Makalu Region (Makalu Barun National Park)

The Makalu Region, nestled in the eastern part of Nepal, is a pristine and remote trekking destination that offers trekkers an opportunity to explore rugged terrain, dense forests, and majestic peaks. This region is home to Makalu Barun National Park, established in 1992, which covers an area of 1,500 square kilometers and encompasses some of the highest peaks in the world. Trekkers in the Makalu Region are rewarded with stunning natural beauty, diverse flora and fauna, and a sense of adventure in one of Nepal’s least visited areas.

Popular Trekking Routes

1. Makalu Base Camp Trek

  • Duration: 18-22 days
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Best Time: March to May, October to November
  • Highlights: The Makalu Base Camp Trek is a challenging journey that takes trekkers into the heart of the Himalayas, offering breathtaking views of Makalu (8,485 meters), the fifth highest peak in the world. Starting from Tumlingtar, the trek follows the Arun River valley, passing through lush rhododendron and oak forests, traditional Rai and Sherpa villages, and high alpine meadows. The trail culminates at Makalu Base Camp, situated at the foot of the towering Makalu Glacier, where trekkers can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, including Everest, Lhotse, and Baruntse.

2. Three Passes Trek

  • Duration: 20-24 days
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Best Time: March to May, October to November
  • Highlights: The Three Passes Trek is a challenging and adventurous route that combines the beauty of the Makalu Region with the famous Everest region. Starting from Tumlingtar, the trek crosses three high mountain passes – Sherpani Col (6,100 meters), West Col (6,143 meters), and Amphu Laptsa Pass (5,845 meters) – before reaching the iconic Everest Base Camp. The trek offers stunning views of Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, and other peaks, as well as opportunities to explore remote valleys, pristine lakes, and traditional Sherpa villages.

Unique Features

Untouched Wilderness:
The Makalu Region remains one of the least visited areas in Nepal, offering trekkers a sense of solitude and immersion in untouched wilderness. The rugged terrain, deep valleys, and dense forests create an atmosphere of adventure and exploration.

Rich Biodiversity:
Makalu Barun National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with diverse ecosystems ranging from subtropical forests to alpine meadows. Trekkers may encounter a variety of wildlife, including the elusive red panda, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, and over 400 species of birds.

Cultural Diversity:
The Makalu Region is home to a mix of ethnic groups, including the Rai, Sherpa, and ethnic Tibetans, each with their own unique culture, traditions, and architecture. Trekkers can visit traditional villages, monasteries, and chhortens, and experience the warm hospitality of the local people.

Spectacular Mountain Views:
The region offers unparalleled views of some of the highest peaks in the world, including Makalu, Everest, Lhotse, and Baruntse. Trekkers can enjoy panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and deep valleys at every turn.

Practical Information

Trekkers need a Makalu Barun National Park Entry Permit and a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) card. These permits can be obtained in Kathmandu or Tumlingtar.

Accommodation options along the trekking routes include teahouses, lodges, and camping grounds. Facilities may be more basic in remote areas, so trekkers should be prepared for rustic accommodations and carry necessary camping gear if planning to camp.

Getting There:
The trek typically starts with a flight from Kathmandu to Tumlingtar, the gateway to the Makalu Region. From Tumlingtar, trekkers embark on a scenic drive to the trailhead or take a short domestic flight to start their trek.

The Makalu Region offers a unique and rewarding trekking experience for those seeking adventure, natural beauty, and cultural immersion in one of Nepal’s most remote and untouched regions.