The Nar Phu Valley Trek is one of the most popular and quiet hiking trails in the Annapurna region. It has beautiful views of the Annapurna mountain range, Manaslu, Tilicho Peak, Lamjung Himal, and other peaks. The trailhead for the hikes is located in Koto, and it travels all the way to the villages of the Nar Phu Valley. When people go trekking in the Nar Phu Valley, they get a real Himalayan wilderness experience that is just as memorable as it is beautiful.
Nar Phu is a real treasure because it gives hikers a rare chance to explore pristine valleys with a mix of wild Himalayan nature, ancient Buddhist culture, and Khampa settlement. It is tucked between the more-traveled regions of Annapurna and Manaslu. As you travel through the Nar and Phu valleys, you will see high mountains and passes, glaciers, isolated villages, tight gorges, beautiful forests, amazing rock formations, yaks, gompas, and Tibetan ethnic cultures that are very different from those of other countries. These practically undiscovered towns were off-limits to trekkers until the end of 2002, so only a very small number of people from the outside world have been able to explore them or climb any of the numerous 7,000-meter peaks that surround them. After leaving Besisahar, which is where the Annapurna Circuit Trek usually starts, the trail quickly leaves the more popular paths and heads into the quiet Nar and Phu valleys. This is one of the highlights of the trek. You will have the opportunity to hang out with people in Phu as they go about their daily routines, as well as spend the night in the Nar Phedi monastery, as you make your way through deep canyons and gorges, passing beautiful Tibetan Chortens and prayer stones along the way. These are wonderful opportunities to gain insight into everyday life in Nepal's highland regions. If you think you have what it takes, another option is to make the ascent to the Himlung Himal Base Camp on foot. The last couple of days of the hike take you over the high Kang La Pass (5,320 m) and back down to Ngawal, which is a popular stop on the main Annapurna Circuit route and gives you a chance to feel "at home" again. On the last part of the trip, just before getting back in the truck and heading back to Besisahar, the landscape gets gradually greener and more fruitful.
Highlights of the Nar Phu Valley Trek
- Tilicho Peak, Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, Pisang Peak, Kanguru, and Gangapurna are all available for your viewing pleasure
- You can also spend the day in Pokhara, Nepal's most popular tourist destination
- Pay a trip to the illustrious Tashi Lhakhang Gompa
- Explore Annapurna's most isolated region
- Spend your time in historic towns that haven't changed much over the course of centuries
- Spend some time in a region of the Tibetan plateau that stretches all the way down into Nepal
- Experience the lifestyles of monks at Satek Gompa (Nar Phedi)
- Explore a distant region of Nepal that very few tourists ever get the chance to see
- Experience a culture that derives from Tibet, complete with prayer stones that are one-of-a-kind and colorful monasteries
Best season for Nar Phu Valley Trek
The trek to Nar Phu Valley can be done during the rainy monsoon months of June through August, as well as during either of the two busiest times of year for tourists (March-May and September-November). Even though mudslides and landslides may block the roads to and from Besisahar in the highlands during the monsoon, the trip can still be fun at this time. It's possible that the high pass will be blocked by snow during the winter months of December through February.
Fitness and Experience for Nar Phu Valley Trek
In Annapurna, the trek to Nar Phu is one of the most challenging. A day of hiking lasts between 4 and 7 hours, with stops for mountain viewing. In the two weeks leading up to the trip, you should work out and jog in order to increase your stamina. People who are more fit enjoy the trek more. Experience with hiking is advantageous but not necessary. Hikers who can carry a light daypack for 5 to 6 hours each day can complete the Nar Phu Valley trek. You should be in average shape and prepared for long days. To be fit, you need a positive perspective, self-assurance, and perseverance. If you have a history of heart, lung, or blood issues, please let the expedition leaders know.
Difficulty level of Nar Phu Valley Trek
The trek to Nar Phu is considered an intermediate-level Himalayan trek. For instance, on the very first day of this excursion, you will travel all the way from Kathmandu (1,400 m) to Koto (2,600 m). In spite of the high passes, the risk of suffering from altitude sickness is lower here than it is in other climbing destinations in Nepal. It is irrelevant to either one's age or state of health. In spite of this, our route gives you a lot of time to get used to the altitude. The most important thing is to take things slowly, drink enough water, and pay more attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
If you follow the itinerary, the Nar Phu Valley Trek is an amazing alternate trail that you can take. You can skip the less picturesque sections and head straight to the nicest part of the path by using the motorable roads in between. The journey from Besisahar to Koto will be tiring because the road is not in the best shape, but it will be worthwhile once you get there. Footprint Adventure can help you with tailored itineraries according to your preference, contact us for more information.