Annapurna Three High Pass Trek is a challenging trekking experience in the remote and unfrequented foothills of the Annapurna range located in the northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal. This relatively new trekking trail passes by some ancient settlements and unique terrain and is also referred to as the Annapurna hard way trekking. As the name suggests, the trail crosses three of the major high passes, namely Namun La at 5,560m/18,241ftm, Kang La at 5,306m/17,408ft, and Mesokanto La at 5,330m/17,486ft.
The trek starts from Sikles village then proceeds to cross the first pass towards Marsyangdi river valley. Eventually, the route makes its way towards the Nar Phu Valley and crosses the second pass towards Manang. From there, the third and final high pass is acclaimed, taking you to Mustang. Views of some of the highest mountains above 8,000m/26,246ft like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Manaslu can be observed nearby. The route passes by ancient villages habited by ethnic Gurung, Magar, Tibetan Buddhist, Thakali communities.
Furthermore, you get to enjoy the virgin beauty of the Nar and Phu villages secluded from the rest of the world. The amazing view of Tilicho Lake, the world's highest altitude lake, is another major highlight of the trek. At the end of each challenging day's hike, you are blessed with wonderfully incredible scenery.
The 24 days long trek is for those individuals who have prior trekking experience in high altitude and are physically fit. The trekking route heads to some of the high ridges and tricky rocky paths. You can witnesses a wide range of climatic zones from subtropical wilderness to the dry Tibetan Plateau. If you opt for a technical and new trekking trail in Nepal, then the Annapurna Three High Pass trek is best suited for you.
|Day 1||Arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, and Transfer to Hotel.|
|Day 2||Drive from Kathmandu Pokhara (204km, 6 to 7 hours) then to Sikles village (1,980m/6,496ft, 4 to 5 hours)|
|Day 3||Trek from Sikles to Forest Camp (2,200m/7,217ft, 5 to 6 hours)|
|Day 4||Trek from Forest Camp to Dharmasala (3,540m/11,614ft)|
|Day 5||Explore and Acclimatization at Dharmasala|
|Day 6||Trek from Dharmasala to Boksi Taal (3,960m/12,992ft)|
|Day 7||Trek from Boksi Taal to Namun La Base Camp (4,800m/15,748ft)|
|Day 8||Trek from Namun Base Camp to Namun Bhanjyang (5,560m/18,241ft, 4 hours) first high pass, then Namun Phedi|
|Day 9||Trek from Namun Phedi to Koto (2,600m/8,530ft)|
|Day 10||Excursion day at Koto|
|Day 11||Trek from Koto to Meta (3,560m/11,679ft, 7 to 8 hours)|
|Day 12||Trek from Meta to Kyang (3,820m/12,532ft, 4 to 5 hours)|
|Day 13||Trek from Kyang to Phu Village (4,080m/13,385ft, 5 to 6 hours)|
|Day 14||Trek from Phu to Kyang (3,820m/12,532ft, 5 to 6 hours)|
|Day 15||Trek from Kyang village to Nar (3,490m/11,450ft)|
|Day 16||Trek to Kang La (5,306m/17,408ft) Second High Pass then to Ngawal Camp (3,660m/12,007ft, 7 to 8 hours)|
|Day 17||Trek from Ngawal to Manang village (3,540m/11,614ft, 2 to 3 hours)|
|Day 18||Rest in Manang for half-day then trek to Tare Gompa (3,870m/12,696, 4 to 5 hours)|
|Day 19||Trek from Tare Gompa to Tilicho Base Camp (4,155m/13,631ft, 3 to 4 hours)|
|Day 20||Trek from Base Camp to Tilicho Lake then High Camp (5020m/16,469ft, 4 to 5 hours)|
|Day 21||Trek from High Camp to Mesokanto La (5,330m/17,486ft) Third high pass, then trek to Chauri Kharka|
|Day 22||Trek from Chauri Kharka to Jomsom (2,720m/8,923ft, 5 to 6 hours)|
|Day 23||Flight from Jomsom to Pokhara (800m/2,625ft, 25 minutes) then drive to Kathmandu (6 to 7 hours)|
|Day 24||Final Departure from Kathmandu|
Annapurna Three high pass trek is an ultimate new trekking trail in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The 24 days trek combines parts of authentic trekking routes such as Annapurna Circuit Trek and Nar Phu Valley trek while extending towards Mesokanto La pass up to Mustang. From culture to nature, this stimulating and thrilling trek has it all.
The trip starts after you arrive in Kathmandu city. From the capital city, you drive to Sikles village via Pokhara, the city of lakes. The trek eventually strides northwest to Forest Camp the Dharamsala, passing by lush tree lines. Take your first acclimatization or rest day as the altitude increases significantly from hereon.
Trek proceeds to Boksi Taal then to Namun La Base Camp. The first challenge is acclaimed as you cross the Namun La high pass and head towards Namun Phedi. Triumphant, you head to Namun Phedi, then to Koto village in the Marsyangdi river valley. After an excursion day at Koto, continue to Meta village then Kyang village. From Kyang, you enter the remote and restricted area of Phu village. After exploration, head back to Kyang, then treks to Nar village, as remote as Phu. After the unique experience, trek heads to the second challenge of crossing the Kang La high pass towards Ngawal.
After the tiring yet glorious adventure, head to Manang village. Explore Gangapurna Glacier, then proceed on to Tare Gompa Monastery. Take an uphill trek to Tilicho Base Camp, then proceed to the sapphire blue Tilicho Lake, regarded as the highest altitude lake in the world. After the rewarding views, head on to the Tilicho High Camp, then face the trek's third and final high pass, Mesokanto La Pass, towards Chauri Kharka. Finally, end your amazing Three Passes trek in Annapurna by heading to Jomsom. Take a flight to Pokhara, then drive back to Kathmandu city to conclude the trip.
Welcome to Nepal, the land of the Himalayas! After arriving at the Tribhuvan International airport in the capital city, Kathmandu, complete your customs formalities and heat to the terminal gate. You will meet our representative from Third Rock Adventures, eagerly waiting for your arrival. You will be transferred to your hotel in the tourist hub of Kathmandu at Thamel.
Upon reaching the hotel, take some rest and get refreshed. Later on, you will visit our office near the hotel to settle all the documentation. Then discuss the trek with our professionals to clear all your queries regarding the trek. Then in the evening, head out to the streets of Thamel to enjoy the lively market. Have an authentic Nepali Welcome Dinner with our team.
Overnight stay at hotel in Kathmandu.
On this day, you will be heading from Kathmandu city to Sikles village via Pokhara. Early in the morning, we take a local bus/private jeep down the Prithvi Highway, passing by rich forest, terraced fields, and swiftly flowing rivers. As you start seeing the distant views of Mt. Macchapuchre, it is an indication that you are close to Pokhara. Upon reaching the city of lakes, you will have something to eat, then take a ride to Sikles, which is around 5 hours’ drive from there.
Along the way, you will cross some beautiful villages like Taprang, Chipli Gaun, and Khilang with beautiful small settlements. You will see many trekkers along the way who have come for a short trek to Sikles. As an initiative of the Annapurna Conservation Area Project ACAP, it has been developed as a model trekking village. The road is bumpy and gravel, so hold on to your seat. Sikles is an unspoiled settlement of the ethnic Gurung community in the foothills of the Annapurna range beside the Modi Khola. This second largest Gurung village is warm and welcoming with amazing landscape and people. After having some refreshment, you can check out the nearby ancient water running flour mills, handicraft production, and more. Prepare your backpack for the trek that will start tomorrow.
Overnight stay in Sikles village.
Today is the first trekking day for the Annapurna Three High Pass trip, where you will be heading towards forest camp. Along the way, you will pass through a lush green forest filled with rhododendron maple, hemlock, and an oak tree. Along the tree line, make sure to occasionally peep into the views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna Massif, Manaslu, and Machhapuchre, closing upon you. The Madi river flows swiftly beside you, and you hike up to your overnight stay, which is surrounded by lush nature.
Overnight stay in Forest Camp.
Your trek will begin after having some breakfast towards Dharamsala. The walk is refreshing, with birds chirping and wildflowers along the route. As you gain some elevation, the views of mountains become much clearer. The trek for today isn't so exhaustive, so you can walk at a slow pace while enjoying the amazing views.
Overnight stay in Dharamsala.
Today is the first acclimatization stop of our trek. It has been set aside in the walk to explore Dharamsala, acclimatize your body, and also get some rest. As the altitude increases throughout the trek, the oxygen level and air pressure decrease, so your body needs to adapt to this change. Hence, on this day, you will hike up and around Dharamsala to explore its beauty. For more clear Himalayan views, you can walk to a vantage point.
Overnight stay in Dharamsala.
After having some breakfast, we will begin the trek to Boksi Taal. The trek passes by rhododendron forest and is not so lengthy. Boksi Taal, also known as Thulo Taal, is a beautiful freshwater lake. 'Boksi' translated to English means witch, while 'Taal' means lake. The name holds some mythical folklore significance. From around the lake, you can observe close views of Lamjung mountain, which is only a few miles away.
Overnight stay in Boksi Taal.
You will be heading a step closer to the Namun La Pass on this day by reaching its base. The journey begins after your breakfast by taking a downhill trail then eventually taking an upward hike. The trek is relatively easier. You will be close to the border of Lamjung, Manang, and Kaski District. The place is largely inhabited by the indigenous Gurung community, which was predominantly known as Tamu Community back centuries ago.
Overnight stay in Namun Base Camp.
It is an exciting day as you will be crossing the first of the Three High passes of the trip at Namun La High Pass (Namun Bhanjyang). The pass is at an elevation of 5,560m/18,241ft which means that you will have to walk slow and steadily. To reach the pass, you will have to cross a river first and begin the ascend. After a 4-hour walk, you will get to the top.
The Namun La Pass is also known as Namun Banjyang. It is a vantage point where views of the surrounding Himalayas like Manaslu, Himchuli, and Ngadi Chuli, can be seen at full disclosure. After enjoying the amazing views and triumphant feeling, take a downhill hike to Namun Phedi.
Overnight stay in Namun Phedi.
Today is a long day's trek as you will be heading to Koto, passing by Timang valley. After having breakfast, hike downhill towards Timang. Have your lunch and then take a descending path, then cross a stream to reach Koto. Koto is a small village mostly inhabited by the ethnic Gurung community. You will get to witness that Buddhist Tibetans heavily influence the community. It is also the gateway to the remote Nar Phu valley trek. The mesmerizing views of the swiftly flowing sapphire Marsyangdi river will welcome you along the way.
Overnight stay in Koto.
You have reached to lower elevation, but the past trekking days have been tiring, so there is a need to take some rest. You can wake up late and take some time to have your breakfast. On this day, you will re-energize yourself by taking a short stroll in and around Koto.
A lot can be done in the beautiful Koto that sits on the confluence of the Marsyangdi and Naar rivers. Interact with the warm and welcoming locals. You can enjoy the local meals and drinks cooked by them. You can spot a police station in the area as it opens the way to the restricted area of Nar and Phu that require special area permits. After the quick excursion, you can head back and prepare for the next day.
Overnight stay in Koto.
Start early after breakfast for the long day's walk. You will commence the trek by crossing a river to enter the Nar Phu Valley. You will pass through some juniper woodland, caves, ancient shelters, and pilgrims resting places called Dharamsala along the trail. The highlight of the trek is perhaps passing by a wide waterfall along the way. It is an upward journey to Meta. From the steep hills, views of snowy peaks will be even more clear. The tree lines eventually become thinner. Meta is a small village sitting on a wide plain with only a handful of lodges.
Overnight stay in Meta.
After having breakfast, you will follow a rocky trail to Kyang. After an uphill walk, you will get to observe the amazing rock formations around the area. Continue into fir and juniper tree lines that become thinner as the elevation increases. You will make a stop at Chyako to replenish yourself with some food and drinks. The cliffs offer a source of food for blue sheep, which may be spotted on the route. Eventually, you will reach the small village of Kyang with several detached houses and lodges.
As you will have the afternoon to yourself, you can head out to the nearby area to explore Kyang village and its people.
Overnight stay in Kyang.
The trek begins with a mesmerizing view of the remote and mystical Phu village. You will be passing by a few scenic gorges and canyons in the desert-like landscape before crossing a bridge to Phu. Views of Himlung mountain become closer and vivid as you reach the village.
Phu is a small and traditional village inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists. All along the way, you will come across chortens and Tibetan-styled fortresses (Dzong). If you reach the village early on, you can rest and then head out to explore Tashi Lhakhang Gompa. It is of great significance to the locals as the Gompa was visited by Lama Karma Sonam Rimpoche and Dalai Lama in 1959. Locals migrate to Kyang in the winter season along with their yaks and sheep. You can also interact with the lovely locals and understand their unique way of life.
Overnight stay in Phu village.
Following the amazing dry landscape, you will head back to Kyang. Along the way, you will spot some blue sheep in the rocky cliffs. Bid farewell to the lovely villagers and head to the same path that you came from. Upon reaching Kyang, take some rest and explore the early areas before evening.
Overnight stay in Kyang.
Yet another exciting and unique village awaits you today; Nar village. After having breakfast, you will walk past some steep hills and rocky roads beside the Nar river. You will eventually reach the Nar Phedi, which is just below the Nar village. There you can visit the Nar monastery and observe the ancient architecture of the houses. Finally, you will climb ahead to a winding path uphill towards Nar.
Along the way, observe the white-washed houses made of local products and bamboo-topped chortens. Nar is a significantly bigger village than Phu. Also, in recent years, Nar has gotten used to a few trekkers popping up, so it is a lot livelier and social. Women of the village are seen weaving their wool fabric for making rugs and blankets. You can enjoy the views of the Himalayas from your tea house.
Overnight stay in Nar Village.
It is a challenging trek today as you will have to cross the second high pass of the trip, and it is a long trek. At the high altitude during the day, you will witness strong winds. Hence, it is better to wake up early and begin your trek before dawn. The trekking route leads to the Annapurna Circuit Trek route.
You will take an uphill climb in the steep trail while enjoying the majestic mountain views. Congratulations! You are bound to feel triumphant as you have crossed the second challenge of the trip; Kang La Pass! From the top of the pass, the views of mountains like Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tilicho Peak are clear.
After taking a moment to enjoy the views, you will head to Ngawal Camp. The altitude sees a drop, and the weather is not as chilly as in the high pass. From the pass, it takes two hours to reach Ngawal. Along the way, you will see many Chortens with prayer flags attached. The village is distinct from all the traditional villages you have seen in the past days. The lodges are big and have better facilities than seen in Nar and Phu. You might be surprised to see Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity in some lodges.
Overnight stay in Ngawal Camp.
On this day, you will begin your trek from Ngawal and head to the amazing Manang village. The trekking trail walks alongside the clear Marsyangdi river. First, you will walk alongside the pine forest until you reach Braga village. The village is filled with farming terraces along with the Annapurna mountain range in the backdrop. You can visit the Sher Gompa and Braga Gompa monasteries. The monastery is believed to be 900 years old. As it is an easy trek that takes no more than 3 hours, you can rest for some time then head to Gangapurna glacier. The Gangapurna lake is small and sits opposite the Manang village. Interact with the locals in the village, and walk in the alleyways passing giant wooden gates.
Overnight stay in Manang village.
You can begin your day late and have some local breakfast, perhaps pancakes made of buckwheat. If you had not visited the Gangapurna Glacier or Ice Lake earlier, then you can hike up there on this day. Spend your day interacting with the locals and visiting the Himalayan Rescue Association of Nepal. After some excursion, you can carry your bags and head to Tare Gompa for the stay. Along the way, the views of Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, Pisang peak and Tilicho Peak will become vivid. Visit the Tare Gompa monastery located in the area, and it was renovated in 2020.
Overnight stay in Tare Gompa.
The landscape to Tilicho Base Camp is very tricky. The trail is narrow and is a full-blown landslide area. Even a tumble of the rocks could cause the slopy terrain to fall on top of you. Hence, it is vital to walk carefully between the 45-degree slopy landscape below and above you. Giving way to mules and donkeys, you will continue with the trail.
Eventually, passing by rocky terrain with tricky uphill and downhill turns, you will reach Tilicho Base Camp. There are a few teahouses in the area that is mostly packed in the peak seasons. The tea houses are costlier, and food is two folds expensive than those found in lower altitudes.
Overnight stay in Tilicho Base Camp.
Today is one of the most exciting days of your trip as you reach the world's highest altitude lake – Tilicho Lake. Begin your day early in the morning, even without having breakfast, before dawn. Starting early in the high-altitude region means that you will not have to face the strong winds of the daytime—the distant Dhaulagiri peers amidst the clouds as you take your first few steps. Towards Tilicho Peak, you will see some small water bodies scattered around, but don't be fooled as the majestic Tilicho is further ahead.
Finally, begin blessed with the views of sapphire Tilicho Lake reflecting the clouds above, which is an adventure of a lifetime. Tibetan prayer flags are sewn in the nearby Buddha Statue that greets you along with the views of the lake itself. At the height of 4919m, the temperature is cold, and you might fall victim to altitude sickness, so take precautions.
After having some lunch, you will begin the tough walk along high cliffs and slopes. After many ascend, you will reach the top of the eastern pass where the camp will be set in the High Camp area. Upon setting the camp, take a much-needed rest and prepare for the next day's tiring trek.
Overnight stay in Tilicho High Camp.
The toughest trails offer the best memories. This is particularly true with today's trek that will take you across the trek's third and final high pass- Mesokanto La Pass. This route is difficult than other passes because it is more often closed by heavy snow.
Wake up at 4:00 pm to start your trek early. Take an ascend to the Tilicho Pass at 5,134m, and the trail takes a downward turn. Instead of taking the Thorong La Pass, you will be opting for the Mesokanto La Pass. The Mesokanto Peak comes closer as you head towards the pass. A rock tower marks the sign to the high pass. Finally, after much toil, you will have reached the third high pass of the trek. Such a triumph! You feel although you are in a sea of clouds in the height of 5,330m. The pass was covered with many Tibetan prayer flags decorating the Chortens.
From there on, the trek is almost a downward descend continuously. You will witness a change in the landscape, which sees more vegetation. Eventually, you will reach Chauri Kharka, a wide pasture land where you will stay for the night.
Overnight stay in Chauri Kharka.
From Chauri Kharka, you will head to the Mustang district. After having breakfast, take a descend to Jomsom. It is a relatively easier trek. Jomsom is the commercial hub of Mustang. There is an airport based in Jomsom, and most parts of the region have road access, so you may spot many locals buses and jeeps rushing here and there. You can see the locals selling sweet apples along the bus park.
The terrain is dry, arid, with strong winds blowing during the day. You will observe amazing views of Nilgiri, Dhaulagiri, and Tukuche mountains in the backdrop.
As this is the last day of your tiring long trek, you can rejoice with the locals and the guide and porter by having local dishes and local wine made of organic apples.
Overnight stay in Jomsom.
After an amazing trip circling the Annapurna region and ending at the Kingdom of Mustang, you will bid farewell to Jomsom by taking a flight back to Pokhara. Enjoy the views of mountains, rivers, and lakes from a bird's eye view.
Upon reaching Pokhara, have some lunch, then take a drive to Kathmandu right away. The drive is as fascinating as the flight earlier. You will get to witness the views of vast stretches of farms, gushing rivers, waterfalls, and distant mountains. After reaching Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel.
You can opt to have a relaxing massage or go to local pubs and clubs to enjoy music and local dishes in the evening. Thamel is an essence of Nepali art and crafts and handicrafts. You could buy Nepali hats, wind chimes, pashmina scarves, Thangka paintings as souvenirs to take back home.
Overnight stay at hotel in Kathmandu.
After the long trek, it is time to say goodbye to Nepal's geographically diverse and culturally integrated country. You will be driven to the Tribhuvan International Airport by our representatives, who will bid farewell with a heavy heart.
Remember the amazing time you had crossing some of the toughest high passes, reaching the highest lake in the world, and witnessing the tallest mountains standing over 8000m. If you want similar treks like Everest Three High pass trek as an alternative, then feel free to get in touch with Third Rock adventures anytime.