Guidebook for Mardi Himal Trek

SRISTI
Updated on June 11, 2024
Guidebook for Mardi Himal Trek

One of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal is the Annapurna Region. Every year, hikers and travelers visit the Annapurna region due to its large network of hiking trails. Due to the wide range of trekking areas and places, Annapurna district is taken as one of the most popular trekking destinations in Nepal. It offers several trekking routes and has an amazing geographical distribution and landscapes.

One of the popular hiking routes in the Annapurna region is theMardi Himal Trek. The Mardi Himal trek offers new trip courses, many different hiking routes, and well-trodden paths for travelers. The trek to Mardi Himal has a new route so few hikers use it to complete their journey. The Annapurna range's southernmost peak is called the Mardi Himal. In 1961, the attempt to climb the Mardi Himal was made for the very first time. 

Most people use the east flank route for their trek and until now travelers are using it. The Mardi Himal lies perpendicular to the Fishtail Ridge to the southwest. The three distinct ridges help to distinguish its southwest face from rock buttresses and are separated by hanging glaciers. Due to its unknown trekking route, many people hike there via other trails like the Annapurna Base Camp Trek and the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, amongst others.

The unique blend of social and natural splendor makes the Mardi Himal Trek an incredible adventure for those who are interested in mountaineering and hiking. The Mardi Himal trek takes you to the hidden and unexplored part of the journey which will surely make you thrill and fill you with excitement. 

Introduction of Mardi Himal Trek

In 2012, the new route for the Mardi Himal trek was launched in Nepal. The route is getting more popular day by day due to its path which enters the Annapurna Sanctuary Area and offers a wide range of Mountains like Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna South (7,219m), Machhapuchre (6,997m), and Gangapurna Himal (7,454m), and so on. Even though it is not as popular as the Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Annapurna Base Camp Trek its natural beauty has attracted a lot of visitors in past decades. The trekking in Mardi Himal is through winding roads inside the dense Rhododendron and pine forest. When you travel at high altitudes then you will see a stunning vista of Machhapuchhare, popularly known as Fishtail. 

If you’re a nature lover and you want to avoid crowds, the Mardi Himal trek is the best choice for you because you trek alongside a variety of trees, bamboo, and chirping plants. As this trek is under the Annapurna area, you will see a variety of wild animals, like Himalayan Thar, long-tailed langurs, and birds like Danphe, Kalij, and Monal. You will travel at an altitude of at least 4000m from the sea level. Due to the growing tea houses and hotels and lodges, you need not spend the night under the tent. You can enjoy your choice of meal which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

The Mardi Himal trek allows you to hike alongside the wildlife in dense forest,  you can cross heavily flowing rivers and see the amazing landscape of the hill. So, it is also called the hidden gem of the trekking area. When you cross the river, jungle, and hills then all of your tiredness and soreness will go away once you see the magnificent vistas of the Mardi Himal, Annapurna South, and Machhapuchre from the Badal Danda. The trekker takes around 4 hours to reach the Mardi Himal Base camp from the high camp and it is suitable for those who have a limited amount of time. From the head of Mardi Himal, one gets the chance to have a nearby perspective on Machhapuchhre, Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, Huinchuli, Annapurnas, Lamjung Himal, and many neighboring pinnacles. 

Trails

Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek

  • Explore the majestic views of valleys, forests, mountains, and so on while trekking through the vibrant and less crowded trail.
  • Experience stunning mountains like the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri, Hiunchuli, Fishtail, and many more snowy peaks. 
  • Trekking through the traditional mountain village, lush green jungle, and authentic natural beauty.
  • Explore the local culture, traditional villages, and warm hospitality from the local people. 
  • Amazing view of snow-capped mountains including Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, and Annapurna from Sarangkot, Pokhara.
  • Enjoy boating on Fewa Lake's tranquil waters.
  • Visit the historic sites on the way to the Bindabasini temple.
  • Experience sunset and sunrise from the Mardi High Camp above snowy peaks. 
  • Chance to see the Pokhara Valley from the Mardi Viewpoint. 
  • The Pokhara Valley city tour after trekking. 

How long is the Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal Trek is eight days. It has a distance of 25 miles from the starting point to the Mardi Himal Base Camp. It depends on the hiker’s fitness level after the trek. When you walk from Phedi to Pothana village on the second day, the trek to the Mardi Himal officially starts. Then, you have to walk for three days straight to reach your final destination on the day 5th of the journey.

You will reach the highest point of 4,250 meters above sea level. From the 6th day, you will begin descending the same route followed by staying at Siding village on the sixth day. After that, you will head towards Kathmandu for your hometown. 

4. Normal Itinerary for the Mardi Himal Trek

  • Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu City
  • Day 2: UNESCO World Heritage Site Excursion
  • Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Day 4: Drive from Pokhara to Phedi / Kande and trek to Pothana Village
  • Day 5: Trek to Forest Camp
  • Day 6: Trek to Low Camp
  • Day 7: Trek to Mardi High Camp
  • Day 8: Hike to Mardi Viewpoint and Mardi Base Camp
  • Day 9: Trek to Siding Village and Drive to Pokhara
  • Day 10: Drive or fly back to Kathmandu
  • Day 11: Departure Day

5.  Is the Mardi Himal Trek difficult?

The Mardi Himal trek is not difficult at all because you have to walk inside the dense forest for only two to three days. The most dangerous part of the trek is the chance to see leopards, wild yak, and other wildlife on the way. Another thing that makes the trek difficult is the unexpected avalanches, so when you reach the base camp make sure you are careful of the avalanches. The narrow and exceptionally difficult path is the result of a snowy and slippery road. 

Many people are unaware of this trek because it is one of the underrated hiking places in the Annapurna region. It is quite easy to hike in the Mardi Himal in comparison to other hikes like the Everest and Manaslu Circuit Trek. The beginner-level traveler feels a little challenged as they have to walk for three to four days. The difficult part of hiking is to reach the Base camp from the high camp as the path is very narrow and steep and rocky slopes make it very dangerous. The rugged and unpaved path becomes slippery in the rainy season. But if you have enough essential material for the hike and plenty of drinking water, you can easily complete this trek without any problem. 

6.  How much does it cost to go to the Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal trek is affordable. It costs around $999 to $1200. The cost also fluctuates according to the season and it includes transportation, permits for the trek, full-board meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), an experienced guide, porters, lodging, and a certificate for the journey. The costs can be decreased if you travel in groups but if you are alone you might have the expensive price. You can also join the other trekking group if you want and can spend less and enjoy the most. The trekking guide also advises you to travel in groups which makes your journey memorable as well. 

7. What is the best season/time for the Mardi Himal Trek?

The best seasons for trekking in the Mardi Himal are Autumn and Spring. You can also travel in all four seasons Autumn, spring, summer, and winter. 

  • Autumn season (September, October, November)

In Nepal, the Autumn season begins in September and lasts until November. This season is the busiest and ideal time for trekking in Nepal. This period of the year has a clear sky and all the magnificent vistas can be seen by the naked eye. 

  • Spring season ( March, April and May)

In Nepal, Spring season is considered as the second ideal time to do trekking. It occurs in months like March, April, and May months. It is the end of the winter season and various plants sprout and bloom in the spring, including rhododendrons. The season is full of greenery and everything starts to bloom. You can also see wildflowers and Rhododendrons blooming whenever you hike toward higher altitudes. The clear sky and amazing view of the mountain will surely make you pause for a while. 

 8. How cold is the Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal trek’s climate is moderate. If you’re traveling in the December and January months, the temperature is a little chilly. The temperature reaches up to -8 to -10 degrees Celsius in the winter season. In the daytime, the temperature rises to 20 degrees Celsius which is considered as the average temperature. Sometimes, temperatures fall up to -4 to -8 degrees Celsius in the nighttime. So, you have to come prepared to deal with this temperature.  

9. What kind of accommodations are available during the Mardi Himal Trek?

The accommodations in the Mardi Himal trek are quite popular. There are lots of tea houses and guesthouses on your journey. As it goes around the sparsely populated areas and isolated places of theAnnapurna region, there is also the facility of tea houses at every stop. The lodging services are modest and it will make you comfortable in your journey. The bathrooms might be communal or private, and the rooms are typically tiny. 

You can also ask for a single bedroom but the room is made in sharing perspective. Sometimes, the single bedroom can't be available because of crowds so you have to adjust with your teammates. During the hiking season, there may be changes in accommodation and you have to adjust accordingly. If you want to use wifi and other electricity services, you have to pay around $2 to $3 depending upon the hotel. The high-altitude lodges and tea houses are made in traditional style, so you have to walk outside of the house to use the bathroom. The hotel is equipped with charging outlets for your smartphones and cameras.

They provide neat and clean fundamental comforts, like a mattress, pillows, and blankets. At the time of busy trekking season, you have to bring your sleeping bag as there might be a shortage of it in the teahouses. Some rooms at lower altitudes have bathrooms right next to them to make trekkers as comfortable as possible.

10. What is the highest elevation you will reach during the Mardi Himal Trek?

The highest elevation you will reach during the Mardi Himal trek is 4500 meters from the sea level. You begin your trek at a distance of 1,275 meters above sea level. After walking for three days you will reach the Mardi Himal View Point. The Mardi Himal Base camp is located at a distance of 4500 meters. 

View

11. What are the food and water facilities in Mardi Himal Trek?

The food and water facilities in the Mardi Himal trek are good and adjustable. The teahouses and lodges offer you healthy food and drinking water of your choice. You can also ask for hot water for drinking purposes. During the trek, you can fill up your water bottle from the tap or you can simply buy mineral water in teahouses. As a trekking agent, we advise you not to buy mineral water as it only increases the litter in the path. You can simply fill water bottles and decontaminate water by tablet. The teahouses and lodges offer breakfast which is full of nutrients and a balanced diet which will help you to boost your energy for the hike. You can ask for bread and chapati, eggs, porridge, soup, pancakes, and more for breakfast. It will surely boost your energy and you can walk freely all day. 

The main course of the lunch in Nepal is Dal Bhat tarkari. Some foreigner enjoys this traditional dish while for those who want other things, a variety of lunch items like  Rice, noodles, pasta, pizza, hamburgers, dumplings, and desserts are available in the teahouses.  The majority of Nepalese enjoy eating dal bhat for lunch and supper, although foreign visitors prefer to select different dishes. You can have a variety of cuisine for dinner or you may have traditional dal bhat to end your day. 

12.  Entrance and Permits for the Mardi Himal Trek

You must have an entrance and permit to hike in the Mardi Himal. The permits are issued by the Nepal Tourism Board, Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Office in Kathmandu, TAAN Office in Pokhara. You must have A photocopy of your passport and two passport-sized photographs to take the grant of the permit. Trekker must have the following two things:

A. Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS)

It is the most fundamental thing you must have to have for trekking in Nepal. It is necessary because it will provide a database of foreign trekkers' information, documenting their visits to specific regions in Nepal. For the short trek, Poon Hill or to the Everest Base Camp trekker must have TIMS. You have to pay NRS 2,000 per person for this permit. It is around USD 18 or 15 EUR. 

 B. ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit)

The Mardi Himal trekking is a part of the Annapurna Trekking region and you have to walk via the Annapurna Conservation Area. So, you have to have ACAP for hiking. It will cost you USD 26 or EUR 950 when hiking for the Mardi Himal. 

13. What is the fitness level requirement for the Mardi Himal Trek?

The fitness level for the Mardi Himal trek is average. If you’re willing to trek in the Mardi Himal trek, you must be in healthy condition. If you can enjoy walking, you can trek in this region. This trek is for beginners and even children and mid-age people can complete this trek without any difficulty. If you have willpower and are very passionate to do hiking in this area, you can complete this trek within a week. The Mardi Himal trek is easy in comparison to other trek in the Annapurna region. The trek doesn't need any technical equipment such as ropes, oxygen cylinders, crampons, or walking poles.

14. Travel Insurance for the Mardi Himal Trek 

There is a minimal amount of danger of altitude sickness in the Mardi Himal Trek. You may suffer from mild altitude sickness. As this trip is around the dense forest there are chances of accidents, illnesses, floods, landslides, or abrupt climatic changes. So, you have to come with appropriate guidance and you must have travel insurance as well. 

The travel insurance for Mardi Himal Trek must cover medical and emergency extradition, as well as high-altitude helicopter rescue and evacuation costs. When you are ready to book a trip with us, please kindly submit us with comprehensive insurance paperwork. In an emergency, we will quickly rescue you by using your insurance.

15. What to pack during your Mardi Himal trek?

The packing list for the Mardi Himal trek is as follows:

  • Puffy down jacket  
  • Four-season (zero-degree) sleeping bag  
  • Daypack (35-45 liters recommended) with rain cover
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • For the upper body: Sun hat or cap, knitted hat/Beanie Scarf or neck gaiter, Headlamp, and Sunglasses.
  • Torso:  Technical fabric base layer (light for warmer months, heavy for colder months), Technical fabric short (2) and long sleeve (2) shirts, Waterproof, windproof shell Fleece jacket or pullover.
  • For the lower body:  Technical fabric base layer (light for warmer months, heavy for colder months), Hiking pants (2), Comfortable pants for inside the teahouses, Waterproof/windproof outer shell pants, Hiking shorts.
  • Hands: Wool or technical fabric liner gloves, Hard-shell outer gloves. 
  • Feet: Wool or technical fabric warm socks, Hiking socks, Liner socks, Trekking/hiking boots, Ice Cleats /Micro Spikes, Casual shoes, and Gaiters.
  • You can bring optional things on your own like a Power bank or extra batteries, Cameras and mobile phones, Cards/books a bottle/ pee funnel for women, Trekking poles, a Whistle, and a Thermos for hot water.

16. Acute mountain sickness and preventive measures

The Mardi Himal trek causes acute mountain sickness. All the trekking guides and leaders advise you not to sleep the night at an elevation that is more than 3500 meters higher than where you spent the night before. This will help you overcome acute mountain sickness. You should start to sleep after hiking a distance of 1000 metres from sea level and it will keep you safe from acute mountain sickness. You may suffer from common symptoms of Acute mountain sickness like:

  • Headache ( both sides and one side of the head)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting sometimes. 
  • Tiredness and dizziness. 
  • Feel discomfort while sleeping. 
  • Increase the heart rate and shortness of breath. 

You have to apply the following measures to keep you safe from AMS:

  • Stay hydrated and drink at least 4-5 liters of water every day when you cross above 3,000 meters.
  • Finish your day by taking a proper rest. 
  • Consume enough food and calories. 
  • Wear enough and make your body warm. 
  • When you feel most of the AMS symptoms, descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible. 
  • Ascend slowly and acclimatize properly according to the needs of your body. 
  • Travel with a local guide and travel agency so that they will help you to trail for all the possible consequences. 

17. What You Can Expect From Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal trek is the hidden treasure of the Annapurna region. You can expect the following things from the Mardi Himal Trek:

  •  The Mardi Himal trek takes you to an amazing height of 4500m. 
  • It is a beginner-friendly and every age group can complete this trek easily.
  •  A less crowded and tranquil path will allow you to encounter nature without being overly distracted.
  • You can see magnificent views of Mount Fishtail, Annapurna South, and Hiuchuli.
  • The beautiful sunrise and sunset will take your breath away.
  • The stunning sight of this mountain will make you stare for a while.
  • One of the best times to hike in the Mardi Himal trek is between March and April.
  • You can see the mountain filled with snow even from the lower elevation which will motivate you to go to higher elevation.
  • The stunning view of mountains and natural beauty will inspire you to hike more often in the upcoming days. 
  •  Numerous warm tea shops and hotels with wifi, hot showers, and phone charging stations are scattered throughout the trail, making it possible to travel comfortably without camping.
  • The Mardi Himal walk is relatively short, yet it is packed with memorable experiences and convenient conveniences.
  • view 1

18. For Whom Mardi Himal Trek is Suitable?

The Mardi Himal trek is suitable for all age group people. Even though you have zero experience in hiking, you can complete this trek easily. Some people who enjoy this trek are in 

  1. Beginner Trekkers: The Mardi Himal trek is one of the easiest treks in the Annapurna region. It is moderate in comparison to the Everest Base Camp or Annapurna Circuit. It welcomes all those people who are passionate about hiking to gain experiences in the wild. Here, the trekker enjoys the beauty of the Himalayas while doing the trek. 
  2. Nature Enthusiasts: If you are a nature lover and enjoy being near the natural beauty, then the Mardi Himal trek is the best option for you. You can encounter The Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges along with various habitats, including lush forests, terraced farms, and alpine meadows.
  3. Solitude Seekers: The Mardi Himal trek is a less crowded trekking destination in the Annapurna region. If you don't like the crowd and want to enjoy your free time in the lap of wildlife and mountains, then you can trek in the Mardi Himal. 
  4. Fitness Enthusiasts: The moderate trek of Mardi Himal surely requires a reasonable level of physical fitness. As the trail consists of ascending and descending steep trails, you have to be physically fit to complete this hike. 
  5. Photography Enthusiasts: If you’re interested in photography, then you should go to  The Mardi Himal Trek. It offers plenty of opportunities for stunning photography. The panoramic views of the snow-covered mountains, the dawn and sunset panoramas, and the unusual flora and animals along the way will be the topic of your photography. 

19. What is the Off-Season for the Mardi Himal Trek?

The Mardi Himal trek can be done throughout the year. The best and peak seasons of the Mardi Himal Trek are Autumn and Spring while the off-season of the Mardi Himal Trek includes Summer and winter seasons. If you have a busy life and you want to refresh your body and soul by visiting Nepal at any time of the year, then you should do the Mardi Himal trek.  

  • Summer (June to August)

The summer season in Nepal begins in June and lasts until August. If you are a nature lover and want to hike in less crowded areas, then you should plan a trek in this season.  Due to the off-season, the accommodation and service charges will be less than in peak season. The fewer crowds on the trails will make your mind clean inside and outside. The lush greenery will surely enhance the beauty of the hike. If you are a botany enthusiast, then it is the perfect season for hiking as you can see a variety of plants in this area.

You may face difficulties like Heavy rainfall and landslides during the trek. The leeches are very active in monsoon so you have to frequently check on leech bites which will make your trekking a little dangerous. After reaching the destination, you may not see the Clear Mountain view due to fog and clouds. The mist may also cover the mountain ranges and the trip will be wasted. 

  •  Winter (December to February)

You are always welcome to do the Mardi Himal Trek. During the winter season, you can trek with your private group. There will be no difficulties with the accommodation and you can get a private room for yourself even at the highest altitude. It is the quietest season for doing a trek, if you are a nature lover and donot like crowds, you can do it in this season. As the temperature is very cold, you will see snow-covered landscapes with shiny mountain ranges. It creates serene and beautiful weather which will add beauty to your hike and will motivate you to expand beyond your limits. The skies are clear and you can go star gazing at night. You will enjoy the trip.

There are some cons to doing the trek in the winter season. As the temperature drops significantly at night you have to bring lots of warm jackets which will make your bag heavy. Also, on the day the temperature may fall from 0°C to 10°C, and you will have trouble walking in the high altitude. Most of the teahouses and lodges get closed due to off-season so you have to book accordingly. 

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