Trekking in Nepal with Kids

Nepal Family Trekking Holiday
Nepal Family Trekking Holiday


Trekking in Nepal with kids might not seem like an obvious family holiday (particularly if your kids struggle with a Sunday afternoon walk!) but we visited Nepal when  my kids were then aged four- and two-years-old and it remains one of our best family holidays. We chose to visit Nepal with a company that specialises in family-friendly trekking in the lower Annapurna foothills and it was a great option – everything was organised for us and all we had to do was walk and enjoy the spellbinding scenery.


Trekking in Nepal with kids

Family Trekking in Nepal
The Annapurnas seen from Pokhara


I first visited Nepal when I was 19 and on my GAP year between school and university. Then, I had the luxury of time and I spent four months travelling the country doing volunteer work and amassing a ridiculous collection of Yak wool jumpers and dubious stripy trousers. I have always wanted to return (for the mountains, not the fashion) and I finally had the chance in March taking my two children and my parents with me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have quite as much time to spare as a teenage backpacker so we opted for a seven night / eight day trek through the picturesque lower foothills of the Annapurnas instead.


Family Trekking in Nepal
Porters were on hand to carry the kids when they got tired


Unlike my first experience trekking in Nepal where I carried my own backpack (and scoffed at those who didn’t!) this time we had an incredible team of porters to look after us who carried everything – even the kids when they were tired! Going uphill we walked along the more popular trekking routes, making way for the donkey caravans as we walked slowly up hundreds of stone steps. At night we slept in comfortable lodges, some positioned on the outskirts of villages and others located right in centre – all with magical mountain views. On our way down we chose the paths less travelled and wound our way through tranquil rural hamlets, vibrant rhododendron forests and past small mountainside schools filled with smiling rosy-cheeked children.


Family Trekking in Nepal
Beautiful Nepal


The days were long; we usually set off after an early breakfast and walked for a couple of hours before pausing for lunch. We then walked another four or so hours before reaching our next bed for the night. But the great thing is that you can take the trek at your own pace and stop whenever you want. We finished our trek tired but delighted – it was truly one of the best holidays we’ve ever had.


The best part

Family Trekking in Nepal
My daughter Tess with her absolutely charming porter Shivy


Some of my favourite memories include seeing my son Alfie walk almost the entire length of the trek. Where the paths were particularly steep and long he was carried in a traditional Nepalese porter’s basket that had been transformed into a fantastic kiddie carrier. But at all other times he walked – aided in part by the promise of sweets around the next corner, singing and lots and lots of stories! Shivy, the ever-smiling porter who carried my daughter Tess, was simply wonderful and the two of them formed a real bond. He would sing Nepalese folk songs to her and in return she would shout out every time she saw a buffalo (we saw a lot of buffalo). And finally, spending that kind of time with my parents – and for them to have that experience with their grandkids – was truly a once in a lifetime experience.


Three things you should definitely do

Family Trekking in Nepal
Visiting the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu


1. Be prepared for the steps. There are hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds!) of stone steps to walk up and down and they can be steep in places.

2. Spend a couple of nights in Pokhara at the end of the trek; this lakeside town is one of Nepal’s prettiest and the ideal place to rest weary legs. This post has more ideas on things to do in Pokhara. You should also factor in some time in Kathmandu.

3. Remember to bring warm clothes. It sounds obvious, but it gets very chilly as soon as the sun sets. We brought snacks and sweets, which encouraged everyone to keep walking. An iPad in the evening became a fantastic distraction for the kids who tended to eat earlier and then watch a movie while we had dinner.




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Trekking in Nepal with Kids: How to tackle the Himalayas with toddlers

24 thoughts on “Trekking in Nepal with Kids”

  1. This looks like such an amazing adventure! The thing I love most is that I could actually see us doing this with the support of great people to perhaps help us ( share the load) carry Cooper where a wheelchair would not go!

  2. This type of trip is so high on our list! We are hikers, and love our own Rockies, but Nepal is so unique and we can hardly wait to experience it! Or to buy myself a pair of Yak wool jumpers!!

  3. Do you have anything to share about how the kids did with the jet lag and how did the little ones fare with regard to food and waterborne illness?

    1. Where will you be flying from? We were travelling from India so jet lag wasn’t a problem but we have travelled long-haul with the kids a lot. Generally I find that if we get the kids straight into that timezone (i.e. no long naps during the day, normal bedtime, normal mealtimes etc..) then they adapt very quickly. We also allow a couple of days of just relaxing. In this case you could spend a couple of days acclimatising in Pokhara, which is a lovely town, before starting the trek.

      As for food and water, we went through a very good agent (who is now one of our partner agents) who is experienced at organising this trek for families. The food served at the lodges was simple but tasty and they are very careful about food preparation and hygiene. Similarly, you are only given bottled water to drink. As an aside, my dad got quite sick when we first arrived in Pokhara and our guides were excellent about getting him medical attention and medication before we started the trek. The kids had no problems at all.

      I hope this helps! Please do let me know if you have any other questions.


  4. We are seriously considering doing this trek or similar! Our kids will be 4 & 7 (fingers crossed we can go this year otherwise will go next year when they will be 5 & 8) I think our oldest will be fine, I am sure she might whine a bit but generally she is a trooper! our youngest will be a hot mess, I am sure! What was the altitude like? I have asthma which has only ever been SOOOO mild until last year and now I just can’t quote get it under control. Also, what gear would you recommend? especially for the kids!

    1. Hi! Firstly, I just want to say that this holiday remains one of my all time favourites! It is possible to book this trek yourself but we went through a company that is experienced at organising treks for kids and it made it all much easier. Their lodges are really nice, the food is good and the guides and porters are so lovely. When we went my son was 4.5 yrs and my daughter a little over 2. Amazingly my son walked almost the entire way. There’s one day that involves *a lot* of steps and for that day he was carried most of the way in a sherpa’s basket. For the rest of the time he walked and was great. My daughter was carried in a backpack for the duration of the trek and had the most lovely porter carrying her.

      The trek only goes as high as 1,900m so we didn’t have any problems whatsoever with the altitude. My son has mild asthma and was fine. Also, I don’t know where you live but the air is very clean in Nepal which helps! (we’ve been living in polluted megacities for the las 9 years so welcome clean air!).

      As for travel gear. I’d recommend good fleeces and maybe a base layer depending on what time of year you plan to trek (it can get cold at night) and good walking shoes. My kids wore shorts or cotton trousers and t-shirts during the day. And I had fleece trousers and tops for them at night.

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions or would like the recommendation for the agent we partner with to organise this holiday.

      Thanks, Katja

      1. Hi, I, a single mother, am taking my 5 y/o and 8 y/o to Nepal end of June for a month. I still have no clues where we should go as it will be muddy monsoon season. Do you have any advice like trekking route or clothing in the mountains? Thank you so much.

        1. Hi Sara, we went trekking with a company that organised our porters, route and accommodation. However, my sister-in-law and her family organised their own trek and literally found a guide and porter when they were in Pokhara. It will be wet and muggy in June. The upside is that the mountains are incredibly lush and green but views of the snowcapped peaks will be limited. However, the paths will be very muddy and slippery. I’ll be honest, June is not the best month for trekking! Is there any chance you could change your trip to another time during the year?

  5. Hi Katja,
    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing! We are headed to Nepal for a family hike in March 2018. we are very excited (well i am). We have two children who will be with us and will be 5 and 2.5yrs old. The hike is up Khopra Ridge/ up to Khopra Danda. We are also actually doing it with my grandfather who will be 75 for his last hiking trip to Nepal (he is quite experienced and fit as you could imagine… gee I can’t believe he will be 75!) We have already organised our porters and guides from his past trips.

    Basically I wanted to get in touch regarding your trip and experiences (I have never been to Nepal and with the kids, I ofcourse have some concerns).

    I will fire away the questions at you 🙂
    1. Where was the hike?
    2. What was the highest altitude you reached?
    3. How long was the hike (how many days?)?
    4. I understand that your littlest one was carried in a child backpack carrier by her porter… how did he find this? (i assume that he was not used to these?)
    5. How did your older child find the basket to be carried in? was the basket sturdy and strong? Was he strapped in? (I suppose at that age though, the are old enough to not try and jump out like the toddlers might try).
    6. any other tips and tricks?

    I think that is all for now… at the moment I am just thinking a lot about the best carrying options…(what will be best for the kids and what will be best for the porters). I understand too that this also comes down a lot to personal opinion and preference….just after your experience.

    Thanks again for sharing… it can be hard to find young families doing more adventurous trips, but so valuable when you do 🙂

    Regards Jess

    1. Hi Jess, Thanks for your comments! Your trip sounds fantastic and I’m sure you will have the most amazing time. We trekked in the lower Annapurnas on a five-day trek. We organised it with a company so had porters, the lodges were all arranged etc.. The highest altitude we reached was Ghandruk (2012m / 6000 ft.), which didn’t cause any problems for anyone. My daughter was carried in the backpack and had the most wonderful porter who I believe had used these types of carriers before. In any case, he was SO nice and great at keeping her happy and distracted. My eldest only really used the basket a couple of times, once when we had a really long day of lots of steps. He wasn’t strapped in but, as you say, he was at an age when he didn’t wriggle or try to jump out. My only other tip is to bring lots of snacks! I hope this helps, please do let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!

    2. Hi! I am also interested in the details of your trip and who put it together. We are wanting to take a trip to Nepal in April. Our (then) 18m old will be coming with us. Your trip sounds exactly like what we are hoping for with a stay in Kathmandu and Pokhara on each end of a trek. I sent you and email to the address I saw you mention in another comment but I’m not sure if it went to spam or something.

  6. HI! we are planning a trip around the world next June and we just decided to add Nepal to our trip, since we are going to Bhutan too. We were a little concerned of how to manage trekking with 3 kids: 2, 8 and 9. Then I read this post and I thought that maybe we could actually do it! Can you give me a little more info on who you organized your trip with? Thanks for sharing your experience, my husband and I after reading this decided that we could do it too!

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m so pleased to read this! Honestly, our trip to Nepal remains one of my favourite family trips. Can you please send me an email on katja [a] and I’ll happily give you more details on how we organised this trip. Thanks again for getting in touch.

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