Nar Phu Valley Trek

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Trip Overview
  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Trip Grade: Moderate
  • Trip Start and End: Kathmandu
  • Trip Area: Annapurna Region, Nar and Phu Valleys
  • Trip Style: Trek and Adventure/ Active Travel
  • Age Group: 12 and above
  • Trip Type: Private and Group
  • Trip Method: Guided
  • Booking Type: Instant Booking
  • Best Season: March - May and Sep - Dec
  • Foot Print:Carbon Neutralleaf

Nar Phu Valley Trekking is a culturally immersive 12-day trekking quest in the Trans Himalaya, just behind the majestic north face of Mt. Annapurna. This short trek is a combination of exhilarating adventure and breathtaking scenery.

With its towering peaks, challenging passes, mesmerizing glaciers, remote ancient villages, winding rivers carving deep gorges, enchanting forests, unique rock formations, herds of yaks and wild goats, gompas (monasteries), and a medieval Tibetan culture passed down through generations, the Nar Phu Valley Trek is a truly unforgettable experience.

One of the highlights of the Nar Phu Valley Trek is encountering the rich Tibetan culture and its fascinating heritage. Colorful Tibetan chortens, ancient monasteries adorned with rock paintings, intricately carved prayer stones, and vast pasturelands across Dharmashala provide a glimpse into the region's cultural tapestry.

As you continue your journey, you'll stumble upon the remnants of buildings that bear witness to the Khampa revolution of the 1960s, a testament to the region's tumultuous history.

Phu Village is a gateway to various side trips that allow you to explore the surrounding areas. You can visit the Tashi Khaling Gumba, the Himlung Himal Base Camp, situated at an impressive altitude of 4,920 meters, and the sacred site of the Damodar Kunda Trail.

If weather permits, intrepid trekkers can embark on an adventurous journey from Phu to Nar village, traversing the Phu Pass (5,050m) and Nar Pass (5,400m). The trek then retraces its steps to the Meta village, where the Kangaru Himal Base Camp (4,500m) awaits, before ascending to the Kanga La Pass (5,320m) via Nar Phedi and Nar Village.

The trek to Nar Phu Valley begins from Koto village, veering away from the main trail of Nepal's renowned Annapurna Circuit. After crossing the Marsyangdi River at Koto, the trail follows the Nar Khola, where only a handful of trekkers can be spotted. As you make your way through the narrow paths and verdant forests, you'll catch frequent glimpses of the majestic mountains.

The pinnacle of the trek awaits at the Kang La Pass, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Annapurna Range, Chulu Range, Himlung Himal (7,176m), Kangaru Himal (6,981m), and Lamjung Himal (6,983m). After relishing in the stunning vistas, the Nar Phu Valley Trek concludes at Chame, rejoining the main trail of the Annapurna Circuit via Ngawal (3675m).

You can drive back to Besisahar and head towards your next destination. Alternatively, it is now possible to directly drive from Ngawal to Besisahar by Jeep, which takes approximately 10 hours.

Nar Phu Valley was officially opened for trekkers in 2003, developed with the concept of tea houses, and is only growing popular with time. Hence, doing this trek opens you to the rural beauty of Nepal and your visit uplifts their communities. However, due to its status as a restricted area, you'll need special trekking permits from registered trekking agencies.

The Nar Phu Valley Trek is an ideal option for those seeking to delve into Nepal's mountaineering history and immerse themselves in its vibrant culture without breaking the bank. This affordable nine-day tea house trek is perfect for travelers with limited time and budget.

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure in Nepal during the best times of the year while avoiding crowds of tourists, Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek are the perfect destinations.

Nar Phu Valley Trek Highlights

  • Discover the remote ancient villages of Nepal
  • Enjoy the scenic ride from Kathmandu to Koto
  • Immerse yourself in the derived Tibetan culture and lifestyle of local people
  • Witness the breathtaking panoramic views of the Annapurna Range, Chulu Range, Himlung Himal (7,176m), Kangaru Himal (6,981m), and Lamjung Himal (6,983m)
  • Explore the historical monasteries and gompas along the journey
Nar Phu Valley Trek Trail

Nar Phu Valley Trek Cost

The cost of the Nar Phu Valley Trek ranges from USD 1200 to USD 1400 per trekker. The price per individual keeps getting lower as you join a bigger group.

Group Size
Cost Per Trekker
Inquire
2 to 3 pax
USD 1400
4 to 5 pax
USD 1350
6 to 7 pax
USD 1300
8 to 10 pax
USD 1250
More than 10
USD 1200

Nar Phu Valley Trek Itinerary

  • Day 1:Arrival in KathmanduAltitude: 1,400 m
  • Day 2:Drive from Kathmandu to DharapaniAltitude: 6,102 feet / 1,860 m
  • Day 3:Trek from Dharapani to KotoAltitude: 8,530 feet / 2,600 m
  • Day 4:Trek from Koto to MetaAltitude: 11,680 feet / 3560 m
  • Day 5:Trek from Meta to PhuAltitude: 13,386 feet / 4080 m
  • Day 6:Acclimatization in PhuAltitude: 13,386 feet / 4080 m
  • Day 7:Trek from Phu to Nar PhediAltitude: 11,450 feet / 3490 m
  • Day 8:Trek from Nar Phedi to Nar VillageAltitude: 13,484 feet / 4110 m
  • Day 9:Trek to Ngawal via the Kang La Pass (5,240m)Altitude: 17,192 feet / 5240 m
  • Day 10:Trek to Pisang, Drive to BesisaharAltitude: 8,179 feet / 2,493 m
  • Day 11:Drive from Besisahar to KathmanduAltitude: 1,400 m
  • Day 12:Departure

Day 1:Arrival in Kathmandu

  • Max Altitude1,400 m
  • Accommodation3-Star Hotel

After arriving in Kathmandu, you'll be greeted by breathtaking views of the Himalayas. After clearing customs, our representative will be waiting to drive you to your hotel. You can take some time to settle in, then explore the city.

You can start with a visit to Kathmandu's Durbar Square, where narrow alleyways are bustling with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. You can also head to Swayambhunath temple to witness a mesmerizing sunset over the valley and the Himalayas.

You will end your day with a delicious meal in Thamel, the tourist hub that offers a wide variety of local and international cuisines.

Day 2:Drive from Kathmandu to Dharapani

  • Max Altitude6,102 feet / 1,860 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsLunch and Dinner

An early drive from Kathmandu takes you to Besisahar, where you will change to a rugged four-wheel-drive vehicle for a scenic journey to Dharapani.

The road may be challenging, but the picturesque landscapes along the old Annapurna Circuit trek route, with stunning waterfalls and dramatic gorges, make it worthwhile. After around 9 to 10 hours of drive, you will arrive in Dharapani in time for a delicious dinner.

Day 3:Trek from Dharapani to Koto

  • Max Altitude8,530 feet / 2,600 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

The trek from Dharapani to Koto is a pleasant one, lasting anywhere from 5 to 6 hours. This extra day of hiking reduces the stress at the very start of your trip. Otherwise, the straight drive from Kathmandu to Koto would be very taxing on the body, especially since the drive to Dharapani itself takes almost 10 hours.

Day 4:Trek from Koto to Meta

  • Max Altitude11,680 feet / 3560 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

You will start Day 4 of the Nar Phu Valley Trek early, as there is a considerable distance to cover. You will cross the river and enter the Nar and Phu valleys, leaving behind the relatively well-visited towns of the Annapurna Circuit.

The trek takes you through beautiful woods, passing by small cave shelters and pilgrims' resting places. As the trail opens up, you'll be treated to stunning views of snowy peaks. Finally, you will reach Meta, a village with simple yet cozy lodges offering clean accommodations and delicious meals.

Day 5:Trek from Meta to Phu

  • Max Altitude13,386 feet / 4080 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

As you leave Meta, the famous Tibetan Buddhist chortens that characterize Nar and Phu begin to emerge. The trail winds along the ridge, offering picturesque views of Nar Phedi Monastery in the distance.

After traversing scenic canyons and gorges, you'll come across a monolith that marks the steep trail leading up to Phu. Before crossing the bridge into Phu,  you will marvel at the landscape adorned with vibrant chortens.

Then you will take a moment to visit the renowned Tashi Lhakhang Gompa and pay respects to Lama Karma Sonam Rimpoche, who arrived in Nepal with the Dalai Lama in 1959.

Day 6:Acclimatization in Phu

  • Max Altitude13,386 feet / 4080 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Due to the high altitude, it is wise to spend a day acclimatizing in Phu. You can immerse yourself in the village's unique atmosphere, observing the daily lives of the villagers. You can watch as they spin yak and sheep wool and prepare mustard seed paste.

You can trek up to the Himlung Himal base camp, standing at 7,125 m, for a challenging adventure. The peak was recently opened for climbing. The trail takes you to witness the herds of blue sheep ascending the cliffs. The return trip takes about four to five hours.

Day 7:Trek from Phu to Nar Phedi

  • Max Altitude11,450 feet / 3490 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

You will descend to Meta, but detour to the monastery at Nar Phedi, where you will spend the night.

The apartments are tidy and clean, and the hospitality is great. You are welcome to see the puja (blessing) that often takes place at 5 o'clock. You can donate for the upkeep of this lovely and welcoming area in the monastery's tiny donation box.

Day 8:Trek from Nar Phedi to Nar Village

  • Max Altitude13,484 feet / 4110 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Today, you will exit Nar Phedi and proceed up a hill toward Nar along a meandering trail. As you approach the historic village, you will pass a row of chortens and bamboo roofs that have been beautifully painted. Around noon, you will arrive in town.

Even though Nar is not far from the main Annapurna trail, few hikers go there, even though it is one of the most magnificent places on earth. On the outskirts of Nar, a few brand-new teahouses offer pleasant lodging with a sizable menu. You will spend the night there.

Day 9:Trek to Ngawal via the Kang La Pass (5,240m)

  • Max Altitude17,192 feet / 5240 m
  • AccommodationTea House
  • MealsBLD

Today you will wake up early because it will be a long day. You will make your way to the renowned Annapurna Circuit via the Kang La Pass. Although it is not a challenging pass, the impact of the altitude might make the day tiresome.

At the top of the pass, you can take in a breathtaking vista of Tilicho Peak, Gangapurna, and Annapurna II. If you enjoy scree running, you can enjoy the steep beginning of the down track. You will take a break for lunch on a plateau with a view of the summit before continuing to Ngawal.

The historic villages that you will visit are surely extremely different from Ngawal, which is located on the upper Pisang path of the Annapurna Circuit. The lodges are large, the cuisines are significantly more extensive, and Wi-Fi and phone signals will be available.

Day 10:Trek to Pisang, Drive to Besisahar

  • Max Altitude8,179 feet / 2,493 m
  • Accommodation3-Star Hotel
  • MealsBLD

As you descend more than 2,000 m from the pass, the temperature starts getting higher, which means that it will be very hot, but the scenery will be clear and much greener. You will set off early for the last few hours of trekking to reach Pisang.

The trail is wide and passes a beautiful lake just outside Pisang. You will stop for a quick snack in the village, then you will take a four-wheel drive back to Besisahar. You will stay in a comfortable hotel there.

Day 11:Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu

  • Max Altitude1,400 m
  • Accommodation3-Star Hotel
  • MealsBreakfast and Lunch

The scenic drive back to Kathmandu takes around five hours. As the mountains gradually disappear into the distance, remember the time you spent in their majesty. When you get to Kathmandu, you can take some time to unwind and relax.

You will stay in a comfortable lodge there. You can also spend the afternoon shopping for souvenirs in Thamel, a tourist hub where visitors can explore a wide range of pubs, restaurants, spas, and stores. In the evening, Sublime Trails will offer a farewell dinner where you can toast the accomplishment of your trek.

Day 12:Departure

  • MealsBreakfast

Today marks the end of the Nar Phu Valley Trek. You will depart from Kathmandu and return home. If you want to stay here for more days or plan your travel for the next trek, you can stay in touch with Sublime Trails.

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Trip Map

Nar Phu Valley Trek Map

Cost Details

Included

  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • Transport from Kathmandu to Koto, Return Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu
  • Tea house accommodation along the way for 9 nights
  • 3-Star Hotel Accommodation in Kathmandu for 2 nights
  • Guide and 1 porter for two people (A porter can carry up to 30 kg)
  • ACAP Permit Fee, TIMS Card Fee
  • Necessary paperwork with the Government of Nepal and the Tax department
  • First Aid service in case of minor injuries

Excluded

  • Rescue & travel insurance, trip cancellation costs, accident or health emergency, evacuation, loss, theft, or damage to baggage and personal effects (We strongly advise you to take out personal travel insurance.)
  • Personal expenses (phone calls, internet, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, cold drinks, bottled or boiled water, hot shower, etc.
  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including mineral water
  • Tipping for Sublime Trails guides and porters

Dates, Prices & Booking

Select Month and Year
Start DateEnd DatePriceStatus 
Start DateStart: FridayMay 31, 2024End DateEnd: TuesdayJun 11, 2024PricePriceUS$1350StatusStatusGuaranteed

FAQs

  • Nar Phu Valley is a restricted and protected area in Nepal that requires careful planning and adherence to specific regulations. You have to travel with a local guide from an authorized travel agency in Nepal, which is mandatory because Nar Phu Valley is protected.

    You'll need two main permits. First, there's the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP), and it costs USD 30.00 per person. Then, there's the Restricted Area Permit, and the cost changes with the season.

    In the off-season (December to August), it's USD 75.00 per person for a week.

    In the main trekking season (September to November), it's USD 100.00 per person for a week.

    These costs might change, so it's best to check with the travel agency for the latest info.

    You don't worry about getting these permits yourself since the travel agency will sort all of this out before you arrive, making it easier for you to enjoy the beautiful Nar Phu Valley without any worries.

  • Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a common concern when trekking in the mountains, and trekkers need to be aware of it. Nar Phu Valley is at a significant altitude which means there is a risk of AMS. Therefore, taking acclimatization rests is crucial to help your body adjust to the altitude.

    This trek comes with its own set of challenges. The remote location, limited teahouses, basic amenities, tough trails, extended daily walks, and substantial elevation gain all contribute to the difficulty of the journey. However, despite these challenges, with careful planning and thorough preparation, the Nar Phu Valley trek is worthwhile.

    It's about understanding and respecting the demanding conditions, allowing for proper acclimatization, and being well-prepared for the unique challenges that come with trekking in this beautiful but challenging terrain.

  • Solo treks are not allowed in this region. The Nar Phu Valley trek was introduced for international trekkers in 2003 and falls under the category of a restricted area for trekking in Nepal.

    To embark on this trek, there are mandatory requirements. You must be part of a group with a minimum of two members, and the group should be accompanied by a licensed trekking guide. Additionally, obtaining a special trekking permit is a prerequisite for venturing into the Himalayas through this route.

    These measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of trekkers in the challenging and remote terrains of Nar Phu Valley. It emphasizes the importance of proper support and guidance for a trek that offers both incredible natural beauty and unique cultural experiences.

Nar Phu Valley Trek Reviews

5.0based on 2 reviews
  • J
    Josh MillerSeptember 29, 2023
    TripAdvisor

    Narphu Valley Trek makes for an amazing experience

    What makes the Nar Phu Valley Trek truly exceptional is its off-the-beaten-path status. Unlike the more crowded treks, this hidden gem offers a chance to truly disconnect and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and the genuine hospitality of the locals.

    One of my favorite moments was when we reached Phu village, a quaint, remote settlement nestled against the mountains. As we strolled through the cobblestone streets, a friendly local woman welcomed us into her cozy teahouse. She served us a steaming cup of butter tea and shared stories of her life in the Himalayas. It was such a warm and personal connection with the locals, an experience I'll cherish forever.

    Thank you Ram for arranging an amazing trekking experience for us in Nepal. We can't wait to book a trip with you next spring.

  • E
    Evelyn GarciaSeptember 05, 2023
    TripAdvisor

    Loved the Nar Phu Valley

    We recently did the Nar Phu Valley Trek in Nepal with Sublime Trails, and it was an unforgettable adventure. The trek offers diverse landscapes, warm local hospitality, and a unique, unspoiled experience. Our highlights were the heartwarming encounters with locals, stunning scenery, and a sense of isolation amidst the Himalayan wilderness. If you seek a remarkable journey off the beaten path, Nar Phu Valley Trek is a must. We also highly recommend Ram and his skillful crew while you're at it!

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