Depending on the area you intend to visit, trekking in Nepal frequently necessitates obtaining a variety of permits and permissions. The natural and cultural resources of the areas you will be trekking through are managed and conserved thanks to these permits. Depending on the area's accessibility and conservation status, different permits may have different conditions and fees. Most frequently, TIMS, Municipality Trekking, Restricted Area, and entry into National Parks or Conservation Areas permits are needed. For a single trek, you might not need all of the aforementioned permits. It all depends on the various trek routes in the various Nepalese regions.
1. National Park Permit and Conservation Area Permit
Another permit needed for trekking in Nepal is a permit for a national park or conservation area. Every high-altitude trek in Nepal takes place inside a park or a wildlife sanctuary. For instance, the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) is the base for the Annapurna Circuit. The Everest Base Camp trek takes place almost entirely within Sagarmatha National Park. Treks within the Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) require an ACAP. Treks in the Everest area require a Sagarmatha National Park Permit. For treks in the Langtang region, including the Langtang Valley trek, a Langtang National Park Permit is required. For treks in the Makalu area, including the Makalu Base Camp trek, a permit for the Makalu Barun National Park and Conservation Area is necessary.
An entry permit is simple to obtain about these permits. You can buy it at the park's entrance gate, online, or at the tourist service center in Kathmandu's national parks office.
2. Restricted Area Permits
The Upper Mustang, Upper/Lower Dolpo, Narphu Valley, Manaslu and Tsum Valley, Kanchenjunga, and Makalu are examples of remote and restricted areas that call for special permits. Free individual trekkers are not permitted to trek in restricted areas because they are closely watched and regulated by the Nepali government. Therefore, authorized trekking companies must obtain permits from the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu.
3. Rural Municipality Trekking Permits
Some local governments impose additional fees on hikers. Trekkers might also be required to pay rural municipality fees on top of the various permits needed for trekking in Nepal. The local rural municipalities are in charge of collecting these fees, which are then used to support the neighborhood residents as well as to maintain and improve the infrastructure and trekking trails nearby. Notably, the Khumbu Rural Municipality Permit is required for those who hike to Everest Base Camp.
4. TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System) Card
For all foreign hikers planning to trek in Nepal's Himalayas, a crucial permit requirement is the Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS) card. It helps to ensure trekkers' safety by limiting the number of people who can enter Nepal's trekking districts. Before beginning your trek, you must obtain the TIMS card to avoid any legal issues or penalties. The TIMS card includes information about the trekker, including nationality, passport number, and route taken, allowing for movement tracking throughout the trek.
The majority of trekking areas in Nepal, including Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, and other well-known areas, require TIMS cards.