A neighboring country of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan, visitors are only allowed to enter the country with a complete travel package.  Unlike in Nepal, the tourist could come to visit the country with no plan in advance. A lot of hiking routes in Nepal Himalayas, hiker, actually can hike without even a Guide. Trekking In Nepal Without A Guide can be fun. However, in a particular area, it is mandatory to hire a Guide. The region is widely known as a restricted area trekking. In order to preserve the beauty and culture of the place, the government of Nepal only allows tourists to visit those places after completing specific paper works. Generally speaking, if the border between Nepal and China Tibet is an open wall, visitors are required to hire a guide to visit those places.

World-class travel sites such as Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, Travel Channel recognizes Nepal as a paradise destination for backpacking. For them, hiking and trekking in the Himalayas in their first choice.  As the country is so famous for backpacking, It is not unusual at all to receive a budget, travelers. Of course, money values to everyone but some hikers would prefer to hike solo, even without a guide for the sake of freedom and privacy. However, not every region in Nepal hikers is allowed to walk without a guide. In this article, I will take you through the area where you can hike without a Guide or the area where the Guide is mandatory. In addition to that, I will try to cover risk and rewards Trekking In Nepal Without A Guide or without a guide.

Death and Missing Hikers

Before I jump into the complete list of the trekking trail, where hikers can hike with or without a guide, I want to share some facts about the safety concern. On average about 15 hiker goes missing in Nepal Himalayas, annually and the death toll counts the same number as missing hikers.  That number of fatalities doesn’t even count anyone climbing an ice peak. A lot of time, when tourist dies in the mountain, they don’t even make it to the public news. It is sad but the truth, the government, doesn’t want to disclose a tragic report for not to scare people who have been planning to visit Nepal in the future.

How do hikers go missing

The majority of independent hikers go missing, due to the bad weather, lost the trail, slip off from the path and fell into the deep river valley. The chances of surviving for those who go missing are meager. Unlike in 2017, Taiwan hiker survived for 47 days in Nepal Himalayas and rescued alive. Nepal is so high in terms of elevation. The first place in the country you arrived in Kathmandu, it is already scaled at 1,300m (4,265ft). Anyone hiking in the high altitude they should at least reach 3,000-4,000m. At this point, the weather is exceptionally unpredictable. If something goes wrong hikers get lost so easily.

The Reason of Death

I don’t mean to frighten you by telling all missing stories, but I am being honest and telling the truth.  In one report from MissingHikers.com, it says the majority of the death in the Himalayas caused by high altitude sickness.  For instance, a rough estimate we heard from the news is about 3-5 people die each year on the Everest Base Camp region out of roughly 30,000 people. It is the death rate of about 0.01%, mainly due to the high altitude sickness. If you plan an Itinerary that includes enough amount of acclimatization day, even if you are not an expert hiker you can do high altitude trek.

How Could a Professional Guide Make Things Right  in The Himalayas

A lot of well-known hiking trails in the Himalayas are accessible to navigate through your phone, map, etc. If you particularly look for the Everest Base Camp trail, you can even find a street view on google. Hiring a guide for areas like EBC, it’s not to tell you to turn right, or turn left. Here is the list, why it is worth hiring a professional Guide for high altitude trek?

  • An extreme weather condition,  when the trail wholly covered with snow, a local guide will navigate you to camp safe and sound.
  • Professional hiking guides have gone through advanced training,  such as first aid, emergency evacuation, Itinerary management, etc. so you can use their skills.
  • Mountain guides are the ambassador of the Himalayas. They could be a bridge between you and the local people and their culture. It puts you in extra comfort during village sightseeing, monasteries visit, etc.
  • The majority of the camp has limited tea houses means during busy season they are over-occupied. A Local Guide will help you book them in advance, so you don’t have to end up sleep in the living room. Or sometimes even in the tent outside at freezing weather.

Which trail Hikers can hike without a guide

For safety reasons, we encourage every hiker to hire an experienced guide. Especially if you are hiking in a remote area it is worth having someone who knows the place.   However, by law, some of the trail in Nepal you can hike without a guide. Generally, in this region, the number of hikers are overcrowded during the busy season.  Here is the list.

How much to hire a Guide in Nepal

Hiring a hiking guide in Nepal may vary by region and their skills what a local company offers. It is normally extra language speaking guides are more expensive than an English speaking guide. Any additional skills guide may offer such as Yoga, meditation,  and other adventure skills guides are about USD 40 a day for any region. However, If you just decide to hire an English speaking guide here is the cost. It’s a common-sense that tourists should understand. While tourist spends the same amount of money or above as the guide salary how would they survive if they pay the same amount for food and accommodation in the mountain? The fact is local guide food and accommodation price is much cheaper than the tourist. But some regions like Kanchenjunga, Narphu regardless of foreign tourist or local guide they are required to pay the same amount due to the remoteness and the cost of food transportation.

Nagarkot Chisapani – USD 18 per day
Annapurna and Langtang Region – USD 22 per day
Everest Region – USD 25 per day
Manaslu Region – USD 25 per day
Kanchenjunga Region – USD 30-35 per day
Upper Mustang Trek – USD 25 per day
Nar Phu Valley Trek – USD 30 per day 
Upper Dolpo – USD 30 per day
Other Restricted Region – USD 30 per day

The above cost is inclusive of all costs incurred for treks like guide’s salary, food, accommodation, and insurance. Mail us at info@nestadventure.com for more details about the availability of guides on particular periods for trekking in Nepal.

Which trail Hikers must hire a guide

As mentation earlier, some of the regions in Nepal, hikers must hire a guide. Those regions are usually off the beaten trail in Nepal where the number of tourists is a lot lesser than the other classical trail in Nepal. Here is the list of the trek and their permit fee.

Kanchenjunga Area Trek permits: Eastern Nepal Kanchenjunga area of Taplejung district required a special permit. It cost USD 10 per person per week  (Restricted area are VDC of Olangchungola, Lelep, Papung, and Yamphuding)

Makalu Base Camp Trek in Sankhuwasabha:  Per person per week US $ 10 up to four weeks and onward per person per week USD 20 (Restricted Area VDC Kimathangka, Chepuwa, Hatiya, and Pawakhola)

Everest Khumbu Region: North of Thame there is one pass call “Nangpa-la” which connects to Tibet.  It will cost USD 10 per person for the first 4 weeks after that It will be  USD 20 per person/week. Everest Classical trek doesn’t require a restricted permit. You can trek with TIMS card and National Park fees.

Gaurishanker Chhorolpa lake area: Lamabagar Ward No.1 (Lepche) Gaurishanker Ward No. 1 (Beding 9 and Chhorolpa lake) area    USD 10 per person /Week

Langtang region of Rasuwa District: Thuman and Timure Region USD 10 per person /Week. This is the north of Langtang valley close to the border.  Regular classical trek Langtang valley trek and Gosainkunda area don’t require a special permit.

Manaslu Trekking Permit: September to November – USD 70 per person per week, and USD 10 per day per person in case of more than 7 days. December to August – USD 50 per person per week, and USD 7 per day per person in case of more than 7 days

Tsum Valley Trek: September to November – USD 35 per person for the first eight days. December to August – USD 25 per person for the first eight days

Mustang Trekking Permit: Per person per 10 days USD 500 (in case if days get extended then USD 50 per person per day)

Nar Phu Valley Trek Permit: September to November – Per person per week USD 90. December to August – Per person per week USD 75 (Restricted Area VDC Nar and Phu along with northern part of Tilicho VDC)

Lower Dolpo – Per person per week USD 10

Upper Dolpo  – Per person per 10 days USD 500 (in case if days get extended then USD 50 per person per day)

Simikot and Yari in Humla: Per person per week USD 50, additional USD 7 per person per day in case of extended days (Restricted Area VDC are Limi, Muchu and Dharmakhola)

Mugu Region: Per person per week USD 90 and per person per day USD 15 for an additional number of days (Restricted Area VDC Mugu, Dolpo, Pulu, and Bhangri)

Bhajang District: Per person per week USD 90 and Per person per day USD 15 for an additional number of days (Restricted Area VDC Kanda, Saipal and Dhuli)

Darchula District: Per person per week USD 90 and per person per day USD 15 for an additional number of days (Restricted Area VDC Byas)

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Rajendra Khanal (Raj)

Born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal, I am proud to call the Manaslu region my home! I have been in the travel business for over a decade from being assistance guide, leader, to being a manager. And finally today I am the founder of NEST Adventure. So you could say I know my way well enough in the Himalayas, especially in some of the off-the-beaten-trails in Nepal like Manaslu, Kanchenjunga and Mustang!

I am passionate about travelling and I strongly believe that seeing the world shouldn't break the bank (at least not too much!). I have backpacked to over 15 countries in Asia, Central America, USA, Canada, one-third of Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and Latin America.

I studied in the UK and moved to the United States. During that period, I had the opportunity of working with multinational companies which taught me how to deliver quality customer service in the business. As a world travelling backpacker myself, and travel expert for the Nepalese Himalayas, I started writing about my own country. Which I would love to share with you. In case you required free information about Nepal or join a group with our existing departure, (particularly If you are a solo hiker for the restricted area) please do not hesitate to visit my office in Thamel. We are located in the centre of Kathmandu called Thamel. I am happy to share a cup of Nepali tea and free information.

Our team at NEST has earned 5/5 star ratings on TripAdvisor. Don't forget to visit our customer feedback page on TripAdvisor. If you believe our expert team can be helpful in planning your next trip to Nepal, then please do not hesitate to contact me at nestadventure@gmail.com. I am also available 24x7 on WhatsApp  +977- 9851052042. If you are interested to know more about my travel journey follow me on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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