Explore the hidden valleys of Nar & Phu to the north of Annapurna region and experience a true wilderness while trekking through two challenging high passes: Kang La and Thorong La. Opened to visitors only in 2003, this is an exciting trekking into an unexplored remote of Nepal. The local people are of Tibetan descendants and have still retained Tibetan Buddhism, tradition and culture. Most of the inhabitants engage in yak herding and farming.
This trek is perfect for those who want to discover a virgin region where people commune with nature and untouched by modernization. While trekking, you will be mesmerizing with spectacular views of the Annapurna massif, Lamjung Himal, Machhapuchhre Himal, Manaslu Himal, Dhaulagiri range and Tilicho peak. Nar Phu Valley Trek is recommended for those who want to do Annapurna circuit trek as well as to explore an untouched valley of Nar and Phu at the same time. The major highlights of Nar and Phu Valley Trek is beautiful forests, wonderful rock formations, yaks grazing sight, Buddhist Monasteries, Kang La Pass and unique Himalayan cultures.
Trekking to Nar and Phu Valley begins from Besisahar tracking the popular trail of Annapurna Circuit and then forks from Koto to follow the off- the- beaten track to Nar and Phu villages in the north of Manang and pass the Kang La pass with the magnificent panorama of Annapurna massifs. The Kang La high pass connects Nar village with Manang and three other Bhotia villages in the Neyshang valley.
After visiting Nar and Phu Valley we head for the west direction over the Thorong La Pass and then walk down through lower Mustang until we reach Jomsom. From Jomsom, we fly back to Pokhara and next day we drive back to Kathmandu and conclude our trip.
Nar Phu Valley Trek is highly popular as a non-touristy destination in Nepal.
Arrive at the (TIA) Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your hotel if you have booked Airport Pickup facility at the time of booking your trip. Otherwise our representative will meet you at the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce each other. Overnight in Kathmandu
Hotel Accommodation (Kathmandu)
Harati Manor Inn [or similar standard]
This is an example of the hotel we may use in Kathmandu city. Your actual hotel will be specified when your booking is confirmed. Please check your email or booking confirmation.
Today our representative will work on all necessary permits and transportation confirmation.
After breakfast we drive along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway up to Dumre and make U turn following the off road by the side of the Marsyangdi River. We pass through the low-lying villages and rice fields. After 6 hours long drive, we finally reach Besisahar which is the commercial town of Lamjung District.
From Besi Sahar, we trek along the trail turning right at the canal on the outskirts of the village and descending the narrow path to the Pam Khola. On crossing the stream, we ascend towards the village of Denauti where we get to see Nepalese rural life at close quarters. The route further leads to the banks of the Marshyangdi River, passing through paddy fields and subtropical forests. As the trail nears the Marshyangdi Khola, we approach Bahundanda which literally means “Brahmin hill” for overnight stay
Leaving Bahundanda after breakfast we skirt through the off road trails to Chamje. We trek through rice fields, before crossing a stream at the bottom of a small waterfall. It then climbs again and traverses the hillside high above the river before reaching the village of Chamje.
The first part of the trail descends to the river and after crossing a suspension bridge, you begin a climb to Sattale (1550 m.) on a path so steep that it seems one slip would send you hurtling down into the valley.
Climbing the zigzagged path to the top of the hill, you see the level, plain of Tal (1700 m.) ahead of you. Tal is the border between Manang and Lamjung district. Though it is enclosed by cliffs, the level area looks reassuring after the harrowing mountain paths just traveled on. You descend to a grassy riverbank, which leads to Tal with its hotels and teahouses. Beyond Tal, the valley narrows and the path becomes high and winding. Beyond the small village of Karte (1900 m.), there is a bit more cliff-walking before the path reaches near the river. You cross a suspension bridge, and climb the short distance to the stone Kani marking the entrance to Dharapani (1960 m.). Stay overnight at camp in Dharapani.
You trek a gradually ascending path and cross a stream to reach Koto. The mountain views you can enjoy are of Annapurna II and Manaslu range along with beautiful views of forests on the way which add another dimension to your trek. Koto is a small village mainly inhabited by Gurung and other ethnic groups. Their lifestyle is mainly influenced by Buddhist Tibetans. Stay overnight at camp in Koto.
After breakfast you head out early, as you have a long and somewhat difficult day before you. You cross the river leading to the Nar Phu valley and hike up through beautiful woods above the Phu Khola. The route takes you through some beautiful woods and past several small caves, and a pilgrims’ Dharmasala. After you emerge out of a narrow canyon, the trail actually passes under a wide waterfall just before the Dharmasala, from where the woods become thinner and the vistas wider. Stay overnight at camp in Dharmasala.
A steep climb up the valley along a small river brings you to high pastures on a 3,200 m plateau. You pass by the scenic kharka of Meta, 3560 m, a non-permanent winter settlement of Nar, where you are likely to share the trail with a few yaks! This morning is one of the loveliest walks in the Himalayas. The landscape is combined with white rocks, low shrubs, juniper, scattered evergreens, delicate brick-red and orange leafy bushes, crumbling shelves of flat slate and white, sandy trails. The mountains around you are clearly visible and the Phu Koshi shadows the trail far below.
An hour past Meta, Junam is the second semi-permanent settlement. Above the Kharka to the right looms a massive glacier which falls jaggedly down to the high pastures above you. The next settlement is Chako, formerly a Khampa settlement, where grass lies tied in bunches to dry on all the rooftops and prayer flags flutter in the breeze. Stay overnight at camp in Kayang.
Dropping steeply down to the river, you trek for a while along the river bank and past the “submarine” rock, passing some small possible campsites along the way. You start to see some of the unique, colorful chortens for which Nar and Phu are famous. You have to walk carefully across a small glacial stream before reaching a larger one with a bridge only half covered with large slabs of slate. Another hour and a half of trekking through scenic canyon lands and gorges, and the monolith guards the steep trail up to the Phu gate, called Pupigyal Kwe. This ancient gate provides you the first view of the three villages of Phu, as well as an old “dzong” and the remains of the two forts, which are all now in ruins, but impressively situated atop the flatlands before Phu.
Just before the bridge to Phu, a line of wonderful chortens color the landscape and lead the way to the main village of Phu, perched high up on a hill. You will set up camp on the lower reaches of Phu, formerly called Gomdzong, and head up to the famous Tashi Lhakhang Gompa on a neighboring hillside to pay your respect to Lama Karma Sonam. Stay overnight at camp at Phu Village.
You can interact with the locals and explore up the wide valley systems above you. You might walk up the valley to the summer grazing settlement or Kharka at Ngoru, a three hours walk past the gompa. Phu itself is an incredibly interesting village and you can observe the villagers spinning their yak and sheep wool and chat. Stay overnight at camp in Phu Valley.
You get back through Phu gate, descend to the river and retrace your steps back to Junam Kharka which is a lovely spot for camping. Stay overnight at camp in Junam.
This day you trek down the old bridge spanning a deep, contoured and narrow gorge and all the way back up again. The scenery is stunning. Below you sits Gyalbu Kumbu, built in 1650, and Satte Gompa both empty. You finally reach the Nar gates at the top of the hill and pass by yet another line of wonderfully painted, bamboo topped chortens and a large tiered chorten. Stay overnight at camp at Nar.
Each family at Nar seems to have at least one son or daughter in a gompa. Stay overnight at camp
After breakfast we begin our trek on a long but gentle ascent through the lateral moraine of Temdenzon Khola, on a nice path. At the bottom of Kang La, we camp on a nice grassy spot.
Today we have a long and hard day ahead of us, however it is very rewarding. We have to cross the big Kang La pass at (5’280 m. 17’322 ft.) It is a very steep ascent to the top of the pass where there is a chorten and some great views of the Annapurna massif. Just before reaching the pass, there is a small lake where we take a rest before making the last effort to reach the top. From the top of the pass it is a very steep decent, but after an hour we take a grassy path that leads to Ngawal. There are restaurants and lodges in Ngawal. We continue all the way to Munje. On the way we pass beautiful forests.
Cultivated fields appear on both sides of the path and off to the right, below a craggy mountain, we can see the village of Braga with its splendid monastery. Large chortens and mani walls abound and the tall peaks of the Himalaya spread out before us – Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Gangapurna (7’455 m. 24’458 ft.) and, to the rear, Tilicho Peak (7’134 m. 23’405 ft) After a short steep climb we reach Manang, which is a surprisingly large village for this remote mountain region.
After thoroughly acclimatized at Manang, we advance towards Thorung La Pass. On the way, we cross a stream, climb to Tengi, and 120 meters above Manang and ascend further past Marshyangdi Valley turning north-west up the valley of the Jarsang Khola. Amid the spectacular vistas of Annapurna mountain range, we trek beyond the lush vegetation of scrub juniper and alpine grasses to reach the small village of Gunsang which is a cluster of flat mud roofs just below the trail at 3,960m /12,992ft.
Along the route, we see several lodges. As we approach picturesque meadows and rich forests of barberry, juniper etc, we encounter horses and yaks grazing. The trail takes us further along a large stream that flows from Chulu West and Gundang, and leads to a rich pasture at 4,000 m. Overnight in camp
From Letdar the trail continues to climb along the east bank of the Jarsang Khola then descends and crosses the stream on a bridge. Then making a short descent you will reach to Thorung Phedi. Overnight at Throung Phedi Base Camp
From Thorung Phedi, the trail becomes steep; following rocky ridges you will reach Thorung La (5416m), which is the highest point of this trek. From here the views are outstanding. The trail descends steeply and during the decent there you can see sights of Mt. Dhaulagiri. The trail crosses a meadow and leads to Muktinath where you can see the impressive temple of Lord Shiva. Overnight at Muktinath
We now begin the descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki valley, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar, villages with typical Tibetan architecture, we follow the valley floor most of the way to Jomsom. En route, we sight tremendous views of both Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. Jomsom is a large town sprawled along both banks of the Kali Gandaki River, and it is here we will spend the final night of our trek.
We take an early morning flight to Pokhara. It is a spectacular flight along the Kali Gandaki Gorge and provides wonderful views of both the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges. Check in hotel in Pokhara and stay overnight
Finally arrive in Kathmandu. Rest in the evening…
Our representative will transfer you to the international airport for your onward journey…
All visitors except the Indian nationals must hold passport and valid visa. Visa can be obtained at the Nepalese diplomatic missions and consulates abroad. Visa is also issued at the entry points. It can be extended at the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu. Children under 10 years need not pay any visa fee. People willing to get entry Visa at the airport or any of the land entry points are required to fill a visa form with passport photograph.
* Tourist visa can be extended for a maximum period of 150 days in a single visa year (January – December).
On arrival in Kathmandu, our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to our pre-booked hotel. There won’t be any activity on this day. We will host a pre-trip meeting at the hotel lobby on the 2nd day of your itinerary in the evening. It will be an opportunity for you to meet your trekking guide and introduce each other. The guide will brief you about the trek and check your gear to ensure the smooth running of your trekking trip.
We organize this trek away from the more frequented trails and provide a wilderness experience in both natural and cultural aspect. You can observe the remote mountain villages of Nepal where people are surviving by growing their own food, untouched by modern civilization, no development. Despite the fact the local people are still leading happy life with their own distinctive culture and traditional lifestyle that might be very interesting & unique for you to observe. If there are no tea house/lodges along the trail we organize on full board camping basis and it is only an option.
Accommodations will be in tents, and your food will be well cooked by one of our cook and vegetables are treated by potassium permanganate or iodine. 20- 30 Minute Boiled water is served for drinking. Antiseptic and Potassium or iodine treated water are provided for washing. Staff will carry all the necessary equipment, leaving you free to enjoy the scenery. You carry your small backpack with a water bottle, camera and your day clothes. We employ the appropriate number of porters to carry all equipment, trekking gear & necessary stuff.
We choose our spots wisely, disturbing as little of the eco system as possible. We take nothing but pictures and leave only footprints behind. We provide unique and fresh food without harmful chemical by using less number of tin foods, as much as possible we will use fresh fruits and vegetable. High quality of kitchen equipment, sleeping tents, staff tents, dining tents, toilet tents, dining table, Chairs, mattress, foods, sleeping bags are provided.
Small groups provide a more intimate atmosphere allowing you to get to know your Sherpa guides better and to develop lifelong friendships. Therefore, the maximum group size for this trek is 16 people. The minimum is 2 people.
All our trek leaders and crew come from different parts of Nepal with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, but we all share our valuable experience, accept each other beliefs and work together to give our clients the best experience in Nepal. Whatever the ethnical background they belong to, differ in sex or age all members of our team work together as a family that makes us what we are.
At 6.30 am your guide wakes you up. Then it’s time to have breakfast, tight up your bag pack and head off for today’s trekking for the next three to four hours then stop for an hour at pleasant spot along the way for a well-prepared hot lunch. Afterward, walk another three hours or so, before you stop for the overnight. The evening can be spent reading or chatting with your fellow hikers or trekking crew about the trip of the day. Pack of games can be an asset to these nights; your trekking crew love teaching various Nepali card games and learning new Western games. Eventually, it’s time to bed for a well-deserved night.
The climate in the Annapurna region varies from subtropical to alpine. The southern slopes of the area has the highest rainfall rate in the country- 3000mm per year, whereas the northern slopes lying in the rain shadow has the lowest rate – less than 300mm per year. The difference in the climatic conditions in this region is responsible for its varied flora and fauna.
Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November
This is the main trekking season in Nepal. While trekking in mountains weather will be sunny and mild with clear mountain views. Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to negative 8o C (7.6o F) at the highest altitudes.
Winter: December to end February
Even it is cooler conditions this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to negative 10o C (14oF) to negative 17o C (1.4oF) at the highest altitudes but days are pleasant and sunny. The trails are also much less busy at this time of year
Pre-monsoon/spring: March to May
Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but cloudiness will be occurred up in the afternoons. Seasonal flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring.
The southern subtropical lowlands are enriched with lush subtropical forests consisting of chirpine and alder and in the northern highlands temperate forests of oaks, rhododendron, fir, and blue pine. The wet regions yield a variety of bamboo species. The higher altitude further North give rise to forests of birch, blue pine and juniper trees, which are replaced by juniper and rhododendron in the far North. In the semi-desert rain shadow region, behind the Himalayas, bushes of caragana and juniper species are found.
This region is rich with several species of wildlife. There are around four hundred and seventy-four species of birds, and around a hundred species of mammals. The region serves as an excellent habitat for rare and endangered mammals like the snow leopard, musk deer, blue sheep, red panda and many of Nepal’s brilliantly plumaged pheasants
Annapurna (8091m) Nilgiri(6940m), Tilicho peak(7134m) Dhulagiri (8167m),Manaslu (8156m), Lamjung Himal (6983m),Machhapuchhare(6993m), Tukuche peak (6920m),
The Gurungs form the largest group in the Annapurna region. They come from Tibeto-Burman stock. Some Gurungs follow Buddhism and others Hinduism. They dwell the higher northern slopes of the Annapurna, Lamjung,Chuli and hills around Ganesh Himal. A large number of Gurung youths serve in the British and Indian armies. The low part of the Annapurna region is largely populated by Chettris and Bahuns (Brahmins). The Magars inhabit the lower trail between Baglung and Dana. They live high on the steep ridges along the tributaries of the Kali Gandaki.
Another ethnic group of this region is the Thakalis. Known throughout the country as accomplished hoteliers and skilled traders, they are noted for their aggressive trading spirit. The Jomsom trek passes through Thak Khola, the Thakali homeland. In the valley of the Muktinath live the Baragaun Bhotiya. Their lifestyle is similar to that of the Tibetans. Another group of people who share a close affinity to the Tibetans are the Lopa people of Mustang, north of Kagbeni. Some of them practice the ancient pre-Buddhist religion of Bon which is infused with animistic and shamanic belief and ritual. The people living in the upper Marshyandi valley are generally known as Mananges.
The Nyeshang area, under which fall the villages of Manang, Braga and Ngawal. The people are of Tibetan origin. But their language Nyeshang is not a Tibetan dialect. This area is popularly known by the name of its largest village Manang. Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take out a travel insurance which should cover cancellation.
Before joining a tour, we recommend you to take out a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. Please send us the following details such as your full name, policy number and the insurance company’s 24 hour emergency contact number prior to departure. We also strongly recommend that your policy must cover personal liability, flight/trip cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Though we hope for the best trip, you sometimes might be in need of rescue or evacuation in case of a serious sickness or a personal prolonged health issue. During such emergency you will be rescued by a helicopter. You are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation services. We request you to make sure when you purchase insurance from your country that your policy must cover these expenses or you should remain prepared to pay or sign on Helicopter Evacuation Form before you get on the Helicopter.
If scheduled flight gets cancelled due to bad weather from Jomsom – Pokhara. In such situation, we need to send chartered helicopter. Helicopter cost has to be borne by the clients as per the prevailing cost.
If the main highway between Kathmandu, Pokhara or Beshisahar is blocked by a landslide or any natural calamity during the transfer, in such a situation the extra cost for food and accommodation has to be borne by the clients.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you don’t need it while travelling. Many of hotels in Nepal have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage
Many trekking porters come from villages. They live hard and frugal lives and work to carry heavy loads using the traditional ‘doko’ (the bamboo latis basket supported from the forehead). Heights up to 3,500m are part of everyday life and they resist wearing what they consider to be unnecessary personal equipment.
Above that altitude, Trek Himalayan urges them the use of kit suited to the varying levels of more extreme conditions. It’s an incredible job that they do and we really appreciate their working nature and try to reward accordingly.
Here are some recommended Equipments for your trek.
Note: It is possible to buy or rent the above gear in Kathmandu
Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which can turn to be fatal if not treated upon recognizing the symptoms. AMS is the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations of 3,000m or above.
Early mountain sickness results in headache, loss of appetite and sleepiness. One can encounter such sickness no matter s/he looks physically young, strong and fit. Medicine itself can be on substitute unless patients suffering from such sickness are immediately rushed downhill. Doctor may provide temporary care with some medicines and oxygen but the patient must be brought down immediately in order to escape danger. For emergency purpose, one can contact doctors and local hospital and clinic.
Manang is the biggest village, situated at an altitude of 3540 meter on the route to Nar-Phu valley or Annapurna Circuit trek. “Gurung” and “Ghale”, popularly known as “MANANGIS”, with minority of “Lamas’(who came from Tibet, Dolpo and Mustang) are the inhabitants of Manang. There are also few people belonging to the occupational castes. The economy of the village is primarily agriculture, animal husbandry, seasonal business and tourism.
Muktinath is very famous sacred place for both Hindu and Buddhist Pilgrims. It lies at the lap of Annapurna Himalaya about 18 km north east of Jomsom. Every year pilgrims from different places including India come in thousands to visit the temple and pay homage to Lord Vishnu.
It is a small town located at an altitude of 2800m in Mustang District. It extends over the banks of the Kali Gandaki River. The soaring peaks of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri form its backdrop. To and from Jomsom Airport every morning regular flights operate.