The Tilicho Lake Trek with Mesokanto La Pass is an adventurous trek located in the Annapurna region of Nepal. It is an alternative route to the usual trekking to the Annapurna massif through Thorang La Pass. This audacious trek is best suitable for those trekkers who have a strong fitness level and enough experience with high height pass trek. It is technically challenging for the beginner trekkers as the trekkers need to camp while crossing the pass.
Tilicho Lake Trek via Mesokanto La Pass takes you to one of the highest altitude lakes in the world, Tilicho Lake(4920m) situated in the Manang district of Nepal. The trekkers will be bewildered by the outstanding views of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I-IV, Mt Manaslu, Mt Annapurna South, Mt Nilgiri, Mt.Fishtail, Mt Hiunchuli, Mt Lamjung, Tukuche peak, Tilicho peak and so on. The trail of this trek embraces the superior diversity of landscape and culture. The snowcapped mountain views and lakes along with various ethnic cultures, lush forest, diverse landscape, and deep valleys add more excitement and joy to the trekking journey. You can see the settlements of diverse communities such as Chhetri, Tibetian Sherpas, Thakali, Magars and, Gurungs along with the trial. In addition, the trail also captivates amazing flora and fauna such as rhododendron, pine, fir, Snow leopard, Himalayan Thar, Jackal, Danphe, and many more.
The off-beaten path trek to Tilicho Lake and Mesokanto Pass is ideal for them who love a challenge and want to trek through the less crowded zone. Due to the sheer beauty of the pristine Tilicho Lake and the adventurous and thrilling Mesokanto La pass the Tilicho Lake Trek with Mesokanto La Pass is gaining popularity and is becoming the favorite trekking destination.
During the trek, you will also get to visit the Manang and Jomsom. Both places are very popular among the trekkers trekking in Nepal. Both Manang and Mustang are Tibetan influenced village.
After a long drive from Kathmandu, you can start your trek from Syanje. From there, continue your trek along the regular Annapurna Circuit trail until Manang. After acclimatizing there for some days in Manang, you head towards Tilicho Base Camp passing through the beautiful Khangsar village. The trekking trail passes through various settlements, waterfalls, terrains, and ancient Tibetian monasteries. Trekkers get to witness the astonishing rock formations, narrow canyons, and yak grazing settlements while trekking. Further trekking from the Base Camp the trail leads you to the picturesque emerald Tilicho Lake. The view of the lake with its turquoise water shining against the magnificent massif is a rewarding experience for every trekker. Ascending uphill from the Tilicho lake there comes the Mesokanto La Pass.
Crossing the Mesokanto La Pass is tough and challenging compared to the Thorang La Pass, however, the Himalayan scenery from the top of the pass is marvelous. After the wonderful moment on the top, you trek downhill and walk through the dry and desert landscape to reach Kaligandaki river bank. Walking over sandy and windy trail you finally reach to Jomsom. It is the fastest way to reach Mustang from Manang. Taking the morning flight from Jomsom you can reach Pokhara. Taking the flight or drive from Pokhara you can finally return back to Kathmandu.
Best time for Tilicho Lake Trek with Mesokanto La Pass
Autumn and Spring season are the best time for trekking to the Tilicho lake with Mesokanta La pass. Spring falls in the month of March to May in Nepal while Autumn lasts from September to November. Trekking to this adventurous destination in those months, you will get to witness the beautiful wildflower along the trail. Moreover, during these months of the year, the temperature is stable and sky is clear. The crystal clear sky offers the outstanding visibility of mountain peaks and landscapes.
Trekking to Tilicho Lake through Mesokanto is not possible during the winter season as the snow blocks the trekking trails.
Accommodation on the trail
Tilicho lake trek with Mesokanto la pass follows the same trekking route of Annapurna Circuit Trek up to the Manang. As the trekking trail of Annapurna Circuit is well established so up to the Manang you can stay in the teahouses or lodges. From Manang, you divert your trek towards Tilicho Lake that is away from the crowded trekking trails of the Annapurna region. The facilities of the teahouse after Manang to Tilicho Base Camp is still very good. However, there are no teahouses and lodges after the Tilicho High Camp until Jomsom.
So, all the trekkers heading towards the Mesokanto La Pass should spend their nights in the tented camps.
How hard is Tilicho Lake Trek through Mesokanto la Pass?
This is the challenging trek for moderately fit people seeking adventure. The trekker needs to be physically fit and mentally calm in order to complete the trek.
In spite of being on the lower elevation than that of the Thorang La Pass, trekking to the Tilicho Lake with Mesokanto La pass is more difficult to cross. So you have to be physically strong enough to tackle such a trekking expedition. An experienced trekking guide and proper gears are required to cross the pass. Novice trekkers with normal fitness levels and no experience of trekking are not recommended for this trek.
How to avoid altitude sickness during the trek?
While trekking to the high altitude it is common to get altitude sickness. However, you can take some precautionary measures to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness. They are:
Attain height gradually and slowly
Drink plenty of water
Eat high caloric food
Avoid drinking and smoking
As you trek towards the higher altitude reduce your number of walking hours and take ample rest
If you feel any of the symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and so on then you have to immediately descend to the lower altitude if possible.
What permits are required for this trek?
As the trek to Tilicho lake with Mesokanto lies in the Annapurna region of Nepal, TIMS and ACAP(Annapurna Conservation Area Project) permit are required for this trek.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)
Day 02:Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Day 03: Drive from Kathmandu to Syange (1100m/3608 ft): 8 - 9 hours
Day 04: Trek from Syange to Dharapani (1,960m/6,430ft): 7 - 8 hours
Day 05: Dharapani to Chame (2,710m/8,891ft): 5 - 6 hours
Day 06: Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft): 5 - 6 hours
Day 07:Pisang to Manang (3,500m/11,482ft): 6 - 7 hours
Day 08:Manang: Acclimatization day
Day 09:Manang to Siri Kharka (4060m/13,320ft): 4-5 hours
Day 10: Siri Kharka to Tilicho lake
Day 11:Tilicho to Tilicho base camp (4,800m/15,748ft) 4-5 hours trek
Day 12:Trek to Nama Phu (3,510) Crossing Mesokanto La Pass (5,099m/16,729ft) 5-6 hours
Day 13:Nam Phu to Kaisang,Thinigaon (3280m/10,761ft) 5-6 hours
Day 14:Trek to Jomsom (2,725m/8,940ft) 4 hours
Day 15:Fly to Pokhara (9,00m/2,952ft) transfer to hotel
Day 16:Drive to Kathmandu by tourist bus transfer to hotel
Transfer by private vehicle on arrival and departure
Twin sharing 3- nights tourist standard hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
Bus transportation: Kathmandu to Syange, private Vehicle can be arranged as per you require
Annapurna conservation permit and TIMS card (Trekking Information Management System)
Lodge and tent accommodation during the trek
Food: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner along the trek
Experience local trek guide including his food, accommodation, trek equipment, and insurance
Honest helpful local porter: 1 porter=2 client including his food, accommodation, trek equipment, and insurance
Trekking equipment: Down jackets, Sleeping bag, duffel bag and tent
Domestic flight: Jomsom to Pokhara
Twin sharing tourist standard hotel in Pokhara
Tourist bus: Pokhara to Kathmandu
Travel and rescue arrangements
All the government and local tax with paperwork
International airfare and Nepal Visa Fees.
Nepal Travel insurance.
Food in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Travel/Medical insurance and Emergency evacuation cost if needed.
Personal expenses such as phone calls, drinks, donations, souvenirs etc.
Expenses occurred due to unavoidable Events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
Tips for guide, porter (it is expected).
Day 01 Arrival in Kathmandu (1,300m/4,264ft)Upon our arrival at the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Mountain Rock Treks & Expedition who will drop you at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or visit Mountain rock’s office. We may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Mountain Rock.
Day 02Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek PreparationToday after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupatinath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambhunath) and Buddhist shrine (Bouddhanath) which is one of the largest stupas in the world. At noon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members.
Day 03 Drive from Kathmandu to Syange (1100m/3608 ft): 8 - 9 hoursWe begin our long drive to Syange early in the morning. The route we get to enjoy the countryside of Nepal with its green hills, winding rivers, terraced farms, and of course the mighty Himalayas. Overnight in Syange.
Day 04 Trek from Syange to Dharapani (1,960m/6,430ft): 7 - 8 hoursWe enter Manang district after crossing a large bridge near Tal. The trail passes through barley, rice and potato fields; and the waterfalls continue to accompany us even today. We also pass through the village of Kodo before reaching Dharapani which is one of the biggest villages in the Manang valley. Overnight in Dharapani.
Day 05 Dharapani to Chame (2,710m/8,891ft): 5 - 6 hoursToday we negotiate a few steep forested ridges along with several landslides on route to Chame. We should not forget to look up though, as we will be greeted with remarkable views of Lamjung Himal, Annapurna II, and Annapurna IV (7,525m). We also come across small hot springs which should help us relax for a while. Overnight in Chame.
Day 06 Chame to Pisang (3,300m/10824ft): 5 - 6 hoursWe walk through a steep and narrow valley to have our first view of Paungda Danda rock face, a dramatic curved rock face rising 1500m from the river. From here, we also gain excellent views of Annapurna 2 to the south and Pisang Peak to the northeast. Next, we descend to the Manang Valley floor enjoying the captivating landscape. Overnight in Pisang.
Day 07Pisang to Manang (3,500m/11,482ft): 6 - 7 hoursFrom Pisang, there are two routes to Manang. We choose the one which passes through Upper Pisang via Geru as it guarantees outstanding views of Mt. Annapurna, Pisang Peak, and others. As we walk near Manang the climate becomes more cold and dry. However, a short visit to Barge Monastery, the biggest monastery in the Manang District should cheer us up. Overnight in Manang.
Day 08Manang: Acclimatization day In order to keep fit on the trails that follow, we keep ourselves busy today with a short hike to either Bhojo Gumba or Gangapurna Lake. If we have the energy, we can even hike to Vraga Village where we can visit the Himalayan Rescue Association which will give us some idea about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Overnight in Manang.
Day 09Manang to Siri Kharka (4060m/13,320ft): 4-5 hoursFrom Manang, we head out through the western gates and follow the path down to the river. We cross the river and continue walking on its southern side through a coniferous forest. After reaching Kangsar Village we walk further up towards Siri Kharka and pass a monastery on the way. The uphill walk could be tiring but we will have Gungang Himal and Mt. Chulu in the backdrop to keep us company. Overnight in Siri Kharka.
Day 10 Siri Kharka to Tilicho lakeWhile the path from Siri Kharka to Tilicho Base Camp isn’t very steep or physically strenuous, it could be exhausting as we have to walk on narrow paths in loose scree and landslide area. Our trail goes through the middle of the landslide area whereby we can see impressive rock formations along the trail. Tilicho Lake blessed with amazing views of surrounding snow-capped peaks in the comfort of nice lodges located by the bank of emerald Tilicho lake, after lunch enjoy the magnificent scenery with Tilicho peak, Annapurna III and Gangapurna mountains.
Day 11Tilicho to Tilicho base camp (4,800m/15,748ft) 4-5 hours trekAfter a great time at Tilicho Lake, morning walk continues leading further towards remote corners of Manang valley, as the trek reaches at the base of Mesokanto-La or Tilicho Base Camp, which is the highest overnight camp of this adventure at 4,800 meters high. overnight camp is set on a meadow with chances of seeing some wild-life like antelopes, musk deer or an elusive snow leopard.
Day 12Trek to Nama Phu (3,510) Crossing Mesokanto La Pass (5,099m/16,729ft) 5-6 hours Today the hard and tough day of this adventure, starting early morning to cross two high passes, heading up the high slope traversing high Tilicho pass then with short descend to the base of Mesokanta pass, with short rest then climb the last pass of this adventure over Mesokanto-la at 5,099 meters, the top festooned with Buddhist prayer flags, here with mind-blowing scenery of surrounding high peaks. After feeling high with a tough climb, descend on the trail to Jomsom with an overnight camp in a small cattle herders’ temporary shelter at Nama Phu.
Day 13Nam Phu to Kaisang,Thinigaon (3280m/10,761ft) 5-6 hoursA pleasant and enjoyable trekking today with a gradual downhill walk towards Kaligandaki valley with superb views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Nilgiris peaks, after a good walk reaching Kaisang, afternoon walk leads further towards a large village of Thinigaon for an overnight stop, located above Jomsom and Kaligandaki Valley.
Day 14Trek to Jomsom (2,725m/8,940ft) 4 hoursAfter a pleasant stop at Thinigaon exploring its unique Buddhist culture, morning walk is easy on the flat river bed of Kaligandaki to reach famous Jomsom town, the headquarter town of Mustang district with a small airstrip above Kaligandaki River. At Jomsom check into a nice lovely lodge for the last overnight stop of this adventure, and celebrate last night dinner among crews and other members.
Day 15Fly to Pokhara (9,00m/2,952ft) transfer to hotelEarly breakfast then transfers to Jomsom airport for scenic short flight of 25 minutes to Pokhara, during airborne awesome views of Dhaulagiri, Nilgiris and Annapurna range of mountains with rolling hills and villages, On reaching Pokhara airport transfer to respective hotels by the lake Phewa, afternoon free for individual activities or just relax and enjoy the views of high Annapurna Himalaya peaks.
Day 16Drive to Kathmandu by tourist bus transfer to hotelMorning overland drive to Kathmandu after a wonderful time on Tilicho Lake & Mesokanta pass trekking after 5-6 hours of nice scenic ride reaching Kathmandu, then transfer to your hotels with afternoon free at leisure for individual activities and shopping souvenirs. (options of a flight back to Kathmandu of 30 mins/ additional cost). Evening we invite you to a farewell dinner.
Day 17DepartureAfter a wonderful time on Tilicho Lake & Mesokanta pass with semi Annapurna Circuit trek, including great services of Mountain Rock Trek guides and staff, as per the flight time transfer to the international air terminal for your departure homeward bound or to next respective countries.