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Mountain Passes of Nepal

  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Wed Sep 22, 2021
Mountain Passes of Nepal

Nepal, the land of the Himalayas, is home to many mountain passes. Mountain passes are a route through a mountain range that offers spectacular views of the towering peaks. Oftentimes, passes are found above the source of a river and mark the highest point between the two valleys. Mountain passes are generally the highest point of the trek and the vantage point. Passes also serve as a route between two mountain tops and between a summit and the valley floor. Traditionally, mountain passes were used for trade, communications, and military expeditions. Mountain passes like Cho La Pass, Thorong La Pass, Renjo La Pass are some of the popular mountain passes in Nepal. Meanwhile, Selele Pass, Jeng La Pass, and Meshokanto La Pass are some of the lesser-known passes. That said, below are the 15 mountains passes in Nepal.


1. Cho La Pass, Everest Region

Cho La Pass

Cho La Pass is one of the many mountain passes in the Himalayas of Nepal. This mountain pass at 5,420 meters above sea level is in Solukhumbu District in northeastern Nepal along the Gokyo trail. The pass, as seen from Gokyo, appears as a steep cut in the high ridgeline. It connects the two mountain villages of Thagnak and Dzongla. The trail through the Cho La Pass to the west takes you to Gokyo Lakes and joins Everest Base Camp to the east. This iconic pass bestows stunning views of the majestic mountains and dramatic landscape. Crossing this pass also means trekking on the glacier and hiking across the Ngozumpa Glacier. That means you have to put on crampons to cross the pass. 

Cho La Pass in the Everest region is one of the three main passes in the Everest region. The other two passes are Kongma La and Renjo La. One of the most asked questions regarding Cho La pass is: How tough is Cho La Pass? And the answer depends upon you; if you are an experienced trekker, it should not be hard for you to cross the pass; however, if you are have never trekked above 4000m, it would be a big concern for you. Here, we are talking about trekking on glaciers and walking on rough terrains above 4500m. The Cho La Pass Trek involves four prominent landmarks: Dzongla village, Cho La Pass, Thagnak village, Ngozumpa Glacier and Gokyo Lakes. 

Cho La Pass Facts

Region:

Everest Region

Starting Point:

Dzongla

Altitude:

5,420m

Nearest Landmarks:

Gokyo valley, Thagnak village 

How to Reach Cho La Pass

The Cho La Pass trek is a moderate trek suitable for anyone with good health and fitness level. The Cho La Pass route connects the Everest Base Camp Trek route with Gokyo valley. The trail to Cho La Pass follows the classic route of Gokyo Lakes. Dzongla village, Cho La Pass, Thagnak village, Ngozumpa Glacier, and Gokyo Lakes are the major stopping points. Once you check out of Dzongla tea house, you will head to the Cho La Pass through the icy trail. Remember, it is not easy; it is the most challenging part of the trek. Once you reach the pass, it is a downhill trek to Thagnak village. The further trail traverse across the Ngozumpa Glacier and finally Gokyo valley. 

2. Kongma La Pass, Everest Region

Kongma La pass

Kongma La Pass, above the Khumbu glacier, lies opposite Lobuche Peak. At 5550m, Kongma La Pass is one of the challenging passes in the Everest region. This pass is known to be a challenging trekking option in the Everest region for trekkers. But like we all know, challenging but rewarding, the view from the top of the pass is astonishingly stunning. One can embrace the spectacular views of towering peaks like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, Mihara, and Pokalde peak. The hike up to the pass is considered the hardest part of three passes trek and features steep elevation gain and loss, rugged terrain, uneven rocky path, glacier, and small lakes. 

The route to Kongma La Pass diverts from the standard Everest Base Camp Trek route. The trail to Kongma La Pass follows the EBC trek route until Dingboche. From Dingboche, it follows the rugged terrains to Chukkung and the top of the pass. Ama Dablam looms over the horizon and above breathtaking landscapes, and the sight of the vast valley awaits trekkers. One of the notable features of the pass is that it encompasses a tough uphill and tough downhill. The route is less frequented and is not technical. Unlike Cho La Pass, trekkers navigating the trail to this pass need not wear any special equipment.

Kongma La Pass Pass Facts

Region:

Everest Region

Starting Point:

Chukhung

Altitude:

5,550m

Nearest Landmarks:

Chukhung and Lobuche

How to Reach Kongma La Pass

Trekkers need to follow the Everest Base Camp route until Dingboche. Dingboche, Chukung, Kongma La Pass, and Lobuche are the significant stopping points of the Kongma La Pas trek. Remember, most of the trekkers acclimatize at Dingboche before ascending to the top of the pass. From Dingboche, march towards the village of Chukhung. This section of the trek is relatively moderate. Head northwest from Chukhung to the pass. Note, few portions of the trail are a bit rockier, demanding watchful steps. Please remember to spot the yellow signpost that directs you towards the pass. 

3. Renjo La Pass, Everest Region

Renjo La Pass

Renjo La Pass in Sagarmatha National Park is the lowest-altitude pass of the three passes: Kongma La, Cho La, and Renjo La Pass. This pass is considered the easiest pass in the Everest region of Nepal and does not involve traversing glaciers. Renjo La Pass at 5,360 meters connects the Gokyo Lakes and western valley. Comparing to the difficulty level of Kongma La Pass and Cho La Pass, this pass is a lot easier. In this sense, Renjo La Pass is less challenging and the easiest part of Three Passes Trek. Renjo La Pass bestows breathtaking views of jagged mountains in the Everest region and the pristine Gokyo Lakes. You can enjoy the marvelous sight of Everest, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Makalu, and surrounding peaks.

Trekkers attempting to cross Renjo La Pass choose to do Gokyo and Renjo La Pass trek or Three Passes Trek. The trek features incredible sights of majestic mountains, high alpine landscapes, and beautiful mountain villages. Unlike Cho La Pass and Kongma La Pass, Renjo La Pass is actually much easier to deal with. However, you should not underestimate the pass and be well-prepared for the adventure. Spring and autumn are considered the best time of the year to attempt an adventure to the top of the pass. 

Renjo La Pass Facts

Region:

Everest Region

Starting Point:

Gokyo

Altitude:

5,360m

Nearest Landmarks:

Gokyo and Lumde

How to Reach Renjo La Pass

Renjo La Pass trek starts with a scenic flight to Lukla. Phakding is the starting point of the trek and stretches along the popular EBC route. After trekking for few days, you should reach Lumde, the last stopping point before ascending the pass. From Lumde, you should climb few glacial moraines to the pass.

4. Amphu Lapcha Pass, Everest Region

Amphu Lapcha Pass

Amphu Lapcha Pass, at 5,845 meters, is a glaciated pass in Honku valley. Mountaineers cross this pass en route to Island Peak. Climbers heading to the top of Mera Peak also can cross this pass. In that sense, it involves technical mountaineering. This implies, Amphu Lapcha Pass is a challenging mountain pass in the Everest region. A trekker looking for a challenging high altitude trekking and climbing adventure can do the Mera Peak Climbing with Amphu Lapcha Pass. The pass demands the usage of technical climbing equipment, and hence you must be comfortable with the technical part.

Amphu Lapcha Pass grants jaw-dropping views of Lhotse Shar, Island Peak, and the Imja Glacier. Along the way, trekkers can admire stunning views of mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Island Peak, and other peaks in a row. The wonderful experience of crossing Amphu Lapcha Pass amidst the Himalayan wilderness is second to none. Exceptionally few mountaineers choose to do this adventure. However, many trekkers do a combined EBC and Mera climb or Mera Peak Climbing and Amphu Lapcha Pass. Similarly, some do Amphu Laptsa Pass Trek with an itinerary of a week.

Amphu Lapcha La Pass Facts

Region:

Everest Region

Starting Point:

Chukhung

Altitude:

5,845m

Nearest Landmarks:

Chukhung and Amphu Lapcha Base Camp

How to Reach Amphu Lapcha La

You have to navigate the Inkhu-Hongu valley and trek along the trail of the Everest region from Lukla airport to reach the pass. Few adventurers traverse the route to the pass. The adventure begins from the Sherpa town of Lukla and stretches along the less-traveled route. From Lukla, you will have to trek to Paiya, Panggom, Ningsow, Chhatra Khola, Kothe, Thangnak, Khare, and all the way to Amphu Lapcha Base Camp South. The popular itinerary for the trek to the pass is Mera Peak Climbing and Amphu Lapcha Pass Trek. The best part of this itinerary is that trekkers get to climb Mera Peak and cross the pass as well, within the span of 18-20 days. 

5. Teri La Pass, Upper Mustang Region

Teri La Pass

Explore Teri La Pass in the Mustang region of Nepal and witness magic in the air; yes, Mustang is magical, and the Teri La Pass is heaven on earth. Nestled close to the Tibetan border, Teri La Pass is a mountain challenge that few trekkers have undertaken. The adventure to Teri La Pass features a beautiful high walking route and rewards stunning views of Mustang, Dhaulagiri mountains, Annapurna range, Purtang Himalaya range, and surrounding peaks. This relatively new trekking route- to the pass-is a hidden gem for adventure seekers.

This pass is one of the highest passes in the Himalayas of Nepal. The remoteness and the Himalayan wilderness to the pass is unquestionably one of the underrated adventures in Nepal. After successfully crossing the pass, trekkers can head to Nar Phu Valley and explore the beauty of this valley or Upper Mustang and explore the enigmatic caves of Mustang. The trek offers a glimpse of Tibetan Buddhist Culture and lifestyle prevailing in the region. One must be physically fit and determined to partake in the marvelous journey to the pass.

Teri La Pass Facts

Region:

Mustang Region

Starting Point:

Nar

Altitude:

5,577m

Nearest Landmarks:

Lo Manthang and Nar

How to Reach Teri La Pass

Start the journey from Pokhara; fly to Jomson. Jomsom is the starting point of the trek. The trail leads through Kagbeni to Lo Manthang. Yak Kharka and Samana Khola are the two popular pit stops before actually ascending the Teri La Base Camp at 4,630m and the high camp. The next day you can reach the top of the pass. Mustang Teri La Pass Trek via Nar Phu valley is the ideal option for trekking looking to cross this pass. We have the best itinerary for trekkers who want to reach the pass. It is a 26-day trek to the pass via Mustang and Nar Phu valley.

6. Thorong La Pass, Annapurna Region

Thorong La Pass

Also dubbed one of Nepal's most hair-raising passes, Thorong La Pass is a popular pass crossed by hundreds of trekkers in peak season. Thorong La Pass, at an elevation of 5,416 meters, connects the village of Manang to the east, with the temple of Muktinath to the west. This pass is the highest point on the Annapurna circuit trek. From the top of the pass, you can embrace immersive views of the valleys and mountains like Annapurna massif, Dhaulagiri range, and surrounding peaks. However, the risk of AMS is evident at such height, and therefore trekkers must spend two or more days at Thorong High Camp or Thorong Phedi or Manang.

Thorong La Pass calls hundreds of trekkers every year; most of the trekkers do Annapurna Circuit Trek. One of the crucial things to consider before doing this trek is the time of the year. The best time to do the trek is in March–April, and October–November. Attempting to do the trek at another time might not be a good idea; the risk of avalanches, frostbite, and other hazards can result in the worst experience. The scene of the tragedy in October 2014 is still a piece of news in Annapurna Circuit; more than 43 people perished when blizzards hit the pass. Crossing Thorong La Pass is a difficult task; trekkers need to wake up at around 5 am and ascend the rugged terrains. But the reward is worth every step. 

Thorong La Pass Facts

Region:

Annapurna Region

Starting Point:

Manang

Altitude:

5,416m

Nearest Landmarks:

Yak Kharka and Muktinath

How to Reach Thorong La Pass

The best way to reach Thorong La Pass is by doing the classic Annapurna Circuit Trek. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is considered the best trek in Nepal. Almost after trekking for two weeks, you are ready to cross the pass. The trek is moderate and ideal for anyone who has done at least one trek in the Himalayas of Nepal. The first section of the trek takes you to Manang. Manang is the prominent pit stop in the Annapurna region of Nepal, where trekkers stay for two or more days to acclimatize. The second part of the trek takes you to Tilicho Lake, the second-highest lake in Nepal. And the final part of the trek takes you to the top of the pass. 

Recommended Read: Annapurna Circuit Trek - A Complete Guide

7. Kang La Pass, Annapurna Region

Kang La Pass

A mountain pass in the Annapurna region, Kang La Pass at 5,306 m, is a lesser-known mountain pass in Nepal. The trek to Kang La Pass features a real Himalayan wilderness amidst the unspoiled valleys of Nar Phu. Kang La Pass combines remote villages, majestic mountains, valleys, unique Tibetan cultures, and a high-alpine landscape. It is not a difficult pass but lacks the limelight it deserves; very few people know about the past, and only a few groups of trekkers have traversed the route to the pass.

From the top of the pass, you can embrace stunning views of Gangapurna, Annapurna massif, Tilicho peak, Manaslu, Saribung peak, and surrounding giants. The pass leads through the popular Annapurna Circuit trail. One clear perk of venturing to the pass is that the trail is much less crowded and away from the touch of the modern lifestyle. Unlike many mainstream trekking trails in the Annapurna region, the trek to Nar Phu and Kang La Pass let the trekker discover the remote settlements of Nar and Phu and the beauty of the pass. 

Kang La Pass Facts

Region:

Annapurna Region

Starting Point:

Ngawal

Altitude:

5,306m

Nearest Landmarks:

Nar village and Pisang

How to Reach Kang La Pass

One must assign themselves to the Nar Phu valley trek to reach the Kang La Pass. This means you should trek for at least 6 days before crossing the pass. The off-the-beaten-path takes you through an alpine forest, narrow gorges, ancient Tibetan villages, and a less-trodden path. One thing is for sure; you will be awed by the surreal views along the route and especially the view from the top of the pass. Koto, Meta, Phu, Nar (or Naar), and Ngawal are the major stopping points of the trek. Just before you ascend the pass, you will trek from Meta to Phu, Nar Phedi, Nar, and Ngawal. 

8. Ganja La Pass, Langtang Region

Ganja La Pass

Ganja La Pass at 5122m is a popular pass in the Langtang region of Nepal. This pass is one of the most accessible mountain passes from Kathmandu. And it is one of the challenging mountain passes in Nepal. It is located on rocky debris, adorned with high prayer flags. Many trekkers spend more than 10 days trekking through Langtang to the top of the Ganja La. The immersive view of mountains like Sisapangma, Ganesh Himal range, Langtang, Langtang Ri, Dorjelakpa, Langsisa Ri, and other peaks from the top of the pass is breathtaking. If you are wondering the best time to enjoy the view, it is during spring and autumn, particularly just after the monsoon.

Ganja La Pass trek takes you through quaint trails of the Langtang region. Starting from Sybru Bensi, your adventure to the pass navigates the popular trail in the Langtang region, covering major resting grounds like Lama Hotel, Kyanjin Gompa, Kyanjin Ri, and Ganja La High Camp. The adventure to the pass bestows an opportunity to explore Tibetan and Tamang villages and Buddhist monasteries. The ascent is adventuresome, but the rocky descent from the Ganja La Pass is more exciting for many trekkers. 

Ganja La Pass Facts

Region:

Langtang Region

Starting Point:

Ganja La Phedi

Altitude:

5,122m

Nearest Landmarks:

Kyanjin Gompa and Dukpu

How to Reach Ganja La Pass

The trail to the pass follows the popular route in Langtang Valley. Trekkers must trek for about a week to ascend the pass. Starting from Kathmandu, you must drive to Syabrubesi. The trail leads through Lama Hotel, a popular stopping point in the Langtang region. The trail slowly ascends to Kyanjin Gompa, the most popular landmark in the region. Finally, continue to Ganja La Phedi and cross the pass.  

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9. Larkya La Pass, Manaslu Region

Larkya La pass

Larkya La Pass at 5,106 meters is one of the longest passes in Nepal and is the highest point in the Manaslu Circuit Trek. Lonely Planet says that the pass is "one of the most dramatic pass crossings in the Himalaya." Hundreds of trekkers flock to the Manaslu region to cross the pass and enjoy the incredible mountain view that the pass has to offer. You can admire the views of Cheo Himal, Himlung Himal, Kangaru, Gyaji Himal, and Annapurna II from atop the pass. The journey to the pass is undoubtedly one of the challenging adventures in Nepal. Trekkers compare this pass with Cho La Pass in terms of difficulty.

Manaslu Circuit Trek is the best option for trekkers wanting to ascend the pass. On this trek, the day of the ascent to Larkye La Pass is rated as arduous but with the reward of awe-inspiring views and a sense of achievement. On the last section of the trek, trekkers make their way to the top of the pass from Larkya Phedi. The route to the pass is covered with deep snow all year round. Please remember, the area is prone to avalanches; therefore, weather assessment is a crucial task before crossing the pass. You can always ask your guide for any help.  

Larkya La Pass Facts

Region:

Manaslu Region

Starting Point:

Dharmasala

Altitude:

5,106m

Nearest Landmarks:

Bimtang and Dharmasala

How to Reach Larkya La Pass

You know the itinerary and the trek to reach the pass; it is Manaslu Trek. Following the standard itinerary of Manaslu Trek, you will be trekking through off-the-beaten-path for at least 10 days. The trail weaves through Budi Gandaki and Nubri Valleys. Barpak, Laprak, Khorla Besi, Jagat, Dang, Lho, Sama Gaon, Dharamsala, and Bimtang are the popular stopping points along the route to the pass. Start trekking from Laprak, follow the route to Larkye Base Camp. The final leg of the trek-crossing the pass- is considered challenging.

10. Lauribinayak La Pass, Langtang Region

Lauribinayak La Pass

A popular mountain pass at 4,460m in Langtang region is Lauribinayak La Pass. This pass is perched just above the sacred Gosaikunda Lake. Travelers and pilgrims alike head to the pass to admire the grandeur of the pass. Trekkers can embrace the breathtaking views of Langtang Lirung, Gangchenpo, Dorje Lakpa, Gaurishanker, Rolwaling Himalayan range, Langtang Himalayan range, and Annapurna range. Every year, hundreds of travelers and pilgrims walk up the popular trail in the Langtang region to explore the alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake believed to be the abode of the Hindu deities Shiva and Gauri. The pass is one of the nearest passes from Kathmandu valley.

Lauribinayak La Pass and Kyanjin Ri are the two best viewpoints in the Langtang region. The trek to the pass is a popular short trek from Kathmandu; you can complete the trek in about a week. The Lauribinayak La Pass trekking trail is best explored in Spring (March to Jun) and Autumn (September to December). It is a moderate trek and demands an average 5-6 hours of trekking a day. You must obtain TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management System) and a Permit to trek to the pass. 

Laurebinayak La Pass Facts

Region:

Langtang Region

Starting Point:

Ghopte

Altitude:

4,460m

Nearest Landmarks:

Gosainkunda and Kutumsang

How to reach Laurebinayak La Pass

You have to traverse the popular Gosaikunda Lake trekking trail to reach the pass. Starting the journey from Kathmandu, the first thing to do is catch a bus to Syabrubesi. It is a 7-8 hours ride to Syabrubesi from Kathmandu. From Syabrubesi, head to Lama Hotel. The next stopping points are Sing Gompa and Gosaikunda Lake. From Gosaikunda, trek for 6-7 hours to reach the pass.

11. Meshokanto La Pass, Annapurna Region

Meshokanto La Pass

Meshokanto La Pass is perched in the popular trekking region of Annapurna. At 5100m, Meshokanto La Pass offers an adventurous and rewarding trek. It is a less explored mountain pass in the Himalayas of Nepal. The trail to Meshokanto La Pass is an alternative route to the Thorong La Pass trek. It traverses the famous lake Tilicho Lake, the second-highest lake in Nepal. From the top of the pass, you can embrace the incredible sight of Manaslu, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna massif, Mt. Nilgiri, Mt. Fishtail, Tukuche Peak, Tilicho Peak, and other mountains of the Annapurna region.

This trek is a bit challenging and is not ideal for beginner trekkers. Trekkers must be ready for the technical part to cross the Meshokanto pass. The trail leads from paddy fields to remote corners of the Manang area to Tilicho Lake and beyond. Spring (March to Jun) and Autumn (September to December) is the best time to reach the pass. However, it is doable during winter as well.

Meshokanto Pass Facts

Region:

Annapurna Region

Starting Point:

Tilicho Lake

Altitude:

5,100m

Nearest Landmarks:

Kharka and Jomsom

How to Reach Meshokanto Pass

One can do Mesokanto La Pass Trek to cross the pass. It starts with a scenic drive to Bhulbule via Besisahar from Kathmandu. From Bhulbule, march towards Chamje village, Dharapani, Pisang and Manang. Furthermore, the trail takes you to Tilicho Base Camp and Tilicho Lake. Finally, from Tilicho Lake, you will slowly ascend to the pass. 

12. Selele Pass, Kanchenjunga Region

Selele Pass Facts

Yet another less-frequented mountain Pass in Nepal is Selele Pass in the Kanchenjunga region. Sele la Pass or Selele Pass is at the soaring height of 4480m above sea level. Most of the trekkers undertake the arduous journey to Kanchenjunga Base Camp, and very few actually make it to the top of the pass. The trek to the northern or southern base camp of Kanchenjunga is the remotest trek in Nepal. You will need Restricted Area permits and a Kanchenjunga Conservation permit to enter the region. Kanchenjunga Trek is the best option to cross Selele Pass.

Selele Pass Facts

Region:

Kanchenjunga Region

Starting Point:

Selele Camp

Altitude:

4,480m

Nearest Landmarks:

Ghunsa and Cheram

How to Reach Selele Pass

You must trek to the base camp of Kanchenjunga and cross the pass. Your adventure to the pass begins with a flight to Biratnagar and Suketar. The trek begins from Suketar and stretches to stops like Chirwa, Sakathum, Amjilassa, Gyabla, Gunsa, Khambachen, Lhonak, Pangpema, and Selele Kharka. The final leg of the trek is a difficult ascent. But you know it; it's worth every step.

13. Salpa Pass, Everest Region

Salpa Pass, a lesser-known pass in the Everest region, is perched above Arun valley towards Lukla. Salpa Pass connects the Everest region with the Makalu region. The trail to the pass is one of the oldest trails in the Everest region; people or say traders used the route to trade from Namche Bazaar to Tibet via the Nangpa La pass. This trail lets you explore Salpa Pokhari. Salpa Banjang at 3800m and Salpa Kharka at 3600m are two popular landmarks en route. Salpa Banjang at 3800m is the highest point in this trek. Upon reaching the top of the pass, trekkers can enjoy the stunning views of mountains like Everest, Makalu, Baruntse, Chamlang, and surrounding peaks.

The adventure to the pass starts from Tumlingtar and ends in the popular town of Lukla. Only trekkers seeking less-crowded trekking or virgin trails are suggested to undertake the journey to Salpa Pass. Tucked between the Sagarmatha and Makalu Barun National park, this pass is comparatively less popular, and only a few trekkers discover the pass. Even novice trekkers can commit themselves to do this trek. 

Salpa Pass Facts

Region:

Everest Region

Starting Point:

Sanam

Altitude:

3,350m

Nearest Landmarks:

Tumlingtar and Salpa Phedi

How to Reach Salpa Pass

The best way to reach Salpa Pass is by flying to Tumlingtar and trekking for a couple of days. The trail follows through the places like Chewabesi, Dangmaya, Majwa Danda, and Salpa Phedi. Trekkers get to explore remote Arun Valley in the eastern Everest region. The trek is considered moderate and best fit for anyone with good health. 

14. Nyalu Lagna Pass, Dolpo Region

Nyalu Lagna Pass at 4,995 meters is a mountain pass located at Humla District in Nepal. This pass connects Limi village with Simikot. A challenging pass in the Dolpa region, Nyalu Lagna Pass is a lesser-known mountain pass in Nepal. A remote trek in Nepal known as Limi Valley Trek takes you to the top of the pass. This trek takes you to the isolated district of Nepal, Humla, and lets you explore remote villages and ancient monasteries. The trek is an undeniable opportunity to witness Tibetan culture. You may even spot the elusive snow leopard, bharal, and musk dear in the high alpine zone.

The trek to the pass takes approximately 2 weeks. May to October is considered the best time of the year to embark on an adventurous journey to the pass. The pass remains covered in snow most time of the year. Trekking in winter is not recommended, and if you are trekking in the off-season, you must be prepared for inclement weather. You must obtain a special permit to enter the region to trek. 

Nyalu Lagna Pass Facts

Region:

Dolpo Region

Starting Point:

Talung Camp

Altitude:

4,995m

Nearest Landmarks:

Chuma Khola Valley and Dharmasala

How to Reach Nyalu Lagna Pass

One can trek through Limi Valley for about a week and ascend to the top of the pass. The route to the pass is strenuous. Simikot, Yalbang, Tumkot, Hilsa, and Nyalu Base Camp are some of the prominent landmarks along the route to the pass. The trail to the pass features rocky terrains and steep slopes. Limi Valley Trek is an ideal option for trekkers who wants to cross the pass.

15. Saldang La Pass, Dolpo Region

Saldang La Pass at 5,100m is a prominent landmark in Upper Dolpo region. It is the highest point in Upper Dolpo Trek. The pass grants awe-inspiring views of Dhaulagiri, Kanjirowa Himal, and surrounding peaks. Trekking to the Saldang La Pass means doing an organized trek; you cannot trek independently. Permits are expensive, and you have to indulge in camping style, carrying your own food. In this sense, this trek is not everyone's cup of tea. It is a daunting task to cross the pass and, therefore, is a good option only for seasoned trekkers. 

Trekking in Dolpo regions takes you to one of the most remote areas of Nepal. The desert-like landscapes and Tibetan Buddhist culture are the first impressions of the trek to the pass. No doubt, the trek to the pass is one of the unique treks in the Himalayas of Nepal. This trek is recommended only to those who have experience of trekking above 4500m. Although a novice trekker can choose to do the trek, it will be a lot challenging for him. Spring (April to May) and fall (October to November) are considered the best time to ascend the pass. 

Saldang La Pass Facts

Region:

Dolpo Region

Starting Point:

Shey Gompa

Altitude:

5,100m

Nearest Landmarks:

Shey Gompa and Yangze Gompa

How to Reach Saldang La Pass

To reach the pass, you need to fly to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu and then to Juphal and trek for about 10 days. The trek is strenuous; the last leg of the trek entails steep ascents. You will have to trek for about 5-6 hours every day and spend several nights above 3500m. Dunai, Ankhe, Sulighat, Phoksundo Lake, Shey Gompa, and Namduna Gaun are some of the resting grounds on the trek to the pass. 

16. Jeng La Pass, Dolpo Region

Jeng La Pass Facts

Jeng La Pass in the Dolpo region of Nepal is at 5090m above sea level. It is one of the lesser-known mountain passes in Nepal. Perched in the far-flung corner of Upper Dolpo, this pass possesses surreal beauty. Very few trekkers have actually reached the top of the pass. Unlike many other commercial passes, this pass is rarely visited. An adventure to Jeng La Pass is a rewarding journey to the beautiful land brimming with stunning scenery, enticing culture verdant valley, and snow-capped mountains. En route, you can explore the country's largest national park, Shey Phoksundo National Park, and the emerald lake of Phoksundo.

It requires special permits to trek in this region. The dramatic landscapes guarded by the towering peaks excite the wanderlust in you. The isolated villages, sights of spectacular lakes, and ancient Buddhist monasteries are incredible to see for the first time. Besides, ancient Bon and Buddhism religions prevalent in the region are something to look for; that will be a unique experience for you. 

Jeng La Pass Facts

Region:

Dolpo Region

Starting Point:

Jeng-la Phedi

Altitude:

5,090m

Nearest Landmarks:

Dho Tarap and Yangze Gompa

How to Reach Jeng La Pass

You must do the Upper Dolpo Trek to cross the pass.  Jeng-La Phedi at 4,900m is the stopping point before heading to Jeng La Pass. You start from Jeng-La Phedi and ascend 200m to the top of the pass. Starting the journey from Kathmandu, you will have to fly to Nepalgunj and Jhupal and trek for at least 10 days to reach the pass. Dunai, Ankhe, Sulighat, Phoksundo Lake, Bhanjyang, Shey Gompa, Namduna Gaun, Saldang, Yangze Gompa and Jeng-la Phedi are the popular places along the route. 

17. Numa La Pass, Dolpo Region

Numa La Pass (5,310 m/17,421 ft)  in the far-flung corner of the Dolpo region in Nepal is one of the lesser-known mountain passes. This clearly means very few trekkers actually traverse the trekking trail to Numa La Pass. This pass is at 5,310m just above Numa La Base Camp. The trail sees very few trekkers trudging, and everything seems intact since the very first days. The surreal landscapes and sights of the Himalayas can awe anyone. 

The trek that takes you to the pass is Lower Dolpo Trek. This trek features an itinerary of about 18 days from Kathmandu. The route to the pass lets trekkers explore Phoksundo Lake, ancient Buddhist villages and gain insights into the Bon Po religion. In a way, this trek is a one-of-a-kind adventure. The most challenging part of the trek is crossing Numa La Pass. From the pass, you can admire the views of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Churen Range, Norbung Kang, and surrounding peaks.

Numa La Pass Facts

Region:

Dolpo Region

Starting Point:

Numa La Base Camp

Altitude:

5,310m

Nearest Landmarks:

Phoksundo Lake and Ringmo

How to reach Numa La Pass

Starting the adventure from Kathmandu, the best trail to adopt to reach the Numa La Pass is Lower Dolpo Trek. One of the highlights of the trek is exploring Phoksundo Lake. Catch a flight to Nepaljung and then to Juphal from Kathmandu. Juphal is the starting point for the trek, and Tarakot, Dho Tarap, and Numa La Base Camp are some of the popular stopping points along the route. To reach the base camp, you have to trek 5-6 hours per day for about a week. Then comes the challenging part of the trek, crossing the pass.

18. Baga La Pass, Dolpo Region

Baga La Pass

Baga La Pass  (5,170 m/16,962 ft)  is another pass in the Dolpo region of Nepal, closer to Numa La Pass. In fact, you can cross Baga La Pass just after crossing the Numa La Pass. In that sense, you can customize an itinerary to cross both the passes in the Dolpo region. If you manage to cross the Numa La Pass on the 10th day of the trek, you can cross this pass the very next day. The semi-arid landscape and unique ambiance of the region can be a different impression to trekkers. 

Trekkers might find themselves in an unfamiliar place, and that's the perk of embarking on a journey to the top of Baga La Pass. This trek grants a plethora of opportunities to explore never-heard places brimming with dramatic semi-arid landscapes, mountain villages, unique cultures, and, most importantly, unique animals, including blue sheep, mountain goats, black bears, and the most elusive snow leopard. From the top of the Baga La Pass, admire stunning views of mountains like Mt. Kanjirowa, Dhaulagiri, Churen Range, Norbung Kang, and surrounding peaks.

Baga La Pass Facts

Region:

Dolpo Region

Starting Point:

Pelung Tang

Altitude:

5,170m

Nearest Landmarks:

Numa La Pass and Phoksundo Lake

How to reach Baga La Pass

Baga La Pass at 5,170m can be reached by traversing the trail of Lower Dolpo Trek. Fly to Nepaljung and Juphal from Kathmandu. The trail then follows through the route spanning across stops like Tarakot, Dho Tarap, Numa La Base Camp, Numa La Pass, and Pelung Tang. The route lets you cross Numa La Pass before crossing this pass. It should be an itinerary of about 10 days to reach the pass.

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19. Kagmara-La Pass, Dolpo Region

Kagmara La Pass Trek is one of the lesser-known treks in Nepal that takes you to Kagmara-La Pass. It is a trek to a remote area of the west of Nepal and the lower part of Dolpa. Kagmara-La Pass in the Dolpo region is one of the mountain passes in Nepal, often falling under the shadow of highlighted passes. But this pass offers one of the finest treks in Nepal. Before reaching the passes, trekkers get to explore quaint mountain villages, ancient monasteries, lakes, dramatic landscapes, and not mentions majestic mountains. Ask 10 trekkers if they have heard about this pass, and you will get the 10 NO. Or ask 10 travel agencies in Nepal; almost none of them have ever heard about this pass. 

This pass is rarely known by the trekkers. The trek-Kagmara-La Pass Trek-itself is a lesser-known trek. In that sense, it is an off-the-beaten-path trek. The pass is adorned with hundreds of prayer flags that bestow breathtaking views of Dhaulagiri Massif, Shay-Shikhar, Kanjiroba Himal, Api and Saipal Himal. 

Kagmara-La Pass Facts

Region:

Dolpo Region

Starting Point:

Lasa

Altitude:

5,115m

Nearest Landmarks:

Kagmara Phedi and Lasa

How to reach Kagmara-La Pass

If you want to cross Kagmara-La Pass, assign yourself the 23-day Kagmara La Trek. Commence your adventure with a scenic flight to Nepaljung from Kathmandu. You have to fly again, to Juphal. Dunai, Chhekpa, Jharana Hotel, Phoksundo Lake, Ringmo, and Lasa are the landmarks along the route to Kagmara-La Pass. Trekking for about a week, Lasa should be your final stop before crossing the pass.

20. Tashi Laptcha Pass, Rolwaling Region

Tashi Laptcha Pass

Tashi Laptcha Pass is a mountain pass in a remote part of eastern Nepal. This pass at 5,755m is considered a popular viewpoint that rewards magnificent views of the mountains, including Everest. The beautiful trek to the pass leads you to the Rolwaling region, a popular region that hosts some of the popular treks in Nepal. After crossing the pass, you shall traverse into the Everest region. The trail takes you through the Sagarmatha National Park and Gauri Shankar Conservation Area. Tso Rolpa Lake at 4183 m is one of the highlights of this trek. 

Among every other mountain passes in the Khumbu region, the Tashi Laptcha Pass is one of the challenging passes. The pass combines both Rolwaling and Khumbu valleys offering a unique trek experience. Your journey to the pass lets you embrace the breathtaking views of Gaurishanker, Rolwaling Himal, Chobabhamre, Dorje Lakpa, Yalung Ri, Everest Lhotse, and Pachharmo peak. Besides, quaint villages, mountain passes, ancient monasteries, glaciers, waterfalls will excite you every day. 

Tashi Laptcha Pass Facts

Region

Rolwaling Region

Starting Point:

Drolumbau Glacier

Altitude:

5,115m

Nearest Landmarks:

Thame and Nyiduk Kongma

How to reach Tashi Laptcha Pass

Many travel agencies in Nepal offer a standard itinerary to cross the pass. Drive to Shigati from Kathmandu. Jagat, Simi Gaun, Beding, Na, Tso Rolpa Lake, Tso Rolpa Phedi, and Ngole are the main spots of this trek. Following the itinerary of Tashi Lapcha Pass Trek, on the 10th day (or 11th day) of the trek, you'll cross the pass.

21. Mirgin La Pass, Kanchenjunga Region

Mirgin La Pass

Mirgin La Pass is perched at an altitude of 4,663m in Kanchenjunga region. Kanchenjunga region boasts amazing adventures, but for some challenging trek, look for this trek that traverses Mirgin La Pass. Mirgin La Pass offers awe-inspiring panoramic views of the towering peaks, including the 3rd highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga. Trek through the trail to the pass, immerse in the unexploited wilderness, embrace superb mountain views, and experience something unique. 

Mirgin La Pass Facts

Region

Kanchenjunga

Starting Point:

Selele

Altitude:

4,663m

Nearest Landmarks:

Ghunsa and Nyiduk Kongma

How to reach Mirgin La Pass

Mirgin La Pass at 4,663m can be reached by trekking through the popular trail to Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. You should be ready to traverse the rugged trail, remote corners, and rural villages. This is a 24-day trek traveling from Kanchenjunga North to Kanchenjunga South, crossing the Mirgin La Pass. First of all, you will need to Fly from Kathmandu to Biratnagar and drive to Mitlung. Trek from Mitlung, covering the stopping points like Chiruwa, Sukethum, Amjilosa, Ghunsa, Kambachen, and Tseram; these are the landmarks before crossing the pass. The trekking days to reach the pass accounts for about 10 days.

22. Nangdalo Pass, Dolpo Region

Nangdalo Pass

Nangdalo Pass at 5,110m is one of the challenging mountains passes in Nepal. This pass lies in the Upper Dolpo region of Nepal. It takes days of treks through the remote trail to cross the pass. Also considered one of the isolated regions of Nepal. The adventure to the pass grants an opportunity to explore Shey Phoksundo National Park and the pristine Shey Phoksundo Lake. The surreal beauty of Nangdalo Pass is hard to match. But sadly, very few trekkers explore the pass, probably due to the remoteness and the expensive restricted area permit.

Nangdalo Pass Facts

Region

Upper Dolpo

Starting Point:

Kangla Pass Base Camp

Altitude:

5,110m

Nearest Landmarks:

Shey Gompa and Kangla Pass Base Camp

How to reach Nangdalo Pass

Upper Dolpo Trek is an ideal option to reach Nagdalo Pass. Like every other trek in the Dolpo region, you will have to fly to Nepaljung and Juphal to trek to the pass. Chhepka, Ringmogaon, Phoksundo Lake, Forest Camp, and Kangla Pass Base Camp are the popular resting grounds before crossing the pass. 

23. French Pass, Dhaulagiri Region

French Pass

French Pass at 5,360m is an unexposed mountain pass in the Himalayas of Nepal. Perched amidst the towering peaks in the Dhaulagiri region, this pass is admittedly a less-traveled pass. Who thought that a French pass would be in the remote corner of Nepal? You probably thought-on hearing for the first time-the pass is in France. To your surprise, this pass is in the Dhaulagiri region of Nepal that hosts a beautiful trek: Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek or Dhaulagiri Circuit via French Pass. The trek takes you to the base camp of Dhaulagiri.

A challenging trek into the spectacular Hidden Valley, the trek via French Pass takes you through a demanding trekking route. Before crossing the pass, trekkers acclimatize at Dhaulagiri Base Camp for a day, preparing to cross. The pass displays great views of mountains like Sita Chuchura, Mukut Himal, Tashi Kang, Tukuche Peak, Dhaulagiri I, and surrounding peaks. The zig-zag trail, steep hillside, and moraines make this pass a challenging one. 

French Pass Facts

Region

Dhaulagiri

Starting Point:

Dhaulagiri Base Camp

Altitude:

5,360m

Nearest Landmarks:

Dhaulagiri Base Camp and Dhampus Pass

How to reach French Pass

Trek up to Dhaulagiri Base Camp for days, starting from Kathmandu or Pokhara. From Pokhara, hire a local vehicle to Beni and trek up through the Myagdi Khola valley. For days, you will be following the route to Dhaulagiri Base Camp. Admittedly, the route is a bit difficult in comparison to other routes. Upon reaching the base camp, continue on the north side of the Chhondarban Glacier that leads up to the pass.

24. Saribung Pass, Upper Mustang Region

Saribung Pass

Saribung Pass in Upper Mustang is one of the most challenging and demanding passes in Nepal. At 6,042m, it is also one of the high passes in the Himalayas of Nepal. We can enjoy astounding views of the Annapurna range, Dhaulagiri massif, and surrounding peaks from atop the pass. One of the perks of trekking and crossing Saribung Pass is the surreal beauty it has to offer. The remote trail, the never-seen landscapes, and the cultural diversity will be a matchless experience for every trekker.

The trail to the pass was opened to trekkers in 2006. It connects Upper Mustang and isolated Naar Phu valley, thereby offering a fabulous trek itinerary to avid trekkers. The incredible sight of Manaslu Range, Annapurna Range, Lamjung Himal, Machapuchare, Tilicho Peak, Gangapurna, and other peaks from the top of the pass is the paramount highlight of the trek. Not to mention, the Buddhist Gompas, cave monasteries, Tibetan villages, picturesque valleys, and windswept landscape are something more to look for.

Saribung Pass Facts

Region:

Upper Mustang

Starting Point:

Moraine Camp

Altitude:

6,042m

Nearest Landmarks:

Phu and Moraine Camp

Recommended Trip:

Saribung Peak Climbing

How to reach Saribung Pass

Many trekking companies offer standard Saribung Pass Trek. Starting with a scenic flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara, your adventure begins. You will need to hop on a plane again to Jomsom before hitting the trekking trail. You will trek for at least two weeks to cross the pass. The route covers popular places like Kagbeni, Lo-Manthang, Luri Cave Monastery, and Saribung Base Camp. The most challenging part of the trek is (definitely) crossing the pass.

25. Kora La Pass, Upper Mustang Region

Kora La Pass at 4,660m is a mountain pass between Upper Mustang and Tibet. It is also considered the lowest drivable path between Tibetan Plateau and the Indian subcontinent, and it is the lowest pass across the Himalayan mountain range. Historically, it was used for the salt trade between Tibet and Nepalese kingdoms. It is also known as korala, located in Mustang District, near the Chinese border. From Korala Pass, trekkers can enjoy beautiful views of Annapurna and Nilgiri in the distance. 

Kora La Pass Facts

Region

Upper Mustang

Starting Point:

Moraine Camp

Altitude:

4,660m

How to reach Kora La Pass

Trekkers need to trek to the Mustang region to reach kora La Pass. However, you can also travel from China via motorable road to the Korala border point in the Mustang district. You can choose the standard Upper Mustang Trek to cross the pass. On your way to Mustang, you will pass the world's deepest Kali Gandaki valley with Korala road. Korala border is located approximately 20 km from the Upper Mustang.

Conclusion

Nepal, also dubbed "Trekker's Paradise," hosts some of the most popular treks in the world. It is home to majestic mountains and thus mountain passes. Like we said earlier, mountain passes are the highest point and the vantage point at the higher altitude. They also function as a route between two mountain tops. If we missed any passes, do comment below.



  • Author: Naba Raj Amgai
  • Posted on: Wednesday Sep 22, 2021


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Naba Raj

About Author - Naba Raj Amgai

Naba Raj Amgai, stepped into the world of travel and tourism in 1996. He is Founder and Managing Director of Third Rock Adventures.

Beginning his journey in the tourism industry as a humble Porter Guide to founding hospitality establishments and an adventure travel company, he has come a long way.

In a career spanning more than two decades, he has achieved more than anybody dreams of achieving. Along with his professional achievements, his selfless contribution towards his community and society has won him a lot of accolades and praises.

Having dedicated more than two decades in the tourism and hospitality sector, he has amassed a wealth of experience.

After passing high school, he began helping out some trekking guides and was soon recruited as a porter guide at a reputed trekking agency. Within a short time, he was individually guiding clients across the well-known trails of the Himalayas.

He went on to lead tour groups on multi-country tours to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and India. Being a part of mountain climbing expeditions familiarised him with expedition logistics and operations. Later on, he went to become the Executive Director and took over the reins of Operations, Sales and Marketing departments. Spending several years in the tourism field has made Naba Raj Amgai a destination expert.

Travelling is his passion and he has been to many countries across the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Holland, Germany, Austria and many parts of Asia.

His journeys to different parts of the world have enriched his travel experience and knowledge. This experience has been instrumental in planning and organizing successful trips for several clients.

As of today many reputed travel companies, hotels and restaurants are under his leadership. A dynamic and proactive leader, he continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life.

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