NAR PHU VALLEY TREK: THE UNTOUCHED ROUTE OF ANNAPURNA REGION
NAR PHU VALLEY TREK: THE UNTOUCHED ROUTE OF ANNAPURNA REGION
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Among plenty of trekking trails that exist in the country of Himalayas-Nepal, Nar Phu Valley Trek is one of those which are untouched and less explored. This trekking trail kicked off since 2002. As it has been only two decades, this place is less popular among trekkers. But being less popular does not mean that this trail does not quench the thirst of trekkers who strive to witness breathtaking views of Nepali landscapes and soak themselves into the hospitality of Nepalese culture.
Nar Phu Valley trek, being located in the Annapurna region does not fail to provide trekkers with majestic views of mountain peaks that are located in Central and Western Nepal and have altitudes of more than 8,000m as well. Moreover, ancient villages situations in this region that border Tibet are very different than what we see in other easily accessible parts of the country. It would not be unfair to say that these villages are detached from to rest of the cities nearby, and therefore they disseminate their own, very unique culture and traditions, and you as a trekker are going to love it.
There are a lot of variants of this trek route and you may choose any customized version according to your vacation period. As a default example, you are offering you an 11-day trip package, that will allow you to start walking from a place called Koto uphill to Phu and Himlung Base Camp and then return through a different route via Nar valley to finally arrive at the place you started. So, it’s kind of a circuit trek.
Thickets of pine, rhododendron, and bamboos will be the most common vegetations that you will see in your trek. Of course, the unique design of houses in Nar and Phu valleys is going to boggle your mind. Those houses are constructed such that they resemble terrace farming. And the pictures of the villages have been popular over social media for a very long time.
The best time to do this trip would be any month in the year except for winter seasons, as the high pass that lays in the trial might be impassable with snow. Otherwise, it does not matter if you trek during monsoon or spring. However, you have to be careful about landslides during the monsoon season which might adversely affect our road trip from Kathmandu to Koto and back. The difficulty of the trek is strenuous.
The trek duration as we said earlier is of 11 days, however, you can add your trip time by joining the trek route to Tilicho lake or even by joining Annapurna Circuit trek rout to visit Jomson and other popular places. You can also choose to fly to Pokhara from Kathmandu and back, which can give you an extra day in total to chill out in Pokhara.
Day 01: Airport pickup and hotel transferOur Representative will be waiting for you at the airport and welcome you in our typical Nepali culture. You will be quickly arriving at the hotel afterward where you can expect luxurious accommodation. There will be a welcome dinner tonight and afterward a proper sleep which is much needed after the long trip from home.
Day 02: Rest and Tour Day at KathmanduToday we will discuss our trekking and make necessary preparations and we take a quick city tour of Kathmandu as well. After all the briefings regarding the trek and acquainting necessary permits, we will arrange a short trip to a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city such as Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambunath Temple, Boudhanath Stupa and so on. A quick stroll in the streets of Kathmandu and last minute gear shopping is a perfect thing to do in the evening.
Day 03: Drive to Koto (2,600m)Although we do not trek today, a full day drive to reach Koto from Kathmandu is going to be an adventurous journey. We will drive to Beshisahar by bus and we make a stop there for our lunch. After lunch, we change our vehicle to a four-wheel drive for the remaining part of our journey. This part of the journey is going to be very picturesque and for some, it might be scary as well because the roads are narrow and have continuous twists and turns. But don’t worry our experienced drivers will take you to your destinations safe and sound. The road is located along the old Annapurna Circuit trek route and passes through amazing gorges and stunning waterfalls. Finally, we reach Koto for dinner and stay overnight. In this part, you can also drive up to Beshisahar and trek up to Koto, and add up a few days in your trip. Also, you can take a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara and then take a drive from Pokhara.
Day 4: Trek to Meta (3,560m) – 8 HoursToday is going to be an exciting day because the real trek starts. The first day of the hike is going to be a long and tiring one. We enter Nar and Phu valleys, where the villages are not well developed compared to those in nearby areas of Annapurna Circuit Trek. We pass through beautiful woods, small cave shelters, and pilgrim’s resting places. Exploring caves might be a fun thing to do for many of you during this trip. The final trail to Meta involves ascending a steep hill and it rewards our eyes with the exquisite views of some of the gigantic mountain peaks in the area. The Meta village lies on a big open plain. The lodges here are quite simple but hygienic. We stay overnight in Meta.
Day 05: Trek to Phu (4,080m) – 8 HoursThe second day of walking is also going to be as long as the first day. As you leave Meta behind, Colorful Tibetan Buddhist chortens that Nar and Phu are famous for begin to appear during your trek. The path today meanders along the ridge with a superficial view of the Nar Phedi monastery. We walk for another ninety minutes passing through scenic canyons and gorges and reach a monolith that guards the steep trail up to Phu. This place gives you the first view of the three villages in the area as well as the old “dzong” (Tibetan-style fortress) and the remains of two ruined forts, amazingly situated at top of the flatlands before the village. We do our rest and refreshments and then take a short walk up to the famous Tashi Lhakhang Gompa to pay respect to Lama Karma Sonam Rimpoche who came to Nepal with Dalai Lama in 1959.
Day 06: Trek to Himlung Base Camp (4,920m) and back to Phu – 7 HoursPhu village is a rampart to harsh Himalayan elements. The architecture of small stone houses here as they seem as sitting one above another in a terrace fashion is fascinating to watch. This village is a museum of Tibetan culture. We have two options after we reach Phu – either explore the place or Trek to Himlung Base Camp and return to stay here overnight. Phu is the gateway to the mountain of Himlung (7,126m) and obviously to its base camp (4,920m). Phu also serves as a gateway to the mountain of Himlung (7126m) and its base camp at an altitude of 4920m. About 3 hours of hiking from Phu will take us to Himlung Base Camp. This place like any other base camp of Himalayas offers the best panoramic views of snow-capped mountain peaks and Himalayan glaciers. Then we return to Phu for our overnight stay.
Day 07: Trek to Nar Phedi (3,490m) – 6 Hours6 hours of retracing backtrack will take us to Nar Phedi for our unique experience of staying overnight in Monastery. As the saying goes, “Journey is more exciting than the destination”, today is no exception. Retracing back the trial you meet a lot of local Tibetan people who will pour all their warmth and hospitality on you and make you feel special like never before. Brief chit chats during the trek will help you know more about the lifestyle in this region. After a long day of walking, the hygiene and serenity of the monastery will amaze you. And the extremely welcoming nuns will help you make your stay comfortable and exciting as you can join them in the kitchen and see how everything works. We stay overnight for a unique experience.
Day 08: Trek to Nar (4,110m) – 3 HoursToday should be a piece of cake. We will make a very short hike uphill towards Nar village, leaving behind Nar Phedi. Our trail passes through a line of wonderfully painted bamboo-topped chortens on the way into the ancient village. Reaching Nar will make you feel that this place is more social and lively than Phu. I mean there is almost a golden rule in Nepal, the higher you go, the more isolated the place becomes. We arrive at Nar have our lunch and explore the place for the rest of the day. And take proper rest because tomorrow you will be hiking the highest elevation of our trip. So, gather your strength. We stay overnight in Nar village.
Day 09: Trek to Ngawal via Kang La Pass (5,240m) – 8 HoursToday is going to be the toughest day of the entire trip. As we walk for almost 8 hours and we keep hiking continuously to reach the highest elevation of our trip. We will also trek through a high altitude pass Kang La Pass (5,240m) which is itself the highest elevation of our trek. Once you strive and reach the top of the pass, you can behold the serene view of Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tilicho peak. After crossing the Kang La Pass the trial is relatively easier and descending. At the end of the day, we reach Ngawal, where you can find relatively larger and comfortable lodges compared to the rest of the lodges you stayed in during your trip. You can also expect Wifi and phone signals in lodges of Ngawal.
Day 10: Trek to Pisang and Drive to Besisahar (2,493m)--As you have climbed off a long way, the climate gets much warmer. You may now get rid of extremely warm clothes that might have also added to your body weight. After a few hours of trek, you reach to Pisang and then take a four-wheel drive back to the same roads you came from to finally reach Beshisahar and stay overnight there.
Day 11: Drive back to KathmanduYou can have two choices. Either you take a bus the entire way from Besisahar to Kathmandu or you take a bus up to Pokhara and then fly to Kathmandu. Whatever you wish can be customized. The last day of the trip is going to be emotional and nostalgic. You would feel as if the trip was very short and should have lasted much longer. Finally, you reach Kathmandu where we would have arranged a farewell dinner for you in your hotels.
- Trek Duration : 11 Days
- Difficulty : Strenuous
- Highest Elevation : 5,320m (Kang La Pass)
- Accommodation : Teahouses(Lodges)/Tented Camps
- Transportation : By land/By Air
- Group Size : 4-16 pax
- Best Season : Any Except Winter (Dec-Feb)
- Walk Duration : 7 hours Daily (Average)
- Explore fascinating landscapes.
- Encounter varieties of flora and fauna.
- Explore the unique Tibetan culture and food.
- Explore Himlung Base Camp and surrounding glaciers.
- Explore the idiosyncratic villages of Nar and Phu
- Behold the pristine architecture of villages.
- Trek the Kang La Pass
- Stay in a monastery one night during your trip.
- Enjoy the adventurous road trip.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
WHAT IS EXCLUDED
Here are some necessary trekking apparatus that can be required for accomplishing your trek effortlessly. They are shortlisted below.