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The Great Himalaya Trail is a network of tracks established by local communities, although some are very rarely used. The variety of trails in much of the Himalaya mean you can design your own trekking experience, from self-guiding to intermediate mountaineering – the GHT has got it all!

The highest feasible route (GHT High Route) is 4,585km and takes you through the most spectacular mountain scenery on earth. For those wanting to immerse themselves in local communities there is a multitude of lower village-to-village routes (GHT Cultural Trails) that can be self-guided. At the moment only the GHT High Route has been thoroughly documented so if you want to contribute to the Great Himalaya Trail network please send us details of your favourite treks!

Some regions are set up to cater form trekking groups and others re-define basic. Places like the far-northeast Himalaya in Arunachal Pradesh are wild, extremely remote and ideal for those seeking a formidable challenge.

Right next door is Bhutan where trekking becomes a way of appreciating traditional cultures and experiencing the astounding natural beauty of the Himalaya.

Sikkim sits between Bhutan and Nepal and is known for huge butterflies, rare orchids and extensive forests home to red panda – it’s a trekking paradise!

The most extensive and easy to access GHT network is in Nepal. During the last 50-years tourism has bought benefits to many remote mountain communities but less than 20% of Nepal’s himals are regularly trekked.

The Northwest India states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir are home to many of the Himalaya’s holiest pilgrimage sites and some of the finest mountain scenery on earth.

Northern Pakistan is where the Himalaya collides with the Karakorum and Hindu Kush creating some of the most spectacular and rugged mountain scenery on earth.

The largest Himalayan region is the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) often referred to as The Roof of the World. Trekking and adventure options here are very limited but there is still heaps to do! Although not strictly within the Great Himalaya Range, the northern approach to Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) and the pilgrimage route around Kailash are very popular treks.

GHT Country Summary

CountryHigh route km / days
Total trail network km / days
Bhutan 450 / 34
 550 / 47
 1700 / 150
 3000 / 440
India - northwest states 1550 / 110
 2850 / 425**
India - Sikkim 185 / 19
 250 / unknown
India - Arunachal Pradesh 450 / 28
 700 / unknown
China - Tibet
 550* / unknown
 250 / 21
 450 / 32**
 4585 / 362*
 7800 / unknown
* unknown - much of southeast Tibet is currently closed to foreigners
** approximate number of days as not yet fully trekked

All outdoor activities involve an element of risk, which could endanger you and those with you. It is impossible for any guidebook to alert you to every possible danger or hazard, or to anticipate the limitations of your party. The descriptions of trails, passes, routes, geographical features in this guide are therefore not in any way a guarantee that they will be safe for you or your party. When you follow the advice and/or route information in this book you do so at your own risk and assume responsibility for your own safety.

Ensuring that you are aware of all relevant factors and exercising good field-craft combined with common sense is the best way to enjoy the mountains. If you feel unsure about your skill level, experience or knowledge base then you should not assume responsibility for yourself or a party.

The political situation in the Himalaya will change and could affect your plans. It is wise to keep abreast of all developments and check government and relevant agency websites for your own safety. You assume the risk of your travels and the responsibility for those with you. Be safe, be prepared, be informed.


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