gifts for hikers

Limi Valley Trek – Visit Untouched Nepal

  • Updated: March 5, 2019

On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Limi Valley Trek.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Limi Valley Trek, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most.

Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Limi Valley Trek

Route Overview

The Limi Valley Trek runs close to the Tibetan border at Nepal’s northwest-most extremity and follows the old salt trading and pilgrimage route. The district, known as Humla, is virtually untouched, having only opened to trekkers in 2002, making it one of the least-frequented treks found in Nepal.

The Limi Valley trek abounds with gorgeous landscapes surrounded by the towering Himalayas. The region is famed for its wildlife and plants. There are many kinds of exotic animal: Himalayan bears, wild horses, blue sheep, musk deer, mountain eagles and many more. You may even be blessed with a rare sighting of a snow leopard if you’re very lucky!

The Limi Valley trek takes roughly around 20 days. Trekking generally begins around 8am where you will trek for five or six hours a day. Accommodation is a mix between small authentic villages and camps beneath the snow-capped mountains. It is important to note that individual travellers are not allowed on the Limi Valley trek.

The going is moderate to strenuous, so a good level of fitness is necessary. Paths often become narrow and rocky and you’ll probably need trekking poles. Being very remote, there are very few tourists to be seen and the native people are among the poorest in the country. The inhabitants are mostly of Tibetan origin and it is said that Tibetan Buddhism is better preserved here than in Tibet itself! The ancient monasteries along the route certainly bear testament to this.

One notable fact about the local inhabitants is that Polyandry (wives with multiple husbands) is very common. Polyandry is found in probably less than one percent of societies, but it is common in Limi Valley, accounting for 44 percent of marriages in 1995. Usually, a woman marries brothers. There is little productive land in Humla – only about one percent of land is arable – and polyandry limits population growth. Families are less likely to break up then would be the case if brothers married monogamously.

Please Note

The Limi Valley trek is a great way to view the unique natural and cultural landscape of Tibetan Buddhists. This trek is for those people with a real sense of adventure, people who are excited to embrace basic living conditions in order to experience rural, remote and authentic mountain lifestyles in Nepal and Tibet.

Regional Map

Humla nestles between the boiling hot Indian sub-continent and the frozen plains of the Tibetan Plateau. The secluded villages within the Limi Valley are as far from the modern world as it is possible to be.

You will pass clusters of flat-roofed mud houses, women wearing heavy gold and silver jewellery and men leading their flocks of long-haired goats. The only mode of transport available to the locals is mules, donkeys and horses.


Recommended Map

There aren't that many maps available for the Far East Region and its trails, but there is one published in 2011 that you might find useful.

We recommend Nepal Far-West Region: 1:150,000 Trekking Map (The Great Himalaya Trail Series Maps).

We have also provided links and recommendations to new guides and maps below.

Limi Valley Trek Itinerary

Below is a detailed Limi Valley Trek itinerary.

Please note that there are several Limi Valley trek itineraries that can be done. Below we have laid out the most popular version – 20 days, leaving from Kathmandu. If you want to make your own way to Simikot then you could probably organise this with your operator or guide.

It is best to proceed clockwise to reduce the risk of acclimatisation problems.

Click each day to

Day 1-2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11​​​​

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

limi valley trek people praying Mountain IQ

Video Overview

A wonderful video overview of the Limi Valley Trek by thukten sherpa. It’s 19.15 long.

Although quite long, the video gives a very in depth flavour as to what to expect on the trek.

Recommended Guidebook


The Limi Valley trek is covered in A Trekking Guide to the Nepal Himalaya: Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, Ganesh, Manaslu & Tsum, Rolwaling, Dolpo, Kangchenjunga, Makalu, West Nepal by Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons; Shangri-La: A Travel Guide to the Himalayan Dream by Michael Buckley and In Search of Myths and Heroes: Exploring Four Epic Legends of the World by Michael Wood.

We recommend A Trekking Guide to West Napal.

You are also welcome to have a look at our recommended list of Nepal books and guidebooks Library for more options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Insurance Information


Climbing insurance is vital for Limi Valley Trek. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance in Nepal. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you'd need.

Other Routes

Did you find this article useful? Please share it...

You may also like...

Leave a Comment: