Trekking in Nepal with kids/ Best hikes in Nepal for kids
Trekking in Nepal with kids may seem as overwhelming as the Himalayas are tall. Let me be the first to say, “It is not.” In fact, it might be one of the easiest trips for you and your kids. Some of the best hiking trails in Nepal are perfect for kids. The Poon Hill trek is one example and is my top pick for family hikes. There are many facilities and services available along the trails, which make trekking in Nepal with Kids easy.
Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventure will provide all the services and facilities to make your hiking trip with your family safe, fun, and exciting. We have skilled porters and expert guides to make your trip easy. Our guides are trained to identify altitude sickness and how to prevent it. We also have health and medical staff on hand if an accident happens. Our tours for families with kids are arranged so that there are frequent locations to access food, water, bathrooms, and comfortable lodges and tea houses. These hikes were also chosen because of their relative ease of completion, short time to completion, and access to roads or airports. In this blog post I present some challenges to trekking in Nepal with kids, the best hikes in Nepal for kids, the best times to travel to Nepal, and what to pack. I hope you enjoy it.
- Altitude sickness is probably the largest challenge for everybody ascending above 12,000 ft, but it can also affect people as low as 8,000 ft above sea level. Children are more prone to be affected by altitude sickness and the symptoms are more difficult to recognize. The best solution is to stay below 12,000 ft and acclimate slowly.
- Exhaustion from hiking long distances is another issue you might encounter. Thankfully it is easily avoidable. There are plenty of rest locations along the trail and rooms for rent in tea houses. If your little one can’t walk far it is entirely possible to have a porter carry your child. Horseback rides are also available in most locations.
- Feeding your little one can seem like murder at times. I know because I have a few picky eaters in my family, and I am one of them. If your family has any dietary restrictions, you can tell your tour provider and they will make all the necessary arrangements for you. We can even provide you with a kitchen, if you prefer.
- Illnesses are scary, especially if you are in a foreign place. Fortunately, there are doctors and pharmacies available at specific locations along most trails. A helicopter can evacuate an ill or injured family member within minutes of being called.
- There are plenty of electrical outlets at the tea houses to charge devices for entertainment while not trekking. And yes, there is cell phone service on most trails.
Best Hikes in Nepal for Kids
The Poon Hill trek made the top of the list because it can be hiked in 4 to 6 days. The max elevation you will reach on the trek is 10,531 ft. The highest overnight elevation is 9,429ft in Ghorepani. In addition, you can take a car up or down most of the way if you want to shorten your hiking more. One of the things I love most about this trek is the Rhododendron forest you hike through to the top of Ghoripani. The trees enter full bloom in late March and early April. And if that wasn’t enough to make the number 1 spot, you can see 2 of the world’s 10 tallest mountains form Poon Hill. The trail has an abundance of stairs and a lot of resting places. It is an easy to mildly difficult hike for an adult.
Lower Dolpa is one perfect for families with children. This trekking route is not as popular as the Annapurna or Everest trails, which makes it perfect for people who don’t want to contend with others. Lower Dolpa features wide open, and charming views of the mountains from an elevation of 8,120 ft. Lower Dolpa has an airport in Juphal, which I recommend utilizing then doing day hikes around Juphal. The entire trip can be completed in 3 days.
If your family prefers jungles with beautiful vegetation and equally amazing wildlife, then the jungle safari hike in Chitwan National Park is perfect for you. The hike is extremely easy, flat, and short. You can see endangered animals like the one horned rhinoceros, and the Gharial Crocodile. The adventure starts with an elephant ride through the forest and leads into a canoe trip along the Rapti river. After the canoe trip the hike begins, which lasts for about 40 minutes. At the end of the hike you can explore the elephant sanctuary. Rhinoceroses, tigers, and sloth bears, oh my!
The Australian Camp hike is very similar to the Poon Hill hike. You will have many of the same views but with fewer people and at a lower elevation. The maximum altitude you will come to is 6,200 ft. The people are also friendlier or at least more appreciative of the visit. The destination is drivable for the most part and only requires a little bit of hiking to get to the look out point. The whole trip can be completed in 3 days.
I fell in love with the Langtang hike when I did it in 2016. It is a mildly strenuous hike, which follows the Langtang River through a canyon and a deciduous forest. Langtang is at an elevation of 11,154 ft and it is a complete joy to hike to. This hike is a perfect blend of the Namche Baazar and Poon Hill hikes because of its incredible scenery and beautiful rhododendron blooms in April. The complete hike can be done in 7 days, but if you want truly breathtaking views take another 2 days and hike up to Kyanjin Gompa at an elevation 12,696 ft. I would reserve the hike to Kyanjin Gompa for pre-teens and older due to elevation concerns.
The Namche Bazaar trek offers world class views of the 1st and 4th tallest mountains in the world. From the top Namche you can see Everest, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Amadablam! In my opinion the view of Amadablam alone is worth the trek, but these 4 mountains together make the view world class. Namche is at an elevation of 11,286 ft, which makes it a little challenging for the little ones. This trek should probably be reserved for the pre-teens. You should be fine as long as you remember to go slowly. A round trip trek can be done in 5 days
Best time to travel to Nepal
The best time to travel to Nepal with kids is in the Spring March and April. These months have the warmest weather without being too hot or too cold. In April the Rhododendron trees bloom to which is an added benefit to hiking in the spring. This is also the second most popular time to travel to Nepal. The first is in the fall, which has arguably better views and is a little cooler. The winter season is the third best time hike or the first if you like cold weather and the occasional snowstorm.
If you can avoid it, please do not plan your trip in the summer! It is hot, humid, and the monsoon rains make travel dangerous. There are occasional mud slides and road outages, which makes roads a little dangerous and keeping an itinerary a little more difficult.
Gear for trekking in Nepal with kids
I recommend bringing one item of each except for socks and underwear. For these items I recommend bringing 1 pair for each day you will be hiking. There is laundry service available along most of the hikes, but often they might not have a drying service. Hiking in wet and soggy cloths is not fun.
- Hiking pants
- Short sleeve shirt
- Long sleeve shirt
- Underwear bottoms and tops, if you ware bras
- Socks (preferably merino wool)
- Hiking shoes (breathable)
- Toiletries (toothbrush toothpaste)
- Water bottle
If you have a porter you might want to consider bringing some extra gear to be more comfortable. My suggestions include:
- Jacket/ sweatshirt
- Rain jacket
- Electronic equipment (phone, game boy)
- Mosquito repellent
- Water purifier
Chances are your mobile provider does not cover Nepal. You will have to buy a cellphone. Upper Himalayan Treks and Adventures provides its clients with free phones, but if you are going to attempt it without service you should know what kind of phone and service plan to get. There are two cell phone services providers in Nepal, Nepal Telecom and NCell. I prefer NCell for general use. Both companies will have mixed service coverage in the mountains, which is why I recommend a dual SIM phone. It is a little more expensive, but you will almost always be able to make a phone call with it in any of the 6 destinations mentioned earlier. A cell phone will cost anywhere between $20 to $60. You can buy minutes in the form of a phone card from almost every shop keeper on the trek or you can buy them directly form the cell phone service provider.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Have a safe, fun, and exciting time in Nepal