The Nepalese government has prioritized certain Restricted areas to protect the environment, culture, heritage, and other essential elements. These places restrict visitors, and Restricted Area Permits (RAPs) are granted to govern and control them. A trip to one of the restricted zones by any means will be a fascinating experience for any person seeking a  distinctive experience in this country. 

While the Shah Dynasty controlled every aspect of Nepal, many regions were inaccessible to foreign visitors. Remote places have been open to tourists worldwide since 1991, when a multiparty democratic constitution was introduced. However, travelers must obtain special permits from the Nepali government to trek in certain regions. These permits are offered by local tour operators that have been granted licenses by the Nepali government. Since it is completely forbidden to hike alone in restricted areas, a party of at least two individuals is required to explore this area. These prohibited places are located in the rain Shadow, behind the Himalayas. 

Due to the abundance of natural beauty, secret valleys, people, and their distinctive cultures and  customs, the limited areas are known as "Paradise on Earth." Trekking in Mustang for 18 days,  Manaslu for 18 days, Tsum Valley for 18 days,Nar Phu for 21 days, and Dhaulagiri for 21 days are some of the restricted areas. 

Traveling with a certified trekking guide is essential because trekking in limited regions is challenging, and you may require assistance. The rule's primary goals are to save the remote areas' nature and cultural traditions and ensure the security and safety of both foreign trekkers and  Nepal's northern border with China. 

Restricted Area in Nepal Trekking opens Nepal's hidden jewel and broadens people's perspectives on an adventure. Since these areas are well-preserved, the government limits trekking much as it does when people go on excursions to other places. Trekkers must receive specific licenses with various requirements to enter restricted areas, which is not prohibited.  These areas are frequently geographically difficult and secluded but provide beautiful encounters with natural beauty. The majority of the restricted region's boundary segments connect the Tibetan highlands. 

All of the limited trekking areas share the same characteristics: 

  • A special permit is required to enter the restricted areas. 
  • The location is located in far-off places. These areas are utterly unmodernized and have a  small population. 
  • All of them need a certain level of physical fitness and are challenging journeys. ∙ Trekking by oneself or independently into prohibited areas is not permitted. Instead, you must hike with a group. 
  • Most of these are now open for recreational use. 

Why are these areas restricted?

There are numerous reasons why restricted regions exist. Most of the time, it stems from a period when the border with China was more delicate than it is today. Environmental advocacy organizations, notably the Nepal Nature Conservation Society, are putting pressure on the government to keep some areas off-limits for ecological reasons to prevent the loss of both the environment and culture. The government limits some regions because it doesn't believe it can provide the security that hikers require when anything goes wrong (accident, illness, or theft). However, hikers need support when things go wrong (accident, condition, or theft). Some limitations are also enforced for political reasons. For instance, the Jomsom trek was discontinued in the 1970s due to a significant military operation that had received foreign assistance and intended to support the Khampas in Tibet. 

The decision to allow foreigners to travel to some areas of Nepal is subject to various factors.  Climbing and trekking have recently undergone liberalization, and pressure is mounting to provide hikers access to different terrain. Before preparing a unique trek, consult a  trekking firm or the central immigration office. 

It costs US$70 per day (with a minimum of 10) to trek to Mustang, and it costs US$90 per week to walk to Humla and Manaslu. In addition, a government representative from Nepal must also be paid to trek with you. 

Restricted Areas 

The majority of the prohibited trekking areas are organized-based treks. All food, including sleeping tents, must be purchased from major cities. A license holder's guide that the government has approved should be available at each inspection site. During the hike, porters transport all supplies and food. As a result, these trekking locations are less congested. Trekkers might pick limited area trekking in Nepal if they desire to explore distant places free from other hikers' disturbances and surrounded by a variety of Nepal's natural beauty. 

The Nepalese government has designated 15 regions as restricted areas, and trekking in certain provinces requires restricted area permits. As a result, local area trekking is likely one of the world's most remote routes. During treks, Nepal's restricted areas promise mountain beauty, glacier terrain, lakes, rivers and cascades, unique ethnic towns, and numerous uncommon and ethnic lures.  Nepal's most popular restricted trekking locations are given here, along with a brief description. 

The most popular restricted trekking region are listed below: 

  • Upper Mustang 

The Adventures in a Restricted Trekking Area Nepal, Upper Mustang, known as the "Last  Forbidden Kingdom," is located at 3840m and has preserved its own Tibetan culture over the years since its inhabitants have had little contact with the outside world. The area is steeped in history and tradition. Because the chances of rain in these top sections are minimal, they tend to be dry, whereas the lower parts receive substantially more rain.  Even though it is located in Nepal's Annapurna conservation region, the Tiji festival is popular in Upper Mustang Trekking. The following are the reasons for Upper Mustang's  restriction:

  • Open Border with Tibet China 
  • Archaeological Value 
  • Finest Uranium mine in the world 
  • Untouched Nature 
  • The last Buddhist Kingdom of Nepal 
  • A million-year-old ammonite fossil 
  • A connection route to the Holy Places 

Trekking permits for Upper Mustang

  • TIMS card 

  • Upper Mustang Restricted area permit card 

Permit Fees

  • USD 500 per person (for the first ten days) 
  • USD 50 per person /Day (beyond ten days) 

Upper Dolpo 

The Trekking Adventures in Restricted Areas Nepal, Upper Dolpa, is a region in the northwest of the nation that the Dhaulagiri Himalayas surrounds. Nepal's most distant hiking locations are in the Upper and Lower Dolpo areas. Till 1989, there were restrictions on Upper Dolpo Trekking Adventures in the trekking region of Nepal. The trekkers will have the opportunity to explore the stunning scenery, vibrant culture and customs, and lovely local settlements in the Dolpo region of Nepal. Shey-Phoksundo Lake,  Shey-Phoksundo National Park, and Vihar Monastery are three of the most popular adventure destinations in Nepal's restricted trekking area. As you journey to this  Nepalese region that has been conserved, you will ascend to a height of 4,530 meters. The  following are the reasons for Upper Dolpo’s restriction: 

  • Its geography and climate 
  • Distinct Flora and Fauna 
  • Culture and countryside livelihood 

Trekking permits for Upper Dolpo: 

  • TIMS card 
  • Upper Dolpo Restricted area permit card 
  • Shey Phoksundo National Park Entry Permit 

Permit Fees: 

  • USD 500 per person (for the first ten days) 
  • USD 50 per person /Day (beyond ten days)

Lower Dolpo  

The Dolpo area is located in Nepal's largest district, Dolpa. The rural areas of Nepal's central and western regions are home to some of the best-preserved traditions and ways of life. The Lower Dolpo is the first of two distinct restricted areas in this location. Bottom  Dolpo, as its name suggests, includes the lower portion of the Dolpa district. 

Trekking permits for Lower Dolpo: 

  • TIMS card 
  • Lower Dolpo Restricted area permit card 

Permit Fees: 

  • USD 20 per person/week 
  • USD 5 per person/day(beyond one week) 

Manaslu Conservation Area 

Mt. Manaslu lies in Nepal, 355 degrees northwest of Kathmandu, and is in a  restricted hiking region. There are two ways to begin the Manaslu trekking bus, jeep, or helicopter. As it allows you to get near Mt. Manaslu, the eighth-highest summit in the world at 8163 meters, Manaslu hiking is regarded as one of the best. The Manaslu Conservation area in Nepal offers stunning views, landscapes, rivers,  waterfalls, forests, and mountain ranges. 

Trekking permits for Manaslu: 

  • TIMS card 
  • Manaslu Conservation Area permit 
  • Annapurna Conservation Area permit 

Permit Fees: 

  • September – November 

USD 100 per person/week 

USD 15 per person/day (beyond one week) 

  • December – August 

USD 75 per person/week 

USD 10 per person/day (beyond one week) 

Tsum Valley

The restricted off-the-beaten trekking route in Nepal is through the Tsum Valley. Trekking in the Tsum Valley is a blessed Himalayan experience since it takes place in a  naturally beautiful and culturally diverse valley with various primitive art, culture, and religion. In particular, the traditional settlements in this valley are a treasure of a place preserved in time and unaffected by western trends and development. 

Trekking permits for Manaslu: 

  • TIMS card 
  • Manaslu Conservation Area permit 
  • Annapurna Conservation Area permit 

Permit Fees: 

September – November 

  • USD 40 per person/week 
  • USD 7 per person/day (beyond one week) 

December – August 

  • USD 30 per person/week 
  • USD 7 per person/day (beyond one week) 

Humla 

Humla District is one of Nepal's prohibited trekking locations. The alpine highlands of Italy and Switzerland are comparable to this area. One of the fantastic spots to visit and discover in Humla is the Limi Valley region. In addition, the rural municipalities of Simikot, Changkheli,  and Namkha are accessible with the Humla restricted area trek permit. 

Trekking permits for Humla: 

  • TIMS card 
  • Humla Restricted area permit card 

Permit Fees: 

  • USD 50 per person/week 
  • USD 10 per person/day(beyond one week) 

Manang Nar Phu Valley 

Compared to other Annapurna regions, the Nar Phu region of Manang offers trekkers the ideal experience off the main path. The traditional villages of Nar and Phu, which have a significant historic, classic, and cultural significance, are reached through this trail.  Many people view this trip as the well-preserved rival to the Upper Dolpa in western Nepal.

Trekking permits for Nar Phu Valley: 

  • TIMS card 
  • Annapurna Conservation Area permit 
  • Nar-Phu restricted area permit 

Permit Fees: 

September – November 

  • USD 100 per person/week 
  • USD 15 per person/day (beyond one week) 

December – August 

  • USD 75 per person/week 
  • USD 15 per person/day (beyond one week) 

Kanchenjunga Region 

Adventures in a Limited Trekking Area Nepal, Kanchenjunga Hiking is one of the most serene locations in Nepal since the trekking track is relatively silent compared to other trekking trails. It leads you to a height of 5143 meters to the base camp of Kanchenjunga,  the world's third-highest mountain but Nepal's second. You may enjoy breathtaking views of the high alpine scenery and majestic mountains, such as Kanchenjunga Base Camp,  Jannu, Makalu, and Mt. Everest. You can also visit the Yalung Glacier and the terraced farms of Nepal's highland region. The Kanchenjunga region's main attractions include the Rhododendron, bamboo, local secret culture, community, and pine forests. 

Trekking permits for the Kanchenjunga region: 

  • A Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project Entry Permit (KCAP) 
  • Restricted Area Entry Permit for the trail in Tapethok and Yamphuding VDCs Permit fee: 
  • Entry Permit for Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project (KCAP): Rs 2,000 per person. 
  • The Kanchenjunga Restricted Area Permit (RAP) costs USD 10 per person per week. 

Some Tips for trekking to Restricted Areas: 

  • Respect the local culture, norms, and traditions. 
  • Before entering monasteries, temples, or palaces, consult with your guide or get permission from the locals. 
  • Individual trekking is prohibited in limited regions, so don't go out on your own. ∙ Appropriate travel insurance that covers your trek/tour duration is strongly advised. ∙ Follow your itinerary and route. These permits outline the acceptable route for you to take.
  • You will require these permissions even if your primary destination is not listed here. ∙ If you're exploring inside a conservation area, national park, or rural municipality, follow the restrictions. 

It's easy to apply for a restricted area permit, and the approval process shouldn't take more than an hour. Be a good tourist while you're here, and take nothing except memories away from these breathtaking locations. Don't pass up the real experiences and adventures that Nepal's restricted areas have to offer when you are there. 

Guide & Porters for Restricted Area trek 

While trekking in Nepal's restricted area, guides and porters are critical to your success. Only experienced hiking guides can help make your trip successful. Trekking Guides must be Nepalese government licensed and fully insured and have appropriate equipment. They are better knowledgeable about each trekking route, have first-hand expertise with first-aid treatment, have basic knowledge of drugs, know the best available accommodation along the way, are friendly, and have ideas for alternative itineraries in case of emergency. A trekking guide and porter's purpose is to ensure your trek's safety and success. A guide is required in restricted trekking areas in  Nepal. It is safe to have a guide and porter by your side. You are not allowed to trek alone in the restricted area of Nepal. 

Conclusion 

Trekking in Nepal's forbidden region can be adventurous and thrilling. With the most breathtaking views of the far-off areas, you will be able to discover the various aspects of Nepal's natural beauty and create memories that will last a lifetime. Before beginning your journey, it's crucial to ensure you have good trekking supplies and a permit. Planning a trek is always the best way to experience the grandeur of Nepal's forbidden trekking regions. 

Additionally, it would help if you had excellent physical fitness for restricted area trekking. The hiking paths in the local area are difficult and rocky, and nearly all of them have high pass adventures that may include snowy routes, especially during the winter. Therefore, therefore, it is highly advised to rest, hike, and adjust to the new environment.