Tilicho Lake – Mesokanto La Pass Trek

Tilicho Lake lies in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas in Nepal which collects the glacial melt of the entire northern slopes of Annapurna and the Thorong Peak. It is considered as one of the highest lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of 4,949 m. Stretching about 4 km long and about 1km wide, it lies at the foot of the 7,134 m summit of the same name, north of the Grand Barrier, a 10 km long wall of rock, ice and snow.

This trek is more demanding and requires at least one night of camping. There are two passes leading to Jomsom: Mesokanto La and Tilicho North Pass. These routes via Tilicho Lake are more often closed by snow than the higher Thorong La. Due to the extremely inhospitable surrounding terrain and the difficulties associated with reaching the area, this lake is rarely visited by outsiders.

This is a splendid summer trek, as rewarding as it is challenging. The Tilicho Lake Trek is among the finest serious Nepal treks, best experienced during the monsoon.

Trek Profile:

Grade : Moderate Hard
Average walking per day : 5 hrs
Maximum altitude : 5,099 m
Best seasons : Feb-May, Sep-Dec
Type of Trek : Teahouse+Camping
Starting Point : Beshishahar
Ending Point : Jomsom

Standard Itinerary:

Day 1

Arrival in Kathmandu (1,400 m)

Upon arriving at Tribhuvan International Airport, meet our airport representative who will be displaying our company’s placard just outside the airport terminal. Then, get transferred to the respective hotel in a private tourist vehicle. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu

Day 2

Pre-trip Meeting; Kathmandu Valley sightseeing

After breakfast, at around 07:30 AM, pre-trip meeting is hosted in your hotel in Kathmandu in order to introduce the trek leader/guide. It is recommended to seek this opportunity to ask any question relevant to the trek. Please remember to bring the passport, 3 copies of passport-size photos, and a copy of the travel insurance policy. In any case that you will be arriving late and therefore are unable to attend the meeting, please inform in advance.
After that, get ready for the sightseeing tour that will start at around 09:30 AM. A private vehicle and professional tour guide is provided to guide you through the Kathmandu Valley including Bouddhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. A full-day sightseeing takes no more than 8 hrs to complete including the lunch time and rest of the time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu

Day 3

Drive to Beshishahar (760 m) & walk to Bhulbhule (910 m)

After early breakfast, drive for approximately 5 hrs through the beautiful green mountains following Trishuli and Marshyangdi Rivers; one can enjoy the views of Langtang, Ganesh and Manaslu mountain ranges. From Beshishahar, it is a 2.30 hrs easy walk to Bhulbhule following the Marshyangdi River. Overnight at lodge, Bhulbhule

Day 4

Trek to Jagat (1,340 m)

After breakfast, walk for around 7 hrs through the beautiful green valley passing through some nice villages, crossing several suspension bridges and passing beautiful waterfalls. Overnight at lodge, Jagat

Day 5

Trek to Dharapani (1,940 m)

After breakfast, walk through several ups and downs, some of them being very steep. After entering the Manang district from Taal, the trail follows the narrow valley up to Dharapani. Overnight at lodge, Dharapani

Day 6

Trek to Chame (2,710 m)

After breakfast, start walking through the trail that leads to the west from Manaslu passing through beautiful pine forest. Enjoy the spectacular view of Manaslu mountain range to the east, and Annapurna II and Lamjung Himal to the south. Chame, being headquarter of the Manang district, relatively more movement can be noticed. Overnight at lodge, Chame

Day 7

Trek to Pisang (3,240 m)

After breakfast, follow the Marshyangdi River all day for about 5 hrs and pass through narrow and steep gorge and pine forest. Pisang is a small but very ancient village; one can visit a small monastery at the top of the village, from where one can enjoy a spectacular view of Annapurna II (7,938 m). Overnight at lodge, Pisang

Day 8

Day 08: Trek to Manang (3,510 m)

After breakfast, start walking to Manang. Leaving Pisang, there are alternative trails from the north and the south of the Marshyangdi River which meets up again at Mungji. The southern route via Hongde, with its airstrip at 3,325 m, which involves less climbing than the northern route via Ghyaru through which there are better views on the trail that follows the northern bank of the river. From Mungji, the trail passes the picturesque but partially hidden village of Bryanga at 3,475 m to the nearby Manang. Overnight at lodge, Manang

Day 9

Rest day for acclimatization

A necessary rest day for acclimatization and explore Manang. Manang is one of the most beautiful villages on this trek with the entire line of Annapurnas on the south. A short hiking for acclimatization (approx. 3 hrs and up to 4,200 m) is suggested on the rest day. Overnight at lodge, Manang

Day 10

Trek to Khangsar (3,734 m)

After breakfast, head towards the Tilicho Lake, situated on the west end of Manang following the path down to the river; after crossing the Khangsar Khola, reach Khangsar, a beautiful and ancient village, also known as the Last Village of Nepal. Overnight at lodge, Khangsar

Day 11

Trek to Tilicho Base Camp (4,130 m)

After breakfast, continue from Khangsar on a large path, passing a monastery; the route ahead goes on a recently constructed path up towards a high ridge. At one point, there is an intersection: one path maintains the altitude, traversing the slopes towards a place where the valley is narrow; the other continues to ascend towards the line of the ridge. The former is the old path and is much more difficult as it goes on really steep screed whereas the latter is the new path that goes a completely different way. Continue along the new path, reach a high crest and descend on switch backs carved out through the screed slopes to a side valley of the main valley. There you are at the Tilicho Base Camp, surrounded by the big white mountains. Overnight at tented camp, Tilicho Base Camp

Day 12

Trek to Tilicho Lake (4,949 m)

Early in the morning at around 06:00 AM, start the journey as to avoid the wind. From the Tilicho Base Camp, the trail is steep uphill for 2 hrs and 1 hr walk through a relatively flat trail at an altitude of 4,900 m and there is Tilicho Lake right at the foot of Mt. Tilicho (7,134 m). Tilicho Lake is a cold barren place in the afternoon and claimed as the highest lake of the world. Overnight at tented camp, Tilicho Lake

Day 13

Trek to Nama Phu (3,510 m) via Mesokanto La Pass (5,099 m)

Finally, it’s the day of Mesokanto La, a tough ascent for 3 hrs (at an altitude where every step is an effort). Mesokanto La, a spell bounding place, offering the most spectacular views of the big white mountains standing tall on every side. As demanding is the ascent, it’s not an easy task to get down as well. A scary steep trail between huge rocks for a couple of hours might prove harder than the ascent that has been done before. Overnight at tented camp, Nama Phu

Day 14

Day 14: Trek to Jomsom (2,710 m)

After breakfast, trek down for 5 hrs through the deserted mountains to Jomsom, completely dry and windy but a lovely town in the Kali Gandaki Valley. Overnight at lodge, Jomsom

Day 15

Fly to Pokhara (827 m)

After an early breakfast, take a 30 minute flight to Pokhara; get transferred to the hotel and rest of the day in Pokhara at leisure. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara

Day 16

Free day in Pokhara

After breakfast, relax and enjoy the day on your own. It’s also spare day in case of bad weather in Jomsom. Overnight at hotel, Pokhara

Day 17

Drive back to Kathmandu

After breakfast, drive back to Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel, Kathmandu

Day 18

Departure

After breakfast, free till check out time; get transferred to Kathmandu International Airport for your final departure.