Annapurna Seven Passes TrekAnnapurna Seven Passes Trek

Annapurna Seven Passes Trek

  • Duration20 Days
  • DestinationNepal
  • Difficulty Level Hard
  • Maximum Altitude 5416 m
  • Activity Trekking
  • Group Size 2+
  • Accommodation Hotel + Teahouses + Lodges
  • Meals Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner
Overview of Annapurna Seven Passes Trek

The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is a newly established and unique adventure trail within the Annapurna circuit region. While the classic Annapurna Circuit Trek has seen a decline in popularity due to the conversion of most of its route to dirt roads, the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek offers a refreshing and less-trodden alternative. This trek is one of the rarest and most exotic in the Himalayas. Despite its name suggesting an association with the popular Annapurna destination, it remains a lesser-known route in Nepal. The trek encompasses seven high mountain passes, taking trekkers through uninhabited valleys, and connecting the western slopes of Mt. Manaslu to the Grand Barrier. You will traverse untouched forests with a chance to spot the elusive Red Panda and explore the intriguing valleys of Nar and Phu.

The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek has become an attractive choice for trekkers seeking longer and more peaceful wilderness experiences. Spanning 20 days, this trek challenges adventurers with four passes above 5,000 meters. Unlike treks through villages, this route offers a perfect blend of wilderness and culture. Along the way, you'll share butter tea with yak herders, engage in Yarsagumba harvesting with locals, and create lasting memories and stories to share. This trek provides diverse opportunities to experience flora, fauna, and awe-inspiring mountain views throughout the year. The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is a truly exceptional adventure, offering an off-the-beaten-path experience and a chance to immerse oneself in the untouched beauty of the Himalayas.

 

Annapurna Seven Passes Trek

The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is an extraordinary and lesser-known adventure that begins with a few days on the Annapurna circuit trail before diverting towards Khotro and the hidden village of Nache. We venture off the beaten path, traversing dense forests to reach Dona Lake, connected to Mt. Manaslu. Crossing the Tripple pass, we join the Manaslu Circuit trail at Thoche and then set off on another offbeat route to Tache village. From here, we enter complete wilderness, trekking through forests and high-altitude pastures to the base of Mt. Kang Guru.

Continuing our journey, we conquer two passes, Khuchumro and Yarcha, to enter the restricted Nar & Phu region. The trek takes us through narrow canyons and breathtaking valleys where few trekkers have ventured. The solitude and tranquility of this valley create a unique and serene experience. The Nar Phu Valley Trek opened only in 2003 and is one of Nepal's most remote and least explored treks. It leads to the wild and sparsely populated valleys of Nar and Phu, offering an intriguing glimpse into medieval Tibetan culture and customs that remain largely untouched by modern influences.

To explore the restricted area of Nar Phu Valley, a special permit from an authorized trekking agency is required, along with an obligatory guide. The permit is valid for only seven days, necessitating completion of the trek within this timeframe. Passing through the dramatically placed village of Phu, we cross several passes to reconnect with the Annapurna Circuit main trail at Ngawal, passing through the villages of Nar along the way. The adventure continues into the Manang Valley, where we encounter more tourists, albeit briefly, before leaving the highway and entering another captivating valley leading to the Grand Barrier, a massive mountain barrier at 7000m.

The journey includes a visit to Tilicho, the world's highest lake at 4949m, and crossing the breathtaking Mesokanto La pass at 5190m, which offers unparalleled views of Tilicho Lake and the majestic peaks of Annapurna II, III, Ganga Purna, Mt. Manaslu range, and the Chulus. Leaving the Manang valley behind, we enter another enchanting Mustang valley before concluding this remarkable adventure with a mountain flight from Jomsom to Pokhara. The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek promises an unforgettable experience of remote wilderness, unique culture, and awe-inspiring mountain vistas.

With world-famous mountains like Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, and Lamjung Himal as your traveling companions, you'll never feel alone during this journey. The region is rich in diverse landscapes, rivers, cultures, and heritage, providing trekkers with a unique and immersive experience. The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek also offers alternatives for trekkers who seek to spend extended periods in the peaceful wilderness of nature. Covering seven different high passes within 20 days, this trek promises an unforgettable adventure amidst the stunning Himalayan scenery. The seven passes that you will cross during this trek are:
 
  1. Kongma La Pass
  2. Cho La Pass
  3. Renjo La Pass
  4. Amphu Lapcha Pass
  5. Thame Pass
  6. Meso Kanta Pass
  7. Tilman Pass

 

The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek presents trekkers with a unique set of challenges and rewards, including steep ascents, narrow ridges, and awe-inspiring panoramic views. Given the technical difficulty and high altitude involved, it is strongly advised that only experienced trekkers with prior high-altitude trekking experience and excellent physical fitness attempt this journey. The trek typically spans over 25-30 days, starting and ending either in Lukla or Jiri, and offers breathtaking views of the Annapurna and Everest regions as its main highlights.
 

As with any high-altitude trek, thorough preparation is essential. Traveling with a reputable trekking agency or guide is highly recommended, and it is crucial to schedule acclimatization days to minimize the risk of altitude-related illnesses. The best time to undertake the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is during the stable weather conditions of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the views are clear and the weather is favorable.

 

What justifies the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek?

The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is deemed necessary due to the increasing development of roads in the region, which has affected traditional trekking routes and the tourism sector. With the decline in traditional trekkers and the rise of those using jeeps to access various points and start their trek, the charm and beauty of the original 21-day Annapurna Circuit Trek have been compromised.

Tourism plays a crucial role in the economic well-being of the local communities, and without it, there is a risk of migration as livelihood opportunities diminish. Additionally, tourism is essential for preserving and promoting the local culture and traditions, keeping them alive for future generations.

While the number of trekkers in the Annapurna Circuit region has remained relatively stable at around 20,000 per year, the shift in the type of trekkers has impacted the overall experience. To cater to the different preferences and time constraints of trekkers, the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek was introduced, offering a variety of choices and routes. This alternative trek aims to preserve the natural beauty of the region, provide economic benefits to the locals, and ensure that the unique cultural heritage remains intact.

Despite the challenges and slower growth compared to other trekking regions in Nepal, the introduction of the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek offers hope for the future, providing opportunities for both longer and shorter treks, and potentially increasing the number of visitors in the coming years.

 

What Makes this trip Stands Out?

This trip stands out for several exceptional reasons:

  • Trekking across 7 high altitude passes, each offering stunning mountain vistas.

  • Camping by the secluded and hidden Dona Lake creates a unique wilderness experience.

  • Exploring the restricted area of the Annapurna's eco-touristic destination, untouched and preserved.

  • Witnessing the awe-inspiring views of three of the world's fourteen 8000m peaks - Mt. Manaslu, Mt. Dhaulagiri, and Mt. Annapurna I - along with other dramatic mountains.

  • Venturing into the restricted and newly accessible Nar and Phu Valley provides a rare and exclusive trekking opportunity.

  • Immersing in the time-honored cultures of the ethnically Tibetan Nomadic tribes, experiencing their traditions and lifestyle.

  • Camping by the mesmerizing Tilicho Lake at 4949m, the highest lake in the world, surrounded by majestic mountains.

  • Visiting ancient monasteries and ruined fortresses along the historic Trans-Himalayan trail.

  • Enjoying breathtaking views during the mountain flight from Jomsom, flying through the world's deepest gorge.

 

What are the highlights of the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek?

The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek offers a diverse range of highlights that make it a trek for all seasons and interests. During the summer season, trekkers can witness the beauty of wildflowers in the meadows of Namkyu, set against the backdrop of majestic mountains like Mt. Kangaru, Annapurna, and Lamjung Himal. In autumn, the trek showcases the enchanting changes in the colors of the trees, particularly in the jungle area from Namkyu to Meta. And for those seeking breathtaking mountain views, the Phu Pass, Kangla Pass, and Naar Pass provide the best vantage points. This trek caters to various preferences and offers something special throughout the year.

 

What changes might we expect for the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek in the future?

In the next five years, the vision for the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is to become as renowned and popular as the once-famous Round Annapurna Circuit Trek. The aim is to offer trekkers a similarly fulfilling experience, making the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek a sought-after adventure. To achieve this, several steps will be taken. First, there will be efforts to establish clear trail signs, build lodges, and provide training to the local communities to ensure they are well-prepared to cater to trekkers' needs. Creating a well-developed infrastructure will enhance the trekking experience and provide comfort and convenience to visitors.
 
The next crucial aspect will be promotional activities. Collaborations with trekking companies in Nepal and abroad will be initiated to raise awareness about the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek. Informing and enticing potential trekkers about the unique opportunities and diverse experiences this trek offers will be a priority. Participation in international fairs and exhibitions will be another strategy to showcase the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek. Presenting the transformation of the Annapurna Circuit and how it has evolved into this new, more secluded, and captivating trek will help capture the attention of the global trekking community.
 
Combining these efforts, the hope is that the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek will gain the recognition and popularity it deserves, becoming a top choice for trekkers seeking an exceptional and unforgettable Himalayan adventure.

 

Highlights
  • Explore ancient monasteries and remnants of old forts.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich Tibetan culture and way of life.
  • Embark on a trek to the restricted areas of Nar and Phu.
  • Discover hidden valleys and ancient villages during the trek.
  • Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of towering mountains above 8000m, such as Annapurna, Manaslu, and Dhaulagiri.
  • Visit iconic destinations like Jomsom, Mustang, and the revered Muktinath temple.
  • Cross seven high passes along the journey, including Kuchunro Pass (4900m), Yarcha Pass (4834m), Meta Pass (4635m), Phu Pass (5043m), Nar Pass (5043m), Kangla Pass (5300m), and Thorong La Pass (5416m).
  • Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from alpine meadows throughout the trek.
  • Indulge in the local traditions, culture, and delectable cuisine along the way.
Itinerary

The journey begins with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Taal, located at an altitude of 1700m. The drive takes you along the bank of the Trisuli River, offering beautiful views of the fast-flowing river and the surrounding landscapes. After a stop in Besisahar for lunch, the road becomes rough as you head towards Taal, a charming Gurung village situated on the banks of the Marshyangdi River. Tonight, you'll stay in one of the lodges available in Taal.

  • Max. Altitude:1700m

Today's trek takes you from Taal to Tilje, situated at an altitude of 2300m. The trail follows the Marshyangdi River, passing through suspension bridges and picturesque Gurung villages. As you hike upwards, you'll reach Nache, a beautiful village on top of a hill, where you can enjoy lunch. The journey continues through a pine forest and small monasteries, and eventually, you'll arrive at Tilje, a tranquil village where you'll spend the night.

    Trekking to Tachai at an altitude of 2340m, the journey today offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and unique cultural encounters. After crossing a bailey bridge and walking through a beautiful forest, you'll reach Tachai, a small Gurung village known for its natural hot spring water. The village has plenty of homestays where you'll be accommodated for the night.

      The trek takes you from Tachai to Shongle at an altitude of 3360m. Passing through the scenic Ghelinchok village, you'll reach the Chonga Danda saddle at 3282m, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges. The trail leads you downhill to the Chonga River, crossing a small wooden bridge, and eventually reaching Shongle Kharka, a beautiful area surrounded by pine and rhododendron forests.

        Today's destination is Kuchumro Phedi at an altitude of 4217m. The journey starts with a steep uphill trek to the top of a ridge, offering majestic views of Manaslu and Lamjung ranges. After crossing Kuchumro Pass at 4900m and Yarcha Pass at 4860m, you'll descend to Kuchumro Phedi, a valley alive with the sounds of yaks and their shepherd dogs.


          Trekking from Kuchumro Phedi to Namakyu at an altitude of 4445m, the journey is uphill, providing a spectacular view of Himlung and Kangaru Himal. You'll encounter the trans-Himalayan region, drier in nature, and pass through former Khampa settlements and small glaciers. After reaching Namakyu, you'll be greeted with a view of Kangaru Himal and Annapurna II, making this journey memorable.

            Today's trek takes you from Namakyu to Meta via Meta Pass at an altitude of 4204m. The trail offers clear views of Lamjung Himal and Annapurna II. As you descend from Meta Pass, you'll reach the beautiful Meta village where you'll stay for the night.

              From Meta, the trek continues to Phu at an altitude of 4204m. Phu is a small village with a fascinating history and natural hot springs, offering an opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique cultural and natural features of the region.

                Trekking to Loang via Phu Pass at an altitude of 4680m, you'll ascend and descend through picturesque landscapes and encounter Yak herders and Yarchagumba harvesters. Phu Pass offers stunning views of Manaslu and Lamjung Himal. Tonight, you'll stay in Loang.

                  The journey takes you to Chekchu via Nar Pass at an altitude of 4410m. The trek is challenging, but the panoramic views of Annapurna, Lamjung Himal, and Chulu range make it worthwhile. After crossing Nar Pass, you'll reach Nar Village, a beautiful settlement worth exploring.

                    Today's destination is Kangla Phedi at an altitude of 4530m. The trek is uphill and provides clear views of Himlung and Kangaru Himal. Kangla Phedi offers a tranquil and scenic atmosphere, making it a perfect place to rest for the night.

                      Trekking to Ngawal via Kangla Pass at an altitude of 3360m, you'll have an early morning ascent to Kangla Pass at 5350m. The pass offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the surrounding Himalayan ranges. After descending, you'll reach Ngawal, a village with stunning views of Annapurna and Pisang Peak.

                        From Ngawal, the trek continues to Manang at an altitude of 3519m. The trail leads through the south side of the river, passing through Upper Pisang via Ngawal. Along the way, you'll enjoy views of Annapurna and Pisang Peak. Manang is known for its Tibetan-influenced culture and unique architecture.

                          Trekking to Yak Kharka at an altitude of 4020m, you'll pass through the valley of Jarsang Khola and reach the village of Yak Kharka. The area is known for its diverse landscapes and wildlife, including the famous blue sheep.

                            On the fifteenth day of the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek, you will trek to Yak Kharka at an altitude of 4020m. The journey today takes you through the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas. As you ascend, you'll notice the vegetation becoming sparse, and the air thinner. Yak Kharka is a grazing area for yaks and other livestock, and you might encounter some of these sturdy animals along the way. The views of the surrounding mountains are stunning, and you'll have the opportunity to rest and acclimatize in preparation for the challenging days ahead.

                              Today's trek takes you to Thorang High Camp at an altitude of 4920m. The trail is steep and demanding, leading you through rocky terrain and snow patches. The high camp serves as a crucial resting point before crossing Thorang La Pass, the highest point of the trek. From here, you'll have awe-inspiring views of the mountains, including Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges. The cold and high-altitude environment requires caution and proper acclimatization.

                                On the seventeenth day, you'll embark on the most challenging part of the trek as you trek to Muktinath via Thorang La Pass at an altitude of 5416m. This high mountain pass is a significant accomplishment, and it requires an early start to avoid potential weather challenges in the afternoon. The ascent is steep and physically demanding, but reaching the top of Thorang La offers a sense of triumph and breathtaking panoramic views. The descent to Muktinath takes you through dramatic landscapes and brings you to the sacred site of Muktinath Temple, a place of great spiritual significance for Hindus and Buddhists.

                                  Today's trek leads you to Jomsom at an altitude of 2700m. The trail takes you through the scenic Kali Gandaki Gorge, the world's deepest gorge. As you descend, the vegetation becomes greener, and you'll notice the transition from the arid landscapes to more fertile areas. Jomsom is a bustling town and a major hub for trekkers and travelers in the region. It offers a chance to rest and enjoy some modern amenities after the rigorous trek.

                                    On the nineteenth day, you'll bid farewell to the trekking trails as you drive to Pokhara at an altitude of 820m. The drive is a scenic journey through diverse landscapes, offering beautiful views of mountains, waterfalls, and rural settlements. Pokhara is a popular tourist destination and known for its serene lakes, stunning mountain views, and adventure activities. It's a perfect place to relax and celebrate the successful completion of your trek.

                                      The final day of the Annapurna Seven Passes Trek takes you back to Kathmandu. You'll drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu, enjoying the views of the countryside and urban settlements along the way. The drive takes around 6-7 hours, and you'll have a chance to reminisce about the incredible journey you've undertaken in the Annapurna region. Upon reaching Kathmandu, you can rest, relax, and reflect on the unforgettable experiences and challenges you've encountered during this epic trek in the Himalayas.

                                       

                                       

                                        Useful Information for Seven Passes Trek

                                        The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek is a challenging and rewarding adventure that takes trekkers through remote and lesser-explored regions of the Annapurna circuit. Here are some useful pieces of information for those considering this remarkable trek:

                                        1. Physical Fitness: The Seven Passes Trek demands a good level of physical fitness and stamina. It involves long hours of trekking each day, often in rugged terrains and at high altitudes. Prior physical preparation through regular exercise and hiking is essential.

                                        2. Altitude Acclimatization: The trek reaches high altitudes, and proper acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness. The itinerary includes acclimatization days to help trekkers adapt to the thin air.

                                        3. Trekking Permits: The trek passes through restricted areas like Nar and Phu, requiring special trekking permits. Ensure you have the necessary permits from authorized trekking agencies before embarking on the journey.

                                        4. Trekking Season: The best time to undertake the Seven Passes Trek is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) seasons. These periods offer stable weather, clear skies, and excellent mountain views.

                                        5. Accommodation: Accommodation facilities may vary along the trek, ranging from basic teahouses to tented camps in more remote regions. Be prepared for rustic lodging options in some areas.

                                        6. Guided Trek: Considering the remoteness of the trail, having a professional and experienced guide is highly recommended. A guide will not only ensure your safety but also provide valuable insights into the local culture and surroundings.

                                        7. Pack Wisely: Carry essential trekking gear, clothing suitable for both warm and cold weather, and comfortable hiking boots. It's crucial to pack light while being well-prepared for the varying weather conditions.

                                        8. Cultural Sensitivity: The trek passes through traditional villages inhabited by local ethnic communities. Respect their culture, customs, and beliefs, and ask for permission before taking photographs.

                                        9. Waste Management: Maintain responsible trekking practices by carrying out all non-biodegradable waste and disposing of it properly at designated areas.

                                        10. Emergency Preparedness: While the trek is rewarding, remote areas come with certain risks. Carry a basic first-aid kit and ensure your travel insurance covers medical evacuations if needed.

                                        The Annapurna Seven Passes Trek promises a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, providing trekkers with stunning landscapes, diverse cultures, and a memorable adventure in the heart of the Himalayas.

                                        Cost Details
                                        Includes
                                        • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure.
                                        • During the trekking, you will be provided with three meals a day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
                                        • Accommodation will be arranged in both tented camps and tea-house/lodges.
                                        • Local jeep transportation will be provided to and from the trek starting and ending points.
                                        • For the Jomsom to Pokhara leg, domestic flights will be arranged, and for Pokhara to Kathmandu, a tourist bus will be provided.
                                        • All necessary trekking permits, including the restricted area permit, TIMS, and ACAP fees, will be taken care of.
                                        • Experienced and trained trekking guides and porters will accompany you on the journey, and their insurance, accommodation, meals, and salary will be covered.
                                        • Three nights of accommodation in Kathmandu and one night in Pokhara are included in the package.
                                        • A comprehensive first aid box will be provided for the trekking expedition.
                                        Excludes
                                        • Additional hotel days in Pokhara and Kathmandu
                                        • Meals in Pokhara and Kathmandu on your own
                                        • Personal expenses include laundry, telephone calls, alcoholic drinks, and guide and porter tips.
                                        • Cost of personal travel insurance and medical evacuation.
                                        • Additional fee in the event that the walk is affected by natural disasters
                                        • Personal hiking gear for the trek.
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