I had the opportunity recently to meet with Mim Hamal, Team Leader for The Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme, who was in the United States attending the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial Conference. He is responsible for building and promoting The Great Himalaya Trail (GHT) in Nepal, the highest walking trail in the world, which stretches the entire length of the Himalayas in Nepal. The 1700 km trail has two routes, a cultural route, and a more challenging route through the high mountains.
One of the primary purposes of this trail is to attract tourists to some of the Nepal’s most beautiful areas, but also some of its poorest. There are ten sections to the trail, each offering different challenges and opportunities.
The GHT is a network of existing paths and trails linking established trekking regions with new and recently explored trails aside the beaten track of commercial trekking tourism in new and exciting destinations from East to West Nepal. It comprises 10 sections: each a destination within itself and its own unique blend of spectacular scenery and local culture. Each GHT section offers a separately marketable trek along the main and cultural route of the GHT of 2-3 weeks length. In addition, there are many side-treks; some short, some long, some teahouse-style, some camping treks
The main route is winding beneath the world’s highest peaks at an altitude of 3000-5000m. The lower, cultural route brings tourists to some of the most remote communities on earth and provides an opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures and traditions of the Himalayas. Less than 10 people have completed the entire mountain section of the trail.