Mardi Himal is a challenging and beautiful trek in the Annapurna region that offers breathtaking views of the mountain range. It’s a lesser-known route Mardi Himal Trek is located just east of one of the most legendary trekking destinations of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek. Mardi Himal trek is an unseen gem yet. Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp outstandingly positioned at the base of Mardi Himal and the Annapurna region´s most iconic mount Machapuchhre meaning "Fishtail". The trail goes along small winding paths, through enchanted rhododendron forests until you climb out of the forest at an elevation of around 3,300 meters. The landscape changes quite abruptly into a rugged high mountain landscape, with amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South, and Hiunchuli.
From High Camp, 3700m, you can climb up to Mardi Himal Base Camp in about 3-4 hours, which offers spectacular close-up views of the entire Annapurna Range. There are simple guesthouses and homestays along the entire route.
Mid-September - October - November is Autumn Season: this is Nepal´s peak and the best time to go trekking. March-May is the second-best season of the year to go trekking. December – January –February; the sky is clear but it can get very cold and there is a risk of passes being closed due to snowfall.
May - June: This is Nepal´s hot pre-monsoon season and it can get very warm indeed. The valleys however are starting to bloom with flowers though green leaves come up, still a good time to trek.
Like most of the Annapurna treks except Annapurna Circuit, Mardi Himal Trek also starts and ends in Pokhara - the second biggest city and naturally blessed place to relax after the big hikes in Annapurna. It is 200km to the west of Kathmandu. All domestic airlines run several flights daily from Kathmandu. And about 6 hours’ drive by tourist bus.
After breakfast in Pokhara, we will drive an hour to Kande, the north of Pokhara, and commence our trek at Kande the elevation of 1770 meters. 1.5 Hours climb up takes to the beautiful hamlet of Australian Camp at the altitude of 2100m. The trail to the Australian camp from Kande is an uphill and pleasant easy walk up to Pothana from there, and it is a gradual walk up to Deurali (2200m) about 2 hours where you stay in a tea house lodge for the first night. It is an easy start for the first day.
From Deurali, leave the main Annapurna Sanctuary trail and take off the beaten trail to Mardi Himal Base camp to the right side and continue along a quiet trail through a dense forest of oak, maple, hemlock, and rhododendron. Some four hours of jungle walk will bring us to the clearing of the forest at Forest Camp or also known by the locals as Kokar, here we take a lunch break then we continue up to Low Camp through the forest however as we ascend the vegetation starts to change with more rhododendron and the trees are covered with moss, lichen and tree ferns. At Low Camp, there are some lodges. You may find it a long and tough day. Overnight in Low Camp
1.5 hours climb through rhododendron forest takes us to Middle camp then to Badal Danda offers a stunning view of Mardi Himal, Annapurna South, Hiuchuli, Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre and Mardi Himal itself. An hour or so above Low Camp the trail breaks out above the tree line and towards the west, there is a good view to Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. The trail continues along the Mardi Himal ridge mainly on grass with some isolated rhododendron bushes along the way. Look out for the colorful Danphe pheasant on this section of the trail. The lodge at High Camp is larger than lodges at Low Camp and Forest Camp. The view from the lodge is superb to Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail).
The plan for today is to wake early for a sunrise view of the mountains then after an early breakfast walk up the ridge towards Mardi Himal Base Camp. There is a well-established trail through the grass with a couple of steeper sections however overall not too challenging. Look out for the yak, grazing up here as well as Danphe pheasant. In the summer the sheep and goats from lower villages are brought up to graze in this area so you will pass several herder’s huts along the way. After three hours you should reach Base Camp at the elevation of 4500m. This is where one can look into the Annapurna Sanctuary and the panorama view is spectacular looking at the south face of Annapurna and all of the peaks in the Sanctuary as well as Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhre (Fishtail). We come back to High camp for lunch then retrace back to Middle Camp or Low Camp.
On the way back we take a different route so completing a circuit, from Low Camp there is a trail that goes down to Siding village rather than going back down Mardi Himal back to Kokar. Siding is a traditional Nepalese village and still very much away from the busier modern tourist treks and you will likely stay at a homestay in Siding owned by the person who runs one of the lodges at Low Camp. It is a wonderful cultural experience finding out more about village life.
From Siding, you walk out to the road head at Lumre, on the way you will pass the villages of Kalimati and Ghalel. Kalimati is mainly a Brahmin village with Ghalel and Siding mixed Brahmin and Gurung. From Lumre, a jeep will take back to Pokhara.
We the team of 5 from kathmandu choose Trip Pokhara for our Mardi Himal Treks. I would like to thanks once for such wonderful and adventerous trip. Thank you for your excellent services provided to us. I believe this is the best short treks i had ever visited. With the best early morning sunrise from Highest Point Mardi Himal Base Camp 4500m. with clear views of mountains. I would like to thanksTrip Pokhara for making our trip so adventerous and sucessful. Thank you so much Trip Pokhara.
19th Jul, 2022
21st Jul, 2022
It was a fascinating trek to Mardi Himal. Mardi Himal impressed me and my friends a lot. First of all thanks to Sarita for making our trip more comfort. We had a nice chat along the way, she really knows how to have fun and entertain guests. We went to a 6 days Mardi Himal trek with our guide Baburam and we had the best experience! We are so grateful that everything went so well and Thank you to entire teams.....see you soon!!!
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