Western Nepal has a large population of both Hindus and Buddhists, and the countryside is crisscrossed by trails in all directions. It is remote and unknown from the Western viewpoint because of its relative inaccessibility and its distance from Kathmandu. Regular flights to Jumla and several other airstrips in the west reduce this remoteness somewhat, but add considerably to the cost and to the logistical problems. Another factor that discourages trekkers in western Nepal is that many of the culturally and scenically exotic regions are in restricted areas with high permit fees. Many of the trails in the west continue to the northern side of the Himalayan ranges of Nampa, Saipal and Kanjiroba, making it easy for trekkers to zip up trails along river valleys and into Tibet - a practice that both the Nepalese and Chinese would like to discourage. Some of these treks, including Shey Gompa to the north of Phoksumdo Lake and Humla to the north-west of Jumla are described in the section on Restricted Areas.
Fast Facts - Western Nepal
Humla is often known as the ‘Hidden Himalaya’ due to its remoteness.
The highest mountains of the region are Mt Api (7132m) and Mount Saipal (7031m).
Hilsa is the gateway to Tibet’s sacred Mount Kailash, which pilgrims from across faiths have visited for thousands of years. The northern landscape of Humla is part of a sacred Buddhist mandala. It has its centre at Mt Kailash and points in the surrounding landscape, stretching for hundreds of kilometres, corresponding to spiritual concepts.
The ancient salt trade has traditionally been carried on goats rather than Yaks or mules as in other parts of Nepal.
The inhabitants of the three villages of remote Limi Valley are snowed in for six months a year. When the passes open up in spring they head to Tibet to trade their famous wooden bowls for household goods.
Mugu is one of Nepal’s most remote areas and remains relatively unexplored by foreign travellers and mysterious even to Nepali people.
Mugu was part of the ancient Malla Kingdom of the Karnali River basin.
Fascinating blend of religious practices with Buddhist and Hindu practices borrowing from Shamanism and the ancient Bonpo religion.
The majority of Mugu lies in the rain shadow of the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himal (ranges) and is very arid. It is the least developed district of Nepal.
Rara Lake is Nepal’s largest lake with a circumference of approximately 13km. it is home to otters and the fish that feed them, and is an important resting place for migrating water fowl.
Mugu has many different wild herbs used in traditional herbal medicine such as the highly valuable ‘Caterpillar Fungi’ (yachargumba) used in the treatment of amoebic dysentery among other things, guchi chyau which has an anti-spasmodic effect, panchaunle which is used as a tonic, satuwa a poison antidote as well as bhutkesh, kutki and keshar.
Birdlife is rich in Far West – colourful Impeyan Pheasant and Himalayan Griffuon vulture can be spotted here.
Khaptad Festival is held around August or September every year, attracting lots of pilgrimsLeopard, goral, Himalayan black bear and monkeys thrive here.
Many houses in Far West have a cactus on their roof, which is believed to protect the house from lightning. Straw roofs don’t need this protection.
The Dhorpatan trek brings you into a complete no-man's-land, with spectacular desolate landscapes. It is the first hunting reserve in Nepal. view trip
Trekking through lush valleys of medicinal/herbal forest and wild animals you reach to have enigmatic view of Changla (6,900m) and the pristine lakes and peaks in its periphery. view trip
Khaptad National Park is a extraordinary trek brings you from Rara Lake, Nepal's biggest lake to Khaptad National Park, a hidden gem in Far West Nepal. view trip
This is a pioneering trek in a remote corner of far west Nepal, one of country's last true wildernesses. The idyllic Limi Valley is located in beautiful upper Humla. view trip
Rara jumla lake trek is a most scenic trek with pristine Lake, stunning views of the lake and the thickly forested hillsides with the snow-capped peaks around it. view trip
Rara to Khaptad Trek is an extraordinary trek brings you from Rara Lake, Nepal's biggest lake to Khaptad National Park, a hidden gem in Far West Nepal. view trip
This is an adventurous but extremely rewarding and beautiful off-the-beaten-track trek to the base camp of western Nepal’s second highest mountain, stunning Mt. Saipal (7031m). view trip
This is one of the most remote trek, starts from Simikot(Far western Nepal) and climbs up to Nara La pass (4530 m) up to Hilsa, near the Tibet border. view trip
Simikot Rara Lake Trek is a unique trek in far western Nepal tracing the final stage of the Great Himalaya Trail; Rara Lake; remote Yari Valley; fully supported camping based trek. view trip