Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek

Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek

Annapurna Nar Phu Valley-Tilicho Lake Trekking

Nar Phu Valley-Tilicho Lake Trek

Nar Phu Valley Plus Tilicho Lake Trek is a challenging and rewarding trek that combines the best of the Nar Phu Valley Trek and the Tilicho Lake Trek. This trek offers visitors the chance to explore remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, and unique Himalayan cultures, along with the stunning beauty of the world's highest lake.

The Nar Phu valley Trek has been open to trekkers since 2003 AD and offers visitors the chance to experience medieval Tibetan culture in its undisturbed form. It offers visitors the chance to explore remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, and unique Himalayan cultures. Along the trek, visitors will also encounter yaks, Gompas, and other fascinating aspects of the local way of life.

One of the most significant attractions of the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek is the Tilicho Lake, which is the highest lake in the world. The lake is located at an altitude of 4,919m and is surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks, making for a breathtaking sight. The trek also passes three exciting passes, including Kangla Pass (5,320m), Tilicho Pass (5,230m), and Mesokanto La Pass (5,099m). These passes offer trekkers the chance to challenge themselves while taking in some of the most spectacular views in the region.

The trek also passes through every type of vegetation zone, from lush subtropical to harsh semi-desert, making for a diverse and exciting trekking experience. Visitors can witness the traditional way of life of the local inhabitants, who are primarily yak herders. Yak herding has been the basis of their livelihood for centuries, and visitors can learn about their customs and beliefs.

In summary, the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek is an excellent choice for adventurous travelers looking for a unique and challenging trekking experience that offers stunning natural beauty, cultural immersion, and dramatic mountain views. Visitors should be well-prepared for high-altitude trekking and be in good physical condition to tackle the challenging terrain. 


Highlight Overviews of Nar Phu Valley Plus Tilicho Lake Trek

  • Exploring the Nar and Phu villages, which are time and weather-withered but still of great interest. These ancient villages have seen little change over the centuries and offer visitors a glimpse into a traditional way of life.
  • Staying in ancient villages that offer a unique and authentic experience. These villages are far off the beaten track and have retained their traditional way of life.
  • Enjoying great views of some of the most stunning peaks in the region, including Annapurna II, Himlung Himal, Gangapurna, Manaslu, Tilicho Peak, and more. These breathtaking views are sure to leave visitors in awe.
  • Experiencing a part of the Tibetan plateau that extends down into Nepal. This unique landscape is a highlight of the trek and offers visitors the chance to explore a truly stunning and otherworldly environment.
  • Witnessing a Tibetan-derived culture that is unique and colorful. Visitors will encounter prayer stones, monasteries, stupas, and sculptures that are unlike anything they have seen before.
  • Tilicho Lake is the main highlight of this trek, as it is the highest lake in the world, located at an altitude of 4,919m. This stunning lake is a must-see for any visitor to the region and is sure to be a highlight of the trek.


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Trip Itinerary

Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you will be greeted by a representative from Manaslu Tours who will transfer you to your hotel. To start your journey on a high note, we will be hosted for a welcome dinner in the evening, featuring authentic Nepalese cuisine and a warm welcome drink.

Day 02: Full day City Tour in Kathmandu Valley

  • SWOYAMBHUNATH, also known as the monkey temple, is climbed by a long set of steps and has great views of Kathmandu.
  • BOUDHANATH STUPA has many traditional Gompas hung with strings of multi-colored prayer flags; it attracts many Sherpas and Tibetans for the circumambulations of the stupa (koras)
  • PASHUPATINATH is a Hindu temple with burning Ghats on the banks of the Bagmati River.
  • KATHMANDU DURBAR SQUARE, which is one of the old capitals of the Kathmandu valley, has a blend of Hindu and Buddhist temples

Day 03: Kathmandu to Khudi Khola (790m)

Our journey begins with an early morning drive to Khudi Khola, where we will enjoy scenic views of terraced farms and beautiful huts along the way. At Dumre, ahead of Pokhara and Lamjung, we will head north to Besisahar before taking a half-hour drive to Khudi, which marks the starting point of our trek. Alternatively, for those who prefer to trek, we can get off at Besisahar and hike for an hour along a wide trail to reach Khudi.

Day 04: Khudi Khola to Sirung (1,804m)

On our first day of walking, we will cross several suspension bridges and waterfalls, as well as navigate through rice paddies and a subtropical forest with several ascents and descents. The initial part of the trail is gradual, but we will eventually encounter steeper paths. The mountains that we viewed from Khudi will appear much closer as we progress. Along the way, we will pass through Taranche, an ethnic Tamang settlement, before reaching Sirung village. Once there, we will be treated to breathtaking, close-up views of Nadi Chuli and Manaslu mountains. Don't forget to take breaks to rest, hydrate, and appreciate the stunning scenery, and be sure to pace yourself so that you can safely reach your destination.

Day 05: Sirung to Jagat (1,314m)

We depart from Sirung towards Jagat, following a trail that is relatively easy to navigate. Leaving behind the village terraces, we make our way through a beautiful landscape of forests, ferns, and woodlands. Along the way, we pass through several small villages and visit a few temples, allowing us to immerse ourselves in the local culture and gain a deeper understanding of the way of life in this region. At Mipra, we cross a suspension bridge over Sangu Khola, where we also have the opportunity to view a nearby waterfall. Continuing on our journey, we cross another suspension bridge at Syange over the mighty Marshyangdi River, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding area. We cross one more bridge before arriving at our final destination for the day, Jagat.

Day 06: Jagat to Dharapani (1,943m)

The trail from Jagat initially descends until it reaches the river before continuing through a lush forest. As we continue on our journey, we encounter a sharp-edged cliff that faces the riverbank, providing us with magnificent views of the surrounding Annapurna mountain ranges. The picturesque village of Chyamje comes into view as we trek along the trail. We cross a suspension bridge and then face a physically demanding climb toward the slippery path to Seattle. The path is strewn with rocks and we must tread with caution to avoid any mishaps. As we make our way down the trail, we come across a grassy riverbank that leads to Tal, where we take some time to rest and admire the tranquil beauty of our surroundings. Continuing on, the path becomes rugged and winding as we make our way toward the steeply-forested village of Karte. Along the way, we are treated to the sight of mesmerizing waterfalls and cliffs that add to the natural splendor of the area. After crossing another suspension bridge, we finally reach our destination for the day, Dharapani, where we can rest and recharge for the next leg of our journey.

Day 07: Dharapani to Koto (2,575m)

After leaving Dharapani, the trail gradually ascends through a rugged path that has been carved out of the mountainside. This stretch of the trail has seen recent developments and changes. As we continue trekking for several kilometers, we come across the charming village of Danique before ascending steeply to Timang. Along the way, we are rewarded with stunning views of the majestic Manaslu mountain range, as well as the snowcapped peaks of the Annapurna mountain range. The trek also takes us through picturesque apple orchards, adding a touch of natural beauty to the journey. Finally, we arrive at our campsite in Koto, where we can rest and prepare for the next leg of our adventure. This section of the trek offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences, making it a memorable part of the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Day 08: Koto to Meta (3,560m)

In the morning, we obtain our restricted area permit at the Police Check Post before continuing our trek. We trek along the riverbank of Soti Khola, passing through beautiful pine forests, and crossing streams and suspension bridges along the way until we reach Dharmasala. We will have our packed lunch during the trek. After our lunch break, we continue our trek through forests and ascend steeply towards Meta village. As we climb higher, we gradually reach the Tibetan Plateau and enjoy breathtaking views of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal.

Day 09: Meta to Kyang (3,740m)

The trail beyond Meta becomes more challenging as much of the energy is spent navigating a roller-coaster maze of glacial moraines. The landscape is a combination of white rocks, low shrubs, juniper, scattered evergreens, delicate brick-red and orange leafy bushes, crumbling shelves of flat slate, and white sandy trails. After a short walk, we reach a trail junction offering a clear view of the Nar valley with its monastery and chorten. Continuing past Jhunam (3,640m), we arrive at Chyakhu (3,800m), a former Khampa settlement. Passing many chortens, we traverse uphill and downhill before finally arriving at the settlement valley of Kyang. Here, superb mountain views of Pisang peak, Annapurna II, Gyaji Kang, and more can be seen.

Day 10: Kyang to Phu Gaon (4,050m)

Descending steeply towards the Phu Khola, you will trek along the riverbank, passing by interesting sights such as the "submarine" rock and small potential campsites. Along the way, you will start to see the unique and colorful chortens that Nar and Phu are known for. Crossing a small glacial stream carefully, you will then reach a larger stream with a bridge partially covered with large slate slabs. After trekking for another hour and a half through scenic canyons and gorges, you will come across the Phu gate, known as Pupigyal Kwe, which guards the steep trail up to Phu. From the gate, you will have your first glimpse of the three villages of Phu, along with an ancient "dzong" and the remains of two forts that sit impressively atop the flatlands before Phu, even though they are now in ruins.

Day 11: Excursion day

During your stay in Phu, you will have the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn more about their way of life. You can explore the wide valley systems above the village and take a walk to the summer grazing settlement or Kharka at Ngoru, which takes about three hours past the gompa. Phu village itself is incredibly interesting, and you can observe the villagers spinning their yak and sheep wool while chatting with them. You will stay overnight at a campsite in Phu Valley, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

Day 12: Phu to Junam (3,600m)

Starting from Phu, you will pass through the ancient gate of Pupigyal Kwe, and begin descending towards the riverbank of Phu Khola. As you walk along the river, you will see the unique and colorful chortens that Nar and Phu are famous for. You will cross a small glacial stream and then a larger one with a bridge half-covered with slate. The trail then leads through scenic canyon lands and gorges until you arrive at Junam Kharka.

Day 13: Junam to Nar Gaon (4,110m)

This day, you will trek down to an old bridge that spans a deep, contoured, and narrow gorge, and then ascend back up again. The scenery along the way is stunning. Below you, you'll see Gyalbu Kumbu, built in 1650, and Satte Gompa, both now empty. Finally, you'll reach the Nar gates at the top of the hill and pass by yet another line of wonderfully painted, bamboo-topped chortens, and a large tiered chorten.

Day 14: Cross Kang La Pass (5,320m). Trek to Ngawal (3,660m)

We begin our trek towards the Kang La Pass, crossing a beautiful series of alpine meadows before reaching our campsite at its base. To witness the spectacular views of the Annapurna Range and the panorama peaks to the north and east, an early start is necessary. After taking a well-deserved break, we make our way down, navigating through scree slopes which can be challenging on the knees. Finally, we descend towards an open meadow near the village of Nyawal where we set up camp for the night.

Day 15: Ngawal to Manang (3,540m)

Leaving Ngawal, we descend through a beautiful forest and cross a suspension bridge over the Marsyangdi River. From there, we ascend gradually through small villages and apple orchards to the village of Braga, famous for its ancient Gompa (monastery) which dates back to the 8th century. We explore the Gompa, which contains priceless Buddhist artifacts and frescoes, before continuing our trek to Manang. On the way, we enjoy stunning views of the Annapurna, Gangapurna, and other peaks of the Himalayas.

Day 16: Manang to Shree Kharka (4,000m)

The trek from Manang to Khangsar takes approximately 2-3 hours depending on individual walking speed. The trail initially follows an easy path that runs alongside the Marsyangdi River. After some time, the trail becomes more challenging as it ascends toward Khangsar. Along the way, we will pass through several small settlements and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. As we approach Khangsar, we will notice the village's traditional architecture, and we can take some time to explore the area before continuing our trek. From Khangsar to Shree Kharka, it is a steep and uphill climb that takes approximately 3-4 hours depending on individual walking speed. The trail passes through rugged terrain and requires some level of physical fitness. Along the way, we will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountain peaks, including Annapurna and Gangapurna.

Day 17: Shree Kharka to Tilicho BC (4,150m)

The trek from Shree Kharka to Tilicho Base Camp is a challenging climb that takes approximately 5-6 hours depending on individual walking speed. The trail passes through rugged terrain and requires a good level of physical fitness. Along the way, we will enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain peaks, including Gungang Himal and Mt. Chulu. We will also pass through several small settlements before reaching Tilicho Base Camp, where we can rest for the night. The base camp is located at an altitude of 4,140 meters.

Day 18: Excursion to Tilicho Lake (4,919m)

The excursion to Tilicho Lake from Tilicho Base Camp is a challenging yet rewarding trek that takes approximately 6-7 hours depending on individual walking speed. The trail ascends to an altitude of 4,919 meters and requires a good level of physical fitness. Along the way, we will enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain peaks and the beautiful turquoise-colored lake itself. As we approach the lake, we will notice the peaceful ambiance and the pristine beauty of the natural surroundings. It is essential to take proper precautions and rest appropriately, as the high altitude may cause symptoms of altitude sickness. After spending some time at the lake and taking in the beauty of the surroundings, we will return to Tilicho Base Camp to rest for the night.

Day 19: Cross Mesokenta La Pass (5,025m). Trek to Yak Kharka (3,600m)

From Tilicho Base Camp, we will begin our trek towards the Mesokenta La Pass, which involves a steep ascent of about 300 meters to reach the ridge high above the lake. The trail then traverses a couple of ridge crossings before a short, steep climb to reach the Mesokenta La Pass. From the pass, we will be rewarded with stunning views that stretch back to the lake as well as panoramic views of the Nilgiri peaks and Dhaulagiri on the far side of the Kali Gandaki Gorge. After enjoying the views from the pass, we will begin our descent towards Yak Kharka. The descent from the pass is steep and sometimes slippery, especially if there is snow on the trail. We will need to be careful while walking on the loose and rocky terrain. Along the way, we will pass through beautiful alpine meadows and cross several small streams before reaching Yak Kharka, a small settlement located at an altitude of 4,110 meters.

Day 20: Yak Kharka to Jomsom (2,670m)

Starting from Yak Kharka, the trail ascends along the east bank of the Jarsang Khola, before descending and crossing the stream on a wooden bridge at 4310m. During the trek, you might be surprised by sightings of blue sheep and even snow-capped leopards. Overhead, choughs, large lammergeiers, and Himalayan griffons can be seen circling around you. The trail continues with a long descent along a ridge, gradually leading down to the Kali Gandaki River and the village of Jomsom. After arriving in Jomsom, we will settle in a comfortable lodge situated close to the airport.

Day 21: By Domestic Plane: Jomsom to Pokhara (820m)

Early in the morning, we will take a picturesque flight to Pokhara, where we can marvel at the stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, as well as the world's deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki. Upon arrival, we can spend the day relaxing in our hotel or exploring the charming Lake Side area with its breathtaking mountain panoramas and natural beauty. There are many interesting places to discover in Pokhara, including the fascinating Mahendra Cave, David's Fall, and several scenic lakes. We can take our time to soak up the beauty of this enchanting place and make the most of our time in Pokhara.

Day 22: Pokhara to Kathmandu

From Pokhara, you can drive back to Kathmandu which takes around 7 hours. The journey is scenic as you pass through lush hills, terraced fields, and small villages. You can also stop for a break or a meal at one of the many roadside restaurants along the way. Alternatively, you can also choose to do some activities such as rafting or visit the Manakamana temple and experience the cable car ride. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you can check in to your hotel and relax for the rest of the day.

Day 23: Free day in Kathmandu

Today, we have a free day to explore the vibrant city of Kathmandu on our own. You may want to spend the day indulging in some souvenir shopping, wandering around the colorful streets and bazaars, or enjoying the local cuisine. You could also visit some of the popular tourist attractions in the city, such as the Bhaktapur, or Patan which showcase Nepal's rich cultural and historical heritage. Alternatively, you could engage in other activities like hiking, biking, or adventure sports, or simply relax and rejuvenate in one of the city’s many spas and wellness centers. Whatever you choose to do, make sure to soak up the unique sights, sounds, and flavors of this wonderful city.

Day 24: Transfer to Kathmandu International airport for departure.

Today, we will transfer to Kathmandu International Airport for our departure. After enjoying a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we will gather our belongings and make our way to the airport. We will ensure that we reach the airport well in time to complete all the necessary formalities and board our flight. Before we bid adieu to this enchanting country, take one last look at the breathtaking views of the Himalayas and take a moment to appreciate the warm hospitality and kindness of the Nepalese people. This marks the end of our tour, and we hope you had a memorable and enjoyable time in Nepal.

Cost & Dates

Nar Phu Valley Tilicho Lake Trek cost on the website applies to 6-12 people groups. However, private trips for groups of two or more can be organized upon request. A group booking of 12 or more people can avail of a maximum discount with one free trip. Clients' travel date preferences can be accommodated, but the trek cost depends on factors such as group size, duration, accommodation type, and additional activities or services.

  • Group Size: The cost of the trip will depend on the size of the group.
  • Hotel Accommodation Category and Client's Budget: The cost may also vary based on the accommodation category and budget preference of the client.
  • Itinerary Modification: Our trekking itinerary can be modified according to your time and requirements, and the cost will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Additional Services: If you require additional services, the cost will be adjusted accordingly based on mutual understanding.
  • Trekking Staff: The cost is also affected by the number of Trekking Guides, Assistant Guides, and extra porters required for the trip.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to book your trek.

Cost Includes:

  • Airport pick-up drop service on private vehicle
  • Hotel: 4 nights in Kathmandu and one night in Pokhara in a twin sharing room on BB plan
  • Full-day Guided Tour in Kathmandu with English-speaking Tour guide
  • Land transportation on a private vehicle: Kathmandu to Khudi Khola, and Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Domestic airfare: Jomsome to Pokhara
  • Completely lodges treks which include Breakfast, Lunch, dinner, and room during the whole trekking period.
  • Trekking Permit: Special Permit of Nar-Phu Valley, Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and TIM Card entrance fees
  • First aid and medical kits
  • Trekking staff: English Speaking Trekking Guide, Assistant Guide, and Porters
  • Accidental and medical Insurance of Nepalese staff
  • All government taxes and official charges.

Trip FAQ

  1. What is the Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek?
    The Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek is a challenging and rewarding trek that combines two popular trekking routes in the Annapurna region of Nepal - the Nar Phu Valley Trek and the Tilicho Lake Trek.


  1. How long is the trek?
    The Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek usually takes around 16-20 days to complete, depending on the itinerary and the trekker's pace.


  1. What is the difficulty level of the trek?
    The Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek is a challenging trek that requires a good level of fitness and trekking experience. The trek involves high-altitude trekking, steep climbs, and rough terrain.


  1. What is the best time to go for the trek?
    The best time to go for the Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek is from March to May and from September to November when the weather is dry and the skies are clear.


  1. What are the highlights of the trek?
    The highlights of the Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek include stunning views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, exploring remote villages, crossing high passes, encountering unique Himalayan cultures, and culminating the trek at the breathtaking Tilicho Lake - the world's highest lake.


  1. Is it necessary to hire a guide or porter for the trek?
    While it is not mandatory to hire a guide or porter for the trek, it is highly recommended for safety reasons and to enhance the overall trekking experience. Local guides and porters are knowledgeable about the area and can provide valuable insights into the local culture and customs.


  1. What kind of accommodation is available on the trek?
    Accommodation on the Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek ranges from basic tea houses to more comfortable lodges. The lodges and tea houses provide simple but comfortable accommodations with basic amenities such as hot showers and electricity.


  1. Do I need special permits for the trek?
    Yes, special permits are required for the Nar Phu Valley & Tilicho Lake Trek. Trekking permits can be obtained through a registered trekking agency in Nepal, and a national park permit is also required for the trek.


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