Number Cheese Circuit

Number Cheese Circuit

Days from

Nepal’s Newly Opened Trekking Trail in the lap of Everest and Rolwaling Region. If you plan to continue along the Everest trail, the Numbur Cheese Circuit provides excellent option for acclimatization. Exposing breathtaking views of Nepal’s major Himalayas and passing through one of the most pristine natural environment, the trek offers visitors a completely different experience of this country.

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Nepal’s Newly Opened Trekking Trail in the lap of Everest and Rolwaling Region

If you want to escape the congestion of commercialized trekking trails and get ‘off the beaten track’ then look no further than planning a trip to the recently developed trekking trails, the ‘Numbur Cheese Circuit (NCC) ’.  Situated in Nepal’s Ramechhap district - some 190 km east to Kathmandu, NCC is a 14-16 day circuit trail connecting two beautiful river valleys; Khimti and Likhu in the lap of Everest and Rolwaling region. Named in honour of the virgin peak Numburchuli (6959m) and one of Nepal’s first Yak Cheese factories, established in 1957, the NCC trail offers visitors superb view of Himalayan peaks including Everest range, Numburchuli, Gaurishankar, Jugal and Langtang Himal range. Primarily an eco lodge / camping trek, NCC also offers unique home stay facilities along the trail, providing you with the opportunity to experiencing Nepal’s diverse cultural attractions. 

Major Attractions:

The Numbur Cheese Circuit boasts superb views of majestic Himalayan peaks including Numburchuli (6959m), Sarmoche (5255m), Ramdung (5930m), Bigphrea Go Nup (6666m), Paniyo Tippa (6696m) and Paniyo Shar (6549m). It is also home to beautiful glacier and moraine such as Linkhu Nup Glacier, Bigphere Go Glacier, Surmoche Glacier, Likhu Glacier and other various tiny glaciers in the surroundings. The folded mountain range towards Gumdel, Rocky Mountains in and around Panchpokhari and Tare areas and glaciated landscape at Tare Kharka are some of the most scenic landscape in NCC. High Himalayan lakes, revered by pilgrims and rich in biodiversity including Panchpokhari, Jatapokhari, Bhalepokhari and Dudhpokhari are among the prime attractions o the NCC for visitors. The circuit also provides ample opportunity to observe the rich biodiversity along the Khimti and Likhu river valleys, ranging from temperate to alpine vegetation that comprises folded pine forest, blooming rhododendrons, scattered bamboo patches and colorful pastures providing a suitable habitat for endangered wild animal and birds species such as Red panda, Musk deer, Himalayan thar and various species of pheasant including Danfe and if you are lucky, the elusive Snow leopard.

The NCC also comprises still vibrant culture and traditional lifestyle of Sherpa including mountain pastoralism, traditional Yak cheese production and terraced agriculture practices. Beautiful monasteries lie along the trail in Lhachhewar, Kyama, Gumdel, Bhandar and Thodung offering visitors the spiritual and meditation experiences.

The NCC is a true choice for visitors seeking virgin trekking areas in Nepal. Unique tourism activities in the NCC trail include soft to adventurous eco camping experience, rock climbing, exploring high altitude lakes, wilderness walks through the mountain forest, glacier walks, base-camp trek, high pastures, Yak cheese making,  Sherpa cultural experiences as well as spiritual and meditation visits at Monastery. The mountain views are simply sensational and the Panchpokhari pass (4605m) and Gyajo La (Thulo Lapcha) pass at 4880m are the most dramatic adventurous passes with views extending north into Tibet and south to Pkey to Tabe Danda.

Some notes:


  • The villages of Jiri, Shivalaya, Deurali, Bamti-Bhandar and Gumdel are well-served with trekking lodges,toilets and hot (bucket) showers.
  • In Kharare, Lahaksewar and Kyam accommodation is in an actual home or 'Community-run homestay', so the cross-cultural exchange is more authentic. Although part of the trek is in uninhabited areas, Community-run homestays operate during the trekking season so it's quite suitable for independent trekkes.
  • The area above Khahare to Sewar is uninhabited so camping is the only option at Panipakha, Phokte, Maanedanda, Jatapokhari, Panch pokhari, Thare, and Ngeju.


Major attractions / Highlights:


Khimti and Likhu River valley

Peaks viewed

Sarmoche peak (5255m), Ramdung peak (5930m), Chukyima Go (6259m), Bigphrea Go Nup (6666m), Paniyo Tapa (6696m), Paniyo Shar (6549m) and Numberchuli (Shorong Yul Lha (6959m)

Linkhu Nup Glacier, Bigphere Go Glacier, Surmoche Glacier, Likhu Glacier.


Major passes
Panchpokhari pass (4605m) and Gyajo La (4880m).


Beautiful high altitude lakes likePanch Pokhari, Jata Pokhari, Boula Pokhari, Bhale Pokhari, and Dudh Pokhari


Manedanda, Kholakharka, Tare, Kholaseer, Ngeju


Temperate to alpine vegetation, blooming rhododendron, Taxus, Alnus, Pine forest and bamboo forest


More than 300 species of birds including pheasants (Danfe), musk deer, red panda, Himalayan thar, snow leopard, Himalayan black beer and Langoor monkey,


Phokte, Manedanda, Panchpokhari, Gyajo La, Serding (Pannasa danda), Lapchane


Thudung, Bhandar, Gumdel, Kyama and Lhachhewar

Terraced farming, mobile grazing system, traditional cheese production, ethno-botanical practices. 


Socio-cultural practices
Lhosar celebration, Chouri dance, Janaipurnima festival (August) and Mani Rimdu Festival (October straight after the full moon)

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Suggested Itinerary

Primarily designed for eco-camping experience, the NCC is 14-16 days circuit trek starting at Shivalaya and ending at Those of Ramechhap district.  Experienced and short duration visitors can customize NCC package up to 10 -12 days. Various customized package can also be developed for short duration trekkers, and domestic visitors including college/university students and researchers.

Interesting side treks off the Numbur Cheese Trek include Baula Pokhari, the isolated valley of Khola Cire, and the natural Buddhist shrine at Kau Chorten up. NCC could also be the appropriate gate way extending trekking to Rolwaling region via Likhu Nup Glacier and to Everest region via Tashi Tapcha La or Kalla Pass. Some highlights of the day to day activities are provided below:


Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu, transferred to hotel.


Day 02: After breakfast we set out for an extensive guided sightseeing tour of Kathmandu valley’s cultural, historical, religious and world heritage sites. During the course, we visit the famous Pashupatinath temple of Lord Shiva situated at the holy bank of River Bagmati where we will also observe the Hindu cremation ritual. We then proceed to the Boudhanath stupa, a major pilgrimage centre for the Buddhist faith which also is the largest of its kind in the world. We then have a short break for lunch followed by a visit to Swoyambhunath stupa also known as the Monkey Temple from where we can have a bird’s eye view of whole of Kathmandu valley. Following this we then proceed for a visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square, the oldest royal palace of Kathmandu and a UNESCO world heritage site.  The whole are of Kathmandu Durbar Square is dotted with numerous fascinating Nepalese architect dating back many centuries. The site is also the home of Nepal’s living Goddess – Kumari, where we will also have the opportunity to experience firsthand this unique Nepali tradition.  In the evening we will attend the welcome dinner hosted by Makalu Adventure with live Nepalese culture shows.


Day 03:  Kathmandu - Shivalaya (1790m) 8-9 hours: Drive to Jiri / Shivalaya (187 km) through the mountain terrain following the traditional approach march for Everest. Shivalaya is the gateway for the Numbur Cheese Circuit. The route to Shivalaya follows the traditional approach march for Everest expeditions, pioneered by Sir Edmund Hilary, along the old trade route from Jiri. Shivalaya is located on the picturesque Khimti River. There are numerous guest houses and some basic shops in town. This is the last town on the trekking route where you can buy food, goods or basic items of clothing. Overnight at hotel in Shivalaya.


Day 04: Shivalaya – Khahare (2175) 3-4 hours: Enjoy soft trekking along the Khimti River before arriving for lunch at Garjyang.  Khahare village comprises of less than 5 houses, inhabited only during winters by their owners who spend their summers on the pastures bordering Tibet tending to their yaks and chauri. The trail runs up and down along the valley side through terraced fields, dips to cross the river and then snakes steeply up the cliff on the other side.. Overnight at Khahare home stay accommodation experiencing the Sherpa culture and hospitality and tasting the NCC fresh Yak Cheese.


Day 05: Khahare – Panipacka (3105m) 3-4 hours: From Khahare the steep climb to Jata Pokhari begins, via Panipakha and Maanedanda . Be prepared today for an adventurous trekking and eco-camping. Enjoy wilderness trekking along the Khimti River and up to the Panipakha where you will find your first eco-camping site amidst the scattered Chauri sheds and the towering alpines. Panipakha is the first campsite on the trail route. The site has a relatively flat camping area carved into the hillside with a basic two room hut. There is room for about a 5 - 10 tents only. The trail offers views of the roaring Khimti Khola River below.

Day 06: Panipacka- Maanedanda (3940m) 3-4 hours:  From Panipacka we continue the journey upwards; the trail ascends through the conifer and rhododendron forest before reaching Maanedanda from where there are spectacular views of thick green forest with numerous steep waterfalls. Maanedanda is the second campsite on the trail with a basic cooking shelter and area for tents. Passing through the Tiny Sherpa village of Phokte the trail ascends through the rhododendron forest and finally to the summer pasture of Maanedanda


Day 07: Maanedanda – Jatapokhari – Panchpokhari (4515m) 4-5 hours: From Maanedanda, the trail climbs to Jatapokhari along the riverside and as the altitude increases, we move through alpine pastures to scrubby forests of Sunpati; a rare mountain herb. The path gradually climbs beside the river before a dramatic waterfall heralds our arrival at Jatapokhari.  Situated in the lap of Mt. Number at an altitude of 4206m Jatapokhari is a holy mountain lake and attracts a large number of Hindu / Buddhist pilgrims each year. It is believed that taking a dip in its holy waters will fulfill one's wishes. Just short climb above Jatapokhari are the five sacred lakes known as Panchpokhari within a huge glacial, moonlike cirque. A sidewalk around Panchpokhari and Panchpokhari pass offers spectacular panoramic views of the Rolwaling, Number and Everest ranges

Day 08: Panchpokhari –Tare (4140m) 4-5 hours: The trail takes you to Khola Kharka and further downhill to Nupche River via thick bamboo forest.  We enjoy fresh cheese making in green pasture alongside the Nupche River before arriving to our eco-camping site at Tare. For anyone with an extra day, a side trip to Bigphera Go Nup base camp / Glacier, Khola Cire (4469m) is highly recommended.

Day 09 -10: Tare – Gyazo La Pass – Ngeju (3690m) 5-6 hours: The most strenuous section of the NCC, the trail from Tare to the Likhu Khola valley is one that is both challenging and rewarding. "Wilderness" is the only apt term for the wild and rugged basin of the Lhiku Khola valley. The mountain views are sensational, with views extending north into Tibet, as you cross the Thulo Lapcha pass at 4838m, traditionally used by local Sherpas to bring yaks across the mountains to Ngeju. The trek follows the Likhu Khola Valley until you reach the remote yak pastures of Ngeju nestling at the foot of the ice-fall tumbling from the sacred summit of Numbur. The ancient Buddhist Shrine of Kau Gumba lies above the tree-line in the upper Likhu Khola Valley enclosed by a great sweep of high rock and snow peaks. Dudhkunda, the 'Milky Lake' rests in the heart of the basin, surrounded by tumbling glaciers and large moraines.

Day 11: Ngeju – Lhachhewar (2665m.) 4-5 hours: From Ngeju the trail weaves through thick ancient forests alongside the Likhu Khola re-emerging to Lhachhewar . Lhachhewar is one of the most beautiful Sherpa village with its astonishing landscapes, cultural wealth, prominent monastery, and the hospitable Sherpa people. The village offers untouched Sherpa culture where people have still maintained their traditional way of life. In Lhacchewar and onwards, the camping facilities can also be combined with the home-stay accommodation maintained at traditional Sherpa houses.

Day 12: Lhachhewar-Kyama (2380m) 4-5 hours: The trail goes through the river valley, passing one of the still hidden Hindu pilgrimage site known as Umatirtha Temple regarded as the “Kahsi” of Himalayas at the confluence of Likhu and Nupche River, descending through deep forest to Kyama (3190m) with good views along the way of Bigphera Go Nup (Pathibara) and Numberchuili where we enjoy the monastic culture and Sherpa culture and their lifestyle with home stay provisions. Overnight accommodation at homestay.

Day 13: Kyama-Gumdel (2255m) 2-3 hours: With the gleaming Numberchuili as the backdrop, Gumdel is a tiny hamlet gathered around a large Buddhist Stupa. The Gumdel Home Stay offers the best of Sherpa hospitality and cultural traditions amidst luxuriant landscape and spectacular mountain scenery. From here the trail descends through dense forest finally meeting the Everest trail at Bhandar

Day 15: Gumdel-Serding or Bhandar (2190m) 5-6 hours: from Gumdel, the trail either descends through the mountain terrace along the Likhu River finally meeting the Everest trail at Bhandar or ascends through the dense forest reaching the beautiful Serding (3360m). Enjoy folded temperate and subalpine forest at the backdrop of Numburchuli, Bigphera Go and Gaurishankar Himal range from Serding and Punnasa Danda. Enjoy fresh Yak cheese and Cheese making process.


Day 16: Serding / Bhandar – Thodung – Lapchane (3105m) 4-5 hours:

Descend gently to observe one of Nepal’s first Yak Cheese factories, established in 1957 on the way to Thodung. Visit Thodung Monastery and receive blessing from the head lama who is also very likely to share the lunch with you. And stroll back down to Deurali on the way to Everest trek, with fantastic views of Gourishankar before trekking to your ultimate NCC homestay village at Newari house in Lapchane from where there are stunning views of central and eastern Nepal Himalayan peaks such as Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Gauri Shanker, Numbur, Makalu, and Kanchenjunga with breathtaking sunrise and sunset views during the good weather condition. The variety of flora and fauna (65 species of birds) makes this place very interesting for nature lovers.

Day 17: Lapchane-Those (1755m) 3 hours: Enjoy sunrise view followed by breakfast and descend down to our last staying point in Those.

Day 18: Those- Kathmandu: We drive back to Kathmandu via Jiri and Charikot. This is a fairly long drive (8-10 hours) but the efforts are rewarded by the scenic drive and beautiful views of eastern Himalayan peaks. Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 19: Day at leisure.

Day 20: Final departure. We will drop you at Kathmandu International Airport for final departure

Trip Cost Includes
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara and wherever stated
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • All accommodation and meals during the trek
  • Domestic flights (wherever stated on the itinerary)
  • Trek leader, assistant trek leader) Sherpa porters including their salary, insurance, equipment, flight, food and lodging
  • Down jacket, sleeping bags, Trekking kit bag/duffel bag, trekking map and trekking Poles
  • All necessary paper work and permits (National park permit or entrance fees etc)
  • A comprehensive medical kit
  • All government and local taxes
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Nepal visa fee
  • Airport departure tax
  • International airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu and in Pokhara
  • Extra night accommodation
  • Travel and rescue insurance
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, showers etc)

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