Mardi Himal trek is an unseen gem yet. Few trekkers make their way to the Mardi Himal Base Camp, which is outstandingly positioned at the base of Mardi Himal and Machapuchhre literally means “Fish tail”. The trail goes along small winding paths, through enchanted rhododendron forests until you climb out of the forest at an elevation around 3,300m. The landscape changes quite abruptly into a rugged high mountain landscape, with amazing views of Mardi Himal, Machapuchre, Annapurna South and Hiunchuli. It is one of the famous short trek routes in Nepal.
The best season to trek in the Mardi Himal is August to October and March to May. Like most of the Annapurna treks, this trek also starts from Pokhara – second biggest city which is naturally blessed place to relax after the trekking from the Himalayas. You can start this trek from multiple points, but easy and scenic is Kande, which can be reached after 1 hours driving from Pokhara. The trail is good, first slowly up, then a bit steeper to Australian Camp (2,060m – 1 hr). Stay overnight in the Australian Camp.
Next day morning, continue trek downhill to Pothana (1,950 m), where there is a check point for permits. You can get your trekking and conservation area permits from Kathmandu or Pokhara before starting your trek. Continue your trek up again to Deurali (2,100m) also called “Pritham Deurali”. Take right turn following the sign towards “Forest Camp” the trail is through jungle, at first up then undulating on the top of a ridge, there is a section just over half way where the trail drops steeply and then slowly gains height and then back onto the ridge and into Forest Camp(2,600m) and rest.
The trail is initially steep leaving Forest Camp but soon gets less steep as we again get upon the ridge. We continue to walk through dense forests admiring Nepal’s rich biodiversity and reach the low camp. From here, the fantastic view of Mt. Machapuchhre (Mt. Fishtail) up the valley is mesmerizing. We can spend some time in the evening observing the local lifestyle. Stay overnight in low camp.
Its okay to leave some of our unnecessary stuffs at low cam which can be collected after returning back. The trail leaves Low Camp again in jungle, but the trees soon start to get smaller and after about one hours trekking broke out of the jungle and onto the open ridge with spectacular views of Machhapuchhre ahead and Annapurna South to left.
We might even come across the Daphe Pheasant (national bird of Nepal) on our way to high camp. We ascend up to the high camp, which the final destination of the day. From here the mountain views are stunning.
Early in the morning, trek to the upper viewpoint where the trail is steep and narrow. The view of the Himalayan vista from here is astonishing. Witness Mardi Himal (5,587m), Annapurna I (8,091m), Annapurna South (7,219m), Hiunchuli (6,441m), BarahaShikhar (Mt. Fang) (7,647m), Tent Peak (5,695m), Singhachuli (6,501m), Machapuchhre (6,993m) and others. It takes about 2 – 3 hours to return back to the high camp from the view tower. We trek back to the high camp for an overnight stay.
Next morning, return down to Low Camp, collect if you have left any unnecessary things. Continue trek to Siddhing for overnight stay which takes about 6 – 7 hrs from High Camp.
After an early breakfast, continue trekking towards Lumre about 2 – 3 hrs, connecting us to motorway. Drive to Pokhara – 2 hrs and relax and enjoy around lakeside, ending your trek.