Until 1949, the Majestic beauty of Nepal was not accessible to everyone. The frontiers to the rest of the world were opened in 1949, when the first visitor, a British adventurer named Bill Tilman, managed to get permission from the King to make several treks throughout the country’s most mountainous regions. Tilman was followed by Frenchman Maurice Herzog, who visited Annapurna: The first Nepalese mountain which summited by Herzog in 1950 was Annapurna (8091m), the tenth highest mountain in the world. It was after this exploration in 1950 that the concept of trekking in Nepal really took off, and visitors began traveling to the country in order to explore its natural beauty and scale its now-infamous peaks.
The next Himalayan mountain to be climbed by foreign visitors to Nepal was what is now the most famous mountain of all, Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepalese), which was scaled in 1953. By 1964, all of the 14 most significant Himalayan mountain giants had been climbed by visitors to the country. The history of trekking in Nepal may be a short one, but it is also a rich one, with many heroes and adventurers traveling to the country to explore its peaks.
In 1964 the first of Nepal’s trekking company 'Mountain Travel' was formed. This began what has become a wonderfully rich field of adventure tourism, with visitors traveling from all over the world in order to trek through Nepal’s mountainous regions. Trekking is less physically taxing than climbing, and affords more opportunity for exploring the beautiful landscapes that surrounds the Himalayan Mountains. Because of this, you will now find more trekkers than climbers visiting Nepal. Nepal is more than its mountains: it is also a beautiful country with a rich culture and history that visitors can explore when they choose to trek in the country.
The Importance of Trekking in Nepal
Trekking has become an important industry in Nepal, and the tourism that trekking brings provides a much-needed boost to the nation’s economy. According to statistics from the Nepal Tourist Board (NTB) more than half a million tourists fly into Nepal every year in order to experience everything the country has to offer, and a large majority of those visitors are visiting the country in order to join a trek. The tourist industry is important to Nepal because it is helping to alleviate poverty in the country, enable its people to achieve greater social equality, and because it is providing much needed employment in the regions that are most popular with foreign travellers.
Nepal’s Top Ten Trekking Areas
The most frequently visited and explored trekking areas in Nepal include the Everest Base Camp Trek, 3 High Passes with Everest Base Camp, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Annapurna Circuit Trek, the Manaslu Circuit Trek, the trek across Langtang valley through Gosainkunda, and the Upper Mustang Trek. These seven treks are hugely popular with tourists to Nepal and are often favoured because of their relative ease of access, the high quality of accommodations available, and the rich history that they provide tourists to explore. Many of these tracks are well beaten, making these ideal treks for visitors traveling with children, or concerned about being as comfortable as possible during their exploration.
For more adventurous visitors that are hoping to discover the real Nepal, connecting with its nature and its people, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek, Makalu Base Camp trek, and the Upper Dolpo Trek are all wonderful options. Each of these treks are considered to be particularly off the beaten track, and the only accommodation is a very basic infrastructure of tea houses. However the people are welcoming and friendly, and the incredible nature you can explore makes them well worth exploration. These top ten Nepalese treks are all highly recommended, and will all enable you to explore the Himalayas and discover an incredible raw beauty you simply will not find in any other country in the world.