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An amalgamation of high passes, remote villages, and well-preserved Tibetan culture. It was as recent as 2003 that the region was prohibited to outsiders and bypassed many aspects of development. Therefore, the landscape remains pristine while the locals value their ancient traditions and way of life even to this day. The Nar Phu Valley Trek also explores the arid lands of Manang and the lower Mustang. A visit to the Tilicho Lake (4920m) and an ascent to the top of Mesokanto La Pass (5467m) caps off a brilliant adventure.
Your arrival in Nepal is signaled by the Himalayas as you land at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. After your arrival, you explore the esteemed UNESCO-enlisted world heritage sites in the valley including Pashupatinath, Boudhanath, and Swayambhunath. The Nar Phu Valley Trek begins at the town of Syange after an early morning drive from Kathmandu.
The trek goes past the villages of Jagat, Dharapani, Koto, and Meta before finally entering the Phu Valley. After thoroughly exploring Phu and observing the village’s unique culture we move to the adjacent village of Nar. From Nar, we get to Tilicho through Manang and Ngawal after crossing the high pass of Kang La (5320m). From Tilicho, we make an ascent to the Mesokanto La Pass (5467m), the highest point of this trek.
We finally rejoin the common trails of the Annapurna Circuit as we trek down to Jomsom via Yak Kharka, for our flight back to Pokhara the next day. The sparsely located settlements on your way to Nar and Phu mean that you are required to cross long distances with little flexibility. Being Physically fit and having trekked before can be very helpful to tackle this trek, but newer travelers can complete the trek as well.
Nepal Treks is your perfect partner for challenging and unique treks such as the Nar Phu Valley trek. We organize the trek in such a way that you are able to both complete the trek and explore to your heart’s content. We also provide excellent services of guides, transportation, and accommodation to help you have a smooth journey.
Arrival in Kathmandu (1300m)
Once you arrive in Kathmandu, a company representative will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. At the hotel, we introduce ourselves and we will leave you to rest. In the evening, you can explore the nearby areas on your own.
Kathmandu Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
We begin the private vehicle sightseeing tour of the Kathmandu valley. We make our way to the historical architectural marvels of Kathmandu durbar square, and experience the ancient temples, and palaces of the Malla era. You can also make your way to spiritual monuments such as Boudhanath, Swayambhunath, and Pashupatinath. All of these are UNESCO world heritage sights and hold significant importance to the locals.
Drive from Kathmandu to Syange |1100m and trek to Jagat |1300m
We begin the drive to Syange early in the morning arriving at Syange in late afternoon. The drive follows the Prithvi Highway and heads along the Marshyangdi River to settle at Syange. From Syange, we climb steeply on a cliff and reach Shrichaur. After we get past this area we enter the Marshyangdi valley and the village of Jagat.
Trek from Jagat to Dharapani |1860m
The trail from Jagat descends until a river, from where its climb back through dense forested hills. After some time, you arrive at Sattale crossing a suspension bridge. The trail also momentarily runs through river bank level where huge boulders run through the river paths and banks, which we zigzag through to arrive at Tal. From here, the trail winds and leads to Karte before arriving at Dharapani.
Trek from Dharapani to Koto |2600m
The majority of the trek will be through forests of conifers such as Pine. We cross the villages of Bagarchhap, and then further to Danakyu over an hour. From here, it’s a steep climb to Timang. From Timang, we have great views of Manaslu (8163m). The trek then leaves for Lata Marang and then back to forested trails. We then arrive at Koto to spend the night.
Trek from Koto to Meta |3560m
After having our permits checked at Koto, we resume the trek. The trail then follows the banks of the Phu Khola through suspension bridges. Before reaching Meta, we stop at Dharamsala for lunch. We then continue on to Meta which geographically falls on the Tibetan Plateau and provides wonderful views of Lamjung Himal (6983m) and Annapurna II (7937m).
Trek from Meta to Phu |4100m
The trek begins waving up and down on the rugged switchbacks, again crossing suspension bridges and several streams. After about 4 hours, we arrive at the former Khampa settlement of Kyang. The Khampa refugees of Tiber who were captured once lived in Kyang. The village only has a few remnants of their old past now. We enter the Phu valley after another 3 to 4 hours of trekking.
Phu houses the age old Tibetan culture followed by the local inhabitants. We observe their agrarian lifestyle and explore the village periphery. The village is a stack of Tibetan Mud houses decorated with prayer flags and firewood stacked atop each roof. Phu is also home to Tashi Lhakhang Monastery, listed as one the world’s 108 great Buddhist Monasteries. All the exploration is done while great views of snowcapped mountains, including Himlung Himal (7126m).
Trek from Phu to Nar |4110m
We retrace our steps just a bit along the Phu River before crossing the Mahendra Pul and another suspension bridge over the Loha River. Shortly from here is the beautiful monastery at Nar Phedi sheltered by the jagged edges of the cliff. The trail to Nar may also see traders from and to Tibet on their mules. You climb twisting and turning as the trail breaks above the clouds, revealing the Nar Village surrounded by green meadows and barley fields. If you arrive in the afternoon, you are free to explore the tightly knit streets that run through the village.
Trek from Nar to Ngawal |3660m via Kang La Pass |5320m
The trek to Ngawal passes over the Kang La Pass (5320m), a difficult but rewarding trek. The trek leads you on the rocky screes that rest on the sides of the pass, so tread carefully. The small lake in the trail signals the nearing of the summit. The summit has a Chorten and a sign congratulating you on your travels. From the top of the Kang La you can see the vast openness of the green valleys on either sides. The descent is also a demanding one and can be tough on your knees. The descent lasts consistently up to Ngawal.
Trek from Ngawal to Manang |3540m
You are back down at cultivable areas and fields accompany you on the trail to Manang along with jagged hills and canyons on either side. On the way to Manang you witness Braga Monastery, a Buddhist monastery from where you are rewarded wonderful views of Annapurna range. Manang is a large settlement, with a good amount of lodges and Apple orchards.
Trek from Manang to Thare Gompa |3900m
Before arriving at Tilicho, you will have to make a stop at the red Thare Gompa. Trekking along the Khangsar River, you arrive at Thare Gompa. The monastery has a simple cubicle design with a yellow metal roof. The monastery is humble in appearance but one of the only settlements around for you to properly rest before heading to Tilicho Base Camp.
Trek from Thare Gompa to Tilicho Base Camp |4150m
The trek follows Khangsar River leading you to Khangsar Village. From here on, the jagged hills close in on us making the trail narrower. As we cross a few streams on our way, the final one of these streams will lead us to Tilicho Base Camp. The base camp is one of the best viewpoints to observe the Annapurna and Nilgiri Himalayas.
Trek from Tilicho Base Camp to Tilicho Lake |4920m
The climb from base camp to Tilicho is steep but levels out after a while. As the surrounding hills clear from sight, the open valley of the lake provides wonderful views of surrounding mountains. These mountains include Gangapurna (7454m), Nilgiri (7061m), and the Annapurna ranges among others. The turquoise blue lake shimmers down on the foot of the Tilicho Peak (7134m) itself. The Tilicho Lake is also the highest lake in the world at 4920m. After exploring around you hike back down to basecamp for a night’s rest.
Trek from Tilicho Lake to Kaisang/Yak Kharka |3510m
Today, we retrace our steps back to Khangsar but go on further to Yak Kharka. Continuing along the basin of the Jarsang Khola, we head to the top of the Mesokanto La Pass (5467m). The pass provides majestic sights of all the surrounding Himalayas including the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. Descending from the pass, we head to Yak Kharka. The area is surrounded by grassy meadows where Yaks can often be seen grazing around..
Trek from Kaisang to Jomsom |2720m
The descent from Yak Kharka/Kaisang to Jomsom is continuous. The surrounding lands are arid as much of the region here falls in the rain shadow. We arrive at Jomsom, after crossing the Thini. The route to Jomsom is rewarded with magnificent views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri ranges. Jomsom is a windy and relatively developed town that sits in between the split of the Kali Gandaki River.
Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara |820m
The Jomsom airport is a simple airport beside the Banks of the Kali Gandaki River, with Nilgiri (7061m) to the east. The flight from Jomsom to Pokhara is a short one but saves significant trekking time. Once you arrive at Pokhara, you can do any last minute shopping or exploring of the city or spend your day relaxing on the Lakeside.
Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus
It is a long ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu; however, it is scenic as you get to pass through several towns and settlements along the Prithvi Highway. There are also plenty of places to stop by for Lunch. We head out early in the morning so that we arrive by late afternoon or the evening, and you may utilize any time available to you to do some last minute shopping back in Kathmandu.
Departure from Kathmandu
Our trip has come to a close. A company representative will accompany you on your transfer to the airport. After completing the formalities, you will be departing Nepal. We hope you have enjoyed the trek and you would recommend us to your friends and family who desire to visit Nepal.
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