Mardi Himal Trek – The route less travelled in the Annapurnas!
The Annapurna Mountains quickly become everyone’s favourite place to see in Nepal. The mountainscape is unique to the Himalayas. The snowcapped peaks along with incredible blue lakes and traditional villages are spectacular to behold. For many trekkers, the popularity of the Annapurnas has made this region a bit too “touristy” for some.
If you’re the type of trekker who likes to get away from it all, then the Mardi Himal Trek is for you. This is a recently opened trek just west of the beautiful lakeside city of Pokhara. It’s seven awesome days with plenty of mountain views without all the crowds. It’s a week of serenity in these beautiful mountains where you interact mostly with the local people. Here you can find the Gurung, Tamang, and Magar people who call these mountains home. They maintain their amazing culture and will share stories and a cup of tea with you.
The Mardi Himal Trek is the trail less travelled. It is like trekking 30 years ago in the Himalayas, a throwback to a more pristine time. This is considered a moderate trek, suitable for most people who are in good physical condition. This is entirely tea house trekking with simple facilities and really good food along the way. And every day, you’ll see the finest views of the Annapurnas. Let Himal Tourism Pvt. Ltd. take you on the best of the Annapurna treks!
DAY 1 – TRAVEL TO KHADE, TREK TO DEURAULI (elev. 2,060, 6,759 ft.)
The Mardi Himal Trek begins as you leave your hotel in Pokhara to take the 45-minute journey to the village of Khade. Travel by private vehicle as you leave the lakeside city behind. The trek starts at Khade and makes its way to the village of Deurauli. The trail rises in elevation as you trek through amazing forests. In March and April, this forest comes alive with the blooms of the Rhododendron trees that produce beautiful flowers of red, pink and white. There is plenty of wildlife to see along the way. We will find outcroppings where we can see the Annapurnas. We trek just 3 – 4 hours today to reach our tea house in the little village of Deurauli.
DAY 2 TREK TO FOREST CAMP (elev. 2500 m/8,202 ft.)
It’s another day of dense forests, although we won’t be lacking in incredible mountain views. This region does not contain a lot of villages. We will see many farms. The local people have terraced the land to create level fields to plant crops. We have packed a box lunch at our tea house in Deurauli as there is no place to get lunch on the trail today. We will stay at a little tea house when we reach Forest Camp. The accommodations are primitive but warm and friendly. Our trekking time is 4 – 5 hours.
DAY 3 – TREK TO HIGH CAMP (elev. 3200 m/10,499 ft.)
Mt. Mardi Himal is a popular climbing peak, rising to an elevation of 5,587 meters (18,330 ft.) We are gaining elevation and as we do, we have fewer and fewer trees. The lack of dense forests means that we can see some of the most amazing views of the mountains. Three of the world’s highest peaks are visible from this trail. This includes Mt. Dhaulagiri (No. 7), Mt. Annapurna I (No. 10) and Mt. Manaslu (No. 8). It takes us around 5 – 6 hours to reach High Camp. We take with us another box lunch to enjoy at an overlook of the mighty mountains along the way. High Camp has a local tea house where we will spend the night and enjoy a hot meal.
DAY 4 – TREK TO MARDI HIMAL BASE CAMP (elev. 4,500 m/14,764 ft) THEN BADAL DANDA (Elev. 3200 m/10,499 ft.)
Today’s journey will take us to the starting point for climbers of Mt. Mardi Himal. We will encounter some climbers today as this peak is gaining in popularity. We are climbing above the tree line to reach Mardi Himal Base Camp where we can get some amazing pictures before continuing on our journey to the village of BadalDanda where we will find a tea house to spend the night. We find almost no villages up here due to the high elevation. However, in the summer months, local shepherds bring their goats to graze in the high kharkas (small grassy fields). The local farmers will build stone shelters for themselves and their animals which are quite interesting to see. Trekking time is longer today, around 7 – 8 hours.
DAY 5 – TREK TO KALIMATI
Our destination is so small it’s not shown on many maps. The local people call it Kalimati and it doesn’t consist of much more than our tea house. It’s pretty quaint. Don’t expect any kind of luxurious accommodations, but the owner and his wife are nice and she’s a great cook. We spend around 5 – 6 hours trekking as we move back into the jungle regions. There are still plenty of great mountain views along the way as well as glacial-fed streams and wildflowers. Watch for the monkeys as they make plenty of noise jumping around in the trees.
DAY 6 – TREK TO LONG VALLEY
We are dropping in elevation today as we make our way into the beautiful Long Valley. It gets is name because of its length. Here we find lots of small farms. Mustard is the main cash crop and in the season the fields can be a bright yellow from the tiny yellow mustard flowers that abound. To date, no tea house has been established, so we will stay in people’s homes. We have some friends here that will put us up for the night. It’s a night of local food and getting to know the people of this great place. Homestay is a wonderful opportunity to help the local people. The money we pay them for food and accommodations will help to send children to school to get a good education. Our trekking time is 4 – 5 hours as we breathe in the wonderful air here in Long Valley.
DAY 7 – RETURN TO POKHARA
It’s a short trek today as we leave our family at Long Valley and trek to the nearest place to pick up a jeep to take us back to Pokhara. It’s around 2 ½ hours back to Pokhara where we can explore all of the fun places this amazing lakeside city has to offer. You’ve experienced the true hospitality of the Himalayas over the seven days. You’ve seen a few tourists, but instead have encountered the local people who have greeted you with smiles and a friendly greeting of “Namaste!” A great journey, courtesy of your friends of Himal Tourism Pvt. Ltd.
Trip cost includes:
- English speaking, government-licensed trekking guide
- 1 porter for every two trekkers
- All meals while on a trek
- Local transportation
- Tea House or Home Stay while on the trek
- Your choice of coffee or tea.
Trip cost does not include:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Bottled Water
- Soft Drinks
- Tips and Gratuities
- Transportation between Pokhara and Kathmandu
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