Come join Responsible Adventures on one of the most scenic and diverse treks in the world. The complete circuit of Annapurna is an estimated 300km with different scenery daily.
- Per Person
Short Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho lake Gourmet trek
Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake Trek takes us to one o Nepal’s highest lake in the Manang District. This “classic” journey of Annapurna Circuit combined with Tilicho Lake Trek starts with a drive to Besisahar in the lowland paddy fields, gaining altitude steadily along the Marshyangdi River. It passes through oak and pine forests and eventually emerging into high altitude desert country at Manang (3597 m.) and above. These days there is a fair-weather road from Besisahar all the way to Manang. However, we drive to Koto to allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude slowly.
We stay an extra night at Manang to allow acclimatization by taking a hike to a higher elevation.
From Manang, we move away from the main trail towards Khangsar village and further on to Tilicho Base camp, where there are a few lodges. We hike up to Tilicho Lake, which takes about 3 hours and an altitude gain of some 750 meters. It is a fantastic environment, with the Lake appearing a beautiful Turquoise on sunny days. It is a reasonably large Lake, which is 4 km in length, and the deepest part is 85 meters deep. We retrace our steps to Tilicho Base camp, upper Khangsar, cross the Marsyangdi River to join the main trail again the following day on to Thorung high camp.
The 1600 meters descent from Thorung La pass 5416 meters is equally amazing and varied. The trail from the pass takes Marsyangdi towards the Kali Gandaki valley and descends through Muktinath’s village. We trek to Jomsom the next day. It is a short day of hiking. The trek ends in Jomsom. Jomsom lies in the windy Kali Gandaki valley below the towering Mount Nilgiri, 7061 meters. We fly out to Pokhara the next morning.
Food and nutrition on the trek
We are pioneers in gourmet trekking in the Himalayas. We provide a varied, interesting menu on treks throughout the Himalayas. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals can be catered for upon request, and other special diets can be accommodated with advance notice.
Trekking is not only fun, but it is beneficial for you. It helps in detoxifying the body while also nourishing the soul. Although to provide a better experience, we also tailor our meals to include superfoods as part of the ingredients to keep you fit and healthy while also assisting in acclimatization to high altitude. The combination of hiking in the pristine mountain air and healthy food makes trekking with us a complete adventure. Read More on Food and nutrition on our treks.
Why Choose Us?
- Our expert trek leader will ensure your safety at all times while enhancing your trekking experience.
- Your private social bubble by staying in less busy lodges and trekking away from the crowded trails where possible.
- Experience the Himalayas in style.
- Your food is prepared with superfood ingredients to give the best nourishment, recovery, and acclimatization to high altitude for our gourmet trekking adventures.
You will be met at the airport by our representative and bring you to your hotel. You will get to meet the rest of the group during the briefing for the trip.
You will be picked up from your hotel for the drive to Koto. Your journey takes you through deep valleys as you are driven along the Trisuli River westwards. You will go through the small town of Mugling at the confluence of Trisuli and Marshyangdi Rivers. This town is a major junction between Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan to the south. We continue on the winding road until the town of Besishar. We might get our first sight of the Annapurna and Manaslu ranges. From here, we will join a jeep track for a few hours, passing through the villages of Syange, Jagat Chamje, Timang before reaching Koto for our night stop.
We start our day’s hike on a level trail to Chame, the Manang district’s headquarters. The scenery is so breathtaking that you will take your time on the trek. We will be passing a few mani walls as we leave Chame. We will go through a small hamlet marked by Chortens at both ends on a level trail.
We arrive at water turned prayer wheels shortly. We pass through the settlement of Brathang, which now has a large apple orchard. We begin a 45-minute climb through a forest. The path levels off and reaches a suspension bridge. There is a moderate climb after the bridge, taking us into the woods while moving away from the Marshyangdi River.
The valley broadens, and Pisang Peak 6091 looms prominently in front of us. We stop for lunch at Dhukur Pokhari, a couple of small lakes by the juniper, pine, and fir trees. Pisang is divided into lower and upper villages. We stay at upper Pisang with amazing views of the valley below, the Monastery, and Annapurna II 7945 meters from our lodge’s opposite side.
We take the ‘high route’ that is on the east bank of the Marshyangdi. It is a bit longer but well worth the extra hike. We cross the river out of Pisang village and then take a reasonably level path through scrubland and pass a small lake on your right. We pass along the mani wall and drop to cross a stream, and begin a strenuous switchback climb to Ghyaru 3,673m. It is worth the climb up to visit the Monastery at the top of the village. The views of Annapurna II and Annapurna IV are stunning from here. You continue up the valley on a lovely high trail, passing the ruins of a fort.
You arrive at the village of Ngawal 3,650m. There is a large newly built Monastery up to the right. You hike past a long mani wall as you leave the village and descend to the valley floor. You will re-join the main trail as you continue to Braga and Manang villages.
It is important to spend time for acclimatization in Manang. There are terrific views of the Annapurna peaks from both Braga and Manang villages.
Manang is a large village situated on the rise opposite of the massive Gangapurna glacier. At its foot lies a beautiful emerald lake. There are a lot of options for walks in the vicinity. Optional side trips to a small hilltop with prayer flags, an hour above Braga village, or up the ridge behind Manang village are available. Another walk to a viewpoint above the lake opposite Manang Village is possible. Some cafes show movies and shops to explore for souvenirs.
We start through the Western gates of Manang, follow a path down to a river which we cross, and continue to the south side, passing through a coniferous forest. We will cross a suspension bridge and continue towards Khangsar Village. We continue on to Shree Kharka to have lunch. We went to a hostel with hopes to buy some snacks to sustain us until we got to Tilicho base camp, only to be told they did not have any. We had some almonds we had purchased in Chame and were confident that it would keep us going until we reached Tilicho Base Camp for late lunch.
We will arrive at a landslide area with a mixture of scree and rocks that has a pretty steep descend with loose grit. We might see some Blue Sheep just before the landslide and partridges in this area. It will take us around 75 minutes to negotiate the landslide area; the villagers have made the trail about 2-3 feet wide in recent years; before the broadening of the path, there were parts where some people had to be on all fours to get across.
The hike begins with a steep ascent of 30 minutes before the climb’s gradient becomes slightly gentler. We will reach a set of switchbacks after a further hour before reaching the top. The trail is undulating for 30 minutes before arriving at the lake. We will be very close to Mount Tilicho and Mount Khangsar Khang. We might see some Himalayan Snow Cocks and a huge Male Blue Sheep on the way to the lake.
We return to Tilicho base camp, have lunch here. We retrace our steps uphill on the landslide area and head for Shree Kharka where we stop for the night.
We take the trail that will lead us out of the Upper Marshyangdi river valley as we ascend above the treeline. We bypass Khangsar village and hike on an off the beaten path trail until we descend and cross the Thorong river. We are back on the main trail after a short ascend from the suspension bridge.
We hike past a long Mani wall and walk through meadows with grazing yaks to arrive at the temporary yak herders’ settlement in Yak Kharka. We will have beautiful vistas of the surrounding peaks like Tilicho Peak (7134m), Khatungkang (6484m), Chulu (6584m), and so on from Yak Kharka. We can either stop at Yak Kharka or continue for another hour to get to Leddar depending on how everybody is feeling.
We have a short day. We will pass through Letdar (if we had not stayed there the previous night) with a small number of lodges/ We take the higher route that winds its way on the valley’s eastern side before cross a suspension bridge. There is a short rockfall area just before we reach Thorong Phedi. Phedi means the base in Nepali.
We can take a hike up to the “High Camp’ in the afternoon after lunch as we would be acclimatized by our recent hike to Tilicho Base camp, it will also cut our hike for tomorrow by at least one hour.
We will start around 5 am after breakfast. We will pack your lunch and make sure you have a lot of water, a down jacket, windproof, and other warm layers for this day.
We start with the ascend to ‘High camp’ and on to a rock ledge for about 90 minutes at 4680 meters. We continue upwards and on an undulating trail. There are several ‘false summits’ on what seems to be a never-ending climb. You have to remember to stop to rest, rehydrate, and enjoy the views all around. There is no rush, and your trek leader will teach you how to pace yourself and enjoy the ‘moments’ more by being present. It is a beautiful time to do a meditative hike while observing and absorbing everything within and outside you.
It can take 3-5 hours to get to the Thorong La pass 5416 meters. It is marked with a large Cairn and many prayer flags. You will be rewarded by the Annapurna’s spectacular views to the south and the Mukat Himal range that borders with Dolpo to the West. Thorong peak is immediate to the south, and it is also known as a ‘trekking peak. You are probably feeling the effects of altitude here, and the wind might be picking up.
It is a 3 to 4 hour of steep descent to Muktinath. There is a pair of trekking poles, and for those with knee problems, good knee support will be beneficial. The views of Mount Dhaulagiri 8167 meters and Tukuche peak 6920 meters, and the Kali Gandaki valley is superb on the descend. We will finally see the buildings (many hotels are being constructed for Muktinath domestic and Indian tourists). The temples of Muktinath are one of the most significant pilgrimage sites for Hindus and Buddhists..’
You have an opportunity to view the temples of Muktinath in the morning before beginning your last day on the trek. We leave the main trail and climb slowly to the grassy land for about 3 hours to reach the Lupra pass. There are magnificent views of the mountains that include Mount Dhaulagiri, Tukuche, Dhampus peak, Nilgiri, Annapurna I, Tilicho, and numerous others. We descend from the pass for nearly 2 hours to reach Lupra, the only village on this route that follows the Bonpo religion. You will have the chance to visit the nearby Monastery.
You will take a sensational flight out of the Kali Gandaki valley between Mount Dhaulagiri, Nilgiri, and the Annapurna massif. This short 20-minute flight is one of the best mountain flights in the Himalayas.
The rest of the afternoon is free.
You have an afternoon flight incase the Jomsom to Pokhara flight got disrupted by bad weather the previous day.
If you arrived yesterday on schedule, you have an option of taking a tandem paraglide ride with the company owned by a winner of the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in the morning.
Check into your hotel upon arriving in Kathmandu. Last night’s dinner with your trek leader.
You will be brought to the airport 3 hours prior to your international flight time.
- Boutique hotel in Kathmandu on a bed and breakfast basis
- Boutique hotel in Pokhara on a bed and breakfast basis
- Hotel/lodges while trekking on twin sharing basis.
- All transportation
- Responsible Adventures’ expert trek leader or Hire Raj
- Complimentary T-shirt
- Use of trekking kit bag during the trek
- One assistant guide between 4 trekkers
- Trekking Chef
- One porter between two trekkers
- Proper clothing for porters and crew
- Food for porters & crew members (we are less than a handful of trekking companies that provide this facility)
- Insurance for crew and porters
- All permits
- Twin sharing room on the trek
- All meals on the trek (best trekking meals in the whole of the Himalaya)
- Domestic airfare
- All optional additional tours or activities during free time
- Transportation outside of the tour program
- Travel insurance (compulsory to have insurance that covers helicopter evacuation)
- Tips (suggested amount US$75 per week for staff only); Leader’s tip at your discretion
- Items of a personal nature, e.g., alcoholic drinks, bottled beverages, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
From 3 years old to some in their 70s, most of our clients have done and completed their treks with almost no exercise or training.
Do you offer hotel/airport pick-up?
We offer hotel and airport pick-up. As you continue with your booking, there will be an option to input flight details or hotel name.
Do I need a Visa?
A visa for Nepal can be acquired on arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, and at border entry points in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on the Nepal-India border, and Kerung on the Nepal-China border.
Outside of Nepal, A visa can also be obtained at the nearest Nepal Embassy or Diplomatic Mission.
For more information, go to the Department of Immigration, Kalikasthan, Kathmandu.
What should I bring on a Trek?
Being adequately equipped is one of the keys to a successful trek. For information to help you select the best type of clothing and equipment for your trip, please see our Clothing and Equipment Guide.
Also, see our Links page for details of specialist retailers who will offer further advice and assistance with purchasing new clothing or equipment.
If you have more questions, please check this article to reference equipment to pack or contact us.
Here are some helpful articles:
Am I too old to go trekking?
Arriving at Kathmandu airport.
Should I bring cash or ATM cards?
What to pack for a trek?
Do I need to train for a trek?
What is a typical day on a trek like?
What is the food like on the trek?
The Benefits of using trekking poles.
What do I need to know about high altitude?
High altitude myths.
How to trek safely?
For more articles, you can go to our blogs.