Nar Phu Valley Trek is a journey into the isolated valley that connects Nar and Phu in the Manang district. The trail follows the ancient trade route between Nepal and Tibet. While still in the popular Annapurna region, this ‘off-the-beaten-path’ trek leads us away from the busier trails in the area and into a glacial valley that seems undisturbed by time. Nestled in the Himalayas are the remote villages of Nar Phu, which with their unique cultural heritage, architecture, and surrounding landscape will give you an unforgettable experience.
During the Nar Phu Valley Trek, we explore villages similar to ones in the Tibetan Plateau region. We will be exposed to the traditional pastoral lifestyle of the villages. Populated by Tibetan Buddhists, Nar and Phu are sacred valleys with monasteries, Chortens, mani walls, and fluttering prayer flags along the trail. TheTashi Lakhang Monastery and the recently built Satek Gumba " Monastery" in the remote area is certainly worth a visit. In addition to the intriguing and lovely culture and the already impressive Himalayan peaks, we will see incredible rock formations, glaciers, canyons, and forests throughout the Nar Phu Valley Trek.
After departing from Kathmandu to Besishar and Dharapani, we begin our journey from Dharapani after walking 20 minutes we follow the ancient trekking trail to Odar village. The trail to Odar leads uphill for 40 minutes with an amazing view of Mt.Manaslu and Himalchuli. Odar Village is a little beautiful Gurung cultural settlement with 20-30 houses. The first several days are characterized by diverse forests and various suspension bridges over rushing waters. Upon reaching the Nar Phu valley, we feel an unexplainable feeling of joy and energy, as we are surrounded only by the mountains. Our Nar Phu Valley trek will be separate from Koto village and we follow Nar Khola and narrow gorge to Meta village. After Meta village, the Nar Phu Valley offers an amazing view of wide alpine landscape and Annapurna II and Iv. Phu village takes us back to the 5th century. The ancient houses are connected to each other and located at the lap of a mountain. Nar village is also quite similar to the Phu village. It is also located on the lap of a mountain and there is a big farmland at the bottom of the village. Which looks very beautiful with very buckwheat flowers. The overnight at Satek Gumba with monks will give a lifetime experience for all the trekkers of Nar Phu valley trek.
The cultural fascinations are accompanied by the breathtaking Himalayan panoramas of AnnapurnaII (7937m), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m), Gangapurna (7455m), Dhaulagiri (8167m)and several others as we cross the Kang la Pass (5320m). This pass separates the villages Nar and Phu. After several hours in awe at the high alpine territory, our trail connects to the Annapurna Circuit Trek via Kang La Pass(5320m). After descending from the pass, we stop at Ngwal Village, a beautiful Village located just opposite of Annapurna Himalayan Range. The next day drives to Besishar and continues back to Kathmandu. For those who are looking for the majestic mountain peaks combined with a fascinating Tibetan cultural experience in the Annapurna region without the crowds of the Annapurna Circuit or Annapurna Base Camp Treks, the Nar Phu Valley Trek is the go-to.
The Nar Phu Valley Trek lies in a restricted area of Nepal, so you need to get a special trekking permit, which is included in the cost of the trek. Additionally, international trekkers must go with a licensed guide from a government registered trekking agency. Until recently, the Nar Phu Valley Trek was a camping trek, however, now there are teahouse accommodations along the way. If you would like to camp instead, we can arrange for that.
When is the Best time for Nar Phu Valley Trek?
The best times to take the Nar Phu Valley Trek is during autumn (September-November) and spring (March-May) and monsoon (June-August)! The only time that we do not recommend taking the Nar Phu Valley Trek is during the winter, as the weather is extremely cold and snow can prevent you from being able to cross the Kang La pass.
This trail is located behind the Annapurna and Manaslu Himalayan ranges. The landscape is quite similar to Tibet’s, so there is very little rainfall, even in the monsoon season. For this reason, the Nar Phu Valley Trek is a perfect one to do during the monsoon and offers very colorful scenery with rare Himalayan flowers. Overall, May to September is the best time for flower lovers! Also during monsoon season, people from the villages have more spare time. They’ve finished their work for the season and have more time to relax. So, this is the period when many people celebrate their marriage ceremonies and other special social festivals.
September offers a gorgeous view of the Himalayas with few clouds in the sky. The land is still beautifully dotted with colorful alpine flowers. October and November are the best months for clear skies, providing the best mountain views. March, April, and May also present crisp views of the Himalayas and have the best temperatures for hiking. This time is the warmest period in the Himalayas, so you can enjoy our time in the Himalayas without being uncomfortably cold.
Nar Phu Valley Trek is possible to do in the winter (December-January) if you can enjoy the cold temperatures and aren’t afraid of trudging through the snow. If you would like to trek during the winter, we will provide the proper gear necessary for that.
Is the Nar Phu Valley Trek difficult?
Short answer: No! This trip is not difficult at all if you have basic walking habits. It is just a long hike on a mid-altitude Himalayan trail. Every day we walk about 10-15 kilometers, and some days up to 20 kilometers. The trekking trail is well-maintained by the local so it is safe to walk on. The trip to the two villages (Nar and Phu) is so beautiful. The journey from Koto to Meta is a long way but is totally doable. The path to Phu is also a long one, but by the time you reach that day, your body will be used to it. The acclimatization day in Phu, with the hike up to Phu Viewpoint, physically and mentally prepares you for the rest of the trek. The whole trek (minus a small section after the Kangla Pass) is on a well-maintained, human-made trail that is accessible to anyone with moderate trekking experience. It is recommended to have some prior trekking experience, but otherwise, the trail is not too difficult.
Nar Phu Valley Trek Cost/Price
The cost of your Nar Phu Valley Trek depends on the services you choose. The listed price covers all the costs of the Nar Phu Valley Trek on a sharing-basis Jeep transportation. All your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) are included in the cost of the package, though if you would like to have extra chocolates, snacks, beer, etc., those are not included in the cost of the package. If you take the private 4 wheeler luxury Jeep to Chamche and on your trek back from Ngwal, the price of the trek will slightly more expensive. If you want to spend an extra day or two exploring in Nar or Phu village, the price will increase as days are added. Also, some guest houses, especially in high altitude areas, may charge extra for charging your camera/phone batteries. If you would like to take a hot shower, that is possible in some places, but it also requires an extra fee that is not included in the package price. We are transparent as possible with you about what is included/excluded from the package so that there are no misunderstandings. When you book with Breeze Adventure, there are no hidden costs or extra fees to worry about.
Nar Phu Valley Trekking Permit cost
Nar Phu Valley is considered a restricted area. Trekkers need a TIMS (Trekkers’ Information Management Systems) card, an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Permit), as well as a special trekking permit from the Nepal government. This permit can only be acquired from registered trekking companies in Nepal. Therefore, to do the Nar Phu Valley Trek, you must have both permits.
Strangely enough, the cost of the restricted area permit depends on when you would like to trek. So, from September to November, the cost is $100 USD per week, and from December to August, the cost is $75 USD per week. The Annapurna Conservation Area Permit is $30 USD, and the TIMS card is $10 USD. You should plan to spend around $280 USD for two people, but believe us that the cost of the permits is small compared to the joy that the Nar Phu Valley Trek will bring you.
There are several tourist checkpoints on this trek. One is at the beginning of the trip to Besishar, one in Manang, and one at the ending point of the Manaslu Circuit trail in Dharapani. Before we enter Nar Phu Valley we need to show our permit in Koto at the tourist checkpoint. There is also one permit check post in Meta, which will soon be shifting to Kyang village, as the main administrative office is in this village.
Is Altitude Sickness possible on this Trek?
Altitude sickness is very unlikely on the Nar Phu Valley Trek. You will not spend a night above 4000 meters. The highest point you reach in Kangla Pass (5320 meters/17,454 feet), but only a few moments are spent there, so you are not facing a high risk of altitude sickness. That being said, some are more sensitive to the variations in elevation than others. Our team is highly experienced in the case of high altitude sickness and are properly trained to help you. At the onset of symptoms, our guides will take you to lower elevation as quickly as possible. You should not worry, though, we have built-in acclimatization days to prevent altitude sickness from happening.
Can we fly out of Humde Airport?
Before the road to Manang was built, there was a weekly flight from Humde to Pokhara. The flights stopped in 2011 because the total airport was not well constructed; it was just a normal gravel road. After 2011, the Nepal government started the renovation of the airport and built a nicer runway. However, now there are no flights because people opt for the cheaper option of driving to Manang village by Jeep, while the Nepal government is still pushing for airports in the more rural areas in the Himalaya.
Can I extend my trip to Tilicho Lake and Thorong La Pass?
Yes of course! If you have enough time and want to join the popular Annapurna Circuit trail also known as the Apple pie trail in Nepal, we recommend you do so! You would have a great experience of crossing two high passes: Kangla and Thorong La Pass. Also, if you have time and want to see the beautiful Tilicho Lake, we can arrange a Tilicho Lake day trip. The ultimate trek would combine both Tilicho Lake and Thorong La Pass with the underrated Nar Phu Valley Trek. After crossing the Kangla Pass, the trail joins the Annapurna Circuit. Visit Tilicho Lake and then Yak Kharka, where you prepare to traverse the Thorong La Pass (5400 meters). You’ll have a leg-up on other trekkers in terms of acclimatization, making the second high pass a walk in the park. So, why not get the best of both worlds? Combine the hidden gem of the Nar Phu Valley with the legendary Annapurna Circuit ( Apple Pie Trail in Nepal) and create the adventure of a lifetime!
Can I trek solo into the Nar Phu Valley?
No, solo travelers are not allowed to take the Nar Phu Valley Trek or any restricted area treks in Nepal. Nepal's government does not give permits for solo travelers in restricted areas. These permits require at least two trekkers and a government-registered guide.
In the case that you are only one person, but would still like to do this trek with a registered guide, you can pay the other ‘ghost permit,’ as if there was another trekker with you. It is doable but would cost you double the permit fee. We hope soon our government will change the policy soon, so more people can discover the beauty of the Nar Phu Valley, but until then, you must travel with a registered guide.
Why take the Nar Phu Valley Trek with Breeze Adventure?
We have combined decades of experience in the Himalaya and we have taken countless treks into every corner of Nepal. We provide only high-quality trekking experiences with the best staff, well-designed itineraries, and top-notch services. We give you the most accurate and up-to-date information about the trek into Nar Phu Valley. Our guides are very professional, experienced, and dedicated to their commitment to making your trip fun and successful. This is an old trekking trail, but still very few people know about or choose to visit these two hidden villages. All our guides have been there several times and know the latest trail updates to the Nar Phu Valley and Kangla Pass in regards to weather and trail construction. Our passion for trekking in the great outdoors is evident and we know you will have as much fun as we do! Why not join one of our peaceful and beautiful treks Nar Phu Valley!