Pikey Peak Trek Nepal – Everything you Need to Know 

Pikey Peak Trek Nepal

The Pikey Peak Trek is one of Nepal’s most exciting hiking trails. In this guide, guest blogger Yen Nguyen shares everything you need to know about conquering the route.

Pikey Peak, located near the Classic Jiri to Everest Base Camp trail, offers an off the beaten path adventure.

It is a revitalising experience that every traveller to Nepal should have on their itinerary. Even Sir Edmund Hillary rated Pikey Peak Trek as his favourite hiking path, adding to its allure.

When atop Pikey Peak, one cannot help but agree with Sir Edmund. On a clear day, Pikey Peak offers views of Nepal’s eight eight-thousand meter summits from Kanchenjunga to Dhaulagiri.

Like the Annapurna Base Camp trek, the Pikey Peak Trek is a perfect one week journey. So if you are in Nepal but don’t have a lot of time to spend hiking, this route is an ideal choice.

The best part is that many itineraries are available for the trek, with customisable features to suit individual trekkers’ needs. 

I’ll take you through it all in this guide, as well as everything I think you need to be aware of before attempting the route.

Pikey Peak Trek Nepal – Everything you Need to Know 

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Pikey Peak Trek Difficulty

Pikey Trek can be considered moderately difficult in terms of altitude. The elevation is 2413 meters if you start from Phaplu and gradually acclimatises through Ringmo and Junbesi Village. 

The highest overnight point is at 3549 meters in Jasmane Bhanjyang. From which, you will make a short trip to 4067 meters to Pikey Peak before immediately descending to Loding Village.

The trek requires at least 5-6 hours of walking each day.

Though the trail is appropriately marked with signboards, there is a high chance of getting lost if you do not pay close attention to those signboards. 

Also, it would be difficult to navigate back through thick forest and not to mention a secluded trek with almost no other hikers.

The trek can be made easier if a few things are taken care of beforehand. For instance, bring a good map of the region with you. 

And most importantly, hire a local guide who can get you up at least up to Junbesi if you are planning to add Dudh Kunda Lake to your itinerary.

Similarly, avoid thinking about altitude sickness, have a positive mindset, and plan the route by consulting with the locals before heading from one village to another.

Pikey Peak Trek Highlights

Panoramic View of Nepal’s Peaks 

Unlike the well known Everest Base Camp Trip, the Pikey Peak trek offers panoramic vistas of the Himalayas throughout the journey. 

Generally, the closer you go to the mountains on a hike, the fewer peaks you see since they are so huge that they obscure views of one another.

But all of Nepal’s 8000 meter Himalayas can be seen from Pikey Peak. 

Sunrise offers a great picture opportunity as the Alps’ sparkling snowcapped summits reflect the light. 

When the sun’s rays sweep across the mountains, the silver patina of the Himalayas looks like a cascade of molten gold.

The Sherpa Culture 

The Sherpas are a Nepalese ethnic group who dwell in the Himalayan highlands of the country. 

Well known for guiding trekkers who want to climb Mt. Everest, the Sherpas have become a prominent part of Nepal’s trekking experience.

Most Nepal treks allow you to experience the rich Sherpa culture, and Pikey Peak is no different.

This trek winds through many Gurung, Chhetri, and Rai villages, while gompas and shrines line the trekking trail. 

Mani walls carved with prayers lay erect beside junctions, and you’ll see colourful prayer flags atop Stupas fluttering in the wind. 

No Permits Required

Unlike most trekking in Nepal, Pikey Peak Trek does not require permits. It is a relatively straightforward trekking journey, reaching a maximum height of 4,200 meters.

The Natural Beauty of Khumbu’s Lowlands 

The Pikey Peak Trek encompasses all of the Khumbu region’s best natural beauty. 

The lowlands of the region, filled with verdant bamboo and pine woodlands, provide a rich flora and fauna spectacle to enjoy. 

Home to many Himalayan birds and animals, the region’s lowlands are one of the best sites to experience the dense chartreuse rhododendron groves that Nepal is revered for. 

The most notable time to truly take in the beauty is during springtime and the Fall. 

Spring brings the blooming of colourful red, white and pink rhododendrons that carpet the hills. 

In contrast, Fall’s burning orange and mustard yellow colours create one of the most serene woodland sceneries, perhaps, in the world.

Not to mention, Pikey Peak Trek also provides fantastic aerial views of planes and helicopters flying to and from the Lukla airport. 

Aeroplanes and helicopters taking off against the green hills make for a surreal experience when seen from atop ridges while trekking.

Moreover, the Pikey Peak itself consists of two peaks. The height difference between the two is barely twenty meters. However, Pikey I’s view of the mountains is significantly better.

Important Things to Know

How Long is Pikey Peak Trek

Due to the relatively shorter trail of the trekking journey, the Pikey Peak Trek can be done within four days, starting and ending in Kathmandu. 

However, because the trekking path offers many meandering routes that navigate small hamlets and ethnic villages, extending your trek up to ten days is possible.

How to Get to Pikey Peak

Getting to the Pikey Peak Trek is relatively straightforward. You can fly in and out of the Phaplu Airport or drive to Phaplu from the capital. 

Tara Air operates daily flights from Kathmandu, which is the quickest option; however, driving to Phaplu is a good alternative since weather forecasts regularly cause disruptions to flights. 

Conveniently, most agencies in Kathmandu have a good system of local jeeps running every day between Kathmandu and Phaplu. You can get a ticket from Chahabil (Near Bouddha) or ask your hotel for contacts.

The last and most expensive option is to hire a private jeep.

Permits

Unlike other trekking routes in Nepal, you don’t need a permit for the Pikey Peak Trek. 

Unless you start from Shivalaya – in which case you will need to obtain a Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit. 

You can get this locally in Shivalaya, but trekkers need to bring a photo. No pre-arrangements are required. 

Food and Accommodation

There are generally enough teahouses for overnight accommodation throughout the Pikey Peak Trek route. They are of a good standard too, with facilities like a hot shower and attached bathrooms. 

However, once you reach Jasmane Bhanjyang, the teahouses are limited (only two basic teahouses are available). There’s also no electricity in Jasmane Bhanjyang, so you’ll want to keep your gadgets fully charged.  

Likewise, a wide variety of food menus are available in the teahouses, with options for both vegetarian and meat-eaters. A limited but good choice for vegans is also available. 

Pikey Peak Trek Cost

When planning the Pikey Peak Trek, you should plan USD 25 to 30 per day for decent meals and accommodation. It is also strongly advised to bring local rupees with you since the last ATM is in Phaplu. 

Trekking without a Guide

Both guided and independent trekking options are available when hiking Pikey Peak. 

Thanks to the local community’s initiative, the entire trail is marked adequately with signboards. So it’s very easy to complete this trek without a guide.

Furthermore, you can also consult with the teahouse owners, who will be happy to help you with accommodation and information about the route. 

Do bring a map along with you if you are doing this independently. And inform someone like a friend or hotel where you are going.

If you choose, some lodges in Phaplu can help you arrange local guides and porters. 

Staying Connected

Both NTC & NCELL (the most popular cellular service providers in Nepal) work great throughout the entire trial. Plus, most of the teahouses have good WiFi too. 

Pikey Peak Trek Itinerary

Following the below itinerary, you will make a small circuit from Phaplu to Phaplu. It allows you to explore the famous Junbesi village and the prominent Thupten Choling Gompa. 

The most famous itinerary for the Pikey Peak Trek includes the following:  

Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Phaplu

A scenic drive from Kathmandu takes you to the countryside, to the beautiful village of Phaplu. 

Vast farms of maise and mustard decorate the journey, with winding roads that curve around rolling emerald hills.

Located roughly 275 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu, it’s around a 9-10 hour journey to reach Phaplu on the mountain route. 

With this in mind, you’ll want to stay overnight in Phaplu before commencing your trek tomorrow.

Day 02: Trek from Phaplu to Ringmo

Phaplu serves as the starting and ending point for various excellent short hikes. 

From Phaplu, most trekkers begin a four-hour walk to Ringmo – a small village situated amidst amazing pine and maple woods. 

Since it’s only a short hike, you’ll have plenty of time to relax and find a nice tea house in Ringmo.

Day 03: Trek from Ringmo to Junbesi

This next part of the trek opens up to some incredible landscapes. It’s only a 4/5 hr hike, but you’ll feel it in the ascent.

You’ll wind up in Junbesi – a historic Sherpa settlement regarded as the origin of Sherpa culture and architecture. 

The Sherpas view the Solu Khumbu as a ‘Beyul’ or holy valley, and the region is densely populated with Buddhist monasteries.

Here, in this isolated region of Nepal near the Tibetan border, Buddhism retains a strong faith and resonance. 

Junbesi is a sizable hamlet with a good selection of lovely tea places.

Day 04 – Junbesi to Jasmane Bhanjyang

The route rejoins the river in the morning, winding between farms and Sherpa homes. 

Around 500 monks live in little houses scattered across the hill below the main Gompa. 

After departing Tibet in the 1960s, His Holiness the late Trulsik Rinpoche built this monastery. 

It’s rather rare because nuns and monks may sing and pray together at this monastery.

Finally, after 5-6 hours, trekkers arrive at Jasmane Bhanjyang. 

Day 05 – Pikey Peak and down to Loding

Starting early in the morning, you’ll ascend a gradual trail to the Pikey peak (4067m) for sunrise views of the Kanchenjunga range. 

You’ll encounter the peaks of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Manaslu, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Everest, Cho Yu, Thamserku, Mera Peak, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga. 

Out of the 14 highest peaks above 8000 meters in the world, we can see seven of them from Pikey Peak (4067 m). 

We can take in the dawn, magnificent mountain views, and surrounding towns while relaxing for a couple of hours.

You’ll pass through lush deciduous woods of rhododendrons, magnolias, maples, and birches along the route. 

When rhododendrons, Nepal’s national flower, bloom in early spring, the mountainside is a riot of colour. 

After an early morning hike to Pikey, the path descends to Loding, where you’ll stay overnight. 

Day 06 – Trek from Loding to Phaplu

After breakfast, trekkers usually take a 3-4 hour moderate walk to the ultimate destination of Phaplu, where hikers can view the airport. 

Trekkers will drop gently from the Loding hamlet before gradually ascending for 2 hours into Phaplu.

From there, it’s another 8-hour drive back to the capital. So you may choose to stay overnight or catch a ride back on the same day.

Trek Extension

If you can allocate 3 to 4 extra days for the trek, including a trip to Dudh Kunda is well worthwhile. 

This holy lake is situated straight north of Ringmo in the lap of Mount Number, and it’s breathtaking. A small glacial lake, Dudh Kunda sees hundreds of devotees during monsoon festivals.

If possible, you will want to stay overnight in Beni on your way to Dudh Kunda and again on the way back. However, Beni has minimal accommodation, so you might need to organise this with a guide.

If you cannot stay in Beni, you will need to be self-sufficient for three days. You will need a tent to sleep in and a portable stove to make your meals. You’ll be wild camping in the mountains, so come prepared.

Be aware that the route between Beni and Ringmo is quite tricky to navigate. It is strongly advised not to try this during wintertime on your own. Even better – have a guide with you.

Closing Thoughts on Pikey Peak Trek

It is hard to put into words the beauty of the mountain ranges seen from Pikey Peak. Only when we experience the scenery in person can we fully comprehend the out-of-world beauty.

A tranquil trail for those looking for a different experience from the commercial trekking routes of Nepal, Pikey Peak Trek is probably the best one-week teahouse trek.

A huge thank you to guest blogger Yen Nguyen of Travel Outset for putting together this amazing article.

For a more challenging trekking route, check out our article on hiking to Annapurna Base Camp.

Stay adventurous and happy travels,

Love Charlotte & Natalie xx

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