Tilicho Lake Trekking

Tilicho Lake Trekking - A Complete Guide

Trek around the best and diverse landscapes, and the Annapurnas in the alluring terrains, gleaming mountains, cascading waterfalls, and fierce rivers.

Sambandha Malla
Author | Sambandha Malla Date Published:
Tilicho Lake Trek in Nepal

Trek around the best and diverse landscapes, and the Annapurnas in the alluring terrains, gleaming mountains, cascading waterfalls, and fierce rivers. You will be amazed to see the lush green Manang Valley, the shining blue Tilicho lake, and the massive Annapurna, Manaslu ranges. Tilicho lake trekking offers you a combination of very joyous experiences during a 10-15 days trek. Tilicho lake trekking was a part of the classical Annapurna circuit trek.

Quick Facts About Tilicho Lake Trekking

Trek Type Tea House
Difficulty Grade Moderate
Maximum Altitude 4,919m
Best Season to Visit Spring and Autumn
Location Manang, Nepal
Region Annapurna region
Trekking Duration 12 Days
Travel Mode Drive and Hiking

Dear trek lovers, we take you to this complete guide to Tilicho lake trekking. We reckon it might be on your bucket list too. The Tilicho trail offers you magnificent views of diverse landscapes, impressive and spectacular views of the white gigantic Himalayas. The path leads us through the beautiful ancient village inhabited by diverse people with diverse ethnicity.  Enjoy the offbeat trail with surreal views.

Table Of Content

    Tilicho Lake

    Tilicho lake is considered the highest altitude lake in the world at an altitude of 4,919 m above sea level. Its dimension is 4 km in length, 1.2 km in width, an average depth of 85 km, and a surface area of 4.8 square km.  The lake is located in the Manang district and lies in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas.

    Tilicho lake

    This is a famous side trek, during one of the most famous trekking routes of the world, the Annapurna Circuit. From the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu to the tranquillity of Tilicho, the journey to the World’s highest altitude lake is challenging yet beautiful and filled with adventures.

    Tilicho Lake Trekking General Route Info :

    Kathmandu → Besisahar → Bahundada → Chamje → Bagarchhap → Chame → Pisang → Manang → Khangsar Village → Tilicho Base Camp → Tilicho Lake → Tilicho Base Camp → Manang → Kathmandu

    The trek normally begins at Besisahar, a six-hour ride from Kathmandu valley. It is a perfect place to take a day off and prepare yourself for challenging, ancient, gigantic, and magnificent Manang. 

    Best Time to Visit Tilicho Lake

    The best time for the Tilicho Lake Trekking is during the Autumn (September - November) and Spring (March-May). During this period of the year, the skies are more explicit and the snow-clad mountains have a crystal clear view. 

    The average temperature remains around 15 degrees celsius and it could drop near 0 at midnight. At the same time, these two seasons are the festive seasons in Nepal. 

    tilicho lake

    This time could also be really great for nature lovers, as the vegetation will be flourishing and the blossoms are seen in a wider range. Avoid peak monsoon period, and extreme snowfall period in winter it might be quite difficult to reach the top.  

    Related Article: Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake Trek

    Travel Permits

    Foreign trekkers require an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Protection) permit which costs NPR 3000 per person. Additionally, they also need a TIMS (Trekking Information Management System) permit before starting their trek, which costs NPR 2000 per person. 

    Individual trekkers can obtain these permits from the Nepal tourism board in Kathmandu. Companies arrange these permits for those who are travelling through a trekking company like us. A couple of xerox copies of the passport and 3 passport size photos are required while applying for the permit. 

    Nepalese citizens don’t require any permit in this trek. 

    Related Trip: Annapurna Circuit and Tilicho Lake Trek

    Difficulty

    Tilicho lake trekking is a moderately difficult trek in Nepal. One can be hurt by altitude sickness while trekking in the thin air. The trail above Shree Kharka is the challenging part of this trek. Trekkers can avoid certain altitude sicknesses by maintaining steady climbs, drinking as much as water, wearing warm clothes, and balancing meals.

    Sometimes you might get sick while taking the elevation, especially the digestion problem and Diarrhoea in the worst case. So, you can carry a couple of Digene tablets and Electrobion. 

    Related Article: Best Time to Visit Tilicho Lake

    Tilicho Lake Trekking Short Itinerary

    Day Activity Highlights Overnight At
    1 Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m) Kathmandu
    2 Drive to Besisahar (830m) Besisahar
    3 Drive to Chame (2630m) Chame
    4 Trek to Manang (3540m) from Chame Manang
    5 Explore and Acclimatization in Manang Manang
    6 Trek to Shree Kharka (3800m) from Manang Shree Kharka
    7 Trek to Tilicho Base Camp ( 4200m) from Manang Tilicho Base Camp
    8 Trek to Tilicho Lake and back to Base Camp Tilicho Base Camp
    9 Tilicho Base Camp to Manang Manang
    10 Drive from Manang to Besisahar Besisahar
    11 Drive from Besisahar to Kathmandu Kathmandu
    12 Departure from Kathmandu -

    Detailed Itinerary of Tilicho Lake Trekking

    Find out the day to day itinerary of Tilicho lake trekking in detail:

    Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu (1350m)

    Kathmandu is the perfect place to start a trek from a hustle and bustle city to the tranquillity of the Himalayas, your journey will be blissful. When you arrive at Kathmandu via Tribhuvan International Airport(TIA), a reserved vehicle or high-end tourist bus will pick you up and take you to a hotel where you have made a reservation. 

    Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal and a historical city with a famous heritage site.  One can stroll around the alleys, visit World heritage sites, or relax on your comfortable bed and dream about the mighty Himalayas.  Kathmandu not only provides you with a perfect sight but also an authentic taste of Nepalese Cuisine. You can try out various Nepalese Cuisine, especially Dal Bhat, which is a traditional mean steam rice meal along with gravy and Vegetables. 

    Day 2: Drive to Besisahar (830m)

    Besisahar is a municipality located in the Lamjung district of Nepal. We can have a private jeep or local means to reach Besisahar. It takes around 6-7 hours to reach Besisahar from Kathmandu. The city is located at the bank of ranging Marsyangdi river and is commonly known as a getaway of the Annapurna Circuit. You can find several hotels and cafes around and have a good rest for the next day’s journey to the magnificent Manang trip. 

    Day 3: Drive to Chame (2710m)

    Besishahar comes to life much early, you can hear the vehicles honks, indistinctive conversation, and muttering of people. You can get a jeep up to the last village of Manang i.e. Khangsar. The road is narrow and steep and you can enjoy the bumpy rides, witness the alluring terrains, gleaming mountains upfront, cascading waterfalls besides, and fierce river along.

    Most of the tourists start their trek from Besisahar but we can skip the dusty, long paths on the scorching sun and get enough time for acclimatizing at a higher elevation. The best spot for starting the trek is Chame, headquarter of Manang District. It takes around 5 hours to reach Chame from Besisahar. The air gets thinner and thinner as we take elevation. You can sense the landscape and weather change as you move up. 

    Once you reach the village of Chame you can find yourself accommodation, lose your backpack, comfort yourself and trek around the village. There is a hot-water stream on the opposite bank of the Marsyangdi river, don’t forget to carry a swimming costume. You can take a dip inside, lose the daily stress, have a cold beer, and enjoy the golden hour of the sunset of the Himalayas.  

    Day 4: Trek to Manang (3519m)

    Today, you can taste the scenic trek of the Annapurna Circuit walking from Chame to Manang which is around 25 km long. The destination could be challenging but can be reached till dusk. You can start your trek around 6 am in the morning, fill your bottle, tighten up the shoelace, and fasten the backpack. You can witness gigantic Manaslu Mountain on the East and Annapurna II on your south.

    After an hour of trek, you can get the first glimpse of the dazzling Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world. You will encounter an apple farm at Bhratang, you can take a rest, have a sweet apple juice, and taste some apples. As you walk by we can feel the cold breeze gently hitting your face, a raging river flowing down the valley, clouds forming above the mountain, and the sun dazzling the mountains which will be a blissful and exciting moment of your life. 

    As you walk by you can witness Pisang peak, the vast landscape of Pisang, and a breathtaking view of coniferous forest. This will probably give you those fairytale moments from your childhood. Walking along the Marsyangdi River, past many colourful chortens and ancient flat-roofed houses will make the trek even exciting. It takes around 9-10 hours to reach Manang. You will reach around the evening, find yourself an accommodation and get rest after a long day. 

    Day 5: Explore and Acclimatization in Manang (3519m)

    The beginning of another perfect day begins with the perfect view of Annapurna and the Gangapurna Mountains along with the ranges of Annapurna. You can sip warm coffee or tea and watch the magnificent view from the balcony. 

    Acclimatization day is always beneficial, you can stroll around, know the culture, or stay cosy at your bed reading novels. There are many activities that could be done around Manang. Some of them are: 

    1. A long day hike to Ice Lake. 
    2. A visit to hundred rupee lama at cave gumba above Manang
    3. A couple of hours hike to Milarepa's cave, across the Marsyangdi river at Brakha. 
    4. Short hike to Gangapurna Glacier lake and its surrounding. 
    5. A tour to several Manang’s bakeries. 

    Following the day activity, you can fancy yourself a toast in the evening. 

    Day 6: Trek from Manang to Shree Kharka (3800m)

    Today, the trek will be around 4-5 hours, a little strenuous as the elevation rises continuously. You will move towards the northwest of the Manang district. The landscape changes drastically from the cold coniferous forest to the barren land. The howling wind hits your face and winds up your hair. The barren landscape gives your eye a pleasant sight to watch. 

    Tilicho

    After half an hour of trek, a long and swinging suspension bridge appears in a sight, crossing the bridge will take you across the other side of the river and to the last village of Manang, Khangsar. The wide gate of Khangsar welcomes you like a long lost friend. The hilltop village of Khangsar gives you a breathtaking view of the Annapurna range, Marsyangdi river, and barren landscape.

    You can take a rest and have lunch in Khangsar and leave for Shreekharka which is around 2-3 hours. There are two paths you can take from Khangsar towards Tilicho via Shree Kharka which is northwest of Khangsar and Thorong La pass via Yak Kharka which is Southwest of Khangsar. 

    The strenuous uphill trek gives you a pleasant surprise, the raging river below and the chilly cloud above give you a fresh feeling of the Himalayas. The several stupas and gumbas could be seen from a distance. The final push for the day gives you Shree Kharka where a couple of houses are located. You can find yourself and accommodation and enjoy the evening meal on a desk outside watching the shining sun fade in a distant horizon. If luck favours you can witness Blue Sheep and Snow Leopard. 

    Day 7: Shree Kharka to Tilicho Base Camp (4150m)

    Today, the trek will be around 4-5 hours long from the stone-paved paths to the landslide trails. The suspension bridge after a couple of hours trek acts as an intersection point between the two ridges and the steep, narrow and famous landslide trail of Tilicho thus begins. The raging river below the slope, sand and rock above gives you a bone chill moment for instance.

    You have to keep your eye on and mind alert while crossing the trail. The path will lead to the high crest, and downhill descent from the point onwards gives you the bleary vision of houses down the valley. Following the descend you will arrive at the base camp, witnessing the brook being a large river. Trekkers can choose either of the available teahouses for accommodation. 

    You can hike around the hills, feel the freshness of the Himalayas, chilly wind, and snow-capped mountains which feels like a touching distance. One can enjoy the evening fire inside the teahouse reading a novel or having a sip of warm coffee or tea. 

    Day 8: Trek to Tilicho (4919m)

    Today, you got to wake up as early as possible to avoid the wind. Wear warm clothes, tighten your shoelaces, and leave your backpack at the hotel. You can carry some food supply entries and plenty of water with you as the hotel above is only available after the high time. The trek is around a 3-4 hour long, barren and uphill trail. You can see the Khangsar Himal and mighty Annapurna circuit. 

    Slow steps, short breaths, frequent breathers are common during this stretch, you have to be focused, hydrated, and warm to avoid any incident. After a couple of hours, a straight uphill path will be on your way which takes you uphill and much closer to the lake. One can feel the thin air, cold breeze, and bone-chilling atmosphere. 

    Finally, Tilicho is here, after the long walk, the most awaited moment of a week. The moment that you fantasized throughout the week. The lake is so huge and beautiful and the turquoise colour adds up the spice. The place is so heavenly, it makes us forget the world behind and the long, difficult tiring walk. The Annapurna range will be in touching distance and the reflection of the mountain on the lake will give you an eternal cherished moment. You can stay up till the wind gets strong and the weather starts getting cloudy. The downhill won't be much difficult but gives you a little bit of knee pain. You can stay in the same hotel, have lunch and give yourself a proper dinner.

    Day 9: Tilicho Base Camp to Manang (3800m)

    You can take the same path which leads you to the Base Camp, through the sloppy and steep way to the Khangsar which will take you around 4-5 hours to reach. Though many trekkers climb and change their destiny towards Yakkharka, you can have a clear look around the area for one last time before bidding a farewell to the trail. The 1-2 hour of continuous downhill will lead you towards the village of Manang giving you another chance to have a cosy stay in a paradise. You can find yourself accommodation and treat yourself to fine dining. 

    Day 10: Drive to Besisahar

    You can get a jeep from Manang which will be parked just beside the Manang gate. The jeep will pass through the wooden bridges, small villages, and apple farms. The grit of barren land turns into a forest in a blink of an eye while descending from the jeep. You can have lunch somewhere in between, have a break at the Chamse waterfall, and reach Besisahar around 7-8 hours. Dine-in, relax and have fun. We have made it to the highest altitude lake.

    Day 11: Drive back to Kathmandu

    The local micros are available in a queue from morning to late afternoon. You can even hire a private jeep for a quick ride. It takes around the same 5-6 hours to reach Kathmandu.

    You can stroll around and have a quick trip to some places around and buy some stuff as a part of your memory. 

    Day 12: Departure from Kathmandu

    It's a farewell day and time to say goodbye to Nepal. Soak up for the last breakfast along with a coffee and rest around until the arrival time hits the clock. The hotel vehicle will drop you off and bid farewell.  

    Note: If our trip itinerary doesn’t suit your holiday schedule or you wish to modify the itinerary or combine it with any other travel plans, please let us know and we will be happy to create a tailor-made itinerary, designed especially for you. Also, whether you are a student group/family group /corporate team please inquire about us. We offer you a variety of packages.

    Would you like to book an activity or a trip with us?

    Get in touch with our experts right away and finalize an experience!

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    Tilicho Lake Trekking Tips

    • Walk slow but steady.
    • Acclimatize your body.
    • Start the trek early in the morning. 
    • Take good rest, don’t rush.
    • Drink enough water (minimum 6 litres a day).
    • If you feel uncomfortable, get down to the lower altitude.
    • Ask the locals, before taking pictures.
    • Follow your guide’s instructions. 
    • Don’t litter.
    • Dump the trash into the designated place.
    • Don’t dive into the lake. 
    • Don’t follow the random trail.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is the level of difficulty of this trek?
      This is a moderate level trek. Still, proper acclimatization is advised.
    • How to get to Tilicho lake?
      You can take a local microbus (Kathmandu- Besisahar) and then trek all the way round to Tilicho from Besisahar or hire a 4- wheeler to Manang or Khangsar and trek all the way around. If you find the trail extremely difficult and painful, you can also hire a horse from TBC to Tilicho.
    • Which is the best season to travel to Tilicho Lake?
      The best time to visit Tilicho lake is during the Spring and Autumn season. The trail gets closed during peak winter and both internal and external tourists are forbidden, also during peak monsoon the trail gets affected by massive floods. It's better not to visit during this time.  
    • Is there accommodation near Tilicho lake?
      No, the only accommodation before the lake is at Tilicho Base Camp which is 4-5 hours downhill from Tilicho. There is a tea shop in front of the lake where you can get some snacks along with your chosen drink. 
    • Is lake water fresh?
      Yes, lake water is absolutely fresh and no sign of aquatic life is ever noticed. 
    • How far does a vehicle reach in this trek?
      It can reach until Khangsar the path is graveled, you have to carry extra gear if you are going on your private vehicles. 
    • What are the major attractions of this trek?
      The trek follows the beautiful innumerable waterfalls, high hills, and close mountain view of the Annapurna massif including Annapurna I - IV, Manaslu, Tilicho Peak, and Pisang Peak. Exploration of Tilicho lake and Tilicho Base Camp, Ice lake, Gangapurna glacier and lake, colourful chortens and ancient flat-roofed houses, and several gumbas. Also, get an opportunity to witness the unique culture and facts of the Himalayan people.
    • What new food should be given a try to give a new taste for the taste buds?
      Well, you will surely find a lot of varieties from pizzas, momos to dal bhat. You can also taste various soups like thenduk, Yak cheese, Yak milk, kodho’s rice, and chapatis.
    • How can I deal with altitude sickness?
      If you feel any sort of difficulties like headaches, nausea or vomiting while trekking uphill then just rush down to the lower altitude. You can also carry medicines like Diamox and ibuprofen only after consulting your physician. If the situation is worse you have to call for a medical emergency.
    • What are the availability of telecommunication and wifi?
      The NTC network works fine till Khangsar, after Khangsar you get a connection at landslide trail and after tilicho base camp till the last uphill point. Wi-Fi facilities are available at every hotel but might get interrupted from time to time. You can carry a satellite phone as another means of communication. 

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