Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek - 19 days

Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek - 19 days


Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek is a unique experience to take the off-the-beaten path towards remote villages and visit one of the highest lakes and high passes. The 19 days trek in the northwestern region of Nepal circles around Annapurna Massif while witnessing the hidden valleys in the Manalsu region, exploring rich wildlife and ancient Tibetan Buddhist religion.

It gives a distinctive spin on the popular Annapurna circuit trek, starting on foot from the hidden Buddhist settlements of Nar and Phu villages in the Tibetan plateau. It offers a rare opportunity to see it all, including the wildlife of the Annapurna conservation area, ancient villages, mesmerizing mountains, glaciers, lakes, and rich culture.

Trip Highlights

  • Trek from the off-the-beaten trail of Nar Phu valley to the Annapurna circuit on foot by avoiding the overland drive on the dirt roads
  • Witness the Tibetan Buddhist culture and religion of the community by visiting the Monasteries, chortans along the remote and rural Nar Phu, and lower Mustang trail
  • Enjoy the panoramic views of the snowy peaks of Annapurna II, Dhaulagiri, Gangapurna, Lamjung, and Tilicho peaks along the Annapurna Circuit Trail.
  • Closeup views of one of the highest lakes in the world; the turquoise Tilicho Lake
  • Cross some of the highest and most challenging passes; Kang La Pass (5,240m/ 17,192 ft) and Thorong La Pass (5,400m /17,717ft)
  • Visit the holy Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimage site of Muktinath Temple
  • Explore the unique flora and fauna found in the Annapurna conservation area surrounding Marsyangdi and Kali Gandaki river valley

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights
Day 1 Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal (1,400m/4,600ft)
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu with Optional Day Tours in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,600ft)
Day 3 Drive from Kathmandu to Koto (2,600m/8,530ft, 237km, 8 to 9 hours)
Day 4 Trek from Koto to Meta (3,560m/11,680ft, 20km, 7 to 8 hours)
Day 5 Trek from Meta to Phu (4,080m/13,386ft, 9.7 km, 7 to 8 hours)
Day 6 Acclimatization and Exploration Day at Phu (4,080m/13,386ft)
Day 7 Trek from Phu Village to Nar village (4,110m/13,484 ft, 4 km, 3 to 4 hours)
Day 8 Trek from Nar to Ngawal via the Kang La Pass (5,240m/17,192 ft, 16 km, 8 to 9 hours)
Day 9 Trek from Nagwal to to Manang (3,540m/11,612ft) 4-5 hour
Day 10 Trek from Manang to Khangsar Village 3-4 Hours
Day 11 Trek from Khangsar Village to Tilicho Base Camp (4,919m/16,138ft, 5-6 hours)
Day 12 Visit Tilicho Lake, Return to Base Camp (4,919m/16,138ft, 10 km, 6 hours)
Day 13 Trek from Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka (4,010m/13,156ft, 13 km, 5-6 hours)
Day 14 Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi (4,450m/14,599ft, 6 km, 6 to 7 hours)
Day 15 Trek from Thorung Phedi to Muktinath (3,760m/12,335ft) via Thorung La (5,400m/17,717ft) 16 km, 8 to 9 hours)
Day 16 Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,715m/8,910 ft, 15 km, 5 to 6 hours)
Day 17 Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft, 30 minutes)
Day 18 Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,600ft)
Day 19 Final Departure from Kathmandu, Nepal


Route Map

Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek Route Map Route Map for Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu, Nepal (1,400m/4,600ft)

Our representatives will welcome you at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, the hotspot of Nepal. Witness the towering Himalayas and the terraced valley floor during your flight. After being dropped off at Thamel, you will have the whole day to explore the city to visit the nearby streets filled with the richness of culture and locality. Meet the guide and visit our office to be briefed about the tour.

Alternatively, you can also visit the Swayambhunath temple located in the western hills of the city to relax and enjoy the panoramic views. Grab a meal in Thamel, practice a few important phrases, and chat with the locals.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 2: Explore Kathmandu with Optional Day Tours in Kathmandu (1,400m/4,600ft)

On this day, you can explore the Kathmandu Valley, visit cultural sights and learn some history from your guides. You can chat with the locals and visit sacred sites like Pashupatinath and Boudhanath in Kathmandu.

If time permits, head to Bhaktapur to visit Durbar Square with its famous architecture, ancient scriptures, and stone writings. Later, you will return to Kathmandu then head out for a welcome dinner. Alternatively, there are also other miscellaneous activities like hiking and mountain biking in the Shivapuri National Park or taking a unique opportunity of a mountain flight around Mount Everest and surrounding ranges.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 3: Drive from Kathmandu to Koto (2,600m/8,530ft, 237km, 8 to 9 hours)

Koto Village Koto Village

On this day, we will begin the tour towards the Annapurna region by driving off to Koto. You will first be driven to Besisahar, situated to the west of Kathmandu. You will be passing by Kurintar and Bandipur before heading further up north to Besisahar. After stopping there briefly, the drive will continue up towards Koto. Even if the road is rugged and bumpy, the mesmerizing scenery covers it.

The village of Koto sits at the confluence of the Marsyangdi and Nar rivers which is why the land is fertile and green most of the years.

Overnight stay at Koto.

Day 4: Trek from Koto to Meta (3,560m/11,680ft, 20km, 7 to 8 hours)

Koto Village Koto Village

We will begin the trek from Koto onwards the Nar Phu trail on this day. To cover much ground, you will wake up early and cross the river to enter Nar and Phu valleys. As you trek further ahead, the route becomes more scenic and distant from the rest of the world. You will come across forests of oak, rhododendron, and bamboo. There are straight cliffs and suspension bridges to reach.

You will see swift waterfalls from the narrow canyon as you head further. You will climb a steep hill before finally reaching the Meta village. From Meta, the snowy peaks of Lamjung and Annapurna II are visible. The village is situated on a wide plain of land with amazing views of the surrounding mountains.

Overnight stay in Meta.

Day 5: Trek from Meta to Phu (4,080m/13,386ft, 9.7 km, 7 to 8 hours)

Trekking begins from Meta to the first remote village of Phu. Along the way, you will witness Tibetan Buddhist stupas and chortans. You will get to witness the Tibetan Buddhist community's culture, religion, and traditions living here. After crossing suspension bridges, you will reach Chyaku fields. From Kyang, you can witness the views of Pisang peak and Annapurna II. You need to walk the rocky path that passes through the Phu river. From there on, a steep trail will lead you to Phu village.

You will get a view of the three clustered villages in this area. There is a line of stupas situated just before reaching Phu. There is also an ancient Tibetan fortress and the ruins of two fortresses built on the topmost plateau in the past.

Overnight stay in Phu Goan.

Day 6: Acclimatization and Exploration Day at Phu (4,080m/13,386ft)

Phu Village Phu Village

There is a drastic change in altitude, so it is best to keep this day for acclimatization to accustom your body to the change. After having breakfast, you can take this day to explore the nearby area and flex your muscles. You can interact with the locals to know their way of life, take a walk in the pastures with the yaks and sheep. You can see how the wool is made, and mustard paste and oil is prepared.

On the other hand, you can also hike up to the Himlung Himal base camp, taking around 4 to 5 hours. You can even walk up to Tashi Lhakhang Gompa nearby and pay homage to the Karma Sonam Rimpoche, who had visited this place in the 1950s. After exploring, head back to Phu village.

Overnight stay in Phu village.

Day 7: Trek from Phu Village to Nar village (4,110m/13,484 ft, 4 km, 3 to 4 hours)

Phu village Phu village

It is an easy and short trekking day as you will be heading from Nar Phedi to Nar village. There are many Buddhist stupas and chortans on the way to this remote village. You will cross over the suspension bridge over Labse River to reach Nar village further ahead.

Nar village is smaller than Phu village, but it has similar topography. The village is very lively, and you might encounter women weaving woolen fabric and locals taking their cattle to graze in pastures.

Overnight stay at Nar village.

Day 8: Trek from Nar to Ngawal via the Kang La Pass (5,240m/17,192 ft, 16 km, 8 to 9 hours)

Regarded as one of the longest days of the trek, today, you will be crossing a high pass. Before sunrise, make your way towards the Kang La Pass at an altitude beyond 5000m to get to the Annapurna circuit trail. Although the pass is not as difficult, the route is very long, taking more than 8 to 9 hours to complete. From the edge of the pass, you will witness the mesmerizing views of Annapurna II, Tilicho peak, and Gangapurna.

After enjoying the views, head towards Ngawal by taking the upper Pisang route. There are remote villages with lodges in the area.

Overnight stay in Ngawal.

Day 9: Trek from Nagwal to to Manang (3,540m/11,612ft) 4-5 hour

The views of Annapurna II and III are incredible as you make your way to Manang. The air gets thinner and colder as you ascend higher. The trail goes through hills covered with conifers, icy rivers, and snow-covered mountains.

Trek start rom picturesque village of Ngawal continuing to Manang. Chortens, Buddhist shrines, and prayer flags dot the trail. After a rough hike, you feel glad to reach Manang, your stop for the night.

Overnight at a teahouse in Manang.

Day 10: Trek from Manang to Khangsar Village 3-4 Hours

Leaving Manang to take an uphill ascent and cross a suspension bridge spanning the Manang River. Continue climbing up. After a couple of hours walk, you reach another beautiful village Khangsar. Head to a teahouse and take a well-deserved rest.

Overnight in Khangsar.

Day 11: Trek from Khangsar Village to Tilicho Base Camp (4,919m/16,138ft, 5-6 hours)

You are on the Annapurna Circuit trail on this day as you head to Khangsar village, a short way down. You will begin the trek to the path towards the Tibetan Buddhist monastery, which can be reached after climbing many stone steps. You will climb to the high ridge to reach the point where the old and new trails intersect. Take the new trail and ascend to a steep ridge before you take a descent.

Eventually, after walking through stone steps and narrow rugged roads, you will reach Tilicho Base Camp.

Overnight stay in Tilicho Base Camp.

Day 12: Visit Tilicho Lake, Return to Base Camp (4,919m/16,138ft, 10 km, 6 hours)

This is one of the exciting days as you will witness one of the world's highest lakes, Tilicho. Before dawn, you will begin your day by heading towards high cliffs along the rugged and narrow trail towards Tilicho Lake. After about 3 to 4 hours, you will reach the mesmerizing turquoise lake, reflecting the surrounding Mesokanto Peak, Tilicho Peak, and other snow-covered giants. You can have your lunch and enjoy yourself at the lakeside before the rapid cold winds take over. Head back to Tilicho Base Camp for the night.

Overnight stay at Tilicho Base Camp.

Day 13: Trek from Tilicho Base Camp to Yak Kharka (4,010m/13,156ft, 13 km, 5-6 hours)

After breakfast, pack your bags and take the trailhead to Yak Kharka. The route passes by juniper shrubs in rugged and dirty trails towards old Khangsar. An unmarked trail leads you to an old bridge that takes you from Gumsang to Yak Kharka. Yak Kharka is named because herders bring their yaks to graze in the pastures here. It is also a great place to stay for the night.

Overnight stay in Yak Kharka.

Day 14: Trek from Yak Kharka to Thorung Phedi (4,450m/14,599ft, 6 km, 6 to 7 hours)

On this day, begin your trek from Yak Kharka higher towards Thorong Phedi. The trail gradually leads you to a ridge from where amazing views of the mountains can be observed. Take a descent to the Marsyangdi to cross a river from the wooden bridge.

You will begin the ascent on the right side of the riverbank, following a narrow trail to the foot of the hill; Thorong Phedi.

If you reach there on time and have enough spare time, hike up to the High Camp for some acclimatization or spend the day resting.

Overnight stay in Thorong Phedi.

Day 15: Trek from Thorung Phedi to Muktinath (3,760m/12,335ft) via Thorung La (5,400m/17,717ft) 16 km, 8 to 9 hours)

Start by walking towards the Thorong La pass, one of the highest passes in the world. This is one of the toughest and longest trekking days as you will begin your day before sunrise. It will be challenging with each step you take. However, you will be offered amazing views of the Mustang and Kaligandaki valleys. There are up-close views of the snow-capped Dhaulagiri, Annapurna massif, Tilicho Peak visible from the top.

After clicking some pictures and enjoying the views, take a descent to a tea house in Chabarbu. The trek takes you through a long and grassy slope towards the lower Mustang, heading to the Muktinath village. Surrounded by the Dhaulagiri Himal, Muktinath is home to one of the holiest Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimages. It is another amazing site to witness.

Overnight stay in Muktinath.

Day 16: Trek from Muktinath to Jomsom (2,715m/8,910 ft, 15 km, 5 to 6 hours)

Muktinath Temple Muktinath Temple -one of the holiest Buddhist and Hindu pilgrimages

Early in the morning, you can visit the Muktinath temple by taking a short walk. You can wash in the holy taps and dip in the two pools to rinse yourself of all sins. After receiving the blessing from Lord Shiva, head back to your lodge to collect your belongings before trekking back to Jomsom.

The trek to Jomsom is a rather easy route which is mostly a straight and downhill trek. Enjoy the views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and the clustered old houses, medieval caves in the dry cliffs along the way. You can also visit the monasteries on the way to witness the amazing architecture and carvings.

Upon reaching Jomsom, you will witness the commercial sales of apples and produce by locals.

Overnight stay in Jomsom.

Day 17: Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (823m/2,700ft, 30 minutes)

This is your final day in the remote Mustang region as you will be taking a flight to Pokhara city. Stock up on some dried apples before catching the 30 minutes flight, which offers mesmerizing views of the Dhaulagiri range, Annapurna massif, Lamjung, etc.

After reaching Pokhara, settle in a hotel and rest your muscles. You can even enjoy a relaxing spa in the afternoon. In the evening, head out to the local pub, club to enjoy the night away.

Overnight stay in Pokhara.

Day 18: Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu (1,400m/4,600ft)

On this day, you can relax in the morning, do some sightseeing around Phewa lakeside, and click pictures of the beautiful sunrise. Following that, you can pack your bags and be taken to the airport to catch a flight back to Kathmandu.

After reaching Kathmandu, visit the nearby sightseeing areas in Thamel or even explore more of the Kathmandu streets on foot or rent bicycles. In the evening, have an authentic Nepali feast and spend time with your newfound Nepali friends and team members.

Overnight stay in Kathmandu.

Day 19: Final Departure from Kathmandu, Nepal

This is the final day of your trip, so you can collect various souvenirs from the streets of Kathmandu like gems and fineries, articles made up of bamboo and jute, and handicrafts that support the local economy.

After a final goodbye from our staff members and guides, you will depart from Kathmandu via the international airport. Remember the amazing time you had in the Annapurna circuit while visiting its remote villages, amazing lakes, and pilgrimage sites.

For more adventures like this, feel free to reach out to our representatives, who will plan and organize a similar trip shortly.

Who can do Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek?

The Annapurna, Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek is a moderate to difficult level trek. It is well suited for physically fit people who can climb a flight of stairs, walk through rugged terrain for long periods without any difficulty. As there is no technical climbing involved, you don't need to have prior high-altitude trekking experience. However, it is not suited for individuals with knee issues who find it difficult to take uphill or downhill trails.

The trip lasts for 19 days, including 12 days of the trek, with an average of 6 to 7 hours of walking each day. The altitude changes gradually, starting from a minimum of 2,600 m/ 8,530 ft at Koto to the highest altitude of 5,400m /17,717ft at Thorung La. Due to the altitude, there might be a chance of having breathing difficulty and altitude sickness; hence it is important to take adequate acclimatization days and follow the itinerary properly.



Trip Reviews

Travel experiences of our clients who recently returned from their trips.
96%

Based on 3 reviews
Excellent
2
Very good
1
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Damien Mcfarland
flagsUnited States of America
Apr 08, 2022
Loved the trek
My guide did the best job. Knowing the remote areas and everything about is a great deal, so am grateful to my guide from Third Rock Adventures. The trek was challenging at some point but with an excellent guide, you know you can do it no matter what! The best part of the trek is crossing the most challenging passes; Kang La Pass and Thorong La Pass.
Best Guide
Yes
Charlie Lane
flagsUnited States of America
Apr 08, 2022
Unique Itinerary
Trek to Nar Phu Valley, and Tilicho Lake and returned home with some beautiful memories. We crossed some of the highest and most challenging passes; Kang La Pass (5,240m/ 17,192 ft) and Thorong La Pass (5,400m /17,717ft). Our guide was fantastic, with all the skills for the best trekking experience. The visit to Muktinath Temple was a plus point.
Best Destination,Good Value,
Yes
Conor Brown
flagsUnited Kingdom
Mar 16, 2022
Annapurna Nar Phu and Tilicho Trek
This trek is a bit off the trek, so for novice trekkers, I do not suggest this trek. It is long as well, but for we, having done EBC, Gokyo and Manaslu trek, I did it without any problems. The trek is without a doubt one of the best adventures in Nepal. It has all the facet of amazing adventure, from mountains to high lakes and remote villages and unique experience. Loved the trek. Special thanks to my travel consultant.
I like itinerary,
Yes
My travel consultant chose this for me.

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