The Nar Phu region has only been open for exploration since 2002 and offers an extraordinarily pristine cultural and scenic experience that is all the more remarkable given its proximity to the famous and well-traveled Annapurna circuit. One of Nepal’s true hidden valleys, its rugged landscapes and ancient villages bordering on Tibet have lain in peaceful solitude for years from the outside world, with relatively few trekkers making the journey to one of the last truly untouched regions in the Himalayas.
The trek begins proper at Besisahar and follows the stock route for the Annapurna Circuit through to Koto before branching away eastward towards Nar Phu valley. The trail leads along the Nar Khola River and through a narrow gorge before arriving at the small settlement of Odar (which translates to ‘Cave’), a convenient point for a lunch stop at one of the newly constructed tea houses. From Odar the path heads out through thickets of pine, rhododendrons and bamboo, with the soothing delights of a hot spring en route to bath in for a refreshing break. From there we head to the picturesque village of Meta and its impressive landscapes and view of the monastery at Nar Phedi in the distance.
The following day’s journey to Phu offers some of the most memorable and unspoiled views on the trek as the trail pass below the daunting slopes of Kangaru Himal and Chyakhu before winding on through the village of Kyang. Phu itself is a remarkable and impressive village that seems as much a bastion against the forces of time as the harsh Himalayan elements, with a known history that dates back to at least the 5th century. The structures are like building blocks set side by side and seemingly one on top of the other along the sloping hill at the heart of the village, creating the semblance of terraced fields of stone. Replete with the obligatory Mani walls, prayer wheels and its own fascinating monastery, the village is a treasure house of Tibetan culture frozen in time that intrigues and beguiles at every turn and stairway, particularly for photographers.
Phu also serves as a gateway to the mountain of Himlung (7126m) and its base camp at an altitude of 4920m. With a rest day set aside for Phu the opportunity exists to either hike to the base camp and its impressive views and glacial surroundings, or simply relax in Phu for the day and use the time to further explore the labyrinthine village and its many charms.
From Phu the trail heads westward to Nar Phedi and its monastery for a fascinating overnight stay, and on the following day climbs steeply to the impressively sited village of Nar – yes, it’s confusing! The village offers more stunning views of the Himalayas, as well as the culturally rewarding experience of observing the local people engaged in a variety of activities unique to the area. The trek through the valley culminates with the climb up to Kang La pass (5360m) and the steep and rocky descent to Ngawal on the Annapurna Circuit trail. The option exists to continue on the circuit all the way up to and over Thorong La pass, or of heading towards Mesokanto La as an alternative. Otherwise the trek concludes by hiking back down the trail to Chame and the return drive to Pokhara or Kathmandu.
Nar Phu is undoubtedly one of the premier destinations in the Himalayas for those seeking a glimpse into a region of raw beauty and Tibetan culture that's a throwback to a distant past, one that even Tibet it self has long since forgotten about. Nepal Trekking Experts has the experience and the personnel to make it happen - just drop us a line and discuss the various options with our staff to explore this fascinating valley.
Ultimately you may also quick check our top packages of Annapurna region such as:-
Day 01: Welcome at airport and transfer to the hotel
Day 02: Free day for final trekking preparation
Day 03: Kathmandu to Jagat by drive (8 hrs, 1300m)
Day 04: Jagat to Dharapani (6 hrs, 1860m)
Day 05: Dharapani to Koto (5/6 hrs, 2600m)
Day 06: Koto to Meta (8 hrs, 3560m)
Day 07: Meta to Phu (8hrs, 4080m)
Day 08: Side trip to Himlung Base Camp (7hrs, 4920m) then back to Phu village for overnight.
Day 09: Phu to Nar Phedi where we can have unique experience of staying overnight in Monastery (6hrs, 3500m)
Day 10: Nar Phedi to Nar Village (2/3 hrs, 4200m)
Day 11: Nar to Kang La Pass 5320m then descend to Nagwal. (8 hrs, 3660m)
Day 12: Nagwal to Chame (7 hrs, 2670m)
Day 13: Drive back to Kathmandu/Pokhara by public vehicle (11 hrs)
Day 14: Farewell
Note:- Above itinerary is just a guideline. If you are not satisfied please feel free customize your own.
Welcome at airport then transfer to your Hotel.
Final trekking preparation then spend a day the way you prefer.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to a bus for the drive to Jagat, where we rest up for the night in preparation for the next day's trekking.
Another reasonable day of hiking through a diverse landscape of farmland, river crossings and numerous waterfalls. The pretty village of Tal (meaning lake) gives us time to pause before finishing up for the day at Dharapani, one of the region's key trekking hubs.
The morning sees the trail climbing steadily through forested slopes towards Timang, one of the trek's scenic outlooks with fine views of Manaslu, Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal. The day finishes at Koto, the gateway to Nar Phu where we check in with our permits at the local field office.
The real adventure begins as the trek leads into the restricted and rarely visited valley of Nar Phu, a semi-arid region very similar geographically to Manang yet one with its own highly unique and largely untouched culture.
The day's stunning landscapes and secluded nature of the trail are only superseded by the magic of coming upon the medieval walled village of Phu at day's end, a cubist painting come to life of block-like homes and structures ringed around the core hill.
A rest day at Phu gives us the opportunity to explore the heights and spectacular views on offer of Himlung Base Camp, with plenty of time left over in the afternoon to relax and wander the myriad laneways of Phu and bask in the genuine warmth, hospitality and traditional culture of the local people.
The trek to Nar Phedi offers further opportunities to take in the unique landscape of the valley, while the village provides a fascinating opportunity to stay overnight in the nearby monastery.
Nar is almost as impressive as Phu in both size and scope, with a picture perfect setting atop a hill that provides superb views of the Himalayas.
A day to savor, as well as a day to test one's resolve. The trail moves steadily away from Nar Village and climbs through the most remote area of the valley to Kang La and the streaming prayer flags that mark the apex of the trek. After pausing to celebrate the moment, take appropriate pictures, and admire the glorious views, we head over the pass to begin the steep descent to Ngawal, the village which marks our return to the standard route for the Annapurna Circuit.
A quick descent back down the Annapurna route brings us to Chame, the administrative center for the Manang region.
A local jeep takes us as far as Besisahar, after which we switch to local public transport for the journey to Kathmandu.
Join with different trip or farewell
My partner and I just completed the Nar Phu Valley trek with Nepal Trekking Experts and we can say without a doubt that they helped make our trip the amazing experience that it was. Our only regret is that we didn't do a longer trek haha! From the very beginning of communication, Rajesh made sure that we were taken care of before we even got to Nepal, coordinating everything with us so that we would set when we arrived and after the trek was over. He made us feel extremely welcomed and made sure that we felt prepared before the trek began. We cannot say enough about our guide, Mohan and our porter, Gautam. They were absolutely phenomenal. The trek was not an easy one with long days and steep climbs but these guys took such good care of us and made every hiking day so much fun that we could forget about the difficulty. You spend a lot of time with your guide and porter on treks like this that are so remote so its important that you can have a good and fun time with them - and we definitely did! Aside from how much fun they were - Mohan was extremely professional and it was extremely obvious that he knew what he was doing. Also when my boyfriend started showing signs of altitude sickness, Mohan took care of the situation so that everyone would be safe, happy and set up for success in the days to follow - which we were! When we come back to Nepal one day we are definitely asking for Mohan and Gautam again :P The hike itself is mind blowing. Its remote, untouched and authentic. You also go through so many different types of landscapes - every day is different. We would recommend this trek for anyone looking for a real adventure. And we would recommend Nepal Trekking Experts to anyone that wants to do it. We can't thank them enough for the incredible experience they helped us have!