Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek

Overview

  • Duration13 Days
  • Trip GradeModerate 
  • Arrival CityKathmandu
  • ActivityTour, Hiking, Discovery
  • Group Size8 People Maximum
  • Max Altitude5416m.

About Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake Trek

Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake Trek is one of the most popular and classic trekking routes in the Annapurna region. The Annapurna Circuit was opened to the foreigners in 1977 since then it is among the most popular hiking destinations in Nepal.

The Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake trek offers an extraordinary panoramic view of Annapurna (8097m), Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Manaslu, Machhapuchhre and Tukuche along with many other magnificent peaks in the background. The trek is extremely beautiful, with its numerous orchid forests surrounding the trail, and the rhododendrons covering the entire hills in their typical red hue in the spring.

Likewise, Tilicho Lake recognized as the highest lake in the world, is located at an eye-catching point in the Annapurna region at an altitude of 4919m. While hiking to the scenic Manang Valley, the Thorong Peak and Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Nilgiri and Himchuli can also be witnessed.

The unique combination of nature and culture is what makes the Annapurna Circuit via the Tilicho Lake trek one of the best hiking routes in Nepal.

Best Time to Trek the Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake 

Generally, Spring and Autumns are the best time to trek the Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake, but It’s possible to trek all year round. 

Autumn (September to November) brings clear skies, and the insects and dust have been washed away by the rains. Spring (March to May) has warmer, longer days, with the rhododendrons blooming in massive, but lower altitudes can be hazy in May. You can also trek in the winter.

The Thorong La pass is sometimes blocking by snow, leading to delays or requiring a detour, but the months of November and December are delightfully calm. However, dress warm; temperatures are crispy during the day and below freezing at night.

Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake: Route & Trail Conditions 

Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake Trek begins as the Annapurna Circuit Trek from Besisahar, following the Marshyangdi River and offering spectacular views of Manaslu and Himal Chuli to the east.

This stunning Annapurna Circuit via Tilicho Lake Trek takes you to a lovely village inhabited by a wide variety of people from different ethnic groups, with spectacular and magical views of the white Himalayas.

We have personalized this route, as it is generally same as Annapurna Circuit but from Manang, instead of taking the valley north to Manang and Yak Kharka, this trail goes to the main valley to the west and passes via the Khanshar Village and trek up to Tilicho Lake.

We trek to Yak Kharka and then up to the Thorong La pass at an elevation of 5416 meters. Treks descend from the Thorong – La pass to Muktinath and then to Jomsom, from where a 20 minutes scenic flight or about 5 hours' drive by jeep/bus take you to Pokhara.

Highlights

  • Stroll Ngawal for stunning views of Annapurna II and Annapurna Range.
  • Embark on many hikes through Manang, and tour its many bakeries
  • Discover the incredible views of Tilicho Lake, one of the highest in the world.

Itinerary

  1. Day 1Arrive in Kathmandu

    Welcome to the Himalayas! You will arrive in Kathmandu. We will meet and greet and take you to your hotel.

    Today is free and rest day in Kathmandu, or you can wander around the city to get familiar with the surrounding. There are varieties of shops and fun places where you can hang out and enjoy the time.

    • Accommodation:Optional
    • Meals:No
    • Maximum Altitude:1400m.
    • Time:Rest day
  2. We wake up early, our driving adventure starts in the morning from Kathmandu to Besisahar by local minivan then by jeep to Pisang.

    You will drive through the scenic foothills and ridge-line views of the Trishul River. From Munglin, follow the Pokhara Highway to Durme, then turn north to Besisahar along the Marshyangdi River, enjoying the mountains views, the terraces and the green hills. 

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:2710m.
    • Time:8 - 9 hours
  3. Today, the route generally parallels the main trail to the north but on the other side of the valley between Pisang and Manang. We continue through the drier upper part of Manang, cut off from the full effect of the monsoon by the Annapurna range.

    People of this area herd the yaks and raise crops for a part of the year. Leaving Pisang, we have routes to the north and south of the Marshyangdi River, which meets again at Mungji.

    The highlights of this side trip are getting away from the crowds, a chance to see more traditional Nepalese life in the small villages and great views.

    We come across a beautiful village clinging to the side of a cliff where the houses appear to be stacked on top of each other. Bragha village is dominated by the region's oldest monastery, which is more than 500 years old. The rest of the day can be spent walking around the village after reaching Manang and visiting the monastery and enjoying the view from the lodge and acclimatizing.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3500m.
    • Time:5 - 6 hours
  4. We spend a day acclimatizing in Manang. It is recommended to stay active and take a short walk to higher altitude to get acclimatized. We spend the entire day doing some fine day walks and seeing the wonderful sights around the village.

    The next two days will be a very demanding and tiring trek for us with a fast gain in altitude. We should never be too confident at altitude, and we should be very watchful. Bodzo Gompa or Gangapurna Lake is worth a visit from the acclimatization point of view.

    Manang village houses Himalayan Rescue Association. During the trekking seasons, volunteer Western doctors work here to educate trekkers and researchers.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3500m.
    • Time:Acclimatization
  5. Today's trek takes you on a relatively easy way through pine forests to the Tibetan village of Khangsar.

    Today, the mountains that accompany you are mainly Gungang Himal and Mt Chulu. A short walk on and you will reach Siri Kharka. ⠀

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4060m.
    • Time:4 - 5 hours
  6. From Tilicho Base Camp, the view of Tilicho Peak and the other mountains are absolutely incredible! Today the trail leads you through areas prone to landslides, so extra care needs to be taken. 

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4150m.
    • Time:5 hours
  7. Visit Tilicho Lake (4,920m) then back to Siri Kharka 5 - 6 hrs.

    Get up early this morning to avoid the wind in the afternoon. The first part of the trail is a steady climb up to Lake Tilicho. This icy cold lake glimmering in the sun lies below the North Face of Tilicho Peak. Relax and enjoy a picnic lunch around the lake before heading to Siri Kharka.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4920m.
    • Time:5 - 6 hours
  8. Today the walk passed through the old Khangsar village, which is now empty of inhabitants. Also pass Buddhist Tare Monastery, which is said to be 1000 years old. Descending in the Thorong Khola Valley, cross the river then trek to a plateau. The Annapurna range is stunning against the blue sky on the way.

    Blue is also the color of the sheep you can see. Well, they're called Blue Sheep, although perhaps they are not really blue in color!

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4200m.
    • Time:5 - 6 hours
  9. Today is a gentle hike enjoying the stunning views as we ascend to Throng Phedi. After about an hour of walking, we arrive to cross the bridge at Ledar and a great view of the Chulu Mountains. We can witness herds of Himalayan blue sheeps grazing in the slopes and we may also see herds of yaks too.

    The trail climbs steadily through Ledar, then descends to cross the Jarsang Khola. After a steep climb and a scree slope, we arrive at Thorong Phedi, a small, busy settlement catering to the needs of tired hikers and climbers.

    There will be an acclimatizing walk in the afternoon up the trail to the high camp; adhering to one of the golden rules of "climb high and sleep low" altitude. Sometimes, depending on the weather, we may walk up to the Thorong High Camp to make the next day easier

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:4600m.
    • Time:4 - 5 hours
  10. Today is a long trek starting before sunrise at 4 am to reach the pass by 9-10am otherwise weather conditions (strong winds) will seriously affect the trek, especially at the Thorong La Pass (5,416m). We climb steeply on a regular route, which is easy to follow.

    However, due to altitude and snow, some problems may arise. It often causes terrible problems to cross the pass if it's covered by heavy snow. Approximately four hours of climbing up to the pass marked by the chortens and the prayer flags will reward you with magical views from the top of the pass.

    The view that awaits us is a fantastic 360-degree view. There are splendid views of Dhaulagiri (8167m), Tukuche (6920m) and Nilgiri North (7069m) as we approach Muktinath.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:3800m
    • Time:7 - 9 hours
  11. Today is the last day of our trek on these amazing mountains, we will go through the new route Lubra is the last Bon village (pre-Buddhist practice). The place is full of legend and history.

    Also, the scenery is gorgeous as we first pass the pasture to the ridge closer to the Dhaulagiri range.

    We will trek along Kali Gandaki River to reach Jomsom. Jomsom is a windy town. You can get fascinating memorable views of Tilicho Mountain and beautiful wet hills.

    • Accommodation:Lodge
    • Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:2600m.
    • Time:5 hours
  12. Today, we fly to Pokhara the lake city in the earliest possible. After checking-in at our hotel, we may take a rest or visit the Lakeside area in the vicinity of the Fewa Lake. Here, we can indulge in buying some souvenirs or sampling some local delicacies

    • Accommodation:Hotel
    • Meals:No
    • Maximum Altitude:895m.
    • Time:20 Minutes
  13. Today, we drive back to Kathmandu. It will take about 6 hours, overland journey by tourist coach. And the gentle light brings us on our way back to the bustle of Nepal’s capital.

    In the evening, we will have a farewell dinner in a typical Nepalese restaurant with culture show.

    • Accommodation:Optional
    • Meals:Dinner
    • Maximum Altitude:1400m.
    • Time:6 - 7 hours
  14. Today is rest and relax throughout the day or say goodbye to Nepal. Enjoy your final moments in Kathmandu with a city stroll or souvenir shopping.

    Our representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home.

    What's Included

    Included

    • Airport transfers pick-up and drop-off.
    • From Jomsom to Pokhara by flight.
    • From Pokhara to Kathmandu by local bus.
    • Annapurna Conservation Area permits.
    • Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS card) Permit.
    • From Kathmandu to Besisahar to Pisanag local bus or jeep van (upgrade to private Jeep/car – USD 230 total).
    • 1-nights hotel accommodation in Pokhara.
    • All meals (breakfasts, lunch, dinner) during the trek.
    • Best available lodge accommodations during the trek.
    • Staff insurance and necessary ground transport for support staffs.
    • Accommodation, wage, food and equipment for the guide.
    • English speaking Sherpa trek guide.
    • Magical Summits duffel bag.
    • Hiking pole for the trek, if needed.
    • Trek map.
    • Farewell dinner including a cultural show.

    Not Included

    • International airfares and Nepal visa.
    • Any personal medical or evacuation expenses incur.
    • International Travel insurance which included rescue.
    • Tips for the guide / porter (tipping is expected).
    • Any others expenses which are not mentioned on the ‘Price Includes’ section.

    Our published dates are guaranteed departures. If the dates don't match with your travel plans, we are more than happy to create your desired date.

    Useful Info

    Accommodation

    Accommodations are provided on the twin-sharing basis. If you are a solo traveler, a single supplement will be served. Accommodations during the trek in the Himalayas, you will be staying at basic mountain lodges where you'll have a nice and clean room with the warm blankets, pillows, and comfortable matrices (matrices may not be very thick size but they’re comfortable).

    Meals

    During the trek, we can enjoy authentic Nepalese food as well the more common international cuisine (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.). Breakfast and dinner will be served from a lodge menu where we spend the night whereas lunch will be served on the way to the next destination. All meals will be provided during trekking, there will also be farewell dinner.

    Best Time to Visit

    The best time to visit Himalayas is between September to December and March to May, when the skies are a clear blue and the views spectacular. The weather remains dry until about May, with temperatures varying between regions.

    Nepal is good for trekking throughout the year. Autumn and spring seasons are the most famous trekking seasons in the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. It has beautiful, cool, blue skies, clear weather conditions and amazing views of the white mountains and the countryside.

    During the spring season, this time of year offers a breathtaking view of the Rhododendron flowers and lush forests.

    FAQs

    1. How difficult is the Annapurna Circuit Trek?

    The Annapurna Circuit Trek is a moderate and one of the longest hiking routes in the region. So, it can be a little harder for a beginner to complete the journey without hiking experience and prior training.

    Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most exciting and adventurous trekking trips for any trekker. Passing through the highest point of the trekking route, Thorong La Pass is one of the highlights of this trek, at 5416meters above sea level.

    Yes, there are risks of getting altitude sickness, as you're heading to trek above 3000 m. It depends on the person, how he/she will react to altitude, regardless of their fitness and experience. Therefore, it is advised that you should know some information about altitude sickness and its symptoms beforehand. Before you leave for a trek, you can consult with doctors on high altitude sickness.

    For a comfortable experience, Autumn and Spring are the best time to do the Annapurna Circuit trek. The visibility is outstanding with clear blue skies. The temperature is warm, making it easy to walk in the daytime. The nights are chilly but not freezing.

    Similarly, Monsoon and Winter could be a good time for trekkers looking for solitude while trekking. The trails are less crowded. You'll get an authentic experience of local culture and lifestyle.

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