Itinerary in detail
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Arrival in Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and you will be met at the airport by our representative who will be waiting with a Swiss Family Treks sign outside the terminal and transfer to Hotel by private car. Welcome drink and after you settle into the hotel there will be a group briefing with your tour leader. He will discuss the trek details and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. Stay overnight at Hotel.
Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and transfer to Hotel.
You get to Humla via Nepalgunj. You cannot fly directly to Humla. You have to stay in Nepalgunj overnight before you catch a plane to Humla. Nepalgunj is a business hub for both the city dwellers and those who live high up in the hills. Nepalgunj is the blend of Indian culture and Nepali traditional cultures. Indian border is just five miles (8km) away from the city. And it comes as no surprise that it looks more like an Indian city than it is a Nepali one. The temperature is high here and the condition humid for most part of the year. You will check in to the hotel for a night.
Day 3: Fly from Nepalgunj to Simikot 2960m,
Your flight arrives into Simikot early in the morning. Take it easy because the town is at an elevation of 2960m. Our trekking team/crew arrived the day before and has organized pack animals, you could straight leave away for the first day’s trekking. Even so it’s not a bad idea to spend the night in Simikot. Your sirdar (head Sherpa) will need to register trekker with the military police and you may also be asked to pay a small local tax by the Village Development Committee on arrival. There are several places to camp. Many fields around Simikot will be planted or ploughed so camping places are at premium. You can spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the steep climb and descent on Day 2, or exploring this sprawling town spectacularly located 600m above the Humla Karnali River. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 4: Trek from Simikot to Dharapuri 2270m,
4-6 hours, 270m ascent 980m descent
Start climbing from the Simikot airstrip, past wheat and barley fields on a rough rocky trail bordered with cannabis and nettles. Trek past the stone house of upper Simikot and the community water supply. It does not look far, but it’s a long 300m pull to a large rock cairn and a small teashop at the top of a forested ridge over looking the town. Here the track splits into two. Following the well graded right hand path heading to Yakba affords tremendous views down the Humla Karnali Valley. The more commonly used left hand path drops steeply in a knee crunching 800m descent to the town of Masigaon (Tuling 2270m) where your crew can cook lunch in a small teahouse. As you descent do not follow paths heading to the cluster of flat topped houses on your left (Dandaphayo) but keep heading north. Following the Humla Karnali River flowing about 400m below, eventually reach a metal bridge crossing the Hekpa (Yakba) Khola into Dharapuri (2270m), where there are clearly marked camping spots and a cooking shelter next to some superb swimming holes. A cluster of new buildings has been built close to the camp spot selling cold drinks, biscuits and chow chow (instant noodles). Check in with police post about five minutes up the trail or wait until tomorrow morning. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Alternative Route: Simikot to Dharamsala
An alternative route to the Nyalu Lagna follows the high route out of Simikot through Yakba, Lekh Dhinga and over the Sechi La and Kuki La (4900m), but is a more serious (and dangerous) undertaking for trekkers and animals. The route gets less sun, so snow remains later into the season making the trail treacherous. The route takes about one hour longer than the usual path and you eventually drop steeply towards the left to the Hekpa Khola and a small bridge that takes you to the cam site at Dharapuri. Take a packed lunch and a Nepali speaking staff member if you use this route and send your trekking crew on the lower trail on which you will return just over two weeks later.
Day 5: Trek from Dharapuri to Kermi 2690m,
4-5 hours, 440m ascent, 100m descent
After checking in with the police, run the gauntlet of boisterous, sometimes pesky children in Dharapuri and stay in the north side of the river. On the other side of the Himla Karnali the village Kolchhi is perched on an impossibly steep hillside, marking the most northern penetration of the Thakuri people. Further up the valley in Khagagaon (3400m), the last place in Humla where rice is cultivated. The trail snakes up and down to Chachera (2350m), a shepherds’ camp near a series of three waterfalls. The trail climbs so steeply that horses and yaks have to be unloaded so they can scramble up the slope. Climb beside the waterfall past lizards sunning themselves and follow the narrow trail that has been blasted out of the cliff to reach Dharma Kermi in about five hours. The best place to camp in Kermi is before the village and you should arrive in time for a late lunch. About 40 minutes above Kermi are some hot springs that are well worth the visit, and locals have thoughtfully lined the main pool with comfortable flat stones. The main trail bypasses Kermi village itself. There is also a camp site below the left side of the trail about 10 minutes beyond the village. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 6: Trek from Kermi to Chumsa Khola Valley 3600m,
5 hours: 700m ascent, 60m descent
If you didn’t spend time in Kermi village yesterday, take a small detour and head up through the town before dropping back onto the main trail. It’s then a long climb over a ridge into a big valley with walled potato and buckwheat fields. The trails leaves out a bit as it makes a long transverse through a sparse pine forest and after about two hours you will come to a mani wall and rock cairn on a ridge at 2990m. People traveling to Kailash will follow the path down to the Chumsa Khola, but instead you turn right into a stunning pine filled valley. After two hors dropping through the forest you come to a small bridge crossing the river with some shade and flat spots for lunch. There is plenty of evidence of this forest being logged along this trail. After three hours you can cross another bridge before reaching a wide open field and a stone shelters around 3400m. There is great camping spot next to the river; its also pos-camping spot next to the river; its also possible to camp about 90 minutes further up the valley at Shingjungma (3600m). Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 7: Trek from Chumsa Khola Valley to Dharamsala 4200m,
4 hours: 600m ascent
It is not a long day to reach the base camp of the Nyalu Lagna, so you can leave as late as 11 am if you have a packed lunch. The trails climbs steadily through moss covered birch and pine forests. Rhododendron tree grow up to an elevation of 3800m and the valley — flanked by sheer stone walls — is flecked with promise, gentians, and irises. After about two hours the trail climbs briefly onto benign glacial moraine before turning left into confluence of several small streams and the Chumsa Khola. The best place for bigger groups to camp is on a flat area located at about 4000m. Here there is enough grazing and water for the animals carrying the trekking loads. I t is possible for smaller groups to camp about 200m higher at Dharamsala where there are some stone huts and a small stream. Watch for symptoms of altitude sickness at the elevation. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 8: Trek from Dharamsala to Talung Camp 4380m,
7-8 hours: 1000m ascent, 600m descent
Leave camp before 5am for the long grind over the 4990m Nyalu Lagna. This also makes it easier for animals to cross any snow patches you are likely to encounter along the way. The path climbs initially up grassy slopes before turning onto moraine and a trail that skirts the hillside above the western slope of Selima Tso. The trail sweeps west into a wide, often snow filled valley that can be difficult for animals to navigate. It is possible to climb high and follow the north eastern ridge of the valley and drop onto the pass as it has less snow. If there is snow and it is firm, veer right and sidle along the eastern then northern wall of the valley to reach the pass after about five hours. The Nyalu Lagna is marked with cairns and prayer flags. You can head to a point about 20 minutes northeast above the pass for great view s across the Tibetan plateau. On a very clear day it is possible to see Kailash and Gurla Mandata. From the pass the trail drops steeply a flat expanse dotted with hundreds of upright stone markers. It is said that each marker represents a sighting of Mt. Kailash by local traders. From here there are two opinions. If it is snow free enter the steep gully to the right and make a careful descent to the Talung valley floor at 4400m. If there is snow you can glissade sown the gently angled slopes directly below you although the animals will have to follow the generally snow free slopes on the right hand skyline. From the bottom of the valley to the Talung camp (4380m) is a three hour walk. Watch out for the blue sheep and snow leopard in the valley. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 9: Trek from Talung Camp to Jang 3930m,
6-7 hours: 450m descent
The wide, U shaped Talung Valley is confined by steep screed slopes and falls in a series of steps carved out by the ancient glaciers. From the camp the trail follows high above the shoreline of the 1200m long Tshom Tso. Dammed at the confluence of the Talung Chu and Ling chu, the head of the lake is dominated by the giant white sand dunes (three hours). You will cross some river flats and need to cross the Ling Chu before climbing out of the Talung Valley and into the Takche valley. At the top of the sand dunes you can see the 24 km trail leading into Tibet via the Lapche-La (5688m). Locals still regularly use this trail to bring giant herds of goats into Nepal for fattening up and sale. Below is Gumma Yuk (4170m), once the most important village of Limi. The village was abandoned for many years ago, but you can still see the remnants of a few buildings here and there. There are a great number of animal trials that fan out across the plateau. Stay well above the river until you eventually cross a suspension bridge, which brings you to the north side of the Takche Chu. The old wooden bridge below is still used by livestock. After four hours the trails levels off and wanders through the meadows of the Takche valley, mostly following its northern flank. A camp (4070m) has been established by locals near a small hot spring, about 40 minutes before you reach the village of Jang. The chances are someone from village will be along to collect a small fee soon after you arrive. The camp is right next to the river and there is usually a steady stream of people passing through on their way to grazing higher up the valley. On the other side of the river yak herders have usually set up a camp, their distinctively shaped black yak hair tents a practical refuge for this harsh landscape. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 10: Exploring Jang
It is definitely worth spending a rest day here to wash your clothes and explore Jang village. Leaving the camp, jump across a small stream and pass a series of distinctly burnt orange and white chortens. After exiting the upper portion of the Takche Chu valley the trails becomes rocky; about 20 minutes later you crest a small rise marked with prayer flags that offers views down to the impressive stone houses of Jang (3930m). A steep gorge turns the river into thunderous cascade that runs alongside the trail, and a series of irrigated barley fields mark the beginning of the village. It is common to see young Kathmandu —based Limipas in jeans and T-Shirts helping plant fields along side traditionally clad elders during the spring. Many of the younger generation seek work outside Limi during winter, while elders stay in the isolated villages caring for livestock, spinning and weaving and making material from yak and sheep wool. Jang village is divided into three sections- two above the trail and one below. The main monastery is right in the middle of the town. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 11: Trek from Jang to Halji 3670m,
3-4 hours: 400m descent
Follow the trail back to Jang and exit the village through a stone chorten with an ornately painted roof. Halji is just 9 km (three hours) west of Jang so leaving early will give you enough time to visit the Rinzin Ling Gompa, said to be the most important in Limi. The rocky undulating trail has some steep minor ascents and descents until you eventually crest the top of a small ridge that protects Halji from the winds. Take a moment to admire the view of barley and wheat fields (3670m) tucked into the corner of a valley that rise northwards. A giant chorten and exceptionally long prayer wall mark the official southeastern entrance to the village. The best camp is located on the main trail, near a small window grove on the river flats below. Walk past the stone Nepal Trust Health post to reach the camp. The stone house of Halji surround the gompa, which has had extensive work done to protect the important artifacts it houses. You will have to pay a fee to photograph inside, but it’s definitely worth it. The main Rinzin Ling Gompa has a courtyard with monks living quarters on three sides and a temple precinct to the north. The ground floor chapel to the north is the oldest part f the Sakyapa school gompa. A steep wooden staircase leads to the main shrine on the 1st floor, featuring to a metal statue of Sakyamuni in an elaborate frame in the centre of the room. The rest of the gompa is filled with paintings, statues, texts, hats and masks of various characters used during festivals. During the summer of 2008 an important rinponche visited Til, Halji and Jang, so extensive work was done to refurbish the gompas and improve the tracks between villages. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 12: Trek from Halji to Til 3700m,
5-6 hours: 150m ascent, 50m descent
It is 10km fro Halji to Til (3700m)so you should arrive in time to spend several hours exploring this last village in the Limi valley. From the camp site, climb back to the main trail and walk past well irrigated fields that line the western entry to Halji. The trail then drops back to the Takche Chu and crosses a bridge at 3710m and brings you to the south side of the river. It’s a pleasant but sometimes windy walk through this section, which follows close to the river and passes through the fields and small groves of willow tress. After about two hours you reach a suspension bridge and return to the north side of the river; a little further down the trail you will see a large, round, stone lined pit. Locals bait this pitch to catch snow leopard of one of these elusive cats takes or threatens livestock. Locals say that centuries ago, Til used to be situated .on the valley floor, but poor water quality forced villagers to relocate one hour above the river. Climbing the hills you pass several clusters of shortens. After about an hour you reach a large flat area almost directly opposite the village gompa, which is spectacularly perched on the other side of the narrow valley. You can camp here, but check with locals about where the best water is. There are several pipes that irrigate this fertile valley. This camp affords outstanding elevated views south to the Phupharka Himal and northwards to a 6300m spike peak that dominates the backdrop of Til. The Nepal Trust has done extensive work in the Limi valley assisting locals with electrical, irrigation, and medical projects. Many of the rooftops of this very pleasant village are dotted with tiny solar panels and the people of Til are extremely friendly and accommodating towards trekkers. To reach the village, climb about 20 minutes above the camp site, passing the trail on Hilsa on your left until you cross a small wooden bridge. The gompa is located another 30 minutes northeast of the village along a narrow trail. Watch out for goats, which can send down a hail of rocks as they graze the thin soil above you.
Day 13: Trek from Til to Manepene 3970m,
8 hours: 870 ascent, 580 descent
On the map of the distance between Til and Manepene looks pitifully short, but on the way ground the convoluted trail weaves its way through ravines and up and down trails etched into impossibly steep looking hillsides. Give yourself plenty of time today and shock up on drinking water and food before you leave Til. Leaving the camp, take either a short cut by climbing through the grazing fields on the western flank of the valley directly above you to meet up with the main trail , or head towards the village and turn left at the first main trail intersection. The trail climbs steadily and after an hour you can see and the left the helicopter pad built in 2008 for the visit of the Rinpoche. Take a last look at the Limi valley and in the distance you will catch a glimpse of the lower fields of Halji. Three hours from Til is a tiny stream and a collection of small flat platforms that can be used as a camp site by small groups. There is another water source about four hours from Til and again in Manepene. From the small perched camp site a stiff 200m climb up a stark hill side gets you to the 4300m Lamka Lagna. From here you plunge down what looks like a horrifically steep stone pinnacle, although the track is actually quite well formed. Soon afterwards you climb again to just over 4000m for views southeast of the Humla Karnali river carving its way through the steep valley towards Muchu .According to older locals this route has been used as “ice walk” during the winter to access the main Humla Karnali river. The camp site of Manepene is named after a giant stone that is carved with the mantra “Om mane Padme Hum” It is not an ideal site because the only flat spaces are deep in animal droppings. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 14: Trek from Manepene to Hilsa 3720m,
4 hours: 300m ascent, 400m descent
The trail continues to duck and dive through ravines, staying above a major first views of the imposing Nara La (4580m) trail on your left. The northern reaches of the Simikot- Hilsa road can be seen snaking their way up to the stark hillside. The expanse of the Tibetan plateau stretches out to the north and a tiny pocket of barley fields identifies Sher and the Tibetan border far below. The village if Hilsa (3720m) is a depressing collection of grey buildings located on windy flats across the suspension bridge spanning the Humla Karnali River that flows in Nepal from Tibet. As you round the final ridge do not stay on the main trail unless you are heading to Kailash. Drop instead into a steep gully onto a rough trail that drops straight down to the bridge. A couple of white road markers to the right mark the official Chinese border. Hilsa is experiencing something of a building boom, and has a few shops stocked with Chinese goods. There are a couple of small lodges and flat spaces to camp on the northwestern side of the town behind a motley collection of one storey wooden buildings. There is a cooking shelter for hire .As a border town, Hilsa sees steady stream of Humli people bringing wood into Tibet and returning with alcohol, clothing, consumer goods, cement and fuel. The huge herds of goats with tiny back packs that stream along the trails used to carry salt and rice ,but this now largely been replaced by alcohol. Simikot locals are eager for the road from Hilsa to be finished as it will open up the flow of goods into this isolated district though this will probably take most of the next decade. Helicopters regularly land in the Hilsa during spring and summer, dropping off wealthy Indians on their way to Kailash for pilgrimage. The sudden jump in altitude from 2900m in Simikot to almost 3800m in the Hilsa means there are also regular evacuations of tourist suffering from AMS. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 15: Trek from Hilsa to Palbang 3380m,
7-8 hours: 800m ascent, 1200 descent
Leaving Hilsa, avoid the road construction by taking a trail that follows the river and then climbs steeply up on a loose stones towards Ranipauwa (4370m) , a messy flattish area littered with broken glasses. This is a great spot to look towards Tibet and catch your breath. Follow the gently angled road or brace yourself for a nail biting ascent of some of the narrowest path of Nepal, as the trail follows the face of this mountainside. The best route changes regularly, so follow the lead of locals who are usually on the trail a little earlier than trekkers. Be watchful for yaks coming towards you carrying wood, and plan for a route to get out of their way in good time. The Nara La (4580m) pass takes about four to five hours to summit. Past the small lake on the top ina giant cairn blasted by a strong wind that signals your return to the fertile Humla Karnali valley. The road continues down the other side of the pass and offers an uninspired hour long descent to Sipsip (4330m) where there is water. To your right is Yari (3670m), a compact settlement of stone houses below the trail. Yangser Gompa is 6 Km west of Yari, though most people just keep going at this point. The khampa leader Wangdi used the valley west of Yari in 1975 for his escape into India via the Tinker pass south of Taklakot after the USA removed its support for Tibetan freedom fighters. From Sipsip it takes about two hours to reach an often windy camp above the teashop at Palbang. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 16: Trek from Palbang to Muchu 2920m,
4 hours: 50m ascent, 480m descent
This is an easy day of mostly downhill that finishes at a pleasant camp nest to the Karnali River. You will start meeting trekking groups traveling to Tibet via Hilsa although this itinerary is designed to avoid for the most part —camping in the same places used on a standard Kailash trek. From Palbang the trail climbs gently through juniper trees to cairn at 3310m and the drops gradually until you end up at the top of a steep rock filled gully (3270m). This trail delivers you into Tumkot (3000m) after about four hours, making it a great lunch spot in the trees. It’ s a regular camping spot for Kailsah bound groups and enterprising locals will usually place a bucket of river —water —cooled beer and soft drinks in front of you fro temptation. An easy stretch of trail leads through pleasant orchards until about two hours later you eventually spot Muchu (2920m), a reasonably busy town with a police post and an impressive, newly constructed government hospital. Check in with the police and continue through the village. Around 15 minutes later you will spot a large flat area on the south side of the river below you: a perfect camp site at 2800m. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 17: Trek from Muchu to Chumsa Khola 2830m,
5-6 hours: 200m ascent, 260m descent
This is surely of the most beautiful days on the trail, following the brilliant blue water of the Humla Karnali. From the camp site, cross the bridge and follow a lower trail rises a little before drop ping back to the river. The higher trail will take you over the Illng Lagna (3500m) a lookout towards Yari used by Wangdi as he scouted out his escape to India .The lower trail is much easier and clearly marked. After 2.5 hours you reach a fast flowing stream just before Yangar, a compact settlement surrounded by sprawling fields. The trail winds its way through the town and locals will point you in the right direction if you take a wrong turn. About 40 minutes and a few minors up and downs later you reach Yalbang (2890m), a beautifully situated village that’s noisy and vibrant with children attending the local boarding school. Yalbang shares a hydroelectric power supply with its neighbour Yangar. For an interesting side trip, follow the signs to the Namka Khyung Dzong Gompa, a 20 minute climb above the trail. This Nyingma gompa is about 60 years old and has an active monastic community of about 90 monks. Below you is a bridge over the Humla Karnali river, where a ridiculously steep trail climbs the opposite hillside to Puinya , the village where people from Yalbung live during the summer. One and a half hours of descent from Yalbang through the forest gets you to a suspension bridge (2830m) across the Chumsa Khola and a large flat expanse that you cross before climbing shelter about 50m higher. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 18: Trek from Chumsa Khola to Dharapuri 2270m,
5-6 hours: 230 m ascent, 740m descent
You have come full circle. A short haul 2990m returns you to the trail junction and pass where you turned to head towards the Nyalu Lagna two weeks ago. You are back in familiar territory trekking through the fields below Kermi and down to Dharapuri and the familiar riverside camp site. It might be wise to send staff ahead to secure a pot on Kailash bound trekkers often crowd the same place. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 19: Trek from Daharapuri to Simikot 2960m,
6 hours: 980m ascent, 270m descent
Take the low main route to Masigaon and take a deep breath before tackling the 900m grind to the top of the hill overlooking Simikot. Drop 300m into town and check in with the airline office as soon as you arrive to reconfirm your flight to Nepalgunj. Stay overnight at tented camp.
Day 20: Fly from Simikot to Nepalgunj and onward connection to Kathmandu.
With the end of trek to Limi Valley comes to an end. It is a long way back to Kathmandu via Nepalgunj with some life long memories of the tour. You will be taking an aerial route to get back to Kathmandu. You will leave Humla in the earliest flight possible and transfer to Hotel.
Day 21: Final Departure from Kathmandu
Your trip will come to an end today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements and transfer to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport by our private van around 3 hours before your flight schedule and flight back to your home/other travel destination.
Customize Your Trek: This is a general itinerary, which can always individually be “tailormade”. The trek package can be redesigned or redeveloped as per your taste, For more information please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Important: In case of emergency during the trip, Helicopter will be arranged by Swiss Family Treks & Expedition GmbH. The charges must be paid by the clients themselves.