Simikot Humla

Situated at an elevation of 9,550 ft., Simikot is the administrative headquarters of Humla district of Karnali zone. It lies in the mountain region of northwestern Nepal.

Access

Simikot is accessible mainly by air from developed parts of Nepal. Simikot Airport is an airport serving Simikot. However, a rough road of 51 km has been built from the Tibet Autonomous Region Border crossing at Hilsa.

Things to do in Simikot

The Limi Valley Trek

You can trek to Limi with a trekking company, and it takes a minimum 14 days sound hiking, accommodating for acclimatization. The trek involves following the Kailash trail to the Tibet border, turn east and follow the main valley trail via Til, Hali and Jang. If completing a circle, you continue from Jang via Thangchhe and over the Nyalu La and into the Salli Khola Basin, from where there are three options toward Simkot.

Tent camping is the only way to do this trip. There is no other accommodation along this trail – with a few exceptions – or if you have good contacts.

There are three (alternatively four) high passes to cross: Nara La 4600 m, Namka La 4300 m and Nyalu La (5000). Nyalu La is snowbound during November-April; the other passes may also be snowbound.

Special permits are needed to trek here, go through a reputable trekking agency or Nepal Trust’s organisation.

Short Hike to Simikot Lagna (Pass)

From Simkot there is a nice, short acclimatization hike up to Simkot Lagna (pass) at 3270 meters just to the northwest of town. From Simkot Lagna you can catch a glimpse toward the upper parts of Humla Karnali valley and the first pass toward Limi.

From Simkot centre walk up past the Nepal Trust Guest House, the upper school and the Upallo Gaon public tap. Take a left on the main trail and follow this until you get a clear view. Below the first ridge and the current customs police post there is a shop serving teas, also herbal teas and chhang (local liquor). Past the army check point at some boulders and past a spring right on the trail there is a small tea house and a big cairn. This is Simkot Lagna. It is only about 150-200 altitude meters from Simkot, but as a newly-arrived at Simkot (2970 m, airport) you will sense the effect of altitude.

Hot Springs in Kermi

Just above the village there is a steaming creek and a series of waterfalls and pools. The higher you go, the hotter it gets. Locals separate between women’s and men’s pools. The temperature at the spring itself is scalding. The water is clean and not overtly mineral rich.

Shiva Mandir

At the southeastern edge of the Simkot ledge – literally on the edge of town, there is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is not a big or fancy site as such, but a very pleasant goal for an afternoon or early evening stroll. You can have a view of 5 peaks to the north, above 6000 meters, and a view down to Humla Karnali River a thousand meters below.