Nar Phu Valley Trek
The Nar Phu Valley trek is one of the most exciting trekking holidays in Nepal, as it enters a land that was closed to visitors until 2003. Truly an off-the-beaten-path adventure that combines , remote villages, narrow canyons, amazing rock formations, and untouched Himalayan cultures. It’s a challenging but immensely rewarding route that’s ideal for experienced trekkers who want to avoid the busy trails elsewhere in the country and head into the real wilderness.
Highlights of the Nar Phu Valley Trek
- Trek through an extremely remote area that was prohibited until 2003
- Cross the challenging high passes of Khang La (5320m)
- Fantastic views of the Annapurna massif, Lamjung (6983m) and Manaslu (8163m)
- Visit the lovely villages of Nar and Phu, with colourful Buddhist chortens
The Nar Phu Valley trek is in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, meaning the landscape is much drier and more barren than at lower elevations to the south, and much more similar to Tibet. It is rarely visited, meaning the villages are simple and the landscape rugged. Travelling here is a perfect way to see how all Nepal once was, before the development of roads and modern conveniences.
The trails are rugged and at times are cut high into the sides of the cliff. There are also high passes to cross. The trek in general is quite challenging, and best suited to experienced trekkers who are confident in the mountains.
The Nar Phu Valley trek Route Followed
The journey starts in Besisahar, and drives the initial part of the old Annapurna Circuit route, as it was before the road was built. The trek itself begins in Dharapani (1960m). Stunning views of Manaslu (8163m) will open up on the first day of trekking, as you steadily ascend.
The trekking trail leaves the secondary road as you head up the Nar Khola (river) Valley, which was previously off-limits to trekkers. This valley is sparsely populated, with the villages far less developed, and the valley gets narrower as you get deeper in.
The trail passes through pine forests and many beautiful waterfalls and towering rock faces as it continues to climb, all the way up to the village of Phu (4080m). Spend an acclimatisation day here, where there are stunning views of the valley.
Continue on to Nar, the other main village in this area, which is a bit more lively than Phu. Push on to cross the Khang La (5320m). Crossing the pass will be a challenge at this altitude, and requires one of the longest walking days on the trek. After crossing the pass, descend down to Ngawal, significantly lower at 3670m. Connecting Popular Annapurna Circuit trail at Pisang toward to Chame vila Gyaru and from Chame we will drive back to Kathmandu.
Accommodation availability at Nar Phu Valley trek
While the accommodation options on the Annapurna Circuit section of this route are reasonably good, with basic but comfortable lodges, the Nar Phu Valley is much more remote and less developed. Lodges there are very basic, but there will even be a chance to stay in the monastery at Nar Phedi.
Nar Phu Valley Trek Itinerary
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu. (1365 meters).
Day 02: Sightseeing at Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive to Koto (2600 meters) via Besisahar and Dharapani.
Day 04: Trek to Dharmasala (3220 meters).
Day 05: Trek to Chaku (3772 meters).
Day 06: Trek to Phu (4050 meters).
Day 07: Side trip around Phu Valley or Himlung Base Camp.
Day 08: Trek to Nar (4150 meters).
Day 09: Trek to Khang La Phedi (4530 meters).
Day 10: Cross Khang La (5320 meters) and trek to Ngawal (3670 meters).
Day 11: Trek to Chame 2670).
Day 12: Drive back to Kathmandu.
Day 13: Departure.
- Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu. (1365 meters).
Arrive in Kathmandu international airport, receive at airport and transfer to Hotel stay overnight at Kathmandu Hotel.
- Day 02: Sightseeing at Kathmandu.
A half day guided tour to several of historical and spiritual attractions enlisted under the World Heritage Sites. (Overnight at Hotel. Breakfast included) Permits and trek preparation day at Kathmandu.
- Day 03: Drive to Koto (2600 meters) via Besisahar and Dharapani.
After breakfast, a private vehicle (car/bus) will pick you at your hotel. We drive to Besisahar via the Prithvi Highway, following Trishuli River till Muglin and now continue follow the Marsyangdi River valley. After Lunch in Besisahar continue drive through the dirt road to Koto. The road at times passes through the settlements of the old Annapurna Circuit. It keeps following the Marshyangdi River for the whole day. This bumpy and exciting ride will take around 5 hours. Stay overnight at Tea house.
- Day 04: Trek to Dharmasala (3220 meters).
The trail leaves the road, enters a narrow valley, leaving crowded settlements behind, and heads for sparsely inhabited Nar Phu Valley. The trek crosses and leaves Marshyangdi River and starts to follow Phu River gradually climbing into the valley. The valley gets narrower and goes through pristine forests, as the valley grows wider with views starting to open up. The long day of climb finally ends at Dharmasala. (6-7 hours) (Overnight at tea house)
- Day 05: Trek to Chaku (3772 meters).
Trek to Chaku is an interesting day as the trek passes through stunning waterfalls and towering rock faces. The day starts with a steep climb passes the village of Meta. The terrain is leveled all the way up to Junam and continues to be similar until the lower village of Chaku. The day ends with a final steep climb ending at the higher village of Chaku. (6 hours) (Overnight at tea house)
- Day 06: Trek to Phu (4050 meters).
A steep drop kicks off the day and leads to the river. The trail stays on the riverbed for a while and then slowly starts to climb off the river. Another climb ends another long day at Phu. (6-7 hours) (Overnight at tea house)
- Day 07: Side trip around Phu Valley or Himlung Base Camp.
A short hike up to the village offers stunning views of the valley. Although a long and exhausting walk to Himlung Base Camp also remains a good alternative. (Overnight at tea house)
- Day 08: Trek to Nar (4150 meters).
The trek retraces back to Chaku and passes the village. After crossing the bridge, the trail once again starts to climb and does so for the rest of the day. This is also one of the longer days of the trek. (7-8 hours) (Overnight at tea house)
- Day 09: Trek to Khang La Phedi (4530 meters).
The day is a shorter one as the trek enters the higher elevations. Couple of hours climb ends the day at Khang La Phedi. A good rest is recommended as the trek now enters higher elevations. (3 hours) (Overnight at Camp)
- Day 10: Cross Khang La (5320 meters) and trek to Ngawal (3670 meters).
An early start to the day to cross the Khang La (5320 meters). The day starts with a climb that continues to get steeper and only ends at the top of the pass. A steep drop in a rocky moraine then on a scree leads to a new valley. Steep drop continues throughout the day and finally ends at the village of Ngawal. This is one of the longest and hardest days of the trek. (7-8 hours) (Overnight at tea house)
- Day 11: Trek to Chame 2670).
Following the track back route of upper Annapurna Circuit via old village of Ghyaru and descend the narrow valley of Marsyangdi river valley lead us to Upper Pisang one of the traditional local village. Crossing the Marsyangdi River and follow the popular Annapurna Circuit trail finally lead us to Chame stay overnight at Lodge/ tea house.
- Day 12: Drive back to Kathmandu.
After breakfast drive back to Kathmandu with Private Jeep, arrive in Kathmandu check in Hotel stay overnight at Kathmandu.
- Day 13: Departure.
A representative from Visit Himalaya Treks Pvt. Ltd. will check your flight tickets and transfer you to the airport before two hours from your flight with a hope of seeing you again in the future. (Breakfast included)
- Arrivals and departure transport by car (We will collect you from the Kathmandu international airport) and transfer to Hotel.
- Half day sightseeing in Kathmandu (Boudhanath and Pasupatinath) with city guide and necessary transport.
- Accommodation in Kathmandu 3 nights (2 persons per room) in Kathmandu with breakfast.
- Kathmandu - Besisahar land transportation in a private car / Jeep/ Bus.
- Besisahar to Koto by reserved local jeep.
- Land transport on way back Chame to Besisahar Local reserved Jeep and Besisahar to Kathmandu by Private Car, Jeep, and Bus.
- Salary, insurance, food, accommodation for guides and porters.
- Porter to carry clients baggage, (2 in sharing porter our porter carry 25 to 30KG total)
- Nar Phu restricted area entry permits.
- Annapurna conservation entry permits & Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS).
- Accommodation, all meals and hot drinks during the trek (Breakfast, Lunch and dinner)
- Camping arrangements for Nar Phedi for 1 night.
- Group First Aid Kit.
- Government taxes and service charge.
- Nepal entry Visa Fee.
- Personal Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
- Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
- Entry fee at the sightseeing sites Personal expenses like beverages (mineral water, alcohol, soft drinks), telephone bills, laundry, bar bills, personal tips etc
Visit Himalaya Treks has always been keen about safety on the journey. We have prepared Trekking Equipment List which the trekkers will need during their trek in Nepal. The following list should help you with your packing. Generally, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The weight of your trek bag while trekking should be no more than 15 KG. You must bring the following items:
Hiking boots, Trekking Socks
Waterproof (trousers / jacket)
Base layer shirts
Sunhat and Woolen hat
Sun protection (including total bloc for lips)
Head torch (spare bulb and batteries)
Water bottles 1 Litres
Antibacterial hand wash
Daypack (25-30 Liters)
Sleeping bag 4 or 5 season (up to – 20ºC)
Personal First Aid Kit
Small, personal first-aid kit. (Simple and light)
Aspirin, first-aid tape, and plasters (Band-Aids)
1 skin-blister repair kit
Cough and/or cold medicine
Anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox or Acetylzolamide
Stomach antibiotic: Ciprofloxacin, etc. Do not bring sleeping pills as they are a respiratory depressant.
Water purification tablets or water filter
1 set of earplugs
Extra pair of prescription glasses, contact lens supplies.
Note: Walking pole, down jacket, sleeping bag, etc available on hire in Kathmandu or request we will provide it.