Watch kimkim traveler Mitch share his story about his Pikey Peak trek in October 2017:
Scroll down for more videos of kimkim travelers sharing their Pikey Peak stories.
If you're looking for a short trek in the Everest region near Kathmandu, this is a great (less discovered) route. If you're feeling very fit or are just short on time, this can be done in 3-4 days. But, a more leisurely 6-day trek allows for a physical workout without the stress, and a chance to visit a number of Buddhist sites (monasteries, gompas, and stupas). Both itineraries provide amazing views of the Numbur Himal range and Everest. But is it the best view of Everest in Nepal? You'll have to see for yourself.
All variations of the Pikey Peak trek start with a flight from Kathmandu to Phaplu airstrip. Nepal Airlines, Tara Air, and Summit Air fly the route regularly. If you're short on time or opt for the shorter itinerary detailed below, you will also fly back to Kathmandu at the end of the trek. You can also drive back to Kathmandu from Phaplu by Jeep (or bus, if you're on a shoestring budget). It's a very scenic drive that takes about 7 hours. Be warned: driving is the most 'adventurous' option, so if comfort is a priority, it's preferable to fly.
For ambitious hikers who are short on time (and have plenty of stamina), completing the Pikey Peak trek in three days is a solid option.
Day 1: Okhaldhunga to Pikey Peak Base Camp
Okhaldhunga is about a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu, and has a good range of guesthouses. It's recommended to stay here the night before starting the trek. A further 3-hour drive reaches the trailhead at Sigane. The road from Okhaldhunga is a good blacktop road that climbs from 1560 m/5118 ft up to 2800 m/9186 at Sigane. The mountains come into view near the end of the drive.
The trail from Sigane follows a road under construction for the first couple of hours. The first village is called Japre (2920 m/ 9580 ft). It’s perched above a deep valley with nice views of Everest and the Numbur Himal. There’s a pretty little gompa and stupa here.
After Japre, the trail climbs up to a grassy ridge at Bhulbhule. There’s a single lodge with no name, and nice views of the Everest range from here.
Soon after Bhulbhule, the trail splits and you'll turn right to Pikey Peak. You’ll pass some old yak houses and a long mani stone wall. The trail then contours the hillside below Taklung Danda and goes through a beautiful forested trail. There are many rhododendrons here along a level path (which you can see in bloom if trekking in the spring). As you leave the forest, it’s not far to Pikey Peak base camp, about 2 hours away.
There’s one lodge here called Pikey Lodge (3640 m/ 11942 ft) with four draughty rooms in a separate building. It’s a short climb in the morning to the summit at 4065 m/ 13336 ft). Unless there’s an unusually clear evening it’s better to climb in the morning, for sunrise.
Driving time: 3 hours
Walking time: 7 hours
Day 2: Pikey Peak Summit, then to Chaulakharka & Bhandar
The trail to the top of Pikey Peak starts from behind the lodge and follows a gradual slope to a summit strewn with prayer flags. The views from the top are breathtaking. It’s important to start just before dawn to reach the top for sunrise.
It’s a quick descent back to the lodge for breakfast, then quickly continue on your way, as it's a long day to Bhandar (if walking this 3-day itinerary).
You’ll leave Pikey base camp past a Mani Wall and then the trail goes down to the left and stays on a high contour through trees. It’s a beautiful trail with stunning mountain views. The route bends around the valley and descends through pretty forest. Eventually, you’ll pass a cheese factory on the left, which marks the beginning of Ngaur. Ngaur is a very pretty cluster of houses on an outcrop. There’s bad earthquake damage here, and the Gompa is ruined. There’s a small new prayer wheel building next to it.
The trail goes into a steep descent through forest to Kosinasa, which local people are now calling Lamane (2872 m/ 9422 ft). There’s a place here for daal bhat. The trail follows the hillside to Gumba, climbing slightly up to 2980 m/9776 ft). Gumba is a pretty place of about a dozen houses on the hillside and a newish looking Gompa. There's significant earthquake damage here too. At Gumba, the trail turns right and drops steeply through the forest down to Namkheli. Leaving the forest, the trail carries on all the way to the river (Likhu Kola) at 1535 m/ 5036 ft.
The next section is a 750 m/2460 ft ascent to Bhandar. It’s a fairly steep climb, sometimes on a new tractor track. The best lodge in Bhandar is Shobha Lodge by far. There’s a good hot shower and nice clean rooms upstairs. A favorite trekking brekkie is a chapati and an omelet rolled up with chili sauce, which is perfect here.
Walking time: 7-8 hours
Day 3: Bhandar to Jiri
The trail climbs up to the Deurali pass at 3700 m/ 12139 ft. On the east side of the pass, there are great views over the valley and river back towards Pikey Peak. On the west side sits the little village of Deurali. Langtang comes into view here. There are some damaged teas houses nestled together around rows of mani walls.
The trail drops steeply at first and then levels out all the way down to Shivalaya, which is quite a big village on the river, devastated by the earthquake. The trail descends steadily all the way down to Jiri through small villages and terraced fields.
You can drive back to Kathmandu from Jiri the following day.
Walking time: 8-10 hours
Take your time enjoying the unmatched scenery by adding a few more days on the Pikey Peak trek. This itinerary allows for a more leisurely pace and is well suited to trekkers who don't want the extra physical challenge that the 3-day option requires.
Day 1: Fly to Phaplu, drive to Dhap, trek to Japre [2920 m/ 9580 ft]
This morning, fly to the little airstrip at Phaplu where a jeep will take you towards the ridgeline to the south at Dhap. Start the trek there, and as you near Sigane, the mountains that you will get to know very well come into view: the peaks of the Numbur Himal section of the Himalayan Range.
The trail from Sigane follows a road under construction for the ﬁrst couple of hours. The ﬁrst village you reach is called Japre (2920 m/9580 ft). It’s perched above a deep valley with nice views of Everest and Numbur Himal. There’s a pretty little gompa and stupa here, and this is your stop for the night.
Walking time: Approx. 4 hours
Day 2: Trek to Pikey Base Camp [3640 m/ 11,942 ft]
Today's itinerary follows the Day 1 schedule (after Japre) from the 3-day Pikey Peak Itinerary (above).
Walking time: Approx.6-7 hours
Day 3: Trek to Pikey Peak and down to Junbesi [2675 m/ 8776 ft]
After enjoying the sunrise from Pikey Peak, head down the ridgeline for breakfast at Jase Bhanjyang. Leaving there, there are a few options for the descent to Junbesi. The most likely is a stunning shortcut trail that leaves the ridge shortly after Jase and descends steeply through spectacular old growth forest to Taktor. This path meets the Everest Base Camp trail coming from Jiri. The tea houses from here are a little more developed, and you're likely to meet a few other tourists for the ﬁrst time.
From Taktor it is a couple of hours on a lovely trail to Junbesi. Junbesi is a traditional Sherpa village sitting at an altitude of 2675 m/ 8776 ft, and is the cradle of Sherpa culture and architecture. The Sherpas consider the Solukhumbu a sacred valley. In this remote part of Nepal that borders Tibet, Buddhism flourishes and there are numerous Buddhist monasteries along the way.
Walking time: 1 hour to Pikey Peak summit / Approx. 7-8 hours down to Junbesi
Day 4: Trek to Taksindu [2960 m/ 9711 ft], Everest view on the way
This morning, hit the trail bound for Taksindu. Cross the river at the bottom of town and climb through forest up to Salung, from where there are views of Mount Everest (8848 m/ 29,028 ft), Chamlang (7319 m/ 2,4012 ft) and Makalu (8481 m/ 27,824 ft), weather permitting. There are also gorgeous views out across the valley to Chiwong Monastery and down towards Phaplu.
Continue on the trail, contouring and then dropping down to a stream before a short climb up into Ringmo, famous for its apple orchards and interesting apple products such as apple rakshi (alcohol), cider and apple pie. From here, there's a final short climb to Taksindu La, from where there are again great mountains views, and then a short descent to the Taksindu Monastery and your lodge. The Taksindu Monastery was built in 1946, and is usually open early morning or late afternoon. Please make sure to leave a donation if you visit.
Walking time: Approx. 5-6 hours
Day 5: Trek to Phaplu [2459 m/ 8067 ft], visit Chiwong Gompa
Today, leave the main trekking route again and take a beautiful path down to Phaplu through forest. There's also the option of hiking up to Chiwong Gompa, perched high on a cliff overlooking the valley. This monastery was founded in 1923 and has magnificent celebrations for the Mani Rimdu festival in autumn.
Continue on down into Phaplu and celebrate the completion of a great trek at your cozy tea house.
Walking time: Approx. 5-6 hours
Day 6: Drive to Kathmandu
Today we bid farewell to the mountains and board our vehicle for the drive back into the Kathmandu Valley. In Kathmandu we take you into any hotel of your choice, we can of course help if you which and then leave you to explore Kathmandu on your own.
Watch kimkim travelers Anne and Morton share the story about their honeymoon trek at Pikey Peak trek in October 2017:
Katya and Chris share their adventure: