Tilicho Lake Trek is one of the highest elevated lakes in the world at 4919 meters from sea level. This lake is gaining interest among new travelers because of its pristine beauty and surrounding Himalayas. Moreover, It is also a side hike of the Annapurna circuit trek. Most of the trekkers choose the Tilicho lake trek as an alternative hike for acclimatization before crossing the Thorong-La pass. The lake is witnessing natural blue from May to October. The winter snow takes time to melt in that place and the lake is covered in white ice and snow after winter snowfall until May. The picturesque lake is more beautiful as it lies in front of Tilicho Peak.
1. How to get there –
Tilicho Lake Trek is located in Manang District, Nepal. The route is the same as the Annapurna circuit trek until Manang. The trails are different from Manang as the Tilicho trails go by lower Khangsar. Jeeps are accessible till Khangsar village. It is optional to take a jeep until Khangsar or to Chame.
If you like to start the trek from Chame. Here is a short description of the trek from Chame.
- Your trek starts here and your destination for the day is Upper Pisang. The trails are wide due to road track and you will find alternative trails along the route as you pass through small tea houses. It is a good stop point for lunch and the trails are gradual plain from here.
- After morning breakfast, you can start trek to Manang. The view on the way is amazing with an overlook of Mount Annapurna 2. The day trek is 6 hours. Manang is densely populated with lots of modern amenities. You may have a rest day here and explore the highlighted hike around Manang.
- Ice lake (Full day hike)
- Milarepa cave, (A half-day hike)
- Braka Gompa(Half-day hike)
- Gangapurana lake(Half-day hike).
- Today the day trek is Sri Kharka. It 5-6 hours trek and you will pass lower Khangsar (3700 m). The uphill trail starts from Khangsar until you reach Sri Kharka. After 2 to 3 hours of hike, you reach Sri kharka , overnight. You may also leave your extra belonging at a hotel in Sri kharka before going to Tilicho Base camp and can pick them up on the way back. It is 4 hours trek to base camp and you will face several landslide areas. It is advised to trek in the early morning to avoid wind and rockfall. Overnight at basecamp. You will have views of Mount Khangsar Khang, Tilicho Peak, Manaslu, Gangapurna himal.
- Tilicho Lake is at 4919 meters of elevation. You have to ascend 800 meters to witness it yourself. It is advised to hike early as you get to witness sunrise on the Mountains and the valleys. You will get back to Sri Kharka in daylight. The trails are mostly uphill followed by 22 zig-zag trails and gradually you will reach plain land until Tilicho Lake(4919 m). If you look forward to doing a high pass Thorong-La (5416 m), the route diverts after Sri kharka and if you are here for Tilicho only, you may hike down the same route or take a jeep to Besisahar and Hiace from Besi Sahar to Kathmandu.
2. Types of Accommodation-
Accommodations are upgraded to modern luxury with an attached bathroom in most hotels up to Khangsar village. Chame valley is a popular night stop point and you can find many hotels. The rooms are mostly twin-sharing bedrooms with neat warm blankets and pillows. If you like to carry your sleeping bag, that will be extra comfortable in such places.
The rooms have a charging socket to charge your accessories. Note that after khangsar, there is no electricity. There are five hotels in Tilicho base camp and all lodges are warm and comfortable for your night’s stay.
3. Attraction of the trip-
- Tilicho Lake is the highest glacier lake in Nepal and among the highest lake in the world at 4919 meters in elevation with a close-up view of Tilicho Peak, Khangsar Khang, Tare Khang, and Gangapurna.
- Unique landscape with several landslide trails, Old style houses, and Monasteries.
- Sworghadhori Stone wall
- Close-up view of Annapurna Himalayan range.
4. Best time to trek-
Snowfall starts from the end of November and the Lake will be frozen until May. The frozen lake starts to melt and will be in water form by May. From May to June and September, October and November are considered the best travel months.
5. Trip preparation-
Preparation is vital for the success of any high Himalaya trek. Proper gears depending on the weather should be prepared. Some of the basic trek preparation lists are-
- windcheater jacket
- Windcheater pant
- Down jacket
- Comfortable ankle protection trek shoe
- Face cover, buff
- 25-60 ml Trek bag
- First aid kit
- Power bank(backup
- Sunscreen cream Spf 30 +
- Water bottle
- Trek poles
6. Drinking water-
Water is the key ingredient for a successful trek. You will have the option to buy mineral water or to buy boiled water. Tap water, stream water is of course free and you can drink them after using water purification tablets. Like, as Katadyn Micropur MP1, Potable Aqua chlorine Dioxide, Potable aqua with PA+plus, Aquatabs.
7. Cost for the trip-
Drive from Kathmandu to Besisahar in public sharing vehicle is Nrs 680/- and Jeep from Besisahar to Chame is Nrs 1500/-. Jeep to khangsar cost Rs 3000/-. Normally the room rate starts from Rs 400 from Chame and maximum Rs 1000/- in Base camp. The food prices increase as you trek higher and you can estimate Rs 1500/- per day for food. Mineral water will cost 200 NRS in base camp and the price gets lower in low places. Boiled water costs 600 for medium pot thermos and Rs 900/- for big pot thermos in base camp.
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Thanks and have a great trip!
By Sonam Sherpa.