Mountain Trekking Vs Mountain Biking in Nepal
Nepal is one of the most beautiful places on the face of the Earth, and offers an almost unparalleled array of places to explore. The question however is, what is the best way to explore this culturally rich and sublime place? Some people prefer mountain biking through the country while others believe that mountain trekking on foot is the way to go. Both options offer a variety of advantages.
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Mountain Trekking in Nepal
Trekking in Nepal offers people the chance to trek through isolated, remote cultural and ethnic villages that are located at the foot of mountains and visit faraway destinations at charming regions and valleys that give a unique look at the country’s cultural and natural appearance, with beautiful natural terrains and landscapes that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Trekkers in Nepal get to walk on winding trekking trails that pass through alpine forests, flowering meadows in open pasturelands and acreages filled with dainty country houses and mountain peaks. Picturesque sites such as rolling hills and gaping wide valleys are open to those who choose to trek on old paths and trails on their journey.
Around 200,000 people come to trek in Nepal each and every year, and there are many different treks to choose from. Whichever trek you choose to go on will likely depend on your own personal preferences such as the particular level of difficulty they want, the number of days they wish to go trekking in Nepal, budget, the season you intend to visit Nepal in, whether you are alone or in company, and whether you are happy with a more tourist-centric trek or are looking for something a little more obscure and remote.
Best Treks in Nepal
One of the absolute best treks in Nepal is known as Everett Base Camp. This offers an excellent terrain for trekking in the shadow of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the entire world and with plenty of other stunning peaks also in the vicinity including Kala Patthar, which stands at 5600 meters and offers great views of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse. Here trekkers also get the chance to meet with the Sherpa people, who are famous all over the world for their climbing abilities.
Another great trek in Nepal is Annapurna Circuit. With lovely Himalayan scenery and fine terrain for trekking, Annapurna Circuit offers a nicely comfy trek with plenty of tea houses, and trekkers get to cross the widest pass on the planet – the Thorong La Pass, which is 5416 meters wide. The large altitude differences also make the trekking terrain highly diverse. However the trekking experience has unfortunately been slightly decreased in recent years by road building in some places.
Mountain Biking in Nepal
Trekking may be the most well known form of outdoor adventure when it comes to Nepal, but it is by no means the only one. The sport that is the fastest growing in this amazing country is actually mountain biking and has evolved at seemingly lightning speed from a rare pastime practiced by a tiny minority to a regular event for many individuals. There are an astonishing amount of ancient trails on which mountain bikers can practice their sport, with walking trails criss-crossing the entire nation to such a degree that no one knows how many there even are. Many of the best mountain biking areas are genuinely wild and rugged and not easily accessible, but there are many others that are near to town and there seems to be no limit to the varied ways enthusiasts can enjoy mountain biking in Nepal, from camping to roughing it within tea houses or enjoying stylish hotels or just making a day of it.
Best Mountain biking trails in Nepal
The Kathmandu Valley is the place where mountain biking in Nepal really began. Mountain bikers can take from one to fourteen days to bike around the Valley, with day trips from a cosy hotel available as well as more rugged and lengthy adventures with accommodation available in places that are rather less populated. The highlights of the Kathmandu Valley mountain biking experience include a flexible itinerary as well as many diverse cultures and a multitude of astonishing trails suitable for all manner of riding styles.
The trail from Pokhara to Kathmandu is also a classic, particularly for those with a preference for the touring style of mountain biking adventures. This trail stays relatively close to civilization, meaning bikers can stay overnight in simple guest houses or tea houses during their journey and does not require much in the way of gear. Diverse cultures are again aplenty, and the “mid-hills” of Nepal offer some stunning mountain scenery to enjoy along the way with a simple point to point form of journey.
Pros and cons
One of the biggest advantages of both mountain trekking and mountain biking are the health benefits they can provide. Mountain trekking can help with weight loss, cardiovascular strength, and the building of agile muscles and strong bones, in addition to offering a number of mental health benefits such as cutting down on stress. Mountain biking also improves heart health, offers less joint stress than some other physical activities such as running, and even increases brain power, in addition to similar benefits to trekking such as reduced stress.
One of the potential downsides to mountain trekking and biking is that hiking at altitude can sometimes cause fatigue, mild headaches, dizziness and nausea, particularly for those unused to such high altitudes. However the pros of mountain trekking and mountain biking far outweigh the cons.