Tilicho lake trek is named after one of the highest oligotrophic lakes namely Tilicho, located in the high Himalayas of Annapurna region. Tilicho lake is the final destination of this trek and is located at an Elevation of 4,919m. Falling in the Annapurna sanctuary this Lake is protected as well as preserved to its natural state. Tilicho lake trek is one of the most demanded side treks in the Annapurna region. This is as well one of the off the beaten trekking trails that is unfrequented by the trekkers.
Tilicho Lake collects melts from glacier and surrounding peaks and is also a crucial pilgrimage. The lake has been mentioned in the Hindu epic of Ramayana as well. Tilicho lake trek requires many days of walking on the trails, which makes it difficult for devotees as well as trekker to easily access the location. Hence it is unfrequented by travellers and is usually tranquil!
The dry and arid land of Manang with jaw dropping views of snow clad peaks makes Tilicho lake trek very attractive. This trek is a notch more demanding than the others in the region and slightly expensive compared due to lack of logistics. .
Arrival in Kathmandu
You could be already in Kathmandu or you may be arriving on this very day and whatever it is we welcome you to Nepal! Thank you for choosing Tilicho lake trek with budget trekking. On this first day we transfer you to your hotel/hostel. You will not do much except observing the ambiance around you and get acquainted with the country. Meal Plan N/A
Trek preparation and shopping
This is an important day because today is the day when you will meet with your guide. The guide or one of our team members will brief you about the trek about more or less everything you need to know. After briefing we would thoroughly go through the trekking gear that we have. Furthermore, if there is anything that is not according to the trekking standard we will do last minute shopping of the trekking gears. On the other hand one of our backend office staff will get busy preparing required permits and logistics. Meal plan – N/A
Kathmandu to Besisahar
We would board a bus as early as 7 am in the morning to Besisahar. The bus ride could take anywhere from 6 – 8 hours depending on the road and traffic conditions. The idea is to start early to get in Besisahar early and get adequate rest for the next day. Overnight in Besisahar. Meal plan – B, D
Besisahar to Bhulbhule
It is the first day of trek on foot and it takes around 3 and half hours of relaxed walk to the final destination for the day. We gain 50 meters of height on this day without breaking our back. On the very first day while approaching Bhulbhule from Khudi you will get beautiful views of Himalchuli (to the northeast) and Ngadi Chuli. Overnight in Bhulbhule. Meal Plan – B, L, D
Bhulbhule to Ghermu
We head out of Bhulbhule after breakfast and early. This day might be a little difficult as we are on primitive stage of our trek and today is the first 5+ hours of trek. We gain 480 meters in elevation and lose 180 meters at a total time of 5-7 hours. Immediately after Bhulbhule we cross the Marshyangdi river and walk towards Ngadi. Further down the trail we cross Bahun danda which means the hills of Brahmins and steeply descend to the village of Kani gaon and Ghermu. Overnight in Ghermu. Meal plan B, L, D
Ghermu to Tal
Immediately out of Ghermu we descend to Syange and cross Marshyangdi river over a suspension bridge. We furthermore climb steeply on the barren cliff until we reach Jagat, a very happening town at time of silk route trade. We descend from Jagat before we climb the forest that leads to Chamje. Once again we cross Marshyangdi on a suspension bridge and gradually ascend towards Tal. We cover 640 meters in ascent and 80 meters in descend in 5-7 hours of time. Overnight in Tal. Meal plan B, L, D.
Tal to Chame
This is one of the longest days on the trail and walking from Tal to Chame may take anywhere from 8-9 hours. We will once again on this day cross Marshyangdi river for several times and cross some beautiful villages. Villages in between Than Chowk to Koto are worth observing as they are in the most pristine and ancient condition. On this very day the trail separates from mainstream Annapurna circuit, Tilicho lake and Nar phu valley. The mountains as well as the forest of pine and fir while approaching Chame will sweep you off your feet. Overnight in Chame. Meal plan B,L,D.
Chame to Upper Pisang
The trail after Chame becomes steep and through densely forested narrow valleys. Marshyangdi still makes its presence even beyond 3000 meters. We would stop in the famous stop area of Dhukur pokhari to catch lunch and breath. Look out for Paungda danda (hill) which is a proof of powerful glacial erosion. Once we reach Pisang we would hike towards the top of the hill which is known as upper pisang and separated by a stream with lower Pisang. The accommodation is very simple but the view is world class. Overnight in Upper Pisang. Meal plan B, L, D.
Upper Pisang to Manang
From Pisang and beyond you will notice that the land is more arid because of it falling in the rain shadows of Annapurna region. From pisang there are two ways out and that is either via Hongde or via Ngwal. Depending on the situation and willingness of members in team to walk the route is usually decided then and there. Hongde has lesser climbing to do and houses a small and beautiful airstrip village, whereas Ngwal has a lot of climbing to do but offers spectacular views and better acclimatization. Watch out for the monastery of of Bragha in Mungji. In around 7 – 8 hours of walk we cover 540 meters in ascent and 310 meters in descent. Overnight in Manang. Meal plan B, L, D.
Acclimatization in Manang
Since we would cross 3500 mark and would climb further in days to come, it is very important to acclimatize and adapt to higher altitude. There are beautiful short and long day trips from Manang. One of the easier side trips is to Chongar viewpoint which takes 40 minutes. Another popular half day excursion is Praken Gompa which takes around 2 hours uphill. You will as well be blessed by the lama in the monastery at a cost of Rs. 100 as donation. On the other hand, a full day 8-9 hours trip would take you to Milarepa cave, which is usually excluded because of unnecessary fatigue as a result. End of the day we descend down to Manang and spend another night in here. Meal plan B, L, D.
Manang to Khangsar
The trail to Tilicho lake and Annapurna circuit separates from this point onwards. The trail descends from Manang and goes past rustic suspension bridge all the way to the confluence of Jharsang khola and Marshyangdi river. We cross the Jharsang and start climbing on steep ridge past an old and destroyed fort. Further down, we walk past through beautiful forest of blue pine and the wheat field all the way to Khangsar. Today in about 3 hours time we will ascent about 300 meters. Overnight in Khangsar. Meal plan B, L, D.
Khangsar to Tilicho base camp
This is the most difficult section of Tilicho lake trek as it requires you walking uphill on an open slope of a ridge which is a landslide prone area. The landmark is arid and bland but the views of Tilicho peak and the surrounding mountains is breathtaking. Keep your eyes open for monkless Thare Gompa and blue sheep. We ascent 570 meters and descend 190m in around 5 – 7 hours. Overnight in Tilicho base camp. Meal plan B, L, D.
Tilicho base camp to Tilicho Lake to Tilicho base camp
Immediately after heading out from Tilicho base camp we climb on steep trail for long. There are no settlements in between so we will pack lunch and you can pack dry fruits if you have them. The view on the other hand is very stunning but keep your eyes on the trail at all time as the trail is tricky. It takes around 6-8 hours to reach Tilicho Tal where we stay fine time before we head back to the base camp. Overnight in Tilicho base camp. Meal plan B, L, D.
Tilicho base camp to Letdar
Since trekking on the scree slopes of Annapurna on tired legs is not recommended hence we take the same path back all the way to Khangsar. The trek is more or less downhill and we would reach our final destination. We would not return back to Manang but take an alternative route to Letdar. The entire day’s trek would take around 5-7 hours. We descend around 600 meters and ascend around the same. Overnight in Letdar. Meal plan B, L, D.
Letdar to Thorung Phedi
It is a short 2-3 hours walk to Thorung phedi today. We climb around 240 meters. Immediately after leaving Letdar the trail continues to climb from the east of Jarsang khola. After few short ascent and descent past prayer flags and tea houses we follow narrow trail across an exposed slope and climb all the way to Thorung phedi. Overnight at Thorung Phedi. Meal plan B, L, D.
Thorung Phedi to Muktinath
This is one of the longest days of Tilicho lake trek. We rise and shine early and trek for about 9 – 10 hours and cover 1040m in ascent and 1620m in descent. We on this very day cross from Manang district to Mustang over one of the highest man walkable passes in the world and that is Thorung la 5416. The view of the extended Annapurna range from the top is worth every bit of hard work put in the trek. After spending sometime on the top and praising each other for our accomplishment we head to the holy shrine of Muktinath. Overnight in Muktinath. Meal plan B, L, D.
Muktinath to Jomsom
The trail from Muktinath gets easy but still is dry and arid. We descend around 800 meters to the beautiful oasis of Kagbeni. Since it is not a good idea to be walking against gust of wind around noon in Mustang. After lunch and rest we move towards Jomsom walking on the bank of Kali Gandaki. We would call it a night in Mustang and watch Nilgiri at its elegance right across the town. Overnight in Jomsom. Meal B,L,D
Jomsom to Pokhara
We would board bus from this point onwards as walking is on the same off road track. The bus ride is completely a new experience and would be on off road track for 80 kilometers. We would ride by Kali Gandaki until Beni and from there on a black topped road until Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara. B, L
Pokhara to Kathmandu
Another day on bus and we board ours as early as 7 in the morning. We start the journey of 200 kilometers on a tourist bus and it takes roughly around 7 hours. Once we arrive in Kathmandu we transfer you to your hotel/hostel our Tilicho lake trek comes to end.