Experience the Majestic Beauty of Mardi Himal Trek in Nepal

The towering Himalayan peaks of Nepal offer some of the best trekking trails in the world. Far from the chaos of Kathmandu, a trek through the Nepalese mountains transports you to a world of stunning scenery and cultural riches. One such unmissable trek is the Mardi Himal Trek, located in the Annapurna region of central Nepal.

Mardi Himal Trek

The Mardi Himal Trek is a relatively short and easy trek, making it perfect for beginner trekkers or those with limited time. The trek starts from the popular tourist hub of Pokhara and passes through lush forests, quaint villages, and finally up to the Mardi Himal viewpoint at 4,250 meters for jaw-dropping views of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains.

Mardi himal trek

The total trek takes around 4-5 days and can be done in either direction, starting from Pokhara or Dhampus village. The well-marked trail and availability of cozy teahouses along the route make Mardi Himal suitable for solo trekkers as well. The best time to trek is during the dry seasons of spring and autumn.

Day 1: Drive from Pokhara to Phedi and Trek to Dhampus

The journey begins with a scenic drive from Pokhara to Phedi village, which takes around 1.5 hours. From Phedi, a steep uphill trek through terraced farmlands and scattered villages leads you to the Gurung village of Dhampus in 3-4 hours.

Mardi himal trek

Perched on a ridge at 1,660m, Dhampus offers magnificent views of the Annapurna South, Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre mountains. Spend the afternoon exploring this charming village inhabited by the Gurung people and admire the breathtaking Himalayan panorama. Overnight in Dhampus.

Day 2: Trek from Dhampus to Forest Camp

After breakfast, begin the 6-7 hour trek from Dhampus to Forest Camp, also known as Kokar (2,560m). The trail passes through lush forests and small villages like Kutumsang and Musal Gaun, offering glimpses of rural Nepali life. Enjoy panoramic vistas of the Annapurna range throughout the hike.

Mardi himal trek

Arrive at the Forest Camp by late afternoon and relax amidst the oak, rhododendron and bamboo forests. Spend the evening gazing at the starry sky and listening to the soothing sounds of nature. Overnight at Forest Camp teahouse.

Day 3: Trek from Forest Camp to Low Camp

Today, continue trekking uphill through the forested terrain to reach Low Camp at 3,140m. Stop at lovely viewpoints like Lovely Hill and Badal Danda to enjoy sweeping vistas of the mighty Himalayas before arriving at Low Camp after 5-6 hours of hiking.

Mardi himal trek

Low Camp sits atop a ridge and offers jaw-dropping 180-degree mountain views. Catch spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains from here. Spend the night at a teahouse in Low Camp, resting up for the next day.

Day 4: Trek from Low Camp to High Camp

After a hearty breakfast, begin the steep 3-4 hour uphill trek from Low Camp to High Camp at 3,700m. The trail cuts through bamboo forests before merging with the route to Annapurna Base Camp. Enjoy stunning mountain vistas throughout the hike.

Mardi himal trek

Arriving at High Camp, you’ll be surrounded by the icy pinnacles of Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli and Annapurna South. Take in the dramatic landscapes or chat with fellow trekkers at the teahouse. Acclimatize and prepare for the viewpoint hike the next morning.

Day 5: Hike to Mardi Himal Viewpoint and Back to High Camp

Wake up early and hike 1.5 hours uphill to the Mardi Himal Viewpoint (4,250m), passing through rhododendron forests and icy trails. As the sun rises over the eastern horizon, revel in the most spectacular mountain panorama you’ll ever see – Machhapuchhre, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gandharba Chuli and Mardi Himal peaks encircling you in all directions.

Mardi himal trek

Descend back to High Camp for lunch and rest. You can also extend the hike by 2 more hours to reach the Mardi Himal Base Camp at 4,500m below the glacier-clad slopes of Mardi Himal. Return to High Camp for the night.

Day 6: Descend from High Camp to Forest Camp

After the previous day’s excursions, begin the steep downhill trek from High Camp to Forest Camp retracing your steps. Stop frequently to admire the changing perspectives of Machhapuchhre along the way.

Reach Forest Camp by lunchtime and spend the rest of the day relaxing amidst nature. You can also detour to the nearby village of Kokar to get insights into the culture of the Magar people living here. Overnight at Forest Camp.

Day 7: Trek from Forest Camp to Dhampus & Drive Back to Pokhara

On the final day, retrace your steps back to Dhampus through lush forests and villages. Stop for lunch in Dhampus and admire the Himalayan peaks one last time. Late afternoon, drive back to Pokhara which takes around 1.5 hours. Check into your hotel and celebrate the successful completion of the Mardi Himal trek!

Major Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek

  • Sweeping views of Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains from Dhampus
  • Walking through pristine oak, rhododendron and bamboo forests
  • Panoramic vistas of the Annapurna range from brilliant viewpoints like Badal Danda
  • Getting up close to mighty peaks like Hiunchuli, Gandharba Chuli, Mardi Himal and more
  • Epic mountain scenery from the Mardi Himal Viewpoint (4,250m)
  • Experiencing authentic Nepali culture by staying in traditional teahouses

When is the Best Time for Mardi Himal Trek?

The best seasons for Mardi Himal trek are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). The weather is pleasant with warm sunny days and cold nights. Skies are crystal clear offering unobstructed mountain views. Temperatures range between 10-25°C.

Winters (December to February) are cold with snowfall at higher elevations. The trail can be icy and difficult to traverse. Summers (June to August) are wet with frequent rainfall and risk of landslides disrupting the trek. Avoid monsoon season.

Difficulty Level of Mardi Himal Trek

The Mardi Himal Trek is a relatively easy to moderate grade trek suitable for beginners and less experienced trekkers. No technical climbing skills are required. The highest point is the Mardi Viewpoint (4,250m), where you may experience symptoms of altitude sickness. Proper acclimatization is key.

The trail is mostly well-defined with some steep uphill and downhill sections. Trekking 5-6 hours a day is recommended. Decent fitness level, positive attitude and willingness to hike uphill are essential. Some prior conditioning like cardio workouts helps immensely.

How to Reach Mardi Himal Trek

Here are the best ways to reach Pokhara, the starting point for Mardi Himal trek:

  • By Air: Fly to Pokhara Airport from Kathmandu (30 min) or Nepalgunj (50 min). Then take a taxi to your hotel.
  • By Tourist Bus: Comfortable AC tourist buses connect Pokhara to Kathmandu (6-7 hours) and other major cities.
  • By Car: Hire a private jeep or car from Kathmandu to Pokhara (6 hours). More expensive but faster option.

Permits for Mardi Himal Trek

You need to arrange the following permits before embarking on the Mardi Himal trek:

  • TIMS Card (Trekkers Information Management System): Can be obtained in Kathmandu or Pokhara for $10 (2000 NPR)
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Permit: $20 (3000 NPR) per person

Permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or at the ACAP office in Pokhara before starting the trek. Carry passport size photos and cash. Permits are checked frequently along the trek.

Where to Stay During Mardi Himal Trek

The Mardi Himal route is lined with comfortable locally run teahouse lodges that provide basic accommodation and food for trekkers. No need to carry tents or camping gear.

Some popular teahouse stops are:

  • Dhampus: Panorama Lodge, Sunrise Hotel
  • Forest Camp: Forest Camp Eco Lodge, Silent Water Lodge
  • Low Camp: Gurung Lodge, Montana Lodge
  • High Camp: Snowland Lodge, Base Camp Lodge

Expect to pay 500-800 NPR for a room with shared bathroom. Rooms have 1-2 beds with warm blankets. Basic meals like dal bhat, noodles, pasta are available.

Conclusion

For stunning Himalayan scenery minus the crowds, embark on the Mardi Himal Trek in Nepal. This easy short trek rewards you with non-stop mountain magic as you hike past forests, villages and towering peaks. Stand atop the viewpoint and immerse yourself in the mighty presence of legends like Annapurna and Machhapuchhre. A once in a lifetime experience!

So pack your bags and get ready for the adventure. Let the foothills of the Himalayas work their magic and transform you!

FAQs

How difficult is the Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal Trek is moderately difficult, suitable for beginner level trekkers with decent fitness. There are no technical sections. The highest point is the 4,250m viewpoint. Proper acclimatization is important.

Can I do Mardi Himal Trek solo?

Yes, the Mardi Himal Trek can be done solo. The trail is well marked with teahouse accommodations throughout. Many solo trekkers complete this trek. However, having a guide or porter along adds convenience.

Do I need a guide or porter for Mardi Himal trek?

A guide is not mandatory but can be helpful, especially for first time trekkers. Porters help carry your luggage. You can arrange for these in Pokhara before your trek. Guides cost around $20-30 per day while porters charge $15-25 per day.

What will I eat during the Mardi Himal trek?

Basic but delicious Nepali meals like dal bhat (rice, lentils, vegetables), pasta, noodles, soup are available at the local teahouses. Carry energy bars and trail mix as well. Do not drink untreated water.

When is the best time to trek Mardi Himal?

Spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) are the best seasons. The weather is pleasant, skies are clear, and the mountain views are spectacular. Avoid the rainy summer monsoon months. Winters can be very cold with snow.

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