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Situated just east of one of the most popular treks of Nepal, the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Mardi Himal trek is a hidden gem. Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp spectacularly situated at the base of Mardi Himal and the impressive Machapuchhre.
The trail goes along small winding paths, through magical rhododendron forests until you climb out of the forest at an elevation around 3,300 m. The landscape changes quite abruptly into a rugged high mountain landscape, with amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli.
From High Camp (3580 m) you can climb up to Mardi Himal Base Camp in about 3-4 hours, which offers spectacular close up views of the entire Annapurna Range.
There are simple guesthouses and homestays along the entire route. If you plan to do this trek in the winter months please check with a local tour operator if the lodges are open.
Mardi Himal Trek blesses the trekkers with an overwhelming adventure. You will love the enticing views of the snow-capped peaks in the Annapurna Region. Walking across the chain of green hills, you will have the most beautiful memories.
The scenic natural beauty is immensely scattered throughout the region. Walking past the traditional Gurung villages and witnessing Buddhist culture is truly blissful. The warm hospitality of villagers at villages like Kande, Pothana, Siding, Deurali, etc is remarkable.
This wonderful journey takes you to 4,500 meters to display the marvelous landscapes. The Low Camp, Forest Camp, High Camp, and the Mardi Himal Base Camp are such amazing places to be at.
Mardi Himal trek was accessed only by limited trekking groups with tents and catering team for long time. The trek follows beaten trails of shepherds as it still provides summer grazing. The trek was officially opened in 2012 and is still pristine. There are limited teahouses with basic facilities. This is a short relatively easy and unspoiled trek not far from Pokhara. Yet it is highly diverse with cultural insight, beautiful forest walks and alpine landscape. As the trail mostly stays along the ridge, the altitude gain becomes more gradual.
After breakfast, drive for about 40 mints to Kande on Pokhara Baglung highway. The trail climbs for about 1 ½ hrs to the ridge at 2,060 m. The clearing in the forest with lodge settlement is known as ‘Australian camp’. The place is scenic with a panoramic view of the Annapurna range and Pokhara valley. The trail further winds through the rhododendron forest to the mountain pass called ‘Deurali’. Deurali is overlooking into the Modi Khola valley wedged between Annapurna South and Mardi Himal / Mt Fishtail.
After spending a beautiful morning in the ridge-top village of Deurali, we head off the main Annapurna trekking trail and follow the forested ridge to Forest camp. Since this is a new trekking destination, there are no teahouses along the way and we need to carry pack lunch and sufficient water. The day’s walk in the rhododendron forest is beautiful with gradual uphill.
The trail gradually climbs through the rhododendron forest following the ridge. The low camp has got a couple of tea houses in the clearing of the forest. The view of Mt Fishtail and Mardi Himal appears much closer. You find yourself closer to clear blue sky with a view of layers of Himalayan foothills and a sweeping valley towards the south.
The trail further climbs along the ridge towards Mardi Himal and Mt Fishtail. From Badal Danda, we leave the tree line and arrive in the shrubby alpine zone. Snowcapped peaks of Annapurna South, Huinchuli and Fishtail loom in a distance above the deep valley on either side. High camp is a small pasture after the climb with 3 lodges. Here you find yourself above the clouds and closer to snowcapped peaks.