Discovering Mardi Himal Trek: A Comprehensive Guide

Sun hitting the fishtail mountain (Machapuchare) as seen from Badal dada - Mardi Himal Trek

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The Mardi Himal Trek is a hidden gem tucked away in the Annapurna Region of the Himalayas. It’s a relatively new trekking route that’s just gaining popularity, but it still needs to be more travelled than some of the more established treks in the region. You can witness a lesser-known facet of the Himalayas, where unspoiled woodlands, customary communities, and awe-inspiring mountain vistas abound.

The trek itself is moderate in difficulty, making it accessible to a wide range of travellers. You’ll start in the lowlands, walking through lush forests and terraced fields before gradually ascending into the high alpine zone. You’ll pass through traditional Gurung villages and taste local culture and hospitality. And, of course, the highlight of the trek is the stunning views of Mardi Himal itself, as well as nearby peaks like Machhapuchhre (Fishtail) and Annapurna South.

Additionally, the trail for this trek branches off from the main route to the Annapurna Base Camp, making it a popular choice for those seeking an alternative to other treks in the Annapurna Region, such as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

The Mardi Himal Trek Location

The Mardi Himal Trek is close to the magnificent Machhapuchhre, also known as Fish Tail Mountain, one of the towering peaks in the Annapurna Massif. Mardi Himal peaks at 5,587 metres (18,330 ft) and lies beneath the much more prominent Machapuchare in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is separated from Machapuchare by a distance of 5,200 metres (17,060 ft).

What’s Different About the Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal Trek is a hidden gem in the Annapurna region of Nepal. Unlike some of the more popular treks in the area, such as the Annapurna Base Camp Trek or the Everest Base Camp Trek, the Mardi Himal Trek is a quieter and less crowded option. Additionally, it’s a perfect choice for trekkers with limited time or who want to acclimatize, as it can be completed in a shorter period.

This trek offers stunning views of the Annapurna range, including Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain), and the opportunity to experience authentic Nepali culture, especially Gurung Culture, in the small villages along the way. The trail takes you through lush forests, rhododendron forests, and high-altitude landscapes, making it a diverse and rewarding experience.

Best Season for the Mardi Himal Trek

Generally, the most popular time to go on this trek is autumn and spring, which last from September to November and March to May, respectively. 

During these months, the weather is relatively stable, and the clear skies provide excellent views of the surrounding mountains. However, the trek can also be done during the winter and monsoon seasons, which have unique advantages. The winter season offers a quieter and more secluded experience, while the monsoon season brings lush greenery and fewer crowds. Ultimately, the best season for the Mardi Himal Trek depends on what you want from experience.

Mardi Himal Trek Difficulty Level

Mardi Himal Trek is a moderate-level trek that people with average fitness levels can complete. The trek takes you through the beautiful landscapes and lush forests of the Annapurna region and offers stunning views of the Mardi Himal peak. However, the trail can get steep and challenging, especially during the ascent towards the high camp. 

Having prior trekking experience and being physically fit before embarking on this trek is recommended, but it is optional.

Itinerary for the Mardi Himal Trek 

The Mardi Himal Trek can be completed using different itineraries. Here are two examples:

4 days Itinerary for Mardi Himal Trek

Day 01: Drive from Pokhara to Kande and Trek to Forest Camp (2520m) (7-8 hours, 18 km)

Day 02: Trek from Forest camp to High Camp (3780m) ( 6-7 hours, 13km)

Day 03: Excursion to Mardi Himal Base Camp and trek back to Middle Camp (3200m.) (6-7 hours; 11 km)

Day 04: Trek from Middle Camp to Sidding and drive to Pokhara.

7 days Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Pokhara to Lumle and trek to Low Camp (2000m).  

Day 2: Trek to Bhanu Kharka (2500m) and stay in the tea house.   

Day 3: Trek to High Camp (3500m) via Thulodhunga and spend the night in a tent. 

Day 4: Trek to Mardi Base Camp (4000m) with a stop on the way for lunch.   

Day 5: Trek to Mardi High Camp (4400m). Enjoy the views of Annapurna, Machapuchare, and Lamjung Himal.  

Day 6: Trek to Sidding (2700m), where you can explore the local village and its surrounding mountains.  

Day 7: Drive back to Pokhara and enjoy the rest of your day exploring the city.

Packing List

1. Backpack  

2. Hiking socks  

3. Hiking boots  

4. Waterproof hiking jacket  

5. Trekking poles  

6. Thermal layers  

7. Hat/ beanie  

8. Gloves  

9. Sun protection gear  

10. Sunglasses  

11. High-energy snacks  

12. Water bottle  

13. First aid kit  

14. Flashlight  

15. Insect repellent  

17. Sleeping bag  

19. Toiletries  

20. Passport/ identification documents 

Trek cost

The Mardi Himal Trek costs around USD 100 per day. If you opt for a 4-day itinerary, the total cost will be approximately USD 350 to 500. The trek’s price varies depending on the number of days you book. If you travel in a group, you can expect a significantly lower cost.

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