Tilicho Lake is one of Nepal's and possibly the world's highest elevated lakes. Tilicho Lake is 4,949 meters high with an area coverage of 4.8km2/1.9 square miles, located directly in front of Tilicho Peak (7134m) at sea level. Next is Thorung La Pass (5416m), one of the highest passes in Nepal, from where a stunning view of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges can be seen. Crossing Thorung La Pass (5416m), the trek leads to Muktinath temple, one of the holiest shrines for Hindus all over the world. The lake is filled with blue glacier water, with no visible discharge. Many hikers visit Tilicho Lake, which is about a 5-6 days walk from the Annapurna circuit trek.
The trek to Tilicho Lake begins in Besisahar or Ngadi. Ngadi is the trailhead for the Annapurna Circuit and the Tilicho Lake Trek. The trekking route from Ngadi to Manang is the same for both treks. Trekkers should pass through villages such as Jagat, Tal, Dharapani, Timang, Chame, and Pisang on their way to Manang, where most trekkers adjust for a day. There are two trails from Manang: one that leads directly to Thorong Phedi and another that leads to Tilicho Lake. Before arriving at Tilicho Base Camp, you must pass through the village-like Khangsar and Shree Kharka. Tilicho Lake is a high-altitude glacial lake that requires a challenging trek to reach. After spending the night in a Tilicho base camp, you will trek to the Tilicho lake the next day, with stunning Himalayan views on your back and the massive Tilicho peak (7134m) on your front, which will mesmerize you for a while.
The pleasurable trek to Tilicho lake can extend for 13 to 15 days, from Kathmandu–Beshisahar on bus or jeep; from Beshisahar on bus/jeep, from Beshishar to Chame either on foot or jeep, from Chame to Manang on foot, then from Manang to Tilicho Base camp, including the Marshyangdi river trail to the villages like Tal, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, Manang, Khangsar, and finally Tilicho. From Tilicho Lake, then back on foot to Shree Khark, next to Chame, Chame to Beshisahar, and from Beshisahar to Kathmandu. This trek is similar to a side trip on the Annapurna circuit trek. Most trekkers attempt the Annapurna circuit, and some trekkers make it their primary goal to visit the Annapurna Base Camp and the Thorong La pass. So the Annapurna circuit trek can be extended by a maximum of four days.
Why Trek to Tilicho Lake?
Tilicho Lake is a glacial lake with a length, width, and depth of 4 km, 1.2 km, and 85 m, respectively. It is a freshwater lake from mountain sources like Tilicho Peak, Mesokunta, Muktinath Peak, and Idam Phra glacial meltwater. Further, it has religious significance, and the lake is believed to be an ancient Kak Bhusundi Lake mentioned in the Ramayana, the holy text of Hindus. Moreover, the major attractions of Tilicho Lake trekking are the eye-catching views of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges and other white Himalayas above 5,415m. The trek undoubtedly provides some majestic panoramic views of Mt. Manaslu, Mt. HimalChuli, Mt. Machhapuchre, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna and many more.
How difficult is the Tilicho Lake Trek?
Tilicho Lake trek doesn’t require climbing expertise, and there are no technical climbing sections. With a basic fitness level, you should be able to trek the route. Old and young, overweight and underweight, have completed the trek – all with a smile on their faces. Moreover, the Tilicho Lake trek difficulty level is moderate, and that is sole because of the altitude that it covers. The trek takes you to an elevation of above 3000 m and keeps you there for a period of 7 days. Sometimes you’re vulnerable to risks such as altitude sickness, extreme cold, unpredictable weather, and so on. In some of the places, the routes are steep and uneven, which is a common thing that you need to deal with when you’re trekking in the hills of Nepal. The facilities of food, accommodation, and so on are pretty much standard throughout the way, which offers you a little bit of relief by the end of the day, reducing the hardship.
Tilicho Lake Trekking Equipment
Normally, you'll need a lot of gear for this adventure. You should always review your packing list. Sunglasses, Windcheater jackets, Thermals, Down jackets, Warm Sleeping bags, trekking poles, waterproof clothes, boots, and raincoats are the trekking equipment to carry. You should bring a rucksack or duffel bag with you on your trek to transport your daily luggage. The porters will handle most of your equipment, so you have less to carry. It is recommended to bring a rain cover in case of rain or dust. Always keep a water bottle and water purification medicine on hand. Carry a water bottle and water purification medicine with you. While trekking, you can drink directly from the flowing stream using water purification treatment.
Accommodation and Food in Tilicho lake Trek
The majority of the Tilicho Lake Treks' accommodations are teahouses and lodges. The teahouses are comfortable and provide basic amenities. The trek will last 15 days. As a result, the majority of the nights are spent in teahouses or hotels. A stay in the Tilicho Base Camp tent twice, once before ascending and once after descending from Tilicho Lake. They can have additional fees for using teahouse amenities such as hot water buckets, laundry, charging, internet, and electricity. Furthermore, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided by the teahouses during the trek. The meals are simple and suitable for the trekkers' health. The main course is Nepali Dal Bhat, which will keep you going for 7/8 hours of the trek. Meals prepared from home-grown crops are a treat during this trek. The lodge has easy access to drinking water. You can buy a mineral water bottle and you can also fill it up with boiling water for an additional fee.
The internet connection is readily available in the Annapurna region. The internet is reliable from Besisahar to Manang Valley. At high altitudes and at Tilicho Lake, there is some instability or no availability. Internet access and electricity for charging can be obtained by paying additional fees at guesthouses. The phone signal is good as well, but it may not work at high altitudes. An internet connection can also be obtained by using a local SIM card.
Tilicho lake trek Route
Multiple routes to Tilicho Lake have been discovered. Generally, the Tlicho lake trek route starts from Beshisahar to Chame, a small village in the Manang district. Before we reach Chame, we start from the Annapurna circuit trek route. The starting point is generally used to be the ending point in return. The Beshisahar, Chame to Tilicho route is the most common trekking route among others. The next option for the trek can be Beshisahar - Tilicho - Jomsom and a flight from Jomsom to Pokhara, then back to Kathmandu. Moreover, permits are required for the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) and Trekkers' Information Management System (TIMS). The fees for ACAP and TIMS permits are NPR 3000 and 2000, respectively. For SAARC, NPR 1000, ACAP, and TIMS, NPR 600.
When is the best time to visit Tilicho Lake?
The best seasons to visit/trek Tilicho Lake is in the autumn months of October and November, and in the spring months of March and April. Autumn is the best time to trek and enjoy the Himalayas. In the autumn season, the weather is usually ideal. The spring season is the second best. As in autumn, the weather is generally clear and the forest blooms with a variety of flowers, allowing you to enjoy the scenery and nature. See the image below to find out which months are best for you.
The autumn season:
It begins at the end of September and runs until the first week of December. Following the monsoon, the landscape is covered in green fields and various types of crops. Trekking in Nepal is excellent during this time of year. The weather in autumn is ideal for hiking/trekking in Nepal's Himalayas. Trekkers can see the highest peaks of the Himalayas in crystal clear view for the entire day, and there is less chance of clouds and fog. The visibility is excellent in autumn, and the temperature is ideal for trekking. This is why autumn is the best time to visit Nepal and Tilicho Lake.
The spring season
The spring season is the second best time to trek in Nepal. The spring season lasts from early March to the end of May. You can enjoy your trek in the Nepal Himalayas if the weather is good and visibility is good. Colourful flowers bloom in the lower Himalayas. The colourful rhododendron forests in front of the Himalayas will take your breath away. Trekkers will have the best views of the Himalayas and very pleasant weather. Trekkers will have the most fun if they visit Tilicho Lake in the spring.
Tilicho lake trek Cost Price
The cost during the trek can vary depending upon the trekking route the hikers choose. Generally, this 14 days Tilicho trek costs up to $1510 (USD), including travel expenses, food and accommodation, porter charge, trek permit, tax and so on. But it can be more or less, based on the facilities you choose and how long you stay up there.
The Marshyangdi River is followed on the trek to Tilicho Lake, which provides breathtaking views of Manaslu and Himal Chuli to the east. You may enjoy stunning views of the White Himalayas and a delightful hamlet full of people from all ethnic groups by making this wonderful journey to Tilicho Lake. This route, Though identical to the Annapurna Circuit, now you can travel to the central valley to the west, passing through Khanshar Village, also known as "The Last Village of Nepal," and climb to Tilicho Lake before continuing on to Yak Kharka and the 5416-meter-high Thorang La Pass. This route also bypasses Tanki Manang and Yak Kharka. From the Thorang La Pass, the Tilicho Lake Trek descends to Muktinath and then Jomsom, where you may board a scenic aircraft for a 20-minute journey to Pokhara. and then, by air or by road, return to Kathmandu.