Nar Phu Valley Trek is a captivating and less-trodden trekking route located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the remote and culturally rich Nar and Phu valleys, which were once restricted and opened for tourists only in 2003. This off-the-beaten-path trek combines breathtaking landscapes, ancient villages, Tibetan-influenced culture, and stunning mountain views.
Here's some key information about the Nar Phu Valley Trek:
- Trekking Duration: The trek usually takes around 12 to 18 days, depending on the itinerary and side trips you might choose to include.
- Trekking Difficulty: It is considered a challenging trek and is suitable for experienced trekkers who are physically fit. The trail involves high mountain passes, steep ascents and descents, and long hours of walking in remote areas.
- Trekking Permits: As Nar Phu Valley lies in a restricted area, you'll need special permits to trek here. As of my last update in September 2021, you required both the Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) and the Manaslu Restricted Area Permit (MRAP). It's essential to check with the local authorities or a reputable trekking agency in Nepal for the most up-to-date permit requirements.
- Best Time to Trek: The best time for the Nar Phu Valley Trek is during the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) seasons. These months offer stable weather, clear skies, and excellent visibility of the surrounding mountains.
- Scenic Beauty: Spectacular views of snow-capped peaks like Himlung Himal, Annapurna II, Gangapurna, and Tilicho Peak, among others.
- Cultural Exploration: Visit traditional Tibetan villages, monasteries, and interact with the friendly locals who have preserved their ancient lifestyle and traditions.
- Nar Phu Valley: Explore the picturesque and isolated Nar Phu Valley, tucked away in the rugged mountains of Nepal.
- High Mountain Passes: Cross challenging high passes like Kang La Pass (5,322m) and Thorong La Pass (5,416m).
- Diverse Landscapes: Experience a wide range of landscapes, from lush green forests and barren landscapes to high-altitude plateaus.
- Natural Hot Springs: Relax in natural hot springs in Chame or other areas along the trek.
- Peaceful and Remote: Enjoy the tranquility of the less-frequented trail, away from the crowds of popular treks like the Annapurna Circuit.
It's essential to choose a well-designed itinerary that includes acclimatization days to adjust to the altitude and prevent altitude sickness. A typical itinerary will cover places like Kathmandu, Besisahar, Dharapani, Koto, Meta, Phu Gaon, Nar Gaon, Ngawal, and end at Jomsom or Kagbeni from where you can take a flight to Pokhara or back to Kathmandu.