The trek through the Nar & Phu valleys combines high peaks and passes, glaciers, remote villages, narrow canyons, lovely forests, amazing rock formations, yaks, gompas and unique ethnically Tibetan cultures. Closed to trekkers until late 2002, very few outsiders have explored these virtually untouched villages or climbed the many 7000 meter peaks surrounding them.
Starting at Besisahar — the traditional starting point of the Annapurna Circuit — the trek quickly diverges from routes with more foot-traffic and into the remote Nar & Phu valleys. Passing colorful Tibetan chortens and prayer stones into deep canyons and gorges, you will get the chance to hang out with villagers in Phu while they go about their daily activities, as well as spend a night in the Nar Phedi monastery. These are ideal ways to learn about life deep in the mountains of Nepal. There is also the option to hike up to Himlung Himal Base Camp if you’re feeling up to it.
The last couple of days of the trek take you over the high Kang La Pass, and then down again to Ngawal, a popular stop on the main Annapurna Circuit route, thus giving you a chance to enjoy some ‘home comforts’ again. The surroundings become greener and more fertile on the last stretch, before returning by vehicle to Besisahar.
This is a challenging trek due to the long days and steep ascents in altitude. Because of limited accommodation options on the way, there is little flexibility in the distances that must be covered each day, hence the long days of walking. The gains in altitude each day are quite steep, and it is always unpredictable how one’s body will react to altitude.
This trek is possible in the monsoon (June-August) as well as the two peak tourist seasons (March-May and September-November). The trek is still enjoyable in the monsoon, although the road access in the mountains to and from Besisahar could be disrupted by mud and landslides. In the winter (December-February) the high pass could be impassable with snow.