About Nar Phu Valley Trekking
Nar Phu Valley Trekking, opened for tourism only in 2003, is the least explored and most exotic trek in Nepal. Due to its isolated existence, tibetan culture of Nar Phu has remained undisturbed for centuries. They have retained their age-old nomadic yak-herding lifestyle. It is like travelling back in time to visit these enchanting stone villages beneath the snow capped Annapurnas.
Nar Phu Valley Trekking starts at Besi Sahar and follows the popular Annapurna Circuit Trekking route up the Marsyangdi River valley to Koto, where a the trail branches off into the Nar Phu Valley. It passes through a beautiful forest to a dharmasala, which accommodates local pilgrims travelling to Tashi Lhakhang Gompa in Phu. High in the valley there are plateaus and pastures where yak herders of the Nar Phu valley make winter settlements. The scenery is incredible: white rocks, juniper, evergreens, snow capped mountains, jagged glaciers and the Nar Phu River below. The trail has many ups and downs between plateaus and glacial streams, canyons and gorges.
A leaning monolith and line of chortens lead the way to Phu, home for about 40 households who migrate during the cold winter. We explore the crumbling ruins of two forts and visit the Tashi Lhakhang Gompa or dzong. Lama Karma Sonam Rimpoche fled from Tibet to Nepal in 1959 and lived at this gompa. Rimpoche was a renowned amchi or Tibetan doctor, as well as a thanka painter, and father of several children. (Some lamas are permitted to marry). We will see the women of Phu spinning yak wool and pounding mustard seeds for oil, and perhaps taste a cup of home-made alcohol chhyang.
We set out for the village of Nar. The name refers to the wild blue sheep, native to this region. We descend to an old bridge and cross over a deep, narrow gorge. A steep climb leads us to the gates of Nar, a village of about 65 households, chortens and gompas surrounded by fields of barley and mustard. The snowy peaks of Kang Guru and Pisang dominate the horizon. Traces of modernity, like electricity lines (usually not working) contrast the ancient surroundings. While some young ones are eager to wear modern garb, the old herders and their wives are usually in traditional Tibetan attire. It is easy to learn about their culture as most of village life takes place outdoors: spinning or weaving wool, carpentry or turning the prayer wheels. Leaving Nar we climb a gradual path up the valley to yak pastures with the razorback Pisang Peak in clear view. We descend to Kang La Phedi, 4620m, before making the ascent to Kang La Pass.
The zigzag trail of snow, ice and yak dung becomes steeper as we get closer to the razor-sharp ridge of Kang La, 5240m, which divides the Nar Phu Valley from the rest of Manang. From the pass the view of Annapurna II, Gangapurna and Tilicho Peak is magnificent. The steep descent on scree can be slippery. The remote Nar Phu Valley Trekking ends when we rejoin the Annapurna Circuit Trek at Ngawal. We then head west over the Thorung La Pass and down through lower Mustang before heading on to Jomsom. We finally fly back to Pokhara and drive back to Kathmandu next day.
Highlights of Nar Phu Valley Trekking
- few trekkers have visited the recently opened region of Nar and Phu valley
- amazing trans-Himalayan topography. similar to Tibet
- visit stone villages and monasteries where ancient Tibetan-Buddhist culture is unchanged and alive
- cross the Kang La pass, 5315m on the way to Manang
- incredible views of the Annapurna massifs
- sighting snow leopards and blue sheep
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Flying to Kathmandu is in itself an exciting and memorable experience. On a clear day you will get a panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains. In the airport, after completing the visa formalities collect your luggage downstairs. As you exit the airport terminal, you will be met by our representative carrying your name on a signboard as well as our company signboard, Annapurna Foothills Treks & Expedition. You will be taken to your hotel in our vehicle, where you will be staying before commencing the trip.
The Managing Director of our company will be there to meet you in the hotel and provide more information about the expedition. Your dues must be cleared before we proceed on the trip. Afterward, you are free to relax or explore around the city. We will finalize paperwork-permit for your trip and make a final check of your equipment. In case you need additional trekking equipment, you will have a chance to buy it. Sightseeing tours of Kathmandu Valley are also an option.
Driving along the Kathmandu-Pokhara Highway to Dumre and then following the rough route by the Marsyangdi River as we pass through the low-lying villages and rice fields. After 8 hours long drive, we finally reach Besi Sahar. Besi Sahar is the admiistrative capital of Lamjung District.
We will take a Jeep drive through the off beat road to Koto. We will pass through many beautiful villages along the road. Koto village is the junction point where we leave the Annapurna Circuit Trekking Trail and follow the Nar Phu trekking trail.
This morning, we head out early as we have a long and somewhat difficult day before us. Just past the checkpost, we cross the river leading to the Nar Phu valley and hike up through the beautiful woods above Phu Khola. The route takes us through some beautiful woods and past several small shelters and a pilgrims' 'dharmasala'. As we emerge out of a narrow canyon, the trail actually passes under a wide waterfall just before the dharmasala from which point the woods become thinner and the vistas wider. A steep climb up the valley along a small, scenic river brings us finally to high pastures on a plateau. We then reach the scenic kharka of Meta, 3560m, a non-permanent winter settlement of Nar.
An hour past Meta, Junam is the second semi-permanent settlement, the place where "khampas" from Tibet once sheltered. Above the kharka to the right, looms a massive glacier which falls jaggedly down to the high pastures above us. Across the river, the cliffs contort in swirls and waves, similar to Ladakhi landscapes. The next semi-permanent 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. A scene from old Tibet! Many more ups and downs take us to tonight's village at Kyang, the extensive winter settlement of Phu, on a plateau high above the river.
Today, we really start to see some of the unique, colorful chortens for which Nar and Phu which are just really famous. We have to rock-hop carefully across a small glacial stream before reaching a larger one with a bridge only half covered with large slabs of slate. Some large steps do the trick! Another hour and a half of trekking through scenic canyonlands and gorges, we'll encounter the "leaning tower of Pisa" monolith guards the steep trail up to the Phu gate, called Pupigyal Kwe.
This ancient gate provides us with our first view of the three villages of Phu as well as an old "dzong" and the remains of two forts, 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 in an amphitheater style.
Having spent quite a few days getting to Phu, we will spend an extra day in the area to enjoy it, meet the local Phu residents and do some exploring up the wide valley systems above us. Tibet is two long days away, so a bit far for a visit, but we might walk up the valley to the summer grazing settlement, or "kharka" at Ngoru, a three hour's walk past the gompa. Phu itself is an incredibly interesting village, and a day is well spent sitting with the villagers as they spin their yak and sheep wool and chat, pound mustard seeds into a paste for oil, or involve themselves in the countless activities that take up a day in Tibetan villages. For photographers, the light is spectacular, and the skies a deep blue, and we may even see some blue sheep on the surrounding hillsides.
An alternative daytrip for those with lots of energy: a hike towards the east through a glacial valley leads to Himlung Himal base camp, a 7125m peak recently opened for climbing. There are usually a few expeditions climbing this peak, as well as nearby Gyanji Kang. The mountain views are tremendous! For others, a walk west up past Phu towards the chortens on the hillside provides some incredible vistas and views down over Phu and the surrounding fields, forts, valleys and peaks.
Back through Phu gate, we descend to the river, and retrace our steps back to Junam kharka, a lovely spot as any for our campsite. We then continue our trek to Nar Phedi.
Another classic Himalayan trekking day as we trek down to the old bridge spanning a deep, contoured and narrow gorge and then all the way back up again. It's a good thing the scenery is so stunning. Below us sit Gyalbu Kumbu, built in 1650, and Satte gompa, both empty. We 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 before turning the corner and being rewarded with sublime views of Nar, the undulating patterns of the surrounding barley and mustard fields, four old, colorful and traditional gompas and the snow-peaks looming overhead.
The Kang La is not a difficult pass in good conditions but it can be a long and difficult day if there is snow on the pass or the altitude is taking it's toll. The Kang La, at 5240m, is an absolutely spectacular pass looking over Annapurna II, Gangapurna, Tilicho peak, the peaks surrounding Tilicho and the airport at Thongde. The trail down initially is steep; scree jumping seems to be the easiest option for the descent. After resting sore knees and shaky legs, we lunch on a plateau overlooking the peaks, and then continue to contour to the left towards Ngawal.
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 [7455m] and, to the rear, Tilicho Peak [7134m]. After a short steep climb we reach Manang, which is a surprisingly large village for this remote mountain region.
The trail ascends gently all the way to Yak Kharka passing through the Gunsang (3960m) village. En route, you can see panoramic views all the day of the Annapurna mountain range and the Manang Valley. Leaving Yak Kharka, you climb gradually to a ridge before descending to the headwaters of the Marsyangdi and crossing via a covered wooden bridge. After a short ascent up the mountain path on the right bank, you follow a narrow trail across an unstable spree slope and then descend to Thorung Phedi.
This is one of the most challenging trek days as we will leave very early in the morning (before sunrise) to cross the Thorong La pass (5,416m/17,819ft) by noon and then trek down to Muktinath. Muktinath, a symbol of religious acceptance, is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists.
You now begin the trek descent down the dramatic Kali Gandaki Gorge, initially through arid country in the same geographical and climatic zone as Tibet. After passing through Jharkot and Khingar villages with typical Tibetan architecture, you follow path steeply down to Kagbeni, a primitive village famous for Tibetan architectures. People living there follow the Tibetan life style and culture. There is situated a monastery said to belong to 15th Century. Kagbeni is the border for Upper Mustang. Your trail passes through the bank of Kali Gandaki passing through the Eklebhatti. The trail is windy after late morning. The river flows through broader course. Jomsom is the headquarter of Mustang and it is split into two towns and between these two towns passes through Kali Gandaki river. From Jomsom, you can enjoy the magnificent views of Nilgiri and Tilicho peak.
Fly from Jomsom to Pokhara which takes about 40 minutes. The flights are available during the morning time. The strong breeze blows during the after and frequent change of the weather prevent the flight being landed and taken off in the afternoon. During the flights in morning, the sky looks very clear which makes you able to enjoy the splendid views of different mountain peaks.
We will take an early morning tourist bus from Pokhara. Normally departs at 7 am. Another option is to take a scenic mountain flight to Kathmandu instead.
We will accompany you to the International Airport in time to board your flight
- Transfer from Airport – Hotel – Airport: Car, Van, Hi-ace or Coaster in a private vehicle.
- Authentic Nepali welcome dinner with Live Nepalese Cultural Program.
- Accommodation in Kathmandu, Three nights on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
- Accommodation in Pokhara, one nights on Twin share Bed and Breakfast Basis.
- Accommodation during Trek ; local lodges 13 nights (With twin-share rooms ,beds with comfortable foam mattress and pillows)
- All standard meals(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) during the trekking
- English speaking experienced Sherpa guide (Govt. Trained/License Holder).
- One Sherpa guide-assistant if group size is more than 4 Trekkers.
- Porters: One porter for 2 Trekkers basis.
- Personal insurance for Nepalese staff.
- Annapurna Foothill’s Duffle bag for Trekking.
- Annapurna Foothills Tshirt
- Energy Supplies ( Snickers, Mars, Bounty) and Fresh Fruits on the trek
- First aid medicine kit.
- Special Permit Fee, TIMS permits & all required permits or Official Documentation
- Airfare Jomsom – Pokhara guests and guide
- Ground Transfers Kathmandu – Besi Sahar Koto by Local Bus/ Sharing Jeep ( Upgrade to Private Car and Jeep- $200 USD)
- Ground Transfers Pokhara – Kathamndu by Tourist Bus ( Upgrade to domestic flight - US $ 125 USD per person)
- All government and local taxes.
- Your Personal Travel Insurance.
- Nepal Entry Visa Fee.
- Lunch & Dinner in cities - allow $ 10 to 14 for per meal in Tourist restaurants.
- Beverages (soft drinks, mineral water,boiled water and beer).
- Tips for guide, porters and driver (customary).
- Any personal expenses not mentioned in above services.
- Additional night accommodation in Kathmandu because of early return from Trek (due to any reason) than the planned itinerary.
|Start Date28 Mar, 2023||End Date14 Apr, 2023||Available||US$ 1450|
Guaranteed - We already have trekkers booked for those dates and you can join the group.
Available - The date is available to book and once you confirm your trip it will be guaranteed.
Limited - The departure date is filling fast and only limited seats are available to join.
Closed- The Trip cannot be booked on that specific date. Contact us for customized dates.
The departure dates are your arrival dates in Nepal.
We have set dates for departure to the Amazing Nar Phu Valley Trekking. So, pick your preferable date and let the adventure begin.
Nar Phu Valley Trekking is available and can be done throughout the year. So, if the date you prefer is not listed on our departure dates then you can contact us directly to book the trip on your own desired date.
We have listed the price up to 12 trekkers at maximum. If you are more than 12 trekkers, then please feel free to contact us for amazing discounted group price and further booking process.
Private Trips to Nar Phu Valley is possible on any date of the year. Contact us to design your own private trips with you loved ones.
Why Trek to Nar Phu with Annapurna Foothills Treks?
When trekking into extremely remote regions, it is important to have trek with an experienced company. Annapurna Foothills Treks has been running trekking and climbing expeditions in Nar Phu since it opened in 2003. Annapurna Foothills Treks reaches for the highest standard of ethical business practices.
The Best Time of Year for the Nar Phu Valley Trekking:
The best seasons for trekking in Nar Phu are spring (February to late April) and autumn (late September to late November).
Temperatures on the Nar Phu Valley Trekking:
The temperatures at night will drop to around 5C, and during the day will climb to around 25C. At higher altitudes temperatures range from about 15C to 20C.
You should be prepared with proper protection from the sun as well as layers of clothing that can be added or taken off easily.
Nar Phu Valley Trekking is a Tea House/Lodge Trek:
Accommodation is included in the cost of your package and Annapurna Foothills Treks takes great care to arrange the most comfortable accommodation possible throughout your stay.
Drinking Water on the Nar Phu Valley Trekking:
You will be provided with boiled water during the trek. While trekking, it is important to keep hydrated; you should drink at least 3 liters of water each day. As additional precaution, we suggest you bring a supply of water purification tablets to add to the water.
The altitude becomes more noticeable the higher we go, so we walk at a slow pace and take plenty of breaks to rest and acclimatize.
Annapurna Foothills Treks practices and teaches the Leave-No-Trace principles. Moreover, we are committed to protecting the land and culture of the indigenous people. The mountains are our home and we are unwilling to sacrifice their preservation for human objectives. Annapurna Foothills Treks believe that given the proper information most people will do all they can to help protect and maintain the environment.
Acclimatization on the Nar Phu Valley Trekking:
It is really difficult to head straight up to high altitude for the first time even if you follow the recommended 400m-a-day-rule. Our itinerary is planned to allow rational acclimatization and avoid altitude sickness. Please read Altitude Advice.
It is strongly recommended to be sufficiently protected when you go into remote areas. You need specialized travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, injury, lost baggage, liability and medical treatment. Make sure the insurance covers all the activities that you will be undertaking during your stay in Nepal. Annapurna Foothills Treks and Expeditions Pvt. Ltd. can organize the appropriate medical response based on your policy.
Annapurna foothills Treks has an agreement in Kathmandu that guarantees payment for helicopter evacuations. We will pay a cash deposit to the helicopter operator and collect the money from you once you have been rescued. Before leaving on the expedition, make sure your policy specifically covers alpinism otherwise you may have a difficult time settling the large claim.