Tilicho Lake trek via Thorong La pass

"The best dreams happen when you're awake."

Photo credits:
Active Steve, Nick Watts, Greg Wills, Jeanne Menjoulet and Cie

your private Tilicho trekking

Annapurna region

18-19 days

medium/hard

5416 meter

guide & porter

hotel & mountain lodge

about Tilicho Lake

Tilicho Lake (5200m) collects the glacial melt of the entire northern slopes of Annapurna and the Thorong Peak. It is even claimed to be the highest lake in the world! Also the lake is believed to be a holy lake.

about the route

The trek starts in Besi Sahar from where we follow the Marshyangdi River uphill. Along the way we have great views of Manaslu and Himal Chuli to the east. This magnificent trek leads you via fine villages habited by a wide diversity of people from different ethnic groups. Furthermore it has spectacular and majestic views of the white Himalayas.

This route is basically the same as our Annapurna Circuit trek. However from Manang we take the valley north to Tanki Manang and Yak Kharka to the main valley to the west passes through the Khanshar Village, also called The Last Village of Nepal. Then we trek up to Tilicho lake, to Yak Kharka and up to world's highest pass Thorong La pass with an elevation of 5416m. From the pass of the Thorong La the treks leads us down again to the holy pilgrimage town Muktinath. On the last day we trek via a mountain desert in Mustang to Jomsom from where a 35-minute scenic flight takes us back to Pokhara.

alternative trekking routes

You could also consider our Annapurna round trek in which you actually trek around the Annapurna's. You get to see the Annapurna range from different sides; from the east, to the north, to the west and then the south. We can take you on this entire round trek in about 18 days.

altitude

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itenerary

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day 01 | Pre-trip meeting.

day 02 | Drive to Besi Sahar (760m) by public bus - 7/8 hrs.

day 03 | Trek to Bahundanda (1310m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 04 | Trek to Chamje (1400m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 05 | Trek to Bagarchhap (2160m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 06 | Trek to Chame (2630m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 07 | Trek to Upper Pisang (3300m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 08 | Trek to Manang (3540m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 09 | Acclimatization and rest day at Manang.

day 10 | Trek to Khangsar village (3700m) - 4/5 hrs.

day 11 | Trek to Tilicho Basecamp (4200m) - 5/6 hrs.

day 12 | Trek to Tilicho Lake (5200m) and back down to Tilicho Basecamp (4200m) - 6/7 hrs.

day 13 | Trek to Yak Kharka (4000m) - 5/6 hrs. 

day 14 | Trek to Thorong Phedi (4450m) - 5/6 hrs. 

day 15 | Cross Thorong La pass (5416m) and trek to Muktinath (3800m) - 8/9 hrs.

day 16 | Trek to Jomsom (2720m) - 5/6 hrs. 

day 17 | Morning flight to Pokhara.

day 18 | Drive back to Kathmandu and farewell dinner.

day 19 | Transfer to the international airport.

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day 01 | Pre-trip meeting.
By Mountain People welcomes you at your hotel for a pre-trip meeting. We introduce you to your guide (and porters) and talk about the trekking route. If you have any questions or requests, we would like to hear them from you.

Note: Please make sure you bring your passport to the meeting along with three copies, two photos and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. We also request you to clear the due balance if any, and sign the legally binding trip form as well as the non-liability disclaimer.

overnight at a hotel

day 02 | Drive to Besi Sahar - 7 hrs.
Our trekking staff arrives at your hotel at 7am in the morning to pick you up. After a 7/8 hour drive we reach Besi Sahar (760m) where we spend the night.

overnight at a guesthouse

day 03 | Trek to Bahundanda - 5 hrs.
Today our journey really begins! We start walking from Besi Sahar where the trail makes a climb to Khudi (790m), the first Gurung village. Interesting to know is that many of the famous Nepalese Gurkha soldiers are Gurungs. When we continue from Khudi, the trail offers fine views of Himalchuli and Peak 29 (Ngadi Chuli). We climb to Bhulbhule (825m) and then via Ngadi to Lampata nearby Bahundanda (1310m).

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 04 | Trek to Chamje - 5 hrs.
Today we begin the day by following a steep trail down to Syange (1070m). On the way, depending on the season, you can see a large waterfall. After crossing the Marsyangdi river via a suspension bridge, we walk along the river to the stone village of Jagat before we climb through the forest to Chyamje (1400m).

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 05 | Trek to Bagarchhap - 5 hrs.
Now the day begins with a rocky trail uphill along the Marsyandi river all the way to Tal (1675m). This village in a wide, flat valley is the first in the district of Manang. From here our trek continues up and down to Dharapani (1890m). When we approach Bagarchhap (2160m) we can see the typical Tibetan flat roofed stone houses surrounded by apple orchards and maize fields.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 06 | Trek to Chame - 5 hrs.
Up to Tyanja (2360m) we climb, from there we continue through the forest near the river to Kopar (2590m). As we reach Chame, the headquarters of the Manang district, we are rewarded by fine views of Annapurna II. This town has two hot springs where you can soak and relax yourselves from the trekking so far. Along this route you’re introduced to a local community of which the residents migrated from Tibet centuries ago.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 07 | Trek to Upper Pisang - 5 hrs.
This day starts with a trek through a deep forest in a steep and narrow valley and crossing a river via a long bridge (2910m). Soon we cross another bridge (3040m) from there the view of the soaring Paungda Danda's rock face really begins to appear. From there the trail joins to climb to Pisang, which sprawls between (3200m) and (3300m).

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 08 | Trek to Manang - 5 hrs.
Today we continue our trek through the drier upper part of Manang district, cut off from the full effect of the monsoon by the Annapurna Range. People of this region herd yaks and raise crops for a part of the year. When we leave Pisang there are alternate trails from the north and the south of the Marsyangdi river which meets up again at Mungji. The southern route by Hongde, with its airstrip (3325m), involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru, though there are better views on the trail that follows the northern bank of the river. From Mungji, the trail continues past the picturesque but partially hidden village of Bryanga (3475m) to the nearby Manang (3540m).

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 09 | Acclimatization day in and around Manang.
Today is time to relax by spending an acclimatization day in Manang. This whole day we can spend doing fine day walks and viewing the magnificent sights around the village. By the end of the day, we return to our accommodation for a good meal and sleep.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 10 | Trek to Khangsar Village - 4 hrs.
After acclimatizing at Manang we continue our adventure towards Tilicho Lake! The lake is situated on the west end of Manang following the path down to the river. After crossing Khangsar Khola we reach Khangsar and head towards the village region. This area is still very traditionally Tibetan and known as the Last Village of Nepal.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 11 | Trekking to Tilicho Basecamp - 5 hrs.
Today we trek via a large path and pass a Gompa, a Buddhist monastery. The route ahead follows a quite new path up towards a high ridge and meets an intersection. One path maintains the altitude, traversing the slopes towards a place where the valley is narrow. The other continues to ascend towards the line of the ridge. The original path is very old, and is much more difficult as it goes on really steep screed. The second path is the new one that goes a completely different way. We follow the new path, where we reach a high crest and descend on switch backs carved out through the screed slopes to a side valley of the main valley. At its bottom is a brook which we cross to the building on the other side that is known as Tilicho Basecamp (4200m).

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 12 | Trek to Tilicho Lake and back to Tilicho Basecamp - 6 hrs.
Today we go to Tilicho Lake! The day begins very early in the morning at around 6am as we try to avoid the wind. From Basecamp to Tilicho lake takes another 3 to 4 hours. Tilicho Lake, claimed as highest lake of the world, is a cold barren place in the afternoon. After spending some time around Tilicho Lake we return the same way back to Basecamp as there are no any accommodation facilities at Tilicho Lake (5200m).

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 13 | Trek to Yak Kharka - 5 hrs.
Today we continue and ascend by nearly 500 meter to Yak Kharka. We climb steadily through Tenki Manang, leaving the Marsyangi Valley. From there we continue through the Jarsang Khola Valley and reach Yak Kharka (4000m). From here you see that herds of yaks and vegetations clearly thin out.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 14 | Trek to Thorong Phedi - 5 hrs.
Today we ascend for two hours and then descends again to cross the river (4310m). Then we climb up to Thorong Phedi (4450m) where decent guesthouses have been built in the recent years.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 15 | Cross Thorong La pass and trek to Muktinath - 8/9 hrs.
Today we cross world’s highest pass! This is a long day, starting before sunrise at 4 or 5am to cross the pass by 9 or 10am before the strong wind comes up. These weather conditions may greatly affect our journey, particularly at Thorong La pass (5416m). Steeply we climb on a regular route which is quite easy to follow. However, difficulties may arise due to altitude and snow. About four hours climb up to the pass, marked by chortens and prayer flags reward you with stunning views from the top of the pass. Then another 4 to 5 hours of walking takes you to the holy town of Muktinath.

Muktinath means ‘place of Nirvana’ and is home to the Muktinath temple as well as several monasteries. It is said that all sorrows you feel are relieved when you visit the temple which is a scared pilgrimage site for both Hindus and Buddhists. The Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The prime pilgrimage month is September.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 16 | Trek to Jomsom - 5 hrs.
Today we trek down to Kagbeni and then follow the Kali Gandaki river to Jomsom (2720m). Jomsom is a large town with many facilities, it is also headquarter and official town for whole Mustang district where all the district government offices are present.

overnight at a mountain lodge

day 17 | Morning flight to Pokhara.
Today we wake up early for the 30-minute morning flight that takes us to Pokhara. From Pokhara airport we drive to the hotel.

overnight at a hotel

day 18 | Drive back to Kathmandu and farewell dinner.
Today we take the bus back to Kathmandu. In the evening you, your guide(s) and porter(s) enjoy a good farewell dinner in a traditional Nepalese restaurant with cultural performances.

overnight at a hotel

day 19 | Transfer to the international airport.
Today your trip has finished. We pick you up at your hotel and drop you at the international airport in Kathmandu for your flight.

Note: Not ready to go home yet?! You could also extend your adventures with for instance a jungle tour in Chitwan, rafting, paragliding, Everest mountainflight, or more.

Contact us for more information.

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cost includes

  • airport transfer and drop off
  • trekking permit
  • flight ticket JMO-PKR
  • experienced, English speaking guide(including his/her food, salary, accommodation, equipment, medicine & insurance)
  • porter per two persons(including his/her food, salary, accommodation, equipment, medicine & insurance)
  • government taxes, VAT and tourist service charges
  • accommodation during your trekking
  • breakfast, lunch and dinner during your trekking
  • accommodation in Kathmandu & Pokhara ( as per the itinerary.
  • bus tickets

cost does not include

  • Nepal entry visa
  • Nepal airport and airfare departure tax
  • travel health insurance
  • meals in Kathmandu & Pokhara
  • alcohol, hot and cold drinks
  • trekking equipment
  • tips for trekking staff and drivers
  • all other expenses that are not mentioned below 'cost includes'

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Post Author
Lilly
On my very first day in Nepal, back in 2013, I met Govinda and we've been best (!) friends ever since. Govinda and I have been on quite some treks in Nepal together and traveled in Sir Lanka and Europe as well. And now we also work together with by Mountain People. Back in the Netherlands I take care of the website and I am always planning a next stay in Nepal. But hey ... what are you up to? :)