Tilicho Trek – Trekkers Ultimate Destination 

Tilicho Trek

Tilicho Trek in the Annapurna region perfectly blends nature, culture, and biodiversity in Nepal. Nepal’s high Himalayas have made it a beautiful sightseeing destination and blessed this tiny country with many natural wonders. And one of many such wonders, the Himalayas have blessed Nepal with beautiful pristine blue place water lakes. Among many such beautiful glacier lakes of Nepal, Tilicho Lake is one of the world’s highest-situated freshwater lake systems at 4949 m above sea level. It was one of Nepal’s best-kept secrets until the Tilicho Lake trek started attracting tourists worldwide. Even then, its natural and cultural bliss has been preserved well from the impact of modernization.

The natural and cultural significance of the Tilicho trek has only made it more critical. It is now one of the major highlights of the Annapurna circuit trek, which has been very popular in Nepal for over a century. This rejuvenating hike to Tilicho Lake blesses us with a fabulous view of Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Nilgiri, and Himchuli.

This article explains everything you need to know about the Tilicho Lake trek and how to get there.

Tilicho Treek Introduction

Situated in the Manang district of Nepal, Tilicho Lake lies just before the Annapurna Vista. The Tilocho Lake distance from Manang is 15.7 km, and if you calculate the aerial distance from Kathmandu, it is about 179 km in the northwest direction.

The pristine Blue Water of Tilicho comes from Tilicho Peak, just next to the famous Annapurna Peak (World’s 10th highest peak). Tilicho Peak, 7134 m, was discovered by a European team led by Maurice Herzog while they were looking for Annapurna. Later in the year 1978, the mountain was the first client of French mountaineer Emanuel Schmutz from the Northwest side.

Tilicho Lake Trek is located on the Northern side of the peak and remains beautified by the water flowing out to Tilicho Peak. The water flowing out of Annapurna Massif and Thorang Peak also accumulates here. This Glacier Lake in Nepal spreads over 4 km (2.5 ni). The total area of Tilicho Lake is 1.853mi2 just. The average depth at the center of Tilicho Lake is 279 feet/ 85 M. The lake consists of 41 million US gallons of freshwater.

History of Tilicho Trek

The exact data about how and when this glacier lake was formed is still unknown. However, it’s believed to be created many thousands of years ago when the northern Bandarpunch massif and the southern Larkya peak had a glacier collapse. Tilicho Lake gained the attention of International tourists only a couple of decades back. However, this lake has always been an important pilgrimage site among Nepal and India’s Hindu and Buddhist followers.

Centuries ago, Tilicho Lake was mentioned in the famous Hindu mythology, i.e., Ramayana. As per this Holy Hindu Book, Tilicho is a Kak Bhusundi Lake. This means that a Sage named Bhusundi shared in entire story and teaching of Ramayana with his fellow King Garuda in this lake. Garuda is known as the King of birds.

Since the lake was mentioned in Ramayana as a holy place, Hindu followers from India and Nepal took a tough climb to the lake.

How to get to Tilicho Lake?

There’s no roadway getting you to Tilicho yet. You must trek for at least two days from the last transportation stop before you get to Tilicho Lake.

Route 1: The lake is a narrow George a few km from the Manang Valley. The trekkers can drive up to Pisang and then hike to Manang the next day. The other night shall be on Shreekharka before you hike to Tilicho Base Camp. Tilicho Lake is 5 hours of the climb from the Tilicho Base Camp. So, it’s three days of walk from Pisang. The trekkers can also get the Jeep to Chame and start the trek to Manang. Getting to the Tilicho Base Camp on a single-day walk from Manang is possible.

Route 2: A different and shorter way shall be driving to Shreekharka in a private bus and directly to the Tilicho Base Camp on the 2nd day. Then, on the 3rd day, you shall stay in a hotel at Tilicho Lake.

Route 3: Some people also attempt to get to Tilicho Lake from the north by crossing a somewhat tricky way. This route comes from Jomsom and Thani Goan after crossing the path of MesoKanto La and Tilicho North Pass, called the Tourist Pass. Unlike the previous courses, the route from the north has no tea houses for the stay. The last hotel is at Thani Gaon, and the next one is at Tilicho Base Camp, so about two nights on the route would be a camping trek.

Alternative: Now, if the trekking feels hard, one can also take a helicopter flight directly to the Tilicho. Although hiring a Helicopter to Tilicho is expensive, it’s an equally luxurious and rewarding experience.

What to See During Tilicho Trek?

The Tilicho Lake Trek route offers so much more than the mere view of the lake. The Annapurna Circuit trek is a rewarding trek trail with so many exciting natural wonders to be encountered. And Tilicho Lake is the most significant part of the tour. The route moves along the Kaligandaki River, filling your walk with the melodious music of flowing water. Kaligandaki River also makes the world’s deepest George and blesses you with an interesting view. The river might also create some stunning waterfalls and exciting streams. You get to see some water life and suspension bridges in these rivers during the Tilicho Lake Trek map.  

The towering views of the Himalayas seen from Tilicho Peak are:

  • Mt.Dhaulagiri (8,167m),
  • Mt.Annapurna Ist (8,091m)
  • Mt.Manaslu (8,163 m),
  • Mt.Annapurna II (7,937 m.),
  • Mt. Annapurna III (7,555m),
  • Gangapurna, and
  •  Tilicho Peak

The landscape of Manang and the areas beyond it are exciting. Manang, known as the land beyond mountains, is one of the semi-arid deserted lands of Nepal. This means the landscape of Manang comprises colorful grassland and rocks, filling the areas with orange, red, and Green. The overall landscape of the Tilicho Lake trek route makes a picture-perfect setting for amazing photographs.

While staying in the villages such as Pisang, Shreekharka, and Manang, you get to experience the vivid experience of the highland lifestyles on the trek. These Himalayas are homes of the Tamang and Magar people, who have been perfectly adapted to the highland culture. Tibetan Buddhism has influenced the culture of these Himalayan people. The long-term impact of this religion has led to the formation of many white-washed monasteries, stupas, mani walls, and colorful prayer flags all around the trekking trail. Their unique way of life gives you a sense of peace and success.

Since our trekking trail lies in the Annapurna Conservation Area, we will also witness rich flora and fauna. This is Nepal’s largest conversation area spread over 7,629 7,629 km2. The Annapurna area stretches over five districts, i.e., Manang, Mustang, Kaski, Myagdi, and Lamjung. During this trek, you can witness 101 mammal species, including snow leopard, musk deer, wolf, langur monkey, Himalayan Yak, etc. If you are lucky, you can spot Lynx, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Brown Bears, etc. Talking about birds, there are 6 Himalayan Pheasants found in the Annapurna area.

Regarding vegetation, there are 22 different forest types with 1226 plant species. Fifty-five of these plant species are found nowhere else in the world. A significant section of the forest comprises Sal, Oak, and Rhododendron trees.

Best season for Tilicho Trek

 Trekking to Tilicho Lake in a different season has its Perks. Trekking is possible for about nine months of the Year. Three winter months, i.e., December, January, and February, are challenging for Tilicho Trek due to the thick snow surrounding all places above 2,500 m. Trekking from Manang to Tilicho in the snow can still be possible with the proper preparation, but crossing the Thorang La Pass is almost impossible.

We recommend two seasons for the trekkers depending on their preferences. The best time for Tilicho Trek is autumn when the sky is clear and the temperature is also low. The views of the Himalayas range in the autumn are distinct and exciting. September, October, and November are also times for celebrations and festivals in Nepal, making a perfect blend of culture. Spring is also an equally exciting month. However, the mountains might not always be visible. The views are often apparent in the morning and gloomy in the evening. The major highlight of trekking in Spring is the colorful blooms of Rhododendrons in the lower region.

In Nepal, the peak monsoon seasons are June, July, and August. 15 to 20 days of each month are rainy, making it hard to trek on the slippery rough trail. Also, the incidence of leeches and mosquitoes is high. Thus, many trekkers don’t prefer this summer trek. However, trekking in June and July is possible with the proper guidance.

Tilicho Lake Nepal

How long is Tilicho Trek?

You can see that Nepalese travel agencies are making the Tilicho Lake trek itinerary of over 15 days. The real question is, does it take that long to trek to Tilicho Trek?

Firstly, you should know that many trekkers prefer to combine the Tilicho Lake visit with their Annapurna circuit trek, which is about 15 days of a round trip around Mount Annapurna. This Annapurna Circuit trek commences at Chame and takes you to Tilicho Lake via the Manang village. Then you cross the Thorang La Pass to Jomsom and fly to Pokhara. The entire Annapurna circuit trek takes 15 to 20 days, depending upon where you start the tour and how much you can walk.

However, you do not need to complete the Annapurna circuit to get to Tilicho. Driving from Chame to Pisang, you can get to the Tilicho Lake trek in 4 days from Kathmandu. In the section above, we have mentioned a different Tilicho route and the time to get there. We estimate it takes about seven days to get back to Tilicho Lake.

What is the mode of transportation for the Tilicho visit?

The trekkers usually land at International Airport in Kathmandu. From Kathmandu, you must go to Besisahar, the Lamjung district’s headquarters. A cheap public bus, comfortable tourist bus, or private Jeep can get to Besisahar. From Besisahar, you can hire a Jeep or share a public Jeep to the starting point, i.e., Pisang, Chame, or Shreekharka.

Beyond that point, you need to rely on your feet.

Packing List for Tilicho Trek

Tilicho trek itinerary can last 5 to 12 days, depending on how much time you want to spend in this Highland. Since this is one of the remote reasons in Nepal, you must carry everything you need during the trek.

Thankfully, many tea houses along the route offer a comfortable night stay, so you don’t need to carry the camping essentials. Even then, it would be best to have a sleeping bag and a lot of clothes.

Respective of the season, you must wear warm, rainproof clothes for your Tilicho Lake trek. Inner thermals, down jackets, trekking pants, and cotton T-shirts are compulsory. Ensure your clothes are generous enough to protect you from freezing temperatures. The weather in Tilicho is unpredictable, and the temperature might go up to minus 5 degrees Celsius at night.

Your trekking boots are one of the most important things during the hike. Along with comfortable, high-quality trekking boots, you must also carry slippers.

 Since the Tilicho Lake trek is not a technical climb, you will not need any trekking gear. You will need to carry two trekking poles. However, there’s no need for crampons and axes until it’s winter. If you must cross the high passes in the winter, you might need some trekking gear. The list can be obtained from your guide at MyEveryTrip.

Final words,

 So, we have tried to cover almost everything you need to know before you Tilicho Lake Trek. You can check the MyEveryTrip Tilicho Trek itinerary here.

You can also comment or mail your general inquiry.

See you soon!

Puru Founder of My Everest Trip

Puru Thapaliya

My name is Puru (Purushottam Thapaliya). Since completing the Government Guide Training from Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (KEEP and HRA), I have been a specialist in mountain trekking and peak climbing. With specific expertise in the Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan regions, I have now been a trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal, and across the Himalayas, since 2012.