Nar-Phu

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(3 Reviews)
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Max Elevation

5,320 m

Best Season

September to December
February to June

Duration

10 days

Start

Pokhara (ask for Kathmandu if preferred)

Difficulty

medium-hard

Finish

Kathmandu (ask for Pokhara if preferred)
Tour Details

As it is a trekking in a restricted area, a minimum of two people is required to do it.

Closed to tourism until 2002, the Nar and Pho Valleys are removed in both time and space from the neighboring Annapurna Circuit. As we branch north up the Nar Valley the flood of trekkers passing through Manang turns to a tiny trickle. Yak herding and agriculture remain the mainstays of the economy rather than tourism and the traditional stone-walled villages seem to have maintained a lifestyle untouched for centuries.

The trek takes us up narrow gorges to medieval villages, past impressive chortens, herds of blue sheep and spectacular cliffside trails and over one of the region’s highest trekking passes. We’ll pass abandoned settlements once used by Khampa rebels and teams of mountaineers headed to the popular peaks of Himlung, Kong Gary and Ratna Chuli.

The trek is an excellent adventurous add-on to a visit to the Manang region or the Manaslu trek. After Nar-Phu we could even continue to Jomsom, either over the Thorung La or, if we are properly equipped, via Tilicho Lake and Meso Kanto La, making full use od our camping crew. Ask our Firantes team if you want to extend and adapt your trek. We plan to start the trek from Pokhara but you can also start from Kathmandu.

Price Includes

  • Pre-trek online personal advice
  • Round trip vehicle to the Restricted Area and all transportation during trek
  • All permits
  • Bedroom in teahouse lodges during trek
  • Three meals per day during trek
  • Government registered, well experienced, English speaker and friendly local trekking guide
  • Staff fees with all their expenses and necessary insurance
  • Welcome dinner

Price Excludes

  • Nepal visa fee
  • Health insurance with heli-rescue up to 6,000m (compulsory)
  • Any expenses which arise due to a change of the itinerary, because of landslides, political trouble, and strikes etc.
  • Personal expenses (phone charging, WiFi, hot shower, laundry...)
  • Drinks and Bar Menu
  • Breakfast on the first day, dinner on the last day
  • Gratuity (optinal)

You can add to your pack

  • Guide in your own language
  • Porter (20kg max)
  • Private room during trek
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Three meals per day in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Round trip vehicle or flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara
  • Other transportation options during trek, such us private vehicle
  • Taxi service
  • International flight

Complementaries

  • Firante's gift
  • Combine several treks and extend your trip
What to Expect

Embark on an incredible journey through the remote and stunning Nar Phu valleys, starting from Besisahar, the traditional gateway to the Annapurna region. Leave behind the well-trodden paths as you cross the Marsyangdi River at Koto and follow the rugged trail alongside Nar Khola into the untouched Nar Phu Valley.Immerse yourself in the rich cultural experience of the region, passing by vibrant Tibetan chortens, sacred praying stones, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Discover the daily life of the locals in Nar Phu Valley, including a memorable overnight stay at Nar Phedi Monastery, where you’ll savor delicious meals prepared by the nuns in traditional style. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the captivating Puja ritual prayer, held around 5 p.m., offering a glimpse into the Tibetan religious traditions.This trek is a rare chance to explore the raw beauty of the Himalayas and immerse yourself in the ancient Tibetan culture. For the more adventurous, there’s an option to hike up to the Himlung Himal Base Camp at 4,900 meters. In the final part of the trek, you’ll traverse the Kang La Pass and descend to Ngawal, joining the popular Annapurna Circuit Trekking route. Here, you can indulge in comfortable accommodations and enjoy a wide variety of delicious food. As you approach Besisahar, the surroundings become greener and the weather warmer, providing a pleasant conclusion to your journey. From Besisahar, you’ll return to Kathmandu by road.The Nar Phu Valley Trek 10 Days Trek offers a remarkable opportunity to delve into the rich Himalayan culture and witness Nepal’s breathtaking landscapes within a short timeframe. Moreover, it is a more affordable option compared to other restricted regions in the country. If you seek a less crowded and serene trekking experience while still capturing the essence and beauty of the magnificent mountains, the economical Nar Phu Valley Trek 10-Days is the perfect choice.

  • The Nar Phu valleys have remained hidden and preserved for centuries, isolated from modern sophistication. Immerse yourself in the Tibetan-influenced culture, traditions, and daily lifestyle that permeate the region.
  • Embark on an expedition through the unexplored surroundings, far from the popular Annapurna Circuit Trekking route.
  • Be captivated by the exquisite waterfalls and diverse landscapes that unfold along the trekking route. Located at the center of the Annapurna mountains, you'll have an exclusive view of other majestic ranges like Manasalu, Dhaulagiri, and the Himalayan massifs.
  • Experience the thrill of trekking through the renowned Kang La Pass, surrounded by tall granite towers.
  • Discover the mesmerizing charms and rich culture of the Nar and Phu villages. Indulge in a spiritual awakening as you pass through monasteries, gompas, colorful prayer flags, and vibrant chortens that reflect the rich Tibetan cultural heritage
  • Marvel at the ancient forts and architectural wonders that offer a glimpse into the sublime past, untouched by time. Witness the picturesque sight of yaks, goats, and sheep dotting the vast grazing pastures.
  • Escape the crowds and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this off-beaten path, away from the well-trodden routes favored by other trekkers
Itinerary

Day beforeWelcome Dinner

The day before our trekking expedition begins, we’ll gather for a memorable welcome dinner. It’s a perfect occasion for us to connect and become acquainted with one another before we set off on our exciting adventure. This dinner also provides a valuable opportunity for us to approach our guide with any final questions or concerns we may have.

Day 1Vehicle from Pokhara to Besisahar (760m) and then to Jagat (1,300m)

5h 30min

In early morning we begin our journey with a scenic drive from Pokhara for about 5h 30min to Besisahar and then to Jagat – a Tibetan-style village. The local bus out of the valley follows the picturesque Trishuli River. As the drive progresses, we can witness beautiful scenery – terraced fields, traditional villages, and views of mountains, including Ganesh and Manaslu peaks.

Day 2Trek from Jagat (1,300m) to Dharapani (1,860m)

5h, 779m ascent, 305m descent, 15.8km distance

Early morning after breakfast, we follow a trail that gradually progresses uphill to Chame. Then we will cross a suspension bridge and follow a rocky, steep path to reach Tal Village. We can enjoy the stunning waterfalls at Tal. After savoring the beauty of Tal, we move ahead, crossing a suspension bridge to reach lower Dharapani. Little ahead lies higher Dharapani, where we will stay for the night. 

Day 3Dharapani (1,860m) to Koto (2,610m)

5h 30min, 942m ascent, 2,124m descent, 18.2km distance

We will enter Nar Phu Valley, which will take around 4h to 5h. The route passes through pine and fir forests, several monasteries, and traditional villages to Bargarchhap. From Bargarchhap, we can enjoy spectacular views of Annapurna II, Manaslu, and other peaks. The path continues through pine forests before reaching Koto, a small village inhabited by the Gurungs.

Day 4Koto (2,576m) to Meta (3,560m)

7h 30min, 3,560m highest altitude

Prepare for an early start on our adventure as we embark on a long journey ahead. Passing by the tranquil riverbanks and traversing Nar and Phu valleys, we’ll soon realize that these valleys lack the development seen in the popular Annapurna Circuit towns. Along the way, we’ll encounter enchanting pine forests, charming suspension bridges, cozy cave shelters, and a peaceful resting place for weary pilgrims. As we continue, the trail will lead us through a narrow canyon and beneath a cascading waterfall. Gradually, the dense woods will give way to breathtaking vistas, unveiling a hidden mystical valley in all its grandeur. After a challenging uphill stretch, we’ll be rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the majestic Annapurna mountains. Tonight, we’ll find solace in Meta village, nestled at an elevation of 3,560m on a vast plain. Though the lodges here are simple, they boast cleanliness, and the region’s delectable delicacies will revitalize our tired body.

Day 5Meta (3,560m) to Phu (4,080m)

7h 30min, 4,080m highest altitude

After a refreshing rest and a nourishing breakfast, embark on our expedition to Phu. Along the way, we’ll encounter Tibetan Buddhist stupas and architectural marvels that reflect the rich culture of Nar and Phu valleys. Trekking along the ridge offers a breathtaking sight of Nar Phedi Monastery nestled at the hill’s base. If luck is on our side, the ethereal mist blanketing the hill will create a perfect frame to capture the region’s beauty. Take a moment to soak in the tranquility before proceeding on a 90-minute trek to Phu, ascending the steep trail guarded by a majestic monolith. As we approach, a captivating panorama unfolds—the three renowned villages of the valley, the Tibetan-inspired fortress known as ‘Dzong,’ and the remnants of two ancient forts. The vibrant Chortens, awe-inspiring canyons, picturesque gorges, and diverse Himalayan wildlife along Khaki Hill transport us to an enchanting realm unlike any other.

Day 6Rest Day- Phu Exploration

On the 6th day of this captivating trek, we will have the opportunity to rest and acclimatize, taking in the wonders of the Phu region. Immerse ourself in exploration as we discover the Tashi Lakhang Monastery, a venerable Buddhist sanctuary believed to be the final creation of Karmapa Rinpoche. This ancient monastery holds deep significance, inviting us to connect with its profound spiritual essence. Phu village itself is a marvel, offering a glimpse into the vibrant local culture. Witness the villagers engaging in their daily routines, from spinning yak and sheep‘s wool to tending to their herds of sheep, goats, and majestic yaks grazing peacefully on the rolling hills. Perhaps we’ll even observe the rhythmic process of transforming mustard seeds into a rich oil paste. Each encounter will unveil the intricacies of a high-altitude civilization that will undoubtedly leave us awestruck in countless ways.

Day 7Phu (4,080m) to Nar Phedi (3,490m)

6h 30min, 4,080m highest altitude

On the 7th day, we will trace our way back to the Phu gate, passing through Khyang, Jhunam, and Chyarkha, the junction where we will take the trail branching towards Nar Phedi. As we descend, we will be greeted by eroded hoodoos, sandy gullies, and breathtaking views of gorges, with the picturesque white Himalayas serving as a stunning backdrop. The descent will feel like a short and enjoyable trip, allowing us to fully appreciate the natural beauty surrounding us. Once we arrive at Nar Phedi, we will be welcomed by artistically painted monasteries and the serene environment they exude. Our night will be spent here, and the hospital nuns will graciously prepare delicious warm food for us. If we wish, we can observe them as they skillfully prepare the meal in the traditional way. Additionally, we have the opportunity to witness the worshipping ritual ‘Puja’ around 5 p.m. in the monastery, providing us with a captivating glimpse into the spiritual practices of the region.

Day 8Nar Phedi (3,490m) to Nar Village (4,110m)

4,110m highest altitude

Nar Phedi, ascending uphill towards the enchanting Nar village, following a meandering path. It promises to be a gentle day of trekking, as we traverse along the path adorned with artistically painted bamboo chortens, leading us to the ancient village nestled in the valley. Arriving at this picturesque village during lunchtime, we may not find the bustling crowds reminiscent of the popular checkpoints along the Annapurna circuit treks. However, the serene views and the refreshing atmosphere of this high-altitude region will captivate us without fail. Compared to Phu, the Nar village exudes a livelier ambiance, with locals engrossed in their day-to-day activities, accompanied by cheerful conversations and laughter. The presence of newly constructed teahouses on the outskirts of the ancient village ensures our comfort, offering cozy lodges and a diverse menu of delectable delicacies. We can relish both the warm hospitality and the culinary delights as we unwind and immerse ourselves in the vibrant surroundings of Nar village.

Day 9Nar Village (4,110m) to Ngawal (3,660m) via Kang La Pass (5,322m)

7h 30min, 5,322m highest altitude

Today promises to be an adventurous and demanding day of trekking, as we prepare for an early morning start after a hearty breakfast. Our destination is the renowned Kang La Pass, and we aim to reach it before sunrise. Along the route, which overlaps with the popular Annapurna circuit, we will be treated to awe-inspiring vistas of majestic massifs, including the imposing Annapurna II, Tillicho Gangapurna, and numerous others. The sight alone will leave an indelible mark on our memories. While the trek to Kang La Pass may not be excessively challenging, it will be a long and arduous day, compounded by the presence of snow on the pass. As we ascend to higher altitudes, we may experience the effects of the thin air. However, the reward awaits us at the summit, where we will be greeted by breathtaking panoramas. Upon beginning our descent towards Ngawal, we will pause for a well-deserved lunch break on the plateau. Kang La Pass, situated at an elevation of 5,240m, offers a unique perspective of the stunning massifs and the airport at Hongde. This moment will be forever treasured as we savor our meal in such a remarkable setting. As we arrive at Ngawal, situated along the upper-Pisang route of the famed Annapurna circuit trek, we will discover excellent teahouses that provide comfortable accommodations and a range of modern amenities. These teahouses also boast diverse menus, allowing us to indulge in satisfying meals after an eventful day of trekking. The combination of cozy lodging and convenient facilities will ensure our comfort and rejuvenation in Ngawal.

Day 10Ngawal (3,660m) to Pisang (3,250m) and drive back to Kathmandu

Vehicle: 8h

On the 10th day of our trek, as we descend more than 2,000 meters in altitude, we can feel the gradual shift towards warmer temperatures and witness the landscape transforming into lush greenery. Our downhill journey commences early in the day, as we follow a wide and well-maintained path that leads us past a picturesque lake located outside Pisang.
Upon reaching Pisang, we will take a delightful pause for a mouthwatering lunch, soaking in the village’s charm and tranquility. From there, we will embark on a comfortable four-wheeler for our return journey to Kathmandu. Along the way, we will be treated to captivating views of the surrounding scenery, further adding to the rich tapestry of our memories. Once we arrive in Kathmandu, before bidding farewell to our team, we will express our gratitude to our porter and guide and appreciation for their unwavering support and assistance throughout our incredible journey.

Photos
Information
What is the best time to trek?

The Nar Phu Valley Trek offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and unique cultural experiences. While the best time to undertake this trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to October), each season has its own charm and considerations. Here’s a breakdown of the different seasons for the Nar Phu Valley Trek:

Spring (March to May):
Spring is considered the ultimate season for the Nar Phu Valley Trek. During this time, the days are long, temperatures are warm to hot, and the landscape is adorned with lush greenery and colorful rhododendron flowers. It’s an excellent time to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty and witness the vibrant flora and fauna of the region.

Autumn (late September to October):
Autumn is another fantastic season for the Nar Phu Valley Trek. The days are warm with pleasant temperatures, and the skies are clear, offering extended visibility. This season provides breathtaking views of the massifs of the Himalayas, allowing trekkers to enjoy stunning panoramas of snow-capped peaks.

Monsoon (June to August):
Although trekking in the Nar Phu Valley is possible during the monsoon season, it comes with some challenges. The trail can become muddy, and heavy rainfall and landslides may disrupt access or delay the trekking itinerary. Additionally, leeches can be found in lower regions, and the mountains are often covered in thick foggy clouds. However, occasional clear skies and warm days can be a pleasant surprise during this season.

Winter (December to February):
Winter in the Nar Phu Valley brings cold and freezing weather, especially in the upper-Himalayan region. The trail is covered in snow, and some passes in the Annapurna region may be unpassable due to heavy snowfall. The temperature can drop as low as 1°C during the daytime and below -10°C at night. It is important to be well-prepared with appropriate gear and equipment to tackle the harsh winter conditions.

In summary, the best time to do the Nar Phu Valley Trek is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (late September to October) when the weather is generally favorable and the landscapes are at their most beautiful. However, with proper preparation, the trek can still be undertaken during the monsoon and winter seasons, although they come with their own challenges and considerations.

Trek travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for the trek. All the trekkers must provide a copy of their comprehensive travel insurance policy certificate. The policy must cover medical and emergency repatriation – including helicopter rescue and evacuation expenses at high altitudes (up to 6,000m).

Trekking members are kindly requested to send their detailed insurance information after trek booking. In case of emergencies, we will be using the insurance policy and informational documents you sent us. It will help us arrange a quick and effective rescue operation, transfer for emergency medical help, etc. Please ensure that your insurance covers all costs incurred during mountain rescue service.

Before buying travel insurance, make sure to call the insurance company and recheck if they have heli-rescue up to 6,000m.

Acclimatization

The acclimatization day at Phu village during the Nar Phu Valley Trek is essential for adjusting to the high altitude. Located at around 4250m, Phu serves as a vital resting point to acclimatize to the thinner air and reduced oxygen levels, reducing the risk of altitude sickness. Trekkers can explore the village, interact with locals, and engage in light activities or short hikes while enjoying the stunning mountain scenery. Overall, the acclimatization day at Phu village ensures a safer and more enjoyable trekking experience.

Drinking water

We recommend you bring a container for one liter of water. In the teahouses we can buy boiled water suitable for drinking with which to fill our bottles. Another option is to refill the water from the fountains that we find along the way or from the tap of the teahouses themselves, for this we have to count on water disinfectant tablets that we can find in pharmacies.

Revisiting the cloud dwellers - by Wanda Vivequin

Tsering Yangtzen’s 10-year-old daughter died in the village of Nar in 1981. Tsering’s face in mourning was captured in an evocative portrait by American Photographer Nik Wheeler and features in the book Cloud Dwellers of the Himalayas.

Twenty-five years later I literally bumped into Tsering in the streets of Nar. She gently pointed at the portrait and said it is her. Tragedy had struck again as her son died a few weeks earlier.

‘I did not adorn my hair in that photo as my daughter had just died, and now my son,’ 68-year-old Tsering says.

Photographing Tsering with her portrait I wondered how much life has changed for someone living in one of the Nepal’s most remote villages. The 2006 visit was my third in less than a year, my curiosity piqued by this Windsor Chorlton-authored book.

While initially reluctant to bring the book into these dusty high-altitude valleys, I watched happily as locals pored over its photos. They delighted in seeing photos of themselves, family members and friends a quarter of a century earlier and were still curious why people had been so interested writing a book about their lives.

The book was the product of a research expedition led by Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf, who was given special permission by King Birendra to visit this off-limits area. Published in 1982, it captured the stories and lives of people living in one of the Nepal’s most remote villages.

Electricity, the telephone, quality bridges and most importantly the widening and improvement of the trail in 1990 had a profound influence on contact with the rest of the country. In 2006 locals were looking forward to the day a road would reach Chame.

The quest to find people began in Koto where I was surrounded by a group of young men, most of whom were just babies or not even born when the book was published, yet were still able to call out names. In Khyang a lady became emotional looking at a photo of her husband as a young man. A day later, showing the book in Nar Phedi, someone pointed to a tree high above me, saying ‘that is where a man jumped from’, and I realized there are talking about the husband of the woman Khyang.

By the time I reached Nar, ‘cover girl’ Pema Bhutti’s name was etched in my mind. Down a dusty lane past a row of prayer wheels, up a rickety ladder, across two rooftops laden with drying grains and down another ladder into a dark warm room and there she was.

Sixty-nine years old and missing a few teeth, Pema Bhutti sat beside the stove surrounded by family, her husband Sangma Chesang Gurung opposite her. Pema’s daughter looked on proudly as her son, who goes to boarding school in Kathmandu and speaks good English, practiced with me. Times have definitely changed in Nar-Phu, yet the rhythm and essence of life remains largely intact.

3 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

David Johnson

Family Traveller

I just had to share how awesome Firantes’ porters were during my Nar-Phu Trek. Seriously, these folks were like superheroes behind the scenes. They carried our gear like it was no big deal, and their positive energy kept us going. Big shoutout to Firantes for assembling such a hardworking and friendly team. You guys rock!

December 29, 2022

Mark Johnson

Family Traveller

Yo, adventurers! I gotta shout out Firantes for an insane time on the Nar-Phu Trek. This thing was like an expedition to the mystical realm. Firantes had their A-game on – mega-professional and solid. Guides were straight-up legends, dropping knowledge bombs non-stop. And those villages we hit? Out of this world. If you’re after an out-there adventure, these guys got your back. Major shoutout to Firantes for giving me an unreal experience. Keep rocking, folks!

October 26, 2022

Emily Turner

Solo Traveller

Hey there! Just had the raddest time ever with Firantes on the Nar-Phu Trek. Seriously, it was like stepping into a hidden paradise. The team at Firantes was pure gold, super chill and organized. The guides were like encyclopedias of local lore. And those remote villages? Mind-blowing. If you’re into off-the-beaten-path adventures, this is it. Props to Firantes for hooking me up with this unforgettable experience. Cheers!

September 2, 2022
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