Nar Phu and Tilicho lake Trek Cost for 2024-2025

Trip Overview
  • Duration 19 Days
  • Difficulty Level Very Strenuous or Grade D (****)
  • DestinationNepal
  • Meals & AccommodationBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Trip Start & EndKathmandu to Kathmandu
  • Trip TypeTrekking
  • Major AttractionNar Phu, Tilicho Lake, Thorong la Pass
  • Maximum Altitude5410 Meters
  • Best TimeSpring & Autumn

Highlights

  • Trek through the off-the-beaten trail of Nar Phu Valley.
  • Avoid the overland drive on dirt roads. Instead, trek through the Annapurna region.
  • Tibetan Buddhist culture and religion of the community
  • Visit various chores and monasteries while trekking through the rural area.
  • Trek through the Nar Phu and lower Mustang trail
  • Backdrop views of the peaks like Lamjung, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna II, and Tilicho peaks while trekking along the Annapurna quick trails.
  • Closest views of the turquoise Tilicho Lake- one of the highest lakes in the world.
  • Cross the challenging passes like challenging passes; Kang La Pass (5,240m/ 17,192 ft) and Thorong La Pass (5,400m /17,717ft)
  • Visit Muktinath Temple a place revered by Hindu and Buddhist devotees,
  • Unique flora and fauna in the Annapurna conservation

There is a less trodden route for the Annapurna Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake trek, as Nar Phu Valley only opened to trekkers in 2003. The area still remains less trekked and requires a special pair to enter for every traveller. The trails leading trekking to the Nar Phu and Tilicho lake areas explore remote villages, forests, Tibetan-like peoples, and Buddhists as it is stitched just off the Annapurna Circuit route. 

The trail of our  Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek leads to the steep entrance of the Nar Phu Valley, which can easily be overlooked via a bridge spanning the Marshyangdi River. Likewise, beyond this narrow, forested "entrance," a completely different world awaits the trekkers. 

Regarding the trekking time around the region, the duration of each day's trek is not as long as in some other routes, and completing 5-6 hours of hiking can be pretty challenging. But still, having a good fitness level will benefit the trekkers and the previous trekking experience.

Our Annapurna Nar Phu Tilicho trek offers a unique and less-traveled route in the Annapurna region, perfect for adventurous trekkers who want to explore remote areas of Nepal beyond the usual trails. This trek, which includes tea house accommodations, showcases the picturesque landscape of the recently accessible Nar and Phu Valley, situated north of the renowned Annapurna circuit route

In addition, the topography of Nar Phu Valley resembles that of Tibet, creating rugged trails that have remained unchanged over the years. During this trek, we will spend several days exploring this secluded valley and cross theKang La pass (5,300m) on our way to Manang.

The Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek is an exceptional and lesser-known journey in the Annapurna region, leading through the hidden Nar Phu valley—an area that was opened to foreign visitors only in 2003 and is known as the habitat of Snow Leopards and Himalayan Thars. This trek offers a captivating experience of the unique culture found in Nar Phu and breathtaking views of majestic mountains in the highlands. Along the way, we will encounter Bhote communities, visit beautiful medieval and ancient remote villages, witness fantastic rock formations and glaciers, and traverse several passes, narrow canyons, and lovely forests. We will also have the opportunity to explore old Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and immerse ourselves in the distinct Himalayan and Tibetan cultures. This off-the-beaten-path adventure is perfect for those seeking to venture into Nepal's less-explored and isolated regions, away from the regular trekking routes

We will discover the hidden treasures of Nar Phu Valley, cross challenging high passes like Kang La and Meso Kanto, and visit the world's highest lake, Tilicho. Located north of Annapurna, the Nar Phu Valley, along with the Tilicho Lake, is a wild and unexplored region with Tibetan villages, recently opened for trekkers in the early 20s.

Therefore, if you're craving to experience the majestic allure of the Annapurna region, with its towering snow-capped peaks and pristine beauty, while also desiring a less travelled path to travel to, then the Nar Phu Valley with Tilicho Lake trek could be a perfect choice to begin your journey with.

Summary Of NAR PHU AND TILICHO LAKE & THORONG LA PASS

The Nar Phu Valley trek and Tilicho Lake trek together combined a distinctive spin of the popular route called the Annapurna Circuit trek. Starting by foot from the Buddhist communities of Nar and Phu villages in the Tibetan plateau discloses an extraordinary chance to witness various wonders. 

To explain more in detail, this expedition encompasses everything from the remarkable wildlife flourishing in the Annapurna conservation area to the age-old villages steeped in history. Trekkers will be captivated by the breathtaking mountains, majestic glaciers, serene lakes, and vibrant tapestry of cultural traditions that enrich the region.

This challenging yet beautiful journey takes the trekkers to the lesser-explored region of Nar and Phu valleys, where the hidden treasures await. Along the way, you'll encounter Tilicho, one of the world's highest-altitude lakes, sitting at an impressive elevation of 4919 meters. Likewise, This unforgettable trek offers a blend of off-the-beaten paths, breathtaking mountain vistas, remote Tibetan villages showcasing their unique culture, high mountain passes, serene Buddhist monasteries and gompas, vibrant prayer flags fluttering in the wind, and a rich tapestry of diverse flora and fauna.

While the journey may demand physical endurance, particularly during the challenging Kang La Pass and Thorong La Pass sections, the magnificent panoramas of the Annapurna massif, Lamjung Himal, Dhaulagiri range, Manaslu Himal, Tilicho Peak, and other majestic peaks make it all worthwhile, rewarding your efforts with a sense of fulfillment.

The 19-day Nar Phu Tilicho Lake Trek starts from the low altitude place Jagat, passing through Besi Sahar and outlining the renowned Annapurna Circuit trail until Koto. From Koto, you divide into a pine forest, venturing northeast into the Annapurna region, following the Naarkhola route to reach Phu via Meta. Rejoining the Annapurna circuit at Ngawal, you traverse the captivating landscapes of Nar and the challenging Kang La Pass, eventually arriving at Khangsar through Manang. The journey takes you to Tilicho Base Camp before ending in Jomsom, crossing the fascinating Thorong La Pass.

What Do You Expect On The Trek

Our main objective for this journey revolves around exploring the Nar Phu Valley, Thorong La Pass, and Tilicho Lake. While trekkers are open to hiking all commonly frequent certain parts of this route, we will experience several days without encountering other fellow hikers, particularly in the remote Nar/Phu Valley. Breathtaking landscapes are a guarantee throughout this journey. However, what different experiences can you truly expect with this trek?

It Will be Very Physical

During the trek, you will have to do extensive hiking. This means you should be prepared for hiking durations ranging from 4 to 9 hours per day, navigating diverse terrains such as steep hills, elevated suspension bridges, and rocky pathways in the Annapurna region. 

You may have heard calling many routes Nepali flat but don't be fooled, as they still involve rugged terrain, less steep than others. Still, your physical effort will be handsomely rewarded as you constantly encounter breathtaking vistas of Nepal's awe-inspiring scenery while trekking. 

Back to Basics

The trek to Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake Trek offers basic yet fine food and accommodation. The tea houses along the route present similar food options, such as dumplings, noodles, soup, and rice with curry and vegetables (dal bhat). Although the menu might become repetitive, the high-carbohydrate meals will provide the necessary maintenance for your time. Still, avoid consuming meat as it might not be fresh in high-altitude areas. 

The rooms normally feature a basic bed with a pillow; some teahouses may provide a blanket. However, bring a good quality sleeping bag to stay warm during cold nights. In addition, shared bathrooms with squat toilets are standard, and you'll quickly become proficient in using them.

Lifetime Memories

The physical discomforts and aches from your journey will gradually fade away, yet what you will endure are priceless recollections unlike any other. The bonds formed with fellow travellers and guides are often fast and deep. Likewise, the Himalayas' grandeur and the Sherpa community's warm-heartedness remain in your heart indefinitely. When you recall hiking to Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake in Nepal, a feeling of success and joy will accompany those reflections with a warm friendship with Mountain Rock Treks. 

Typical Day in Nar Phu Valley Trek

Unless you opt for camping, each night (and many lunches) will be spent at tea houses. These cozy locations along the Annapurna Circuit cater specifically to trekkers. Since we travelled during the off-peak season, many of these tea houses were closed during our visit.

At the beginning of our trek, the weather was generally warm due to the lower altitude, although we were ascending most of the time. Our typical routine consisted of having breakfast at a tea house, followed by a few hours of trekking. We would take a tea break, usually at another tea house, continue trekking for a few more hours, and then pause for lunch and a brief rest. Similarly, depending on our planned distance for the day, we would continue our journey in the afternoon, ultimately reaching our destination and locating a tea house. Once there, we would unpack, relax, enjoy dinner, and finally settle in for the night.

Along our route, the number of fellow trekkers was scarce, and upon reaching the Nar/Phu Valley, the sightings became even more infrequent. There will be sections where internet access is nonexistent, with satellite phones or services being the only option. Additionally, some tea house owners may be pleasantly surprised to have you as their guests.

Our Success Trips

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Itinerary

Day to Day Info

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Kathmandu Elevation- (1,400m/4,592ft)

Transfer To Hotel- 20 minutes

Accommodation- Hotels of Kathmandu

Welcome to Kathmandu, Nepal's vibrant hotspot. Our representatives from Mountain Rock Treks will eagerly await your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport. Upon reaching your hotel at Thamel, you'll have the entire day to immerse yourself in the city's wonders, exploring its culturally rich streets and experiencing the local way of life. Later, you'll meet with our guide and visit our office, receiving a comprehensive briefing about the exciting tour ahead. Overnight will be at one of the hotels in Thamel for the day. 

  • Hotels
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 20 minutes
  • 1,400m/4,592ft

Kathmandu Elevation- (1,400m/4,592ft)

Accommodation- Hotels of Kathmandu

Today is an extra free day at Kathmandu, so explore Kathmandu Valley and visit cultural sights and sacred sites like Pashupatinath and Boudhanath. If time allows, head to Bhaktapur to see Durbar Square, with its famous architecture and ancient scriptures. Later, they return to Kathmandu for a welcome dinner. Additionally, consider hiking or mountain biking in Shivapuri National Park or flying around Mount Everest and surrounding ranges. Overnight stay in Kathmandu hotel for another day. 

  • Hotels
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • Free Day
  • 1,400m/4,592ft

Koto Elevation- (2,600m/8,530ft)

Driving Hours- 8 to 9 hours 

Accommodation- Tea houses of Koto 

Today is our first day of the journey to the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake trek, so we set off toward Koto today. The day begins with a drive to Besisahar, located west of Kathmandu. The route takes us through Kurintar and Bandipur before proceeding northwards to Besisahar. A brief stop in Besisahar allows us to recharge before continuing our drive toward Koto. Although the road may be rough and uneven, the breathtaking scenery makes up for it. We will stay at one of the tea houses or lodges at Koto for the day. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 8 to 9 hours 
  • 2,600m/8,530ft

Meta Elevation- (3,560m/11,680ft)

Trekking Hours- 7 to 8 hours

Accommodation- Tea houses of Meta  

In the morning, you'll need to obtain a restricted area permit at the Police check post as you are now entering the Nar Phu region- the restricted area we discussed before. The journey starts along the beautiful River bank of Suti Khola, meandering through captivating pine forests and crossing several streams and suspension bridges. 

After about 5 hours, you'll reach Dharamsala, where a stunning Waterfall awaits. Enjoy your packed lunch en route. Continuing through the forests, you'll ascend steeply to Meta Village, a journey of about 1.5 hours. Now, you'll find yourself on the Tibetan Plateau, with breathtaking views of Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal. Overnight stay at the Lodge or teahouses in Meta for the day. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 7 to 8 hours
  • 3,560m/11,680ft

Phu Elevation- (4,080m/13,386ft)

Trekking Hours- 7 to 8 hours

Accommodation- Tea houses in Phu 

Your morning starts with a delightful breakfast and a cup of warm tea. Today we trek from Meta to the remote village of Phu, adorned with Tibetan Buddhist stupas and shortens. Today's trek is an excellent opportunity to engage in the Tibetan Buddhist community's rich culture, religion, and traditions. Cross suspension bridges and Chyaku fields, revelling in breathtaking views of Pisang Peak and Annapurna II from Kyang.

Behold the splendor of three crowded villages and a series of stupas en route to Phu. Keep an eye out for the elusive Blue Sheep during your journey through this unique Lost/Hidden Valley while immersing yourself in the diverse cultures, religions, and natural beauty of the Lama, Gurung, and Ghale ethnic groups. After a tiring trek, spend the night at the tea houses of Phu.

If Trek from Meta to Phu is too long for you, then you can stay the night at Kyang and trek further the next day to Phu. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 7 to 8 hours
  • 4,080m/13,386ft

Phu Elevation- (4,080m/13,386ft)

Accommodation- Tea houses in Phu 

Spend this day acclimatizing to the drastic altitude change. Explore the surroundings, interact with locals, and witness their way of life. Take a stroll in the pastures among yaks and sheep. Observe the wool-making process and the preparation of mustard paste and oil.

Alternatively, you can take an acclimatization hike, a 4 to 5-hour hike to the Himlung Himal base camp. You can also visit the nearby Tashi Lhakhang Gompa to pay homage to Karma Sonam Rimpoche, who visited the place in the 1950s. Return to Phu village after your adventures.

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • Free Day
  • 4,080m/13,386ft

Nar village Elevation- (4,110m/13,484 ft)

Trekking Hours- 3 to 4 hours

Accommodation- Tea houses of Nar Village

Today's short and serene journey takes us from Pu village to Nar Phedi, ascending a hill towards Nar. Along the way, we pass beautifully painted chortens topped with bamboo. Nar, an ancient village, greets us with its charm as we arrive around noon. 

Despite its proximity to the Annapurna trail, few trekkers venture here, making it a picturesque haven. Unlike Phu, Nar is more socially vibrant, bustling with women chatting and weaving wool fabric on back-strap looms. The village square is a lively hub of activity. Adding to the comfort, new teahouses have been established on the outskirts of Nar, offering extensive menus for lodgers. Overnight will be at one of the teahouses at Nar Village. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 3 to 4 hours
  • 4,110m/13,484 ft

Kang La Pass Elevation- (5,240m/17,192 ft) 

Ngawal Elevation- (3650 m/ 11,975 ft)

Trekking Hours- 8 to 9 hours

Accommodation- Tea houses of Nagwal 

Start your day early to witness a breathtaking sunrise at Kang La Pass, an entry point to the renowned Annapurna Circuit. Although not too challenging, the altitude might be noticeable. From the pass, soak in the majestic views of Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tilicho Peak. Descend the trail, which starts steep but offers exhilarating scree running. Take a break on a plateau with a fantastic view, then proceed towards Ngawal. Countering the ancient villages, Ngawal on the upper Pisang route boasts large lodges, extensive menus, and, most importantly, Wifi and phone connectivity in many lodges.

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 8 to 9 hours
  • (5,240m/17,192 ft) and (3650 m/ 11,975 ft)

Manang Elevation- (3,540m/11,612ft) 

Trekking Hours- 4 to 5 hours 

Accommodation- Tea houses of Manang 

Today, we trek towards Manang, enjoying the breathtaking panoramic vistas of majestic mountains and crossing sloping terrains. Upon reaching the village in the afternoon, plenty of time awaits to delve into its wonders. The awe-inspiring views of the mountains from Manang are genuinely great, while the warm hospitality of its people adds to the experience. Enjoy your overnight stay at one of the teahouses of Manang after a long tiring hike. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 4 to 5 hours 
  • 3,540m/11,612ft

Khangsar Village Elevation- (3,734m/12,243ft)

Trekking Hours- 3 to 4 hours 

Accommodation- Tea houses of Khangsar Village 

We will leave Manang to take up a challenging uphill ascent, leading to the crossing of a picturesque suspension bridge over the flowing Manang River. The uphill trek continues until arriving at the captivating village of Khangsar. After a few hours of walking, one can find respite in a cozy teahouse, rewarding themselves with a well-earned rest.

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 3 to 4 hours 
  • 3,734m/12,243ft

Tilicho Base Camp Elevation-  (4,919m/16,138ft) 

Trekking Hours- 5 to 6 hours 

Accommodation- Tented Camps or Tea Houses

Our destination of the day is Tilicho Base Camp, and to reach here, we will take an Annapurna Circuit trail, heading from Khangsar village. The journey leads to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery accessible via numerous stone steps. Once atop the high ridge, the old and new trails meet. Continue along the new trail, ascending a steep ridge before descending. The path eventually winds through stone steps and rugged roads until you reach Tilicho Base Camp. Overnight will be at one of the tented camps or small houses here. 

  • Tented Camps or Tea Houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 5 to 6 hours 
  • 4,919m/16,138ft

Tilicho Base Camp Elevation-  (4,919m/16,138ft) 

Trekking Hours- 5 to 6 hours 

Accommodation- Tented Camps or Tea Houses

Today, we will finally reach Tilicho, one of the world's highest lakes. The adventure starts before sunrise as you traverse rugged cliffs and narrow trails toward the awe-inspiring turquoise lake. It takes around 3 to 4 hours to reach Tilicho, where the majestic peaks of Mesokanto and Tilicho, adorned in snow, are beautifully reflected. And the best part here is where we will enjoy lunch by the lakeside and relish the moment until brisk cold winds prevail. Return to Tilicho Base Camp for a cozy night's rest. 

  • Tented Camps or Tea Houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • Free Day
  • 4,919m/16,138ft

Yak Kharka Elevation-  (4,010m/13,156ft)

Trekking Hours- 5 to 6 hours 

Accommodation- of Tea Houses Yak Kharka

Begin your day with breakfast, then prepare your bags for the journey to Yak Kharka. Trek through rugged and dusty trails, passing juniper shrubs on the way to old Khangsar. Follow an unmarked path to a bridge that connects Gumsang and Yak Kharka. This location earned its name as herders bring their yaks to graze in the lush pastures. Enjoy the night's stay in this beautiful place.

Note:- You can choose to return home from Tilicho Base Camp by trekking further to Mesokanto La Pass, Dharamsala, and finally take a Jomsom flight. If you take this alternative route, your journey will be complete in just 15 days. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 5 to 6 hours 
  • 4,010m/13,156ft

Thorung Phedi Elevation- (4,450m/14,599ft)

Trekking Hours- 6 to 7 hour 

Accommodation- of Tea Houses Thorung Phedi

Wake up early for today's journey from Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi, witnessing breathtaking mountain vistas. After descending to Marsyangdi, cross the river on a wooden bridge. Ascend the right side of the riverbank, following a narrow trail to Thorong Phedi at the foot of the hill. Optionally, trek to High Camp for acclimatization or take a day of rest if time permits.

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 5 to 6 hours 
  • 4,450m/14,599ft

Muktinath Temple Elevation- (3,760m/12,335ft)

Thorung La Pass Elevation- (5,416m/17,765ft)

Trekking Hours- 8 to 9 hours 

Accommodation- Tea Houses of Muktinath 

Today's hike takes us towards the Thorong La pass, one of the world's highest passes and the maximum elevation for the Nar Phu Tilicho lake trek. This challenging trek starts before sunrise, promising breathtaking views of the Mustang and Kaligandaki valleys. Admire the majestic snow-capped peaks of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna massif, and Tilicho Peak from the summit.

Capture memorable moments with your camera and descend to Chabarbu's cozy tea house. Further, cross a long grassy slope, taking you to the exquisite lower Mustang region en route to Muktinath village. Muktinath is located amid the Dhaulagiri Himal and holds deep spiritual significance for both Buddhists and Hindu devotees. 

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 8 to 9 hours 
  • (3,760m/12,335ft) and (5,416m/17,765ft)

Jomsom Elevation- (2,715m/8,910 ft)

Trekking Hours- 5 to 6 hours 

Accommodation- Tea Houses of Jomsom 

Start your day with an early visit to the sacred Muktinath temple, just a short walk away. Purify yourself in the holy taps and cleanse your soul in the two pools. Once blessed by Lord Shiva, return to your lodge and pack your belongings for the trek back to Jomsom.

The trek to Jomsom is relatively easy, with a mostly straight and downhill path. Admire the stunning vistas of Mt. Dhaulagiri and the ancient houses and caves carved into the dry cliffs. Take the chance to explore the beautiful monasteries, showcasing remarkable architecture and intricate carvings.

  • Tea houses
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 5 to 6 hours
  • (2,715m/8,910 ft)

Pokhara Valley Elevation- (800m/2,624ft)

Flight Duration- 25 minutes

Accommodation- Hotels of Pokhara 

Your last day in the remote Mustang begins with a scenic 25-minute flight to Pokhara. Don't forget to grab some dried apples before boarding; the aerial view of the Dhaulagiri range, Annapurna massif, and Lamjung is breathtaking.

Once in Pokhara, check into a comfortable hotel and take some time to relax. 

  • Hotels of Pokhara 
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 25 minutes
  • (800m/2,624ft)

Kathmandu Elevation- (1,400m/4,592ft)

Flight Duration- 25 minutes

Accommodation- Hotels of Kathmandu

This particular day offers you the chance to unwind in the morning, leisurely explore the enchanting Phewa lakeside, and capture breathtaking sunrise moments with your camera. Afterward, prepare your belongings as you'll be transported to the airport to board your flight back to Kathmandu.

  • Hotels of Kathmandu
  • Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner
  • 25 minutes
  • (1,400m/4,592ft)

Today marks the completion of your unforgettable journey, granting you the perfect opportunity to wander the vibrant streets of Kathmandu's Thamel district, where a treasure trove of souvenirs awaits.

As your time with us draws close, our dedicated team and experienced guides will bid you a fond farewell. 

  • BreakFast
  • (1,400m/4,592ft)

We are pleased to offer the flexibility of tailoring your journey to your desired duration and places, whether extended or shortened, as our proficient team of locals-cum-guides, porters, and accompanying staff have an in-depth understanding of every location traveled.

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Cost Details

Includes

  • Transfer by private Vehicle on arrival and departure
  • Twin sharing 3- nights tourist standard hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Public Bus transportation: Kathmandu to Syange, private Vehicle can arrive as per your requirement
  • Annapurna conservation permit and TIMS card (Trekking Information Management System)
  • Lodge and tent accommodation during the trek
  • Food: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner along the trek
  • Experience local trek guide, including his food, accommodation, trek equipment, and insurance
  • Honest, helpful local porter: 1 porter=2 clients, including his food, accommodation, trek equipment, and insurance
  • Trekking equipment: Down jackets, Sleeping bag, duffel bag, and tent on Hiring
  • Domestic flight: Jomsom to Pokhara
  • Twin sharing tourist standard hotel in Pokhara
  • Tourist bus: Pokhara to Kathmandu
  • Travel and rescue arrangements
  • Farewell dinners
  • All the government and local taxes with paperwork

Excludes

  • International airfare and Nepal Visa Fees.
  • Nepal Travel insurance.
  • Food in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Travel/Medical insurance and Emergency evacuation cost if needed.
  • Personal expenses include phone calls, drinks, donations, souvenirs, etc.
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events, i.e., road wrecks, flight delays, etc.
  • Tips for guide, porter (expected).

Dates & Price

Upcoming Departure

Few Seats AvailableStarts: WednesdayMay 29, 2024
Ends: SundayJun 16, 2024
Status: AvailableUS$2000

Essential Info

Is This Right Trek For You?

Trekking to Nar Phu (4,110m/13,484 ft), Tilicho Lake (4,919m/16,138 ft), and Thorong La Pass (5,416m/17,765 ft) is far from just a stroll around the park. But the good news is that the trek around the Annapurna region does not require any technical climbing skills for hikers. This means if you have the necessary mental and physical fitness, chances are you will be well-prepared for this challenge. 

This trek is demanding and rigorous, considering the high altitude and the duration of at least 19 days. Before delving further, ask yourself: am I fit for the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek with Thorong La Pass? Continue reading to confirm the required fitness level and gain valuable training tips for your journey to Nepal.

Fitness

The Tilicho Lake trek with Nar Phu Valley requires a certain level of physical fitness. Depending on your trek itinerary, you can expect to walk for a maximum of 7 hours daily. Likewise, most of the trail consists of stone footpaths that incline uphill, and some areas have stairs. The highest point of this trek reaches an elevation of approximately (5,416m/17,765ft) above sea level.

The high altitude and thin air can pose serious challenges here if you are not in good physical condition. 

Altitude

Typically the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake trek results in some mild altitude sickness. However, you still want to ensure that altitude sickness becomes manageable if you get one while hiking.

Giving a rough idea, altitude sickness can start when you trek 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) or more. This is because, at sea level, there is around 21% oxygen in the atmosphere. The percentage stays the same as you ascend altitude, but fewer oxygen molecules exist in each breath. For example, around 40% less oxygen molecules are in each breath at 3,600 m (12,000 ft). So, when you enter a high place where your body must work with less oxygen, your body doesn't operate normally. You must give it enough time to adapt, which is crucial.

Training

You can get in shape for the Nar Phu Valley with Tiicho Lake without hiring a personal trainer or quitting your job. However, dedicating some time to the gym and engaging in longer hikes will help prepare for the challenging ascent.

In addition, to prepare your body for the hilly trek, we recommend including a series of 4-6 hour treks into your routine at home. This will allow your body to adapt to the duration of physical activity involved. Likewise, start this training regimen approximately 6-8 weeks before your departure and gradually increase the duration and distance of your hikes. By the end of this period, your body should be comfortable trekking for a solid 6 hours.

Besides all these, spend some time at the gym focusing on leg exercises to strengthen your leg muscles. Although you won't carry heavy bags (unless you're trekking without support), you will still carry your own body weight. Squats are highly recommended as they engage your quadriceps, which you will rely on extensively during the trek.

Moreover, adding aerobic exercises like jogging, sprinting, and swimming. This will be particularly beneficial as the oxygen levels decrease at higher altitudes.

Permit Of NAR PHU AND TILICHO LAKE Trek 

The Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake trek, located in the northern regions of the enchanting Manang area, necessitates obtaining a unique permit for trekking. This pristine valley was initially made accessible for trekking in 2002, after which it obtained the designation of a restricted zone, demanding a special permit for trekking. And the permits required are as follows. 

Restricted Area Permit for Nar Phu Valley

Nar Phu Valley is situated near Nepal's Tibetan border. Therefore, the Nepalese government classifies the Nr Phu area as restricted. This status serves several purposes, including bolstering border security, regulating tourism, and safeguarding the area's ancient culture and heritage.

Obtaining a permit to enter the restricted area involves the following costs.  

Autumn (September to November): US$ 100 for the initial 7 days and an additional US$ 15 for each subsequent day spent within the restricted zone.

Winter, Spring, and Summer (December to August): US$ 75 for the first seven days, with a daily charge of US$ 15 for any extra days spent in the restricted area.

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) 

To trek through the Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake, you must obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) permit. This permit is essential as the trekking route crosses the Annapurna conservation area containing Manang. The fees collected through this permit are utilized to enhance and safeguard the precious flora and fauna of the Annapurna region.

ACAP Permit Charges:

For SAARC nationals: NPR 1000 per person (approximately US$ 10)

For other nationals: NPR 3000 per person (approximately US$ 30)

(TIMS) Permit

While trekking in the Nar Phu Valley and Tilicho Lake, obtaining a TIMS permit is not compulsory. However, a TIMS permit will become obligatory if you intend to continue your journey towards the Annapurna Circuit trek.

The TIMS permit is priced at USD 20 for trekkers and can be obtained from a registered agency in Nepal

Important Note Of NAR PHU TILICHO LAKE TREK

The trek leads adventurers through Sherpa, Magar, and Tamang Gurung villages, as well as Tibetan-style monasteries, and deep into the heart of the majestic Himalayas. The journey reveals a stunning kingdom of iconic glaciers and picturesque lakes, making it one of the world's most hidden yet captivating treks. Therefore, every trekker should be aware of some important notes related to the treks. 

Best Time to Trek

The ideal time for trekking on a Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake trek is during two specific seasons: October to November and March to May. Likewise, most guides organize treks from August to May, although it's not advisable for inexperienced or intermediate trekkers to visit during the winter months.

Spring and autumn offer the region's most favorable climatic conditions for trekking. Lower elevations experience pleasant average daily temperatures of approximately 10 ºC (50 ºF), while higher elevations hover around the freezing point. During these seasons, the least rainfall occurs, and the region enjoys clearer days.

Difficulty Level

The actual trek itself is not particularly demanding in terms of physical exertion. It mainly involves a couple of steep climbs, each lasting around an hour, and most days consist of less than four hours of walking.

However, what truly makes the trek challenging is the high altitude. The Thorong La Pass sits at an elevation of  (5,416m/17,765 ft).

As you ascend beyond 4000m (13,123ft), the diminishing oxygen levels in the air will cause you to feel increasingly lazy and short of breath. When you add the biting cold, discomfort from altitude, and cumulative fatigue from walking continuously for two weeks, it becomes evident that the entire trek is a tough physical test.

Can I get Wi-Fi or phone coverage?

Tea houses in the Annapurna region provide Wi-Fi services free of charge or for a nominal daily fee, especially at lower elevations. However, as you ascend beyond 200 meters, accessing Wi-Fi might require purchasing a scratch card. These cards offer unlimited data for twelve hours or a specific amount over a month. Moreover, while some network providers may provide data with phone signals at lower elevations, they may not be available at higher altitudes. So, we can say that you can stay connected and Skype with your friends while in the low-altitude areas of the Annapurna region.

What Are Tea Houses Like?

The teahouses in Nepal, particularly those near starting points in Koto, Meta, offer a higher level of comfort at lower altitudes. Private rooms with en-suite bathrooms are standard, and some places even provide hot showers, although the hot water availability can be inconsistent. Likewise, alongside these teahouses, you'll find warm and inviting dining rooms with tables arranged around a central stove fueled by dung.

As you ascend to higher altitudes or venture towards Nar Phu Valley, the tea houses become more budget-oriented and simple. The rooms typically consist of beds and toilets. Moreover, toilet facilities vary, with a mix of seated and squatting toilets; some may even be outdoors, exposed to freezing temperatures. While the lodges usually provide blankets, bringing your own four-season sleeping bag rated for temperatures well below freezing (0°C or 32°F) is essential.

Cost of Nar Phu with Tilicho Lake Trek 2024-2025

Expect to spend between USD 1,000 to USD 2,000 per person on an average Nar Phu Valley with Tilicho Lake Trek in Nepal. However, prices vary depending on the size of the group when you head on the trek and what is included in the cost of the trip.

Moreover, Mountain Rock Treksoffers the Nar Phu Valley trek with the Tilicho Lake trek starting from $1,550 per person. We, too, offer group prices which are as follows-

Pax                                                                                     Cost

1-1                                                                                $1,550 per person

2-7                                                                               $1,450 per person

The price above range usually includes: 

- Transport to and from Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) and the domestic flight 

- Accommodations

- All meals on the trek

- Permits and entrance fees

- Personal porters

- Expenses of the guide and porters

- These prices generally do not include the following:

- International flights to and from Nepal

- Visa fees

- Gratuities for the guide and porters

FAQs

  • Q1. Are the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek suitable for beginners?

    This trek is ideal for experienced trekkers with prior high-altitude trekking experience. The challenging terrain, higher altitudes, and remote locations make it less suitable for beginners.

  • Yes, permits are required for this trek. You must obtain the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Nar Phu Restricted Area Permit. Make sure to get them before starting the trek.

  • Communication facilities are limited in remote areas. You might find mobile network coverage in some villages, but relying on satellite phones or emergency communication devices is better.

  • It's impossible to trek independently as of 2023 due to the ban on solo travel in Nepal, so you must hire a guide. A guide can provide valuable insights, assist with navigation, and ensure your safety. With our, your guide and porter service will be included in the package so you need not worry about these things. 

  • Yes, altitude sickness is a significant concern due to the high elevations. Proper acclimatization and gradual ascent are crucial to avoid altitude-related issues. It's essential to be aware of the symptoms and act accordingly.

  • In emergencies, you can request helicopter rescue services, but it might take some time due to the remote location. It's essential to have travel insurance that covers helicopter evacuations.

  • The trail is generally well-marked, but there are sections where it can be confusing, especially in the Nar and Phu valleys. Hiring a guide ensures you stay on the right path.

  • The highlights include exploring the ancient and untouched villages of Nar and Phu, the stunning turquoise Tilicho Lake, the breathtaking Thorong La Pass, and the majestic views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges.

  • Yes, the monsoon season (June to August) brings heavy rainfall, making the trails slippery and risky. It is best to avoid trekking during this period.

  • You can find safe drinking water at tea houses and lodges by purchasing bottled water or using water purification tablets. Carry enough water with you during long stretches between villages.

Client Reviews

  • Cultural Immersion and Alpine Wonders

    The Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek with Mountain Rock Treks pushed my limits but left me with a profound sense of fulfillment. The trails were demanding, but the rewards were unparalleled. The pristine beauty of Tilicho Lake was like a mirage amidst the rugged mountains, and reaching the Thorong La Pass filled me with a sense of accomplishment and awe. The support and encouragement from the Mountain Rock Treks team were invaluable, making the challenging journey all the more memorable. This trek is a perfect choice if you seek both physical and emotional growth.

    S
    Seth JacksonMexicoJune 30, 2023
  • Unveiling the Secrets: Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek

    As a photography enthusiast, the Nar Phu and Tilicho Lake Trek with Mountain Rock Treks exceeded all my expectations. The surreal landscapes, dramatic mountain ranges, and vibrant culture provided endless opportunities for breathtaking shots. The journey through the Nar Phu Valley felt like stepping back in time, and the panoramic views from Kang La Pass were simply spellbinding. Our guide's expertise and understanding of the region were invaluable. 

    E
    Ellis GarzaChinaJune 17, 2023
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