Himalaya Trekking: 5 Tours Away from the Crowds

The verdant valleys leading to Rara Lake in Nepal's far western region of Dolpo | Robin Boustead
The verdant valleys leading to Rara Lake in Nepal's far western region of Dolpo | Robin Boustead

Do you want to escape this trekking season to a remote place to experience the Himalayas (almost) all by yourself? World Expeditions chooses below five fascinating Himalaya trekking trails where most other travellers don’t go…

Sikkim Bhutan Trek

A spectacular trek in the Kanchenjunga region of Sikkim combined with a cultural tour in Bhutan

Himalaya trekking: Sikkim Bhutan trek ©Liz Light

©Liz Light

Cross verdant yak grazing pastures, follow trails through magnificent rhododendron forests and camp beneath the magnificent backdrop of Kangchenjunga, once considered the highest mountain in the world. Trekking this exhilarating trail between Sikkim and Bhutan takes you to visit the renowned hill station of Darjeeling in the Indian Himalayas. This part of the famous mountain range is less developed and consequently less travelled. After the 7-day trek through Sikkim, why not travel to Bhutan for an insight in the Kingdom’s rich Buddhist cultural heritage!

Level of trekking: introductory to moderate

Best time to go trekking: April & October


Zanskar to Indus Traverse

An epic trek through an ancien Himalayan landscape

Himalaya Trekking: ZanskarPhoto ©HikeBikeTravel

Zanskar is one of the last truly remote regions in the Himalaya, where villages are cut off from the outside world for much of the year due to heavy snowfall and blocked mountain passes. The region is also known for its rust coloured mountains and dramatic deep gorges – a vast, silent and truly spectacular wilderness, that leads to the whitewashed settlements of the upper Markha Valley. Our Zanskar to Indus Traverse follow ancient trails leading over high passes that link isolated Buddhist villages to the secluded Himalayan kingdom of Zanskar.

Level of trekking: challenging

Best time to go trekking: September


Rara Lake & Yari Valley

Explore Rara National Park (area of outstanding natural beauty) and cross the Great Himalaya to the Tibetan border

Himalaya trekking: GHT Rara Lakes and Yari Valley

The trail from Dolpo in Nepal is still a regular trading route for Nepalese and Tibetans and leads straight to the largest lake in Nepal, Rara. From here you can reach Humla, the largest and most remote district of Nepal. To get there, you’ll first cross the Great Himalaya Range and Karnali River. Trekking in this far-west region of Nepal is like stepping back in time to when the first Europeans began exploring the Himalaya (remember “Seven Years in Tibet”?). Locals will greet you with genuine curiosity and we’re convinced that you'll enjoy these interactions in a part of the Himalayas that very few westerners make the effort to visit.

Extra fun fact: this Himalaya trekking route marks the end of a remarkable and very rare journey across the entire length of the Nepal GHT (Great Himalaya Trail).

Level of trekking: challenging

Best time to go trekking: July


Journey to Mount Kailash

Explore Kailash, the most sacred mountain in the Himalaya, during the Saga Dawa festival, and experience the traditional culture of sacred Tibet

Himalaya trekking: Saga Dawa festival at Mount Kailash in Tibet

Far away in the Tibetan Himalayas stands Mount Kailash. It is said to be the mythical Mount Meru - the centre of the universe. To reach the sacred mountain, you must take a weeklong journey from Tibet’s capital Lhasa. This on its own is already a route not travelled by many others, but you can take remote touring in the Himalaya a step further! Join Buddhist pilgrims on a 3-day mountain trekking tour around Mount Kailash. This Himalaya trekking route is without doubt one of the world's most compelling adventures.

Even better: we plan to reach Mount Kailash at the time of the Saga Dawa festival when many thousands of pilgrims from throughout Tibet gather to pay homage to the mountain.

Level of trekking: moderate

Best time to go trekking: June


Gokyo & the Renjo La

Avoid the historic route to see ‘more’ of Everest

Himalaya trekking: Gokyo Lakes in Nepal - World Expeditions

The world’s highest mountain has become a mainstream climbing destination in the recent years, with more and more people following the historic trekking route to the Everest Base Camp. If you like to walk a more remote trail instead, and fully appreciate the majesty of Mount Everest, head west, towards the Gokyo Lakes. Trekking slowly through Sherpa villages and yak pastures, not only will you avoid the busier trails of this Himalaya trekking icon but you will gain stunning panoramic views as well. The Gokyo & Renjo La trek follows the quietest corner of Everest and weaves its way to the top of the 5,400m Renjo La pass. The irony? You get to see much ‘more’ of the Everest summit compared to the Base Camp Trek, as you are not that close!

Level of trekking: moderate to challenging

Best time to go trekking: September to May


Besides these 5 Himalaya trekking routes, we have other trips in our offer that go trekking in the remote corners of the Himalaya as well. If you like to learn more about how to get away from the crowds on you next Himalaya trekking holiday, please have a look at the above five options, or get in touch with our team of travel experts around the world.

Bhutan, Himalayas, Indian Himalaya, Ladakh, Nepal, Sikkim, trekking

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