Makalu Region offers some of Nepal’s best off-the-beaten path treks. Sheltered by the fifth highest mountain in the word, Makalu (8,485m), a trek to this region introduces you to a pristine Himalayan landscape as well as unique indigenous cultures.
Located in eastern Nepal, Makalu Region encompasses the culturally rich Arun Valley and Makalu Barun National Park. The park is a storehouse of rare Himalayan flora and fauna.
The trekking routes along the Makalu Region are secluded, wild and sparsely populated. With very few teahouses, the trails are ideal for fully organized or camping treks.
One of the wettest regions in Nepal, Makalu Region is filled with lush green alpine meadows, waterfalls and glacier-fed rivers. Home to Rai, Limbu and Sherpa ethnic communities the region is part of the Sacred Himalayan Landscape. The Sacred Himalayan Landscape is a protected zone in the eastern Himalayas where local communities actively participate to protect and preserve the environment.
Makalu Barun National Park, covering an area of 1,500 sq. km, protects one of the few pristine ecosystems surviving in our planet. The park is home to 25 of the 30 species of rhododendron found in Nepal, 47 types of orchids and other rare Himalayan medicinal plants. 440 species of birds and 315 species of butterflies are found inside the park. Snow leopard, clouded leopard, red panda, Himalayan tahr, musk deer, Asian golden cat etc. are some of the endangered wildlife sheltered by the park.
The Rai, Limbu, Yakkha and Sherpa communities living in the Makalu Region have their own distinct language and culture. The Rai and Limbu communities of Arun Valley are known for their expertise in producing decorative hand woven Dhaka (traditional textile of Nepal). These communities take an active part in protecting their fragile environment by taking up guardianship of community forests. Natural resources are protected by controlling grazing and felling of trees.
While Makalu (8,485m), the fifth highest mountain in the world looms over the region, other mountains like Chamlang (7,319m), Baruntse (7,129m) and Mera Peak (6,476m) rises to form a protective fence of snow, rock and ice. These peaks are quite popular among mountaineering groups. Makalu, though a couple of hundred meters lower than Mount Everest, is considered to be technically tougher and challenging than Everest. Edmund Hillary, the world’s first summiteer of Mount Everest, had a tough time climbing Makalu. He failed twice before finally making it to the summit.
The first group of mountaineers to plan an expedition to Makalu were a bunch of American adventurers led by Riley Keegan. They journeyed to the mountain in 1954 and were probably the first group of foreigners to explore the region. The first two climbers to reach the summit of Makalu in 1955 was Lionel Terray and Jean Couzzay.
Makalu maybe the highest mountain in the region, but Mera Peak, Nepal’s highest trekking peak, is the region’s busiest peak. Every climbing season, climbers looking for a short and slightly challenging climb make their way to the slopes of this 6,000 meter peak.
Makalu Base camp Trek, Arun Valley Trek and Amphu Labtsa Pass trek are some of the popular treks in this region. These treks takes you past a secluded landscape filled with beautiful alpine scenery, isolated mountain villages, snow covered mountain passes and glaciers.
Tougher than most of the treks in Nepal, the treks in the Makalu Region offers a pure mountain hiking experience, devoid of all the fancy trappings. As there are few teahouses and villages en-route, you camp outdoors and experience nature in the raw.
To experience the last of the pristine Himalayan landscape you need to trek to this region. Visit this magnificent region with us by choosing one of our itineraries.