How Difficult Is the Nar Phu Valley Trek

13 April, 2024 By Dambar Khadka


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How difficult is the Nar Phu Valley trek? This guide will help you understand the beauty and excitement of the Nar Phu Valley trek in Nepal. Get ready to experience breathtaking views of the Himalayan and rugged terrain.

Dive in and find out if you are up to the challenge. This blog will cover basic information about the difficulty, route, and preparation you need to make your trek successful and enjoyable.

Introduction to Nar Phu Valley Trek and Overview of the Trekking Route

Nar and Phu are two villages close to each other. The Nar Phu Valley trek is one of Nepal’s best trails for exploring Western Nepal’s beauty. Visitors were first allowed to undertake the trek in 2003. The trek lies between Manaslu and Annapurna, also known as the Lost Valley.

Nar Phu Vally Trekking

It is one of the country’s most untouched and beautiful regions and offers a taste of true Himalayan remoteness. The Khampas (Tibetan refugees) inhabit Nar Phu Valley. Unspoiled mountains surround the valley, displaying a mix of raw Himalayan nature and ancient Buddhist culture.

The trekking trail will take you across high passes, remote villages, glaciers, lush and dense forests, narrow canyons, and ancient monasteries. The place also offers a stunning view of Kangla and Thorang la high passes. You can also take a dip in the natural hot spring at Tatopani. The trek to Nar Phu is a dream come true adventure with breathtaking scenery.

Start the trek from Besisahar. This Annapurna Circuit trek leads through the Nar village. You’ll see colorful Tibetan chortens, prayer stones, deep canyons, and gorges along the way. You can hang out with villagers in Phu and spend a night in the Nar Phedi monastery, experiencing mountain life in Nepal. The Nar Phu Valley trek takes 10 to 16 days, depending on your chosen pace and route.

For the adventurous, hiking to the Himlung Himal Base Camp trek is one option. The Nar Phu trek ends with a climb over Kang La Pass and down to Ngawal, where you can enjoy familiar comforts. The scenery becomes best as you return to Besisahar by vehicle.

Understanding How Difficult Is the Nar Phu Valley Trek

The Nar Phu Valley trek can be quite demanding, and the level of challenge varies from individual to individual.

How Difficult Is the Nar Phu Valley Trek

Additionally, several factors influence the level of difficulty of Nar Phu Trek. Some of these factors include:

Terrain and Altitude Challenges

The trek presents various terrain and altitude challenges. It involves rugged terrain with steep ups and downs, rocky paths, and narrow trails along deep canyons and gorges. The altitude gradually increases as you progress, with some sections reaching over 4,000 meters. 

Altitude sickness is a major concern, especially if you pass through Kang La Pass, which is around 5,300 meters high. You may experience headaches, nausea, and fatigue when you reach high altitude. Just prepare yourself and take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.

Weather and Seasonal Variations

Choosing the best time to do the Nar Phu trek is crucial for your safety and enjoyment. The best times to go to Nar Phu are Autumn and Spring when the weather is clear and temperatures are comfortable. Trekking during Late December, January, and February can be risky due to heavy snowfall, making the trail challenging and dangerous.

Winter brings freezing temperatures to -10°C, and snow covers the trail, making it slippery and hard to navigate. Carrying a walking stick and using plastic crampons can help with icy sections. Heavy rainfall during the monsoon increases the risk of rockfalls. The Nar Phu Valley trek is difficult, but picking the right season for Nar Phu Valley ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience. However, there is no restriction, and you can trek throughout the year.

Length and Duration

The Nar Phu Valley trek in the Manang District of Nepal involves crossing the Kang La pass on a narrow path that offers moderate routes covering 12–15 kilometers daily and occasionally up to 20 kilometers. The walk lasts about six to seven hours every day, but some days it takes longer.

It’s best to train beforehand because of the terrain, including hard up-and-down hills. Some trekking areas are higher and more rugged than others, and the walking distance varies from five to seven hours daily. The hike lasts three to four days, with an acclimatization day included. The highest point reached is about 5,500 meters.

Trek Preparation

This valley trek is challenging but rewarding in the Annapurna region of Nepal and requires a lot of research. Read the guidebooks and articles to learn about the route, terrain, and challenges. Here are some other major considerations for your Nar Phu Trek:

Physical fitness

If you plan to trek to the villages of Nar Phu, ensure you are physically healthy. You will walk for 6 to 7 hours a day straight up and down the road, so you need good stamina and endurance. Train for at least 2-3 months before your trek. You can do cardio exercises like hiking, running, or cycling.

Trekking Gear

Always choose a comfortable 40-50 liter waterproof backpack. Pack a layer of clothing to adjust to the changing temperature. Carry thermals, fleece jackets, and raincoats. Wear a boot with good ankle support, and never forget to carry a day bag with a first-aid kit, headlamp, water bottle, snacks, and other essentials.

Trek Permits

To trek in the Nar Phu Valley, you will need a special Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (restricted area permit). You can get the permit from the AOAP office in Kathmandu or Besisahar. Depending on the route, you may also require another permit.

Acclimatization Day in Phu

Being at a high altitude may increase your chance of altitude sickness. To avoid this, it is important to acclimatize properly. Ascent slowly and take frequent breaks to allow your body to adjust to the thinner air. Also, drink plenty of water.

Additional Consideration

As a traveler, you can learn some basic Nepali phrases to communicate with the locals. If you are not planning to trek independently, book your trip with us and hire a guide. We are one of the reputable government-registered trekking companies offering various trek packages.

Technical Difficulty and Trekking Experience

Nar and Phu Village are moderate to challenging treks regarding technical difficulty. The trail involves some uneven terrain with loose rocks and gravel slopes. Moving forward, you may also encounter some sections with steeper climbs or descents requiring good balance. However, you do not require technical climbing equipment like ropes or crampons.

Previous trekking experience adds some level of ease. Proper preparation and training enhance the ability to complete the Nar Phu Village trekking. Also, being comfortable with higher altitudes is crucial due to the potential for altitude sickness. Additionally, familiarity with basic skills such as trekking poles and navigating maps benefits a smoother trekking experience.

Factor Affecting Difficulty Rating

Both personal factors and the choice between group or solo trekking can impact the difficulty rating. They also impact the trekking experience in challenging terrain like Nar Phu Valley. Here’s how these factors affect:

Personal Factors

The most important factor affecting the difficulty of a trek is physical fitness. If you are in good physical condition, you will probably find most treks easier than someone who is not. Also, having experience trekking in similar conditions can make a big difference. If you are porn to altitude sickness, this can make your trek more difficult. Also, trekking requires some level of mental toughness. Those not prepared for the challenges can have negative attitudes to it.

Group vs. Solo Trekking

Trekking in a group is generally considered safer than trekking solo as you will have the help of your fellow friends. Navigating a trek with a group can be easier than hiking solo towards the destination. Also, you will have some motivation and emotional support to make a trek easier. Traveling in a group positively impacts the difficulty level compared to solo travel. However, the Nar Phu Valley trek solo offers advantages, such as setting your own pace and changing your plan according to your mood.

Tips for Overcoming Challenges

Here are some of the tips for overcoming the challenges of trekking to Nar Phu Valley:

  • As mentioned earlier, prioritize a training regime that includes cardio exercise at least 2 months before your trek.
  • Always ascend slowly, allowing your body to adjust to the thinning air.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Aim for 3 to 4 liters a day.
  • Always maintain a positive attitude, as you will face some challenging moments during your journey.
  • Be aware of altitude sickness symptoms and take Diamox as a preventive measure.
  • Carry a day bay with a first-aid kit, snacks, raincoats, and water.
  • Wear a waterproof jacket and a water-resistant backpack to protect your essentials, as the mountain weather is unpredictable.
  • Ensure you have all the permits like ACAP and other potential depending on your route.

Conclusion

While not requiring technical skills, the Nar Phu Valley trek presents a rewarding challenge for trekkers. You must have a cheerful mindset, good speed, and acclimatization to overcome the trail’s high altitude, rough terrain, and steeper sections.

The place offers a mesmerizing view. From the remote villages of Nar, you can see stunning Annapurna Giants, including Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. The Nar Phu Valley Trek also helps to reveal a hidden valley rich in Tibetan culture. Overall, the Nar Phu Valley offers a one-of-a-kind experience and breathtaking views of the mountains.

We hope you will find our little list helpful. If you want to hike or trek in Nepal, Boundless Adventures is here to help. For booking or any inquiries, you can contact us anytime!

Dambar Khadka

Dambar Khadka, a passionate adventurer and the founder of Boundless Adventure Nepal, has spent his entire life writing about nature and Nepal's developing tourism business. Dambar's passion with nature and its different cultures began as a child in Nepal's stunning landscapes. He began writing following successful treks and expeditions across Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. Dambar Khadka created Boundless Adventure Nepal in 1992 to share the majesty of the Nepal Himalayas with the rest of the planet. As an explorer and writer, he is committed to responsible tourism and cultural connection, allowing readers and adventurers to immerse themselves in Nepal's enchantment through his works.

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