The Mardi Himal Trek is one of the hidden gems when it comes to trekking in the Annapurna Region. Where most people would do the trek to Annapurna Base Camp, you have the opportunity to go around the corner and get off the beaten trek. The Mardi Himal Trek takes you to the base camp of Mardi Himal, right in the laps of Mardi Himal and Machhapuchhre, dubbed Fishtail Mountain.
On the Mardi Himal Trek, you get the views without the crowds. Expect authentic teahouses, stunning rhododendron forests, and the most terrific views of the Annapurna Mountain Range. You will get an eye in eye with giants like Mardi Himal, Machhapuchhre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.
Where is The Mardi Himal Trek?
The Mardi Himal Trek can be found under the watchful eyes of Machhapuchhre, Fish Tail Mountain, one of the giants to be found in the Annapurna Massif. On this trek, you will find many stone houses, quaint teahouses, and many rock cairns. You can find the route of this trek just off the main trail to Annapurna Base Camp. This fact makes it a popular alternative to other treks in the Annapurna Region like the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Circuit Trek.
What is Different About Doing the Mardi Himal Trek?
The Mardi Himal Trek is a trek that you can find on a side trail of the one to Annapurna Base Camp. It is a bit rougher, a bit more exciting for most but above all, a lot less busy than other treks in the Annapurna Region. The Mardi Himal Trek offers you great views of the lesser-known sides of the Annapurna Massif.
The goal is the Mardi Himal Base Camp, which you will reach at 4,500 meters (17,763 ft). Initially, there weren’t too many teahouses on this trek, but from about 2011 onwards there has been an increase of tea houses along the entire way from start to Mardi Himal Base Camp.
What is the Best Trekking Season for the Mardi Himal Trek?
The Annapurna Region, along with the rest of Nepal has 4 distinct seasons. Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. The months from March to May and from October or November are the most popular for trekking this Annapurna classic. What must be said, is that every trekking season offers its own excitement and atmosphere for hikers. You can read more about the most favorable trekking and hiking seasons in Nepal in this blog post.
Is Hiking or Trekking to Mardi Himal Base Camp Difficult?
Doing the Mardi Himal Trek can be a challenge. But this doesn’t mean that you can not do it. If you like hiking and make sure you start to get fit well ahead of the start of your trek, you can definitely make it. The average Mardi Himal Trek is not difficult but hikers and trekkers should still be moderately fit. After all, you are still trekking through the Himalayas of Nepal. If you are wondering what it physically takes to go trekking in Nepal and what you can do to become the fittest version of yourself, you can keep reading.
Which Itinerary for the Mardi Himal Trek is Best?
It can be hard to choose a fitting Mardi Himal Trek. If you want to do Mardi Himal right, you try to take as much time for it as possible. As transfers from Kathmandu to Pokhara are usually included, you want to spend some time in Pokhara as well. The town is just too pretty to simply skip it. Besides, you will be traveling quite a bit to get there, so you might as well stretch your legs a little.
Our trekking experts agree that this itinerary most suitable for a successful Mardi Himal Trek:
Day 01: Drive to Pokhara
We will start our day early for a 6-7 hour road trip from Kathmandu to the scenic city of Pokhara. You will enjoy beautiful hills and villages along the way. Pokhara is a beautiful city known for its stunning mountain views and serene lakes. We will spend the night there.
Day 02: Drive to Phedi and trek to Pothana
Early in the morning, we will drive for one hour to reach Phedi and start our Mardi Himal trek. We will climb the stairs from Phedi. The trail ascends all the way to Pothana through rhododendron and pine forests till we reach the Dhampus, a Gurung village known for the magnificent views of Annapurna ranges, Lamjung Himal and Manaslu. We will continue our ascent until we reach the small village of Pothana, surrounded by forests and exhibiting marvelous mountain views. We will also get the TIMS/ACAP card at the checkpoint in Pothana. Overnight in Pothana.
Day 03: Trek from Pothana to Forest Camp (2554m)
After a hearty breakfast, we will start our trek with a steep uphill climb through thick forest along with the beautiful views of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. The forest is the home to much rare wildlife and we may catch glimpse of some of the rare birds and animals along the way. After walking for around five hours, we will reach the forest camp where we will set up camp for the night.
Day 04: Forest Camp to High Camp (3980m)
The trail from the Forest camp to the high camp follows a steep ascent through the rhododendron and juniper forest. The pattern for the day is a steeper climbing to get over a hillock, then relatively flat for a while and again start the ascent. On reaching the top, we will be highly rewarded with the magnificent, breathtaking views of the Annapurna range and Mount Machhapuchhre. Overnight at High Camp.
Day 05: Trek to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4350m)
We will rise early to appreciate the spectacular sunrise view over the Annapurna range from the high Camp. After breakfast, we will start our ascent to Mardi Himal Base Camp, which stands at 5300 meters. The trek is challenging with a walk along narrow, rocky trails. The hardship of the day is generously rewarded with the stunning mountain views along with the pristine surroundings at the Mardi Himal Base Camp. After spending some time at the base camp, we will retrace our steps back to high camp. Overnight at High Camp.
Day 06: Trek to Siding Village
We will retrace our steps and follow a steep descent to low camp from where we will trek into the forest to Mardi Khola. After a delightful walk along the river and the forest, we will reach a warm and hospitable village of Siding. Overnight at Siding Village.
Day 07: Trek to Sidlaghatta and drive to Pokhara
After a hearty breakfast, we will start our easy descent to Lumre. The trail follows the contour of the Mardi river valley and gradually descends down the pastures through beautiful Tamang and Gurung Villages. Our transport will wait for us at Lumre for a one hour drive to Pokhara. Overnight at Pokhara.
Day 08: Drive back to Kathmandu
After exploring the beauty of Pokhara city, we will take a six-hour drive to Kathmandu. We will enjoy the beauty of the nearby villages, rivers, and hills along our way back. Then, this beautiful adventure will have come to an end. May you enjoy the rest of your stay in Nepal!
What To Pack for the Mardi Himal Trek?
Your gear is your best friend while being out in the mountains. It, in fact, doesn’t matter where you are going, your equipment is key. In extreme cases, gear can make the difference between life and death. In every case, the right equipment can make the difference between you having a good time and ending up miserable. You have booked your tickets, your guide in Nepal is waiting and now you rock up with a too-heavy backpack, a jacket which is not thick enough and shoes that are very likely going to give you blisters. What a waste. Pack the right gear and make more of your trip to Mardi Himal Base Camp. Before we start, note one important thing. We are trekking, not climbing. Hence, you can leave the ropes, the chalk, and the carabiners in your closet.
Below we present you a basic comprehensive packing list suitable for any trek in Nepal including the Mardi Himal Trek:
- – Duffel Bag
- – Rucksack with Rain Cove Daypack
- – Hiking Boots
- – Sandals or Shoes
- – Hiking Socks
- – Trekking Poles
- – Inner Socks
- – Thermal Baselayer
- – T-Shirts
- – Fleece Pullover or Jacket
- – Light Weight Thermal Tops
- – Waterproof Jacket
- – Sports Bra for Her
- – Hiking Shorts
- – Hiking Pants
- – Waterproof Pants
Mardi Himal Trek Packing List
Obviously there is more you can pack and bring along. Everyone is different, so everyone has their own needs. If you want the ultimate packing list, you can simply go here.
How Do I Get Fit For The Mardi Himal Trekking?
If you live anywhere else other than the Himalayas, it will be hard to get your legs ready for higher altitudes. After all, it doesn’t get much higher than Nepal. Fortunately, the Mardi Himal Trek is not one of the high altitude treks and it is also not as long as some other treks in Nepal. For the Mardi Himal Trek, it is fairly easy to get ready.
Should I Hike More?
One solid approach to get the hang of what you do is to rehearse. The best practice for climbing is climbing. Seeing that you are keen on a multi-day trekking experience, we accept that you enjoy walking. Awesome, do it more. If you are fortunate to be encompassed by some hills or even mountains, the time has come to see them all the more frequently. When? In the event that you are new to this, we recommend beginning a half year the start of your trek, essentially going for 60 minutes (or two) climb seven days.
When you get the hang of it, after around three weeks, you will have an ideal opportunity to reinforce your power. Convey a pack of 10 to 15kg and include a more drawn out climb of three hours to your week. On the off chance that this way of life is different from you, you will before long receive the rewards of this moderate exercise. Your trekking company is there to drag you from the start to the end of your trek.
What does the Mardi Himal Trek cost?
As most foreign visitors to Nepal land in Kathmandu, they are likely to go trekking in regions other than Annapurna. This is the first hurdle to trekking in the Annapurna Region. One has to actually travel to Pokhara. All the trekking providers by default offer transport from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Some by bus, others by plane. An itinerary usually includes hotel accommodation in Pokhara and transport from Pokhara to Besisahar.
Although you do not need to pay some kind of entrance fee, you still need to pay for permits. Without it is impossible to hike in the Nepal Himalayas.
For the Mardi Himal Trek, you need two kinds of permits:
TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System):
This permit is important for every trekker wishing to trek in Nepal. This costs NRS 2000 per person. This equals about 19 USD or 17 EUR.
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit
ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit):
As you will be entering the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will need a permit. All permits are arranged by your trekking provider.
How safe is it to do the Mardi Himal Trekking?
Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our hikes and trekkings low. Trekking companies have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude, and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all guided treks and hikes in the Annapurna Region.
How do you select a reliable trekking operator for the Mardi Himal Trek?
The great thing about the internet is that you can find anything anywhere. The same goes for hiking and trekking providers. However, since there is so much on offer, it can be overwhelming to find a trekking operator of your liking.
Mardi Himal Trek Map
Sometimes it’s easy to have a clear view of how your itinerary looks like when you have a map. Please check out this map of the8-day Mardi Himal Trek.