lunch. The Swayambhunath and Boudhanath stupas are easy to reach and are very much worth the trip: similar in appearance, they are vast domes painted with the eyes of the Buddha and decorated with endless strings of prayer flags. Tonight is also your last chance to grab any souvenirs from the local markets before sitting down to a final meal in Nepal’s most iconic city. You’ll spend the night here in Kathmandu; today’s breakfast is included.
Day 10: Farewell/Departure
A representative from our office staff will meet you at your hotel and take you to the airport approximately three hours before the scheduled departure of your outgoing flight. We hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to Nepal and your exciting hike along the Mardi Himal Trek. Hosting you has been both a pleasure and a privilege, and we trust that you’ll think of us when you plan your next visit to Nepal.