Discover the Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek, an iconic and diverse route nestled within the heart of Nepal’s Annapurna Himalayas. Spanning approximately 200 kilometers, this remarkable journey offers an unparalleled opportunity for adventurers to immerse themselves in breathtaking natural landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and awe-inspiring mountain vistas.
Embarking from the charming town of Besisahar, the trail meanders through lush subtropical forests, quaint villages, and terraced fields, gradually ascending to higher altitudes. As you ascend, prepare for a dynamic shift in climate and terrain, creating an ever-evolving trekking experience that promises both challenge and reward.
One of the trek’s standout highlights is the enchanting Tilicho Lake, nestled at a lofty elevation of 4,919 meters (16,138 feet). Among the world’s highest lakes, Tilicho Lake is encircled by majestic peaks, including the prominent Nilgiri and Tilicho summits. The juxtaposition of the lake’s turquoise waters against the backdrop of snow-draped mountains crafts a captivating scene that leaves trekkers in absolute awe.
Continuing from Tilicho Lake, the path seamlessly merges with the main Annapurna Circuit, guiding trekkers towards the captivating Thorong La Pass. Towering at a breathtaking 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), this pass reveals sweeping panoramic vistas of the magnificent Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, painting an indelible memory.
As you traverse the route, you’ll traverse traditional villages inhabited by diverse ethnic communities such as Gurungs, Thakalis, and Manangis. This presents a unique opportunity to engage with local cultures, embrace time-honored traditions, and relish authentic hospitality. Along the route, comfortable tea houses and lodges offer weary trekkers warm meals and restful reprieves.
The Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek demands physical endurance, making readiness for fluctuating weather conditions and altitude challenges imperative. Proper acclimatization is key to avoiding altitude sickness. For optimal weather and clear vistas, consider embarking on this adventure during the pre-monsoon (spring) or post-monsoon (autumn) seasons.
While road construction has impacted sections of the Annapurna Circuit in recent years, the region’s intrinsic allure and beauty remain undiminished, consistently drawing intrepid adventurers from around the globe.
In summation, the Annapurna Circuit with Tilicho Lake trek promises an extraordinary expedition, seamlessly intertwining natural marvels, cultural immersion, and high-altitude exploration. This journey offers not only an intimate connection with nature but also a deep appreciation for local communities. As trekkers conquer demanding terrains and bask in the grandeur of the Himalayas, a profound sense of accomplishment awaits. Embark on this trek and unlock the extraordinary tapestry of Nepal’s Himalayan wonders.
Manang District Exploration: Immerse yourself in the enchanting charm of the Manang district, where captivating cultural experiences blend harmoniously with the natural allure of the region.
Barge Monastery: Explore the grandeur of the Manang district’s largest monastery, Barge Monastery, an architectural marvel brimming with historical and spiritual significance.
Thorong La Pass (5,416 meters): This challenging mountain pass stands at an impressive elevation, offering trekkers breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Tilicho Lake (4,949 meters): Renowned as one of the highest lakes globally, Tilicho Lake’s crystal-clear waters mirror the surrounding majestic mountains, creating an awe-inspiring and serene atmosphere.
Yak Kharka’s Blue Sheep: Along the trail, you might encounter the fascinating blue sheep, adding a touch of wildlife charm to the trekking experience.
Spectacular Mountain Views: The trek treats you to a stunning visual feast, showcasing iconic peaks like Mt. Annapurna, Thorung Peak, Nilgiri, Chulu West and East, Tukuche Peak, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV.
Scenic Variety: Traverse across awe-inspiring landscapes featuring magnificent lakes, awe-inspiring glaciers, dramatic gorges, and cascading waterfalls that paint a vibrant portrait of nature’s beauty.
Muktinath temple: A sacred pilgrimage site cherished by Hindus and Buddhists alike, Muktinath exudes spiritual significance against the backdrop of stunning mountain landscapes.
This trek is an opportunity to soak in the myriad wonders of nature, spirituality, and culture that make the Annapurna with Tilicho Lake journey an unforgettable adventure.
Duration: 5-6 hours , Walking Distance: 15km / 9.3miles
, Walking Distance: 15.5km / 9.6miles
, Walking Distance: 17 km
, Walking Distance: 12km / 7.4 miles
, Walking Distance: 8km / 4.9 miles
, Walking Distance: 11 km / 6.8 miles
, Walking Distance: 8.4km / 5.2miles
, Walking Distance: 8.5km / 5.2miles
, Walking Distance: 15.6km / 9.6miles
, Drive: 113km / 70miles
, Walking Distance: 200km/ 7-8 hours
Spring (March to May) and autumn (mid-September to November) are considered the best seasons to complete the Annapurna Circuit hike. The weather stays dry and clear during these times, making it ideal for trekking and enjoying unobstructed mountains’ views. The days are warm and the nights chilly. On the downside, however, these are peak seasons, and the trails get crowded and busy.
During spring, the trail is filled with wildflowers. Blue Sheep and Musk Dears come out to graze on alpine meadows. Walking through the hills covered with colorful blooms against the backdrop of the snowy Himalayas will seem heavenly.
Autumn is the most popular season for Annapurna Trek. With the end of the wet monsoon season, which clears the skies of dust and impurities, you can enjoy clear views during this season. Timing your trek around late September or October will allow you to experience the most important festivals of the Nepalese Dashain and Tihar. These festivals, celebrated by Hindus, last for several days. Expect good food, merry-making, dance, and music at all the villages along the trail.
Yartung, one of the oldest festivals in the Himalayan region, is celebrated in Manang, Upper Mustang, and Muktinath. It is a horse racing festival where riders from Manang and Mustang compete with each other and show off their horse-riding skills. Though according to custom it is observed for 3 days, the celebration continues for a week. Unfortunately, this festival falls during the rainy season (July or August). If you can brave inclement weather, you can be a part of this ancient and wonderful festival. You can do half the circuit, trek only up to Manang, and skip the Thorong La crossing.
This trek involves walking across Thorong La (5,416m), one of the highest mountain passes in Nepal, which can be quite risky during bad weather. Taking this route during the monsoon or winter season can be hazardous
Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a common condition that can occur when trekking at high elevations, such as during the Annapurna Circuit Trek. It is caused by the reduced amount of oxygen in the air at higher altitudes, and can be potentially life threatening if left untreated. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and to take steps to prevent it from occurring.
Here are some tips for acclimatization during the Annapurna Circuit Trek:
Gradual ascent: One of the best ways to acclimatize is to gradually ascend to higher altitudes. The Annapurna Circuit Trek is designed in such a way that trekkers have plenty of time to acclimatize. It is important to follow the recommended itinerary and not to rush the trek.
Hydration: Staying well hydrated can help prevent altitude sickness. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or tea, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Rest and relaxation: Taking regular rest breaks and allowing your body time to adjust to the altitude is important. It’s recommended to take a rest day every few days to help with acclimatization.
Medication: There are certain medications, such as acetazolamide, that can help prevent altitude sickness. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor before taking any medication.
Know the symptoms: The symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to rest and allow your body to adjust to the altitude. In severe cases, descending to a lower altitude may be necessary.
Overall, acclimatization is a critical component of trekking at high altitudes. By taking the necessary steps to prevent altitude sickness and allowing your body time to adjust to the altitude, you can enjoy the beauty of the Annapurna Circuit Trek without any major health concerns.
The gear and equipment you require for this trek depend on the season you are trekking. However, here is a list of probable items. We recommend our clients to bring just the essentials.
Sun hat or scarf |Winter hat or insulating hat or a wide-brimmed hat| Headlight with extra batteries
Sunscreen | Sunglasses with UV protection |Face/body wipes
Lightweight gloves |Heavyweight winter gloves
Hiking shirts | Long-sleeved shirt | Hooded rain jacket | Fleece jacket |Lightweight cotton pants | T-Shirt (bring lightweight wool) |Polypropylene underwear |Down jacket (available for rent in Kathmandu) |Sweater |Waterproof jacket and pants
Hiking boots |Thick wool socks (Take an extra pair of thick light socks)
Backpack or daypack (Size depends on whether you take porter or not)|Thermal bottle |Water purification tablets |Trekking pole
Sleeping bag (-15 degree bag is best in the high altitude trekking)
Medium size drying towel |Toothbrush |Toothpaste |Deodorant floss
Biodegradable bar soap |Nail clippers
Money| Watch |Cell phone |Camera
First aid kit|
Extra passport-size photos and photocopies of passport
Notebook and pen |
For Annapurna Circuit Trek, you need a good travel insurance policy that offers you coverage for all activities and altitudes included in your itinerary. The highest altitude you reach is 5,416 meters, and your travel insurance should offer you suitable coverage up to this elevation.
Though we take your safety as our number one priority, we cannot rule out mishaps and emergencies that may occur at this altitude. There is less oxygen in the environment, and trekkers usually suffer from Acute Mountain Sickness, which could prove to be fatal if not treated on time.
Walking in a treacherous mountain environment also exposes you to physical injuries. Therefore make sure that your insurance covers the cost of all injuries and emergencies that you can face during this trekking adventure.
Your insurance policy should especially cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and hospitalization in case of an accident or medical emergency, as these happen to be quite expensive. Check for vaccination requirements as some travel insurance policies make it mandatory to immunize yourself before leaving your country.
Before you decide on a policy, be mindful and do not forget to read the fine print. It would be advantageous for you to choose a company that offers insurance cover on domestic and international flight cancellations and lost or stolen baggage.
It is important to keep your body hydrated on the trail as dehydration also causes AMS. One should drink at least 3-4 liters of fluid.
Inside the Annapurna Conservation Area, you will find several safe drinking water stations. We highly recommend you carry a reusable water bottle with you, which can hold hot water. You can use one with a steri pen or an inbuilt filtration system like Life Straw.
You can also use water purification tablets to treat the water. While the water in the mountains tends to be pure and without impurities, it is better not to take chances and filter or treat the water before drinking.
Using chlorine or iodine tablets to treat the water may alter its taste. You can add flavored electrolyte powder (readily available at pharmacies in Kathmandu) to mask the bitter chemical taste. Adding electrolyte to your drinking water may also be beneficial as the minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) you lose while walking is replenished.
Teahouses offer boiled and filter drinking water at an additional cost. At some stops, you will get to buy bottled drinking water. It can cost anywhere from USD 1 to 3. Charges vary according to altitude (the higher you reach, the more expensive it will be) and quantity.