Namun La Pass Trek

Destination
Nepal
Activity
Trekking
Accomodation
Lodge and Camping
Region
Annapurna Region
Start / End Point
Sikles/Pokhara
Duration
8 Night 9 Day
Max. Altitude
5054 m
Meals Included
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Group Size
2 - 30
Nature of Trek
Camping
Best Season
Autumn
Trip Code
NPT111
Activity Per Day
5 - 6 hours trekking
Transporation
Private Jeep and Local Bus
Grade
Challenging

Overview

The Namun La Pass trek is a remote and less-traveled route in Nepal's Annapurna region. At an elevation of 4850 m, this high-altitude pass was once an important trade route between Manang, Lamjung, and Kaski districts. This trek is challenging and unsuitable for beginners, requiring experience and mental preparation. The trek takes about eight days from Pokhara or nine days from Kathmandu.

Opened for trekking in 2008, the Namun La Pass is a relatively unexplored paradise. Rarely visited by foreign travelers, this off-the-beaten-path trek takes you through some of the most remote areas of the Nepalese Himalayas. The Namun La Pass holds a significant place in history, having been a vital route for the Tamu community, now known as Gurung, to journey from Tibet to this beautiful region. One of the most enchanting features is the Dudh Pokhari, a stunning glacial lake believed to possess the mystical ability to cleanse one's soul. During the Janai Purnima (Sacred Thread Ceremony), pilgrims and devotees from the Gurung community gather here to bathe in its chilly waters.

The Namunla Pass trek via Sikles, Kapuche Lake, Kori, Thulek, and Dudhpokhari typically requires camping for 4-5 days, depending on the chosen itinerary. The trek starts from Sikles and is connected to the famous Annapurna Circuit Trek and the Nar Phu Valley Trek, offering a unique and less-traveled way to experience these renowned trekking routes.
The trail to Namunla involves rough and rocky terrain, including hiking along cliffs. Approximately 30% of the trail consists of rocky, landslide-prone, and cliff areas, necessitating proper trekking gear.

This trek is only feasible during specific months, and undertaking it during winter or early spring can be challenging. It requires appropriate gear and experienced sherpas to complete the journey. The trek involves traversing rugged terrain and requires careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Highlights of the Namunla Pass Trek :
    • Scenic drive from Pokhara/Kathmandu to Sikles, passing through numerous picturesque villages.
    • Visit Kapuche Lake, the lowest glacial lake in the world, with stunning ice falls and crystal-clear waters.
    • Nota Valley, the "Valley of Flowers," offers close-up views of towering peaks like Annapurna II, IV, and Lamjung Himal.
    • Kori Danda is known for exceptional sightings of high mountains from a low elevation, including a unique perspective of Mt. Machhapuchhre.
    • Camping at Thulek Lake, with constant views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and IV.
    • Visiting Dudhpokhari (4,650 meters) is a culturally significant activity for the Gurung community, especially during the Janai Purnima festival.
    • Cross the Chimre Deurali (5,054 m) and the Namun La Pass (4,850 m) to enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the Himalayan giants.
    • Camping at Danfe Kharka, a vast grassland with stunning views of peaks like Himlung, Chulu East, and West.
    • A chance to connect to the famous Annapurna Circuit Trek or the Nar Phu Valley Trek from Timang.

Why trek the Namunla Pass?

    The Namun La Pass trek is a fantastic way to experience the mighty Himalayas up close. This 8-day adventure takes you through some of the Annapurna region's most remote and untouched areas. From the start, you'll witness breathtaking sights like the crystal-clear Kapuche Lake and the vibrant rhododendron forests uphill to Kori. As you ascend, you'll cross the challenging Namun La Pass, standing tall at 4,850 meters, offering incredible panoramic views of towering peaks like  Mt. Manaslu, Annapurna II, Lamjung Himal, Kangaru Peak and Thulagi Chuli Peak. Along the way, cultural immersion at Dudhpokhari.

    With opportunities to spot rare wildlife like the elusive snow leopard, this off-the-beaten-path trek is an actual test of your endurance. But the other highlights of the trek, along with its stunning natural beauty and sense of accomplishment, make every step worth it, leaving you in awe of the Himalayas' grandeur.

Best Seasons for Namula Pass:

Spring (May):

It is favorable for the initial stages of the trek, with mild temperatures and blooming rhododendrons in lower elevations. However, the high mountain passes like Namun La (5,300m) and Chimre Deurali (5,054m) may still have more snow, making them challenging and riskier during this season without proper gear.

Increased chances of afternoon thunderstorms and occasional rainfall.
 

Autumn (September-November):

Considered the best season for this trek, with stable weather conditions and clear skies.

Comfortable weather, with daytime highs around 1220°C in lower elevations, and after September the temperature will drop to minus at Thulake, Thurju, and the pass area. 

Minimal precipitation chances ensure safer conditions for crossing the high mountain passes.

Stunning views of the Himalayas, with vibrant fall colors adding to the scenic beauty.


Late Autumn (Late November):

Still a favorable time, with mostly clear skies and dry conditions.

Temperatures start to drop, with nights becoming colder at higher elevations.

Increased risk of snow and harsh weather conditions at the highest points, like Chimle Deurali and Namun La Pass.

The monsoon season (June-September) is not highly recommended for this trek due to the poor visibility. Light rain and cloudy conditions in the high mountains, slippery trails, and poor visibility make the high mountain passes not worth the trek. Crossing the Namunla Pass during the summer is possible if the weather is favourable. If you are an experienced hiker without Acrophobia, you can conquer the Namunla in the summer. Ensure you have the proper gear and hire a professional guide and porter from a reputed company. 

Similarly, winter (December-March) is not ideal, as the extremely cold temperatures, heavy snowfall, and potential for avalanches can make the trek hazardous, especially in the few sections before and after the Namunla pass. 

In summary, the autumn season (September-November) is the most suitable time for the Namun La Pass trek, offering the best combination of favorable weather conditions, stable chilly temperatures, and safer conditions for crossing the high mountain passes.

Namunla Pass Trek Difficulty:

The Namun La Pass trek is challenging and requires strength and determination. The path takes you over high passes like Namun La (4,850 meters) and Chimre Deurali (5,054 meters) and off the beaten trails, so you must get used to the altitude and be fit. The terrain is rough, with trails carved into cliffs, loose rocks, and the risk of rockfalls. 

On certain parts of the trek, like from Thurju to Namunla Bhanjyang, you have to cross areas hit by landslides, which means zigzagging through fallen rocks and debris. Going down from the Namun La Pass is especially tricky, with paths formed by landslides and small avalanches, often requiring you to walk in single file on narrow mountain paths. 

The trail from Thullek to Thurju includes steep climbs and descents, making it a challenging 3-4 hour downhill trek, particularly after passing the Chimre Deurali. The path is narrow, hugging the cliff at high altitudes and rough terrain. The Namun La Pass trek offers a true Himalayan adventure, pushing your limits and providing a thrilling experience.
Given these difficulties, including the tricky terrain and the need to cross landslide-affected paths, the Namun La Pass trek is not recommended for beginners or those without prior trekking experience in similar conditions.

Kori Dada:

The accommodations in Kori are also basic but functional. About four tea houses offer basic amenities; the Namaste Guest House is noted for being the best among them. The proximity to Lamjung Himal offers breathtaking views just before we leave the hill.

From Kori, panoramas include diverse peaks such as Annapurna II, IV, and the Lamjung range and a unique perspective of Machhapuchre. Unlike other viewpoints throughout the region, here in Kori, Machhapuchre's ( Fishtails) back is visible, displaying only one peak rather than its iconic fishtail shape with two peaks, offering a unique and unseen backdrop of Machhapuchre against the sky.

Kori is renowned for its exceptional sightings of high and giant mountains from relatively low elevations, with no other hills to obstruct the view. It's not uncommon to witness avalanches cascading down these mountains; we can hear the sound of avalanches falling even at night, adding a thrilling element to our trek.

Kori's biodiversity is also notable, with seven types of rhododendrons and over 1,200 species of flowers. The area is filled with wildlife, including snow leopards, marmots, Thar, deer, and various birds, making it a true paradise for nature enthusiasts. Those lucky enough may have a chance to spot the elusive snow leopard.

Connectivity isn't completely cut off in Kori. Mobile network coverage is available in certain parts, allowing trekkers to share their experiences or stay in touch with the outside world.

Namun La Pass Trek Photo

Namunla Pass Trek Itinerary

  1. day 1

    Pokhara or Kathmandu to Sikles and trek to Hugu Goth:

  2. day 2

    Hugu Goth to Nota

  3. day 3

    Nota to Kori

  4. day 4

    Kori to Thulek

  5. day 5

    Thulek to Thurju

  6. day 6

    Thurju to DudhPokhari and back to Thurju:

  7. day 7

    Thurju to Danfe Kharka via Namunla Pass:

  8. day 8

    Daphe Kharka to Timang:

What's Included?

    • All ground transfers as per the itinerary. Jeep transport from Pokhara to Sikles, and shared Jeep transport from Timang to Pokhara/Kathmandu.
    • Highly experienced, helpful, and friendly camping guide, with his food, accommodation, salary, equipment, and accidental insurance.
    • Twin or triple-sharing teahouse accommodation is available in Hugu, Notaa, and Sikles, with tented accommodation provided after that until reaching Timing.
    • Trekking equipment (2-3 men per tent,  kitchen tent, chairs, sleeping bag, kitchen utensils, and other necessary equipment during the trek)
    • Three meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be provided during your stay at the tea house and while camping.
    • A required number of porters to assist with transporting camping supplies.
    • Complete trekking arrangements with the required TIMS for trekkers and Annapurna Conservation Area Permit (ACAP) permit.
    • First aid medical kit with oximeter during the trek.
    • Government taxes, local taxes, TDS, and office service charges.
    • Trekking achievement certificate after the trek.

Advice for Trekkers during Namunla Pass Trek:

This Namunla Pass trek, connecting the Annapurna Circuit, Narphu Valley, and Manaslu Circuit, is not for the faint-hearted. Starting from Sikles Village, it offers an extreme trekking experience with camping opportunities and the opportunity to explore the most uncharted path in the Annapurna region in just eight days. Due to the challenging nature of this trek, which includes thin air and a trekking route filled with cliffs and isolated paths, it is not suitable for beginners or those with a fear of heights. Furthermore, the trek is best undertaken in a group for safety reasons, as the remote and rugged terrain is not ideal for solo trekkers.

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