Guide to Mardi Himal Trekking
The Mardi Himal trek route is a sorted out trek route since decades in the Annapurna region. Before 2011, the route was popular among the campers. (Since the place was not opened officially).
After official announcement, construction of tea houses (guesthouse) along the trail started. While trekking these days, you’ll see tea houses available even up to the high camp.
Mardi Himal virtually sits under the Fishtail mountain. You can go to the foot of Mardi Himal by trekking from the east of the Annapurna Base Camp Trek. The trek to Mardi Himal starts from Pokhara and ends at the same spot.
The trek to Mardi Himal goes through beautiful villages. The beautiful Rhododendron forests are always there welcoming you into immortal wilderness. You will walk across the forests till you march to 3,300 m altitude.
Tapping over the trails on the rugged landscapes, you can enjoy the splendid views of mountains like Mardi, Machhapuchhre and Annapurna. From the low camp, you will see the best views of Machhapuchhre.
The Mardi Himal High Camp is at an altitude of 3580 m from sea level. You will see the whole Annapurna range wearing a snow gown from high camp onward. It is an awesome place to take a breathtaking view of the Annapurna Base Camp.
Taking along the Mardi Himal trek route, you will reach the Mardi Himal Base camp itself. The perfect displays of the Annapurna range is alluring. The spectacular sunrise and sunset views during the trek are remarkable.
You can choose to trek with a travel company or hire an individual guide by yourself. Also, individual trek is doable. Thus, you can choose solo trekking too.
Highlights of the Mardi Himal Trek
- Magnificent sunrise and sunset views from numerous viewpoints
- Amazing landscapes, local villages, farmlands, rice terraces, stunning hills and mountains
- The aromatic and colorful Rhododendron forests during spring
- Splendid views of Machhapuchhre Himal (6,993 m), Mt. Hiunchuli (6,441 m), and the Annapurna South (7,010 m).
- Beautiful homestays and warm hospitality of the locals
- Mardi Himal Base Camp and the Mardi Himal High Camp
- An easy tour around the great and unspoiled Annapurna region
- Floral and faunal diversities in the region
- The socio-culture and lifestyle of the Gurung and Magar ethnic groups.
Itinerary of Mardi Himal Trekking
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)
Day 02: Drive to Pokhara (800m).
Day 03: Drive to Phedi and trek to Pothana.(1925m, about 4 hours trek)
Day 04: Pothana to Forest Camp at Kokar (2,600m)- 4 hours walking.
Day 05: Forest camp to Low Camp (3,150m)- 5 hours trekking.
Day 06: Low camp to High Camp (3,700m)- 4 hours trekking.
Day 07: Day excursion to Mardi Himal Base Camp and back to High camp/ (4,500m)- 4 hours Trekking.
Day 08: high camp to Siding village (1,750m) -6 hours walking.
Day 09: Siding village to Lumre and drive to Pokhara- 3 hours walking and 2 hours driving.
How is the Weather and Temperature?
The weather and temperature at the Mardi Himal is variable throughout the year. Temperatures and weather are different in the four individual seasons. Summer/Rainy, Spring, Winter and Autumn.
While talking about the weather and temperature of Mardi Himal, we mean the weather and temperatures at the Mardi Himal Base Camp.
The weather is perfect for the trek. The sky is blue and clear. The views of the mountains come unobstructed. Forests are full of colorful Rhododendron blossoms.
The highest temperature may go up to 20 degrees. However, the daytime temperature is generally near to 17 degrees. Nights and early mornings are colder but not freezing.
June brings warmth in the Mardi Himal. The summer lasts till August. Summer in Nepal combines with the heavy downpours and frequent monsoon rains.
During monsoon, the views may not be clear. Dark clouds may cover the sky, and heavy rainfalls may obstruct the mountain panorama. But if you are lucky, you will catch the dirt less and most beautiful scenic views after the heavy downpours.
The average temperature during monsoon ranges between 10 to 23 degrees. The temperature after rainfall during the nights and mornings drops from 5-10 degrees.
Autumn at Mardi Himal means absolutely stunning sunrise and sunset on a clear sky. Monsoon clears the atmosphere. You will see the mountains shining with grace. The weather remains clear and more stable.
There is least chance of rainfall. But there are chances that you’ll see little rainfall while trekking in early September.
During the daytime, the temperature is around 20-degree Celsius. The night temperature is near to 5 degrees.
Winter in Himalayas means freezing cold. December-February is winter at the Mardi Himal. The weather is dry. Piles of snow covers the mountains and the trails.
During winter, the temperature drops down by 5 degree Celsius (approx) with every 1000 meters ascent in altitude. Walking under the sun during daytime is warm. The temperature will be around 9 to 12 degrees. The mornings and evenings are freezing. Temperature reaches to about – 5 degree Celsius.
Mardi Himal Trek Altitude Chart
Mardi Himal Trek Map
How Much Mardi Himal Trek Costs?
You can venture into this amazing trip of lifetime with a budget of around USD 695. This price includes the cost of your permits, food, and accommodations across the route, the cost of transportation, cost of guides and porters and so on. If you want to give tips or make donations or buy souvenirs en route then you have to pay extra money.
Plus, do not forget to exchange Nepali currency before you leave. Most of the tea houses only accept Nepali cash.
What is the Best Time for Mardi Himal Trek?
Weather along the Himalayas do not remain constant and stable for a long time. Likewise, weather at the Mardi Himal is also changeable. However, during Autumn and Spring, weather reports do not show much fluctuations.
The time from Mid September to Early December is the best time to go trekking in any part of Nepal. No doubt! This holds true for Mardi Himal Trek as well. Climbers and trekkers, thus, prefer these seasons to trek in the Mardi Himal.
If you choose to trek from February to April, you are choosing the second best time of year for the Mardi Himal Trek. Though it is the end of the dry season, it still offers the most favorable weather and climate.
December and January are winter. The skies are clear. But the temperature is very cold and hard to adjust in. Also, there can be heaps of snow on the trail. The passes may get closed due to heavy snowfall and blizzards.
May to June is pre monsoon period in Nepal. It is very hot. During this time, you will see valleys blooming in colorful flowers. The aroma of wildflowers will drive you into the beautiful trails and pathways.
June to Mid September is the time for heavy rainfalls and dark clouds bringing rain. Monsoon is not a good time to go trekking in the Mardi himal. Trekking in monsoon means you are already spoiling your splendid views.
What Permits are required for Mardi Himal Trek?
The trek to the Mardi Himal Range requires trekking permits. The permits include the ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) worth USD 20. And the TIMS Card (Tourism Information Management System) worth USD 20.
You can collect your permits from the Nepal Tourism Board offices in Kathmandu or Pokhara.
Food and Accommodation during Mardi Himal Trek
While trekking, you must consume food that keeps you filled and fueled. You’ll get to eat typical Nepalese trekking foods on this route. The most popular ‘Dal Bhat’, among Nepalese, is healthy and filling too.
Local farmers grow majority of food product by themselves. You will have many items to choose in the food menu. But, the menus are still short than in the other trekking routes.
Some of the local products like corn bread are famous. Good items like Pasta, Pancakes and Chopsey are more popular for breakfast.
The drinks like tea, hot lemon, beer, soda, coffee, etc are available. However, the price of luxury drinks is higher. Also, drinking alcohols during the trek may degrade your health conditions. So, choose wisely what to drink and what not to.
You will find simple guesthouses and homestays along the trekking trail. The accommodation during Mardi Himal trek is basically a tea house or lodge accommodation.
During the peak seasons, you may have to share your rooms with your fellow trekkers. Sharing a room means sharing the bathroom and mattress too.
The options for accommodation becomes lesser as you ascend to higher altitudes. You’ll have more accommodation options during the less sorted seasons. During these times, most of the teahouses provide better services in lower rates. They also offer discount offers to the travelers.
Mardi Himal trekking is becoming more popular day by day. As a result, the options for accommodations are improving.
How to go Mardi Himal trek?
You will begin the Mardi Himal Trek from Pokhara after a 6/7 hours drive from kathmandu. From Pokhara you will drive to Phedi and then trek to Pothana.
On following the winding jungle trails you reach to Forest Camp at Kokar. From Forest Camp you gradually ascend to the Low Camp. From the low camp, you’ll see a most beautiful view of Machhapuchhre Himal.
On gaining altitudes from the Low Camp, you’ll reach the High Camp. From the High Camp, a narrow path and steep climb takes you to the Mardi Himal Base Camp.
There is a route from High Camp that takes you to Siding village in a day. The route is very steep with sharp inclinations and passes through forested areas. There are major possibilities of accidents happening in this area. The trail from Siding follows to Lumre from where you drive back to Pokhara and conclude the trek.
How Difficulty is Mardi Himal Trek?
The Mardi Himal trek is a Moderate to difficult trek. The walking distances are short and easy. But you will gain altitude as you walk.
Mardi Himal Base Camp marks the highest point on the trek at 4,500 meters. The day including hike from high camp to the base camp is a long and tiring one. The walk via narrow path and steep slope is very difficult.
It’s a steep descent back down from base camp to the high camp. So, if you have knee problems, this part is going to be hard for you. Bring a kneecap for ease.
During Mardi Himal trek, you won’t be at a high altitude for very long. So, there is less risk of altitude sickness. However, it is better to be aware of altitude sickness.
Mardi Himal trek is doable for all levels of trekkers. Exercising and practicing hikes before going can be beneficial during the trek.
On trekking during the peak seasons, all you need to worry about is booking a place for accommodation.
If you are travelling in winter, you need to prepare for extreme cold and bad weather. Choosing monsoon for the trek is hard too. The trails inside the forests gets slippery and tough when it rains.
Can I Choose Solo Trek to Mardi Himal?
Travelling in group is fun. However, there are people who love to travel alone. Some want to hire an independent guide by themselves.
Solo trek in Mardi Himal is absolutely doable. In fact, solo trek is less costly. You can bargain for your accommodation and foods. In Mardi Himal trek route, you will find tea houses next to each other. So, it will be easy to find a room for yourself.
If you are an experienced trekker, you can trek the route with ease and independence. Get ready to arrange your permits, lodging and fooding.
But trekking alone isn’t always fruitful. In cases when you are sick or when you meet accidents, being alone in the mountains will be too hard.
Tips for Mardi Himal Trek
- Appropriate clothing and equipment depending on the seasons are important. Wear a good pair of hiking boots. Carry a windproof jacket, always. A pair of comfortable sandals, Water bottles, Map, and Sunglasses are basic things to pack.
- Be sure to carry your rain gear during monsoon. Pack rain jackets, good quality trekking boots with sturdy soles, waterproof socks and trekking pants.
- Hire a licensed professional trekking guide for difficult seasons.
- Using water purifiers can help with budget reduction as well as safety. Keep yourself hydrated every time.
- During the peak seasons, there will be more traffic in the region. So, pre-booking is absolutely necessary. Booking online can be more expensive than booking in person when in Nepal. So, it is better that you book when you are here.
- Physical fitness is very important. You must be able to walk for hours a day. Also, you must prepare to trek over the rugged landscapes between the high camp and base camp.
- Visit your medical adviser before you go. Learn about the altitude sickness, its symptoms, and its remedies.
Mardi Himal trek is a short trekking package that takes you around the Annapurna Region on the lap of Mardi Himal. Trekking in the region yields best experience, if done in comfortable seasons.
Be sure to keep yourself happy and healthy throughout the trek. With little preparations, you can opt for this trek any time of the year.
For further information on this trek, contact us or email us [email protected]