Located at an altitude of 4,110 meters, Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek is a high-altitude adventure that invites trekkers to explore one of Nepal's best-kept secrets. In a world where popular trekking routes are well-traveled, this journey is an off-the-beaten-path gem, hidden from the mainstream until as recently as 2003. Before that year, Nar Phu remained closed to outsiders, maintaining its mysteries. The Nar Phu Valley was a well-guarded secret, nestled deep within the Annapurna Region, and it wasn't until 2003 that this remote region decided to open its doors to adventurous spirits seeking a unique and untamed experience.
This trek offers an extraordinary opportunity to traverse landscapes untouched by modernization and explore cultures unspoiled by time. The trail unfurls as a captivating narrative of the Nar and Phu villages, each with its history, traditions, and charm. Whether you're drawn to the rich historical tapestry, the restricted stone-walled village of Phu, or the challenge of reaching the Kang La Pass at an elevation of around 5,320 meters, this is a journey that offers a glimpse into a world where ancient customs meet the majesty of the Himalayas.
Highlights of Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek
- Explore the untouched beauty and tranquility of the most isolated areas of the Annapurna Region in Nepal, where ancient traditions and customs have been preserved for centuries.
- Immerse yourself in breathtaking vistas of Tilicho Peak, Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, Pisang Peak, Kanguru, and Gangapurna as you trek through the Nar Phu Valley.
- Visit the popular Tashi Lhakhang Gompa, a stunning monastery nestled in the remote wilderness, offering a glimpse into the rich Tibetan-influenced culture of the region.
- Experience the cultural and geographical influence of the Tibetan plateau, which extends into the Nar Phu Valley in Nepal, creating a distinctive and captivating blend of cultures.
- Venture into an off-the-beaten part of Nepal, where very few tourists have the opportunity to explore, providing a truly unique and authentic trekking experience.
- Explore a region with diverse ecosystems, from lush forests to alpine meadows, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts. Keep an eye out for rare wildlife such as snow leopards, Himalayan blue sheep, and various bird species.
- Challenge yourself with the exhilarating Kang La Pass, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
- Experience the warmth of the local hospitality by staying in traditional homestays along the trek, where you can interact with the villagers, share meals, and learn about their customs,
- Following in the footsteps of the ancient salt trade routes that once connected Tibet and Nepal, tracing the historical significance of the Nar Phu Valley,
- Discover hidden monasteries and remote gompas tucked away in the rugged terrain, each with its own fascinating history and architectural beauty.
An average day in Trek
A typical day on the Nar Phu Valley Trek immerses you in the magic of the Himalayas. Beginning with the crisp mountain air and the call to adventure, each day unfolds with breathtaking landscapes and unique cultural encounters. From the hearty breakfasts that fuel your journey to the moments of reflection at scenic viewpoints, the trek offers a harmonious blend of physical exertion and profound connection with the natural world. As you arrive at your daily destination, be it a teahouse nestled in a village or a remote campsite, you have the chance to engage with the local culture, savor authentic cuisine, and share stories with fellow trekkers. Evenings are a time for camaraderie and relaxation, as the day's adventures give way to the starlit skies above the Himalayan peaks, promising another day of exploration and discovery on the morrow.
How long is the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
The Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek is an immersive journey through the heart of the Annapurna region, offering a tapestry of unique experiences. The trek typically spans over 12 to 15 days, beginning in Kathmandu with necessary preparations and obtaining Nar Phu Valley Trek Permit. Once on the trail, you'll traverse a diverse terrain, from lush forests and quaint villages to rugged mountain passes. The highlight of the trek is crossing Kang La Pass, standing tall at an elevation of 5,322 meters, which rewards you with panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks.
Normal Itinerary for the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek
Day 1: Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar, Lamjung (760 m)
- Drive Distance: 177 km
- Drive Time: 6-7 hrs
Day 2: Drive to Dharapani/Koto (2,620 m)
- Drive Distance: 66 km
- Drive Time: 5-6 hrs
Day 3: Trek to Meta (3,560 m)
- Trekking Distance: 20 km
- Trekking Time: 9-10 hrs
Day 4: Trek to Phu Gaun (4,085 m)
- Trekking Distance: 18 km
- Trekking Time: 8-9 hrs
Day 5: Acclimatization Day (4,200 m)
- Hiking Distance: 3-4 km
- Hiking Time: 2-3 hrs
Day 6: Trek to Nar Phedi (3,545 m)
- Trekking Distance: 18 km
- Trekking Time: 8-9 hrs
Day 7: Trek to Nar Gaun (4,215 m)
- Trekking Distance: 5.5 km
- Trekking Time: 3-4 hrs
Day 8: Trek to Ngawal Valley via Kangla Pass (5,320 m)
- Trekking Distance: 15 km
- Trekking Time: 12 hrs
Day 9: Trek to Manang Village (3,519 m)
- Trekking Distance: 10 km
- Trekking Time: 3 hrs
Day 10: Drive back to Besisahar (760 m)
- Drive Distance: 99 km
- Drive Time: 8 hr
Day 11: Drive back to Kathmandu (1,350 m)
- Drive Distance: 177 km
- Drive Time: 6-7 hrs
Is Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek difficult?
The Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek are regarded as a moderate to strenuous trek in the Annapurna Region of Nepal. The highest point you reach during this trek is Kang La Pass at an elevation of 5,320 meters above sea level.
The Kang La Pass Trekking presents an alluring yet challenging adventure for those seeking to explore untouched and remote landscapes. This trek includes crossing the Kang La Pass at over 5,000 meters, demanding a good level of physical and mental fitness. The high altitude, rugged terrains, and variable weather make it very important to acclimatize to the altitude.
The journey offers remarkable rewards from the stunning vistas of the Annapurna Peak to the unique blend of Tibetan-influenced culture. Despite being strenuous, the Nar Phu Valley Trekking is still doable with proper acclimatization and physical fitness. It is also very important to hire a guide or a porter to prevent the potential risks of altitude sickness and other safety reasons.
How much does it cost to go to the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
At Footprint Adventure, we offer a customized itinerary for the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek. The Nar Phu Valley Trekking Cost can vary based on your preferences and specific requirements. Our range typically falls between US$1,450 to US$1,600, providing you with options to tailor the trek to your luxury preferences. Our team is dedicated to ensuring a memorable and safe trekking experience in this pristine region of the Himalayas. We can work with you to create a personalized Nar Phu Valley Trek Itinerary that matches your budget and expectations, whether you seek a more budget-friendly adventure or a higher level of comfort and service. Get in touch with us to explore the possibilities and embark on an unforgettable journey in the Nar Phu Valley.
Is the trek to Nar Phu Valley Trek dangerous?
The Nar Phu Valley Trek, like many high-altitude adventures in the Himalayas, presents certain inherent risks that demand respect and careful preparation. While the journey is rich with scenic beauty and cultural immersion, the challenges are undeniable.
High altitudes, unpredictable weather, and rugged terrain are among the factors that can potentially pose risks. Trekkers are highly recommended to prioritize acclimatization to mitigate high altitude-related issues and be equipped to face varying weather conditions. The remoteness of the area means limited access to medical facilities, emphasizing the importance of self-sufficiency and thorough preparation.
Hiring local guides and porters with regional knowledge is a common practice, enhancing safety and providing valuable insights. Additionally, having comprehensive travel insurance is an essential safety net, covering medical emergencies and evacuation. By acknowledging the potential dangers and taking prudent measures, trekkers can enjoy the wonders of the Nar Phu Valley with confidence, making it a safe and unforgettable adventure.
What is the best season for Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
Pre-monsoon (Spring) and post-monsoon (Autumn) are considered the Best Seasons for Trekking in Nepal to Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass.
Spring is regarded as one of the Best Time for Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek as the weather is generally stable, and the region is adorned by rhododendrons and vibrant wildflowers. The days are warmer and the skies are clear, offering the excellent visibility of the surrounding mountains.
- Autumn (September- November)
Autumn is another Best Season for Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek where the weather is generally dry and cool with crisp clear days. The landscapes are stunning during this time of the year as the post-monsoon ensures the lush greenery and well-defined trails.
Note: It is important to note that the Monsoon Season (June- September) is not recommended for Nar Phu Valley Trekking due to heavy rainfall, and increased risks of landslides and other potential hazards.
- Whereas, Winter (December- February) is also not recommended due to heavy snowfall and the temperature can be extremely cold while trekking on the high mountain pass.
What kind of accommodations are available during the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
Accommodations in Nar and Phu villages mainly consist of traditional tea houses. These tea houses offer trekkers essential facilities such as food, lodging, bathrooms, and electricity. They provide a homely atmosphere, often resembling more of a local homestay than a conventional lodge. Furthermore, these accommodations are well-maintained and kept clean. The tea houses offer wooden beds, mattresses, pillows, and blankets, but trekkers should bring their sleeping bags for added warmth and comfort.
Guest rooms typically featured twin beds made of wood, with a window positioned above them. Although the rooms may be relatively congested, they comfortably accommodate two occupants. The highlight of these rooms is the unobstructed view of the surrounding mountains, allowing trekkers to wake up to stunning vistas.
In terms of sanitation facilities, attached bathrooms are somewhat hard to find in Nar and Phu villages. Most tea houses have standard toilets located outside the rooms but within the tea house premises. These toilets, typically of the Asian squat style, are kept clean and well-sanitized.
Trekkers are recommended to carry their own toilet paper, soap, and hand sanitizer. Regarding showers, some lower-altitude tea houses provide hot water for bathing, while in the higher reaches, obtaining hot water can be a bit challenging. However, some tea houses can arrange hot water upon request, albeit at an additional cost. In cases where showerheads are unavailable, they will provide a bucket, mug, and water for a refreshing wash.
The heart of these tea houses lies in their dining halls and kitchens. They serve as local areas where trekkers gather for meals and to share their stories. Dining halls are typically spacious, accommodating groups of 10 to 25 individuals, creating a sense of camaraderie and connection among travelers.
What is the highest elevation you will reach during the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
The highest elevation you will reach during the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek is the Kang La Pass itself, which stands at an altitude of approximately 5,322 meters (about 17,460 feet) above sea level. Kang La Pass is the major highlight of the trek, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks and valleys. This high-altitude mountain pass is a challenging point in the trek, and it's essential to be well-prepared and acclimatized to safely cross it and fully appreciate the breathtaking scenery.
How cold is the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
The temperatures experienced during the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek are influenced by the season and the altitude. In spring and autumn, the most favored trekking seasons, lower elevations offer comfortable daytime temperatures ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F). However, as the sun sets, nighttime temperatures can dip to 0°C to -5°C (32°F to 23°F) at lower altitudes, and even colder conditions prevail at higher elevations.
On the other hand, summer brings warmth to lower regions, with daytime temperatures between 15°C and 25°C (59°F to 77°F), offering a relief from the winter chill. Monsoon rains and increased humidity characterize this season, creating additional challenges.
Whereas, winter is the coldest period, especially at higher elevations, where temperatures often plunge well below freezing. Daytime temperatures at lower elevations range from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F), while nighttime temperatures can reach -10°C to -20°C (14°F to -4°F) at higher altitudes.
The variable temperatures determine the importance of being well-prepared, with layered clothing, quality insulation, and cold-weather gear to ensure comfort and safety during the diverse climatic conditions encountered on the enchanting journey through the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass.
What are the food and water facilities in Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
Food and water facilities along the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek primarily rely on the teahouses and local establishments along the trail. These teahouses offer a diverse menu, featuring a mix of local, Tibetan, and international dishes. Trekkers can savor traditional Nepali fare like dal bhat, momo, and noodles, among others. As you journey higher into the mountains, the culinary choices may become simpler, emphasizing the importance of sticking to locally sourced and freshly prepared options. Vegetarian dishes are a common and popular choice for trekkers.
When it comes to water, the accessibility of freshstream water varies with your location along the trek. While streams and rivers provide a source of untreated water in lower elevations, it's advisable to use water purification methods, such as aqua tablets or filters, to ensure its safety. As you ascend to higher altitudes, relying on treated water provided by teahouses or carrying your purified supply becomes the more dependable choice.
Trekking Permits and Regulations for Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass
TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System)
- SAARC Countries: NRs. 1,000/ person
- Foreign Countries: NRs. 3,000/ person
Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP)
- SAARC Countries: NRs. 1,000/ person
- Foreign Countries: NRs. 2,000/ person
Special Restricted Area Permit
- September - November: USD 100 per person/week (USD 15/day beyond 1 week)
- December - August: USD 75 per person/week (USD 15/day beyond 1 week)
What is the fitness level requirement for the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
The Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek demand a good level of physical fitness and stamina. As you venture into the Himalayas, you'll face both steep ascents and descents and need to navigate uneven terrain, often walking for 5-7 hours a day or more. Altitude poses a significant challenge during this trek, with Kang La Pass reaching an elevation of over 5,000 meters, making it essential to be well-prepared for the effects of high altitude, including proper acclimatization.
Building strength in your legs and enhancing cardiovascular endurance is the key to overcoming these hurdles. Cardio exercises, such as jogging and cycling, can help improve your aerobic fitness, while mental peace and determination are equally important.
The ability to adapt to changing weather and endure physical discomfort is essential. Finally, recognizing the importance of acclimatization and consulting with a healthcare professional before your trek can ensure that you are physically and mentally ready to take on the adventure that awaits in the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass.
Is a solo trip possible on the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
No, a solo trip on the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek is not possible as of the new rule implemented by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) in April 2023. To prevent possible risks and ensure safety, all trekkers are required to have a guide or porter with them while trekking over 5,000 meters. To make your journey safe and enjoyable, you can easily book a registered guide from us at Footprint Adventure.
Having a knowledgeable and experienced guide by your side will enhance your trekking experience and provide valuable support throughout the journey. Trekking in such a remote and challenging area comes with possible risks, including the potential for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) due to the high altitudes. Having a registered guide by your side is essential not only for ensuring your safety but also for navigating the trail through this less-visited and less-marked region. A guide brings local knowledge and experience, not only in terms of the trail but also in understanding the unique cultural and environmental aspects of the area. Hence, we don’t recommend executing the Nar Phu trek without a guide.
What is the facility of internet, electricity, and mobile network?
In the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek, you can expect limited access to modern facilities like the internet, electricity, and mobile network coverage.
Internet: Internet access is quite limited in this remote region. Some tea houses may offer Wi-Fi for free but the connectivity can be slow and unreliable. It's best not to rely on internet access during the trek, and instead, consider it a chance to disconnect and immerse yourself in the natural and cultural surroundings.
Electricity: Electricity is easily available in teahouses, but it's primarily generated from solar panels and small hydroelectric power sources. The availability of electricity can be inconsistent, and in higher-altitude locations, there may be scheduled power cuts. Charging your devices, such as phones and cameras, may cost an additional fee, so it's wise to carry power banks and conserve energy.
Mobile Network: Mobile network coverage is thinly distributed in the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass region. In some areas, you may find limited signal reception from Nepali mobile network providers like Ncell or Nepal Telecom. However, you should not rely on having constant mobile connectivity, and be prepared for extended periods without network access.
It's essential to inform your loved ones about your trekking itinerary and keep them updated when you have network access. In case of emergencies, some teahouses may have satellite phones for communication, but these are not guaranteed.
What to pack during your Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek?
Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass are moderately challenging trekking routes in the Annapurna region. Ensure that you have the necessary items with you for your trek and discard anything that is not necessary. It's important to realize that packing lists can either make your life easier or more difficult. Likewise, keep in mind that you will be trekking via Kang la Pass, so don't carry any additional climbing equipment that you won't need. You won't need much stuff because you'll be spending every night in the tea house.
Normally, you can pack a pair of each of your base, second, and outermost layers of clothes. The following is a Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trekking Essentials list that is a must-have for nearly every trekking route in Nepal:
- A set of shorts and hiking pants.
- Packable, lightweight polyester hiking tops
- You would benefit from having a waterproof shell jacket as well as a raincoat. Even in the typical trekking season, there's a chance of a sudden downpour occasionally.
- Underwear and at least 4 different pairs of socks are required.
- protective gear for the hands, head, neck, and mount to protect your face from the strong wind.
- A good pair of hiking boots, a pair of sunglasses, a comfortable pair of sandals, a sturdy backpack, and any other regular medications you might need to bring with you
- Your everyday necessities, including a sleeping bag, toilet paper, a towel, sunscreen, toothpaste, and a toothbrush, as well as hand sanitizer,
- If you want to drink regular water, you will find that a water bottle and a water purifier are the two things that are most helpful to have.
Acute mountain sickness (AMS) and preventive measures for Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek
- Preventing Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is very important during the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek, as the journey takes you to higher altitudes over 5,00 meters. Proper acclimatization and a well-planned itinerary with gradual ascents and rest days at higher elevations is the key to preventing AMS. These breaks allow your body to adapt to the decreased oxygen levels and reduce the risk of AMS.
- Staying well-hydrated is another crucial element of prevention. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine, which can lead to dehydration, and consume plenty of fluids to support your body's adjustment to altitude. Medications, such as acetazolamide, can be a helpful tool, but it's vital to consult with a healthcare professional before using them.
- A balanced diet, proper rest, and a steady hiking pace are additional factors in keeping AMS at bay. Early recognition of AMS symptoms is vital, and trekkers should be vigilant for any signs, from headaches to nausea. Having an experienced local guide who understands AMS and the region is highly recommended for support and guidance.
- Some Common Symptoms of AMS
- Headache ( both sides and one side of the head)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting sometimes.
- Tiredness and dizziness.
- Feel discomfort while sleeping.
- Increase the heart rate and shortness of breath.
- Common Prevention for AMS
- Keep your body hydrated and drink at least 4-5 liters of water every day when you cross above 3,000m
- Take plenty of rest after finishing your daily hike.
- Consume enough food and calories while trekking.
- Wear enough and make your body warm.
- When you feel most of the AMS symptoms, descend to a lower altitude as soon as possible.
- Ascend slowly and acclimatize properly according to the needs of your body.
- Travel with a local guide and travel agency so that they will help you to trail for all the possible consequences.
- There aren't many drugs out there like Diamox that can help you avoid getting sick.
However, one thing is important to keep in mind, and that is that before taking any drugs related to AMS, it is important to consult with relevant doctors or medical specialists.
Travel Insurance for the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek
As you will be trekking in the high altitude region above 5,000 meters, it is highly recommended to obtain Travel Insurance. This remote and high-altitude trek through the Himalayas demands careful preparation, and a vital part of that preparation is ensuring you have comprehensive coverage.
Your Travel Insurance policy should include medical protection for altitude-related emergencies and the possibility of a costly helicopter evacuation. It should also safeguard your investment, covering trip cancellations and interruptions due to unforeseen events.
Additionally, your Travel Insurance must address the risk of losing or having your belongings stolen during the trek. Given the challenges of the terrain and the isolated nature of the Nar Phu Valley, having reliable insurance means you can explore with confidence, knowing that in case of emergencies, you're well-prepared and supported. It's a small yet indispensable investment in your safety and peace of mind throughout this remarkable journey.
These are the most important questions we get while organizing a Nar Phu Valley Trek. During the trek, you will have the opportunity to see breathtaking snow-capped mountains, landscapes, valleys, and wildlife.
It is also possible for you to combine this trek with other treks in the Annapurna region, such as the Tilicho Base Camp Trek, if you have the time to do so and if you would like to do so. Also, if you are looking for further off-the-beaten-path treks in addition to the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek, the Khopra Trek and the Thorong La Pass Trek are both alternatives for you to consider.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at any time if you have any questions about the Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek. We hope that this Guide Book of Nar Phu Valley and Kang La Pass Trek will help you figure out the different parts of the Trek and get you ready for one of the best trips of your life.