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Mardi Himal Trek Guide – Best itinerary to follow

Overview of Mardi Himal Trek

There are myriad options for trekking—that suit every type of traveler— you can opt from Pokhara. Mardi Himal Trek is another equally impressive option for a short trek (about 3-5 days) in the Himalayas if you are on a tight schedule. You will be rewarded with unspoiled forest boasting rhododendron (national flower of Nepal) and mountain vistas. The journey to get here is a part of an experience itself. Hikers flock to catch the soothing view of craggy mountains covered in snow backed by the pleasing color revealed when the early sun rays strike over there. As the sun begins to rise, ineffable beauty ascends upon the mountain.

Highlights of Mardi Himal Trek

With a path that takes you through a rhododendron forest, expect to be enchanted by the enthralling view of Mardi Himal itself, Annapurna South (7,219m), Hiunchuli (6,441m), Gangapurna, Machhapuchhre (6,993m) popularly known as Fishtail. Keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the colorful Danphe pheasant (national bird of Nepal).
It’s possible to complete this trek in 3 days without reaching the base camp which is the difficult part of this trek.
You can combine this trek with Annapurna Base Camp Trek and Ghandruk Village Tour. You can do this trek independently.

**Note: Hiking to Mardi Himal needs two permits: TIMS and ACAP. Your trekking company will handle this. But, if you are an independent traveler, buy the permits prior to your trekking either in Kathmandu or in Pokhara.

Facts of Mardi Himal Trek

Maximum Altitude: 4,500m
Fitness level: Moderate
Number of walking hours/day: 5–6 hours
Duration: 3-5 days depending on routes and length of walking

When to start (Best time to trek Mardi Himal):

Though the Mardi Himal trek can be done all year round, I recommend you to go either in the Autumn or Spring season.

Autumn (September–November): This is a dry season where the sky gets clear and the weather is clement. You have a great chance of having a close-up view of the mountains. This is the main (first) season for trekkers in Nepal. That’s why the trail often gets crowded with internal as well as foreign visitors.

Spring (March-May): This is the shoulder season where the spring awakens in the hilly regions, the best part being Rhododendron (a national flower of Nepal) along with the other flowers blooming all over the jungle. Trek in this season if you prefer a quieter trail.

Winter (December–February): If the chilling cold doesn’t get on your nerves, you are good to go trekking in the winter season too. You will be rewarded with mountains and the surroundings completely hooded with the snow due to snowfall which creates awe-inspiring scenery (also, the quieter trail and serene surroundings). Visibility for the view remains good most of the time during winter.

Monsoon (Summer)(June–August): Though the Poon Hill trek can be done in monsoon, I will not recommend this. There is a high chance you may not get a glimpse of the peaks due to the clouds wafting all around. Other complications like slippery and muddy paths, mosquitoes, frequent rainfall, etc. are worth mentioning.

Where to Start the Mardi Himal Trek:

Where to start the trekking to Mardi Himal depends on your route and other treks you may want to combine with. There are two main routes you can follow. You can choose one that best suits you according to your time availability and physical fitness.
1) Via Kande (Most Popular Route, and my recommended route too)
2) Via Hemja
You can follow the same route or follow the new route while returning.

What you should do:

If you have booked your trekking with an agency, they should make an arrangement for your trip to Kande or Sidhing (depending on your trekking route and itinerary).
If you are on your own, you have 2 options:

1) Public bus/Public Jeep: Catch a bus that departs from Pokhara-Baglung Bus Park, which is located alongside the Pokhara-Baglung Highway. The stop where you should get off depends on the route of a bus and the route of your trek as well.
If you catch a bus going all the way to Baglung, you should get off at Kande. It’s about a 1-hour ride but a cheap option.
If you catch a jeep that goes to Sidhing, get off at Sidhing. Jeeps to Sidhing are available from Hari Chowk.
You can even reserve the jeep all the way to Kande or Sidhing if you are in a group. Your stop again depends on your trekking route. (Read the individual itineraries below
for specific ideas)

2) Taxi/Cab: Hiring a taxi to Kande can be a comfortable and fast alternative. You can hire a cab from Pokhara-Baglung Bus Park. But it can be quite more expensive than public transport, obviously.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Catch a jeep that goes all the way to Sidhing. Start your trek from there.

Mardi Himal Trek Itinerary

If you want to start your trek from Kande: (The most Popular Route)

6 Days Itinerary

Day 1: Pokhara to Kande (1 hr drive), Kande to Australian Camp to Pitam Deurali (2,100, 4-5 hrs trek)
Day 2: Pitam Deurali to Forest Camp to Low Camp (3,050 m, 6-7 hrs trek)
Day 3: Low Camp to High Camp (3,500 m); (5-6 hrs trek)
Day 4: High Camp to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4,500m) (Day Hike), return to High Camp (5-6 hrs round trek)
Day 5: High camp to Sidhing
Day 6: Sidhing to Pokhara by jeep (1.5 hrs drive)

If you think you’re physically fit, the above trek can be shortened by one day.

5 Days Itinerary

Day 1: Pokhara to Kande (1 hr drive), Kande to Australian Camp to Pitam Deurali (2,100, 4 hrs trek)
Day 2: Pitam Deurali to Forest Camp to Low Camp (3,050 m, 6-7 hrs trek)
Day 3: Low Camp to High Camp (3,500 m); (5-6 hrs trek)
Day 4: High Camp to Mardi Himal Base Camp (4,500 m) (Day Hike), return to High Camp (5-6 hrs trek), then trek to Badal Danda (3,300 m)
Day 5: Badal Danda to Sidhing (3-4 hrs trek) to Pokhara by jeep (1.5 hrs drive)