Himalaya Hiking Guides
Himalaya Hikes
Nepal Treks
Nepal Hiking Tour
Nepal Hiking Tour
Nepal Hiking Tour

Hikers without Borders 2019

DATES: March 22 - April 9, 2019
PRICE: $1810 USD Per Person
GROUP SIZE: 15 Participants

Please Note: this trip is full, but feel free to email us to be added to a waiting list. You can also stay tuned to Backpacker for information about more international philanthropy trips in the future!

Finally, while this trip is full, All Hand and Hearts — Smart Response always need volunteers in Nepal and elsewhere, so we heartily recommend reaching out to them directly to take advantage of more volunteer opportunities.

Join BACKPACKER magazine on a life-list trek in Nepal and help put children back in schools. BACKPACKER and Wildland Trekking are partnering to send a team to Nepal in spring 2019!

Participants will:
  • Join BACKPACKER Editor-in-Chief Dennis Lewon on a weeklong school rebuilding project — no skills required; training will be provided. 
  • Support communities in need. After a 2015 earthquake devastated Nepal, more than 5000 schools were damaged. We’ve partnered with the nonprofit All Hand and Hearts — Smart Response for this volunteer rebuilding project.  
  • Then trek through the world’s highest mountains on a 9-day journey on the little-known Nar Phu route in the Annapurna region.

Trip Details

March 22

Participants fly into Kathmandu. Participants are responsible for their own flights. We will rendezvous at the airport and make our way to our first night's hotel. We will have dinner together and an orientation meeting this evening.
March 23

Today we will leave Kathmandu and travel to the building site in the Sindhuli District. This is approximately a 4 hour drive. We will get settled in our tent accommodations and get oriented to the area and the project.
March 24-29

These days we will be working on the building project for 8-12 hours each day. Training and tools will be provided. All meals and tent accommodations are included during this time.
March 29-30

On March 29th we will finish up our work on the building project, pack up, and head back to Kathmandu (4 hours). The 30th is a rest day set aside for sightseeing, relaxation, and recuperation.
March 31

Today we transfer to Koto Village in jeeps. It is an 11-12 hour drive along one of the most unique and scenic roads in Nepal. One part of our route takes us along an incredible road blasted out of a cliff, and we drive by waterfalls, deep gorges and amazing views. After our arrival in Koto we will get settled in our tea house accommodations for the evening, and enjoy a classic Nepali dinner.
April 1
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 8,592 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11,748 feet
Today we embark on our trek with an initial stretch to the town of Meta. We begin by crossing the river and entering the Nar and Phu Valleys. Today's hike takes us through majestic forests, through a narrow canyon, under a broad waterfall, and out into the open for big mountain views. The last stint into Meta ascends a steep hill, where we earn jaw-dropping views of some of the giant glaciated peaks in the region.

We will check into our tea house, have some to relax and/or sightsee, then meet for a much-deserved dinner.
April 2
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 11,748 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13,464 feet
After breakfast we'll depart Meta, and begin to see some of the iconic, spectacular Tibetan Buddhist chortens for which Nar and Phu are known. Our hike meanders along a ridge with a wonderful view of a magnificent monastery. We'll continue hiking through breathtaking canyons and gorges, then up a steep ascent to the village of Phu.

After getting settled into our tea house we'll go on a short hike up to the famous Tashi Lhakhang Gompa to honor Lama Karma Sonam Rimpoche who arrived in Nepal with the Dalai Lama in the late 1950's. We'll return to Phu for a wonderful hot, Nepali dinner.
April 3
  • Hiking Time: Optional up to 5 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 13,464 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 15,748 feet
Today is a layover day to acclimatize in Phu. You'll have the option of exploring the village and relaxing/recuperating, or hiking up to the Himlung Himal base camp. Phu is a fascinating village, and a day of exploration here is well spent. Opportunities abound to be around the villagers as they spin wool (sheep and yak), crush seeds into oil paste, and engage in other daily activities.

For those participants interested in an extra challenge, we offer a trek up to Himlung Himal base camp. Himlung Himal (23,379 feet) was recently opened for climbing, and the route to its base camp takes us through a stunning glacial valley and past herds of blue sheep grazing on steep cliffs.
April 4
  • Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 11,517 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13,464 feet
Today we retrace our steps back toward Meta, but deviate at the Nar Phedi monastery, which is our accommodation for tonight. Amazingly, the monastery is all that Nar Phedi consists of.

The monastery accommodations are neat and clean, and the nuns are exceptionally gracious and welcoming. We'll join them in the kitchen and help/watch them cook supper on a rustic fireplace. In the evening the nuns often do a blessing ("puja"), which we are welcome to observe. A modest donation box exists for visitors to contribute to the health of this wonderful, friendly place.
April 5
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 11,517 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 13,563 feet
Today is a relaxing hike. We ascend from Nar Phedi and hike along a winding trail up a hill toward Nar. We hike past a line of colorfully painted chortens on the way into the ancient village of Nar around lunch time. Nar is not very far from the famous, very popular Annapurna Trail, but it is off the beaten path enough to be rarely visited by trekkers and is as stunningly picturesque as Nepal gets.

The rest of today is set aside to explore and enjoy Nar. We'll reconvene for dinner at our tea house.
April 6
  • Hiking Time: 8-9 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 13,563 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 17,292 feet
Today is a strenuous hike so we'll wake before sunrise, have a quick breakfast and begin trekking towards Kang La Pass, which connects us to the popular Annapurna Circuit. Kang La Pass is not a technically difficult pass, but the high elevation (17,292 feet) will take its toll on us. From the pass we will soak up views over Tilicho Peak, Gangapurna, Annapurna II, and other towering Himalayan giants.

We'll descend from the pass and make our way to Ngawal, which sits along the Annapurna Circuit. You will notice the difference of being on the Circuit, as the tea houses are larger, the menus much more extensive and we will have access to cell signals and wifi.
April 7
  • Hiking Time: 4 hours
  • Lowest Elevation: 15,003 feet
  • Highest Elevation: 11,748 feet
Today is the last of our amazing trek. We'll notice the temperatures rise and the flora become much greener as we descend more than 6000 feet from where we were yesterday, at Kang La pass. We pass a beautiful lake and arrive in Pisang, where we get picked up by jeeps and driven to Besisahar, where a comfortable lodge awaits.
April 8

Today we board jeeps and drive back to Kathmandu.
April 9

This is the departure day for which to schedule your outbound flights. As a group we will make our way to the airport and say our fond farewells. What an amazing 2+ weeks it's been!

What's Included

  • Transportation for the duration of the trip
  • Hotel, tent and tea house lodging for the duration of the trip
  • Tea house lodging during the trek
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • Professional, certified Himalayan hiking guides
  • The majority of meals (lunches and dinners in Kathmandu before/after the trek are not included)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Bar bills, drink bills, extra snacks, telephone bills , wifi bills and other personal expenses (shopping/ laundry)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (required)
  • Gratuity for trekking guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD is recommended.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.

Pre-trip communication

BACKPACKER Editor-in-chief Dennis Lewon will communicate directly with the group on the details once the trip is filled. If you have any questions about the itinerary or costs, please email Dennis Lewon (dlewon(at)backpacker.com).

Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at the airport on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel, where we'll conduct an orientation meeting the first evening (your flight should arrive in Kathmandu before 5PM). Any questions about the details of the rendezvous, please email Dennis Lewon (dlewon(at)backpacker.com).

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join this trip
  • Anyone younger than 17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian

Trip Insurance Requirements

Field evacuation and repatriation insurance is required on all Nepal trips as a condition of partnership terms with our Nepali vendors. We also recommend medical insurance.

If you need to purchase field evacuation or repatriation insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance and policies meet all Nepali requirements.

For information on the recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have the required insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions (of particular note for Nepal is to check field evacuation elevation limits).

Please bring a copy of your insurance policy to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.

Weather in Nepal

Nepal is home to the highest mountain range in the world, the Himalayas. Kathmandu is at an elevation of 4600 feet (1400 meters), but the high points on our Nepal Treks are very high (13,000 to 18,000 feet). Because of these wild elevation changes, the temperatures and weather can also vary wildly.

The average temperatures and precipitation in the Himalayan region are:

Kathmandu Himalayas (11K ft)
Month Hi Low Precip Hi Low Precip
March 75° F 46° F 10 mm 49° F 27° F 31 mm
April 82° F 54° F 29 mm 55° F 31° F 36 mm
May 84° F 59° F 70 mm 57° F 38° F 55 mm
June 84° F 63° F 129 mm 59° F 42° F 171 mm
July 81° F 64° F 325 mm 60° F 45° F 283 mm
August 81° F 64° F 239 mm 60° F 45° F 261 mm
September 81° F 63° F 175 mm 58° F 42° F 161 mm
October 77° F 57° F 67 mm 54° F 34° F 63 mm
Reserve a Spot

To reserve a spot, please complete this form and we will respond promptly with availability and any other requested information. A $500 deposit is required to reserve your spot, with the remaining balance due on January 22, 2019.

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