Humla is the most remote district in Nepal, and one of the poorest. There are few tourists, and those you meet will most likely be headed to the border town of Hilsa, a stepping-stone to Mount Kailash in Tibet.

From the district capital of Simikot, spread across a ridge at 2900m, the Great Himalaya Trail follows the old salt trading route to Tibet. The trail threads along towering green cliffs above the roaring Karnali, the longest river in Nepal. You’ll pass clusters of flat-roofed mud houses, encountering Thakuri women wearing heavy gold and silver jewellery, and Thakuri men leading flocks of long-haired goats up and down the muddy trail to Tibet.

As you approach Hilsa and the northwestern border, the landscape becomes drier, and the context, Buddhist. It’s possible to turn southeast into the Limi Valley’s incredible red rockscapes and mediaeval stone villages. Beyond lies aglacial valley below the 5000m Nyalu pass, with the aquamarine Tshom Tsho Lake providing remarkable contrast with the burnt sienna of the treeless expanses.
The Humli people, like Nepalis across the country, are incredibly diverse. About 85% of the 56,000 people who live in this sparsely populated district are Hindu. Buddhists, some of whom practice polyandry, occupy the highlands. According to anthropologist Carol Dunham:

Humla is one of the most culturally fascinating places in all of Nepal, a cultural tapestry woven from ancient Khasa kingdoms, ancestors of the grand Zhangzhung kingdom of the north, with Rajput and Thakuri blended into the mix.

Top Treks

Limi Valley Trek – 17 days

Step into the hidden Limi Valley and enter a world seemingly frozen in time. Experience authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture interwoven with ancient shamanistic traditions.  Trekking Style: Camping (basic teahouses in some villages)

HUMLA NYINBA VALLEY TREK TO RALING GOMPA – 9 days

Short return trek from Humla’s district headquarter in Simikot: hike to the remote and unknown Nyinba Valley famous for its Buddhist monastery Raling Gompa, one of the most important historic and religious sites in Humla. Trekking Style: Camping and homestay

Explore more treks in Humla

Fast Facts

  • Humla is often known as the ‘Hidden Himalaya’ due to its remoteness
  • The highest mountains of the region are Mt Api (7132m) and Mount Saipal (7031m)
  • Hilsa is the gateway to Tibet’s sacred Mount Kailash, which pilgrims from across faiths have visited for thousands of years. The northern landscape of Humla is part of a sacred Buddhist mandala. It has its centre at Mt Kailash and points in the surrounding landscape, stretching for hundreds of kilometres, corresponding to spiritual concepts.
  • The ancient salt trade has traditionally been carried on goats rather than Yaks or mules as in other parts of Nepal.
  • The inhabitants of the three villages of remote Limi Valley are snowed in for six months a year. When the passes open up in spring they head to Tibet to trade their famous wooden bowls for household goods.

More Destinations

  • Far West Nepal Far West Nepal The sight of a white-turbaned Dhami, a shaman, with silver bangles on his arms and gold rings in his...
  • Rara & Jumla Rara & Jumla More species of birds (236) nest around Rara Lake than people visited in 2010 (170). Yet the larges...
  • Dolpa Dolpa Until recently, what little the outside world knew of Dolpa was gleaned from artistic and spiritual ...
  • Annapurna & Mustang Annapurna & Mustang Annapurna, attracts the largest number of trekkers in Nepal. Here you will find everything the Himal...
  • Manaslu & Ganesh Himal Manaslu & Ganesh Himal Enjoy stunning views of Nepal's 8th highest mountain on the Manaslu Circuit. Go off the beaten track...
  • Langtang & Helambu Langtang & Helambu Trek through high altitude pastures dotted with grazing yaks and blue poppy flowers. Immerse yoursel...
  • Everest & Rolwaling Everest & Rolwaling Everything here moves on a higher plane, and you can’t quite say you’ve been trekking in Nepal u...
  • Makalu Barun Makalu Barun Catch breathtaking views of Makalu, Everest and Lhotse; walk beneath towering granite cliffs and col...
  • Kanchenjunga Kanchenjunga Circling the Kathmandu Valley on the descent to the capital, you may well catch a sight of Everest. ...

Sign up for GHT Newsletter

Signup our monthly newsletter to get the latest news and updates from GHT.