What You Should Know for Trekking in Tibet
If you want a satisfying trekking challenge, Tibet should be your next destination. It is home to some of the highest mountains in the world and offers a diverse experience as you counter everything from high mountains to deep lush valleys, mesmerizing lakes, exotic wildlife, sensational moonscapes, and more. Follow our local trekking experts to find out the key information you should know for trekking in Tibet.
When is the best time for Tibet trekking?
You can visit Tibet all year long. However, as a trekker, climate conditions can be the most essential part of your journey. For trekkers’ delight, Tibet offers the finest seasons for trekking: spring and autumn; specifically, from April to May and September to October, respectively.
Spring is one of the most alluring times in Tibet as you can experience fresh clean air and prime visibility. Make sure to take some amazing pictures as this is the time you do not need to worry about the clouds and fogs. Spring temperatures are still considered cold with a high of 8-9 degrees Celsius in April and can reach as high as 12 in May. At night, however, the temperature drops to a little below freezing. An advantage of Tibet trekking in April is that you get to witness and the month-long Saga Dawa Festival (to celebrate the birth of Buddha, enlightenment, and Nirvana).
As fog and rainy weather lifts and leaves start falling, September to October is considered another great time to explore the beauty of Tibet. Autumn in Tibet offers a colorful pleasure with the sun shining, lush green grasses, and the leaves turning red and yellow before it falls off the trees. The temperature during this season can go as high as 12-13 degrees in September and 8-9 degrees in October. Again, nighttime offers colder temperatures as the number go down and reach below zero in October.
How fit do I need to be to trek in Tibet?
You do not need to have the special powers of Superman to trek in Tibet. Yes, fitness is important to trek anywhere in the world. You also do not want to be a couch potato as trekking is not for you if you’re not fit at all. Fitness is not really a major issue to be able to trek in Tibet; the hardest part is the altitude. If the level of your fitness allows you to travel to mountain tails, it is not so difficult to start this adventure. A good physical condition can help you make your trekking successful while enjoying to the max.
How to avoid altitude sickness while trekking in Tibet?
As fun as it is to trek in Tibet, you might face some difficulties during this life-changing experience. One of the most common problems trekkers face is altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can be complicated as everyone has a different response to high altitude based on our genetics. While this might be a problem, there is a very simple way to over it: “Ascend slowly”. Most people get altitude sickness by going to high, too fast.
Moreover, you need to follow the saying “precaution is better than cure”. Although altitude sickness is very common in people trekking in Tibet, you need to take it seriously and avoid severe sickness. That is why you might want to consult a doctor before getting on board.
Tibet is beautiful and people crave to trek and explore this heavenly place on earth. However, your health needs to be your priority. Altitude sickness can be fought over with precautions and medication, but you might have to cancel your Tibet trekking plans if you have on of the following symptoms:
* Tuberculosis, pneumonia, serious tracheitis, bronchitis or something relating to it
* Serious heart attack or high blood pressure
* Serious cold
What are the most classic Tibet trekking routes?
Tibet offers one of the finest trekking trails and gives you the experience like nowhere else. If you are ready to delve into the majestic Tibet and explore the diverse and unique culture, here are the most classic Tibet trekking routes:
1. Gama Valley Trekking:
Located in the Tingri county, on the eastern side of Mount Everest, Gama Valley is known as one of the most gorgeous valleys in the world. This beautiful area might not be as easy to reach as you will be acquainted with yaks and horses as your means of transport. The Gama Valley is a trekking paradise if you love nature, as this breathtaking route will present you with exotic plants, diverse wildlife, and mesmerizing wetlands, lakes, and waterfalls. Known as one of the highest treks in the world with altitudes ranging from 4,000 meters to as high as 5,300 meters, this epic adventure can last from 10-15 days This valley is also a residence to the native mountaineer's legendary Sherpas and it can lead to some fascinating conversations. - See detailed information about Gama Valley trekking
2. Mount Kailash Kora Trek:
Mount Kailash is one of the most sacred mountains on planet earth and is worshipped in Jainism, Bonismo, and Hinduism. Hindus believe that they should visit this divine place at least once in their lifetime. This lifetime pilgrimage trek is definitely not for weak-kneed and should not be done by inexperienced trekkers in high altitudes. This route has an average altitude of 4,700 meters with an unstable perpetual climate and can be very risky.
Mt. Kailash kora trek is one of the top trekking routes in Tibet. So, tighten your shoelaces and be ready to explore the extraordinary mountain scenery and deep spiritual significance.
3. Namtso Lake Trek:
Namtso Lake is known as the most sacred lake in Tibet and allures a good number of travelers & pilgrims every year. Namtso Lake trek can take from seven to ten days. Namtso Lake is located near Damxung. 4718 meters above sea level and covering 1900 square kilometers. Each year, many Buddhists come to the lake to pay homage and pray. This is a perfect chance to enjoy the view of the ravishing lake while experiencing Tibetan Buddhist culture.
4. Ganden to Samye Trek:
The Ganden to Samye trek is regarded as one of the most popular trekking routes in Tibet. This route is a perfect example of mixing scenery with spirituality. Ganden monastery and Samye monastery are the two revered holy sites. This excursion has a lot to offer with a diverse landscape of valleys, alpine forests, and many small lakes. This journey can take 4-5 days with a distance of 80 kilometers. The high altitudes can make this trek challenging.
What to eat and where to stay during Tibet trek?
The best part about being in Tibet for a lot of people is enjoying the rich Tibetan cuisine. Most Tibet trek routes have small local restaurants providing delectable authentic Tibetan dishes. As you start getting higher, there will be simple eateries and teahouses providing instant Tibetan food packages. If you are not a big fan of Tibetan food, you might want to bring your own instant packaged foods, and energy bars
Most Tibet trekking routes provide options for living in monastery guesthouses. This is the time to forget about the lavish hotel lifestyles and enjoy the local Tibetan way of living. The guesthouses are very basic but most of them are ideally clean. Another option for sleeping is camping overnight in the tents of your own. You will find a lot of camping spots which are open and free to use. Make sure you have a warm sleeping bag with you as it gets chillier at night!
What to pack for trekking in Tibet?
Packing good equipment while trekking in Tibet is not only important for comfort but equally important for survival. Regardless of the time, you are traveling, you need to pack warm clothes. Even though you are traveling during summer or spring, the temperature goes down as the altitude goes up.
To keep yourself warm, be sure to pack 4-5 layers of clothing and a very warm sleeping bag. You can pack some long sleeve t-shirts that will keep you warm and it is also to take-off during the day when sun is out. The real hack would be to pack plenty of thin layered clothes which will help you keeping warmth.
Moreover, waterproof materials are considered to be the best. Packing thick woolen socks can be very vital as it can save you from blisters. Similarly, packing some hats can not only protect you from cold but also the UV rays during long days under the sun. Make sure your backpack is not gigantic and is comfortable to carry as you will be carrying it over rough terrain for a long distance.
It is also a good idea to pack a trekking stick as it can help you keep your balance while walking in rough trails. It is very important to hydrate yourself while trekking. Bring a good water bottle easy to carry while walking and pack some energy bars you can snack on to keep your energy up.
Most Read Articles about Tibet Trekking
With plenty of choices in your hands and have no idea which trek to enjoy? No worries. We single out the 4 most-read treks on our website. From the leisurely 3-day trek from Shalu to Nartang, to moderate pilgrimage trekking route between Ganden and Samye to ultimate 3-day Mt.Kailash kora and days of trek in Gama Valley, just read on and you will get more inspired for your trek.
More Travel Guide about Trekking in Tibet
Whatever questions you have for trekking in Tibet. You can find the answer here. Most popular trekking routes in Tibet, trekking gear, best trekking season in Tibet, what you should prepare for trekking in Tibet,etc. The useful travel articles written by our local expert will ensure you get fully prepared before hitting the road.
Of all the treks in Tibet, Mt.Kailash trek is the most challenging one. Check the expert guide below to prepare physically and mentally.
- Ultimate Guide to Mt.Kailash Trek and How to Plan a Kailash Tour
- Two Day Trekking Experience Around Mt. Kailash
- Why and How to Take a Lifetime Mount Kailash Yatra or Pilgrimage?
- Altitude of Mt. Kailash Tour or Kora and How to Avoid the High Altitude Sickness
- What to Pack for Mount Kailash Tour and Trekking？
EBC trek in Tibet mostly refers to the trek from Old Tingri to EBC or the trek from EBC to Advanced Base Camp. Check the expert guide below for more details.
- Everest Base Camp Trekking Maps in Tibet
- Ultimate Packing List for EBC Trek in Tibet
- Everest Base Camp Facts
- Top 2 EBC Trekking Routes in Tibet
- EBC Trek in Tibet vs. EBC Trek in Nepal
- Can I Tour or Trek to Everest Base Camp in Winter Nov. Dec. Jan and Feb?
- Tingri to Everest Base Camp Trekking
- Everest Trek in Tibet: Base Camp to Advanced Base Camp
- Everest Trek: Trekking Routes along The Gama Valley
- The Ultimate Guide to Mt. Everest Climbing in Tibet
The following popular treks in Tibet include the best trekking experience across Tibet. However, different strokes for different folks. Scroll down to find your most ideal trek.
- Ganden to Samye Trek
- Nyenchen Tanglha Trek - Damxung to Namtso
- Tsurphu to Yangpachen Trek
- Different Tibet Train Experience in Summer and Winter
- Shalu to Nartang Trek in Tibet
From trekking gears to trekking season and expert tips for preparation, etc, the encyclopedia of hands-on experiences on all aspects of trekking in Tibet will ensure you hassle-free adventure.
- Trek Gear and Clothing for Trekking in Tibet
- Tibet Trekking Season: best time for trekking in Tibet
- Why One Should Trek in Both Nepal & Tibet
- History of Trekking and Exploration in Tibet
- Tibet Trek Map
- Ganden to Samye Trek Tips and Photos
- Trekking in Tibet: things to know before your Tibet trekking tour
- How to Prepare for Trekking in Tibet
- Tips For Trekking in Tibet
- Lhasa Trekking: Top 5 Treks You Should Do around Lhasa
Most Popular Tibet Trekking Tour Packages
From the pilgrimages treks around Lhasa to serene Lake Namtso and short treks around Shigatse and challenging treks to Everest Base Camp and holy Mt. Kailash, etc, the most popular treks unpack the best trekking highlights across Tibet. Check the following treks and take your time to pick your favorite.
8 Days Shalu to Nartang Trek (Best Countryside Hiking Trail)
Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake - Gyantse - Trekking for 2 days - Shigatse - Lhasa
From USD1117 p.pView Details
12 Days Trekking Tibet Everest Base Camp: from Tingri to EBC via Ra-chu Valley
Lhasa - Yamdrok Lake - Shigatse - Old Tingri - Trekking to EBC - Sakya - Lhasa
From USD1443 p.pView Details
15 Days Kailash and Manasarova Small Group Tour: A pilgrim’s final fantasy and the greatest overland trip in Tibet.
Lhasa - Gyantse - Shigatse - E.B.C - Lake Manasarova - Kailash Trek - Saga - Shigatse - Lhasa
From USD1880 p.pView Details
16 Days Gama Valley Trekking in the Eastern Slope of Mt. Everest
Lhasa-Yamdrok Lake-Shigatse-Trek (Youpa, Eastern Slope of Mt.Everest BC, Lhundupling)-Shigatse-Lhasa
From USD2222 p.pView Details