Photography trek- Nar Phu Valley
“The village looked like a tiny fortress-citadel, for defense against bandits and to avoid wasting a single square foot of scarce arable land, it had been built on a 100-foot rock outcrop that fell sheer to the banks of the river. Most of Phu’s 38 houses clustered on top of the outcrop or clung to its sides like swallows’ nests; but a few spilled over a neck of land that joined the mountain behind the village…” – Cloud-Dwellers of the Himalayas by Windsor Chorlton.
Embark on this extra ordinary journey with you that takes you hundreds of year back in time. Explore this mysterious and fascinating land with its intriguing history and culture along with unparalleled mountain views, and capture the magical stories with your lenses under the guidance of your mentor Karissa Frye.
Nar Phu Valley Trek is unarguably one of the most remote and least explored treks in Nepal. Opened only in 2003, this trek takes you to the wild, exotic and sparsely populated valleys of Nar and Phu, offering intriguing medieval Tibetan culture and customs completely undisturbed form, and dramatic mountains view.
Nepal’s most unscathed, Tibetan-influenced quarters, the restricted area of Nar Phu Valley can only be accessed with a special permit issued by an authorized trekking agency, who will also provide the obligatory guide. The permit is only valid for seven days so you must complete the trek in this time frame.
Beginning the Journey
We start our journey with a drive to Chyamje, a small village in the main trail of the Annapurna Circuit trek, and then branch off from Koto to follow an off the beaten track to Nar Phu valley, following the deep narrow river gorge, North of the Annapurna range.
After a week exploring and acclimatizing in these mysterious valleys with alpine forests, deep and Narrow River gorges, intriguing ancient Tibetan Buddhist culture and amazing wildlife with a possible chance of spotting the Snow Leopard (if you are lucky), we reach a village called Nar.
From here a barren trail leads to a high camp at Kang La Phedi (4530m). A gradual and steep climb from high camp leads to the Kang La (5320m) from where you get a surreal view of the Annapurna ranges and the beautiful Manang Valley to the South.
The trail then descends a steep terrain leading to Ngawal (3615m). Here we join the Annapurna Circuit trail and then retrace our trek back to Chyamje.
The surreal view from the Kang La.
Kang La is 5320m, and it connects the wild, rarely-visited, valleys of Nar and Phu to the Annapurna Circuit. We can witness large panorama peaks right in front of us from Kang La Pass.
The ridge in front of you consists Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, the summit of Macchapuchare (it peaks from behind the ridge), and Annapurna III, all of these will be your eye pleaser. The ridge then connects with Gangapurna and further down it connects with the highest of the Annapurna’s, the Annapurna II.
We can see the Annapurna range from the north. Usually, we see this range from the southern side, from the Pokhara side, the Annapurna Base camp, but from here we see the range from the North.
This place is called the Grand Barrier, and if you continue further down, you can also see Dhaulagiri near the end of the ridge. You can also find a lake below Kang La at 5220m.
- Discover the isolated settlements of Naar and Phu
- Superb “off-the-beaten-track” trekking
- Learn how to shoot adventure photographs under the guidance of your mentor Karissa Frye
- Opened to trekkers only since 2003
- High snow-peaks, ancient Khampa settlements with intriguing cultures and traditions
- Exotic hidden villages of Nar and Phu
- Ancient monasteries
- Crossing the Kang La Pass with magnificent views of the Annapurna.
- Possible sighting of the Snow Leopard and blue sheep
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu/ Transfer to hotel/ welcome dinner
Day 2: Half-day guided sightseeing tour/ lunch/ trek briefing
Day 3: Drive to Chyamje (1430m). Drive approx. 8/9 hours
Day 4: Trek to Bagarchhap (2160m). 6/7 hours
Day 5: Trek to Koto (2600m). 6/7 hours
Day 6: Trek to Meta (3550m). 6/7 hours
Day 7: Trek to Chyaku (3700m ) 4 hours
Day 8: Trek to Phu (4240m). 4 hours
Day 9: Rest at Phu
Day 10: Trek to Nar Phedi (3500m). 7/8 hours
Day 11: Trek to Nar ( 4100m). 3/4 hours
Day 12: Trek to Kangla Phedi (4500m ). 3 hours
Day 13: Trek to Ngawal (3660m ). via Kangla Pass (5320 ). 9/ 10 hours
Day 14: Trek to Dhukkur Pokhari ( 3250m) and drive to Shiri Chaur. 4/5 hrs drive
Day 15: Drive to Kathmandu.
Day 16: Departure.
Your mentor- Karissa Frye
Growing up in Montana, I gained an appreciation for the outdoors at a young age. This appreciation instilled in me a lifelong need for adventure. While there was plenty to explore in the vast backcountry near my home, I soon felt compelled to explore new vistas. This led to the discovery of my greatest passion in life – visual storytelling. After obtaining a photojournalism degree at the University of Montana, I began working as a freelance photographer, filmmaker and writer. I spend most of my time traveling to far places to document people, cultures, environments and outdoor adventures. Through my work, I strive to shed light on untold stories.
You can find her works here:
- Internationally renowned photography instructor
- All internal transportation in private vehicle.
- 4 nights in tourist class hotel on bed and breakfast basis while in Kathmandu.
- Welcome dinner.
- Half day guided city tour with lunch.
- Services of English speaking guide.
- Sherpas and porters assistance.
- Use of a personal trek pack consisting of a duffle bag, down jacket and sleeping bag with a fleece inner-liner.
- All meals and lodging while on trek with afternoon tea/coffee service.
- 2 nights camping facilities with tents, food, mats etc.
- Restricted Area Permit.
- National Park fees.
- Staff insurance, tourist service fee and all taxes applicable as per state law.
- Personal accident and rescue insurance. You must provide your own rescue insurance
- Mineral water, beer, soft drinks and extra tea/coffee outside of normal meal times.
- Private room accommodation in Kathmandu unless a single supplement is paid.
- Optional tips to guides and porters.
- Visa costs.
- Helicopter evacuation in the unlikely situation, although we do arrange for it and make the necessary documents so that you can claim from your insurance.