Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek
A fantastic journey in a wild and unexplored area located north of Annapurna: the Nar and Phu Valley, this trek, in a wild and unexplored area north of Annapurna, is perfect for those trekkers who want to discover the Annapurna circuit as well as explore an untouched valley. Although Tilman first explored this region in the 1950’s, the Nar and Phu valley was only opened to trekkers as recently as 2003, and still relatively few westerners have explored its villages, which remain untouched by modernity. The remoteness of the valley and its proximity to Tibet has meant that the people and their culture have remained more akin to Tibet than Nepal, and they have retained their age-old practices. Most local inhabitants are engaged in yak herding and farming, like in rural Tibet.
Traversing an amazing combined expanse of high passes, remote villages, narrow canyons, lush forests, and viewpoints which overlook majestic snow peaks, this trek enjoys amazing natural diversity. We begin after driving for almost a whole day from Kathmandu to Bulbule, from where we follow the popular Annapurna Circuit route as far as Koto, before heading into the previously restricted wilds of the Nar Khola Valley. Trekking in the area is unlike most of Nepal – the terrain is Trans Himalayan and similar to that of Tibet. Trails are rugged and at times cut high into cliff sides in an area that has changed little over the years.
We will spend a number of days exploring the region and will visit the remote villages of Phu and Nar, as well as crossing the Kang La Pass. We spend a couple of days in Phu to see the unique Buddhist monastery and chortens for which it is famous, and to explore the interesting rock formations in the area. One such monolith is nicknamed ‘The Leaning Tower of Pisa’, and guards the trail to Phu gate (otherwise known as Pupigyal Kwe). Here there are two forts, now in ruins, but impressively situated atop the flatlands before Phu. We will also have time to visit local villagers as they spin their yak yarn, pound mustard seeds and carry out other traditional daily activities
We will visit the Tashicholing Monastery before heading towards Nar, not far from the main Annapurna Trail. An area rarely visited by trekkers, Nar is a bit more lively than Phu and we will spend some time in the village square watching woman talk and weave carpets and blankets. Each family seems to have at least one child in the gompa (a combined fort, monastery and religious college) and thus the streets are alive with the sound of cymbals crashing, chanting and drumming.
We trek to Ngawal via Kang La (5322 m), an absolutely spectacular pass over-looking Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tilicho peak, and the other peaks surrounding Tilicho, and Hongde. Next it is on to Braga (3500 m), an old, partially deserted Tibetan-style village to explore its ancient, yet colourful gompa.
The route will rejoin the Annapurna Circuit near Braga and continue to Manang. After a day rest in Manang we will follow the little-used route that leads to the Tilicho Lake. This route and its high passes link the Manang and Kali Ghandaki Valleys, and offer the adventurous and fit trekker high mountain scenery at its very best.
After a visit to the world's highest lake, Tilicho, the trail continues over Misokanto Pass (5121m.); pass offers a spectacular panoramic views of Annapurna range, Tilicho, Dhaulagiri along with many more snow-cap, to Kaisang (3510m.), Thini gaon (2840m.) and finally to Jomson, where the trek ends, and from where we take our flight to Pokhara, the lakeside town, and enjoy the overnight stay in hotel before return back to Kathmandu.
Itinerary at a glance
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel.
Day 02: Kathmandu sightseeing, preparing for trekking, overnight in hotel
Day 03: Drive to Bulbule and overnight (840m)
Day 04: Trek to Gharmu (1130m)
Day 05: Trek to Tel (1700m)
Day 06: Trek to Bagarchhap (2160m)
Day 07: Trek Koto (2600m)
Day 08: Trek to Dharmasala (3230m)
Day 09: Trek to Kayang (3740m)
Day 10: Trek to Phu Gaun (4080m)
Day 11: Excursion around Phu Valley (4080m)
Day 12: Trek to Nar Phedi (3490m)
Day 13: Trek to Nar Village (4110m)
Day 14: Explore Nar Village or an option to trek to Kang La Phedi and back to Nar (4110m)
Day 15: Trek back to Koto (2600m)
Day 16: Trek to Pisang (3200m)
Day 17: Trek to Manag (3540m)
Day 18: Trek to Khangsar (3734m)
Day 19: Acclimatize/rest day at Khangsar (4150m)
Day 20: Trek to Tilicho base camp (4920m)
Day 21: Trek to Tilicho Lake (4920m)
Day 22: Trek back to Khangsar (3437m)
Day 23: Trek back to Humde (3280m)
Day 24: Fly to Pokhara.
Day 25: Fly Pokhara-Kathmandu, rest of afternoon free, shopping /leisure
Day 26: Kathmandu - visit Mitrata home
Day 27: Transport to airport for international departure
Date & Price
All ACCESS-HIMALAYA adventure travel trips are small group departures and therefore places can fill quickly. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you book your trip as soon as possible.
... in Camping TrekAccommodation in Kathmandu and elsewhere-apart from trek (see itinerary) bed & breakfast basis, (accommodation in twin room unless otherwise arranged) – accommodation facilities/details are outlined at 'Trip Notes'
All meals during the trek (all breakfasts, lunches and dinners will be hot and freshly prepared)
All internal transportation as stated in itinerary, including domestic flights (see itinerary) We use Tourist Bus/Privately hired vehicles/Domestic air transport - whichever is available, and viable
All Camping equipment [Large A-shape or D, two-man tents about 5’2”high internally, Mess tent, Kitchen tent, Shower tent (on request), Toilet tents, Mattresses (dense foam with removable cotton cover), Tables, Chairs with back support, Stainless steel plates and cutlery, and Kitchen gear]
Free hire of four season down sleeping bag and fleece liner for trek only (see individual trips)
Experienced staff - (cook, kitchen helpers, sardar, sherpa helpers, porters/animals for camping trek) as appropriate
Staff and porter insurance
Sightseeing in Kathmandu as stated in itinerary (guide and transport only)
Free gift of Access-Himalaya trekking kit bag for each member of group (to be distributed on arrival in Kathmandu)
Free airport pick and drop (usually international only)
Trekking and TIMS permits (as appropriate)
... in Camping TrekYour personal equipment
Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond our control
Your travel insurance, (Make sure the policy covers helicopter rescue and evacuation service)
Medical examination and vaccination costs
Personal expenditure, including bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc.
Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu and elsewhere-apart from trek (see itinerary)
Heritage sights/Monastery/Temple entrance fees
Trek and Tour crew tips at end of tour
- A AVAILABLE - Trip date is available and open for bookings. Go for it!
- G GUARANTEED - Trip is reached minimum numbers and this is 'Guaranteed to Run'
- L LIMITED - Trip is 'Guaranteed to Run' and there are a very limited number of available places remaining. Immediate booking is recommended.
- C CLOSED - Trip has reached maximum numbers and it is unavailable. Please Contact Us to enquire about other trip departure dates or booking this trip as a private departure
Trip Info (Tour/Trek Styles) Explained
- PG Private Group: This style of trip is organized for specific groups of people (families, friends,school and college students, colleagues, business associates etc.), and is closed to outsiders. If you are interested in this particular trip departure date then please get in touch with us.
- OA Open to All: This trip departure is open to all. However, if you are interested in this particular trip departure date but want your own private group, then please get in touch with us.
- LT Lodge Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is lodge (teahouse) based. All accommodation, including food, is provided in local lodges. Occasionally however, where a large group is concerned we may choose to send our own cook along, as well, to take care of your food hygiene and to cook some special additional items.We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s) and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- CT Camping Based Trip/Trek: This trip/trek is camping (tent) based. We will provide one 3-man tent for every two people, also single tents, where requested, on payment of supplementary costs. All food and drinks are provided by our experienced cook and his kitchen team. We provide all necessary documentation, including permits, and arrange all internal transport. We provide trekking guide, assistant guide(s), cook, kitchen crew, food and drink, and porters/animals for transport of your gear. You merely carry a daysack with essentials, including water.
- GAP Guide, Accommodation & Porter only: In this trip neither food nor transportation is included. Clients are responsible for food and local transportation, and our responsibility is to provide insured guide, insured porter, and all necessary permits. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Clients pay for their own accommodation. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, We can arrange hotels and international airport transfer, on request.
- SG Self Guided/Budget Trip: This trip is specially designed for low-budget travellers who prefer fairly basic facilities with reduced services. It is a pre-requisite that a porter is hired for any self-guided trip, which is an ideal set-up for those who enjoy independent travel with minimum cost. We have added support to minimise the hard work of planning and costing, and we will be available to help in the unlikely event of an emergency. We will arrange all documentation (including permits), before you arrive in Nepal, so that you are free to get on with your adventure, relying only on your porter to help you on your way. All additional costs are the responsibility of the clients, including charges incurred as a result of delays or cancellation of services beyond our control. Hotel accommodation, local transportation and international airport transfers may be arranged, on request.
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Accommodation in Kathmandu
It is our policy to use Nepali-owned accommodation, always, as we feel this is an aspect of fair trade, and the hotels we use in Kathmandu are comfortable, clean, efficient and friendly. Most hotels are also family-run; we visit, and stay in the hotels ourselves, to ensure that facilities are ... read more..
Food on Camping Trek
Three meals a day, plus afternoon hot drinks with biscuits, are provided on our camping treks. We will provide a tasty, nutritious mixture of Nepalese, Indian and Western food prepared hygienically by our trekking Cooks who are masters at preparing foods under less then ideal conditions. As much as possible ... read more..
It is a strict condition of joining an Access-Himalaya adventure holiday that you must be insured against all medical and personal accident risks, including repatriation if necessary. Helicopter evacuation, in the unlikely event of your being injured or taken seriously ill on trek, is very costly - an average rescue ... read more..
Nepal Visa and Passport
All visitors to Nepal require a passport (valid for at least 6 months after your return to your home country) and an entry visa. A visa application should be obtained from the Nepalese Embassy, in London (click here to download Nepal visa application form ), or in your own country ... read more..
Travellers' cheques are no longer accepted in Nepal, so please do not bring these as your currency. However, ATM facilities are widely available in Kathmandu, Pokhara and other large towns, so a Visa, or other internationally-recognized credit/debit card, would be useful. Larger shops accept payment by credit/debit card, although they ... read more..
Tipping and Service Charges
Tipping is an entirely personal and optional matter and at the discretion of the individual. Should you wish to give a tip in a restaurant, if there is not already a service charge included you may consider a tip of 10%. Recently there has been a recommendation for 10% charge ... read more..
Security and Valuables
We (Access-Himalaya) will arrange for your valuables, air ticket and passport to be kept in the safe of your hotel, together with all excess money, credit cards and travellers\' cheques, while you are away on trek. When on trek, your money, camera and binoculars should be kept with you at ... read more..
Trekking Clothing & Equipment Guideline
The following is a guideline, not a prescription: we hope it will help you find your way through the minefield of items of clothing and equipment which fill the catalogues of outdoor adventure outfitters! Jacket x 1This should be breathable, wind-proof and waterproof (not showerproof), with attached hood. Suitable fabrics to ... read more..
If our fixed departure dates are not convenient for you or your group, we can also arrange private departures on all of our small group tours. Private group departures will follow the same itineraries as our usual small group tours, or itineraries may be tailormade to suit your own convenient tour date/budgets.
Itineraries may be tailor-made to suit your dates. So if you can’t find a date to suit you or if you want to have your very own tour just with your friends or family then we can help you.
Customised Private Groups:
For most of our usual tours, or itineraries, where there is a group numbering 2 or more, we can customise and organise private group trip(s) where we design the itinerary and activities exclusively for you, according to your requirements and budgets, such as Honeymoon, Anniversary, Family, Scouts, School, College, Fundraising or Charity trips. Find out more about our private group tours.
To enquire about booking a private departure of this tour or about organising your own private group tour, please fill in the form below and we will get back to you shortly with details.