Trek through the remote Karnali river valley in western Nepal, before crossing into Tibet. Explore ‘Guge Kingdom’, the repository of ancient Tibetan civilization and Mount Kailash, the holiest pilgrimage site in Tibet.
This trek begins from Simikot and weaves across some of the least frequented trekking trails in western Nepal. Following the Karnali river , we walk through pine scented forests and traditional Thakuri & Tibetan Buddhist villages, with the beautiful Saipal and Nalakankad mountain range in the background. We trek past misty mountain views, with lush green vegetation, with wildflowers, Himalayan herbs and flowering buckwheat, mustard dotting the landscape. This trail is ideal for travelers who dislike crowds, enjoy solitary walks and want more interactions with local inhabitants.
After crossing into Tibet, you drive across the wide open spaces of the Tibetan Plateau to ‘Guge Kingdom’ (Tholing & Tsaparang), the archeologically significant remains of Tibet’s ancient civilization. Marveling at the barren yet spectacular landscape of Tibet you continue driving to the serene and most sacred Lake Manasarovar, before completing a kora (loop trek) around Mt Kailash. From there, you re-cross the vast arid plains before heading south to the Nepalese border and returning to Kathmandu. The magnificent sceneries blending with the sights of ancient culture make this an amazing trip that remains sketched in your memories for a lifetime. Throughout the journey from the Tibetan Plateau to Kathmandu you enjoy comfortable overnight accommodation, excellent food and convenient camping facilities. The unique culture and warm hospitality, ironically, gives you the feeling you are on top of the world! And you are, virtually!
Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu (1250m)
Day 2 Kathmandu – Obtain Tibet Visa
Day 3 Fly to Nepalgunj (450m)
Day 4 Fly to Simikot(2960m) & Trek to Dharapari (2300m)
Day 5 Trek to Kermi (2670m)
Day 6 Trek to Yalbang (3020m)
Day 7 Trek to Tumkot (3200m)
Day 8 Trek to Yari (4000m)
Day 9 Trek to Hilsa (3720m) (Over Nara La 4580m) , drive to Purang (3900m)
Day 10 Drive to Mansarover (4590m)
Day 11 Drive to Tsaparang (Tsada) (3650m)
Day 12 Drive to Guge
Day 13 Drive to Toling (3650m)
Day 14 drive to Tarboche (4500m)
Day 15 Trek to Dira Puk (4900m)
Day 16 Trek to Zutul Puk (4790m) Over Dolma La 5600m
Day 17 Trek to Darchen (4620m)- Drive to Manasarover 4590m)
Day 18 Drive to Saga
Day 19 drive to Zhangmu
Day 20 Drive to Kathmandu
Day 21 Depart Kathmandu
Fully catered trekking & tour with entry fee and travel permit (both in Nepal & Tibet with Nepalese support staff)
Hotel in Nepalgunj
Border - Kathmandu & Airport transfers
3 nights' accommodation at 3 star hotel in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast
Special Simikot permits
Transportation by private 4WD Landcruiser and a truck to carry staff, equipment and food stuff in Tibet
Required yaks & yak drivers during trek
International airfare and domestic Airport tax (NPR 170 per person each way)
Nepal reentry visa,
Lunch & Dinner during hotel stay in Tibet and Kathmandu.
Any expense incurred in emergency evacuation due to any reason,
Any expense of personal nature
Arrive Kathmandu (1250m)
It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long, long time. Our tour officer and driver will meet you at the airport and escort you to hotel Grand. At the hotel, you will be briefed about your daily activities..
Kathmandu – Obtain Tibet Visa In Kathmandu.
Fly to Nepalgunj (450m)
Today after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight for Nepalgunj. Approximately, it takes 45 minutes to reach Nepalgunj. Our airport representative will transfer you to your Hotel. You can spend the rest of the day as you like..
Fly to Simikot(2960m) & Trek to Dharapani (2300m)
This morning we fly north for about 50 minutes to Simikot, the headquarters of Nepal's most remote district, Humla. After meeting our crew, we set off on our trek, climbing up from the airstrip on a rocky trail past fields of barley and wheat. We ascend a forested ridge above the town of Simikot, before making a long steep descent past Dandaphoya. The trail is then fairly level, through walnut and apricot trees, until we come to the scattered village of Dharapani which is divided by the Yakba Khola..
Trek to Kermi (2670m)
From Dharapani we trek for about 5 ½ hours walk to Kermi (2670 metres ). As we pass through Dharapani, the trail levels, and walnut and apricot trees provide welcome shade. It is a long rough traverse across a slope to a stream .A bridge over the Humla-Karnali leads to Khanglagaon, a thakuri village on the opposite side of the river. This is the last Thakuri village in the valley. Walking on the north side of the river, the trail snakes up and down to a herders’ camp near a waterfall at 2350 metres. We climb over a ridge as we approach Kermi, situated beside a stream at 2670 metres. There is a hot spring about an hour’s climb above the village.
Trek to Yalbang (3020m)
Today we trek to Yalbang Chaur. After breakfast, we pack our gear and begin our day’s trek. Leaving Kermi we climb over a ridge into a big valley filled with potato and buckwheat fields. We will continue to follow the Karnali river till we reach Yalbang Chaur, a meadow where goat herders camp beside the river at 2760 metres. In November an annual fair or ‘Mela’ is held at this site.
Trek to Tumkot (3200m)
From Yalbang Chaur we climb up and take the steep trail that takes us above a sandy meadow. The trail follows an irrigation canal to a huge rock just to the north of the village. We follow the trade route of the once important Humla trading center of Chala . We climb over another ridge at 2930 metres and descend gradually to the village of Yangar at 2850 metres. From Yangar , the trail passes below the gompa and stone houses. Climb through the orchards and fields of the village to a ridge, We follow the trail as it contours down to the Tumkot Khola, following the rocky stream bed for a short distance then cross it on a long bridge. We climb the hills towards Tumkot and reach the village of Tumkot. Tumkot village has a large white gompa (monastery) also known as Mota gompa..
Trek to Yari (4000m)
Leaving the Karnali River behind we climb gently to the small Tibetan village of Yari (4000m). We are in the Nepal _-Tibet border..
Trek to Hilsa (3720m) (Over Nara La 4580m) & drive to Purang (3900m)
Trek to Hilsa following the rugged mountain trail and crossing Nara la pass. (4620m). Upon reaching Hilsa we drive to Purang..
Drive to Mansarover (4590m)
We drive for about 75 km to Manasarovar via Rakhsas Tal( Demon lake). The beautiful and sacred Manasarovar Lake set amidst extraordinary landscape is breathtaking..
Drive to Tsaparang (Tsada) (3650m)
We continue driving parallel to the Indus River. Few kilometers down the road, we reach a small pristine hamlet. The trail further crisscrosses a succession of pass and finally near Tsada, the Guge Kingdom. On finding a perfect site, we set your camp for overnight..
Drive to Guge
Your guide takes you on an exciting excursion around the Guge Kingdom. This tenth century kingdom oozes ancient history of Tibet. With the passage of centuries, Guge Kingdom had to bear several ruins which as evidence lie atop a hill near a river encompassing an area of 180,000 square meters. Numerous monasteries, houses, cave dwellings and stupas nestled on the hill and its neighboring areas. When it comes to Tibetan murals, sculptures and stone inscriptions, Guge Kingdom undeniably comes into mind. White Palace, Red Palace, Yamantaka Chapel, Tara Chapel and Mandala Chapel are the major attractions of Guge Kingdom which are historically linked with Buddha, Shakyamuni, Songtsen Gampo, kings and ministers. On this exquisite excursion, you will not only relive ancient Tibetan history but immerse in Tibetan culture as well..
Drive to Toling (3650m)
Toling is located in the Ngari region, Western Tibet, near the Indian border of Ladakh. Inside the monastery there are many ancient and very precious frescos..
Drive to Tarboche (4500m)
We drive along the jeep trail to the start of the ‘kora’ at Tarboche. Tarboche is marked by a tall flagpole adorned with thousands of multi-colored prayer flags and ‘ scarves strung out in radiating lines from the pole. We camp here overnight..
Trek to Dira Puk (4900m)
Early in the morning we meet our team of yaks and Tibetan yak drivers who will escort you around the kora. Further ahead from Tarboche, you have to trek past verdant meadows and picturesque streams to Lha Chu Valley. The trail overlooks a turquoise river cascading over a narrow canyon with high steep cliffs. En route, north face of Kailash comes into vision. The trail will approach 13th century monastery of Dira-Puk. Eventually we conclude the trek of the day by camping at Dira-Puk..
Trek to Zutul Puk (4790m) / Over Dolma La 5600m
Lha Chu Valley blurs as we turn towards Drolma Chu Valley. Ascending Drolma La [5630m] is a bit strenuous, but the views are rewarding . But soon after sighting breathtaking view of Thukpe Dzingbu Lake, known as the Lake of Compassion, at the summit, we realize that this tough and challenging ascent has indeed been very worthwhile and fruitful. Several prayer flags can be seen at the summit. Further on, the trail descends to the flat fields of Zutul-Puk which houses a monastery and several fascinating caves. The caves at this locale are most popular for meditation; Milarepa’s cave being one of them with Milarepa’s footprints and elbow prints believed to be imprinted all over this cave of mani stones. Camping at Zutul-Puk for the night can be quite exciting, adventurous and pleasurable..
Trek to Darchen (4620m) - Drive to Manasarover 4590m)
Away from Zutul-Puk, we follow the trail through Bharkha plain leading to Darchen
, crossing several streams along the picturesque gorge. We enjoy enchanting views of Mount Kailash. Driving 35 km from Darchen takes us to the sacred Lake Manasarovar. As we near this breathtaking lake, the historic Chiu Monastery becomes visible on the North West shore of the lake. From this vantage point, we can even glimpse the majestic Mount Kailash. We get ample opportunity to explore Manasarovar Lake and Chiu Monastery. Rakshas Tal lies connected to Lake Manasarovar by a small channel. Savoring the panoramic view of Mount Kailash and spiritual experience, we will camp near Manasarovar Lake under the star-lit open sky..
Drive to Saga
On this day, we continue driving to Saga up to an elevation of 4600 meters. On the way we encounter the small dusty town of Zhongba. We cross the Yarlung Tsangpo [Brahmaputra River] on a ferry. Thereafter, you drive along 110 km route opening into wide flat plains. The trail further advances towards huge turquoise lake, the Peiku-Tso with the spectacular view of Shishapangma peak as the backdrop..
Drive to Zhangmu
We have to drive south, crossing 180 km, along the Friendship Highway. The trail winds through a high pass, the Lalung La [5200m]. Further on, we journey through breathtaking views, alpine meadow trails, picturesque hamlets and an abundance of wildflowers. En route, we get to see several Nepalese and Indian pilgrims. As we drive through a mossy gorge of waterfalls and cascades, we finally enter Nyalam at 3750 meter. Thereon, heading away from Nyalam we drive for one hour to the lush and verdant vegetation of Zhangmu at 2300 meter..
Drive Zhangmu to Kathmandu (1400m) 160km
Few kilometers drive away from Zhangmu we follow the Friendship Bridge along the Bhote Koshi River to Immigration Control in Kodari where we will bid goodbye to our Tibetan guide and handle re-entry formalities to return to Kathmandu. After 5 hours of driving for 123 km , amongst verdant greenery, you finally arrive in Kathmandu..
Our Nepalese support team will take you to the airport for your flight home..
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This trip was satisfying. The meeting and handling was excellent. I am very happy with guide Bharat. The itinerary was very good, not too exerting and I enjoyed it. Great arrangement! Looking forward to make many more trips to Nepal through Explore Himalaya