The Mardi Himal Trek

The Mardi Himal Trek is a new opened beautiful route in the Annapurna region and a great option for all trekkers, which want to avoid the crowd. We will see only few tourists on the way. The trek offers amazing views on Dhaulagiri (8.167 m), Machhapuchre (6.997 m) and Manaslu (8.163 m) and takes us through little villages, beautiful rhododendron forests and – in the higher elevation – along an open ridge up to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4.500 m).

A number of new lodges and home stays have been built on the way, so it is not necessary to camp anymore.

The itinerary presented here takes 8 days but based on your available time I can shorten the trek to 5-6 days.

We start our walk in Phedi and end it in Dhampus. A 45 minutes car ride takes us from and back to Pokhara on the first and on the last day.

Day 1: Pokhara – Phedi – Pothana (45 minutes by car / 5 hours walk)

After a 45 minutes car ride from Pokhara we arrive at our starting point in Phedi. From Phedi we climb up many, many stairs for around 2 hours. We enjoy beautiful landscapes passing many little villages to reach our lunch place at Dhampus. After lunch we continue walking up and down through varied terrain. Finally we arrive at Pothana (1.890 m) – our destination for today. We stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 2: Pothana – Kokar Forest Camp (6 hours walk)

After breakfast we start our walk climbing up for around 1 hour through a dense forest to Deurali (2.150 m).  From here we will have a beautiful view on Pokhara Valley, Phewa Lake, Annapurna Range and the magnificent peak of Dhaulagiri (8.167 m). After Deurali the trail takes us through jungle, at first up and then wavy on the top of a ridge. Over half way the trail drops steeply and then slowly gains height back onto the ridge and into Forest Camp (2.600 m). Forest Camp is a beautiful little village surrounded by green forest. On the western side we can see Ghandruk village and Modi valley. We stay overnight in a lodge.

Day 3: Kokar Forest Camp – Low Camp (5 hours walk)

After breakfast we start our day walking through a beautiful jungle. We ascend on a gradual trail into a dense rhododendron forest and finally reach the Low Camp (2.970 m). This beautiful place has 2 basic lodges with restaurants. It is surrounded by amazing rhododendron forest, which looks truly breathtaking in March and April, when the trees are in fully blossom. From here we have a great view on Machhapuchre (6.997 m) and Mardi Himal (5.553 m). We stay overnight at a lodge.

Day 4: Low Camp – High Camp (4 hours walk)

Today our trail starts with a gentle ascent through a rhododendron forest and then goes up to the lower viewpoint (3.289 m). Here we leave the dense forest and walk most of the time on a grassy slope. When the weather is clear we can see from here wonderful mountain views with the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchre (6.997 m). Below on the south side we see the green landscape with Modi Valley, Ghandruk, Chhomrong, Sinuwa and Dovan. The High Camp (3.700 m) is a natural viewpoint tower. In all directions we can see breathtaking views including Machhapuchre, Mardi Himal, Annapurna I, Annapurna South, and Pokhara Valley. We will also see many yaks around. We stay overnight at a lodge.

Day 5: High Camp – Mardi Himal Base Camp – High Camp (7-8 hours walk)

Today we get up early in the morning. After breakfast and with a lunch packet in our bags we hike to the absolute highlight of our trek – the Mardi Himal Base Camp located at 4.500 m.  We walk steeply upwards on the grassy slopes. Reaching the Upper View Point the path becomes very narrow for some hundred meters. When it is covered by snow it could be difficult and slippery because both sides of the ridge are very steep. If the weather is good we will see the magnificent peaks of Annapurna I (8.091 m), Annapurna South (7. 219 m), Himchuli (6. 441 m), Machhapuchre (9.997 m) and Mardi Himal ( 5.553 m). From the Upper View Point it takes around 30 minutes to Mardi Himal Base Camp. Coming down to the High Camp it would take us 3 to 4 hours. We stay overnight in High Camp at our lodge.

Day 6: High Camp – Sidhing (4 hours walk)

Today we have an easy day with only 4 hours walking time. So we take time to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery in the early morning. After breakfast we walk steeply down to the Low Camp. It will take us around 3 hours. In Low Camp we make a break for lunch and refreshment. After lunch we continue descending through the beautiful jungle and rice fields and reach in around 1 hour our destination for today – the village Sidhing (1.700 m). We stay overnight in a home stay.

Day 7: Sidhing – Lwang (6 hours walk)

Today our trail leads us through beautiful rice fields down to the Lwang village (1.460 m). The place is really beautiful and we have a great chance to get in touch with local people (Gurung) and learn more about their culture and daily lifes. There are also many beautiful tea gardens around the village. We stay overnight in a cosy home stay.

Day 8: Lwang – Dhampus – Pokhara (4 hours walk, 45 minutes car ride)

Today is the last day of our trek. After breakfast the trail takes us through beautiful tea gardens, rice fields and little villages. After 4 hours we arrive in Dhampus where we take a car back to Pokhara. We spend the rest of the day relaxing in the beautiful city at Phewa Lake.