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The Nar Phu Valley trek is a real Himalayan wilderness experience that is as unforgettable as it is spectacular. Tucked between the more visited Annapurna and Manaslu regions, Nar Phu is a true hidden gem that offers trekkers a rare opportunity to explore unspoiled valleys that feature a mix of raw Himalayan nature and ancient Buddhist culture.
The trek through the Nar Phu valleys combines high peaks and passes, glaciers, remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, yaks, gompas and unique ethnically Tibetan cultures. Closed to trekkers until late 2002, very few outsiders have explored these virtually untouched villages or climbed the many 7000 meter peaks surrounding them.
Nar Phu valleys Overview
Starting at Besisahar — the traditional starting point of the Annapurna Circuit — the trek quickly diverges from routes with more foot-traffic and into the remote Nar & Phu valleys. Passing colorful Tibetan chortens and prayer stones into deep canyons and gorges,
you will get the chance to hang out with villagers in Phu while they go about their daily activities, as well as spend a night in the Nar Phedi monastery. These are ideal ways to learn about life deep in the mountains of Nepal. There is also the option to hike up to Himlung Himal Base Camp if you’re feeling up to it.
The last couple of days of the trek take you over the high Kang La Pass, and then down again to Ngawal, a popular stop on the main Annapurna Circuit route, thus giving you a chance to enjoy some ‘home comforts’ again. The surroundings become greener and more fertile on the last stretch, before returning by vehicle to Besisahar.
Nar Phu valleys Best Season
June-August as well as the two peak tourist seasons (March-May and September-November). The trek is still enjoyable in the monsoon, although the road access in the mountains to and from Besisahar could be disrupted by mud and landslides. In the winter (December-February) the high pass could be impossible with snow.
Permit & Regulation
From September to November, the permit costs $90 USD per week per person. From December to August, it’s $75 USD.
This is a challenging trek due to the long days and steep ascents in altitude. Because of limited accommodation options on the way, there is little flexibility in the distances that must be covered each day, hence the long days of walking.
The gains in altitude each day are quite steep, and it is always unpredictable how one’s body will react to altitude. This trek would best suit those who have a lot of experience trekking in the mountains, and who are fit and healthy.
Accessing this Trek
This itinerary can be lengthened by adding a trip to Tilicho Lake and rejoining the Annapurna Circuit at Yak Kharka. Instead of trekking from Ngawal to Pisang on Day 8, continue on to Manang, Khangsar, Tilicho Base Camp, Tilicho Lake, Yak Kharka, Thorung Phedi, Muktinath and Jomsom (before flying back to Pokhara). Total time for this trip, including the Nar Phu section, is 16 days.
The attractions of this variation are the chance to visit the pristine blue waters of the highest lake in Nepal, the pilgrimage temple at Muktinath (holy to both Hindus and Buddhists), and the frontier town of Jomsom, on the edge of Lower Mustang.
Accommodation & Meals
A real mix of accommodation is available on this trek. In Besisahar there is the chance to stay in simple but comfortable hotels. On the trek, lodge accommodation is generally basic, as this is not a well-developed trekking route. In Nar Phedi, accommodation is in the local monastery. Food varies from simple but adequate meals in the smaller villages to staple trekker fare in the larger places, including luxuries like apple pie!
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 3 Drive from Kathmandu to Koto (8,530 feet / 2,600 m) Koto
Day 4 Trek from Koto to Meta (11,680 feet / 3560 m) Meta
Day 5 Trek from Meta to Phu (13,386 feet / 4080 m) Phu
Day 6 Acclimatization day in Phu (13,386 feet / 4080 m) Phu
Day 7 Trek from Phu to Nar Phedi (11,450 feet / 3490 m) Nar Phedi
Day 8 Trek from Nar Phedi to Nar (13,484 feet / 4110 m) Nar
Day 9 Trek from Nar to Ngawal (17,192 feet / 5240 m) via the Kang La Pass (5,240m)
Day 10 Trek from Ngawal to Pisang, Drive to Besisahar (8,179 feet / 2,493 m) Besisahar
Day 11 Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu Kathmandu
Day 12 Depart Kathmandu
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