Surrounded by the most extensive mountain ranges in the world, the Tibetan Plateau is the largest and highest plateau on the planet. From the Karkoram Range in the far west to the Hengduan Mountains in the east, with the vast range of the mighty Himalayas stretching across the western and southern edge of the plateau, There is no better place in the world to go trekking in high altitudes. The stunning landscapes and beautiful scenery of the plateau is the ideal location to get back to nature and enjoy a trek along one of the many outstanding Tibet trekking trails that this vast region has to offer.
Tsurphu-Yangpachen Tibet Trekking
The trek from Tsurphu Monastery to Yangpachen Hot Springs is one of the best treks in Tibet for a delicate balance of culture and wilderness. Located in the deep Drowolung Valley to the west of Lhasa City, Tsurphu Monastery is the start of this four-day hike, which takes you through some of the most remote areas close to Lhasa.
The trek follows the Tsurphu Phu-Chu upstream, through the beauty of the peaceful plateau landscape, camping at local nomadic sites and close to the famous nunneries of Tibet. The spectacular mountain vistas and small nomadic settlements make this trek a combination of cultural and wilderness experiences, and the end of the trek, at Yangpachen Hot Springs, allows you to experience a relaxing soak in a cleansing spring that is held in high regard in Tibet.
Holy Lhamo Lhatso Trek
A small oval lake in Gyaca County of Lhoka Prefecture, Lhamo Lhatso is known as the Oracle Lake, where lamas would come to get visions of the location of the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. The lake lies at an altitude of 5,300 meters in a small basin valley. The strenuous five-day trek to the lake starts from the remote village of Woka, and heads through alpine valleys and beautiful meadows, traversing a couple of high passes over 5,000 meters and passing by several small lakes where nomads graze their herds of yaks. After passing by several small villages and historic monasteries, you will finally crest the 5,250-meter ridge and get your first sight of the stunning lake below.
Ganden to Samye Trek
One of the most challenging treks in Tibet, the hike from Ganden Monastery near Lhasa to Samye Monastery in Lhoka covers a distance of around 80 kilometers and normally takes around four days. Starting at Ganden Monastery, one of the prime monasteries of the Gelug tradition, the trek takes you across the mountains towards the Yarlung Tsangpo Valley to the south.
The hike south crosses over the high Shugar La Pass (5,250m) and the Chitul La Pass (5,210m), as well as passing through verdant alpine meadows where nomads set their black yak-hair tents and graze their herds. Coming down out of the mountains, the trail heads through primeval forests of juniper and rhododendron, dropping down into the valley to reach Samye Monastery, renowned as the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Tibet.
Kharta Valley Trek
Located far out in the west of Tibet, just to the east of Mount Everest, the Kharta Trek is an arduous nine-day trek that is a popular choice for experienced high-altitude trekkers that are looking for more of a challenge. The trek is done inside the Qomolangma National Nature Preserve, which is one of the most beautiful areas for trekking in Tibet. The long hike along the valley traverses several high passes and passes by some beautiful pristine glacial lakes. The pinnacle of the trek is reaching the Khangshung base camp of Everest, to the east of the massive mountain, where you can view the stunning glacier in the meadow at Pethang Ringmo, as well as great views of both Everest and Mount Lhotse.
Everest Base Camp Trek
One of the more popular treks in Tibet, the famous Everest Base Camp Trek is a four-day hike from Old Tingri on the Friendship Highway cross-country to the basecamp of the famous mountain. Covering a distance of around 70 kilometers, the trek passes along the Rachu Valley and over the Lamar La Pass (5,250m), as well as passing through some of the local village communities along the way.
The nightly stops are at campsites, and you will be sleeping in tents for the whole trek, waking in the morning to see the north face of Everest getting closer each day. The final night of the trek is spent at the base camp itself, where you can stay overnight in the Tibetan tent guesthouses to make the most of the visit to the world’s highest mountain.
Often rated as the toughest trek in Tibet, the amazing three-day hike around Mount Kailash in Ngari Prefecture is more than just a great trekking route. This sacred mountain in western Tibet is held in reverence in four separate religions, and the trek around the mountain follows the route of the ritual Buddhist kora walk, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites in the world. The sacred mountain has been a pilgrimage site for more than 1,000 years, and thousands of Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus travel to this holy place every year to perform the ritual kora around the mountain, many of them taking months to complete their pilgrimage, prostrating all the way around.
The trek starts at the small village of Darchen, below the south face of the mountain, and travels clockwise around the mountain, passing by the Chuku Monastery and stopping for the two nights at the Drirapuk and Dzultripuk Monasteries. The highest point of the trek is the climb up to the pass at Dolma La, which sits at an altitude of 5,630 meters. At the crest of the pass, the area is strewn with prayer flags from the thousands of pilgrims that have come here, and the views out over the rest of the Gangdise Mountain Range are particularly stunning. Stretching for around 58 kilometers around the mountain, the hike is a spiritual experience for everyone, even those that are not religious, as the whole area exudes an aura of spirituality and holiness.